The TEFL Academy

TPR Teaching Caitriona Maria

TPR Teaching Caitriona Maria

TPR Teaching Caitriona Maria

This is (sigh) yet another example of an online TEFL company behaving badly, and is yet another reason why The TEFL Academy ( remains on the Trusted TEFL Reviews scam list ( of online TEFL/TESOL course providers that act unethically and misrepresent themselves to TEFL students.

Back in March 2021, Trusted TEFL Reviews received a TEFL Academy review that contained a lot of marketing language. When it was decided that the review was in direct contradiction to our review submission guidelines, we took the decision not to publish the review.

The review had been submitted by Caitriona McTiernan, who likes to go by the online alias “Caitriona Maria”.

TPR Teaching Caitriona Maria McTiernan Longford Ireland
Caitriona “Maria” McTiernan is a TEFL Academy shill, earning money from their Share A Sale affiliates program.
Caitriona McTiernan Farm Longford Ireland
Caitriona “Maria” McTiernan (far right) is a TEFL Academy shill at night and a dairy farmer during the day.

When we decided not to publish Caitriona’s review, due to the fact that she works for The TEFL Academy, that should really have been the end of the story.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t.

Caitriona took offense. Was seemingly outraged. Acted as though it was our obligation to publish her keyword-packed The TEFL Academy review.

Intrigued, Trusted TEFL Reviews took a look at Caitriona’s blog, and we noticed a few important elements:

  1. The homepage of the website has been designed to give the impression that TPR Teaching is a source of basic information for English teachers, looking for handy teaching tips.
  2. The website strongly recommends The TEFL Academy online TEFL course, which, btw, is not an accredited TEFL program.
  3. The website recommends some very shady online TEFL courses which are similarly not accredited or internationally recognized.

One more thing that we noticed, a few weeks after Trusted TEFL Reviews declined to publish Caitriona’s The TEFL Academy review, was a scathing attack on Trusted TEFL Reviews by Caitriona “Maria” McTiernan.

When we looked closer, we saw that Caitriona simply copied the misinformation spread by Ian Leahy, from ESLinsider. Ian Leahy is notorious within the TEFL industry for publishing rubbish online about his business competition. More about Ian Leahy and ESLinsider:

Of all the TEFL programs to aspire to, The TEFL Academy and Caitriona “Maria” McTiernan couldn’t have picked a worse one in ESLinsider TEFL.

Caitriona is relatively young and we initially didn’t feel comfortable publishing a post about her shilling of The TEFL Academy. However, over time, we have noticed how shrewd she is and how invested she is in promoting The TEFL Academy through outright lies.

Therefore, we feel that this post is a public service for any future TEFL students who may stumble across her blog and who will likely be unaware of the behind-the-scenes hidden agenda of Caitriona’s website.

Incidentally, Caitriona only began her website in early 2020 and it already enjoys quite a significant Google ranking presence. We assume that this is because The TEFL Academy clandestinely promotes it behind the scenes, through link farming techniques.

So, therefore, the TPR Teaching website, owned and operated by Caitriona “Maria” McTiernan, is simply an extension of The TEFL Academy’s business model.

Caitriona has been a TEFL Academy student and is completely welcome to write what she likes about her experience of the program, despite the fact that she mentions things like it is a “highly accredited course”.

However, she also earns money by recommending other TEFL programs that she has no direct experience of and which she earns an affiliate’s commission from each time an unwitting person buys a TEFL course through her website.

For example, Caitriona praises and promotes the MyTEFL online TEFL program.

MyTEFL has also been exposed for their fake accreditation and the way that they misrepresent their job placement services to their TEFL graduates:

The TEFL industry is full of individuals who see an opportunity of making some affiliates marketing money by recommending courses that they know very little about.

Caitriona is one of these people.

It is not positive for the industry, and it is not positive for the TEFL students who suddenly find out one day that their TEFL certificate course was a waste of money when an employer or government agency declines their job or visa application.

This is all that we are going to write as of this point because I personally feel that I have summed everything up already.

What I will do now is complete this article with images and comments, which further cement the fact that websites such as TPR Teaching are bad for the TEFL industry.

TPR Teaching Caitriona Maria | homepage - a scam website
The home page of TPR Teaching starts off with a rosy claim that is intended to sell more TEFL courses. It is possible to teach English without a degree, but many countries do specifically require their teachers to have a college degree.
The TEFL Academy scam - - Caitriona Maria McTiernan
How can a TEFL program be “Highly Accredited” if they are only regulated by QUALIFI and not accredited by any organization? The TEFL Academy claims that it is accredited, but they are not. Facebook - a scam website
The TPR Teaching Facebook page (as of 17th December 2021) has zero reviews. The Facebook page has likely been established for the sole purpose of being able to add a Facebook icon to the TPR Teaching website- therefore giving the impression that it is more reputable in the public eye.
Affiliate Disclaimer scam
We disagree that Caitriona tries “to keep everything fair and balanced, including our reviews and comparisons”. She is, after all, a part of The TEFL Academy’s staff.
The TEFL Academy scam complaints
A user with genuine, astute concerns.
Caitriona Maria McTiernan scammer
Caitriona’s response to the comment is that the person who wrote the two (fair) comments is a “keyboard warrior”. She also claims that is “fake” – this is simply because we wouldn’t publish her review.

Incidentally, when Trusted TEFL Reviews tried to add a comment to the TPR Teaching website, our comment wasn’t published by Caitriona. We have received complaints from other people who have also not had their comments published on Caitriona “Maria” McTiernan’s website.

We would advise treading carefully and taking anything published on the TPR Teaching site with a generous dose of skepticism.

Caitriona and The TEFL Academy are welcome to add a comment to this article.

Mia Williams

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  1. Just had a look at Tefl Academy’s website. Who the hell pays over €400 for a TEFL course which isn’t even accredited? Makes the mind boggle!

  2. Christopher.

    Thanks for commenting.

    The TEFL Academy used to be a solid TEFL program.
    That was before Thomas Gibbons took over as CEO.
    It appears that TEFL Academy has since lost their accreditation status and have resorted to outright lying about being accredited by QUALIFI.
    QUALIFI only regulates courses. They don’t accredit them.
    As such, TEFL Academy’s courses are not accredited at all.

    Because TEFL Academy lies about their accreditation status, it does make me wonder whether they also lie about their charity contributions.

    Very dodgy indeed.

    Mia Williams.

  3. I nearly signed up with the TEFL Academy but as a vegan I just can’t give a company money that finances the dairy industry. I also don’t want to pay for a course which isn’t accredited. I’ll look elsewhere…

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