This website was constructed to share valuable information with no monetary or financial incentive. There have been whispers and hushed up accounts of how a commercial website called “ESLinsider” has been quietly scamming newbies interested in teaching English in foreign countries. “ESLinsider” portrays himself as being a neutral, experienced and qualified “expert” trying to be altruistic. Nothing could be further from the truth.

People who are interested in teaching English overseas are falling victim to his massive spam campaigns clogging up Reddit, Quora and other outlets which are meant to be honest information platforms without money making intent. Commercial activity is a violation of policy and poor form.

Just one of thousands of examples of ESLinsider’s Spam machine on Reddit

Somehow his spam has been allowed to continue. He latches on to relevant topics and posts up multiple links to his website. After he has posted enough “non commercial” information, he then sneakily starts promoting his “free” “TEFL” course. It’s funny because he has put out strongly worded articles and videos about how all TEFL courses are a scam. Ironic much?


The irony is delicious.

He promotes online TEFL by putting down competitors in any way he can imagine. This includes claiming accreditation has no bearing on a course (his course is not accredited), that competitors use paid marketing campaigns (he feels violating Spam policies and filling community websites with his trash without paying for it is somehow more legitimate), or that some information provided doesn’t match with his “expertise”.

An article smearing a competitor.

Smearing another competitor in a petty manner.

Yet again, claiming affiliate marketing makes a course illegitimate.


ESLinsider taking part in his own affiliate marketing.

People fall for it and end up with a piece of paper that is absolutely worthless. Wait, apparently it’s worth $399. According to Mr. Leahy that is.  When applying for a position in China, most employers require completion of a TEFL course that is accepted by the Chinese Labor Bureau. The TEFL also needs to be authenticated by the Chinese Embassy in the TEFL company’s home country. This is to keep people from buying  and using fake TEFLs like the one offered on ESLinsider. Unfortunately if you’ve already paid for it, invested your time, and then apply for the apostille and authentication, you’ll be in for a nasty surprise.

Are you ready to pay $399 for a “free” unaccredited “TEFL”?

 As an ESL “insider”, it’s surprising that Mr. Leahy doesn’t know that an accredited TEFL is a requirement to get a legal work visa for China. That’s one of many gaps this shameless self promoter feeds potential new ESL teachers.

To learn more about ESLinsider, aka Ian Leahy including his credentials, qualifications and some strange (for an ESL “teacher”) viewpoints check out this page. It is entertaining (internal link – Who is ESLinsider?).

To understand what constitutes a “free” course  in Ian Leahy’s universe click here. (internal link – Free Course).

To see how Mr. Leahy spreads his spam around using catch phrases, smear campaigns and violations of website policies check this page out (link). Some numbers and statistics will show the vast amount of spam this single person (or with the help of a spammy SEO mill) has crapped out all over the interwebs.

Of interest is that there are no external reviews by TEFL students for Mr. Leahy’s online TEFL “Course”. Mr. Leahy claims that having reviews on his own website (which he controls all content) is more valid than having reviews on 3rd party websites which he cannot control.  Yep, that makes sense Mr. Leahy. Completely with you there. More on this over here.