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language link vs BKC
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moosechick



Joined: 25 May 2004
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2004 7:03 pm    Post subject: language link vs BKC Reply with quote

well hello there, I could do with a bit of help. Shocked Im looking at 2 job offers, 1 from language link and 1 from BKC-ih. Ive got 6 months of teaching in Africa and a CELTA. From what I've read BKC seems to be Evil or Very Mad and language link Razz. Any thourghts?
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Communist Smurf



Joined: 24 Jun 2003
Posts: 330
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2004 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually I would say BKC is a Shocked and Language Link is a Embarassed . Or was it the other way around?
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Nexus



Joined: 08 Mar 2004
Posts: 187
Location: Moscow

PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2004 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smile Smurf's right, BKC can be a little Shocked

I think a lot of people here have worked for one or the other (or know people who have). It would be good to here from s.o. who's worked at both who can give a really good comparison.
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moosechick



Joined: 25 May 2004
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2004 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

in that case "hello, hello where are all you knowledgeable people?" Confused
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waxwing



Joined: 29 Jun 2003
Posts: 719
Location: China

PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2004 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Isn't LL a franchise system, like my organisation (English First)? If so, your experience could be drastically different in different branches, since they're run by different people.

Where, exactly, have you read that LL is Razz and BKC is Evil or Very Mad ? Where will these 2 jobs be based?

I can't answer the questions, but it might encourage people to answer if you give more details.
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Phillip Donnelly



Joined: 24 Mar 2004
Posts: 43

PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2004 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As DOS for BKC, I suppose I should condemn Language Link and praise BKC-IH. However, the truth of the matter is that I've never worked for Language Link, so I can't really compare them.
However, after a little digging around, we've found this article from a couple of years ago comparing BKC-IH to other schools. It was written by Guy Edwards.
A shorter summary was offered by a certain 'Grundie'. It reads as follows-

"I'm aware of your conditions and I know about your teacher retention rate
and I actually consider you as the best 'school' in Moscow, especially since you
> started to offer a multiple entry visa.
> As the first to do so you deserve praise. Language Link, on the other
hand,
> with their policy of offering entry only visas should be blacklisted.
>
> What does concern me however is the fact that you did (and maybe still do)
have
> a policy of offering different salaries to different people for the same
work.
> When you repeatedly quote 'competitive salaries' in your adverts shouldn't
you
> also quote what the salary is?
>
> regards,
>
> grundie

(Answer to above question is between 550 and 675, depending on qualifications and experience. Plus free accomodation, visa support etc)




(And now the article by Guy Edwards)

To compare BKC International House Moscow to other language schools in Moscow and the region we can look at the facilities that the schools offer, the remuneration available and support given by these organizations. Firstly the availability of contact with home through the internet is severely curtailed in terms of the number of computers available to teachers with many other schools having two computers at their central offices and BKC IH having between eight and ten. BKC IH teaching team is very strong within central Moscow, and are available for consultation to help with teaching queries and the recruitment department is there for non academic support concerning visas, housing etc. The standby hours are less at BKC IH in terms of real hours as it is only one standby per week of between 1hour 30 mins to 2 hours 15 mins. Within BKC IH you can choose to do summer camps if you wish or other work can be found for you whereas in other schools it is part of the contractual obligations. BKC IH teachers are given the option of living with another (or other) teachers or alone as they wish; this is not clear in contracts of other schools, they also state that you could be living in a hostel or dormitory which BKC IH never does. At the end of your contract more time is given by BKC IH to vacate the place where you live, so that you have the ability to your last minute sight seeing and shopping. BKC IH pays for the AIDS test that not all the schools do. The illness payment is half your salary per day at BKC IH . The holiday system is much more rigid at many language schools with set periods where holidays are to be taken however at BKC IH as long as a month’s notice is given a holiday can be accepted. The airfare compensation in many schools is less than that given at BKC IH or no subsidy at all. You can be transferred from your promised placement as part of many schools’ contract. These are only some of the major differences between BKC IH and other Language Schools in Moscow and I hope that any questions concerning these will be directed to the proper sources.
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waxwing



Joined: 29 Jun 2003
Posts: 719
Location: China

PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2004 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the ME visa thing is a very good idea. However, major caveat: if you're talking about the 1 year ME business visa, then the legality of your position would have to be clarified... well, I don't know the details.

As to 550 to 675, it's, I guess, just about acceptable, but you should note I'm getting effectively the top end of that scale + my own flat (no share), in a cheaper location - and I'm in my first year. In Moscow that's really a poor salary.

Now I'm going to be rather mean and attack this 'Guy' fellow. It just looks like those awful adverts 'you won't find better anywhere else!' Yeah right.

Phillip Donnelly wrote:

Firstly the availability of contact with home through the internet is severely curtailed in terms of the number of computers available to teachers with many other schools having two computers at their central offices and BKC IH having between eight and ten.

Which 'other schools'? We have something like 10 computers in total, and only about 20 teachers, the rest of whom are part time. I can use the internet any time I want.

Quote:

The standby hours are less at BKC IH in terms of real hours as it is only one standby per week of between 1hour 30 mins to 2 hours 15 mins.

I have no standby hours.

Quote:

Within BKC IH you can choose to do summer camps if you wish or other work can be found for you whereas in other schools it is part of the contractual obligations.

Which other schools? Certainly not mine. The idea of contractual summer school .. appalling.

Quote:

BKC IH teachers are given the option of living with another (or other) teachers or alone as they wish; this is not clear in contracts of other schools, they also state that you could be living in a hostel or dormitory which BKC IH never does.

Not my school. Which?

Quote:

At the end of your contract more time is given by BKC IH to

..compared to..?

Quote:
BKC IH pays for the AIDS test that not all the schools do.

Wow, what's that, 200R or something? To be honest I don't know but I'm getting one next month and I heard it was really cheap.

Quote:

The airfare compensation in many schools is less than that given at BKC IH or no subsidy at all.

Yet again, meaningless. No details.

Evil or Very Mad
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Communist Smurf



Joined: 24 Jun 2003
Posts: 330
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2004 4:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's good that Waxwing is pointing out possible decption on the part of this article. But I want to point one thing out in case some people are taking this for granted.

Phillip Donnelley defends BKC every chance he gets. BKC isn't an easy school to defend, making him a target when he posts articles like these. Perhaps it was a mistake a post such a misleading article. Obvious Waxwing made it clear that he was only addressing what this "Guy" said. But when we see this, we can't help but think negatively about the person that posted it.

But this is what I want to point out. How many other people are actually here defending their school? It's not an easy position to take and from day one he decided which side he was on, making himself non-objective and incidentally a target. Don't take for granted that he is atleast *here*.

CS
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waxwing



Joined: 29 Jun 2003
Posts: 719
Location: China

PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2004 6:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CS, I read your post twice, and I have to confess.. I have no idea what point you were trying to make.
Could you rephrase it?

By the way I shouldn't have talked about 'attacking' this Guy guy .. and I certainly didn't mean to attack Phillip. I was attacking the content, which seemed very weak and misleading.
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Communist Smurf



Joined: 24 Jun 2003
Posts: 330
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2004 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shocked

CS

P.S. You *were* attacking this Guy guy. Saying you weren't attacking him is like saying "Everything you're saying is stupid, but I don't think you're stupid. Don't take it personal." Yes, you may not think he's stupid, but you're attacking him. I pointed out you weren't attacking Phillip. What's my point? Shocked
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zaneth



Joined: 31 Mar 2004
Posts: 545
Location: Between Russia and Germany

PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2004 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I doubt Guy will suffer any lasting physical or mental harm.

Poking holes in an argument and providing counterexamples is what you're supposed to do if you want people to see deeper into information. And I think Phillip's skin is thicker than that.

The chocolate ration has been increased to half a bar.
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canucktechie



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Posts: 343
Location: Moscow

PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2004 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well here's a post from an ordinary BKC employee (not a higherup). I think it's a really good school. The senior people are very supportive, and the class sizes are small. In every respect it's better than my previous job at EF (not in Moscow).

The one big problem at BKC is that a lot of people get split shifts, which usually involves travelling during rush hour (ouch!) and wastes a lot of time. But a commercial school has to schedule classes when the students want them, not when the teachers want them.

The salary is a lot more than the average Russian makes. I have heard people compain that it is not enough to live well in Moscow and take a vacation during that 3 month break. However as far as I know this is also true for other schools in Moscow (and elsewhere in Russia).

The school does come across as a bit disorganised at times but keep in mind this is not Switzerland Wink , and again, I don't know how other Russian schools compare.
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Nexus



Joined: 08 Mar 2004
Posts: 187
Location: Moscow

PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2004 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

canucktechie wrote:

The salary is a lot more than the average Russian makes.


How many times have we heard this about 'average Russian salary'? Does this mean average salary for Russia or average salary for a Russian working in Moscow? I'm assuming the latter as comparing it to the former is nonsense. Even so, talk to some qualified young people (Russians I mean, not expats) working in a professional job in Moscow (as we are) and I think you'll find they're making a lot more than these 550 - 650 USD figures that are being bandied about. I know the schools provide accomodation (which isn't cheap to find these days) but I'd say the type provided is in the 200 - 250 USD per person per month bracket.

Yes, it's 'a lot more' than the average teenage shop assistant.
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waxwing



Joined: 29 Jun 2003
Posts: 719
Location: China

PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2004 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Nexus wholeheartedly, and I would like to suggest visiting sites such as www.rabota.ru, if you have even a minimal level of Russian .. you will see exactly where you stand in the salary hierarchy.
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Phillip Donnelly



Joined: 24 Mar 2004
Posts: 43

PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2004 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In hindsight, I probably shouldn't have posted the two articles from Guy and Grundie. They are vague and do not make specific comparisons between schools. What people are looking for, I think, is sentences like “BKC-IH pays X and Language Link pay Y.
However, I honestly do not have this information, and even if I did, as DOS for BKC-IH, I probably wouldn’t be allowed to post it on the web, as I would need the permission of Language Link.
Moreover, the real salary figure is often more complicated the nominal monthly salary figure because you have to take into account flight reimbursement, end-of-contract bonus, accommodation and quality of accommodation, transport etc. Even if I had all these figures for both schools (which I don’t), you would also have to factor in hard to define qualities such as professional support, teacher development, senior staff support and so on.
Sorry if I’m not being much help with this thread, but I only see half the picture.
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