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Speed School of English
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Willie Nelson



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2003 3:25 am    Post subject: Speed School of English Reply with quote

I'm thinking about persuing work with the Speed Callan School out of Wroclaw, but I don't know much about the situation in Poland as I've been in East Asia for a while now. Does anyone know this place and, if so, how's their reputation?

It sounds like a reputable school with a professional atmosphere, but I'm oh so careful about getting burned.

Also, what's the Callan Method? Never heard of it before.
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Chris



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 116
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2003 6:24 am    Post subject: Callan Method Reply with quote

Hi there!

I've been in Poland now for almost 6 years (in Sosnowiec--near Katowice) so I know a little about what's going on here.

I worked at a Callan Method school for a semester, and that was about all I could handle! It's a repetition method. You ask questions from the book and they answer exactly as in the book. You repeat and repeat. It works well for those who have a basic knowledge of English because they hear themselves talking in English all the time, and the words become familiar. But with higher level groups, it irritated them because they still had to do the repetition without much leeway for real conversation.

I personally don't know about Speed except for the name. I never met anyone working there, so they may have a very different approach to how they use native speakers. I really don't know. But personally, I didn't like using to method because there was no creativity allowed.

Good luck!

Chris
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12202
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2003 9:47 am    Post subject: speed callan Reply with quote

Speed Callan is basicaslly an amended Berlitz or Linguaphone method. You are a tape recorder. Do not do it if you have any pretensions to being a teacher. Good job for electronic parrots who will accept low pay.
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XXX



Joined: 14 Feb 2003
Posts: 174
Location: Where ever people wish to learn English

PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2003 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You could use callan to teach parrots. The upside is that there is very little prep work. The down side is that it is boring as hell.
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Robert Williamson



Joined: 19 May 2004
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2004 10:14 am    Post subject: Speed Callan School Reply with quote

Hi, I too was skeptical of the Callan Method, but a friend of mine from the US worked for the Speed Callan school last year and said he had no problems. The school teaches the Callan Method, but is not actually a Callan school. The method relies on a lot of repetition for sure, but he said you teach different levels all the time, meet lots of students and the school has other classes as well, such as conversation groups and FC groups. He said he would recommend the school as they sort out the training and pay you on time and sort out all the visas and accommodation.
I applied for a job last year, but is was in the middle of the semester, and they weren’t hiring then. The bosses seemed nice and friendly and they have a few schools dotted over Poland, so you can move around if you get bored.
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Alex Shulgin



Joined: 20 Jul 2003
Posts: 553

PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2004 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Callan is Berlitz. Berlitz is based on a method created by the US army in the 1940's and rejected by them shortly afterwards because it doesn't work.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12435
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2004 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Alex Shulgin,
That must have been a first - the US Army's rejecting something merely because it didn't work.
Regards,
John
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12202
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2004 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Berlitz has been around for a while. From what I remember it was "invented" by someone in the US who had to teach French but did not speak enough English to use the traditional methods.

But it does not work very well - and having Berlitz or Callan on your cv will not help you find employment. A bit like saying you worked full-time
for the Rev Moon.
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OzBurn



Joined: 03 May 2004
Posts: 199

PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2004 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Berlitz is not "based" on something invented by the U.S. Army. It is based on the work of Maximilien Berlitz, whose ideas were an extension of something called the Series Method, which was invented, I believe, by a man named Gouin. Both methods were invented well before the 1940s.

As far as whether something "works" or not, different things work for different people in different situations. Berlitz's method is a total immersion method -- the teacher does not use the speaker's native language at all (that, at any rate, is the theory, and is still what Berlitz Schools claims to do). An active Berlitz teacher should try to demonstrate concepts by acting them out, playing roles, using illustrations, etc. Whether any of this works depends I suppose a great deal on the teacher, unlike textbook methods. Personally, I don't believe in methods that refuse to use translation, since translation has many advantages: namely, it is fast, it is easy, and it is clear.

I have two Callan Method books and and have seen their demo tape. I was not impressed for the most part but did see some useful things. It seems that people memorize the answers and repeat them, in a kind of elaborate catechism. However, compared to many methods in which not much response is required of students at all, it may well be superior. And it may well be superior to playing the Headway tape and asking questions about it, then playing it again.

As far as whether Callan is boring or not, language study is not entertainment. Many useful things in learning are somewhat boring, e.g., flashcard practice and scales in learning a musical instrument. Serious students do them anyway.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12202
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2004 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"language study is not entertainment" This is something that seems to have been forgotten. Did anyone ever think the study of the French Verb or the Greek Aorist was fun ?

Where did this silly idea come from that learning English should be fun ?
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Dyannamika



Joined: 27 May 2004
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2004 7:48 am    Post subject: About Callan in Wroclaw Reply with quote

Willie Nelson,

Hello there. I work in the Speed Callan school in Wroclaw. It is a professional and friendly environment. The school itself has helped me on several occasions, with many problems I've had whilst in Poland. They give very good support to their teachers.

Also, there have been a lot of negative things said about the Callan method on this thread. I don't think that's really quite fair. I've used the Callan Method for a year now. I'll admit, I was pretty sceptical at first, but it actually works. I've seen a lot of students improve over a year's time. It's always interesting to speak with students after a year of teaching them. It's also really possible to have fun in the lessons, with the students. A lot of them take the questions in stride and come up with great answers.

Also, at the Callan school in Wroclaw, we have a number of extras besides the Callan method. There are a number of lectures that each teacher gives to the students, not to mention films (watching a film in English and then discussing it) and clubs. The clubs have ranged from music clubs, to pub clubs, to dungeons and dragons clubs. All seem to be enjoyed by the students. Also, apart from all of that, we run a FCE course, as well as conversation courses, and children's courses as well. Additionally we suppliment the classes with various exercises (grammar, pronoun. et cetera).

If you have any additional questions about the Speed Callan school in Wroclaw, or in Poland, please feel free to e-mail me or contact me via MSN Messenger. (That may be a little tricky, per I'm not always online.) By e-mail address is: illumanated23@hotmail.com
Caio,

Marcy
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Amanda



Joined: 27 May 2004
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2004 6:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Willie,

I am currently working as a Speed Callan teacher and have been for the past eighteen months. When I first came to Poland, my plan was to stay for the extent of my contract-one year and nothing more. That has since changed. I arrived in January and by the summer I was already beginning to consider extending my stay. So I did, and have recently decided to do so once again. There are so many positives about teaching for the Speed Callan organization and about living in Poland generally, that I just can’t seem to leave.
I feel that there have been some comments directed toward the Callan Method that I find rather unjust. Being an experienced Callan teacher, I can honestly tell you that this method does work. I’ve seen students who have walked into the classroom with zero knowledge of English and within a few months were able to have a simple conversation. And as regards to this method being boring, well that depends on you. Although you are following a method, you’re given room to have fun with it. You can be as creative as you want in introducing the vocab and grammar. You also have the opportunity to teach conversation classes, as well as Cambridge First Certificate and Advanced Certificate preparation courses. As part of your teaching hours (but at leisure for the students), the school hosts lectures and film clubs. Basically you choose any topic or film that is of interest to you and the students can sign up for free.
There are many benefits to working with this organization.

• You get paid on time. I’ve heard many horror stories about teachers working for various schools throughout Poland not receiving there payment when scheduled. With Speed, this isn’t so; and not only do you get paid on time, but you get paid well.
• When you arrive you’re given free training and you have a flat waiting for you.
• The school also arranges other events such as school parties and staff weekends, where you’re given the opportunity to meet the students and teachers from the other schools.

It is also a very interesting time to be living in Poland. You shouldn’t come here expecting to be living in your native country. Poland is very unique and can offer some wonderful experiences. It is very exciting to be living here and to watch it change as it makes the transition into the European Union.
I hope I’ve been able to add some insight into your decision. I spent a month teaching in Wroclaw last summer and it is a fantastic city and the students were great there. All I can tell you that there are many teachers who have extended their contract. In my opinion, you’ll be given the opportunity to work with some incredible people and meet a lot of new friends.

Best of luck,
Amanda
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Alex Shulgin



Joined: 20 Jul 2003
Posts: 553

PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2004 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm always amused to read people say "You get paid on time" as if it is something good about a school. Sorry but paying teachers on time is the least that a school should do!

It's interesting that in Amanda's opinion Callan schools pay teachers "well". Here in Warsaw the Callan schools seem to pay slightly below the going rate.
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Amanda



Joined: 27 May 2004
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2004 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For Alex,
Guess I should clarify may statement :SPEED Callan schools pay well.
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Alex Shulgin



Joined: 20 Jul 2003
Posts: 553

PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2004 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guess I should clarify may statement :
Here in Warsaw SPEED Callan schools do not pay well.
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