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Working for the British Council
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horse



Joined: 25 Apr 2005
Posts: 37

PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 11:32 pm    Post subject: Working for the British Council Reply with quote

I've been thinking of throwing my lot in with the British Council - was wondering if any BC employees out there would care to share their thoughts on what they are like to work for, how salaries stack up locally, career prospects and training opportunities generally. I haven't specified any particular country, and obviously I'm aware that conditions may be hugely variable, but I'd be interested in hearing any of your reflections.
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horse



Joined: 25 Apr 2005
Posts: 37

PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mmm... Am I to infer from the lack of responses that employess of the BC have much to much work on to bother with such foppery as Dave's ESL greasy spoon? Smile
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 8612
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Horse, they are probably far too busy filling in the endless forms and filing the ad nauseum paperwork that is the hallmark of the BC.

But best of luck to you.
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horse



Joined: 25 Apr 2005
Posts: 37

PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Sasha.

Yes, I do rather get the idea from other sources that there might be a fair amount of that. A pre-meeting meeting to schedule a follow-on meeting re the meeting of Tuesday last pertaining to timely attendance at meetings, attendance is compulsory - that sort of thing.
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 8815
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A friend of mine works for them, but she's not on the forums. From what I gather, it's a lot of teaching hours, about 30 and she works on the weekends, but gets two weekdays off. She also teaches a wide range of students, kids (no thanks) to adults.

Pay is part local currency, part pounds. BUPA medical insurance is supposed to be great, there's a housing allowance here.

I've looked at their site and the pay doesn't seem to be fantastic, it's decent, but I think there are a lot of other benefits, like flights, insurance, housing allowance, moving in allowance, shipping allowance.

I've also heard their teaching method is very scripted. Not sure. Seems like a stable job and offers the chance to stay with the same employer but go to different countries.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 8612
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as I know, you HAVE to go to different countries - just like in an embassy. Probably because it is the same as working for the embassy.

Wouldn't call their 'method' scripted. It's just standard TEFL practice, but without the 'life experience' lecture nonsense. Real observations, real lessons, with lesson plans and lesson aims.
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 8815
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 5:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sashadroogie wrote:
As far as I know, you HAVE to go to different countries - just like in an embassy. Probably because it is the same as working for the embassy.

Wouldn't call their 'method' scripted. It's just standard TEFL practice, but without the 'life experience' lecture nonsense. Real observations, real lessons, with lesson plans and lesson aims.


I don't know. I suppose you could stop working for them.

about the scripted method, it's what I've been told. Similar to how CELTA has their own method, it's the BC's or the highway. I've also heard it's very PPP-ish. BUt like I said, I have no direct experience with them.

Looked at their adverts and application forms a lot. Salary is decent, perks are great, but hours are long and vacations are short.
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horse



Joined: 25 Apr 2005
Posts: 37

PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's the rub..... Well, what I'm interested in is working for a serious, professional company with decent terms and conditions. Hard work and long hours aren't a problem, but I would prefer to avoid extremes of pedantic pettiness and silly bureaucracy. Trawling the rich, but murky and mermaid-infested, waters of Dave's for info, I suspect that the BC is all of the above.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 8612
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is so. Yet, there are fewer places better to work in. Proper training, academic support etc. The paper work silliness just needs to be got through.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 8612
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naturegirl, I do not think that PPP is the sole prescribed 'method' in the BC. I don't know what you mean by the BC and CELTA having their own, somehow distinct, methods. They both use the same communicative methodologies that are supposedly employed in other language schools. 'Their way' merely consists of following good classroom practice - as defined by all the literature in the field. Plus the endless paperwork outside the classroom...
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9130
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know a bit about the BC in a couple of countries and it's basically as Sasha describes. It's not a 'method' school like Berlitz or Callan by any means, but a mix of 'communicative' practices are applied.
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da teacha



Joined: 15 Oct 2010
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I gather that generally it's a great place to work, but I'd avoid BC Cairo, as it has a reputation of being the worst in the network. You'll be seeing a lot of jobs offered for this post for the upcoming year.

Also, you're a great teacher and worker if you tick all the right boxes and fill out the right forms.
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crewmeal1



Joined: 08 Jul 2010
Posts: 72

PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having worked for the BC in Syria and Jordan, I can say that from my point of view it's a great organisation to work for. You are looked after at every stage. You're given an accommodation allowance, BUPA membership which is worthwhile, whilst teaching hours are around 24-26 per week. The support is always there and if you have a decent manager then life is good.

If you want a career with them you basically choose your path to follow. You are encouraged to study for the DELTA, at their expense. From there progression is upwards and onwards. Most people move about after a 2 year contract to where they are suited. Having said that many teachers just want to teach and are not bothered about management positions.

Yes it can have its drawbacks like any organisation, such as paperwork, but many language schools are worse. They are there to make money so it can be seen as 'pack 'em in' to every corner available. However you are left to run your class without any interference. They use Cutting Edge as course books which I find excellent. There are development sessions in the form of INSETTs and you are encouraged to attend and participate.

That is my personal view and may not be the view of others.
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Tudor



Joined: 21 Aug 2009
Posts: 215

PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crewmeal, is it true, as someone above suggested, that teachers have to move to different countries if they stay in the BC, or is it possible to stay at a school indefinitely as the teacher and management are happy?

Btw, are you the same Crewmeal who used to post on the Pprune forum?
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crewmeal1



Joined: 08 Jul 2010
Posts: 72

PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The BC like you to gain as much cultural experience as possible and advise you to move after a 2 year posting. However I know of teachers who are settled in once place for 3-5 years. It will all depend on the management at the time and what's required. In many cases teachers have been known to stay longer that managers who usually want to climb the BC ladder so location isn't as important as promotion.
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