Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Via Lingua TEFL Scam

I received this nice little addition to the blog the other day. Just so that it did not feel all alone hanging about at the foot of a blog posting about crappy TEFL courses, I have decided to promote it to pole position and do some follow up.

The Via Lingua TEFL course in Florence, Italy is a total scam. The school intentionally misleads potential students on its website by claiming that 85% of graduates of the TEFL course get a job within 30 days of finishing the course. This is a blatant lie - most of the people from the course go home without a job. The school provides very little in the way of support. Their idea of an exclusive lifetime job network for graduates is a binder full of print outs of job postings from and Dave’s ESL cafe.

Furthermore, the housing they provide is subpar and the owner of the school when confronted about these issues becomes very hostile. Via Lingua is basically a marketing scheme - they’ll say whatever they can (mislead, or leave out important information about the job market or working visas, etc) so they can get you to sign up for their course. They have about five or six websites all saying the same stuff, and they’ve paid bloggers and ESL sites like ESL Base to do free advertising. It’s not a professional school in any sense of the word. However, on the bright side (can’t all be bad, right?) Florence is a beautiful city!

It’s time for this school to be added to the TEFL blacklist. Via Lingua, you’re on notice.

For further information, please contact, call toll-free in the US (888) 835-6207 or in the UK (44) 203-004-0943.

Actually I called the outfit in Florence a couple of times, but found it impossible to communicate with anybody there who could speak even basic English. Doesn't say much for their 'school', does it? 


Anonymous said...

"Call toll-free in the US": they're not perchance trying to suggest that US citizens can easily get visas to _work_ in Italy, are they?

Mwaaah ha ha.. [Off to find a cat to stroke.. or in the case of the one that s***s in my garden, to kick..]

Cyril Smith said...

Apparently Via Lingua organises its Tefl courses in conjunction with, who organise training courses in prisons in Germany, Latvia and Lithuania.

I can imagine they find many potential Teflers in those wonderful places ... or perhaps they are preparing the recruits for 'life after Tefl', given the large number of paedos and druggies teaching seems to attract!

The TEFL Tradesman said...

I guess the only place they can find somebody stupid or gullible enough to actually WANT to do one of their crap Tefl courses is inside.

Rob said...

Btw guys, Via Lingua TEFL claims to be externally moderated by the ELI Institute at Hunter College. I called the ELI Institute at Hunter College and spoke to the director of the department on the phone. She had never even heard of Via Lingua before (true story). Gave her my contact info and she got back to me in a few days saying that a partnership between Via Lingua and Hunter did exist but the partnership ended 3 entire years ago. And what Via Lingua did is they paid Hunter College to look at their course and evaluate it. It is by no means some sort of on-going partnership and continual external moderation. Such false advertising.