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WSI Turkey
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philotaster



Joined: 09 Mar 2011
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry about the tantrum and petty jibes, I don't know what came over me. You did absolutely nothing to provoke that.

I'm not sure where I claimed to know nothing about teaching. Can you point that one out to me? Can you also please tell me where I made a claim about the industry as a whole? Looking through my posts, I just don't see that. I did make a claim about "the majority" and "most" schools in Turkey. You may want to consult a dictionary regarding the use and meanings of these terms in the english language.

My claim is based on two years of living and working in Turkey and interactions with foreign and Turkish english teachers, and I hope everyone will take that for what they think it's worth. It's open to confirmation or disconfirmation, like any claim.

Do you have any information that would confirm or disconfirm that claim, other than your handful of unspecified friends with PhDs? Have you worked at WSI or a similar school, or do you know anyone who has? The purpose of this thread is to provide information about WSI, which so far you've failed to do. I kind of get the sense that you haven't worked in Turkey in over ten years, is that accurate? Because cities and job markets can change within the space of a decade. Perhaps they didn't cover that in your Msc. program.

PC Parrot wrote:

And for the record, nowhere have I expressed disdain for newcomers to the field who are willing to learn their trade.


PC Parrot wrote:

Many of the people I work with today are qualified teachers who have jumped ship to TEFL. In addition to that, they all have an MA in TESOL and almost a quarter of them either have or are working towards a related PhD. From their perspective, WSI is a Mickey-Mouse outfit, and anyone that denies it is Goofy.


So for the record, you don't have any disdain for newcomers so long as they have at least an MA in TESOL and preferably are working towards a PhD. Also they must work at an institution which gives them a wide range of creative discretion over curriculum design and where most or all of their colleagues also have higher degrees. Is that what you meant to say, just so we're clear here?

I'm all for letting the readers of this thread decide about your "discrediting my view of TEFL in Turkey." If my posts have a (slightly) positive bias, that's because of my *mostly* positive experience at this school. You yourself quote some pretty damning things I said about the high number of classroom hours and the low level of professional development (NB: there is some of this at WSI, though it's not adequate beyond a year or so of working there).

I'm interested to know what your pretension to expertise about Turkey and the english teaching job market here is. I feel I've been honest about what my claims are based on. If you have anything of substance to add to this discussion, I look forward to hearing it.
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PC Parrot



Joined: 11 Dec 2009
Posts: 380
Location: Moral Police Station

PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2013 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First, and I see your reading skills have let you down again, I said:

Quote:
And for the record, nowhere have I expressed disdain for newcomers to the field who are willing to learn their trade.


You, yourself, said that WSI becomes boring after a few months because by then you have learned everything they have to offer. Yet you stayed for 2 years - that doesn't strike me like someone who is learning their trade. Based on what you have told me, that sounds more like a performing chimp than teaching - but, hey, don't let that stop you from offering your opinion about what constitutes good teaching practice. People I know in the business who have been teaching for over 20 years are still learning.

And you might want to practice your reading skills some more, and then re-read what you actually wrote regarding the state of the TEFL industry in Turkey:

Quote:
In that sense so is Berlitz, the British Council, Just English, the TBA, the TAA, et al. and probably 90& of private Turkish universities at this point


The first part can be read as 100% inclusive of all language schools. The second specifically includes (90&) 90% of private universities. That's pretty inclusive in my book and does not require too much of an exaggeration to make it into a claim about the industry as a whole.

Here are some simple questions for you:

Did you or did you not state that teaching at WSI was limited to 68 lesson plans which you can learn by heart but which then become boring after 4-6 months?

Did you or did you not also state that from the perspective of professional development WSI was pretty much dead end? (I see you are now back-tracking on this to some extent but my argument was based on your initial information. It's not my fault if you can't decide what the place is like.)

Did you or did you not liken teaching practices at WSI to the British Council? Do you know anyone teaching at the British Council? Have you ever taught there? Do you really think that the classes there are designed in such a way as to minimise the required skill-set of the teacher?

Just because your wife works at a private university, which, given you opinions, I presume must be a particularly shabby one , do you think that you can comment on the teaching practices at 90% of all private universities in the country?

Do you know any of the Turkish staff at these private universities? Do you know anything about their background in education? Are you aware that there are many private universities where Turks and non-Turks work together teaching the same courses?

What are your teaching credentials? Do you even have a 4 week TEFL cert? An online cert? A forged cert from Bangkok?

As for being in Turkey, I don't see why an MSc would need to explain to someone that places change over time. It's obvious. Perhaps that was the type of information that your lecturers felt the need to provide to you at special catch-up tutorials, but it wasn't considered necessary on mine. It is equally obvious that if someone has family in Turkey, and friends at all levels in the industry in Turkey, and that someone visits them regularly, Turks and non-Turks alike, then that someone keeps abreast to some extent. In fact I shall be having a drink with several of them this winter in Istanbul. I shall be sure to ask if they have ditched their previous approaches to teaching for the dancing-clown method.

It might also come as a shock to you to learn that I work with Turks who have worked in private universities in Turkey, and I regularly meet at conferences Turks and non-Turks who are working at private universities in Turkey. It's called networking. Not one of the many presentations at such events has been selling the automaton method that you describe WSI as operating.

Anyway, I have invested far too much time in this. You described the process of teaching at WSI. I commented it was factory-like. You didn't like that and made wild claims about TEFL in Turkey. I countered. You filled your boots with petty jibes. In short, it's going nowhere.

And so it's probably best for me to depart this most revealing of 'discussions' now .. and what more fitting a way to do so than to sign off with a Turkish proverb:

Cahile laf anlatmak, deveye hendek atlatmaktan daha zordur.
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wander&teach



Joined: 15 Nov 2009
Posts: 114

PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2013 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh dear, another thread derailed by a cat fight. Sad
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philotaster



Joined: 09 Mar 2011
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2013 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, my last comment on this topic. I was offended not because of what the parrot said about WSI (that's his/her own apparently unsubstantiated opinion) but because he/she made me out to be some kind of corporate toady. I am no longer associated with WSI, and I don't think I gave an unreasonable picture of what it's like to work there.

I don't claim to be an expert about the state of the job market in Turkey. I've lived, worked, and studied here for the last two years and four months, and have numerous friends and loved ones working and studying in different schools, mostly in Ankara. I am young, and have no higher degree in education, just a celta. It seems that parrot's crowd is older and have higher degrees. Perhaps that accounts for our different experiences here.

Regarding the personal attacks:

You don't need a higher degree to be learning something about teaching.
I didn't spend two years in the same position at WSI.
I don't want to get into a pissing contest about qualifications, but to satisfy my own ego I'll add that I was teaching a *real* subject at a university in the US before I came here.

Readers please note that the parrot refuses to tell us which schools he/she's talking about or to offer any information relevant to this thread. If these mysterious schools full of master's degrees and educators and unicorns really exist, well, good for them. Perhaps someone should make a separate thread about them.

I'm sorry, everyone, for falling into this trap and going along with this useless argument. If anyone has any actual questions about WSI, I am still glad to answer them.
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PC Parrot



Joined: 11 Dec 2009
Posts: 380
Location: Moral Police Station

PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2013 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

philotaster wrote:
I was teaching a *real* subject at a university in the US before I came here.


Hahahaha!

That says it all really ... that explains it all .. the Dunning-Kruger effect strikes again ..

And you do realise, don't you, that some of the dear readers you were so desperately trying to befriend by either playing the victim or being apologetic, might actually be offended by what you have just said? As hard as it might be for you to accept, there are many people in the country for whom EFL is a real subject and TEFL is a real job.

There are hundreds of thousands of EFL teachers in schools and universities around the world, native speakers and non-native speakers alike, for whom it is a real job too. Just as there are hundreds of millions of students for whom EFL is a real subject.

But no! You, based on your two years (4 months and x days) at an entry-level language school, YOU have decided that not one person involved with TEFL worldwide has a real job or is studying a real subject!

Hahahaha!
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philotaster



Joined: 09 Mar 2011
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't mean to suggest that teaching English isn't a real job or that studying English as a foreign language isn't worthwhile. But English (as a foreign language, not as literature) is not a real subject like chemistry, psychology, literature, etc. If you think that it is, I'd be interested to hear why. Perhaps you should enlighten me on another thread or in a private message.

Honestly, I don't know why you started posting here or why you continue to do so. If you're really so knowledgeable about the job market in Turkey, you should give us some positive advice and not just unfounded criticism of something you're only vaguely familiar with. I believe there's a thread asking where the good schools and contracts are. Perhaps your input would be appreciated there.
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PC Parrot



Joined: 11 Dec 2009
Posts: 380
Location: Moral Police Station

PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2013 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's your claim. Perhaps you should support it.

Explain to us why EFL is not a real subject.
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wander&teach



Joined: 15 Nov 2009
Posts: 114

PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2013 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow! A lot of folks just have way too much time (or mind altering substances) on their hands.
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PC Parrot



Joined: 11 Dec 2009
Posts: 380
Location: Moral Police Station

PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2013 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For someone who so righteously disapproves of 'cat fights', you display quite a penchant for getting a claw in yourself ...
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wander&teach



Joined: 15 Nov 2009
Posts: 114

PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2013 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Only towards you because your such an easy target. I call it free entertainment. And your fuse is so short!

Polly want a cracker?

Carry on & HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all of the sane ESL teachers out there.
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PC Parrot



Joined: 11 Dec 2009
Posts: 380
Location: Moral Police Station

PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2013 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't flatter yourself.

In terms of button pressing, you're an amateur ... you couldn't ring a door bell!

Anyway, what happened to your holier than thou stance on 'cat-fighting' ?


Last edited by PC Parrot on Thu Nov 28, 2013 1:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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wander&teach



Joined: 15 Nov 2009
Posts: 114

PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2013 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You responded in 30 seconds so I would say that your response was all the satisfaction I required. And your quips are so clever. Signing off - Tally Ho!
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PC Parrot



Joined: 11 Dec 2009
Posts: 380
Location: Moral Police Station

PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2013 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would call it coincidence. But hey, don't let that stop you from flattering yourself again. Fill your egotistical boots all you like.

I now have a bbq to light and friends to cook for ... in a very pleasant setting in the desert .. But don't let that stop you from interpreting my absence as being some sort of emotional break-down ... after having been crushed by such an intellectual giant as yourself ..
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