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Disney English
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akoura



Joined: 22 Jan 2013
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:25 pm    Post subject: Disney English Reply with quote

Hello All,

I was recently invited to apply for Disney English in China by a recruiting agency. I was wondering if anyone has any experience with this company?

I have been researching options for teaching overseas and have limited teaching experience in the states. Therefore I have nothing to compare and contrast Disney English to, except for what I've read online and some correspondence with folks that have taught or are teaching right now.

Any help would be much appreciated! Thanks Smile
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golsa



Joined: 20 Nov 2011
Posts: 177

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you really want to teach the children of wealthy Chinese for 40+ hours a week while acting like Mickey Mouse?
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kungfuman



Joined: 31 May 2012
Posts: 1416
Location: In My Own Private Idaho

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

golsa wrote:
Do you really want to teach the children of wealthy Chinese for 40+ hours a week while acting like Mickey Mouse?


Hate to say it but every job I have had in China involved teaching spoiled lazy kids - mainly College and High School. It isn't very rewarding.
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golsa



Joined: 20 Nov 2011
Posts: 177

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kungfuman wrote:
golsa wrote:
Do you really want to teach the children of wealthy Chinese for 40+ hours a week while acting like Mickey Mouse?


Hate to say it but every job I have had in China involved teaching spoiled lazy kids - mainly College and High School. It isn't very rewarding.


Would using Disney's products and image make it better or worse?
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akoura



Joined: 22 Jan 2013
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:21 pm    Post subject: Thanks anyway... Reply with quote

I was hoping to get more insight from someone already in the program. Thank you all for your opinions.
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Denim-Maniac



Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1238

PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you scroll through the pages you may find other posts that concern Disney. I dont think you would get a huge response otherwise ... Disney might be a good gig for people new to China / new to EFL, but for people who fall outside that ... well I dont think they would have many takers.

This doesnt mean they are bad ... but people qualified and experienced in ESL/EFL are less likely to take jobs that may involve disney songs / funny costumes and kindergarten aged children.
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kungfuman



Joined: 31 May 2012
Posts: 1416
Location: In My Own Private Idaho

PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see many ads for Disney but never see posts from people who work there. And there is a location near my house - in a high-end development - but never went in there to check it out.
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NoBillyNO



Joined: 11 Jun 2012
Posts: 1762

PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I see many ads for Disney but never see posts from people who work there.


They are shanghaied and sent to Shang High, only to reappear as Disney characters in the Not so Magic Kingdom.
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Denim-Maniac



Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1238

PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kungfuman wrote:
I see many ads for Disney but never see posts from people who work there.


Id hazard a guess to say the reason we never see posts is because the people that work for Disney are rarely long term TEFL'ers or 'China for life' types. They see safety and security in the corporate branding, come to China for one year ... and then return to begin or resume their other career.

When I work in a UK summer school I often work with younger teachers. Some still at university or recently graduated. Ive heard Disney mentioned a few times amongst them ... Its seen as a cool adventure. Go to China for a year (gap-year), get paid and teach whilst working for Disney.

As I said in an earlier post, that doesnt mean its a bad place to work ... but it would indicate to me that the average Disney teacher isnt likely to be in it long term, and its probably their first EFL job.
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akoura



Joined: 22 Jan 2013
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I understand what you're all saying. I appreciate your feedback. I think that it would make an overall agreeable placement, especially as a first timer. I'm definitely not okay with the income tax, which would be about 20%. It's a little too high for my liking.
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LongShiKong



Joined: 28 May 2007
Posts: 926
Location: China

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Denim-Maniac wrote:
... but people qualified and experienced in ESL/EFL are less likely to take jobs that may involve disney songs / funny costumes and kindergarten aged children.


Sad, but true! Adults only care about your qual's and experience if you're teaching them, not their kids. But anyone who's taught both knows the added challenges of (actually) teaching kids, let alone a foreign language. As a tragic result, the actual learning going on by kids, even in private schools is deliberately retarded---a systemic 'No Child Left Behind'.

Disney is but one example. I read all the threads, most by those familiar with the brand but not the school---I wouldn't consider blue polo shirts and khaki pants either 'funny' or a 'costume'. Only one poster wrote anything of substance about the actual teaching, noting an exceptionally slow pacing but an abundance of games, songs, and resources presumably available to reinforce the language.
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kungfuman



Joined: 31 May 2012
Posts: 1416
Location: In My Own Private Idaho

PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I saw this today on ShanghaiExpat: Paints a rather gloomy picture of Disney English

Quote:


DO NOT WORK FOR DISNEY ENGLISH


I've noticed a lot of concerned people on other forums commenting on the dominating cultural influence of Disney. Here's my response: I currently work for Disney English in Shanghai. The fact of the matter is, there's a market for the Disney brand here and we can't quite expect a company like the Walt Disney Corporation to fail to exploit a willing market niche if it will expand their waistlines, cultural homogenization be damned.

The most pernicious thing about the Disney Corporation in China, from my perspective, is the awful manner in which corporate protocol, efficiency, and the profit margins lay waste to any semblance of decency regarding the workers here. Tens of "cast members", including myself, gave up jobs, kissed families goodbye, and uprooted our lives to work for Disney based on blatant lies that recruiters spat regarding vacation allowances (5 paid vacation days per year and you work on Thanksgiving, throughout the Christmas holiday; that was a revelation), compensation, working hours, you name it.

Most of our benefits and compensation (especially time off, overtime, etc.) are below industry standard, from what I gather in the teaching communities here in Asia. Also, Disney will not list benefits for employees in the contract. They don't want to put it in writing; what they will put it writing is "all benefits are subject to the discretion of your direct line manager."

Each new contract that comes out is different from the last, and offers less and less to look forward to. They've just changed the policy from a reasonable 30 days notice; now you have to give them three months' notice in advance of your quitting.

Teachers here have not been reimbursed for funds spent to acquire a health check and other standard procedures that Disney requires. Employees are urged to take precautions to check if promised reimbursements ever make it into our accounts. Make sure to copy your forms, because if Disney loses them (fairly common occurrence, here), they will not take you at your word regarding the money they owe you.

Taking sick days is openly discouraged because it is very difficult to get coverage for people's classes. Disney can't keep on substitute teachers because their full-time stock is so transient, they have no other option but to hire would-be substitutes on full-time. You cannot simply take the requisite time you need to rest. Disney doesn't trust you, and so forces you to seek medical attention for even those child-acquired illnesses that only require bed rest and fluids. Thus, we are expected to pay sometimes outrageous hospital fees out of our meager salary. Three visits to the doctor because you had a nasty cold and didn't want to infect your students? How about you pay the man 6000 RMB, minimum.

Furthermore, Disney English, at least in the Shanghai region, has an uncanny knack of hiring teachers for managerial positions; teachers with no managerial skills, very little people skills, and poor communication practices. Please, if you are at all interested in acquiring a job here or anywhere, get a thorough feel for the type of management system you'll be forced into. My colleagues and I did not get a choice, and this greatly reduced the amount of clear information we could obtain about our working environments before we signed on.

Rest assured, however, that the Disney environment is thoroughly Corporate. Expect your good work to be rewarded with more work and very little thanks. Expect your less-than-stellar work to be met with persistent, distrusting micromanagement, written warnings, and passive aggressiveness. Expect to continually feel vaguely put upon by upper management, to be thoroughly alienated from any job title that carries more weight than yours, and to have your pushes for innovation funneled through an endless bout of (thoroughly inefficient and demoralizing) chains of command, form letters, open-ended presentations, and eventually non-implementation.

The company is desperate to fill its pockets with money and expand as rapidly as possible-- so much so that they are currently running into trouble because people are quitting before they fulfill their contracts.

The Walt Disney Company is renowned for its customer service, and this makes sense when you see the profit incentive in it. What Disney English needs to learn is that honest and responsive human resources are equally good markers to strive for. This isn't a theme park in Anaheim or Orlando with fifty schmucks willing to sign up any day in the week. This is a job in China that requires certified teachers willing to leave kin and kind behind for something completely unknown. Frankly, we deserve better.
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choudoufu



Joined: 25 May 2010
Posts: 3325
Location: Mao-berry, PRC

PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

he was doing so well, until....

"....This isn't a theme park in Anaheim or Orlando with fifty schmucks willing to
sign up any day in the week. This is a job in China that requires certified teachers........"
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Javelin of Radiance



Joined: 01 Jul 2009
Posts: 1187
Location: The West

PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like plenty of blame to go around for everyone. The recruiter for spewing lies, the school for not living up to certain things in the contract, and the teachers for accepting managerial positions they must have known they weren't qualified to do. Looks like they all deserve each other.
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sistercream



Joined: 18 Dec 2010
Posts: 487
Location: Pearl River Delta

PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

choudoufu wrote:
... that requires certified teachers........"


You'd be thinking of the British usage of "certified", CDF? Mr. Green
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