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  :: Cactus TEFL - About Us...

Welcome to the wonderful world of Cactus TEFL!

Why should you book your course through Cactus TEFL?

  • Fast facts

    • Cactus TEFL was established in 2002, and is part of Cactus Worldwide.
    • We currently work with course providers in 38 different countries.
    • We work with almost half of all private language schools offering the Cambridge CELTA and almost the same proportion of those offering the Trinity Cert TESOL.
    • We work with over 125 different course providers.
    • In 2011 we sent over 2,500 people on TEFL training courses.
    • We get over 25,000 unique visitors to our site each month.
    • In 2007, we received the great accolade of being nominated for a British Council Innovation Award for our English Language Awareness course.
    • We work closely with partners such as the Education Guardian, the Independent, Prospects and IATEFL.
    • The Annual Suzanne Furstner Foundation TEFL Scholarship is now into its 6th year with last years� lucky recipient winning a TEFL programme in Barcelona, Spain.
    • In 2009 we also launched the first ever Cactus to Conference IATEFL Scholarship.
  • FAQ

    • Who or what is Cactus TEFL?

      Cactus TEFL is an independent TEFL course admissions and advice service. We are not a provider of face-to-face TEFL courses in our own right.

      Our aim is to help raise the profile of the TEFL industry, with the objective of promoting high quality courses which are professionally delivered, providing the participant with a solid grounding prior to embarking on a teaching career. We also aim to unite teacher with employer through our TEFL Jobs section.

      Benefits of using Cactus TEFL:

      • Our service is completely FREE to applicants!
      • We can offer essential advice about which course is best for your plans. We have a very accurate and up to date knowledge of the TEFL industry and all things associated.
      • Because we do not offer any face-to-face TEFL training courses ourselves, we are in the fortunate position to be able to provide impartial advice relating to the choice of courses available to you.
      • Unlike other agencies/course providers, we will not ask you to pay a deposit until you have officially been offered a place on the course.
      • We pride ourselves on offering a friendly, helpful and fair service to our clients.

      Cactus TEFL forms part of Cactus Worldwide, an award-winning company with an established international reputation. In addition to Cactus TEFL, we are a leading provider of evening language courses and language holidays worldwide as well as tailor-made language training for both corporate and individual needs.


    • How do you know about all these courses?

      Over the years we've built up a fair amount of knowledge on the subject of TEFL and TEFL courses. We are in regular contact with schools and course providers around the world, we write on the subject of TEFL across all media, run university careers service talks, and have produced the "Little Book of TEFL" (which you can download in PDF format by clicking here). We also take it upon ourselves to visit the vast majority of schools which feature on the site. A tough job, but someone has to do it!


    • How does Cactus TEFL survive as an organisation?

      When you're ready to apply for a TEFL course we aim to give you the very best service with a speedy TEFL course admissions service, where we work with you to get you onto the course you need in the location you prefer. The information you give us is confidential and we will always try to help you through your plans and projects. Our admissions service is completely free of charge.

      Cactus TEFL is funded by the organisations who decide to join our TEFL course admissions service, ie the providers of the courses featured on this site. The list of courses on our site is therefore not exhaustive, even though more and more organisations are choosing to work with Cactus TEFL.

      If you'd like to know more about Cactus TEFL or you'd like input in a press or media feature, feel free to contact us at any time. You can also visit our Press & Events page.


    • What TEFL courses can I find on your site?

      When you search for a course, Cactus TEFL seems to work mainly with Cambridge CELTA & Trinity CertTESOL. This is a reflection of the wider trends in the marketplace, where the Cambridge and Trinity courses are viewed as industry standard. We feature courses on the basis of individual agreements with selected course providers, and not on behalf of the awarding bodies.

      Cactus TEFL also works with the providers of other equivalent qualifications and shorter/intro TEFL courses, in recognition of the fact that the different schools around the world all have their own preferred qualifications, academic routes, and general requirements for their teachers.

      Cactus TEFL has recently launched its own online TEFL course, using all our knowledge and expertise about what people taking the short route into TEFL want. This course gives you an excellent grounding in both Language Awareness and Methodology, which are the essential elements for a course for potential TEFL teachers.

  • Meet the Team

    • Rich Ambler
      Managing Director of Cactus in the US and Canada

      A graduate of Business & Hospitality Management, Rich has extensive business and teaching experience. Even before leaving college he had set up a student travel and television company. Widely travelled through China, Tibet, SE Asia, North and South America, Rich has taught English as a qualified TEFL teacher in Chile, Colombia and England and learned Spanish in Spain. He is passionately interested in making a difference. When not guiding Cactus, Rich loves all sport and diving in the Islands of the Bahamas.

    • Peyman Shameli
      TEFL Course Advisor

      Peyman was born in Iran and moved to Holland at the age of 11. He studied Journalism in Utrecht and has travelled to Lebanon, Syria and Palestine/Israel. Peyman has recently finished a degree in International Relations at Sussex University. His big passions in life are languages, acting, photography, travelling and playing tennis. Peyman speak Farsi, English and Dutch fluently and is currently working on Lithuanian. He hopes to learn 0.00088% of the 6809 languages spoken in the world by the time he is 50!

    • Rod Mitchell
      Academic Director of Studies

      Rod hails from Queensland, Australia, and has a BA (French, Indonesian; James Cook University), a PostGrad DipEd (ESL/EFL/French; University of Queensland), and a Masters in Linguistics (JCU). His interest in languages and culture - as well as his British-Irish background - first led him to Europe, he has spent the last 25 years in Britain, France, Italy and Australia. Anna, his wife, is from Sardinia, and their son, Kevin, is doing Mechanical Engineering at the University of Florence. Rod has close on 30 years of TEFL, Cambridge Speaking examining, linguistic research at UQ, JCU and Oxford, Torres Strait music research, computer networking, CALL and database development/management ... and was a postman for four years...

  • Contact Us

    Our head office is in Brighton and as of October 2007, we also have a New York office. Please feel free to get in touch

  • Excellent Service: Feedback to Cactus

    Cactus have experienced staff of the field who offer accurate advice making my decision making easier knowing it's based on practical information. Also, the person you speak to on the phone has often actually visited the school you are enquiring about. This gave me great comfort when asking about the school location, staff at the school and its facilities.
    Sarah Cater


    Thank you very much. I really appreciate you going through all this for me. I sincerely appreciate the time, effort and the care with just a name that you did not even meet!! It does impress me that in these days that are still personable companies that listens to their individual customers.
    Joana DaCosta


    The contact that I have had with Cactus so far has really impressed me. Cactus is certainly successfully and single-handedly demystifying the world of TEFL which really is hugely confusing to start with. When I come to apply I will do it through CACTUS, for either the CELTA or Trinity Cert TESOL - although this will probably have to wait until we know when we are going to France and could be next year rather than this one (although I hope not because I'm rather excited about it!). However, the delay does give me time to do that market research. Thank you again for your time, it really is appreciated. You're doing a very good job. Joanna Coryndon