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Language School Anonymous

 
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CAP'N'CHOH



Joined: 29 Jan 2010
Posts: 4
Location: Dunia

PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 2:25 am    Post subject: Language School Anonymous Reply with quote

Feeling a bit sorry... posted this in the wrong section but now I'm not sure which to choose!

Language school anonymous

Request for guidance from experienced teachers and education directors - Re. Making urgent amendments to a 'flawed' language programme

I have been working full-time at a relatively new school, under a young company (it has many branches operating in the country and a couple outside - proud emphasis on the 'international' status) for close to a year now. I don't wish to specify too much while I am still employed here and in reasonable health, but countless times I have been tempted to wound this company with blacklists and criticisms, and I don't recommend my local friends to join the classes while I retain some of my TESOL sanity.

I can propose that they (the school and company) would pass the safety test, having strictly standardised their internally developed language programmes and classroom materials (photocopied 'textbooks'). This neurotically conservative attitude only presents a problem in conjunction with the lack of quality in the standard materials and experience in the academic dictatorship. Now, I could replace, with "accuracy", "quality" (if you get my drift) just to convince you of the extent of my concern in all sincerity.

The company, as I mentioned, has managed to bring numerous branches into operation, presumably through aggressive marketing techniques and paint-stripping cost-cutting (witness violent imagery), and not through any long-standing reputation as a responsible provider of education. (Actually, I am well aware that the salesmen wax qualified-native-English-speaker through their teeth - their sales teeth - to haul in the schools of customers.)

Now I get dangerously close to over-exposing but, if I were to publish even one page of the 'Beginner' level text book, I would send record-breaking staffs of post-production ESOL teachers through their third-world flats' floorboards in pitying hysteria.

I am desperately trying not to ridicule any individuals but, rather to express the tragedy of the situation - that this book, as if it were an acceptable ESOL book photocopied via a prototype domestic popcorn machine, presents, in each 'Unit,' unreasonably advanced 'Vocabulary,' 'Phrases,' 'Dialogues' and 'Grammar' that are never interrelated to any valuable degree. No wonder so many of the students seemed to have either speech impairments or sleeping disorders when I first turned up to teach a lesson; Many had spent over a year cycling through the same lesson materials, willing their memories to fail at the sight of the exercise questions they no doubt had answered enough times already (once?).

"All is not lost," I might hear you say - or read (that) you write; Well I'm afraid to admit it is, at least for the 'Beginner' level until someone can be convinced to review the programme properly.

You might be wondering how I stuck around so long to affirm year-long doubts, or how it could have taken so long, but - trust me - for a barely qualified high school graduate, I've not been given more than the teeniest flicker of light to guide me out of my dancing-monkey chains... ('That's right - he's gone mad!') That's the whole time I've been contracted to slave on at the lowest designation, 'Service department - English teacher,' in the 'school.'

My emotions are pouring out and I've barely started to make an objective request for advice; lucky I'm writing in my diary now!

Although, according to my principal. we are restricted to teach the 'curriculum' provided by 'HQ' (which Quarters?) we don't have any outline of the syllabus or programme objectives to be achieved - only these books, and assessment papers. The content of the books are, though not all bad, too much, mostly bad, and distant from any realistic learning centred method; They are basically designed, especially where it comes to the grammar, to demonstrate to the students how much they don't know about English... Doesn't this make you angry?

I won't make an attempt to 'disprove traditional methods' of teaching but, when it depends on vague, inaccurate materials full of (mostly) useless examples, I know something must be done (even for the morality of it)... That is in the two months I have left to poke the challenge in the eye and knee it in its eggs.

I can't change the materials, or the programme for that matter - not for a good while I suspect - but there is a window of opportunity - no light, just the potential for it - the 'Speaking' class (and again, to protect something, I have not disclosed the real, rather more technical name lent to the 'Speaking' course.

Anyway I have proposed to rename the 'Speaking' class to 'Communication' and some currently employed and 'open-minded people' (including a reluctant principal) have heard me in my cherished-half-hour and rushed presentation; I am to trial the classes next week!

Please let me stop here and I'll reply later with the specifics and allow anyone who can share any similar experience to post.

Posted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 1:18 am Post subject: Late Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post Report Post
Yeah, 'squeeze me everyone; I actually wrote it about two weeks ago but had trouble logging in (password etc.).
New developments are... not much but, I have encouraged my young director (almost as young as me) to dig his way through the bureaucracy a few times.
I'll be going away for a few months soon; After that I may come back again if I have my visa renewed with no hitches. In that case, I will make a special request to be given greater responsibility for communication classes and allow the local teachers to take the tuition-style classes.
Please, peers and pros, what do are your opinions?
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CAP'N'CHOH



Joined: 29 Jan 2010
Posts: 4
Location: Dunia

PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 2:28 am    Post subject: reply... Reply with quote

Thank you friends... I wrote this a couple of weeks ago so please ask if I need to clear anything up.
I'll try to continue loggin any developments here.
Oh and, happy Chinese New Year!!
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raptorjesus



Joined: 14 Sep 2010
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I work for a large chain company as well. I feel your pain. Do your time, get your merit badges, and depart for better pastures as soon as you finish your contract.
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