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Navigating Aeon's Initial Training Week
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 3292
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

spiral78 wrote:
Lack wrote:
Sounds typically Asian. Bring in teachers, and then have them "trained" by people that aren't teachers and don't understand what being a teacher is about. This is the sad truth about language centers, from the big guys to the little ones. You can either have a school or a business. The two are mutually opposed. Yes, of course, you have to adapt to the culture, but since these companies want to bring in foreigners and their language, the opposite is also true.


This is quite likely the key to the serious differences between Asian language schools and European ones. In Euroland, students actually demand some reasonable support for the advancement of their language skills, and this forms the basis for a business.


I'm sure there are rubbish and indeed method schools in Europe too, but I have no idea if Aeon's trainer's aren't (have never ever been) teachers, as that isn't stated in this thread at least. Point taken though that effective methodology should be a good basis for a business...it's just, teachers and indeed students may have differing opinions about quite what is effective. (I've had many a discussion with teachers who seemed convinced that some of these methods had something - security, a fallback, some thoroughness blah blah blah. Um, linguistic soundness? - to offer even certified and experienced teachers. They're arguably better than nothing it must be said, seeing as any old Bachelor's cuppasoup is all it often takes to get hired at the entry level in Japan. Bringing in teachers?! Native speakers maybe, capable self-sufficient teachers, maybe not so much!).


Last edited by fluffyhamster on Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:49 am; edited 2 times in total
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11515
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I admit (reluctantly) that in the role of a language learner, I'd sooner shell out time and money to Berlitz than same for a totally unqualified, unrelated BA degree holder native speaker of my target language.

Even though the method schools are the bottom of the proverbial barrel in my world....they hire people who were unable to pass a CELTA, for example.

And I guess on that note, we can squabble into 2015 Laughing
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 3292
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can see the adverts n tasks now: "Can't be a CELTA holder! Analyze the modality of the previous sentence, and if necessary rephrase things." Laughing

Last edited by fluffyhamster on Tue Dec 23, 2014 11:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11515
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's fluffyhamster's method school advert.
The teachers Berlitz hires dunno what modality might be, I can assure you.
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HLJHLJ



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 1214
Location: Ecuador

PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2014 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aeon's training method weeded out the OP, so they must be getting something right.
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rslrunner



Joined: 12 Feb 2010
Posts: 252

PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2014 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HLJHLJ wrote:
Aeon's training method weeded out the OP, so they must be getting something right.



Crying or Very sad
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rslrunner



Joined: 12 Feb 2010
Posts: 252

PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2014 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rslrunner wrote:
HLJHLJ wrote:
Aeon's training method weeded out the OP, so they must be getting something right.



Crying or Very sad



Just kidding.... Cool
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HLJHLJ



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 1214
Location: Ecuador

PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2014 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wasn't.
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Shimokitazawa



Joined: 16 Aug 2009
Posts: 458
Location: Saigon, Vietnam

PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2014 2:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HLJHLJ wrote:
I wasn't.


Nice. Real nice.

I'm beginning to see how miserable TEFL teachers are.
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HLJHLJ



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 1214
Location: Ecuador

PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2014 4:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nothing miserable about it. It's just common sense. The company is regularly employing boatloads of new teachers from overseas. They have 5 days during which either side has to make a final decision about whether or not it's going to work for them.

From the company's point of view it makes perfect sense for them to put trainees under (a relatively small amount of) stress and see how they cope. If during that period they can't turn up on time, get to grips with the basics of the job, etc., there is next to no chance that they will be able to cut it in the classroom.

From the trainees' point of view, there is no point them getting a sugar coated version where they have days to prep every lesson and someone holding their hand throughout, and then discovering the reality once they get into the classroom.

I don't think anyone who has been following this sorry saga for the last 2 years is in any doubt that the OP was never going to be able to cut it in the classroom. So the training course did its job in highlighting that early on, before real students got dragged into the equation.
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rxk22



Joined: 19 May 2010
Posts: 1628

PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2014 5:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shimokitazawa wrote:
HLJHLJ wrote:
I wasn't.


Nice. Real nice.

I'm beginning to see how miserable TEFL teachers are.


RSL deserves it. Guy s a whack job, and any job like teaching, he clearly isn't suited. Aeon lucked out here
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rslrunner



Joined: 12 Feb 2010
Posts: 252

PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2014 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HLJHLJ wrote:
Nothing miserable about it. It's just common sense. The company is regularly employing boatloads of new teachers from overseas. They have 5 days during which either side has to make a final decision about whether or not it's going to work for them.

From the company's point of view it makes perfect sense for them to put trainees under (a relatively small amount of) stress and see how they cope. If during that period they can't turn up on time, get to grips with the basics of the job, etc., there is next to no chance that they will be able to cut it in the classroom.

From the trainees' point of view, there is no point them getting a sugar coated version where they have days to prep every lesson and someone holding their hand throughout, and then discovering the reality once they get into the classroom.

I don't think anyone who has been following this sorry saga for the last 2 years is in any doubt that the OP was never going to be able to cut it in the classroom. So the training course did its job in highlighting that early on, before real students got dragged into the equation.



Three questions:

1. Have we met?

2. Should all trainees consider the first five days in Japan just another part of an interview?

3. If a trainee is physically sick, I mean genuinely sick, like having coughing fits at night, should the trainee inform the person in charge about the problem? Or should the trainee plow ahead, no matter what?
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 3292
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2014 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HLJHLJ wrote:
From the trainees' point of view, there is no point them getting a sugar coated version where they have days to prep every lesson and someone holding their hand throughout, and then discovering the reality once they get into the classroom.

I can see how that applies to situations like CELTA TP, where the creative onus is often on the trainee (in apparent disregard of the reams of serviceable-enough material out there), but it makes less sense when there is a quite tightly-prescribed method and allied materials to follow (which in theory, a completely-untrained "teacher" should be able to go through step by step a la a Turing machine). There's doubtless at least a bit of pointless and possibly counter-productive power harassment going on in these types of situations, especially if the trainers are themselves relatively untrained (in anything other than the method in question, that is). But then, it could just as you say be a relatively small amount of stress and about ultimately very simple matters (punctuality, dress, demeanour, posture, etc). I guess a lot depends on the individual trainer concerned (there are more pleasant and imaginative ways to deliver even the nastiest medicine).

Right, back to the turkey! (No Xmas greetings tho, in keeping with the miserable nature of the thread! Very Happy ).
.
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rslrunner



Joined: 12 Feb 2010
Posts: 252

PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Few quick things:

1. One thing I was struck by was how much the initial training resembled the original interviews in format. It's like going to a group interview, getting the job and going to Japan....only to go through more interviews. I did not expect that.

2. "From the company's point of view it makes perfect sense for them to put trainees under (a relatively small amount of) stress and see how they cope." HLJHLJ"s remark was very revealing. He didn't say that learning the methodology might cause stress. He said that causing stress for its own sake and seeing how trainee's respond was an appropriate end and and of itself. Am I missing something?

The whole point in making trainees go through this process is that no matter what they do, they will be subject to criticism and correction. Indeed, providing a methodology and asking trainee's to repeat all 42 parts of it, in order, in just 24 hours, is a cause of stress, especially if one is committed to mastering it too quickly. It seems that the company was happy to jettison true understanding of its own methodology for trainees, as the higher priority is establishing and cementing some weird power relationship.

3. Look, I am the first one to say that I am unqualified for what they do. I wanted to adopt a methodology in order to teach English, not be some kind of robot who copies and duplicates the proper responses from others on cue. The true goal for the company is to make some kind of corporate persona that avoids distracting habits and extremes. Some people will find this quite invasive.

I wish I had known this before I went. I hope others going forward know what is expected of them. I hope that future posters focus on what trainees need to know, instead of just trashing me. The latter is just boring at this point.
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natsume



Joined: 24 Apr 2006
Posts: 409
Location: Chongqing, China

PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2015 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh. My. God.

Make it stop. Please, make it stop.
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