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Schools in Istanbul with best reputations for teaching?
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BlueStater



Joined: 24 Oct 2012
Posts: 20
Location: Bangkok

PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:26 am    Post subject: Schools in Istanbul with best reputations for teaching? Reply with quote

I have heard that Berlitz and English Time were NOT particularly good to work for, but I haven't had as much luck determining which schools are the best to work for?

-pay wise, normalcy of hours, etc.

Any info is gladly appreciated
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Qaaolchoura



Joined: 10 Oct 2008
Posts: 539
Location: 21 miles from the Syrian border

PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you want to work legally in Istanbul, I believe the only language school that gets all of its teachers work permits is Wall Street Institute. (Other schools get permits for some of their teachers, or none, and of course many non-Istanbul language schools and non-language-schools in Istanbul will get work permits.) The downside of WSI in Istanbul is that pay is on the low side for Istanbul and you'll have to work six days a week. The hours are regular, but not standard, and with that in mind, most WSI teachers I've met in Istanbul seem happy there.

Now, if you don't mind working illegally, you've got a lot more options, but it's important to keep in mind tricky, since most of the larger chains will vary in quality even within the city.

Bilge Adam is the one I've heard the most positive things about (I believe that both Bilge Adam and WSI are centrally run with no franchises, which may contribute to that). I interviewed with them in a non-Istanbul city and while I liked the setup and the method as described to me, I wasn't impressed by the professionalism of the HR lady (I think she might have actually been the owner or part of the owner's family, any rate she'd come out from Istanbul just to do interviews) doing the interview, nor by the hours they could offer me,

I've also heard good things about British Time (different from English Time), but didn't apply, since when I went to drop off my resume (while I was still considering working in Istanbul), they told me to go away since they weren't hiring at the moment.

There's also a TOEFL prep center on the European side that a friend of mine worked at, which seemed to be a pretty god gig, but perhaps out of paranoia he refused to give me the name, so unfortunately I can't share it.

If you don't mind working illegally, there's one small place I can recommend if you PM me. It's only got three branches, but honestly if I hadn't been concerned about my immigration status, I'd have taken the job they offered me, no questions.

Regards,
~Q
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BlueStater



Joined: 24 Oct 2012
Posts: 20
Location: Bangkok

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Q- That's a lot of good information. I have a few new leads now, much obliged. I'll most lilkely aim to keep whatever I do legit (as I am American with a Filipina wife and that complicates things a bit more) despite the money I may have to leave on the table. Great answer, thanks again
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oipivo



Joined: 02 Jan 2012
Posts: 159
Location: Poland

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"... I believe the only language school that gets all of its teachers work permits is Wall Street Institute"

Actually English Time gets everything for their teachers as well. Having said that, they lowered the pay rate AGAIN a few months ago, so it's not really a great place to work. They're clearly having trouble finding qualified teachers. It's not a bad place to work, but don't make it your first choice.

I've also heard good things about Wall Street Institue, but don't know about the pay and such. A few years ago, English Time had the best pay rate and bonuses, I'm not sure if that's true now.
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tarte tatin



Joined: 02 Mar 2007
Posts: 247
Location: Istanbul

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the better schools is British Side, they have one branch on the European side and another on the Asian side. They normally start you off as a part-timer but if things work out you can progress to a full-time contract.

They are not as good as they once were, but better than other language schools. They are the only school in Turkey to belong to the 'Quality' school group. Because of this, they require a minimum of 2 years teaching experience.
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JohnRambo



Joined: 06 Mar 2008
Posts: 70

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tarte tatin wrote:
One of the better schools is British Side, they have one branch on the European side and another on the Asian side. They normally start you off as a part-timer but if things work out you can progress to a full-time contract.

They are not as good as they once were, but better than other language schools. They are the only school in Turkey to belong to the 'Quality' school group. Because of this, they require a minimum of 2 years teaching experience.


Günaydın. What are the prospects for working legally at a university if you happen to have an M.A. and work experience in say South Korea? How's the pay generally if you work full-time and the others if university positions are hard to come by? I want to kind of prepare myself should I decide to move to Istanbul or Turkey after saving some money to have a kind of cushion.

Teşekkür ederim.
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tarte tatin



Joined: 02 Mar 2007
Posts: 247
Location: Istanbul

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It depends, do you also have a TEFL/CELTA and a BA? (I say this because some British unis are now offering MA courses to people without BAs).

If you have these, it is easy to be employed legally. I do know of cases where YÖK (the higher education authority) have bent the rules and hired someone without a BA because his previous emploment made him desirable.

You will have the choice of a private uni with better salary but worse students, fewer holidays, higher hours, and a government uni with lower salary but easier workload and possibly free housing.

The universities tend to hire in the spring and they like to interview people from within the country.

I have worked at two private unis and have been generally happy, but there are some terrible ones around so be careful!
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tarte tatin



Joined: 02 Mar 2007
Posts: 247
Location: Istanbul

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I forgot to mention pay. You should expect around 4000TL at a private uni, more if it is a very elite one.

Less at a government uni, maybe 3000TL.
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Qaaolchoura



Joined: 10 Oct 2008
Posts: 539
Location: 21 miles from the Syrian border

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tarte tatin wrote:
The universities tend to hire in the spring and they like to interview people from within the country.

Late spring to mid summer I thought, though it seems to vary by institution.

Also, in Gaziantep, both Zirve and Hasan Kalyoncu/Gazikent hire people from outside of the country, and I suspect other non-Istanbul/Ankara/Izmir unis may as well.

Of course the original poster asked solely about Istanbul, but since your question is different, let me give you an example of what you might be into outside of Stambul:

Zirve pretty much hires exclusively from abroad, and pretty much only MA holders with several years' experience (not a TESOL MA, any old MA will do). They wouldn't hire me for having only a BA and limited experience despite being on the ground in nearby Adana and coming into Antep for an interview, however being in Antep now, I realize I've really dodged a bullet. They have a bad rep and serious teacher retention issues (you can read about elsewhere on this forum). Their pay is actually lower that what tarte tartin quotes as standard for a private uni, their work hours are higher than public uni, and you have to live in lovely Antep.

Gazikent will hire you if you have a lot of experience, but I think they prefer experience in the Middle East (which Antep really is), or at least non-East Asian experience. I've never seen them advertise on vanilla ESL job hunting sites, and the same goes for most Turkish unis. I don't know about pay and hours, but I know of two foreign teachers there who seem to be very happy (one of them is La Reve, you can always try PMing her), except with the quality of the students. Turkish college students are at best very good but at worst like Korean middle-schoolers.

But that's of course a sample of the situation in one city; most Turkish cities of at least moderate size have both public and private unis, and even small cities have public unis. I don't know anyone who's taught at a public uni, so I can't comment on them though.

Mind, I haven't worked at a Turkish uni (though I've taught some uni students), because I have neither an MA nor the requisite experience for getting hired with a BA. After teaching some Turkish uni students I decided I didn't want to, but hearing the pay figures tarte tartin cites I may look into it again in a couple years' time.

Regards,
~Q
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tarte tatin



Joined: 02 Mar 2007
Posts: 247
Location: Istanbul

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes sorry I should have said recruiting starts in spring, and the best jobs may well get filled at this stage. It continues into summer as people quit last minute and I know people who have got jobs at the end of September, when student numbers are higher than expected, or a new recruit leaves them in the lurch.

At the later stages when Department Heads are getting desperate they may well take people with less experience or fewer qualifications. Experienced managers will also know that some people who look fantastic on paper, can turn out to be a total disaster, while others who are new but committed can be great assets.
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vashdown2



Joined: 14 Feb 2007
Posts: 124
Location: Paris, France

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would definatly pass on Berlitz Taksim branch.
More on that later.....
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Qaaolchoura



Joined: 10 Oct 2008
Posts: 539
Location: 21 miles from the Syrian border

PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

vashdown2 wrote:
I would definatly pass on Berlitz Taksim branch.
More on that later.....

Poster already mentioned Berlitz as a bad place to work.
That said, it's not just Taksim. I've never heard a good thing about any Berlitz branch in Turkey, and pretty much everybody who's worked there says it's the worst place they worked. Yes that includes English Time (which actually gets mixed rep depending on the branch, as you'll see if you read the dedicated thread).

Actually, based on a combination of reputation, I'd say Deulcom is another "always avoid." (Though I've heard the Adana branch isn't as bad as the Istanbul or Kayseri ones, both of which have bad reps, I'd avoid it just on principle.)

However since the OP wants to work legally, his choices are basically: secondary school, university (these two because the YÖK requires it), Wall Street (because the American mother company requires it), and apparently English Time (for reasons I'm not sure). Generally in Istanbul anybody who can avoid going through the effort of getting a work permit will, and even schools that told me they were willing to get work permits for some teachers will wait a year or so until you've proved your loyalty, before going through the time, trouble, and money. (I don't agree with it, but that's how the Istanbul schools see it.)

~Q
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9703
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

vashdown2 wrote:
I would definatly pass on Berlitz Taksim branch.
More on that later.....


Strongly agree.

My limited experience with them is years old, but it was easily the worst 'job interview' I have ever had. It seems little has changed since - but then why would that surprise us? Berlitz: the unchanging method school. And not just teaching method...
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JohnRambo



Joined: 06 Mar 2008
Posts: 70

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tarte tatin wrote:
It depends, do you also have a TEFL/CELTA and a BA? (I say this because some British unis are now offering MA courses to people without BAs).

If you have these, it is easy to be employed legally. I do know of cases where YÖK (the higher education authority) have bent the rules and hired someone without a BA because his previous emploment made him desirable.

You will have the choice of a private uni with better salary but worse students, fewer holidays, higher hours, and a government uni with lower salary but easier workload and possibly free housing.

The universities tend to hire in the spring and they like to interview people from within the country.

I have worked at two private unis and have been generally happy, but there are some terrible ones around so be careful!


Tesekkurler for the reply. I have a B.A. in political science from Canada and an M.A. in TESOL with a minor in French from an American university, but I do not have a CELTA. Should I get one before trying to go to Turkey?

I'm teaching at a Korean university at the moment will have completed two years at this institution by August 2013. I'm worried about sifting between the good unis and the not good ones, so I'm tempted to stay an extra year in Korea to have lots of dosh (money) in case something's not great. At any rate, how much do the institutes pay such as Wall Street Institute? I assume that the universities are better jobs, but I could be wrong. In a way, I'd rather leave Korean after August, but I can wait.

Gurusuruz.....

Kendine iyi bak....(This language is much easier than Korean.)
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Luxe



Joined: 08 Jul 2010
Posts: 42

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This thread is great! I've recently returned to Istanbul and will start looking for work in the next week or so. Is it possible to get on at a University for the Spring semester? Or can anyone suggest any good language schools that will be hiring now for the Spring semester? Any advice would be most welcome.
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