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  1. #1
    volkmakedonski is offline Newbie
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    TESOL certificate in Bangkok, scam or not?

    i have enrolled in a TESOL certificate course in Bnagkok. i want to work in Bangkok so i thought teaching english would be the best option for me.

    i found a website that promotes themselves really well, they are called 'American TESOL Institute' you can search them on google...

    is there any way for me to find out if this organisation 'American TESOL Institute' is a credible organisation?

    i've paid a $500 deposit to them already

    they have an office in Bangkok.. i have enrolled in their TESOL course... but i have now heard that their TESOL certificates might not have any accreditation Internationally or in Thailand itself.

    i've been asking questions and researching and its now hard to trust if this organisation is a scam or not, i now believe they do exist, but what they promote on their websites could be lies and scams to attract more students... i'm now unsure if i should go ahead with their TESOL course or not.. i arrive in Bangkok in April and the course starts April 16th.. i'm a bit nervous... maybe i should just forget the $500 and find a more credible place to do my certificate.. if anyone types in google 'American TESOL Institute Scam organisation' you can read a disturbing article about how this organisation tricks people into doing their TESOL course..

    i'm hoping someone reads this that has dealt with them before... i need help... there must be someone out there that knows more about this????

  2. #2
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: TESOL certificate in Bangkok, scam or not?

    I don't know them and cannot say that it is a scam, though some say it is. However, the claims made in this page about their course are bizarre.

    Their course has some recognition, but is the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs really that impressive an organisation for accreditation worldwide? I sasw the article about them scamming, but am not sure whether to believe it. The ELT training scene is Thailand is exuberant, with many providers and the internet is full of rows and fights about the validity of the courses offered. It's really hard to pick out what it correct or wrong as there are so many claims and counter-claims. Thai ESL is a world unto itself.

    However, none of the trainers offering their own courses has anything like the recognition and respect that the CELTA has. My advice to anyone starting today is to get that course. I looked at job adverts and it's clear what employers want:
    Which ELT Qualification? - Tdol's English Language Blog

    What's their cancellation policy?

    PS I will ask someone who knows a lot about the specifics of Thai ELT training to come and post here.

  3. #3
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    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Re: TESOL certificate in Bangkok, scam or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    I don't know them and cannot say that it is a scam, though some say it is. However, the claims made in this page about their course are bizarre.
    That page alone would be enough to put me off. I am also decidedly unimpressed by the English on some of their pages. They clearly don't cover the use of article in their grammar sessions.

    ps. I like this (my emphasis added):TESOL/TEFL is teachers training certificates mostly required by teachers who aspire to teach English as a second language. [...]

    TEFL or TESOL is a scientific mythology applied to teach English to the speakers of other languages.
    Last edited by 5jj; 21-Jan-2012 at 17:08. Reason: tidying up

  4. #4
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: TESOL certificate in Bangkok, scam or not?

    There's nothing about there site that attracts me, but I wonder whether those that say it is simply a scam are right. Their course doesn't attract me in any way, but I do have my doubts about whether it is as bad as some say. But if you're starting out today, do the CELTA- it's what bosses want and it is that simple to me.

  5. #5
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    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Re: TESOL certificate in Bangkok, scam or not?

    I'll also do my usual plug for the Trinity CertTESOL. It is not so well known as the CELTA, and it is not mentioned so often in job advertisements. However, it is, like the CELTA recognised by the British Council and the British government's Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation. In my experience, employers who know enough to insist on the CELTA also know enough to accept the Trinity CertTESOL.

  6. #6
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: TESOL certificate in Bangkok, scam or not?

    The Trinity CertTESOL is the fish or vegetarian option to me- it's widely recognised as equal, but not by everyone. Many say it's better and it's certainly acceptable to employers, but it is behind in terms of name-checking, though ahead of the rest of the field and the only other name.

  7. #7
    volkmakedonski is offline Newbie
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    Re: TESOL certificate in Bangkok, scam or not?

    thankyou everyone for your comments, they are really helpful..

    i feel like steering towards the CELTA certificate, so that means losing my $500 deposit that i gave to 'American TESOL Institute'
    but i wish someone that has completed this certificate with American TESOL Institute in 'Bangkok' would give some feedback about it.. it seems impossible to contact any past or present students??

    next thing is... if i want to do the CELTA certificate, where is the best place to do it in BANGKOK? i found one that operates out of 'International House Bangkok'. this seems good, but how do i know that they're for real? what if its a fake CELTA certificate? can anyone confirm the legitimacy of International House Bangkok's CELTA program?

    is there a Trinity CELTA/TESOL course running in Bangkok?

    i am now careful after researching more sites, its much harder to find out about course's when they're overseas

    my friend's opinion is to just do the TESOL course with American TESOL Institute as planned... so if i could only get seem feedback from anyone out there whe has done this course or anyone who knows someone who has, i would love to hear from you.. then i ca make my final decision..

    thanks again everyone for the feedback so far

  8. #8
    5jj's Avatar
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    Re: TESOL certificate in Bangkok, scam or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by volkmakedonski View Post
    i found one that operates out of 'International House Bangkok'. this seems good, but how do i know that they're for real? what if its a fake CELTA certificate? can anyone confirm the legitimacy of International House Bangkok's CELTA program?
    Here's the Cambridge site: Cambridge ESOL exam centres search results | Cambridge ESOL

    Here's the Trinity list of providers: TESOL Provider Brochure January 2012 (PDF)

    ps. As an English teacher, you will have to get used to using capital letters.

  9. #9
    volkmakedonski is offline Newbie
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    Re: TESOL certificate in Bangkok, scam or not?

    thanks 5JJ,

    it looks like Cambridges CELTA is my only option in Bangkok, because i don't think Trinity has a program in Bangkok.

    if anyone else has any information about my earlier posts, please let me know :)

    ATI = Scam or not?

    kind regards

  10. #10
    Alex Case is offline Site Contributor
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    Re: TESOL certificate in Bangkok, scam or not?

    Having had a quick look at the various threads that come up from a Google search, there are a few people who have finished the course who have commented and plenty of people who have started with your question and come back to say they've started it. I think we can be fairly confident that:
    - It's not a complete scam, i.e. you do get the hours of training that you pay for (although it's rare, some advertised courses don't exist at all)
    - Some of the accreditation they offer is genuine (why else offer such obscure accreditation at all?) and other is at least a little bogus (which bits have ISO, and how is that relevant anyway?)
    - At least some of the courses they advertise don't exist (they even contradict themselves) and as some people have written the rest are probably mainly run out of hired offices rather than permanent training centres
    - The connection to America is minimal at best
    - They are not even as well recognised as some other Thailand based courses, let alone as properly UK and US based courses like CELTA, Trinity and SIT
    - However, if you do a 120 hour course with 6 hours of observed teaching practice for many jobs all non-CELTA courses are equal
    - Their dodgy websites show that they are a lot more interested in money than educational (or even grammatical) standards

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