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FlashStart - Unique TESOL Certification and Language Learning

Frequently Asked Questions


tesol certificationOur well known and loved TESOL Certification course is breaking new ground…online!

This course takes the same amount of time as a live face to face course. However you can do it in your own time since it’s online. So you have a choice of attacking it a little at a time, or hitting it full on and immersing yourself and / or a group of your friends for three full days.

If you like you could choose to do the course over a series of evenings. Probably one night per week for 10 -12 weeks would see you easily complete it.

The Mindbranding© units though really need to be covered in three consecutive days. Although they don’t take three whole days.

Just a little time in the morning and again in the afternoon to achieve the tried and tested results. These can be done alone.

There is no group component to the Mindbranding© sections of the course.

 For your convenience these have been grouped together in a separate course – Mindbranding Strategy in 3 Days which even has a separate TML (Teach Myself a Language) certificate.

When you sign up

 for the TESOL Gold you receive two more certificates FREE – Public Speaking and Mindbranding.

Just some of our innovative courses and certificates making a difference in the world of language teaching and learning.


What is a FLASHstart TESOL Certification Course Like?
You won’t be studying theory!

Individually or In a Group? In order to experience  the ‘experiential’ nature of this course, you need to get together with a group of friends or other students (perhaps others who are taking this course) and work the workshops and activities. However if you are taking this course on your own, you will still be able to learn the methods and absorb the information that will enable you to successfully teach spoken English. With a group: You’ll be out of your seat on your feet for much of the course as we role play and workshop you through whole brain teaching activities that focus on Audio, Visual, Tactile/Kinesthetic methods – not grammar rules, sentence dissection and other mind numbing theories. We can assure you that this course will be unlike anything you have done before!

What does TESOL mean? Is it different to TEFL or ESL?
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages or Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages Also known as TEFL or Teaching English as a Foreign Language or ESL English as a Second language. These are all the same but just the name is different from one location to another. For simplicity and because TESOL is well known, we use this title for our course. The main portion of FLASHstart’s TESOL Certification Course focuses on language teaching methodologies – not only on how to teach English. These methodologies apply to teaching every language. Our students, most of whom are already highly educated teachers with years of experience, come from dozens of countries and speak dozens of languages. FLASHstart’s Teaching Strategies are used by many of these teachers to teach other languages besides just English. A FLASHstart TESOL Certification Course is a powerful tool, it is not one dimensional and has multiple applications.
I hear some people get a job without a certificate. Should I worry about being certified?
Imagine you are arriving at a job interview. Before you arrived you were asked to send your resume’. Your resume’ has no English teaching experience listed. You have no formal training on how to teach English, but you’re in a foreign country and you want to earn some money to support yourself. Across the table the interviewer reads your resume’ and glances up at you over their glasses and asks “but you have no teaching experience? Do you have any qualifications?” …How will you answer?

While it’s true some have been able to land jobs teaching with no experience and no qualifications, this usually leads to a lot of stress for the new teacher and low paid positions. If you’ve heard that you get the same pay, you’ve heard wrong. In our experience and that of others, the more certificates you can produce, the more pay you will be offered and the less they will hassle you. If you look like you know what you’re doing you’re more likely to inspire confidence in the school management and the students’ parents. 

Think of it like this, if you have a broken axle on your car and you have the choice between a backyard self taught mechanic with no formal training or a certified licenced tradesman who is a professional, with which one would you trust your car repairs? Obviously, common sense dictates you’d choose the licenced mechanic with his certificates in plain sight up on the wall.

Further and probably more importantly, what will you say if the interviewer says, he’d like you to use western methods to teach the class. Or that it’s vital the students really enjoy your lessons so they want to come back next time. How would you respond? What specifically will you do in your demo class to show you can meet their needs? 

The FlashStart TESOL certificate prepares you for this situation by showing you how to leverage the experience you likely already have in teaching in another area of your life. Perhaps in a voluntary capacity. We show you how to put together a winning resume’. How to walk into a room, pick up a textbook you’ve never seen before and start to teach a class in 90 seconds. You can feel confident, and eager to do the demo class knowing the methods you’ve been taught will blow their socks off.

At FlashStart, we are TESOL teachers. We have been through the job application process many times between us. Every time we need to go through it we are relieved that we have our certificates and can talk the talk with the interviewer.  You will be too.


Why Do this Course Online?
Repetition –

Your membership never expires. So you have the opportunity to revisit your learning any time you want.  If you’re not sure how a particular aspect of your teaching should go, you can simply log in and redo the unit/module. Stuck for ideas in your class?  We give you class plans already put together so you don’t have to think too hard. Just login and download.

Availability and cost saving –

To take the face to face version of this course requires time off from work, and often travel and accommodation costs which considerably increases what you have to pay to get the same certificate. With the online version, the curriculum, and TESOL manual you receive are the same, but accessed from the comfort of your own home or wherever you want.  By practising your new skills with a group of friends, the interactive components can be experienced just as if you’re taking the course face to face.

Need: You need to speak English well. You need a good internet connection. A digital video camera or mobile phone with a camera to capture your practice with a group. Don’t Need A degree in English. A long distinguished, well established teaching career. Many months or years of learning.
How much time is required to complete the course?
The course takes 20-30 hours to complete. This is done according to your own schedule. Some sit down for three straight days and complete it quickly. Others tackle it a little at a time and take a few weeks. It’s entrirely up to you which method you choose to cover the material.
Does FlashStart offer employment?
No. However, from time to time we hear of work opportunities and will list them on the website and notify those who receive our newsletter.
How does one go about finding work once certified?
This is covered in the course to some extent. But really, there is no one answer because much depends on the type of work you’re after and the country you’re in. Sometimes it’s just a matter of turning up at a school and presenting your credentials and asking for a job.
Any special equipment required?
Yes – please have access to the following  1 black and 1 red sock Your sense of humour Some uncooked dried beans or pasta A squeeky rubber  toy Your sense of humour A deck of cards A newspaper 2 pens one red one black Pencil and Paper to draw with Paper to write on Did we mention your sense of humour? A digital video camera or mobile phone with a camera to capture your practice with a group. Don’t Need High heels Large text books A back pack The family pet No neck ties Many months or years for learning.
Do I need to be an expert in English grammar to be a TESOL instructor?
No. Definitely not. Teaching English goes far beyond teaching just grammar. Reading, writing and speaking are additional components. As to Grammar, FLASHstart has proven techniques that our TESOL graduates use to help their students absorb grammar without arduously studying it. Since your students will absorb proper grammar through proper word placement, music, a grammar matrix, word substitution circles and sentence cards you will not need to be an expert in English grammar. Why pay for something you can get for free? Native English speakers (and even non native English speakers) know grammar. They use it correctly when they speak English. But they often cannot teach it. Why not? Because they absorbed the correct grammar as children – without studying it or using a textbook to study rules, diagram sentences, learn the names of each part of a sentence – such as what is a preposition, an indirect object etc. Which proves an astounding point, to speak a language correctly you don’t need to study the grammar. Listen to a 7 year old child who has never been to school and listen to their spoken language. Many students of that same language would love to speak at the level of a seven year old child! Why should a TESOL program teach grammar in a TESOL course? That information is available on the Internet for free. Do your students want to know what an indirect object is? Not really! If they ask you that question it means you are likely using old worn out academic approach to teaching a language. Good luck! We show you how to teach students to ABSORB grammar in much the same way that a child ABSORBS grammar. The methods work.
What's in your course?
FLASHstart’s TESOL is made up of mostly video content.  We have:

  • 13 Modules containing
  • 90 Units and
  • 57 quizzes
  • Extra resources for your career development
  • TESOL Teacher’s Manual
Are there any tests?
Over half of the units have brief quizzes designed to help you remember the main points. At the end of the course, you will make a video of you and some friends or fellow students practicing some of the methods. The video becomes a tool you can use going forward to help you find work.
Is there a practicum?

In two stages:

Observational practicum is achieved throughout the whole course with the use of practical demonstrations. The practice component of the practicum is achieved by your teaching student/s that you hand pick and walk them through a lesson using some of what you’ve learned.

I read on the Internet that only TESOL courses of 120+ hours are highly regarded by schools overseas. Is this true?
First, it may be true that some schools overseas may require a 120 hour TESOL Certification Course. It would be difficult to know which schools in over 138 countries worldwide hold to this so called ‘requirement’. Certainly not all do and in Southeast Asia and in other developing regions of the world in particular, this seems to be seldom true. Second, as to the 120 hour requirement one might ask, “Is it the website selling the 120 hour course that makes the statement that a 120 hour course is more highly regarded overseas or is it a school’swebsite that makes that statement?” You might ask yourself: What material and content do those 120 hour online TESOL courses cover that is of actual benefit to a TESOL teacher? The truth is … well judge for yourself. Let’s illustrate it this way: Suppose you want to be a swimming instructor. The training course consists of 120 hours which breaks down this way: 20 hours of swimming theory – Aquatic Ape Theory: a critical examination of the Aquatic Ape Theory and whether it relates to the physiology of modern man 20 hours of the history of swimming which includes: – European Olympic breaststroke gold medalists of the 20th century – English Channel solo swimmers – Trans-Atlantic swimmers that failed 20 hours of essays, multiple choice exams, quizzes, student reports and videos 20 hours of swimming statistics i.e. – how many swimmers live in Northern Europe vs. Southern Europe – how many pools are in New South Wales, Australia 10 hours of pool plant operations – chlorine content – microfiltration processes etc 10 hours of Swimming Finances – the future of the swimming industry in the next century – Kinesian Economics and the impact on Swim Schools 20 hours of actual training in the water with a hands-on instructor

Total 120 hours 100 hours of swimming theory + 20 hours of actual swimming instruction

Do you really need the first 100 hours of instruction listed above in order to teach a child to swim? If your answer is Yes, then take a university level course because this is the kind of content that these courses usually offer. If your answer is No, then FLASHstart’s course will be sufficient just as it has been for thousands of others. FLASHstart’s TESOL Certification courses are not online digital experiences that focus on glottals*, fricatives**, sibilants***, and other extremely rare and irrelevant concepts that are useless in the vast majority of teaching situations. FLASHstart’s TESOL courses are not based on textbook theory, and mind numbing lectures given by tenured academics out of touch with realty but are more akin to European style teaching courses that focus on developing real-world skill sets and actionable knowledge as opposed to unactionable theories. Note: an educational professional we know took a 4 week on-line course from Cambridge University in England. His comment, ‘It didn’t prepare me in any way for actually what I would do once I got into the classroom, but instead covered a bunch of theories. I wasted my time and money.’ In case you are dying to know: *“Glottal consonants, also called laryngeal consonants, are consonants uttered with the glottis. **Fricatives are consonants produced by forcing air through a narrow channel made by placing two articulators close together. These may be the lower lip against the upper teeth, in the case of [f]; the back of the tongue against the soft palate, in the case of German [x], the final consonant of Bach; or the side of the tongue against the molars, in the case of Welsh [ɬ], appearing twice in the name Llanelli.This turbulent airflow is called frication. ***A particular subset of fricatives are the sibilants. When forming a sibilant, one still is forcing air through a narrow channel, but in addition the tongue is curled lengthwise to direct the air over the edge of the teeth. English [s], [z], [ʃ], and [ʒ] are examples of this.” Wikipedia)  If you feel you need this kind of Academic Styrofoam© to teach English overseas then you will not likely enjoy a FLASHstart TESOL Certification Course.

What is your refund policy?
We offer refunds to all customers within 30 days of your purchase. However once a certificate and personalized TESOL manual has  been generated and forwarded to the student even within this 30 day period, the offer for a refund is no longer valid. To obtain a refund  send us an email and we will refund your enrollment fee right away. Our goal has always been to create a happy, thriving community. If you are not thrilled with the product or are not enjoying the experience, then we have no interest in forcing you to stay an unhappy member.
Does FlashStart TESOL Certification Course qualify me to teach in any country and is it accredited?

A FLASHstart TESOL certificate.. what does it give me? A FLASHstart  TESOL Certificate is not a diploma or a teaching degree. To teach English to non-native speakers in Australia, America, Canada and Europe you will likely need a Teaching Degree (Bachelor of Education*) from an accredited university or college, several years teaching experience, plus a TESOL Certificate. Our TESOL Certificate is designed for those who want to move to developing countries where there is a greater need for teachers than in developed countries and who want to teach mainly spoken English to support themselves living abroad. In much of the rest of the world an English speaker with no Teaching Degree but a TESOL Certificate can teach in colleges and universities. Many countries recognize TESOL Certification as adequate recognition of an English speaker’s ability to teach English.   *A Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) is an undergraduate academic degree which qualifies the graduate as a teacher in schools. In North America the degree is awarded for coursework completed within a program lasting one to four years, depending on the requirements established by the province or state in which the university is located. In Canada, a BEd degree is required for a teaching certificate. In the United Kingdom, where both the university system and school system are very different, the degree is awarded after a three or four year course (the course length depends on the university) which is specifically tailored to either primary education or for a limited range of secondary education subjects. It leads to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in England and Wales and is a teaching qualification in Scotland and Northern Ireland. In Australia, a 4-Year Bachelor of Education degree combines practical/pedagogical study with a Major sequence in the academic discipline of Education. ~Wikipedia


FlashStart is not associated with any university or college and has purposely avoided paying an independent ‘accrediting’ service as its innovative but scientifically sound whole-brain methods are so vastly different from the traditional approach to teaching language. Our teachers’ success in delivering first rate language instruction speaks for itself.

FlashStart is primarily oriented to those who want to teach in  developing countries where accreditation has not to date been required. Currently our graduates have been accepted in at least 19 countries, including developed countries like America, Italy, Japan, Costa Rica, Brazil and Singapore and Australia.

Use a Deck of Cards to Teach a Language?

What criteria do we insist our tools meet?
  • Readily available
  • Inexpensive
  • Easily transportable

How Can We Help You Learn a Language?

The UNIQUE FlashStart Mindbranding Methodoloy includes 10 – 12 techniques that synergistically provide a framework for your language learning. EG:

  • Circadian study cycle
  • Timed space repetition
  • Keyword isolation

How Do We Help You Start as Tutor/Teacher?

It can be overwhelming knowing

where to start when you first start teaching. So we walk you through

  • The process of writing your resume’.
  • The process of getting a job.
  • The process of starting a tutoring practice.
  • We provide useful tools like class plans.
  • and more…

What Our Customers Are Saying

Don’t just take it from us, let our customers do the talking!

"Incredible course! Amazing methods. Powerful tools to teach simple and difficult concepts. Highly recommended."

Jonathon B

Sydney, 2013

"Refreshing approach to teaching and learning that has inspired me to change my teaching methods."

Sarah A

University Lecturer, Sydney, 2013

"I learned fantastic NEW methods to use in both teaching AND learning a new language."

Ruth G

Sydney, 2014

Our 'Happy Teachers' page has more of what students like about our course...

More happy teachers

New York, 2015

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If we didn’t answer all of your questions, feel free to drop us a line anytime.