There is currently one course available that you will find below.

What ESLinsider is not

Do you want to feel more confident in your teaching abilities (especially to children)? Want to have more fun, feel more in control in that classroom and ultimately have a better year abroad?

This course is a little unconventional and focuses primarily on what to do in the classroom and not theory or English grammar study. It uses video, images, text (in small chunks), Q&A, multiple choice, writing assignments, and messaging with feedback all designed to make you feel more confident in the classroom and happier abroad.

  • It maximizes the use of visuals and practical classroom based instructional videos to learn.
  • You'll get personalized feedback on lesson planning assignments.
  • You'll get unlimited access NOT 2-3 months access.
  • You'll get targeted training (if you teach mostly kids) NOT general training.

Let's take a closer look and see why these things matter.

1. Monkey see, monkey do. THOUSANDS of teachers like ESLinsider's videos because they make teaching easier and better.

ESLinsider's most popular video

The easiest way to learn how to teach is NOT by reading or listening to lectures, but by watching other teachers

Published research suggests that if you want to remember what you learn online then you need a visually engaging course.

Instead of wasting your time reading text online from a boring course that you probably won't remember, you could take a course that's rich with simple instructional videos that you will absorb faster, easier and remember more of.

These are simple, short instructional videos that show you what to do in the classroom. These courses are built with practical how-to videos that were shot in real classrooms w/ real students (not pretend students like many in-class courses use) mostly in South Korea

Many online courses are predominately text based which you won't remember much of. 

Seeing techniques done in person or on video is far superior to reading about how to do it.

Some facts:

Learn more about the research.

"I'm a new teacher and these videos really saved my hide (they still do) and my students like these activities a lot. I would like to thank you..." - Luiz Felipe

"I took Ian's 120 hour (now called Advanced) course two years ago and it was one of the best investments I made. I had been teaching in Korea for six years up to that point and had to learn through trial and error on the jobs I worked which was not easy. Ian's course is practical and based on actual experience in the classroom, not just dry theory. 

The videos were extremely helpful in the process and I still refer to them every now and then when I need ideas for class. While the course is not overly difficult, it's certainly no walk in the park as you do have to pay attention and take notes. 

I really wish this course had been around during my early years in Korea because it would've helped so much more than the so-called orientation and training I did for a week in Seoul when I started with EPIK. I highly recommend these courses if you are serious about gaining practical knowledge of ESL teaching from someone who has been there."

George's review

So it just seems like I can get the videos for free so why take a course?

That's true, you can get many of the bits for free, but if you want to connect the bits, go deeper and get support then that's why the course is here. 

2. There are 10 times the amount of jobs teaching children vs. adults in Asia. Are you confident in your abilities to teach English to children?

Young Korean students

This course is especially focused on teaching English to kids aged 5-14 in East Asia.

I've taken two different TEFL/TESOL courses. I took an in-class TESOL course before I taught in Taiwan back in 2004 and I took an online course in 2016 to see what I would get for $39.

Both of those courses were general and they did not offer any specific training for teaching kids and the data shows that there are as many as 10 times more jobs for teaching children.

But teaching kids can be hard.

I prefer teaching kids to adults by far, but I definitely didn't when I first started. Here are some of the challenges that come with teaching children.

  1. They have a short attention span
  2. They are not tame
  3. They can be very difficult to handle
  4. Some will test you
  5. They need structure
  6. They need to be interested

So how do you feel about your abilities to teach children?

Most TEFL courses like CELTA which may be the orginal focus on teaching adults and not children. The best course for you is going to be focused on teaching the students that you teach. It's going to be targeted and specialized.

And if you take just any TEFL course I don't think you'll be very prepared to teach kids because I definitely wasn't.


Yes, much of the information can apply to adults too, yet there is more of a focus on teaching children.

Think of it like this...

Why would someone take an MMA (mixed martial arts) class if they wanted to learn jiu-jitsu and compete in jiu-jitsu competitions? MMA classes include some jiu-jitsu so that's good, but if you want to compete in jiu-jitsu then you should be taking jiu-jitsu classes because it's more in tune with your goals.

Most other courses including the ones I took are more general like the MMA courses. They are more general and trying to reach as many people as possible. 

TEKA is more specialized and focused more on teaching children. 

3. Get personalized feedback on lesson planning assignments

To teach you need to have a plan for what you are going to do.

It sounds simple, and it can become that way with experience, but there are a lot of details to the lesson. For example:

  1. What content you teach
  2. How you teach and practice that content
  3. How long you teach something before moving on
  4. How much content you teach
  5. The order of what you teach (organization and flow)

And then there is the student's response that can affect all of the above.

Those are all some of the things you need to consider in a lesson. So in the course you will learn different methods for how to create a lesson and then to get good at doing that (or anything for that matter) you need to practice it. 

First you are shown how to do it with visuals and step by step instructions, but then you have to do it. The doing it online is writing it out and research shows that writing also improves your memory (it helps you retain material).

But because you are not a programmable robot you make mistakes like everyone else and then your teacher looks at your plan for what you are going to do and then let's you know what is good about it and then offers some feedback on how you can improve it.

You might also like this course since...

Taking a course online can be an isolating experience. 

In fact many people don't complete online courses because they are automated, lifeless and boring.

Nhu's review

"ESLinsider has been extremely informative and Ian provides detailed feedback on the submission tasks which is fantastic." - Nhu Pham 

ESLinsider's course offers feedback on assignments usually within 24 hours. In other courses that offer feedback you might wait 5 days or more.


Are you currently teaching?

If you are then you will have the option in the course to use the book you are currently using in your classes for lesson planning assignments. Otherwise lesson planning assignments are based on photos of pages from student books that are commonly used.

"Direct communication with Ian is a huge plus. There are a few assignments to submit (Lesson Plans, mainly) and Ian gave me very detailed and meaningful feedback on every one."

Kyle's review

4. How long will you have access to this course?

Access to TEKA is unlimited.


Because this is the most convenient option for you and learning takes time and repetition. Most online TEFL courses keep all their content behind a paywall and you only get access for a limited time (1-6 months). 

If your access to a course is only for 2-3 months (common w/ popular providers) then by the time you actually start teaching your access will be terminated which means you won't be able to access content when you need it most.

Which may be no problem if all you want is just a certificate. 

Learn how to:

  • Be the one in charge
  • Make your classes fun and educational for your students
  • Maintain your students attention
  • Deal with difficult students
  • Create lessons with minimal prep
  • Find a good school (or at least a decent one) and avoid problem schools and horror stories
  • Make the most of your time abroad and develop yourself along the way

Start now


If you are in the process of getting started teaching abroad and looking for job I'd like to let you know that this is the easy part. 


I know it can seem stressful and there is a lot of uncertainty as you just don't know now where you will end up and if you'll get a job. You probably feel anxious. But YOU WILL GET A JOB. I have lived in 7 US states and in 4 Asian countries. I have moved a lot. It can seem hard, but actually it's not. You just have to take a step and push through that fear.

You have to be brave.

You'll be fine and you'll get a job. This is the easy part. I know it might not seem that way now, but trust me it is.


I think what most TEFL courses sell to new teachers is not so much training, but a peace of mind. It can be stressful moving to a foreign country and I think many people just want security and a peace of mind.

But security is an illusion and getting a job is just the beginning.

Are you trying to find a reputable, internationally recognized, 120 hour course with an accredited certificate and a guaranteed job?

More on those things later, but there are plenty of courses out there that will give you that or say that they will. ESLinsider does things a little differently. People take TEFL courses for different reasons and the two basic reasons are to get a job and to learn. 

If you are just looking for a carrot certificate and a job then I don't recommend ESLinsider.

"Don't do it for proof, do it because the learning itself is worth it." - Seth Godin


Do you have any of these problems?

  • Students that ignore you
  • Students that don't pay attention
  • Bored students
  • Difficult students
  • Students that speak when you speak
  • Students that speak Chinese, Korean, etc. in class
  • Chaos in the classroom
  • Students who won't talk
  • Large classes
  • Students who don't want to be there

If you don't now then I bet you soon will unless you do something about it. The teaching is the hard part.

"I have utilized some of his methods and games and have already seen some improvement in the kids' speaking skills and some massive improvement in their behavior." - Dwayne Melendez

kindergarten kids in Korea


Why is that when I look at the reviews of ESLinsider some people say their certificate was accepted or they took the "120 hour" course?

If you look at the reviews of ESLinsider you may find some info that may seem confusing. ESLinsider's courses have been renamed, revised and updates have been made to both the courses and the main site to improve content over time. 

Formerly there were several courses to reach different types of people (more people), but now there is only one.

What if I am not going to teach kids?

Then at the moment I'd take another course.

What if I am not going to teach in Asia?

That matters less. There is a little part in the beginning of the course and you'll miss a little context with the videos, but what you learn in the video (most of the time) will apply to teaching regardless of your location.

Is there anyone who shouldn't take these courses?

These courses aren't very suitable for people who teach:

  • Business English
  • Exclusively adults or university students

Or anyone who wants to "check the box".

Oliver F. "I believe that your course was the reason that I managed to get my first teaching job. Shortly after adding it to my resume I managed to secure a job in Italy." - Oliver Franklin

Is this course accredited?


And that might disappoint some, but I don't believe in the system or want to support it or be anything like it. 

Accreditation is a paid review.

Basically I could get an accreditation if I paid someone - someone I don't admire or look up to or know anything about - which is most of TEFL. Everyone tries to look official and academic like a university, but none of them actually are.

Also there isn't any one accreditation for TEFL. In fact I counted 23 so-called TEFL accreditors

Some say say accreditation is an outdated system that doesn't work


I paid $39 dollars for an accredited "120 hour" course that I completed in 8 hours and you can probably buy an "accredited" certificate for even cheaper.

Is it "internationally recognized"?

The term "internationally recognized" doesn't actually mean anything. As mentioned before there is no one body for TEFL accreditation and there is no magic stamp that grants this status. 

It's mainly a marketing term.

Why is there no "120 hour" TEFL course?

Much of the TEFL industry has been pulling the wool over people's eyes. 

There are 2 types of online courses: asynchronous and synchronous. I have only seen asynchronous online TEFL courses which means there are no actual class times or "hours". They label their courses "120 hours" or "160 hours" even when many people complete them in less than 20. As a test I completed one online TEFL in 8 hours. 

Learn more about TEFL course hours

Why shouldn't I take this course if I just want a certificate?

Because chasing the carrot isn't fulfilling. 

This course is not about fulfilling a job requirement. It's about THE PROCESS not the end. I obtained a TESOL certificate before I taught abroad and honestly no employer in China, Korea or Taiwan ever seemed impressed with it. More importantly I hardly learned anything useful that prepared me to teach kids.

If you ask another TEFL course provider if you need it chances are they will say yes, but in reality what employers want varies school to school and country to country.

Do you guarantee a job?

Absolutely not.

It's not actually that hard to get a job if you look.

"I've spent many years teaching ESL without certification, but to be considered for lots of jobs I needed to get one. This course saved me thousands of dollars and reminded and taught me lots of new activities and games that work. I find that sometimes even tired adults like the kind of fun, physical games I learned here. I played fruit basket with a group of full-grown factory workers working the night shift in rural Japan, and I think some of them appreciated that kind of change of pace. 

Right after I took this course I was offered a job in Saudi Arabia that had stipulated they needed an in-person TEFL in their ad, but when I looked at their paper work after the interview, it looks like they counted this certificate as valid, and I was offered a job. I was really glad I had stumbled upon Ian's site. Thanks, Ian. - Emily M.

When is the best time to take this course?

The advanced course has long term access, so you can work on it when you want, but if you are going to take it just one time then I might advise you to take it once you start teaching.

Why take this course?

Take it because you want to have a better experience abroad. 

ESLinsider's weird statues

ESLinsider was created by Ian Leahy who has taught English in China, Korea and Taiwan and currently lives in Fukuoka, Japan.

Learn how to teach English (especially to kids) and make the most of your year abroad

    This course recently received a number of new updates. It was "formerly" called the advanced course and before that the 120 hour course.



    Convince your boss to support your progress.

    • 18 levels of interactive learning
    • Feedback on written assignments 
    • 60+ instructional videos
    • Lifetime access

    If you really want to have a better year teaching English abroad to mostly kids then this is how you do it. 

    Start it now


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