Do you want to teach English in Asia (and enjoy it)?


Let's talk about who you are going to teach.

Jobs kids vs teaching adults in Asia

The majority of the English teaching jobs in Asia are for teaching "children"

Here are some numbers from employer advertisements:

  • In Taiwan on the website Tealit I found that 86% of the jobs were for teaching children. That's 8 out of 10 jobs.
  • In Japan on the website Gaijinpot I found that 85% of the jobs were for teaching children. That's 8 out of 10 jobs.
  • In China on the website eChinacities I found that 90% of the jobs were for teaching children. That's 9 out of 10 jobs.
  • In Korea on the website I found that "kids" was the most mentioned keyword by employers.

These numbers were actually higher than I expected, but...

I can tell you based on my experience teaching in China, Korea, Taiwan and now living in Japan that the bottom line is that the majority of the jobs there are for teaching children.

Now you don't have to teach kids.

You can teach adults if you really want to.

I am not here to tell you to do that.

It's your choice.

But maybe you are wondering what it is like to teach kids.

Well, I found these well-spoken words by Sendaiben on Reddit.

"It takes a lot more skill to teach children well in my opinion..."

"Children, on the other hand, have no intrinsic reason to be there so you have to make the lessons fun and interesting. You also have to deal with their uncontrolled emotions and lack of social skills. Teaching young learners requires a huge range of skills and knowledge." 

"Teaching English" abroad is the hard part and it's even harder if you teach kids

So since you started your search for a course you've probably seen some exotic beaches and read about fancy certificates, but "teaching English" is not so simple and here are some of the problems that you will probably encounter.

  • Rude students
  • Mean students
  • Noisy students
  • Silent students
  • Bored students
  • Goof off students
  • Too many students
  • Disruptive students
  • Unmotivated students
  • Non-English speaking students

And all of those challenging students become more difficult if you don't know what you are doing.

Now for a moment.

If you can imagine what that's like...

Imagine standing in a classroom with a bunch of students speaking a foreign language that you don't know. Two kids are shouting at each other, one kid is talking on his phone, a few are playing video games, some are whispering, and good ol' Sally is paying attention, BUT everyone else is NOT listening to you.

You feel confused and uncertain of yourself because they’re NOT doing what you told them to do.

And the noise is starting to make your head pound. You feel helpless and stressed and you’re thinking of going home.

Does that sound like a bad experience to you?

I am not trying to be "Debbie Downer" here.


I am just trying to give you some foresight.

I mean the beaches, temples and exotic places that you've seen look great, but chances are your reality is going to be a lot more mundane. You're not going on vacation you're going to teach. 

And since you are thinking about taking a course you should know that your average TEFL course is going to be focused more on teaching adults

I had all the above problems after I took a mostly in-class course in 2004 before teaching abroad and if you take an online course like the cheap one I did in 2016 you'll fair even worse.

Here's an off-topic analogy.

Ever heard of MMA?

If you didn't know that's short for mixed martial arts. If you take an MMA class you will learn techniques from many different martial arts: striking, kicking and grappling. But let's say you want to prepare for a jiu-jitsu competition which is a kind of grappling.

Instead of taking an MMA class which might include 50% grappling wouldn't it be better to take a jiu-jitsu class that includes 100% grappling?

So what do you want?

  • Do you want to take a course that prepares you to do your job and solve those problems mentioned above? 
  • Do you want to take a course that is 100% targeted at teaching who you are going to teach?

With your average course you might be able to transfer 50% of what you learn towards teaching children IF you're lucky (and more on that later).

If you want to get closer to a 100% then I can teach you the skills that you need to become a competent teacher.

"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

Is this man pink?

PINK MAN FU the street performer


Are you thinking WTF?

Hee hee hee.

Do these kids look like they're having fun learning English?

Young Korean students

That's because they are. 

Here Are 4 Reasons Why This Course Will Make Your Experience Teaching English Abroad To Mostly Kids WAYYY Better.

1. MONKEY SEE, MONKEY DO. Watch another teacher teaching real classes in Asia and learn what to do.

ESLinsider's how-to videos are short and sweet and they show you what to do in the classroom. These are not boring lecture videos.

These are simple instructional videos that are often less than 2 minutes long or jam packed with useful information.

ESLinsider's Youtube channel has 7,800+ subscribers and 2,100,000+ channel views because of these videos.

ESLinsider's most popular video

This is what the research says

Published research suggests if you want to remember what you learn online then you need visuals.

“…unless our words, concepts, ideas are hooked onto an image, they will go in one ear, sail through the brain, and go out the other ear.

Words are processed by our short-term memory where we can only retain about seven bits of information (plus or minus 2).

Images, on the other hand, go directly into long-term memory where they are indelibly etched.” - Dr. Lynell Burmark (Stanford)

The problem with many courses is that they are too "wordy"

What that means is that online there's too much text and theory and in a classroom that's lectures and theory that's useless and makes you fall asleep.


For example:

3 different people comment on their online TEFL courses:

  • "I finished the entire program in 3 days and retained like 5% of the information." - woobv on Reddit

  • "It didn't actually teach you to teach English, but... (Other person laughing) Yeah it didn't really teach you at all on how to teach English, but yeah a good refresher on all the English skills." - 2canucksabroad on Youtube

The end result of taking a course like that is going to be that you will be less prepared to do your job and teaching abroad is going to be more stressful and NOT as fun. 

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

Some simple facts:

  • HALF of your brain is devoted to vision
  • Your brain processes images and visuals WAYYY faster
  • People tend to only read 20-28% text on a page

Here's George. He's a teacher in Korea with 9 years of experience.  

"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...

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..."

George's review

Much of your average online TEFL course is going to go in your left ear and out your right.

Say what???????

Instead of taking a boring course that you're probably not going to remember much of and that will leave you feeling stressed, confused and scratching your head in that classroom you could take this course that shows you what to do, when and why to do it.

2. You'll get personalized feedback on assignments which helps cement the skills that you are studying in this course 

You need to have a plan for what you are going to do in that classroom or else you are going to have a ton of problems.

First you are shown how to lesson plan with visuals and step by step instructions. Next I'll give you an assignment that is based on a student book and then you have to write/draw out your plan and submit it.

Then I'll let you know what is good about it and offer some feedback on how you can improve it.

After that you'll resubmit it (if it needs to be) before moving on.

Nhu's review

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

TEKA includes feedback on assignments within 1 day (24 hours). In other courses that offer feedback you might wait 5 days (a 120 hours) or more.


Well, it's not only more convenient for you, but it's better for learning.

"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

3. You get long term access to TEKA.

Access to TEKA is unlimited.

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.


Instead of feeling rushed and getting the short end of the stick know that you just discovered some great tools that will be here for the duration of your experience abroad.

4. ESLinsider is a bit of a lone wolf.


It's more underground (YEAHHH) or maybe more like a mom and pop shop

Perhaps it is for people who are creative, clever and/or independent thinkers or...

Here are a few more benefits you'll get if you choose ESLinsider.

  1. It's more flexible. If you are currently teaching we can use your books for the lesson planning assignments and in the future there may be more options to customize your training too. Plus you have unlimited access to the course.
  2. It's more personal. You'll have a personal tutor and instead of getting no response or an automated one you'll get to interact with a real human that wants to help you.
  3. Feedback within 1 day. I heard one popular course makes you wait 5 days to get feedback and in another you have to wait 10 days after you complete the course just to 'download' a certificate. Not here. Feedback is normally less than 24 hours and you can download the certificate when you successfully finish the course, ZIPPP.
  4. I'm always updating things. I am working harder on making it better.

A message from your teacher

Ian Leahy creator of ESLinsider

My first year "teaching English" abroad was pretty difficult and stressful. And it was only with time (years) that the stress and frustration started to decrease. I did take a course before I started teaching, but it wasn’t very helpful or practical for me.

I learned a lot of things over the years teaching English to mostly kids in Asia. That experience led me to making this course and my goal is to transmit all of the useful tools and things that I learned along the way to you, but in a much easier and wayyy faster way than I acquired them, so that you will have a better experience abroad.

Ian Leahy

"Is it accwwedited?" Says Elmer Fudd.

Before I answer that question Elmer and share some deeeep insight on TEFL accreditation with you I have to say:

Chances are you need to be more courageous.

...And less concerned with "security", "prestige" and doing what everyone else is doing. A certificate and a degree and many other THINGS in life are extrinsic rewards.

If you really want to be happy in life you need to focus on intrinsic rewards.

Now to answer the question, is it accredited?

No, it isn't.

I looked into it and I decided it's not for me perhaps because I didn't want to pay someone for it or try to trick you into thinking my course was more official or better because of some mostly superficial label.

And since...

  1. Accreditation in TEFL is done by 3rd party businesses (some are fake too)
  2. Accreditation seeks to maintain the status quo.
  3. Accreditation involves an exchange of money.
  4. Accreditation does NOT guarantee quality. 
  5. Accreditation is secretive.
  6. These aren't people I look up to.
  7. ESLinsider’s courses are not named with so-called "hours" since I think it’s BS anyways and I don’t even call it a “TEFL course” anymore. It’s TEKA which was derived from Teaching English to Kids in Asia.
  8. I’ve taken 2 TESOL/TEFL courses that were “accredited” and they weren't very helpful for me.
  9. I just decided I didn't want to be part of the system and there's not really a system in TEFL to begin with, but I just don't want to be another "TEFL" course.

"Accredited" TEFL courses are a dime a dozen. FYI, you can buy an "accredited" "120 hour" course on Groupon for less than 40 bucks and complete it in a day.

Accreditation is about standards and restrictions.

It's NOT progressive or innovative. And since ESLinsider isn't affiliated with or held back by accreditation it's, full speed ahead.

ESLinsider is more of a niche course. I think most employers operating in that niche would prefer that you have some training that prepares you to work in their school.

Will employers accept this?

It depends on the school.  

I can't or don't guarantee anything because every employer is different. I think the same can be said for any TEFL course. Of course no course provider will tell you that, but there is no course or degree for that matter that guarantees you a job everywhere. 

Getting a job teaching abroad isn't so different from getting one in your own country.

And you also don't necessarily need a TEFL to teach abroad.

It depends on the school. 


If you ask me...

A better reason to take a course is to learn because that's what's going to make your life better in the long run.

I think that if any employer looks up ESLinsider they would be pleased to see its transparency and that it has a ton of videos on Youtube (no other courses have made such a contribution as most courses out there keep all of their content behind a paywall).

If you decide

If you decide that ESLinsider is too much of a renegade for you then that's cool, but if you think it's not another copy cat just for show TEFL course that's going to make your experience teaching English to mostly children better then you're totally right

The choice is yours.

Here's a review from an experienced teacher who took ESLinsider's course and not only taught in Asia, but also the Middle East.

"This course saved me thousands of dollars and reminded and taught me lots of new activities and games that work...

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.

Do you want your students to look forward to their classes with you?

This course focuses primarily on what to do in the classroom and not teaching 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 clear and confident in the classroom.

You will learn:

  • How to teach phonics 
  • How to lesson plan in 3 different ways
  • How to effectively speak in front of the public
  • How to present new language and teach meaning
  • How to teach listening, writing, reading and speaking
  • How to tap out troublemakers: chokes, joint locks, submission holds... (No, not really)
  • How to manage your classroom (a CONCRETE system complete w/ tools, tricks & tactics)
  • How to teach w/ games, activities & songs (so that your classes are fun AND educational)
  • How to develop yourself and your future along the way
  • How to stand out even if you have no experience
  • How to make your life abroad better

You’re getting everything I ever learned.

No, that’s not right.

You’re getting EVERYTHING I ever learned that’s useful and works and you’re getting much of it in a better format - which is video and simple text that’s readable.


You get personal feedback on assignments which just takes your training here DEEPER.

If you create an account and log in then you can also see a detailed outline of this course.


You'll get a bunch of bonus eee-books too

Take a peek at some of these ebooks that you'll get.

The Comprehensive Guide To Teaching English In Asia

Guide to teach in Asia

Thinking about teaching English in Japan, Korea, Taiwan or China? Learn about the differences between these countries, where to find teaching jobs, public or private schools???, about visas, etc.

How To Kill It Teaching English In A Hagwon In Korea

Hagwon Korea guidebook

This is an in-depth guide on teaching in a hagwon in Korea. It talks about the different kinds of hagwons, the problems some people have in them, how to avoid those and teach you how to actually teach English in a hagwon.

The Lazy Teacher's Guide To TEFL

Lazy teacher's guide to TEFL

The Lazy Teacher's Guide To TEFL is a simplified training guide to teaching English abroad. This guide takes a less is more approach to TEFL. This can be especially good for beginners. It is designed to not overwhelm you with extraneous information.

101 Teaching English (ESL) Tips

101 ESL teaching tips

Learn a 101 teaching tips for teaching English as a second language. You can read these online or listen to them. Learn: how to speak in front of your students, classroom management tips, tricks to keeping your students interested and much more.

And this too...

Do you want to know the trick to getting a good job and avoiding those horror stories that you might have read?

This is a SUPER HELPFUL guide.


It gets even better…

Because sometimes more isn’t always better since you can get overwhelmed with information.

So I created this NEW really cool feature for when you finish this course you can sign up to get 1 teaching tip sent to you everyday for about - at the moment 3+ months of tips.

It’s cool, because bit by bit you will learn whereas if I gave you them all at once you would probably remember less. 

I didn't want to tell you about that as I wanted to keep it as a...


So I spilled the beans.


Now, it's time to review

Why this course?

  • It's an easier, faster and more fun way to learn how to teach (Did you see the video above w/ the referenced studies on the importance of visuals?)
  • It's targeted towards teaching mostly children (the more difficult age group to teach) 
  • You will get feedback on assignments (this is active learning and those will help cement what you are studying here)
  • You get long term access to this course and the materials (You won't get kicked out)
  • Your experience abroad will be better because your time in the classroom will be better

Things you will learn

  • How to create lessons that are fun for you and your students
  • How to create lessons that are educational
  • How to create lessons with minimal prep
  • How to teach each skill (including the most important one)
  • How to maintain your student's attention 
  • How to manage your classroom like the boss
  • How to deal with rude students, loud students, and just difficult students
  • How to make the most of your time abroad
  • How to get a good job (or at least a decent one)
  • How to stand out in the eyes of an employer (even if you have no experience)
  • How to avoid scams and horror stories


  • Improved student fluency
  • Improved student behavior
  • Improved experience inside the classroom and out

Let's imagine a different future you

Remember the scenario I mentioned towards the top of this page? Well, here's a different one.

Imagine standing in a classroom and students are raising their hands to speak and when they do speak they speak in English. They're being respectful to each other and they are doing what you told them to.

You noticed their English level has improved.

Teaching has become a lot more fun and you are grinning from ear to ear knowing that you figured out how to bring order to your classroom and teach.

Do you really want to have a better experience abroad?

Start learning the skills and tools that you need to teach English to children so that teaching abroad is a better experience

"I am an experienced teacher...

...I wish I would have taken this course BEFORE I started teaching here three years ago. The methods and insights given in ESL Insider's 120 hour TEFL course could have saved me a lot of grief and disappointment. Now I am optimistic about starting a new school year armed with better lessons and a realigned perspective. Thank you, ESL Insider!" - Dolly's review

Enroll and start making your experience abroad better

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

    It has evolved over time.


    This course is the culmination of:

    • 13+ years of combined research or experience teaching abroad
    • 6 years of trial and error teaching in Asia
    • And it's been influenced by 20+ teachers from multiple countries

    It includes:

    • 18 levels of interactive learning covering everything from teaching reading to dealing with classroom problems
    • Feedback and interaction on written assignments which further cements material studied in the course
    • 60+ instructional videos that teach you tools that you can apply today
    • Lifetime access

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

    Enroll in TEKA and start making your experience abroad better

    ESLinsider's course - TEKA