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"Methodologists"

 
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delphian-domine



Joined: 11 Mar 2011
Posts: 524

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:06 am    Post subject: "Methodologists" Reply with quote

Can someone explain these to me?

Do they exist outside of Poland, and are they power-drunk like in Poland?

To give some background, I technically do such a job (I more or less have devised the policies and methodologies used in the foreign languages department as I'm responsible for the department) - but I would never do the kind of rubbish that they seem to do in language schools. For a start - our documents are always there to be updated as appropriate. If something doesn't work, we change things - everyone has a say, they aren't fixed rules.

But it seems in many language schools, they employ "methodologists" who seem to have absolutely no idea what they're doing. I was once witness to a huge fight in a meeting - it started off in English, but descended into a huge argument between the Poles as the methodologist started coming up with ridiculous new rules that simply wouldn't work in practice.

One such example - he decided that it was inappropriate for us to discuss students in the teacher's room. Or another example - he decided that native speakers couldn't possibly give tests to groups. Or an even stranger example - he decided that giving photocopies to students "confused them" if they were beginners.

He was just one example among many - I don't think I ever met one that was actually good at the job. It seems that most of them were only there because they'd sucked up enough to the director - not because they were actually competent or trained in any way.

Thoughts?
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9356
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They exist in Russia too. 'Philologists' are another annoying sub-species.
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simon_porter00



Joined: 09 Nov 2005
Posts: 445
Location: Warsaw, Poland

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 5:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting.
I worked for a school many moons ago that had a methodologist. The school catered for in-school exam classes and the such as well as having a huge in-company client portfolio. Naturally what you have here is a mish-mash of all levels, group sizes and goals. The solution - a blanket 'methodology' policy (which was hopeless) accompanied with an online reporting tool (which was useless and draconian). Result: frustrated teachers for having to jump through hoops and fit something to their students which didn't fit.

As a result of this, the methodologist, developed a bunker mentality and got the school director to come down on her side - cue lots of dissatisfied teachers leaving.

Polish Methodologists however, do get a slightly bum deal - one. they have to come up with something that clearly isn't great/won't appease everyone and two. then watch as natives get paid a lot more.

It's probably for that reason that natives aren't methodologists (or at least not many) as I'd want serious $$$ for doing that job - on the proviso I'd actually do it properly, come up with plans appropriate for classes etc not just sit behind a desk and bugger off home at 3pm.
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ecocks



Joined: 06 Nov 2007
Posts: 886
Location: Gdansk, Poland

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 5:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have only seen one of these in use. Unfortunately, they were disguised as the Lead Teacher. No clue about standards, alternative methods, etc. just slavish parroting of the need to turn in documents as required by what the Marketing people and the General Director told them had to be done.

It seemed when we weren't educating the General Director on basic management precepts we were showing examples of skills, competencies and feedback to the Lead. The upside was that they were so happy to have a private desk and computer that you didn't hear from them except when they decided they should do observations (without criteria) or you didn't have paperwork done on time.

The concept of being lifelong learners will hopefully someday take root among the philology schools and methodology practitioners.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9356
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Linguist' and 'Methodist' are similar terms used by some teachers in Russia, but which do not at all have the same meanings as in English. They do, however, connote the same arrogance and intransigence as the other terms mentioned previously. Are these terms used in Poland too?
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ecocks



Joined: 06 Nov 2007
Posts: 886
Location: Gdansk, Poland

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm only a month in Poland, this was in a previous FSU location. Here I will be doing my own thing although I may take a contract or two from one of the established schools if the chance comes along for diversity's sake
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Infinite



Joined: 05 Jan 2013
Posts: 135

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had to deal with them on four separate occasions, sadly enough their job was to simply exist and make teaching difficult.
In some schools they design tests for students, but their main responsibility is to supervise teachers and guarantee quality by scheduling visitations and interviewing students... etc etc...
Paper work is also a big part of it and in theory, they're supposed to match students with teachers... in theory.
Necessary evil; unfortunately they are usually young women after "Amerykanistyka" with an intermediate to upper handle on English at best.
I actually quit my job once due to the methodologist being complete [insert explicit lyrics].
I understand the need for these people, especially given that most natives have little or nothing to do with actual teachers, but to those of us who are, methodologists are a nuisance at best.
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ecocks



Joined: 06 Nov 2007
Posts: 886
Location: Gdansk, Poland

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like there are few differences and maybe even more common than I had feared. Then again, if we take care of our students, teach and develop them properly, that should be a competitive edge.
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john123



Joined: 29 Jan 2012
Posts: 83

PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Once again, Delphian has come up trumps with perfectly valid viewpoints.

I remember one such 'methodologist' at the third and last school I worked for in Poland (well second, I don't count York). Unbelievably incompetent. By April, her lessons consisted of taking the kids down to the basement for karaoke sessions. And it seemed to be nearly EVERY lesson. Lesson observation feedback was about as useful as a chocolate teapot. Where do these people come from? They finish their philology studies and suddenly they are the bees-knees. No creative thinking, no innovation, no desire to improve their students' English.

One time, she accidentally-on purpose gawped at my timesheet on the computer screen and went out whispering to the equally incompetent secretary (something along the lines of: 'zarabiam wiecej niz John'). Talk about sucking up to the Manager of the school. She even asked her for a pay-rise in front of the two natives one day.

Away with the meths.

Regards
John
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