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appalled at the British Council
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James Brown



Joined: 02 Oct 2015
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

...but...but... it's all standardized!Sad
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slapntickle



Joined: 07 Sep 2010
Posts: 269

PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bograt wrote:
6) They are not a cult (obviously)


You take James Brown aka The Godfather of Soul too literally. What he really means is that the folks at the BC operate much like a clique. A clique by definition looks after its own and harbours suspicion of outsiders who demonstrate behaviours that are not in line with their own. The powers that be at the BC are all rather pompous and walk around with an air of superiority about them. Many would make lousy teachers because they are rather inflexible and tend to see themselves as being better than those they are teaching. As I mentioned earlier, the BC is an outdated model that would best go the way of the dodo. James Brown on the other hand is a "sex machine" who knows how to shake his groove thing.
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bograt



Joined: 12 Nov 2014
Posts: 330

PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

slapntickle wrote:
bograt wrote:
6) They are not a cult (obviously)


You take James Brown aka The Godfather of Soul too literally. What he really means is that the folks at the BC operate much like a clique. A clique by definition looks after its own and harbours suspicion of outsiders who demonstrate behaviours that are not in line with their own. The powers that be at the BC are all rather pompous and walk around with an air of superiority about them. Many would make lousy teachers because they are rather inflexible and tend to see themselves as being better than those they are teaching. As I mentioned earlier, the BC is an outdated model that would best go the way of the dodo. James Brown on the other hand is a "sex machine" who knows how to shake his groove thing.


None of what you or Scot47 say is really worth responding to without any further examples. If you came out with sweeping statements like 'The BC is outdated/anachronistic/ghastly etc.' in a conversation I'd ask you what you meant and you'd hopefully give me examples. Otherwise it's just a rant and I'd say 'yeah whatever.' As for your observations of BC managers, yeah obviously some of them are a-holes, just like in any organisation. Personally I haven't seen any evidence that there are is a higher concentration of a-holes in the BC compared to other organisations. Most people I worked with were pretty sound.
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slapntickle



Joined: 07 Sep 2010
Posts: 269

PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bograt wrote:
None of what you or Scot47 say is really worth responding to without any further examples. If you came out with sweeping statements like 'The BC is outdated/anachronistic/ghastly etc.' in a conversation I'd ask you what you meant and you'd hopefully give me examples.


If I give you a definition of anachronistic, will that help? Here you are:

A person or a thing that is chronologically out of place; especially one from a former age that is incongruous in the present.

The BC is a product of a former age and the thinking of many of its bosses are inline with that former age. The stuffy arrogant inclusive attitudes are the reason the OP is unhappy. He called it a cult . . . I call it a clique. In a democratic age, these values are outdated.
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bograt



Joined: 12 Nov 2014
Posts: 330

PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
If I give you a definition of anachronistic, will that help?


Not really. When I said I'd ask you what you meant by anachronistic I meant in the sense of give me some specific examples of it. I know what the word means.

E.g. It's the British Council's policy to do such and such. I think this is anachronistic.

Personally I found the things that annoyed me about the BC mostly a product of modern times. Eg their obsession with diversity, box ticking and insistence on measuring performance at every stage.
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slapntickle



Joined: 07 Sep 2010
Posts: 269

PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bograt wrote:
Quote:
If I give you a definition of anachronistic, will that help?


Not really. When I said I'd ask you what you meant by anachronistic I meant in the sense of give me some specific examples of it. I know what the word means.

E.g. It's the British Council's policy to do such and such. I think this is anachronistic.

Personally I found the things that annoyed me about the BC mostly a product of modern times. Eg their obsession with diversity, box ticking and insistence on measuring performance at every stage.


Some people might argue that "their obsession with diversity, box ticking and insistence on measuring performance at every stage" smacks of centralism and an ability to control their employees. It has already been mentioned that the control of the BC is too centralised. Some would say that this is a very old-fashioned way to do things. Giving employees more freedom to respond to the immediate needs of their students would be a better way to run the show. Isn't that why companies like Facebook are so successful?
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bograt



Joined: 12 Nov 2014
Posts: 330

PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Giving employees more freedom to respond to the immediate needs of their students would be a better way to run the show


In what way do you think teachers are restricted in this area at the moment?
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slapntickle



Joined: 07 Sep 2010
Posts: 269

PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bograt wrote:
Quote:
Giving employees more freedom to respond to the immediate needs of their students would be a better way to run the show


In what way do you think teachers are restricted in this area at the moment?


Well, for a start, don't they select all materials that are used in the classroom, ie, everything is centrally determined? I have used some of their materials and they are good, but they do put too much attention on pron activities because they want everyone to speak the Queen's English. Funny coming from an organisation that prides itself on "diversity".
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bograt



Joined: 12 Nov 2014
Posts: 330

PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

slapntickle wrote:
bograt wrote:
Quote:
Giving employees more freedom to respond to the immediate needs of their students would be a better way to run the show


In what way do you think teachers are restricted in this area at the moment?


Well, for a start, don't they select all materials that are used in the classroom, ie, everything is centrally determined? I have used some of their materials and they are good, but they do put too much attention on pron activities because they want everyone to speak the Queen's English. Funny coming from an organisation that prides itself on "diversity".


If you're talking about myClass, the new adult product, then I agree it's too centralised. The product was devised in Asia (Hong Kong) and the pron was added to every lesson as it was what the students wanted, not because the BC care about people speaking the Queen's English. In pojnt of fact the HK centre has 11 different nationalities working there as teachers, including several eastern Europeans.

According to customer feedback in each centre teachers are encouraged or discouraged from changing the materials too much. However I've never heard of any teacher being taken to task for adapting the BC's stuff.

Myclass is only one course at the BC, most adult courses are still book based and the teacher is pretty much free to do what they want. My problem with myClass is it's designed for the customer's wants, not their needs. It panders to the busy Asian who wants to pick and choose when to go to lessons and doesn't really want to dedicate a realistic amount of time to learning the language. nevertheless it's been a big success in Asia and will probably be rolled out elsewhere.
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slapntickle



Joined: 07 Sep 2010
Posts: 269

PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bograt wrote:
My problem with myClass is it's designed for the customer's wants, not their needs.


This sounds again like the BC is deciding what is good for students and not allowing teachers to respond to their needs. Can you be clear about what the difference is between wants and needs?

And how would you know if any teachers have been taken to task or not? These things are hushed up, right?
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bograt



Joined: 12 Nov 2014
Posts: 330

PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

slapntickle wrote:
bograt wrote:
My problem with myClass is it's designed for the customer's wants, not their needs.


This sounds again like the BC is deciding what is good for students and not allowing teachers to respond to their needs. Can you be clear about what the difference is between wants and needs?


If you want to learn a language fairly quickly, like most students do, you need to study a lot and go to classes regularly. However you want to go to classes when the mood takes you and not do any homework. Myclass allows you to do the second. Another example would be a private academy in Asia where the kids' mums want their kid taught by a white blonde American woman under thirty but their kids need someone who knows how to teach kids properly. The students' wants usually make better financial sense so I guess that's the reasoning behind it.

Quote:
And how would you know if any teachers have been taken to task or not? These things are hushed up, right?


You're joking right? How would they hush up something like that? Any teacher gets told off for doing something management don't like and they're straight down the pub afterwards complaining about it.
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slapntickle



Joined: 07 Sep 2010
Posts: 269

PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bograt wrote:
You're joking right? How would they hush up something like that? Any teacher gets told off for doing something management don't like and they're straight down the pub afterwards complaining about it.


Go tell that to the OP. He'd be delighted with your subversive activities and may even do the James Brown shuffle for ya in gratitude.
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James Brown



Joined: 02 Oct 2015
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll do the shuffle but only if bog rat stops hijacking my thread.
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bograt



Joined: 12 Nov 2014
Posts: 330

PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

James Brown wrote:
I'll do the shuffle but only if bog rat stops hijacking my thread.


The thread is about the British Council, as are all my posts. If anyone is hijacking it, it's those cracking feeble jokes about soul singers.
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slapntickle



Joined: 07 Sep 2010
Posts: 269

PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

James Brown wrote:
I'll do the shuffle but only if bog rat stops hijacking my thread.


Well said . . . that guy is hardly objective about matters BC. He must be one of their managers. No way he could grease up the floor like you do . . .
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