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Denis' school and language link
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Barontobasco



Joined: 30 Nov 2011
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 1:21 pm    Post subject: Denis' school and language link Reply with quote

A few months ago I started sending out emails to prospective schools in Russia, trying to find out more information. I have three years of higher education, but no degree, no teaching certificate, and I speak Russian, having learned it at a military academy.

I got an invitation from language link, and currently am waiting for the visa invitation. Yesterday, I got an email from Denis' School, having written them three months ago. I never sent them a resume, just a basic outline of qualifications - and already they want to know when I could start, and want to send me a visa invitation. The salary is three times higher, and I already have a place to live. I'm just skeptical that they wanted me to start the process so quickly, without even an interview.

Any input would be appreciated, thanks.
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1837

PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not worried about the hurry. Native speakers are valuable property. My concern here, and with other schools, is how they're going to employ you legally (i.e. with an employment visa) if you don't have a degree and/or a teaching qualification.

Also, from your own point of view, how are you going to cope with the job if you haven't done some teacher training? It's one thing finding a job, another keeping it. The novelty of being a native speaker - on its own - runs out after a few weeks if you have no other resources to hand. If nothing else, at least get a decent book on teaching (I think you'll find a relevant thread on the Newbies Forum, called New to ESL - Recommended Reading).
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ancient_dweller



Joined: 12 Aug 2010
Posts: 415
Location: Woodland Bench

PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Language Link is referred to as a Mcschool in Russian TEFL circles. Take what you will from such a reference.

LL are notorious for their low pay so it is no surprise to hear that another school is offering 3 times more. You should be wondering - 'only 3 times higher?'

Razz

Also, LL is made up of franchises - the quality differences can be immense. I suppose potentially you could end up with a great setup. But unlikely.

There are not very many good reports about LL on this forum. A friend of mine took a visa with them and became disillusioned at receiving 20000r a month for a pretty big workload. Fair play he was a newbie but they were selling him as an experienced teacher. In the end he got a position with a smaller private school and his pay shot up by more than 10 times (on an hourly breakdown).

If you have your own place - don't waste your time with any of the mcschools. Their big selling point is providing accommodation and other 'difficult' aspects of the transition to russia. if you dont need someone to hold your hand you'll be better off at a smaller school where salaries are obviously higher.

- CD - makes a good point about visas. nearly all the smaller schools i applied to before I came to russia either were not interested at all or wanted to interview me when i arrived - only after being in Russia and proving my worth was i able to obtain an invitation - mind you i only had to fly back to london to get the visa processed. i don't know if you are a yankee in which case the journey would be significantly more time consuming and costly.

you could easily just take the LL visa and work on your own. Nothing LL can do to stop you - but this is Russia, so take care with that approach. They might threaten to cancel your visa but they need your passport to do that. btw - just because i highlight this as an option does not mean i condone it.

your Russian will come in handy for lots of things. And you may find that other jobs lay in wait.
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1837

PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ancient_dweller wrote:

you could easily just take the LL visa and work on your own. Nothing LL can do to stop you - but this is Russia, so take care with that approach. They might threaten to cancel your visa but they need your passport to do that. btw - just because i highlight this as an option does not mean i condone it.

your Russian will come in handy for lots of things. And you may find that other jobs lay in wait.


Ahem. 'Take care with that approach' is the thing to emphasise. Your visa, assuming it is a proper employment visa, is specifically for working at the company inviting you (here, LL) in the town to which you have been invited. You might be able to to do some private work (e.g. 'one to one' tuition), but you won't be able to work for other employers and I believe that you will not be able to cast yourself loose from the invitation-issuing school (although I am aware that one or two contributors to this forum believe otherwise).

Again, if you haven't taught TEFL before, you might be ok in individual tuition but your chances are poor of keeping a decent job outside of a McSchool. LL may offer some help to newbies, but a small independent language school run by Russians will expect you to stand on your own two feet.
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ancient_dweller



Joined: 12 Aug 2010
Posts: 415
Location: Woodland Bench

PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
just because i highlight this as an option does not mean i condone it


thought i'd repeat the point Razz
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1837

PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't say that you did condone it, but I seriously challenge your idea that the teacher can walk away from the school that invited them and work wherever they like. If they are a legitimate organisation (i.e. their visa is legitimate and they pay their taxes) then they will protect their reputation and their right to have a visa quota by reporting the teacher to the immigration office. Ok, in practice, a lot of schools aren't legitimate and one might get away with it, but this is not to be relied upon.
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maruss



Joined: 18 Mar 2003
Posts: 1024
Location: Cyprus

PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:14 pm    Post subject: Denis School Moscow Reply with quote

My experience in 2006 was positive in that they paid me and well-and I enjoyed the classes they gave me,both integration and 1/1.But they don't offer any other support and may well present you as being experienced to get firms to accept you teaching their staff etc!Also beware that they check feedback and in case of complaints you will loose classes and probably not be given any others!
Pity you don't have any experience or a teaching cert. but knowing Russian is a +++
I would still avoid LL and the Mac crowd though!
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1837

PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From my (vague) memory of past postings, I think Language Link feedback has varied with the individual schools, so perhaps it's best for people to try to speak to teachers who work or have worked at the school of interest.
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maruss



Joined: 18 Mar 2003
Posts: 1024
Location: Cyprus

PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 3:05 pm    Post subject: LL etc... Reply with quote

Cole is right-many of these schools are franchises and they can vary enormously from one to another regarding just about everything,including working conditions etc.But as a general rule,so-called 'Mac Schools' only offer the basics like some form of accom.(usually shared,which would be a no-no for me)and just about enough salary for you to scrape by with frugally,especially with prices in Moscow!
The only way to find out inside info. on any individual school is to get into contact with one of the teachers who is already working there?But even then,bear in mind that everyone has their own agendas and may well have reasons for only telling you what suits their interest,especially if you are planning to work in the same place as them!
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1837

PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Maruss. Re: accommodation: it is definitely standard for shared accommodation in Moscow and St Petersburg, and I think you'll find a similar situation in the 'non-Mac' schools, bearing in mind the housing market in those cities. But are you sure that that is the case in other cities?

When I was in Siberia, in two different places, I had my own flat. However, I wasn't at MacSchools. Can any other teachers comment on MacSchools' accommodation outside of Moscow and St Petersburg?
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Barontobasco



Joined: 30 Nov 2011
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi all, thanks for the replies. Sorry I didn't respond earlier, I came down with strept throat.

Yeah, accommodation isn't a problem - My girlfriend is a Russian flight attendant, and we're going to be renting a place. I really like the idea that language link is giving me a the month long certification course - I understand that the actual certificate itself might not be worth much, but it's more of the experience I'd get myself. Down the road (within a year) We'll most likely be shelling out some money to get my CELTA, or other certification. She really just wanted me in Moscow ASAP.

The larger salary would be great in my opinion - I'm just worried that I would lack the know-how and experience.
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ancient_dweller



Joined: 12 Aug 2010
Posts: 415
Location: Woodland Bench

PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go to LL at your own risk. ALso, the 20,000r a month they are gonna give you! you will spend 5000 on one night out with your missus! You will seriously regret going to LL. You'd be better off goin to BKC - at least they pay a little more and actually give you a certification with some value.

You know if you stay at LL for more than one year - you will be teaching the new suckers that choose to accept 20000r a month. You will work about 40+ hours a week (which at least 30 of which will be in lessons). so on that you'll be making like 50r an hour!
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maruss



Joined: 18 Mar 2003
Posts: 1024
Location: Cyprus

PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:15 pm    Post subject: You must be the first one on this site? Reply with quote

To have a girlfriend who is a Russian flight attendant and wants you to live in Moscow with her!I don't know which airline she is with but it is more than likely that she will be earning a lot more than you,especially in the beginning......have you any idea where you will be living,the reason being that the place is vast and congested and commuting around it can be a real pain!It is also expensive generally to live in and LL wages are quite frankly peanuts for a place like Moscow.Most people who post on this site who have work experience tend to raise other issues such as accomodation and the language etc. but you are the opposite by having solved these issues.Do let us know how you get on and feel free to ask any questions you have.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9701
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ach Maruss! Stop being so green-eyed and slap this chappy on the back! Good on you, Barontobasco! I hope you find a way to make it work. There will be problems, of course: but love will find a way!
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gaglen



Joined: 27 Apr 2012
Posts: 8
Location: Russia

PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@coledavis Have worked at two Mcschools in the provinces - LL in Samara and now EF in Siberia.
LL provided single accommodation for their teachers, the flat I had was fine and about 8 tram stops from the school. Then the landlady wanted it back and the school offered me a few options which didn't really suit me, so they gave me a 12000-ruble housing allowance to find my own. This was plenty to find a decent flat in Samara, although I had to organize stuff like getting an Internet connection myself (not hard if you speak a bit of Russian).
EF have a different way of doing things, where the salary is higher but you find and pay for a flat yourself. Fine in the provinces if you speak some Russian but really hard if you're new to the country or living in Moscow, where half your salary would go on rent. They did offer to find me a flat before I came but I suspected they would choose some super hi-tech place which I really don't need so I took advantage of the company-wide policy of providing new teachers with a place to live for up to 10 days while they find a flat.
As a teacher new to Russia and completely bewildered when I first came here, LL's accommodation policy was much less hassle but, after 8 years in Russia, EF's policy worked better for me when I moved to Siberia last year. I guess it depends on the individual teacher's needs.
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