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English Time (ET) Post Only Here
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parnett



Joined: 29 Jun 2012
Posts: 97
Location: China

PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dude- you worked at ET for 6 years? If you are so negative about the place, why did you stay so long?
I did work at ET for more than seven years. I saw much of the bad, but also a lot of good things. The problem with ET is they don't employ enough people to handle the educational part of the business. There was Karen- she had one full time secretary and another one who only worked mornings. Together, they were in charge of hiring, orienting and sending teachers to the branches. They also had to do all of the schedules, alotted appropriate hours for each teacher etc. If there was a complaint from a student, a teacher or an administrator, they had to deal with it.
As far as teachers passing students who didn't deserve to be passed, I was head teacher at three different branches, and that never happened once. I was fortunate to have worked with three fairly honest and straight forward managers. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but you make it sound like it happens all of the time, and at all of the branches.
As for the books, I will agree with you that they are a continuing disaster. They were written by 6 head teachers who had no previous experience in writing textbooks. Fortunately, I only had to use these books for one class (I rarely taught).
I felt that ET was a fairly honest company compared to many others of the same ilk in Istanbul. They always paid on time. My teachers never had a problem with their pay. One teacher, who had broken his contract four months early, had no money for a ticket home. After I spoke with the General Manager (a good man), he agreed to give the teacher 3/4 of his bonus.
If you are an energetic person and teacher, ET will indeed work you to the bone. The General Manager works his butt off, and expects it from most of his staff.
If anyone has any questions about ET, feel free to email me. I can give you a much more honest answer than someone with an obvious chip on his shoulder.
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dudeteacher



Joined: 27 Feb 2010
Posts: 134

PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

parnett wrote:
Dude- you worked at ET for 6 years? If you are so negative about the place, why did you stay so long?
I did work at ET for more than seven years. I saw much of the bad, but also a lot of good things. The problem with ET is they don't employ enough people to handle the educational part of the business. There was Karen- she had one full time secretary and another one who only worked mornings. Together, they were in charge of hiring, orienting and sending teachers to the branches. They also had to do all of the schedules, alotted appropriate hours for each teacher etc. If there was a complaint from a student, a teacher or an administrator, they had to deal with it.
As far as teachers passing students who didn't deserve to be passed, I was head teacher at three different branches, and that never happened once. I was fortunate to have worked with three fairly honest and straight forward managers. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but you make it sound like it happens all of the time, and at all of the branches.
As for the books, I will agree with you that they are a continuing disaster. They were written by 6 head teachers who had no previous experience in writing textbooks. Fortunately, I only had to use these books for one class (I rarely taught).
I felt that ET was a fairly honest company compared to many others of the same ilk in Istanbul. They always paid on time. My teachers never had a problem with their pay. One teacher, who had broken his contract four months early, had no money for a ticket home. After I spoke with the General Manager (a good man), he agreed to give the teacher 3/4 of his bonus.
If you are an energetic person and teacher, ET will indeed work you to the bone. The General Manager works his butt off, and expects it from most of his staff.
If anyone has any questions about ET, feel free to email me. I can give you a much more honest answer than someone with an obvious chip on his shoulder.


Parnet,

I believe you are being honest in your post based on your experiences. I worked at ET on and off. I was actually at Interlang when they changed the name and made it completely ET. I would have left with the regular exodus; however, in their desperation to keep staff, I was offered over 4000 YTL/month. I sacrificed my self respect to pay bills. My quotes are based on five years of experience and those of colleagues at the Bakirkoy and Mededikoy branches.

I was at Taskim for most of my time. Marks were falsified CONSTANTlY. One HT openly said he would do nothing about it and even asked my colleague to let the students cheat and copy so that they could pass and not complain. The others simply didn't want to know about it and acted rude if told about it by teachers. The lazy teachers never hid their lack of work ethic and were never spoken to. The Turkish staff would walk over to the HT's computer and simply change exam marks. There was NOTHING they could do about it.

One guy cheated because he was repeating the exam. When given a pop quiz the next day, he couldn't write one sentence in the Simple Present and tried to attack the teacher. The school was informed, did nothing and that fellow got a 97 %. Another after giving in a blank exam, was allowed to redo the exam with his friend sitting next to him (unsupervised) he got 98%.
Teachers openly laughed at the fact that they were on the computer playing video games during their exams and getting paid for it. This went on for YEARS. I was at ET Taksim last year and was told by more than one teacher that if they failed students, they would complain and they would get less hours. So they simply started passing people. Karen and the various HTs have known for years about the cheating, false grades etc and seem powerless. One teacher who complained about it was told to go work elsewhere.

I have no chip on my shoulder, I speak the truth.

To their credit ET was useful in assisting me with my Visa and I was always paid on time. I forced myself to spend an extra year there because they gave us a great raise. Simply put I sacrificed my standards and self respect for the sake of paying bills.

I was offered an HT position and turned it down because I saw how useless and powerless they were at Taksim. I made it clear that if given the job, I would immediately fire incompetent teachers and would "defend" anyone I thought Management had treated unfairly. I respectfully suggested that I be allowed to be a teacher and unlike the HTs that I had observed have my self respect.

Parnett I am not calling you a liar. However, it's bold of you doubt me when you WEREN'T THERE.

My colleagues at Bak. and Med. parroted the same problems that I had.
I saw an HT refuse to assist students and a teacher who complained about a certain teacher. They would scream at him in the canteen and office. He did nothing but made sure to meet her for beer after class. He however, made sure to start monitoring the complaining teacher's classes and nit pick his classes, telling him never to use any negative words at any level.

Btw in 2009/10 the Turkish staff at Taksim were not allowed to have their one week holiday. That's two years without a holiday. However, the Manager made sure to take his. The Asst. Manager complained and was immediately fired.

Up to June of last year I was hearing the usual complaints about Med., Bak and Taksim. I will say that I've met teachers from the Kad. branch and they had nothing to negative to say. They also had nothing positive to say.

I recently got an email from a Tasksim student. She said "ET is the worst school. Everybody knows this except ET." .... Out of the mouth of babes.[/i]
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parnett



Joined: 29 Jun 2012
Posts: 97
Location: China

PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 4:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few remarks:
- all of the high schools, universities, dersanes and langauge schools are awful (with the exception of a precious few). I taught at Koc University for 3 years. It is one of the highest rated and most respected universities in Turkey. Students who failed were always given passing grades so they (and their parent's money) could return the following year. Situations such as this were commonplace at 2 other universities I taught at. Unfortunately, the Turkish educational system is (and will probably always be) a total joke.
You speak as if what happens at ET is unique whereas it is the norm.
- I was aware of the problems at Taksim. It is probably the worst managed (and the most profitable) branch of ET. I was head teacher in Ankara, Sirinevler and Mecidiyekoy and there was never a student passed who didn't earn it.
Your overly long diatribe about ET is humorous in that you devote a total of three lines to what you found good about the school. Yet being paid on time could very well be the most important factor for a teacher when choosing a school to work at. I worked at a total of four universities and 2 language schools during my thirteen years in Turkey. ET was one of only 2 schools to pay on time, all the time. For you to minimalize this important aspect further illustrates the fact you do indeed have a large chip on your shoulder concerning ET.
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dudeteacher



Joined: 27 Feb 2010
Posts: 134

PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

parnett wrote:
A few remarks:
- all of the high schools, universities, dersanes and langauge schools are awful (with the exception of a precious few). I taught at Koc University for 3 years. It is one of the highest rated and most respected universities in Turkey. Students who failed were always given passing grades so they (and their parent's money) could return the following year. Situations such as this were commonplace at 2 other universities I taught at. Unfortunately, the Turkish educational system is (and will probably always be) a total joke.
You speak as if what happens at ET is unique whereas it is the norm.
- I was aware of the problems at Taksim. It is probably the worst managed (and the most profitable) branch of ET. I was head teacher in Ankara, Sirinevler and Mecidiyekoy and there was never a student passed who didn't earn it.
Your overly long diatribe about ET is humorous in that you devote a total of three lines to what you found good about the school. Yet being paid on time could very well be the most important factor for a teacher when choosing a school to work at. I worked at a total of four universities and 2 language schools during my thirteen years in Turkey. ET was one of only 2 schools to pay on time, all the time. For you to minimalize this important aspect further illustrates the fact you do indeed have a large chip on your shoulder concerning ET.


As you are ex management, your perspective is unsurprising as well as humorous. I had very little to say about ET positively as do most teachers there, likewise, most students.

I guess paying on time makes it ok to falsify grades and give teachers classes that are unteachable.

Unlike you, I have no bias. Rather, I give any potential employee info that I would want were I applying for a job.

I worked at six different schools during my time in Turkey and five paid me on time.

However, as ex management that fact that you have confessed that certain branches are badly run and false grades given out is worth noting.
I'm sure potential applicants appreciate it.

Dude.
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docmoxie



Joined: 17 Apr 2013
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 10:06 pm    Post subject: English Time Bursa Reply with quote

My fiancee and I have been offered a job with the Bursa branch--has anyone heard anything about them specifically? I'm curious if the problems people have mentioned are systemic to English Time or Turkey in general, or specific to each branch.

Details:
$1300 a month
housing stipend of 300 TL
1000 $ Bonus
650 $ Travel reimbursement
300 TL monthly rent reimbursement or lodging agreement
20 TL Hourly Rate (Net)
Residence and work permit expense if contract is completed.

Should we take this?

Thanks,
docmoxie
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desert



Joined: 24 Nov 2011
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 1:19 am    Post subject: Re: English Time Bursa Reply with quote

docmoxie wrote:


Should we take this?

Thanks,
docmoxie


I sent you a private message about this.
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erics



Joined: 07 May 2013
Posts: 5
Location: paradise

PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 6:58 am    Post subject: ET Bursa Reply with quote

I just received the same offer as docmoxie in the Bursa branch. I have heard a lot of negative things about the Izmit branch and the Taxsim branch, but I'm wondering if the Bursa branch is a good choice. I spoke with the Head Teacher there and I really like what he had to say about his branch.

Details:
7 month contract
20 TL Hourly Rate (Net)
300 TL monthly rent reimbursement
1000 $ Bonus
650 $ Travel reimbursement
Residence and work permit expense if contract is completed.

Please let me know what you all think about the Bursa Branch and ET.
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pfb



Joined: 17 Feb 2013
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any updates on English Time? Can anyone offer opinions on how any of the individual branches are run?
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kitEkat



Joined: 11 Jul 2013
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my experience, there is only one positive thing to say about English Time: they usually pay on time (or thereabouts).

In terms of organisation and general management, it's a disaster. While individual head teachers might strive to be professional (and I was lucky enough to have a good Head Teacher for a short while), they are essentially powerless to effect positive change.

Instead, everything at ET is micro-(mis)managed by Head Office - apparently the Head Teachers are not trusted enough to do the things they should actually be doing (like drawing up timetables and placing teachers in the classes that are appropriate to them). Hence NOTHING is ever planned for, no problem is ever anticipated and dealt with in advance - so the same issues arise again and again and again. Classes are started without sufficient numbers of teachers to handle them (so class sizes can easily reach 25+), total novices are thrown in at advanced level to teach, and no-one ever seems to think about tomorrow - never mind next week - or next month. Every day at English Time is like the first day: pure chaos.

I heard that the marketing dept. had recently 'declared war' on the educational dept. - whether this was actually true, it certainly felt like that on the ground. The sales staff are utterly unaware of what's happening in the educational end - there is zero coordination on that front - and the sales people will basically tell prospective customers absolutely anything in order to get them to part with their cash ASAP. ("You need to be fluent in English in one month? No problem!")

Not only that, but the Turkish staff are perfectly prepared to pass favourite students who suck up to them. I didn't witness open changing of marks, but I certainly saw students who had failed then magically reappear at the next level. Not only that, but the phenomenon of 'guest students' persists - students who are supposed to be sitting in on a lesson or two to check it out then end up staying for an entire course (never signing the registers) and then mysteriously 'graduate' at the end of the course. That looked suggestive of backhanders to me - hardly surprising when the Turkish staff are generally treated rather poorly and paid peanuts.

Students also constantly complain about teachers - not surprising when ET takes so many people with no experience - but be prepared to receive zero backing from the school should this happen to you. In at least one case I know of, a Head Teacher was fired because he wouldn't kowtow to a student's demands to change her teachers - turns out her daddy is a friend of some big boss in ET - and so a good guy was dumped in order to satisfy the whim of a lazy girl who had reached Level 5... and yet still couldn't string one single sentence in English together.

Many students seem to come to ET more for the social experience than to actually learn, and when some plucky teacher suggests to them that they actually need to open a book at home from time to time, it can come as something of a shock. In general, they are not accustomed to discipline, focus or independent thought, while 'using your initiative' simply means 'cheating'. Much of this can be understood as simply inherited from the culture, but if you try to go up against any of this at ET, you will be on your own.

Teachers are not valued or appreciated in any way at all by ET - they are simply cannon fodder, and as far as ET is concerned - easily replaced. If ET could get away with only employing Turks (who they pay much less than foreigners), I'm sure they would - and I've talked to Turkish teachers who were told to pretend to be be foreign (so 'Meryem from Izmir' becomes 'Mary from Boston'!)... but the students generally insist on foreign teachers, due to the cachet attached to the idea of being taught by native speakers. This is entirely detrimental to the actual educational process - not only because ET will take ANYBODY - regardless of experience or suitability for the job (so many native speakers are simply not very good) but also because even an idiot could see that the students would benefit more from having Turkish teachers for at least the first two levels - and then native speakers from Level 3.

As for the books, you have already read that that they are an embarrassment: riddled with typos and errors, filled with incomprehensible 'explanations', and deadly dull. The 'block' system of teaching makes zero sense - front-loading each course with all of the grammar typically produces massive fails in the first exam, and then leaves the teacher with nothing but mind-numbing repetition of the same grammar points (disguised as Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking) for the rest of the course. The Reading blocks are crushingly uninteresting, the Writing sections are padded out with irrelevant rubbish like 'Writing with POWER!' (who cares? Our job is to teach ENGLISH) and the Listening/Speaking section is reliant on employing the laughable 'audio boxes' (I don't know what else to call them, but they make old CD players look hi-tech) for inept recordings of 'conversations'. These devices are constructed so cleverly that they have no LCD or counter - so you cannot see what number exercise you are on and must therefore fast forward through ALL of the exercises for ALL of the books ONE-CLICK-AT-A-TIME in order to try to find the exercise you're looking for. The mind boggles.

The exams are also filled with errors and typically contain utterly inappropriate content and language for the level just taught.

As for other resources, they are frequently non-existent: no ink, no pens, no stationary, a 'cinema room' but no movies to show in it, and in my school, no canteen - and not even a coat hanger.

The simple fact is that the demand for English in Istanbul is so great that English Time can get away with being terrible. It's dumb - because they continually lose so many students early on when they should be striving to hang on to their customers - but the philosophy of never thinking further than today continues to prevail. ET may have been around for a while, but it retains a shoddy, temporary, about-to-disappear-at-any-moment feel to it. The few guys who own it are clearly pocketing a fortune but you always sense that they have the escape pod revved up and ready to go at a moment's notice, with the bags of loot stuffed in the trunk.

In short, if you're new to teaching and don't mind being thrown in the deep end for a few months, maybe English Time is for you. They will at least pay - more or less correctly - and more or less on time. But if you have any kind of standards at all and consider yourself a professional, then avoid like the plague.
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dudeteacher



Joined: 27 Feb 2010
Posts: 134

PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Damn! No canteen!! Where the Hell are you?

Re. these guest students, I told them to get a note from the office and that usually solved the problem. But I'm guessing from your post, certain people in the office were in on it.

Well that's ET.

The micromanagement is a joke. It's as if they thing their HTs are useless. And quite frankly at my branch they usually were.

Dude
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erics



Joined: 07 May 2013
Posts: 5
Location: paradise

PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kitEkat is spot on when it comes to ET.

Everything that has been written is 100% accurate.

Stay very far away from this school unless you are desperate for work.
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RJVZ08



Joined: 20 Aug 2013
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

erics wrote:
kitEkat is spot on when it comes to ET.

Everything that has been written is 100% accurate.

Stay very far away from this school unless you are desperate for work.



I actually got a call from English Time in Istanbul. Seeing as how I am desperate for a job right now (I was currently teaching in Kayseri, but I just got laid off, sadly), I'm seriously considering the idea of working there. Unless anyone has any other suggestions?
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parnett



Joined: 29 Jun 2012
Posts: 97
Location: China

PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I worked at English Time for 7 years (I left over 3 years ago). With any school, there is both the good and the bad. The pay is always on time and correct. Most of the students are a joy to teach. There are many foreign teachers at each branch. At each of the branches I worked at the office staff was accommodating and helpful.
However, the books were an unmitigated disaster. They were composed by 6 head teachers who had absolutely no writing experience and it showed. There were problems at many branches with power hungry general managers. The vast majority of the teachers had no idea how to teach. Supposedly, though I never witnessed it, students were passed who didn't deserve to be.
Each branch, and I have no idea how many there are presently, have their own unique problems whether it be management, broken toilets (never to be fixed) or 15-year-old computers. It really is a crap shoot as you will be placed at a branch by Karen(Director of Studies) and her staff, and it may or may not work out for you. I would avoid Taksim like the plague. Kadakoy is a decent area to live/work in and the Head Teacher was great when I was there.
Fortunately, I spent most of my tenure at ET as a writer, and rarely taught. I was the Head Teacher in several branches, but that was only for a couple of years.
As with most Turkish schools, disorganisation was rampant at ET. Karen, who might seem like a nice person at first, is a real snake in the grass.
Good luck!
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dudeteacher



Joined: 27 Feb 2010
Posts: 134

PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

parnett wrote:
I worked at English Time for 7 years (I left over 3 years ago). With any school, there is both the good and the bad. The pay is always on time and correct. Most of the students are a joy to teach. There are many foreign teachers at each branch. At each of the branches I worked at the office staff was accommodating and helpful.
However, the books were an unmitigated disaster. They were composed by 6 head teachers who had absolutely no writing experience and it showed. There were problems at many branches with power hungry general managers. The vast majority of the teachers had no idea how to teach. Supposedly, though I never witnessed it, students were passed who didn't deserve to be.
Each branch, and I have no idea how many there are presently, have their own unique problems whether it be management, broken toilets (never to be fixed) or 15-year-old computers. It really is a crap shoot as you will be placed at a branch by MOD EDIT and her staff, and it may or may not work out for you. I would avoid Taksim like the plague. Kadakoy is a decent area to live/work in and the Head Teacher was great when I was there.
Fortunately, I spent most of my tenure at ET as a writer, and rarely taught. I was the Head Teacher in several branches, but that was only for a couple of years.
As with most Turkish schools, disorganisation was rampant at ET. MOD EDIT
Good luck!


The quotation was edited but not the original post?? Rolling Eyes


Last edited by dudeteacher on Wed Dec 25, 2013 12:45 am; edited 1 time in total
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erics



Joined: 07 May 2013
Posts: 5
Location: paradise

PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 2:53 pm    Post subject: ET Books / Education Method Reply with quote

The textbooks are especially bad (more than any other textbook I have ever seen) and the block format of teaching is a terrible methodology. The block format means that the course is put into four quarters: grammar, reading, writing, and speaking & listening. It is boring and unproductive. There should be much more diversity in the book rather than focusing on one skill at a time. And there should be more exercises and speaking activities throughout the book. The management will tell you to be creative with the plans. What they mean by creativity is that there is no library, and one computer shared between the teachers. So much for creativity.
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