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Communicorp in Chile
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fadedgirl



Joined: 20 Apr 2006
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2006 5:57 pm    Post subject: Communicorp in Chile Reply with quote

Has anyone ever worked with them before? Can you tell me how your experience was? I looked under the job information journal but I couldn't find anything...
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erynn1105



Joined: 03 Sep 2005
Posts: 10
Location: Santiago, Chile

PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2006 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never worked there but have heard bad things from several people who have been in Santiago for decent amounts of time. I would seriously be wary of companies in Chile advertising from abroad. It seems that most who do this have poor reputations and are recruiting that way becasue nobody wants to work for them.
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KateFerrin



Joined: 19 Sep 2005
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2006 3:58 pm    Post subject: Bad Information... Reply with quote

I would like to add that I, in fact, do work for Comunicorp and do not know where you received your information. Athough it may be true that some companies advertising abroad can be problematic, I can personally vouch that Comunicorp was great for me when I came from the United States. They helped me find housing and also helped me negotiate the formidable Chilean bureaucracy. They have a wonderful set of resources and everyone is very supportive as well as being highly skilled professionals. I've been really happy here and my co-workers have been as well. If someone has had problems at Comunicorp, they are definitely the exception and not the rule.
If you have any questions, feel free to email me at kathleenferrin@yahoo.com.
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Frank1980



Joined: 13 Feb 2006
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2006 6:10 pm    Post subject: My experience in Comunicorp Reply with quote

I was hired from abroad to work for Comunicorp. It was a very positive experience. All of Comunicorp's promises were kept. I felt so comfortable and appreciated, that I decided to stay on for what ended up to be a little over two years.

Before renewing my contract with Comunicorp I went on a number of interviews with the "best" schools in Santiago and once again decided for Comunicorp. Once you work for a professional school, it is hard to move to another.

The academic director in Comunicorp is fantastic. She provides the support you need and the resources any certified teacher dreams of. I was always paid on time, treated professionally and listened to when I had an idea to make the system better.

I highly recommend working for Comunicorp. It was a great experience.
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LivingInValpo



Joined: 22 Aug 2006
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2006 1:00 am    Post subject: comunicorp is all good in my book Reply with quote

I know both good and bad companies in Chile. Comunicorp is the most professional place I have worked, with the most resources and support for teachers. I interviewed with several companies after having a terrible experience with the Holistic Learning Center in Quillota. I had the option to choose from many different positions with different companies. I chose Comunicorp above all others. If that's not a glowing report, then... hmmm.
Best of Luck!
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Ai



Joined: 02 Jun 2006
Posts: 154
Location: Chile

PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does comunicorp have a website?
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LivingInValpo



Joined: 22 Aug 2006
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 8:21 pm    Post subject: comunicorp Reply with quote

www.comunicorp.cl
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littlealtman1



Joined: 05 Mar 2007
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2007 12:56 am    Post subject: Comunicorp Reply with quote

I emailed back and forth with Diane, the contact at Comunicorp. She was really helpful and informative. I just finished my CELTA and have little experience. Diane said that they hire people with a year's experience and a strong knowledge of business ESL. She told me that once I hit the ground in Santiago, I could come interview, if I can prove my competence in business jargon. All in all, very kind and helpful. Seems like a legit institution.
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expatch



Joined: 26 Sep 2007
Posts: 1
Location: Amerıca

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 5:16 am    Post subject: Avoid Comunicorp Chile like the plague!! Reply with quote

Here are TWELVE very good reasons why you should definitely NOT consider working at Comunicorp in Chile:

1. When I worked at Comunicorp, my pay was a mere fraction of what I had been promised in the email and when the job-offer was discussed over the phone. This discrepancy is apparently because the teacher’s salary is paid proportionately to the number of hours worked. There is supposed to be a minimum salary payment, but my salary was well-below that minimum level! Also, there were already a lot of teachers working at Comunicorp – far more teachers than were needed – or so it seemed, and consequently, we became “competitors” rather than colleagues – each teacher trying to get as much work as possible.
2. The teaching workload is not equally balanced. Some teachers had a great deal of work; One teacher was actually trying to reduce the number of classes he taught, and was willing to give me a class (which I was only too grateful to accept to boost my meagre salary, so low in fact that I barely had enough money to live on despite the wintry weather!), but this was over-ruled by the woman in charge at Comunicorp. You might suppose that with such an unequal set of workloads, Comunicorp might not object to a teacher doing additional teaching for a similar organisation. But you would be seriously wrong: a clause in the Comunicorp employment contract specifically forbids such “outside” teaching as a dismissable offence. So working for this company is rather like being a medieval serf, tied to one place and one master!
3. My English employment contract was quickly whisked away once I had signed it, though I got to keep a copy of its Spanish translation (which I could not understand). When I asked the woman in charge for a copy of my English contract, I was given only a general contract – not a duplicate English version of the contract I had signed!!
4. My actual job duties at Comunicorp were less than what had been promised over the telephone – I was just another teacher.
5. Comunicorp provided minimal help in finding accommodation for me after I arrived in Chile. Initially, I was housed in an unheated hostel (this was in winter!) with paper-thin connecting walls Comunicorp teachers told me about an accommodation website, and also pointed out their own internal accommodation grapevine – hand-written notices posted from time-to-time on the staffroom door. There were no Comunicorp staff assigned to helping the newly-arrived foreign teachers find accommodation but who had little or no Spanish, and minimal interest shown in te welfare of new teachers by the woman in charge..
6. When I first arrived in Chile, I was met at the airport by a member of Comunicorp in a car. But when it came to leaving, the basic courtesy of a Comunicorp car to the airport was not made available to me. Instead, the departing teacher is left to make his/her own way to the airport.
7. If a student with Comunicorp cancels a class for ANY reason (including ill-health), even if the cancellation is made more than 48 hours in advance, there is a corresponding reduction in the teacher’s take-home pay. The teacher must also arrange a make-up class with the student at some future date
8. Every week, all Comunicorp teachers must make an appointment with a member of the admin staff to present their class registers so that the number of hours signed by the student at each lesson can be independently verified and logged into payroll data for calculating teachers’ monthly salaries.
9. Comunicorp practices an “actuarial” approach to class record-keeping, which involves every teacher having to update detailed computer-based records of (a) monthly tests (b) progress reports for the student and (c) even more detailed records for teachers at the completion of the course or if the class teacher is leaving. (This “computational nightmare” is in addition to the more usual hand-written lesson records entered by the teacher after each lesson).
10. The woman in charge at Comunicorp (The Dragon Lady) has a very dominating, controlling personality. She doesn’t like to feel challenged by anyone who in any way seems “better” than her. She talks at you rather than to you, in a loud, pedantic way as if only her way is best! And when she says goodbye to someone over the telephone, it is not so much saying farewell as a dismissal from the Imperial Presence!
11. The workspace in the staffroom is cluttered up with computers, making it difficult for a teacher to find a suitable table for any hand-written work or lesson preparation.
12. the amount of teaching work tails off towards the end of the year (= the holiday season), meaning that so will your teaching hours (and hence your salary!), but your rent and other living expenses will remain constant.

A notice outside Comnicorp’s front door reads: “We always welcome certified teachers”. No doubt they do - ith employment practices such as these, who would want to stay long with such an organisation??

Chile is a delightful country, but never be tempted to cross the portals of Comunicorp, where your reception is likely to be …. CHILLY. Brrrr!

You have been warned!!
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djlera



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 10
Location: Heredia, Costa Rica

PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2007 6:28 pm    Post subject: not a bad place at all Reply with quote

I'm not sure about the 12 reasons guy... sounds a bit stuffy. teaching english is not an easy gig , no stock options or 401k plans. But I work at Comunicorp and they are good people, professionally run and the checks cash. A hell of a lot more than I can say for the university I worked at in Costa Rica.
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Frank1980



Joined: 13 Feb 2006
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 10:34 am    Post subject: What is wrong with 12 step guy??? - hiccup! Reply with quote

Wow - Expatch or the 12 step guy as mentioned seems to have worked for another company. I worked for Comunicorp and had a great time. I had great students and colleagues. The staff at Comunicorp was very supportive. The academic director (dragon lady as stated by this teacher) was great. She was around to help, suggest and support.

Comunicorp always paid me on time. I always had lots of classes as did all of my colleagues and econcomic conditions were exactly what had been discussed.

Comunicorp gave me a contract, got my visa for me and sent me in the right direction to find housing. They didn't provide housing but I didn't expect them to since it was never promised.

The Comunicorp I know is worth checking out if you are going to Chile and serious about teaching.
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teaching is a delight



Joined: 22 Oct 2007
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 10:47 am    Post subject: Totally different experiences at Comunicorp Reply with quote

I wanted to add my experiences at Comunicorp which were totally different from the disgruntled 12-reason guy's. I worked with the staff there and found no such "Dragon Lady" but a supportive professional Academic Director and group of teachers from around the world, many of whom did activities together after work. I still keep in touch with some of my previous colleagues from there.
The Teachers' Resource Room is one of the best I've had access to in my travels and the computer system worked fine for monthly record keeping if you are at all computer literate.
As for arriving and checking into an unheated hotel with paper thin walls...that sounds familiar. Chile is a cold place to be in winter. Most of the older buildings do not have central heat. If you come to Chile to work, Comunicorp is one of the better organized institutes (they always paid on time what they said they would), bring a good sweater...It's Chilly in Chile.
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Mish



Joined: 08 Jul 2003
Posts: 3
Location: Hungary

PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 10:28 pm    Post subject: Comunicorp's decent Reply with quote

I am sorry that expatch is so bitter about things, but djlera is right: TEFL-ing is not an easy gig. It’s not a cushy expat job, and global English teachers are expected to be fairly independent, self-motivated and resourceful.

While I have an hourly contract with Comunicorp (two copies signed and notarized, one for me and one for the school), I believe there are a few contract options for teachers. Those whose ‘sujeta a contrato’ (subject to contract) visas are sponsored by the company would of course be expected to work exclusively (with a fixed salary, 60 hours of class contact per month, along with a few additional duties).

As with all employment opportunities from abroad, it is your responsibility to know what the deal is and to have it in writing (a copy of the contract and a list of what you’re actually going to get), so that you are also prepared for what you won’t be getting (such as accommodation arrangements, a mobile phone, or whatever).

Personally, Comunicorp is one of the most professional establishments I’ve worked at. I have appreciated the fact that Diane Greenstein, the Academic Director who recruited me, is a merit-based equal opportunity employer.

The company strives to maintain a professional standard by having a system set up for attendance logging, monthly student evaluations, regular progress checks, and maintaining a level of teaching that matches the exacting standards of its corporate clients. The standards set by the school are in compliance with the guidelines set up by the regulatory bodies. Teachers are expected to carry out their duties professionally and be on time with their monthly evaluations, and reciprocally, the school pays us on time (and sometimes, even early).

Comunicorp’s administrative team has also been extremely helpful in terms of offering advice, assistance and local insight. Some of them have even gone beyond the scope of their job duties in helping foreign teachers to settle in because they genuinely care. As a general rule in any new place, sometimes all it takes is for you to ask nicely, and someone would be more than happy to help.

I sincerely hope that expatch finds a suitable fit elsewhere.
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Ai



Joined: 02 Jun 2006
Posts: 154
Location: Chile

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know a few people that work for Comunicorp and they all seem to really like it. I definitely think that this Expatch guy's experience doesn't represent what it's really like to work there.
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KylieDesdeAustralia



Joined: 29 Oct 2007
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 12:05 am    Post subject: Comunicorp Reply with quote

I taught English in Chile in 2006 between Feb and Nov and before accepting a position as an English Teacher at Comunicorp, I interviewed with many, many English institutes in Santiago. Comunicorp offered, by far, the most professional environment and conditions. Teachers are supported with excellent teaching resources, exceptional administrative coordination and wonderful coaching. Diane Greenstein has established a teaching and learning environment which reflects her passion for and dedication to language education. I would have no hesitation in recommending Comunicorp to other teachers seeking a positive overseas work experience.
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