Some clips of Flight of the Conchords. "Business Time" and "Jenny" are partcularly great. Two very talented and funny Kiwis!

Flight of the Conchords

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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The TEFL Market has Bottomed Out


Disgusting! I'm sure that is what you are thinking. What on Earth is Inpector Mchammered of the Lard thinking of and to what depths has he now descended to publish such a photo?? Calm down dear readers. This is the first authentic sighting of SandyM, that well known TEFL benefactor, perhaps taken from a strange angle, but nevertheless, he was caught on camera whilst caning a DOS.

I apologise for the offence this image might cause to "shocked of Worthing" but as this is such a rare sighting I feel it my duty to expose the blighter for the shameless bounder that he is.

A complaint has beeen received that a more dashing pair of buttocks has been censored. My granny objected so I leave you, the readers and undoubted connoisseurs of what actually elevates your ordinary buttock to star buttock status, to be the judges by clicking on the section "A Poem to a Colleague" here. No raspberries please, though I would advise the model in question to get his lawnmower out of the shed a little earlier this spring as it could be put to other uses.


Inspector McHammered of the Lard
FOR THE MOST RECENT POSTING CLICK HERE
FOR BLACKLIST NOMINATIONS CLICK HERE

The Hunt is On!

"Yes, remember that name - Malvern House College? Well, I reckon that Inspector McHammered of the Lard should get on to this family of enterprising Tefl tsars right away, and let us know the full story. We need to know just what the Malhotra buggers are up to now! Are you listening out there, Inspector?!"

So writes that eminent scholar and renowned connoiseur of Yak's milk. The Inspector is unsure whether the reference is to Malvern House College referred to below or that old perennial chestnut Abbey College Malvern, a favourite amongst his readers. Not to bother, let's take a quick peek at Malvern House College first. The posting on Abbey College Malvern can be found here.

The Inspector has been studiously shortlisting the entries for the OSCAR's 2007 but is never one to shirk from his responsibilities. He is concerned that the Headmaster has jumped bail and hopes deeply that one day the Headmaster will expose himself again (not a pretty sight!) but is willing to lay down his quill, reach for his Yak and trek off into the mountains (or rather the Malverns) in search of a good well-renowned and old fashioned baddy.

The picture above is of lovable young Marcos of
Malvern House College, clearly a native speaker and able to help you speak English with an authentic Spanish accent. Of undoubted use in Madrid taxis and all parts south of Dover (say Baghdad), where an English accent might result in your holiday being unexpectedly cut short.

The Inspector is seriously considering proposing a Euro-English TEFL course in partnership with HM Government for those security conscious expats who wish to speak euro-patois, in order to disguise their English roots and in accordance with true EU tradition mumble incoherent nonsense with a view to retiring on index linked inflated pensions.

Inspector McHammered of the Lard
FOR THE MOST RECENT POSTING CLICK HERE
FOR BLACKLIST NOMINATIONS CLICK HERE

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Oscars 2007

Obnoxious School. Classes Appalling. Real Shysters.

The 2007 TEFL Blacademy Awards Ceremony
presented by the ever popular
Inspector McHammered of the Lard.
Live February 25, 2007 from Shane's Bar in Shanghai.
AWARDS
  • OVERALL OSCAR WINNER WORST SCHOOL 2007
  • WORST OWNER
  • WORST DOS
  • WORST RESOURCED
  • WORST BUILDING
  • WORST STUDENTS
  • WORST PAID
  • WORST ACCOMMODATION
  • WORST LOCATION

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Blacklisted Chinese EFL Schools/ESL Schools

Your Inspector is McKnackered. This list of awful schools in China is far to long to list after only a single slug of fermented Yak's milk. The Inspector will return to this unexpected, laborious and lengthy task ASAP.
What on earth happened to Chop Suey? I used to think that was all there was to China.

THE SHAMED..........

Aojing International Ltd, China
Beijing Language and Culture University, China
San Jie Foreign Language School, China
XiSanQi Advanced Language School, FuLaiDe Advanced Language School, AoJing, FanZhiDu, China
Yakup International, China
Yanjing Overseas Chinese University, Oxbridge University Business School, China
Davis Language Training Company, China
Tianjin University of Commerce, China
Tianjin university of Finance and Commerce, China
Tianjin University of Science and Technology, China
E & A College, China
Hebei New Times International, China
Hengshui High School, China
Jingbei Foreign Language College, China
EF English First Taiyaun, China
John Gao's school, Number 2 foreign language school (AKA number 18 middle/high school), Modern English, People's Number Two Hospital, Shanxi university, China
Luliang Teachers College, China
O'Smart, China
Taiyuan Mercan School, China
Taiyuan Modern English School, China
Taiyuan Teachers' College, China
Tongliao Huanyu Private Exit and Entry Company Limited, aka Tongliao Huanyu Independent Consulting Services Ltd, China
Yingcai School, China
Yingcai School, China
Affiliated High School of Peking University, China
Aojing International Ltd, China
Beijing Language and Culture University, TMC China
XiSanQi Advanced Language School, FuLaiDe Advanced Language School, AoJing, FanZhiDu, China
Yakup International, China
Yanjing Overseas Chinese University, China
Yanjing Overseas Chinese University, Oxbridge University Business School, China
Columbia College, Columbia Kindergarten, China
English First Changchun (EF Changchun), China
Excel-World English Kindergarten, China
Jilin Province Star Education Consulting Co Ltd, China
Tianshuo, Tianyuan, Baidawei, Simon's language school, China
youngji middli school, China
Auqi Private English School, China
Columbia English College, China
Golden Bridge Language school, China
Harbin Joy Children's Language School, China
Harbin Normal University, China
Harbin Star Foreign Language College, China
Hengfeng Foreign Languages School, China
Highbird Internation School, China
Roy English Language Training Center, China
Boston Training Technologies, China
CHEERY ENGLISH, China
English First Shanghai (EF Shanghai), China
Enlighten / Enlightenment Consultants , China
Gold Apple Bilingual School, China
Kongjiang High School, China
Raffles Lasalle Shanghai, China
Shanghai Normal University, English First Shanghai (EF Shanghai), China
TEFL Jobs Consulting Ltd Company (TEFL.CC), China
Tonghu Consulting, Yuzhen Group Shanghai , China
Xuehui Science Kindergarten, China
Yucai Senior High School, China
English First Suzhou (EF Suzhou), China
Huai Yin Teacher College, China
ICON Language Center, China
Jiangsu Huaian Modern English, China
Nanjing Talent Academy,Talent Inc, China
Rayhua Bilingual School, China
Sino-Canada High School, China

Inspector McHammered of the Lard
FOR THE MOST RECENT POSTING CLICK HERE
FOR BLACKLIST NOMINATIONS CLICK HERE

Friday, January 19, 2007

Nominate a School for Blacklisting

Following a fine suggestion the Inspector is pleased to announce the opening of the nomination section. It'll be a bit like The Oscar's, however the congratulations will be replaced by a good kick up the backside for those stars of the TEFL industry unfortunate enough to be nominated.

Click here to listen to the soundtrack.

_______________________________________________________________

Inspector McHammered of the Lard in Val Ferret, Switzerland

  1. The Index
  2. Most Recent
  3. Nominate a School for Blacklisting

Tefl.com

Recognise anyone here? They all gave testimonials (knowingly or unknowingly) to support Tefl.com. The reason Tefl.com has a provisional blacklisting is because of two of our friends: the first, Peter Leech (sorry Peter Beech) of Anglo-Hellenic who was described (in such poetic language by one disgrunted teacher in an earlier post as a cowboy); and the second, the infamous Kramar's School of English, Slovakia. I have therefore ordered an in depth investigation into the conduct of your co-advertisers as you appear to accept money from anyone and have little concern for the consequences. You've also posted a fair few ads for The British Institutes, who are also BLACKLISTED. Tefl.com looks very much like the UK version of St. Dave's ESL cafe.

And this testimonial is suspicious
All of our staff do appreciate what you are doing for us. Your free services really give us a lot of help. Beijing Friendship Hotel.
FREE?
We all know that normal advertisers pay and free is not normally in the tefl.com vocabulary. Are you short of cash and are trying to drum up custom in Asia by offering freebies and trying to take business away from St Dave Sperling? It looks like it to me. Readers rest assured that The Inspector will swiftly down in one, a double Yak's Milk with Tonic (shaken not stirred) and report back to you ASAP.

Judge Tefl.com by the company they keep .

I await your response Tefl.com at High Noon.

A list of employers who have provided testimonials and who adore TEFL.com...

Colchester English Study Centre, UK.


Embassy CES


Echo Hill, Spain


St Bedes European Scheme, UK.


Family Housing Association (Manchester) Ltd., UK.


Lex English, Brazil.


Kramar's School of English, Slovakia


WSI Almeria, Spain.

English Worldwide, London, England.


University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, China.


ELS Language Centers, New Jersey, USA


The English School, Gandía, Spain.


Westgate Corporation, Japan.


Tara Language Services, Oman.


English Fast, Turkey.


Anglo-Hellenic Teacher Recruitment, Greece.


ESADE Idiomas, Barcelona, Spain.

Sunrise English School, Nagoya, Japan.


Teach Korea.


Maple English School, Japan.


Long Hungary.


ECC Thailand.


Cook's English Centre, Bosnia Herzegovina.


York Idiomas, Spain.


Billington Recruitment Consultants.


BKC-IH Moscow.


Berlitz Korea.


Global English, Mexico.


Cido Kindergarten, Taiwan.


Kunsan National University, South Korea.


Dover Idiomas, Spain.


English Speaking Play & Pre School, Oulu, Finland.


Beijing Friendship Hotel.


LCCT, Thailand.


Four Arrows, Canada.



Inspector McHammered of the Lard
FOR THE MOST RECENT POSTING CLICK HERE
FOR BLACKLIST NOMINATIONS CLICK HERE

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Daily Update - The Good The Bad and The Ugly

A quick preview, for all you armchair TEFL bloggers, of the latest developments on the site:

1. Some interesting links etc. on The Berlitz Japan post.

2. The Mother of all Battles is erupting on The Cicero Languages International post. Mr Christopher Hills has charged in like a bull in a china shop and has evidently decided not to praise your beloved inspector but to bury him (apologies to William Shakespeare). Teachers are being lined up and asked or ordered to write about what an absolutely delightful place it is but still no sign of Mr Paul Mason or the dodgy DOS. Collective amnesia seems to have afflicted the place. This interesting remedy might be of help.

3. The Wikipedia article warning teachers about Dave's Dollar Cafe has indeed been pulled. What a surprise! The original has been safely preserved for posterity on this site.

4. I've had a few postings from language schools asking for my e-mail address. This is worrying news indeed! I hadn't realised that there were quite so many cretins around. I would like to thank all those (undoubted admirers) for their invitations to pop in for a quick cup of tea and who want to get to know the Inspector better, but I must sadly inform you that, flattered as I am, the Inspector is too busy these days rooting out dodgy TEFL schools. I would strongly advise such people to take up Philately, for example, which is a nice, quiet and harmless hobby instead of your usual obsession with Notaphily. More importantly do get your IQ checked as soon as possible at iqtest.com . If you are disappointed by the low score, don't worry. There is now a revolutionary new method which will boost your IQ . I would however advise you to try holding your breath for ten minutes at a time as the consequences could bring real benefits to the world of TEFL and will change your life!

5. Please note that profanity, abuse, or anything you wouldn't be comfortable with your grandmother reading, will be instantly binned on the spot. This advice is particularly, but not exclusively, directed at the enormous fanclub* of Mr Paul Mitchell (of Saxoncourt Recruitment and Shane English Schools). Please don't waste your time and mine.
*At the last count there was one member.

Click HERE to watch the movie.

Inspector McHammered of the Lard
FOR THE MOST RECENT POSTING CLICK HERE
FOR BLACKLIST NOMINATIONS CLICK HERE

EFL in China - ESL in China


The Inspector stumbled across this interesting site whilst doing some TEFL forensic analysis.
I'm not sure whether it's a "Sperling Sterling Cafe" type of thing or whatever but you might well find some of the articles of interest if you are planning on teaching in China. There are a lot of reviews of nasty experiences with schools (to the left and listed by region), along with e-mail addresses which are often given by the reviewer/teacher who suffered. Seems pretty objective and open but do let me know if you find anything suspicious. Oh and as usual please let me know if the site is pulled and I'll post an archived version.

Click here for the soundtrack

Inspector McHammered of the Lard
FOR THE MOST RECENT POSTING CLICK HERE
FOR BLACKLIST NOMINATIONS CLICK HERE

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

TEFL Jobs in Korea - ESL Jobs in Korea

I came across this article on the official US Department of State Website and couldn't believe my eyes. All I knew about Korea was that they bury cabbages until they are stinking and putrid and then call it a national dish. Oh and I think they like hot dogs, you know the kind that normally go woof woof.

Read on dear reader to Inspector McHammered of the Lard's discovery. Modestly edited, if only to spare you the tedium of Korean bureaucracy. After reading this please do let me know if you're still set on going to Korea. If you are I will send you the address of a certain Peter Anderson of Bergamo (who is also listed on this site) whom I strongly advise you to write to for advice on a selection of suitable pills to take with you in case of emergencies.

TEACHING ENGLISH IN KOREA, OPPORTUNITIES AND PITFALLS

US Embassy Seoul, Korea
AN UNOFFICIAL GUIDE COMPILED BY
AMERICAN CITIZEN SERVICES, U.S. EMBASSY, SEOUL

Over the last few years the U.S. Embassy has received many inquiries about teaching English in Korea. We have prepared this unofficial guidebook to give teachers basic information on the business of teaching English here so that they can be better informed before committing themselves to a particular job.

Unfortunately some American citizens come to Korea under contract, with promises of generous salaries, bonuses and other amenities, only to find themselves in tenuous situations, often lacking funds to return to the U.S. The Embassy, by regulation, cannot enter into any case, conduct an investigation, nor act as a lawyer in legal or contractual mishaps experienced by U.S. citizens. We can neither investigate nor certify employers. It is up to each individual to evaluate potential employers before signing a contract.

We hope this information will prove useful. If you have any problems please contact the American Citizen Services Branch at the U.S. Embassy, 82 Sejong Ro, Chongro Ku. Our telephone number for basic information is 397-4603 or 397-4604. Please press 0 at any time during the message to be connected to an ACS staff member. Our Fax number is 02-397-4621. Our office is open for walk-in service every weekday, except Wednesdays, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The Embassy is closed on official American and Korean holidays.

OVERVIEW

Many Americans have enjoyed their teaching experiences in Korea; others have encountered problems. The key to happy and fruitful employment as a language instructor in Korea is to be employed by a reputable school and to negotiate a well-written contract before leaving the U.S. We advise anyone considering accepting an English teaching job in Korea to carefully review the terms of the contract regarding working and living conditions. It would also be useful to ask for references from persons familiar with the institution, especially American former employees.

TYPES OF ESL POSITIONS AVAILABLE IN KOREA

Most English teachers work in language institutes ("hakwon" in Korean). There are, however, positions available in several types of institutions:

- private foreign language institutes (hakwons)
- corporate in-house language programs
- university language institutes- university academic departments
- government/private research centers
- editing/public relations, advertising companies
- private teaching/informal classes

HAKWONS: Private language institutes are found all over Korea. Some institutes are well-known with many branches while others are small and short-lived. The ESL market in Korea is extremely competitive and many institutes fail. Most hakwons employ a number of instructors for conversation and occasionally for writing classes. The typical employee can expect to work 20 to 30 hours per week. The majority of classes are conducted early in the morning and in the evening, so many instructors have free time in the afternoons. Most classes have between 10 and 25 students. Pupils may be grade school or college students, or businessmen who are contemplating overseas assignments. Some of the better institutes will provide housing for instructors. The average salary is currently about 1.5 million won per month (US $ 1,850).

KORETTA/EPIK KOREAN GOVERNMENT PROGRAM: This fairly new, Korea-wide, government-sponsored program places native speakers in every school district in Korea and presents a unique opportunity for the adventurous to live far from tourist routes and population centers. While recruiting and training appear to be performed quite professionally, teachers' living and working experiences vary considerably. Some are welcomed with open arms and treated extremely well. Others, arriving in areas where the program has been forced upon reluctant, underfunded schools, are not wanted and this is made clear to them from the beginning. Housing, benefits, reliability of pay, and access to ombudsmen is steadily improving, but still has a long way to go.

PART-TIME EMPLOYMENT: Many full-time English teachers teach part-time as well, either at another institute or with privately-arranged classes. Extra-contractual private instruction is illegal; however many English teachers do take private students. Part-time instruction at a second institute is legal only with permission from the sponsoring institute and Korean immigration authorities. Private students pay more per hour, but some instructors have found it hard to maintain long-term private classes. One should arrange for private lesson fees to be paid prior to each class. The Embassy reminds teachers that they are personally responsible for any violations of Korean teaching and immigration law they might commit.

CHANGING EMPLOYERS: Korean Immigration must approve changes in employment. This is accomplished through leaving Korea and entering under a new visa with a new sponsor. Changing one's employer while in Korea is quite difficult and requires written consent of the original sponsor. Even with such consent, many teachers have found it nearly impossible to effect such a change while in Korea, and some have even been arrested and deported for overstaying their original visas while still involved in trying to change employers within the country. Questions on this procedure should be directed to the nearest Immigration office or Korean consulate.

LEGAL WARNING!
Some Americans have run into serious legal problems with Korean Immigration because they either work as English teachers while in Korea on tourist visas or they accept part-time employment or private classes without obtaining the proper permission. Violation of Korean immigration laws can result in severe penalties including imprisonment, fines of up to 100,000 won ($120) for each day of overstay, or deportation with a ban on re-entry for up to two years. It is your responsibility to understand local laws and to obey them.

If you violate Korean visa laws, the Embassy cannot assist you other than to provide you with a list of attorneys.

NATURE OF CONTRACTS IN KOREA: Foreign instructors in Korea occasionally have contract disputes with their employers. In the Korean context, a contract is simply a rough working agreement, subject to change depending upon the circumstances. Most Koreans do not view deviations from a contract as a breach of contract, and few Koreans would consider taking an employer to court over a contract dispute.

Instead, Koreans tend to view contracts as always being flexible and subject to further negotiation. Culturally, the written contract is not the real contract; the unwritten, oral agreement that one has with one's employer is the real contract. However, many employers will view a contract violation by a foreign worker as serious, and will renege on verbal promises if they feel they can. Any contract should be signed with these factors in mind.

BASIC FEATURES OF MOST TEACHING CONTRACTS: Contracts for teaching positions should include provisions for the following: salary, housing, tickets home, working hours, class size, severance pay, taxes, and medical insurance. If these items are not included, one should negotiate until they are. Information on these topics is given below. When in doubt, ask; get it in writing, and remember that only the Korean-language version of the contract is legally binding in Korea.

SALARY: Most contracts provide for either a set monthly salary, or for a salary based on the number of hours taught. In any event, a guaranteed monthly remuneration should be included in the contract. Payment dates, methods, and currency should be specified in advance.

HOUSING: Few contracts provide for housing in Seoul. This can be a serious problem as housing in Seoul is among the most expensive in the world. Housing options include key money (yearly deposit), monthly rent, shared housing, dormitories, lodging houses, and inns. If your institute does not provide housing, it should at least be able to help you in finding housing, and in negotiating the appropriate rent and utility payments. Teachers who have been promised housing might want to request photos, floorplans or furniture inventories in advance. Koreans have very different ideas of what 'western' and 'furnished' housing mean. 'Furnished' might only mean a linoleum floor and a 2-burner stove. 'Western' usually just means an apartment with an indoor bath. Koreans measure housing space in 'pyong'. One pyong is approximately 36 square feet. Pyong measurements usually include the front porch, utility room, etc. Monthly rents can run from U.S. $1500 to U.S. $4000 for a modest apartment.

KEY MONEY SYSTEM (CHUNSEE): Key money (chunsee) is a year's rent paid in advance; with no monthly rent payment. At the end of the contract period, the renter receives the chunsee back without interest. Chunsee can be risky because property ownership may change in the middle of the contract period, or the owner may simply decide that the foreigner is in no position to fight for the chunsee. One can reduce this risk by having the employer agree to pay the chunsee. Chunsee payments run from a minimum of 20 million won (US $ 24,000) for a studio in a less desirable part of town to 500 million won (US $ 650,000) for a small apartment in one of the richer neighborhoods.

Wolsee is a variation of chunsee. The renter pays a certain amount per month plus an initial deposit which he receives back when he moves out. The same caveats apply as with chunsee.

TICKETS HOME: Some institutes promise to provide tickets home upon completion of a contract or to reimburse teachers for the trip to Korea. One should be aware that sometimes this commitment is not honored. Consider requesting an open-ended round trip ticket in advance.

WORKING HOURS: Most institutes require foreign instructors to teach five to six hours per day, Monday through Friday, and some also ask instructors to teach Saturday morning as well. Universities will usually require 10 to 15 hours per week plus participation in student activities such as editing school newspapers. Research centers usually require 40 hours per week, with occasional uncompensated overtime. Saturday morning is a normal part of the Korean work week. Teachers may have to teach early morning or late evening classes to accommodate working students.

Most English teachers hired from the United States do not get their jobs directly through the institute where they work. Instead, they are recruited by a placement service. These services recruit on campus and in U.S. publications. The embassy has received complaints about a number of recruiters. Those considering working in Korea should deal with recruiters carefully: many of them do not know at which hagwon in which area of Korea the teacher will be placed; very few of them, to our knowledge, will accept responsibility for a placement that is contrary to the original terms of agreement or contract. Prospective teachers should keep all of the advice in this publication in mind when discussing employment terms with a recruiter.

CULTURAL PITFALLS

DIFFERENT EXPECTATIONS: Many types of people teach English in Korea. Some are professionally trained with degrees in TESOL; some hold graduate degrees in other disciplines and teach in Korea because they want to experience another culture; some teach English while doing other things, such as research; some teach while looking for other jobs; some are merely seeking any kind of work to help pay school bills; some are just passing through.

Teachers have differing expectations. They bring their own unique perspectives to their jobs, as well as their own individual reactions to new circumstances. Some expect to be revered and are shocked when they are not; others expect to make a lot of money but later find they actually earn about what a unionized bus driver in Seoul does; some expect to receive a large Western-style house and are disappointed to find themselves living in a modest room. Some teachers have been dismayed to find that their rooms were not air conditioned, and that they would have to work on their birthdays. Having realistic expectations and a flexible attitude prior to starting employment as a teacher in Korea will help prepare you for the inevitable stress and possible disappointment you may encounter.

SHORT-TERM BCISTITUTES: The Korean ESL market is extremely competitive. There are over 100,000 institutes of all types in Korea, most of them small-scale, marginal operations. Due to the competitive nature of the ESL business in Korea, many institutes do not survive long. They open their doors, hire the first foreigner they can find, advertise, teach for a month or so, lose money and close. Most of these cannot and will not pay their teachers for work performed, or for contract-specified repatriation, leaving teachers broke and stranded.

FOREIGNERS ARE NOT KOREAN: Korean society in general makes a great distinction between one's inner circle of family, friends and business colleagues, and outsiders. One should always treat one's inner circle with complete respect and courtesy, while one treats strangers with indifference. Korea is not an egalitarian society; one is either of a higher or a lower status than other people. How do foreigners fit into this scheme? The simple answer is - they don't. Foreigners are completely off the scope.

In recent years, less than 10 percent of Koreans traveled abroad, most often on group tours with other Koreans, or on business trips. Even now, with outbound tourism high, most Korean travelers still visit only friends, relatives or Korean neighborhoods, or travel in groups of other Koreans. Thus, Korean society remains very inwardly focused. For most Koreans, foreigners exist only as stereotypes, and are not always liked. Living in Korea as a foreigner requires patience and fortitude. Many foreigners have found Koreans can be quite friendly and warm, but a foreigner will seldom be accepted as part of the inner circle; he will almost always be an outsider looking in.

SOCIAL STATUS OF TEACHERS: Teachers are usually treated with great respect in Korea. However, it is also important to exhibit the kind of personal qualities and behavior that help maintain that respect. A foreign teacher who does disrespectful things, such as dressing or behaving too casually or informally, or losing his temper with a boss he considers unreasonable, would be held in great disdain by most Koreans, and runs the risk of getting into serious trouble with both his employer and the Korean Immigration Office. In other words, one should always present a mature, discreet, dignified and respectful manner. As a foreigner in Korea you will be highly visible, and you may find living here to be like living in a fish bowl, with everyone around you watching what you do with great interest. Remember that Korean society is more conservative in many ways than American society, and abide by local norms.

THE ESL PROFESSION IS NOT CONSIDERED PROFESSIONAL BY SOME KOREANS: By and large, Koreans do not think teaching ESL is a professional occupation. In fact, many believe any native speaker will do. This of course is based partially on reality - many ESL instructors in Korea have not had any professional training.

KOREAN BOSSES: Korean society is extremely hierarchical. The boss is the boss; he is never questioned or criticized. The same mistreatment you may feel you have received from him is probably not limited to his foreign employees. He probably reneges on contracts and makes 'unreasonable' demands of his Korean employees, too. As a result, one should be careful in how one deals with one's employer. When discussing issues that might become difficult, one should make sure does not to lose one's temper, raise one's voice, or speak in less than respectful language.

LACK OF CLEAR COMMUNICATION: Neither Korean society nor language is very precise. Many things are left unsaid, but still are understood. Of course, foreigners often do not understand. It is important that one understands what is expected and what is required up front, and that any misunderstandings be solved early on. Otherwise problems may develop.

ADAPTING TO KOREA SOCIETY

(This section of advice was written by KOTESOL, the local English Teacher's association.)

CULTURE SHOCK: When first arriving in a country, one is usually excited and eager for new experiences. After a while, the newness wears off, and homesickness begins. Do not judge yourself too severely at this point. It happens to everyone. "I will never understand this place. I want some real food, some real friends, a real apartment. Why do Koreans do X?"

.............the feeling eventually comes that it is time to leave. With luck you will realize it before it affects your life too deeply. It is time to leave when you begin to be negative about the country and its people. When you no longer want to go to work; when you dislike your students; when you become irritated with everything and everyone and have angry discussions with others of like mind, it is time to go.

HOW THE EMBASSY CAN HELP

Just to reiterate, the Embassy, by regulation, cannot enter into any case, conduct any investigation, or act as a lawyer for any personal mishap or employment dispute experienced by a U.S. citizen. We cannot investigate, certify, or vouch for employers. It is up to each individual to evaluate an employer before signing a contract, and to use common sense when traveling this far, including keeping sufficient funds available to return home should the situation become untenable.

The Embassy can assist Americans in a variety of ways. The Embassy offers notary services, renews passports, assists with absentee voting registration, and stocks basic IRS tax forms. We can provide phone numbers of Korean government agencies you may have to deal with. If you find yourself in need of legal help, we can provide a list of attorneys; however, we are unable to recommend any specific lawyer from this list. In case of a financial emergency, we can receive and disburse funds sent to you from a source in the U.S., usually much faster than a bank or wire transfer. Finally, we encourage all U.S. citizens to register with the Embassy. Registration allows us to contact you in the event of a family emergency.

We hope that this handbook has been useful. If you have any further questions, please contact the American Citizen Services Unit. Good luck, and enjoy your stay in Korea.

Heres another site that has an irreverant poke at Korea, both North and South. Enjoy!

Inspector McHammered of the Lard
FOR THE MOST RECENT POSTING CLICK HERE
FOR BLACKLIST NOMINATIONS CLICK HERE

Monday, January 15, 2007

Berlitz Japan

BERLITZ JAPAN

It's hardly surprising that Berlitz would eventually come to the Inspector's attention. I was actually looking into Japanese EFL school working conditions when my jaw dropped upon spotting an actual Berlitz Teachers' Union in Japan. Apparently over one thousand poor souls labour away reciting the mantra that is the Berlitz method. Berlitz has no connection with the phrase books, that bit was sold off years ago, though nobody knows and they certainly don't advertise the fact.
I'll add to the Berlitz story over the months to come and look into what they get up to in different countries, but suffice to say, as long as you are a native speaker and are able to consider yourself as a kind of sub-species of the human race by reciting their boring method, you'll do.
Want to create interesting lessons? Forget it!
Want to be something other than a parrot? Forget it!
Want to be paid a decent wage? Forget it!
Oh, The Japanese Berlitz Teachers' Union can be found here.
The front page gives a pretty good idea of the problems you'll face working or rather labouring at Berlitz in Japan. I quote:
"The Berlitz Union was formed in 1993 to provide support for Berlitz instructors within Japan. Our formation was in response to the rapidly deteriorating conditions at Berlitz Language Centers"
Well worth the Inspector digging deeper, wouldn't you say?

Update 18 January 2007.
1. Big Brother (1984 style not the TV nonsense) has arrived with CCT in classrooms. The main shareholder is apparently in the world's list of the top 500 richest men and as for the teachers pay rise forget it. Read on be grateful that you aren't there. Read this update
2. Another insight into life in Berlitz Japan and the general ongoing cheating of teachers, regarding travel time, and an amazing revelation that 1,000,000 + people "nip" out to learn "Engrish". Read and imagine a class full of Japanese singing "Oh Lovely Liverpool Lou my Lovely Liverpool Lou" which I have on good authority sound like "Ruvly Riverpool Rue". The Inspector still mutters in inebriated moments (usually down to an excess of fermented Yak's Milk) about the Japanese Government censoring of school books in particular Japanese atroctities during World War 11 and the collective Japanese amnesia regarding "The Rape of Nanking".
Also confirmation that The Land of the Rising Bum's EFL schools tend to cheat teachers with regard to health insurance. So you had better not get run over by some lunatic kamikaze driver.

Click here to listen to the soundtrack

Inspector McHammered of the Lard
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Friday, January 12, 2007

British Institutes, Italy

"One black one, one white one and one with a bit of XXXXX on" so goes the infamous rugby version of the song "Mayor of Bayswater's Daughter" (the Inspector will not be dragged down to the gutter, hence the XXXXX, which for the intellectually challenged rhymes with "white"). This neatly describes The British Institute chain of schools in Italy or British Institutes as they like to call themselves, no doubt to avoid getting into hot water with The official British Institute of Florence (whose patron HRH The Prince of Wales would not be too happy). There are black ones and white ones but some unfortunately have a bit of XXXXX on............................... and some would even give Benito Mussolini a good run for his lira or should I say euros (not that he'd be likely to see many as a teacher).

The Inspector will add to this posting, rest assured after a refreshing glass of Yak's milk, but in the interim, they really should put a government warning on this school's website that the British Institutes can be dangerous for your health. They are all independent and simply pay to use the name which means that what you see and what you thought you were getting ........ as the George Gershwin song goes "It ain't necessarily so"......... .

Here they all are. Do you notice the one that's missing? Yup.... there's no "British Institutes" in Florence, apart from the official one that is. Now I wonder why that's the case. Could it be that even they haven't the cheek or maybe are too scared of legal action? Surely not......................

British Institute of Acerra, Via Roma, 25 Acerra / British Institutes
British Institute of Acqui Terme, P.za San Francesco, 7 Acqui Terme / British Institutes
British Institute of Afragola, Via S.Maria, 3 Afragola / British Institutes
British Institute of Alessandria, Via Spalto Borgoglio, 59 Alessandria / British Institutes
British Institute of Andria, Via Udine, 16 Andria / British Institutes
British Institute of Aosta, Via Promis, 8 Aosta / British Institutes
British Institute of Arezzo, Viale Michelangelo, 26 Arezzo / British Institutes
British Institute of Arona, Via XX Settembre, 29 Arona / British Institutes
British Institute of Avellino, Corso Vittorio Emanuele, 87 Avellino / British Institutes
British Institute of Aversa, Via Roma, 204 Aversa / British Institutes
British Institute of Avezzano, Via XX Settembre, 179 Avezzano / British Institutes
British Institute of Avigliana, Corso Laghi 7 Avigliana / British Institutes
British Institute of Bari, Via Crisanzio, 6 Bari / British Institutes
British Institute of Bergamo, Via Ghislandi, 57 Bergamo / British Institutes
British Institute of Biella, Via Cerino Zegna 14 Biella / British Institutes
British Institute of Bologna, Via Nazario Sauro, 1/2 Bologna / British Institutes
British Institute of Bolzano, Via Isarco, 11 Bolzano / British Institutes
British Institute of Borgo San Lorenzo, Via Sacco e Vanzetti, 14A Borgo San Lorenzo / British Institutes
British Institute of Borgomanero, C.so Garibaldi, 106 Borgomanero / British Institutes
British Institute of Brescia, Via Cantore, 46 Brescia / British Institutes
British Institute of Brindisi, Via De Terribile, n.9 Brindisi / British Institutes
British Institute of Busto Arsizio, V.le D. D'Aosta, 19 Busto Arsizio / British Institutes
British Institute of Cagliari, Via Dante, 89 Cagliari / British Institutes
British Institute of Caivano, Via Settembrini, 95 Caivano / British Institutes
British Institute of Cantu, Via Gallianello, 6 Cantu / British Institutes
British Institute of Casale Monferrato, Via Canina, 13 Casale Monferrato / British Institutes
British Institute of Casalecchio di Reno, Via Testoni, 19/A Casalecchio di Reno / British Institutes
British Institute of Castellammare di Stabia, Via Virgilio 110 Castellammare di Stabia / British Institutes
British Institute of Cento, Via IV Novembre, 11 Cento / British Institutes
British Institute of Cercola, V.le Gandi , 5 Cercola / British Institutes
British Institute of Cernusco sul Naviglio, Via Pontida, 11 Cernusco sul Naviglio / British Institutes
British Institute of Cesena, Via Uberti, 24 Cesena / British Institutes
British Institute of Chieti, Via Arenazze, 4 Chieti / British Institutes
British Institute of Cinisello Balsamo, Viale Fulvio Testi, 11 Cinisello Balsamo / British Institutes
British Institute of Cirie', Via V. Emanuele, 175 Cirie' / British Institutes
British Institute of Como, Via Carloni, 8 Como / British Institutes
British Institute of Cosenza, Via Alimena,118 Cosenza / British Institutes
British Institute of Crema, Via Borletto, 9 Crema / British Institutes
British Institute of Cremona, Via D. Ruffini, 22 Cremona / British Institutes
British Institute of Crotone, C.so Mazzini 107 Crotone / British Institutes
British Institute of Faenza, C.so Garibaldi, 4 Faenza / British Institutes
British Institute of Ferrara, Via Lucchesi, 4 Ferrara / British Institutes
British Institute of Fidenza, Via De Amicis, 2 Fidenza / British Institutes
British Institute of Figline Val D'Arno, P.zza Marsilio Ficino, 65 Figline Val D'Arno / British Institutes
British Institute of Foggia, Via P. Tarantino, 1 Foggia / British Institutes
British Institute of Foligno, Via del Roccolo 5/A Foligno / British Institutes
British Institute of Fontanafredda Via IV Novembre, 9 Fontanafredda / British Institutes
British Institute of Forte dei Marmi, Via dell'Acqua, 7 Forte dei Marmi / British Institutes
British Institute of Frosinone, Via Aldo Moro, 222 Frosinone / British Institutes
British Institute of Frosinone, Via Aldo Moro, 222 Frosinone / British Institutes
British Institute of Gallarate, Via Cavour, 6 Gallarate / British Institutes
British Institute of Gallipoli, Via Lecce 6 Gallipoli / British Institutes
British Institute of Gioia Tauro, Strada Statale, 111 Gioia Tauro / British Institutes
British Institute of Giugliano in Campania Via D. Alighieri, 78 Giugliano in Campania / British Institutes
British Institute of Gorizia, C.so Italia, 71 g Gorizia / British Institutes
British Institute of Grosseto, Via Mameli, 34 Grosseto / British Institutes
British Institute of Imola, Via Appia, 62 Imola / British Institutes
British Institute of Isernia, Via Umbria, 169/A Int.1 sernia / British Institutes
British Institute of Lamezia Terme, C.so G. Nicotera, 193 Lamezia Terme / British Institutes
British Institute of Lanciano, Piazza E. Miscia, 2 Lanciano / British Institutes
British Institute of L'aquila, Via San Benedetto in Perillis , 6 L'aquila / British Institutes
British Institute of Latina, Centro Comm.le Latinafiori - Torre Orchidee sc. A Latina / British Institutes
British Institute of Lecce Via D. degli Abruzzi, 23 Lecce / British Institutes
British Institute of Legnano, C.so Sempione, Legnano / British Institutes
British Institute of Livorno, Via Borra, 35 Livorno / British Institutes
British Institute of Lodi, P.zza della Vittoria, Lodi / British Institutes
British Institute of Lucca, Via Stradone, 1/L Lucca / British Institutes
British Institute of Manerbio, Via San Martino del Carso, 6 Manerbio / British Institutes
British Institute of Marano, C.so Italia , 33 Marano / British Institutes
British Institute of Marina di Carrara Via C. Fiorillo, 6 Marina di Carrara / British Institutes
British Institute of Massa, P.zza Mercurio, 9 Massa / British Institutes
British Institute of Matera, Via Nicola Sole, 2 Matera / British Institutes
British Institute of Merate, Via Quintaberta, 14/20 Merate / British Institutes
British Institute of Milan, Buenos Aires Via Palazzi 2/a Milan / British Institutes
British Institute of Milano, Buenos Aires Via Palazzi 2/a Milano / British Institutes
British Institute of Milano, Cadorna Via Leopardi, 8 Milano / British Institutes
British Institute of Milano, P.ta Romana 55 C.so di Porta Romana Milano / British Institutes
British Institute of Modena, Via Spallanzani, 39 Modena / British Institutes
British Institute of Molfetta, V.le Pio XI, 48/15 Molfetta / British Institutes
British Institute of Monopoli, Via Marconi, 33/35 Monopoli / British Institutes
British Institute of Montecatini Terme, Via Cavallotti, 32 Montecatini Terme / British Institutes
British Institute of Monza, Via Cernuschi, 8 (Area Cambiaghi) Monza / British Institutes
British Institute of Mortara, C.so Garibaldi, 36 Mortara / British Institutes
British Institute of Naples, Via G. Santacroce, 79 Naples / British Institutes
British Institute of Napoli, Secondigliano Corso Secondigliano, 190 Napoli Secondigliano / British Institutes
British Institute of Nola, Via Onor. F. Napolitano, 58 - P.co Carducci Nola / British Institutes
British Institute of Novara, B.do Quintino Sella, 1 Novara / British Institutes
British Institute of Novi Ligure, Via De Ambrosis, 21 / British Institutes
British Institute of Ovada, Piazza Mazzini, 59 Novi Ligure / British Institutes
British Institute of Palmi, Via Pitagora trav.1, 19 Palmi / British Institutes
British Institute of Parma, Strada della Repubblica, 45 Parma / British Institutes
British Institute of Pavia, C.so Mazzini, 6 Pavia / British Institutes
British Institute of Perugia, Via R. Gallenga, 48 Perugia / British Institutes
British Institute of Pescara, Via P. Lanciano, 78 Pescara / British Institutes
British Institute of Piacenza, Via Cavour, 58/A Piacenza / British Institutes
British Institute of Pianura, Via S. Donato, 17 Pianura / British Institutes
British Institute of Pinerolo, Via Rivoira Don, 24 Pinerolo / British Institutes
British Institute of Pisa, Via Battelli, 29/A Pisa / British Institutes
British Institute of Poggibonsi, Viale Marconi, 139 Poggibonsi / British Institutes
British Institute of Pomezia, Via Della Motomeccanica, 2 Pomezia / British Institutes
British Institute of Pomezia, Via Della Motomeccanica, 2 Pomezia / British Institutes
British Institute of Pordenone, Via IV Novembre, 9 Pordenone / British Institutes
British Institute of Potenza, Via Sole, 73 Potenza / British Institutes
British Institute of Pozzuoli, Via Roma, 4 Pozzuoli / British Institutes
British Institute of Prato, V.le della Repubblica, 82/84 Prato / British Institutes
British Institute of Ravenna, Via Cavour, 114 Ravenna / British Institutes
British Institute of Reggio Calabria, Via Dalmazia, 1 Reggio Calabria / British Institutes
British Institute of Rho, Galleria Europa, 39 Rho / British Institutes
British Institute of Rieti, Via G. Garibaldi 207 Rieti / British Institutes
British Institute of Rimini, Via Della Repubblica, 100/108 Rimini / British Institutes
British Institute of Roma Horizons, L.go Brindisi, 18(int.11); Via Cavour 246 Roma Horizons
British Institute of Roma, Via Aurelia, 137 Roma
British Institute of Rome Horizons, L.go Brindisi, 18(int.11); Via Cavour 246 Roma Horizons
British Institute of Rome, Via Aurelia, 137 Rome / British Institutes
British Institute of Rovereto, C.so Rosmini, 66 r Rovereto / British Institutes
British Institute of Salerno, Via Gen.V. Robertiello, 8 Salerno / British Institutes
British Institute of San Donato, M.se Via A. Moro, 107 San Donato / British Institutes
British Institute of San Lazz. di Savena, Via F.lli Canova, 23 San Lazz. di Savena / British Institutes
British Institute of Santa Marinella, Via Valdambrini, 91 Santa Marinella / British Institutes
British Institute of Saronno, P.zza Caduti Saronnesi, 8/A Saronno / British Institutes
British Institute of Sassari, Viale Trento 1/A Sassari / British Institutes
British Institute of Scafati, Via P. Melchiade, 43 Scafati / British Institutes
British Institute of Seregno, P.zza Risorgimento, 21 Seregno / British Institutes
British Institute of Siena, Via Montanini, 88 Siena / British Institutes
British Institute of Sora, Via S. Amasio, 7 Sora / British Institutes
British Institute of Stradella, Via Faravelli, 7 Stradella / British Institutes
British Institute of Sulmona, V.le Roosvelt, 14 Sulmona / British Institutes
British Institute of Taranto, Via Duca Degli Abruzzi, 11, Taranto / British Institutes
British Institute of Teramo, Via Badia, 23 Teramo / British Institutes
British Institute of Terni, Via Guglielmi, 29 Terni / British Institutes
British Institute of Tivoli, V.le Picchioni, 12/14 Tivoli / British Institutes
British Institute of Tivoli, V.le Picchioni, 12/14 Tivoli / British Institutes
British Institute of Torino, Via XX Settembre, 65 Torino / British Institutes
British Institute of Torre Annunziata, C.so Umberto I, 85 Torre Annunziata / British Institutes
British Institute of Torre del Greco, Viale Europa, 63 Torre del Greco / British Institutes
British Institute of Tortona, C.so Leoniero, 25 Tortona / British Institutes
British Institute of Tradate, Via De Simoni, 15 Tradate / British Institutes
British Institute of Trani, Via Umberto 287 Trani / British Institutes
British Institute of Trento, P.zzetta Anfiteatro, 8 Trento / British Institutes
British Institute of Treviglio, V.le Piave, 18 Treviglio / British Institutes
British Institute of Trezzano, S/N V.le L. Da Vinci, 43 Trezzano / British Institutes
British Institute of Turin, Via XX Settembre, 65 Turin / British Institutes
British Institute of Udine, Palazzo Fadalti - Viale Tricesimo 200 Sc. A Udine / British Institutes
British Institute of Varese, Via Manzoni, 3 Varese / British Institutes
British Institute of Vasto, Via Alessandrini 6/A Vasto / British Institutes
British Institute of Venafro, Via G. da Bondone, 73 Venafro / British Institutes
British Institute of Verbania, C.so Garibaldi, 52 Verbania / British Institutes
British Institute of Viareggio,Via Circonvallazione, 34 Viareggio / British Institutes
British Institute of Vibo Valentia, V.le Kennedy, 65 Vibo Valentia / British Institutes
British Institute of Vigevano, Via Biffignandi, 37 Vigevano / British Institutes
British Institute of Viterbo, Via Polidori, 26 Viterbo / British Institutes
British Institute of Voghera, Via Plana, 27 Voghera / British Institutes

Inspector McHammered of the Lard
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Anderson House, Bergamo, Italy

The scene is set the stage is lit and the pantomime begins. Enter onstage the villain Peter Frederick Anderson (P.F.A) a language school owner and a very unpleasant man according to the script.

As I went looking for my (by now very dirty) spade in the toolshed I started humming that tune from the film "The Italian Job" (you know the original great one not the useless sequel) what was it called...............? Oh yes! "The Self Preservation Society". What a great soundtrack if The Anderson House pantomime ever made it to the big screen.

These days the Inspector gets the distinct impression that The TEFL Blacklist is a Blacklist Preservation Society as so many threads are pulled from so many sites he has to save them for his discerning readers to view. Bring back good old fashioned shredding, as at least you knew where you stood.

Anyway I digress. Back to the panto........

I could point you to the links but as they will probably be made to disappear I cordially invite you to sit back, open up a bottle of fermented Yak's milk, belch freely and read what this very naughty language school owner has got up to recently . I'll just cut and paste the various allegations

(exit from stage, The extremely dashing, Inspector Mchammered of the Lard bellowing "betcha he did it")



The Plot

Posted on Saint Dave's. Last year there were financial problems at Anderson House. As a result, promised bonuses were apparently not paid to some staff (others did receive theirs). The problem, which, let's face it, is not unique was quite poorly handled by the owner. He insulted some teachers, apparently threatened others, and generally pissed most teachers off by several mindlessly vindictive acts (for example - telling one teacher he would be evaluated in the last week of his contract - then not showing up for the evaluation (twice)!). There was talk of legal action by some teachers at the end of the term. One other senior staff member (non-instructional) quit abruptly. The Director of Studies supposedly found out he was being released when someone pointed out an ad for his job on the internet.
For this year, contracts have been changed (lower salaries; bonuses based on the school's financial situation, etc.) so that a similar situation will presumably be avoided. But for several of those who worked at Anderson House last year, there is a justifiable residue of bitterness.

The Final Act

We have reached the limit of the overdraft allowance, we haven't paid the tax for June and July. Sorry, I'm not joking: we really are broke.
Peter
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Da: Nick Bailey [mailto:nick@thetravellingturtle.com]
Inviato: mercoledì 2 agosto 2006 2.53
A: p.anderson@andersonhouse.it
Oggetto: "I want my baby to be remembered" - as what?

Dear Peter,

It would be a shame for AH if your clients learn about the way your employees feel about you breaking your contract with them. I don't believe that you have insufficient funds to pay us the money that you are legally binded to pay us - and even if you do, the overdraft allowance for a s.r.l. would provide you with more than enough capital for you to meet your financial commitments to us.

Lets not make this messy,

Nick

Hi xxx,

How are you? I hope all's well.

Please forward this to your classmates as I don't have their email addresses, as well as your superiors. This link reflects the views of the teachers at Anderson House this year and I feel that the clients of the organisation I represented should understand our views.

http://www.eslcafe.com/forums/job/viewtopic.php?p=436729#436729

Good luck with everything,

Nick

(Note by The Inspector. Don't waste your time trying to find that link. Saint Dave, the Directors' Darling pulled it. I bet his mum used to spank him for breaking his toys)

Bergamo House – Staff appraisals form by disgruntled

Bergamo House – Staff appraisals form

We would appreciate your comments regarding your experiences working with us this year. If you could please take the time to complete the following questionnaire it may aid us in providing a more pleasurable experience for our future “project workers”, as strangely very few of you seem to be interested in continuing on with us at Bergamo House.

Paying attention to the needs of our employees may have the previously unforeseen consequence of our “project workers” providing a more satisfactory service to our clients which, in turn, could well allow us to proceed with our primary objective - the expansion of The Empire;

1. Do you think that P.F.A. will actually take the time to read this?
a) Yes
b) NO
c) It depends on whether he’s taken his pills.
d) It depends on which pills he’s taken.

2. Should P.F.A. actually take the time to read this, do you think he will…

a) try to act upon the feedback he has been provided with.
b) consider himself far too superior to accept the advice of others and dismiss it accordingly.
c) try to think of another object on which to attach his name (cars – done!, bins – done! Sign in the toilet – done!)

3. Should P.F.A. actually try to act upon the feedback he has been provided with, do you think he will…

a) endeavour to provide his ‘project workers’ with improved working conditions.
b) rant to himself quietly because he really has no idea how to do his job.
c) take another pill.

4. How would you describe P.F.A.’s rapport with you and your fellow “project workers”?

a) Warm, friendly and full of concern about your daily lives.
b) He couldn’t give a shit ‘cos The Empire is more important.
c) It depends on whether he’s taken his pills.
d) It depends on which pills he’s taken.

5. How have you enjoyed your time at Bergamo House?

a) It’s the best TEFL job I’ve had!
b) Fucking awful!
c) It depends on whether he’d taken his pills.
d) It depends on which pills he’d taken.

6. How many “project workers” have resigned from Bergamo House as a result of P.F.A. not listening to their concerns?

a) None
b) At least one a month
c) Can’t remember ‘cos I’ve started taking pills too!

7. Would you ask P.F.A. for a letter of reference?

a) Of course, he’s a model character whose opinion I respect more than my mother’s.
b) WHAT?
c) It depends on whether he’s taken his pills.
d) It depends on which pills he’s taken.

8. Imagine P.F.A. offered you a contract that paid €5000 a month for 20 contact hours a week, would you accept it?

a) Of course, the man has honour and I’d love to work for him again!
b) Yeah right! If I’d wanted to earn big cash by working for a crook, then I’d be working as a lawyer for Shell with much less stress.
c) I’d ask his doctor if he’d changed his pills and how long he was going to be on them for.

9. How much attention and forethought do you think goes into providing the “project workers” with a comfortable timetable?

a) My timetable has been perfect – no complaints at all.
b) About as much as when I played ‘pin the tail on the donkey’ for the first time at my fifth birthday party.
c) It depends on how high I was on P.F.A.’s list of most hated “project workers”.

Thank you for taking the time to read this questionnaire. However, as you anticipated in your answers to questions (1) and (2) we really don’t give a toss about your welfare and will continue to act like the wankers we are until we really do go bankrupt.

Da: Nick Bailey [mailto:nick@thetravellingturtle.com]
Inviato: lunedì 17 luglio 2006 13.29
A: pander@bergamohouse.it
Oggetto: 13. END OF CONTRACT CONDITIONS


Dear Peter,

I am writing to you further to receiving my payment following the end of my contract with Bergamo House. I would like to thank you for the prompt transfer of my salary for June 2006. However, I have not yet received the bonus for completion of my contract. The criteria for eligibility for this bonus is stated very clearly in the contract i.e.

13. END OF CONTRACT CONDITIONS
13.1 Upon fulfilment and completion of the contract (February 1st, 2006 to June 30th, 2006) the teacher will receive a bonus of maximum €400,00 should the following conditions below be fulfilled:

€100,00 for punctuality and not one single complaint for being late. If the delay is caused by circumstances beyond the control of the teacher, it will not be considered.

€100,00 for absolute adherence to the dress code (see Appendix 1).

€100,00 for impeccable register keeping and admin work.

€100,00 for not having missed one single working day voluntarily, that is, not showing up or not finding appropriate cover for lessons in case of absence.

For these conditions to be fulfilled, the teacher should have zero non-conformity forms regarding the above descriptions.

I acknowledge the fact that I received non-conformity forms regarding my admin work as well as the occasion when I overslept, though please note that I was working a timetable which did not provide me with the 11 hours rest between finishing work and starting again the following day which is required by European law. However, I did not receive any non-conformity forms regarding my dress code or my punctuality and therefore should qualify for the €100 bonus for these two conditions.

I have appreciated your fairness and support throughout my period of employment and trust that you will be able to help me resolve this issue.

Yours sincerely,

Nick Bailey

(entrance on stage, that old TEFL tease, Inspector Mchammered of the Lard muttering incoherently to himself - after having unwisely drunk a litre of ferneted Yak's milk - "string the bugger up!")

Inspector McHammered of the Lard
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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Headmaster's Study

Once upon a time, in the Land of the Rising Bum, there lived a flatulent frog. He liked nothing better than to boast a bit about how nice he was, but really he was a bit of a bully boss who had the amazing ability to speak through his bottom.

If this naughty frog ever dares threaten Inspector McHammered of the Lard again, the magical thread woven on the web about his expoits (and now safely archived) and telling all sorts of tales about him will instantly reappear with a quick wave of my wand and I'll have no option but to cane him in front of the whole school.

Be warned and keep well away from The Tefl Blacklist Monsieur/Mr. Jean-Guy and keep out of trouble in Japan .

Stick to watching your Black Adder videos, it's safer.

Sandy has been forced into early retirement and has absolutely NO control over this blog. I will however immediately and without warning repost the entire thread (you blackmailed him into removing) about your school, if I ever hear from (or about) you again.

P.S. The thread for the moment is still in Google's cache so if you do a google search for "Jean-Guy Japan" you'll find it in "Cached" at about number 25. The cache will soon enough disappear though and you will be out on parole.

I personally doubt you'll be able to resist annoying me (unfortunately for you "annoying me" includes any attempt to contact me) so I think the chances of the posting reappearing are quite high.

Inspector McHammered of the Lard
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Stupid Language School Names

Just a bit of harmless fun about silly names for schools. Einstein where are you? Come back all is forgiven. There are quite a few language school owners who should have taken advice on what is regarded as a funny, daft, stupid or simply downright ridiculous name for their school. I'd take a good second look at any school that had a silly name. For starters and in no particular order of stupidity we have this month on Saint Sperling's money machine:
  1. Cactus TEFL (for silly pricks?)
  2. British Hills, Fukishima Japan (you may well need to head for them - the hills that is)
  3. Native Tongue, Ibague Colombia (perhaps a local delicacy)
  4. Sunflower Language School, Taiwan (perhaps the owner's a bit slippery)
  5. Reach To Teach, Taiwan (unable to reach the owner on pay day?)
  6. Face to Face English, (er not exactly as they are looking for online teachers so it'll be more like Screen to Screen)
  7. Apollo Education and Training, (IH) Vietnam (because so many teachers get the rocket)
  8. Jump Start Language School, (because the school car is always breaking down)
  9. DD Dragon English School, Taiwan (the boss is a bit fiercesome)
  10. Canterbury English, Madrid Spain (that's a new accent on me. What's wrong with Essex English or Chav's English. Ain't good ennuf for yer?)
  11. Wing Inc. Chiba Japan (you may well need to do a runner)
  12. Safe Passage, Guatemala City Guatemala (you may need a bit of protection)
  13. Spring Pond Cultural Group, Taipei County, Taiwan (English for scuba divers after all you never know when you'll need it underwater)
  14. EF Bogor, Indonesia (reminds me of Thomas Crapper who apparently invented the bog. It does have a certain ring to it)
  15. ABC PLUS, Nagoya, Japan (for remedial businessmen). Perhaps the Headmaster can help out (whoops, was told not to mention the Headmaster or Sandy will get a right good spanking)

That's just for starters. I'm sure Sandy would agree that a prize of a litre of fermented Yak's milk should be sent to the winning entry.

Inspector McHammered of the Lard
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Monday, January 08, 2007

Cicero H Parks

CICERO H PARKS

R.I.P

Dear Mr Parks,
I appreciate the fact that you are pushing up the daisies now makes it rather hard for you to communicate with the Inspector but truth be told a lot of EFL school owners are just as difficult to get in touch with.
If however you contact the Inspector from beyond the grave with fresh information regarding your namesake, I'll have a quick word with the big boss of that great EFL school in the sky and get your plot upgraded.


"The first duty of a man is the seeking after and the investigation of truth."
Cicero


Inspector McHammered of the Lard
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Sunday, January 07, 2007

TEFL

TEFL Jobs? Nasty experience if you don't do your research properly. Don't fall for the glossy brochure or web site or slick sales patter. Avoid having a nightmare and do a quick check on The TEFL Blacklist which is a free non for profit blog designed to warn the unsuspecting but well-meaning teacher of bad schools and may just save you time money and a rotten time far from home, being treated badly.

Inspector McHammered of the Lard
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Cactus TEFL

Check this bunch of people out! Want to waste your money on a TEFL certificate that's worthless ? One of the biggest unmentioned scams is of course ripping off teachers for either a "delicious" (their word) TEFL qualification that magically will transform you into a teacher without ever having had to teach a class or in some "super delicious cases" without ever even having had to meet your instructor.

Or would you rather chuck a ton of your hard earned money down the pan for a so called proper TEFL course which is exhorbitantly expensive especially when you'll probably end up getting paid peanuts in your new career (?).

Sound like a good investment? Not to me it doesn't.

This outfit couldn't care less what you waste your money on as long as they get their hands on their grubby little commission.

Why should this seem so strange in the rip off world of TEFL where teachers not only often get shafted in the job but if not careful will also get shafted before.

The TEFL certificate scam is one of the worst ones ever and they will get away with it as long as the cash registers keep on ringing.

The Cactus Teachers website (as they also misleadingly call themselves}, even have the cheek to say that they work in affiliation with the Education Guardian and use its logo to buy (?) themselves some credibility, apparently just because some expert (?) called Richard Bradford initially posted an article on the Guardian website offering advice to any teacher (sucker) who was daft enough not to see through his cheap marketing ploy and now you'll find that lots of seemingly impartial, informative articles are written by a very helpful person by the name of XXXXXXX* advising you on TEFL and especially where to spend (waste?) your money on courses.

Guess what she does for a living. Yup dead right, she's "Head of Cactus TEFL" and if you look at the online version of the Guardian there's a neat little Cactus TEFL search button by the side of each article she writes, to help you spend your money. Who pays who? My guess is they pay the Guardian for a hidden and totally plausible and subtle form of advertising/marketing, not that you'd notice. It looks suspiciously like a paid hidden endorsement designed to push up the sales of their advertised TEFL courses for which they get paid the commission I mentioned.

Anyone who knows how the Google rankings operate will also realise that this is why they rank so highly for such search terms as TEFL and TEFL COURSES etc. etc. It's a clever way of manipulating the Google search engine results. Try it yourself, just do a Google search for TEFL and see how near to the online Education Guardian's position they rank. One naturally imagines that they rank highly because they are important. No no no my dear, perish the thought! They rank highly NOT because they are important BUT because they have in effect paid for a link, a practice Google naturally frowns upon and if notified blacklists sites for, yes you've got it.....trying to artificially manipulate the search engine rankings. Phew.... I feel a denunciation to Google coming on and must wipe my brow in shock horror.

Inspector McHammered of the Lard considers this to be underhand and devious and as a consequence they've been blacklisted for being sneaky. Shame on The Guardian also for betraying the trust that innocent teachers place in the objectivity of their articles and indulging in a little link selling on the side.

Check it out. You'll find I'm right and it could well be argued that Cactus TEFL are master con artists. And the teachers? Well Cactus TEFL considers them just like turkeys taking advice on where to spend Christmas.

Prime candidates for the first shyster award of 2007. Cactus TEFL.

* XXXXXXX R.I.P

I noticed on the web the following information which amazingly wasn't available on the Cactus TEFL Website, but I spotted it by chance on doing a search for the lady in question. The Inspector offers his deepest condolences and has felt it appropriate to remove all mention of her from the TEFL Blacklist.

"It is with deep sorrow that Cactus announces the tragic death of XXXXXXX, who passed away in hospital on Tuesday 22nd May following a road traffic accident in Cordoba, Spain. "

By the way who is this young lady whose picture is still on your website in an advertising context? Richard Bradford, I know you're a total plonker but please do answer. This is genuinely one of the rare situations where the Inspector would like to be demonstrated to be wrong. Please do tell the readers that this is not the person mentioned above and that any similarity is purely coincidental.


Inspector McHammered of the Lard
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Saturday, January 06, 2007

UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT!!

The TEFL Blacklist is now under new management...
It is with deep regret that we have to announce that the previous Editor has announced his retirement from The TEFL BLACKLIST. It is however business as usual with a few minor changes to improve the security of the site and preserve the freedom of speech. The basic principles of ousting the shysters will naturally remain.

Inspector McHammered of the Lard
FOR THE MOST RECENT POSTING CLICK HERE
FOR BLACKLIST NOMINATIONS CLICK HERE