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Speak-up schools
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ockyocky



Joined: 28 Jan 2006
Posts: 14
Location: Ukraine

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 8:45 am    Post subject: Speak-up schools Reply with quote

Hello, I was just wondering if anyone has some info on Speak-up schools.
I have been told that they operate in Poland but are expanding and are in the same group as Empik schools.
I have seen some negative and positive reports of Empik, are the negative ones reflective as Empik as a whole or just individual schools.

Is Speak-up good to work for I am trying to find out, any help appreciated Very Happy
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Richfilth



Joined: 24 Sep 2007
Posts: 225
Location: Warszawa

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speak-Up is the rebranded name of the old Orange School franchise - if you do a search for "Orange" on these forums you won't hear much good.

I'm not quite sure where the association between them and Empik comes from though - Speak-up are a method school, for a start, and Empik have quite a solid reputation for paying a fair wage. I think the only similarity is that they're both big national chains of schools.
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Harry from NWE



Joined: 13 Sep 2007
Posts: 283

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 4:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Speak-up schools Reply with quote

ockyocky wrote:
Hello, I was just wondering if anyone has some info on Speak-up schools.
I have been told that they operate in Poland but are expanding and are in the same group as Empik schools.
I have seen some negative and positive reports of Empik, are the negative ones reflective as Empik as a whole or just individual schools.

Is Speak-up good to work for I am trying to find out, any help appreciated Very Happy


Speak-up are owned by Empik (or at least are owned by the same company which owns the Empik schools). All the things I've heard about Empik in Warsaw and Gdansk have been positive. I'd be happy to work for them myself if I needed work.

Speak-up I won't touch no matter how desperate I got. Method school with *beep* pay and less than enjoyable students. Avoid it and get a job with empik instead.
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ockyocky



Joined: 28 Jan 2006
Posts: 14
Location: Ukraine

PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 7:48 am    Post subject: Speak up Reply with quote

Thanks Harry,
Speak-up are starting in a new country so I don't have the option of joining Empik instead.
I have never taught there style, they showed me what it is and as a teacher you have very little variation but maybe I can make it interesting.
The pay they were offering was adequate for this country and I was hoping everything was above board as I want a bit of stability now.
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ockyocky



Joined: 28 Jan 2006
Posts: 14
Location: Ukraine

PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 7:49 am    Post subject: Ownership Reply with quote

Oh, Both Empik and Speak-up are owned by the same company which owns many other concerns in Europe, originally Spanish owned from what I understood
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YakTamer



Joined: 29 Mar 2004
Posts: 86
Location: Warszawa, Polska

PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The company is called Learning Systems International

They're by far the largest language school in Poland
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misteradventure



Joined: 18 Aug 2003
Posts: 243

PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 1:48 am    Post subject: speak up/empik Reply with quote

This is based on a report from a teacher for EmPIK Krakow:

The school does not sponsor non-EU teachers for work permits due to the fact that they are (supposedly) not a 'school' in the 'Ministry of Education' sense of the word, but rather some other sort of business.

Of course, they still pay. The Empik corporate website has reams of information you never wanted to know about the company. LIke we can afford to truly invest.
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anospi



Joined: 03 Dec 2004
Posts: 152
Location: Perth, Western Australia

PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was offered a job by Empik, and they asked if I wanted to do classes with their Speak Up school. Apparently you don't have your own class, but you have different students every day you teach there. Personally I wouldn't enjoy that.

Empik did offer me a decent wage, but they would have employed me on 'Umowa o dzieło' and more than a handful of people have actually told me that's not entirely legal. I'm not sure. Polish bearacracy is a nightmare.
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ecocks



Joined: 06 Nov 2007
Posts: 853
Location: Gdansk, Poland

PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 6:47 pm    Post subject: Information is usually good for an informed decision Reply with quote

So, here you go...

I know several people who work for Speak Up, have received an offer from them and am acquainted with some business people who have dealt with the parent company for a couple of years. Hope this info will help.

Some points:

1. Learning Systems International has nothing to do with Speak Up or Empik. They do sales software. Empik Media and Fashion, a 1.2 billion Euro company last year, is their parent so they manage to make their payrolls. Think about the times the little independent schools have delayed payrolls due to cash flow issues.

2. Organizationally, there IS a Learning Systems Poland (LSP) and a new school is opening next week in Ukraine under a different operating division – Learning Systems Ukraine. Poland is a member of the EU and we all know that the EU countries grant a preference to their members. Ukraine is not presently a member.

3. The Empik brand schools are using the traditional model and the Speak Up schools use a different system involving teacher-led classes (local and native speakers), computer-based instruction delivery, focused workshops and topical activities. Hence, the term "method" school is applied to them. Since the curriculum has a computer-based component, they keep the lessons structured with regard to vocabulary introduced, grammar practices, pronunciation activities and such to support and reinforce the exercises and tests.

4. The comment about different students is correct, sort of. Classes are at a maximum size of 5 and are offered at varying schedules. So, yes, you can get some different students due to rotating schedules and students finishing a given level. You are assigned a static group of students for follow-up with regard to their attendance and progress which you pull up from the computer periodically. Think of a case load. You also teach about 4-6, one-hour classes a day, which seems a little higher than the norm. Then again, you aren't running around from location to location without pay. You get office time for student administration and breaks on the clock also. So, you are in an office environment, with computer access, around regular staff members and teaching in reasonably well-equipped classrooms. I think it all evens out but, “to each their own.”

So, it seems to me they are simply offering up alternative learning styles to the marketplace (and the teachers). The people there (Speak Up) offer a decent wage and a set location. Unlike traditional schools, their teachers are not running all over town on buses, trams, taxis and metros all day but are doing 6+ hour shifts at a set wage for a more full workweek. No more 3-5 dead hours in the middle of the day, split shifts and you get (usually) 2 days off per week. Another thought is if you are teaching from Market Leader or Headway (or whatever) you are using a method anyway.

If you like one system more than another, go with what you like. If you are flexible, make your decision on your needs and goals: money, schedule, location and so on.

Poland: www.speak-up.com.pl

Ukraine: www.speak-up.com.ua
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YakTamer



Joined: 29 Mar 2004
Posts: 86
Location: Warszawa, Polska

PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 10:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Information is usually good for an informed decision Reply with quote

ecocks wrote:


1. Learning Systems International has nothing to do with Speak Up or Empik. They do sales software.

2. Organizationally, there IS a Learning Systems Poland (LSP) a


Sorry, I got my wires crossed when posting and meant Learning Systems Poland.
I was using the Book of Lists and LSP is what they're referred to in that.

According to the the Book of Lists they're nearly 10 times larger than the next largest school (TFLS), exactly 10 times larger than #3 (Archibald) and their student enrolment is also an order of magnitude larger than anybody else.

Their 2006 revenue was 84m PLN, which is a hefty increase on the number in 2005 - 54m (due to including extra revenues from SpeakUp perhaps?)
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misteradventure



Joined: 18 Aug 2003
Posts: 243

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 3:55 am    Post subject: speak up? Reply with quote

Those were interesting websites.

Unfortunately, it sounds much like the prose used to describe the CALLAN Method.

Also, as the schools in Ukraine are NOT operational to date, it makes me wonder if the poster is not a principal? They seem to have a great deal of inside information regarding a school which is not actually teaching students, according to the company website....

Truth time:

You want a teacher to teach and pay attention to small details which could cause the students to fail their FCE, yet expect us to not generalize this into our everyday life?

If you are a principal (or close to one), fine. Give us the Real Deal. We can take it.

If you are trying to perpetrate some sort of a scam, you will enjoy the occasional Good Teacher and otherwise only Random Idiots who don't do research on their (future) employers.

This is your opportunity to sell your (new) school to a group of highly talented teachers who can drag the most ineffective administration through the learning curve to profitablility. Or, you can sour the whole lot with a pack of lies.

Honesty is a coin in this realm. Spend it wisely.
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ecocks



Joined: 06 Nov 2007
Posts: 853
Location: Gdansk, Poland

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 4:26 am    Post subject: Transparency Reply with quote

No, not a principal, the offer they made me is just a teacher. I did a good deal of research on them though, interviewed with them, talked over coffee, searched around on the web and have seen their training materials. But, so far, have not accepted a single dime (zlotni or hryvnia) from them. I did drink a few cups of their coffee during the interview process is about the limit to date.

I have a computer and business background from my early years so my research and writing style (tried to be thorough) may just be tweaking your radar a bit compared to some other folks' writing. I found them to be very interesting from a business AND an educational perspective.

I have not seen much on the Callan method, just occasionally noticed a school advertising that they use it, so couldn't say whether they have similarities other than the question of being called "method" schools by different folks.

In the end though, it seems to come down to they are a large chain, growing larger with a much more structured curriculum. They obviously understand both the traditional model (their Empik brand is apparently successful) and they have this new model they are implementing as well. Choices.
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ecocks



Joined: 06 Nov 2007
Posts: 853
Location: Gdansk, Poland

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 5:07 am    Post subject: Re: speak up? Reply with quote

misteradventure wrote:
Those were interesting websites.


Truth time:

You want a teacher to teach and pay attention to small details which could cause the students to fail their FCE, yet expect us to not generalize this into our everyday life?



Don't mean to be dense here but I am not sure what you mean above, maybe because I am an American and have never had anything to do with the Cambridge preps. There is an offering mentioned in their product list to prepare for the FCE and the more Advanced Cambridge certification, but I have not seen or heard any detail on how that is structured or delivered. So, a good question worthy of follow-up.

Also, I am not trying to recruit anyone in particular or in general, just trying to present a balanced view (I think) and address the original posting and comments. As mentioned, some people prefer one style; others are more flexible or adaptable to change. It is part of the human condition. I presently have clients (business and individual) that are on the traditional system and am presenting an option to a local business operation later today offering the traditional twice a week classes based upon Market Leader for each level of study they want. The reason we have alternatives is so people (students, business owners and teachers) have choices.
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Harry from NWE



Joined: 13 Sep 2007
Posts: 283

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 10:22 am    Post subject: Re: Information is usually good for an informed decision Reply with quote

ecocks wrote:
The people there (Speak Up) offer a decent wage and a set location.


When I interviewed at Opening (a previous incarnation of Speak Up), the interview finished when I took the figure which the interviewer offered as salary to be the weekly wage but he meant it to be the monthly salary.
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ecocks



Joined: 06 Nov 2007
Posts: 853
Location: Gdansk, Poland

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 5:19 pm    Post subject: Competitivre here Reply with quote

The original poster was asking about Ukraine and here, now, they are competitive. Don't know about Poland and past history.
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