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WARNING: BridgeLiguatec
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aaaronr



Joined: 08 Nov 2008
Posts: 63
Location: Tempe, Arizona

PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:32 am    Post subject: WARNING: BridgeLiguatec Reply with quote

I went through the interview process and I received a letter saying I had been accepted. It was everything you expected from a normal interview process.

When I got to BL we had to do a 15 minute teaching demo the day after our orientation. I was still a bit jet-lagged and didn't very well. (The students didn't seem too quick to pick up on anything).

I was given a second demo and did a lot better. However, it wasn't good enough for the teacher who observed. She only had criticisms to offer and nothing positive to say. I felt like they were only looking for reasons to not hire me.

I guess having a CELTA isn't good enough for BL's standards.

They didn't accept about half of the ten people who came for the job. They did hire the two who had completed their online TEFL course...hmmm.

I also heard (second hand) that one of their recent hires was sitting around waiting for the promised class hours.

If you don't have a lot of teaching experience, I would seriously think about spending the time an money to go to Chile for a job you may or may not get.

Get a contract before you go. Lessons learned.

That's my two cents.

If you want more info, PM me.
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spanglish



Joined: 21 May 2009
Posts: 584
Location: working on that

PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What does a letter saying you "had been accepted" mean? I would assume that that indicates a job offer. I don't really understand your wording.

In any event, I'm sorry to hear about your experience; that's not fun for anybody. Try to look on the bright side: better jobs are certainly out there and maybe you'll find one soon.
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Dia



Joined: 09 Apr 2008
Posts: 92

PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

weird, it sounds like instead of actually hiring you beforehand, they were really inviting you to an intensive audition process.

though it appears having the CELTA did help as it got you in the process, but maybe your teaching wasn't the same style theyre looking for.

i think youll be able to find another job pretty easily, hopefully soon, and perhaps youll feel better off for it , as it seems a lot of teachers at bridge have a number of complaints
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aaaronr



Joined: 08 Nov 2008
Posts: 63
Location: Tempe, Arizona

PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 2:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bridge told me I had been accepted as a candidate. The school director told me the demo was to weed out the wierdos. I'm a normal person, so I didn't think I'd have any problems.

It wasn't an ideal situation to be in a new country for only a few days and then having everything on the line for 15 minutes. The thing is, they have an HQ in Denver, Colorado that would have been a lot cheaper to do a teaching demo. Their hiring process is a little ass backwards to me.

On the plus side, I met a lot of cool people in Santiago. I had a good time in Chile. I would definitely go back if I had a job and if Hostal de Sammy is still around.
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MFrets



Joined: 21 Jan 2010
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:20 pm    Post subject: More About Bridge Reply with quote

I am puzzled by your comments, as I rec'd a detailed e-mail from the head teacher Carlos Pizarro Navia, and nowhere does he talk about an on-site audition at my own expense. Rather, it's who pays for what and terms of employment. I interview this coming week - your experiences are unfortunate - I hope you've found something else. Thank you!
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Daddyo



Joined: 19 Jun 2008
Posts: 89
Location: Bogota, Colombia

PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 8:31 pm    Post subject: hostal de sammy Reply with quote

i'd like to hear more about the hostel. is it true they've closed?
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aphannen



Joined: 07 Apr 2010
Posts: 5
Location: Colorado

PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

to Aaaronr,

You must of just bombed the hell out of your audition...Bridge has a fairly specific way they want their people to teach, but they aren't picky about who they choose. I went through the process you just described, knowing full well that I didnt get a contract before the audition...Not one of the 4 people that were in my orientation got turned away, and none of us had any prior teaching experience (with the exception of online certifications). I know teachers there that blow your credentials out of the water (like a british guy that has a Masters in Teaching from Cambridge) and plenty of others that have their CELTA's. Also, I received 3 classes in the first week, with NO experience...teahers who have been here for a month are having to turn down new classes because of the excessive hours. MOD EDIT THANK GOD I didn't take your post to heart before I made the decision to come here, because I would've missed a great opportunity. They play no tricks or games at bridge, and they are great to work for. I would just like to see what exactly it takes to get turned down, because my audition sure didnt go that smoothly.
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aaaronr



Joined: 08 Nov 2008
Posts: 63
Location: Tempe, Arizona

PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My experience, not yours. I would have liked the have the opportunity to stay in Santiago, too. I'm glad you didn't waste a lot of time and money for something that didn't work out.

Four people were rejected. What is the point of rejecting qualified people in Chile when they can screen before they arrive? I've never heard of a company that does this.

They never told us what their "specific teaching style" was. It sounds like they are looking for personality more than anything else.

I'm glad you know people whose qualifications "blow mine out of the water." My mother once shook the hand of Joe DiMaggio, but it doesn't make me a Hall of Fame baseball player.
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aphannen



Joined: 07 Apr 2010
Posts: 5
Location: Colorado

PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 3:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"My mother once shook the hand of Joe DiMaggio, but it doesn't make me a Hall of Fame baseball player."..... what, is this some kind of expression... what does this even mean? You are the one who said "I guess having a CELTA isn't good enough for BL's standards." When someone comes in here, in big bold letters, "WARNING:BRIDGE LINGUATEC", you are dogging on an established, respected company that has a deep rooted history with the businesses they supply teachers for... I mean, honestly, for a company that deals with flakey english teachers on a daily basis, they are NOT picky with the people they hire. Their business IS hiring, and rehiring english teachers, replacing teachers that decide to leave with out notice, and explaining this habit to their customers, and they still seem to have more then enough business. Every single person I've talked to (that went through the same process we did) has told me you have to screw up real bad to get denied. I was honestly sweating bullets over my audition, because of YOUR post. I'm sure what you said "looking for personality" is true...can you blame students for wanting some one with a personality? Once again, this thread is what almost deterred me from coming here, that is why I take issue with it.
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bje



Joined: 19 Jun 2005
Posts: 527

PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2010 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

aaaronr wrote:
Bridge told me I had been accepted as a candidate. The school director told me the demo was to weed out the wierdos. I'm a normal person, so I didn't think I'd have any problems.


What on earth are you talking about? Shocked
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aaaronr



Joined: 08 Nov 2008
Posts: 63
Location: Tempe, Arizona

PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 12:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aphennen: I'm replying to your jab at me saying you know people who have better qualifications than I do. What do their qualifications have to do with you?

My point is with their hiring practices. Why would they have me come all the way to Santiago for a job interview. I know of no other company that does this. They obviously only needed X number of teachers and could discard the rest--at our expense.

Maybe they've changed their hiring practices since May '08. I certainly hope so.

This is a valid warning. If you don't have a contract, you have no guarantee of a job. Most EFLers will tell you this a less than ideal situation. There are risks to not having a contract.

You can understand that I was nervous during my demo. Everything was on the line. However, most companies understand that you will not be the best at your new job, especially if you have little or no experience. A company will acknowledge this and work to develop an employee's competency and skills over time. If Bridge wants perfect teachers out of the gate, they should say they want experienced teachers.

I wasn't a very good teacher when I started. In time, I became a lot better. This is probably true for most teachers. Very few are born to teach. It takes time.

I do have to wonder about people who take their online TEFL course without ever having done a lesson plan or taught a class.

A lot of long-established companies have questionable practices. I never said BL was a bad school or treated their employees or students poorly. I told my experience, whaich also happens to be the experience of four other candidates.

I've moved on from Bridge and I have taught ESL in Mexico. I now work with ESL students at a community college. I sure wish I had that money I spent going for a job interview in Chile.

BJE: This is exactly what the school director told me. He said he has met a lot of strange ESL teachers.
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Dia



Joined: 09 Apr 2008
Posts: 92

PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 12:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its quite logical a company with a high turnover in teachers wouldnt want to invest in a foreigner who hasn't already developed their teaching skills, especially when there are more people knocking on the door who might be ready to teach right off the bat.

Unfortunately, but quite sensibly, what you hold on paper (tefl, celta, lists on your resume or CV) is not enough to get you the job alone, and a demo class lets them see how you actually manage the class. Mess ups and nervousness are to be expected but Im sure they have some criteria they look for in judging who might be ready to teach for them asap and/or who might easily adapt with further instruction in their methodology. Hopefully whatever qualifications one has will have prepared them to tackle this demo class.

If not, there are probably other companies in the city which will give you more leeway to develop your teaching and probably hire you with a pure interview instead of making you show them a sample class.

Again, for anybody who is reading this thread as a first step in researching teaching in Chile - it is NOT the norm to have a contract before arriving here. Most teachers arrive, then interview. You will, however, want a contract before the time you start working. But most will not offer you one before you are physically in the country.
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aphannen



Joined: 07 Apr 2010
Posts: 5
Location: Colorado

PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 2:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good thoughts from Dia!

The point of this thread (and many others concerning teaching in latin america) is that NO respected company in Chile (or other south american countries) will give a contract before the person actually comes to the country to try out, or have a face to face interview...I dont know how other companies do their hiring, BUT if someone is to read almost every post regarding "finding a job in South America", the advice is the same. The best chances of scoring a legitimate job is going to your country of choice and finding a job once on the ground. Bridge is NOT unique in their practice of making teachers audition. Unfortunately, teaching in Latin America is different because they don't offer contracts before the teacher gets there, unlike Asia. Not better or worse, just different. It comes with the territory of teaching here, now if you want to take Aaron's advice and sit around in the states waiting for an official contract to be offered before arrival, you might be sitting around for a long time.
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spanglish



Joined: 21 May 2009
Posts: 584
Location: working on that

PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 2:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's not the case in Colombia. The best jobs - British Council and IB schools - hire from abroad.
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aaaronr



Joined: 08 Nov 2008
Posts: 63
Location: Tempe, Arizona

PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bridge is unique in their hiring practices. I've been hired by two other language schools and a community college. I was given a contract at the language schools prior to my arrival.I was hired at the community college based on my credentials and experience.

I've been rejected by schools over the phone without the time and expense. Why is BL and Chile the exception to every other school? Are they that special?

I can take rejection. It's a lot cheaper over the phone. Why does BL think it's good hiring practice for someone to come all that way and spend fifteen minutes with that prospective teacher? It's absolutely ridiculous.

It is unreasonable to ask someone to fly to Chile on their own dime for a job interview. BL has an office in Colorado. They could do the demos there and stop wasting people's time and money.

I call bs on BL and any other company that does this.
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