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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Saturday, August 30, 2008

EF College, Oxford

Posted on TEFL Jobs in the UK. Any comments?

I can't seem to nominate a school for the blacklist, so I'm leaving it here as a comment. This is my resignation letter from EF College, Oxford:

Dear Kim,
I am writing to inform you that I have been forced to resign my position from EF Language College, for reasons outlined below. I am truly sorry for the inconvenience my departure has caused to my colleagues at the Oxford Centre, however to remain was to place myself in an untenable position. I have listed the below issues in chronological order.

1. Confirmation and arrival. As I did not receive, as promised, an information pack over the weekend of the 27-28 June providing details of the position, it was not until I spoke to you on the morning of Monday 30 June that I was informed of the location of the Centre. You gave me the address: Cherwell College, Paradise Street, Oxford OX1 1LD. On arrival at the Paradise Street address I spent a tedious hour between different departments, none of which had heard of me or knew anything about EF. I find it unbelievable that you did not have the correct address of 7 Norham Gardens, especially given that this was where all the EF resources and merchandise had been delivered. You had also misdirected other staff to Paradise Street and this was a very poor introduction to EF.

2. Teaching facilities and OH&S. The facilities at Norham Gardens were completely inadequate, only two toilets, a staff room with only two chairs, tiny classrooms, boxes strewn everywhere, a lack of fire extinguishers and most appallingly, not one staff member had comprehensive first aid training. The first aid kit in the office my have been adequate for a single traveller, but certainly not for a camp of 150 teenagers. Additionally, there was no epipen and no one trained in the treatment of anaphylaxis. Basic OH&S standards were clearly not adhered to and there was no procedure for doing background checks on employees. Given the duty of care owed to the students attending the camp, I found these conditions unacceptable.

3. Program organisation and resources. Despite a comprehensive English language program being available for the teachers to follow, there was no information about the drama component other than the comment “we’re doing ‘A Mid-summer Night’s Dream’ with a performance at the end”. No one could tell us whether it would be one performance or several, whether all students were expected to participate as actors regardless of their level of English, or what particular material needed to be covered in our lessons. All these questions were secondary however to the main problem – there were no copies of the play! In the middle of this discussion a representative from the Oxford Theatre Company showed up unexpectedly and began going through some lesson plans that she had been asked to prepare. Unfortunately, the plans, which covered such obscure topics as ‘pointalism’ were far too advanced for ESL students. Additionally, she had only prepared 7 out of the 14 lesson plans, leaving the teachers to complete the rest on their own, which again would be impossible without copies of the text available. One option discussed was to download a copy of the play and photocopy it, but this could not be done as the Centre had no internet access. No timetable had been organised.

4. Board and Accommodation. Given the dilapidated state of the Centre, I was not surprised to find that the accommodation was also sub-standard. All teachers had been told they would be given their own room and instead the majority of us had to share. The room I shared had only one light, the beds were old and uncomfortable, the facilities musty and dirty. There was no bathroom on our floor and no lighting on the landing. Despite being promised ‘full board and accommodation’ we were informed that there was no budget to feed us on Monday night and that we’d have to ‘fend for ourselves’. This was not what anyone wanted to hear after such a tedious day and completely unfair of EF to mislead employees in this way. I stipulated to the Centre Manager and my ‘House Mother’ that I had particular food allergies and they both assured me that I could be catered for without a problem. Despite this, I was unable to eat the food at either breakfast or lunch on Tuesday.

Kim I have to say my experience of EF has been one of complete disorganisation and unprofessionalism. I feel that I accepted the position after being given misleading information about the company, the Oxford Centre and the teaching position. I am still considering whether to pass my concerns on to the relevant authorities. I expect full remuneration for Monday 30 June and Tuesday 1 July, along with reimbursement of my travel costs. The receipts of these I have posted to you along with my P46 tax form.
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Inspector McHammered of the Lard in Pamplona, Spain

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sandy McManus Needs You

Sandy McManus, seems to be under attack from some nutter intent on mischief making. Your beloved sleuth is often the recipient of threats of an unseemly nature and feels that any attack on Sandy is an attack on himself. Tis true that Sandy doesn't take prisoners, but then one might well argue , why should he?

The TEFL industry is riddled with charlatans that need exposing and thank goodness there are ways for teachers to warn others of unscrupulous employers.

This is what Sandy has to say:

"WARNING!! Nutter on the Loose!

Look out!! There's a right dickhead over there in France (IP 213.41.241.# - Nerim) who thinks he's got me rumbled. Fortunately, for me anyway, he's barking up the wrong palm tree. However, in order to protect the innocent party that is persistently being named as the REAL Sandy McAnus, I've temporarily switched off the comments section for all blog postings.

If you really want to contact me (no, not you, Mr Dickhead in France), e-mail me on teflsandy@yahoo.ie. Or you can slag off Monsieur Tete de Coq over on...


I reckon he'll be needing a lawyer soon, once David K. gets wind of what he's up to.

BTW, what IS the French for dick?"

I am sure that Sandy would agree with me that the bugger needs seeing off and a few well chosen messages to that effect posted on his site might just be what the doctor ordered.
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Inspector McHammered of the Lard in Pamplona, Spain
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Saturday, August 23, 2008

New Zealand Centre for Culture and Education in Gangnam, South Korea

Posted on the "nominate a school for blacklisting section". Any comments?

"NZ Centre for Culture and Education, Gangnam, Seoul South Korea.

Delusional management comprising of 2 Korean directors and 1 NZer that believe and implement slave-like mentality managment and employment practices.

The contract is dubious and potential teachers are misled into believing that they do not have to work more than 2 saturdays a month, working hours are flexible and initiative is rewarded. The management problems in this place are historic particularly since the employment of the Education Director who is a NZer. Management have gone so far as to make racist comments to pull staff into line.

Staff have been bullied to work on public holidays for marketing events. Staff who have resigned have been told they are not allowed to, fired, screwed out of their final pay, told that the management will make it very difficult for them to leave and they will never be able to return to South Korea again.

The management are using the NZ brand to make money and thats it. There is no NZ cultural program and the goodwill of highly qualified NZ teachers who either resign or do not renew contracts is exploited.

The employment and management practices of the NZC are an embarrasment to New Zealanders, what makes it worse is that it is endorsed by a NZer who sells out the teaching staff.

Unfortunately, this organisation is NZ Embassy affiliated and takes full advantage of free resources provided by the NZ Embassy on behalf of NZ tax payers."
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Inspector McHammered of the Lard in Pamplona, Spain
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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The British School Maglie, Italy

Yet another British School posting on the "nominate a school for blacklisting section". Any comments?
"I had an awful time at The British School Maglie in southern Italy a couple of years ago. It was enough to put me off teaching forever. The owner is a typical Italian macho. The school is in an isolated area. The school boasts hi tech this and that but the reality is very different and the teachers are really unhappy. During the year at least three teachers just walked as they had been treated so dismissively.
I've seen a few postings about The British schools. This one is definitely to be avoided."
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Inspector McHammered of the Lard in Pamplona, Spain

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

Only Brits Need Apply?

Posted on the "nominate a school for blacklisting section" and continuing a similar theme that was posted a while ago. I've posted it here in the spirit of free speech, but go easy with the rotten tomatoes. The spelling/grammatical errors undermine the argument somewhat. Typos are one thing, but all too often The Inspector's eyebrows are raised by bad spelling, which from teachers of English, posting on the TEFL Blacklist is a tad rich.

For the record, The Inspector does not believe that native speakers should be placed on a pedestal. Non native speakers can do just as good a job, especially if you don't believe in the sanctity of the communicative method. The issue of work permits and visas is hardly the fault of language schools. Employing exclusively native speakers is however another matter.

"Does anyone believe that a E.U. sponsored monopoly is begınnıng to take hold on the ESL industry? More and more jobs are statıng, ''British speaker wanted,'' or ''Only E.U. citizens may apply''. I personally believe all schools should have a corporate policy against non-dıscrimination based on natıonality for ESL and should pressure centers to accept natıve speakers from non-E.U. countrıes. For example, what give British citizens a majority hold over a country such as Romania. My family left Romania in 1947 because of the Communists, and I am told that because I am not an E.U. citizen I cannot apply. Personally, despıte beıng a certified instructor, I am consıstently turned down for jobs because the Eastern European centers are unwılling to sponsor a vısa or they say that the requırements are ımpossıble to meet for US citizens. The other common response is ''part-time'' or ''freelance'' which is easily translatable as - no visa support, no health insurance, no housing, no teacher permit, thus no legality. These gray areas of national law can easily cause an inexperienced teacher to be deported or detained. I have personally witnessed this situation take place on more than one occasion. A manager can act as though these really arent a concern, but they should be of grave concern to any illegal worker in any industry. What any company is doing with this type of structure is not attract professional teachers, but persons who may be in the country under special circumstances, i.e. married to a resident, university student, etc. I don't believe this situation adds value to the corporation, instead it detracts from what is important - retaining qualified and interested individuals. One of the reasons why ESL seems to attract the ''backpackers''. Why should British citizens be the only nationality sanctioned to teach English in the E.U.?"
_________________________________________________________
Inspector McHammered of the Lard in Pamplona, Spain

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Wall Street Institute, Spain

The Inspector came across this Wikipedia article, which illustrates neatly the kind of minds grinding away in pursuit of "Wall Street Institute" profitability.

"In 2002 there were as many as 130 WSI branches in Spain. Many of these were franchises. With the collapse that same year of rival school Opening English, which used a similar computer-based teaching method to that of Wall Street, the Baltimore company saw 88 of its Spanish franchises close before the end of the year.

Today there are less than 20 Wall Street Institute branches open in Spain.

Wall Street and Opening English used a similar method to charge their customers. Customers would sign up for an extended period of time in order to avail of cheaper rates. However the contract which they signed was not with Wall Street but with a financing operation unconnected to the English school chain. Thus when students of the two schools, unhappy with their progress, tried to rescind their contracts early they discovered that they had to take the issue up with the bank that underwrote the financing company who issued their contract. Wall Street does not teach children. The majority were unsuccessful in their claims.

When Consumers Associations took up the plight of many disaffected students, the issue became a national story and loop holes in Spain's commerce laws were shown to be being exploited by the chain schools, who did not have to take any responsibility for the customers' dissatisfaction with the quality of the services they offered.

The relevant laws were subsequently amended."

_________________________________________________________
Inspector McHammered of the Lard in Pamplona, Spain

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Monday, August 04, 2008

EWHA Little Campus Dal-dong Ulsan, South Korea

Posted on the "nominate a school for blacklisting section". Any comments?

"For anyone looking for work in Ulsan South Korea. EWHA Little Campus in Dal-dong is one of the worst schools in Korea to work for. During my year there I encounted lies, fraud, illegal goings on, bullying and theft. I was asked to pay for bills that were not mine and no one could show me a receipt for the bills. I had things stolen from my desk in work by a fellow ENGLISH TEACHER!! I also suffered bullying and name calling from this girl (who had previously been in trouble with the police in England) she is underqualified, inexperienced and generally untrustworthy...no idea how she managed to be accepted to work with children. The school did nothing to address these issues. For anyone wanting a happy experience teaching in Korea DO NOT teach in EWHA Little Campus, it will steal your soul, your spirit and your passion for Asia."
_________________________________________________________
Inspector McHammered of the Lard in Pamplona, Spain

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Shanghai Gold Apple Bilingual School

Posted on the "nominate a school for blacklisting section". Any comments?

"Shanghai Gold Apple Bilingual School - steer clear of this 'school'. It's more like a business than an educational institution. Although pay was always on time (very low though), organization was HORRENDOUS. Nobody took the time to help the foreign teachers; teaching 30 students (with some students excelling in English, and others who didn't even know how to say how are you...) was an impossibility - especially since the kids viewed our class as playtime (apparently though so did the official teachers), and nobody listened to our constructive complaints - they were always just pushed to the side...

The school is located in the middle of nowhere (although construction for more shopping areas began right when we were leaving), and it takes about 55 minutes to get into Puxi and 40 minutes to get into downtown Pudong.

You do get relatively good accomodation. Two rooms (bedroom + living room), and a bathroom - traditional showers. No real kitchen though.

Anyway - just stay away from this school if you want to have a reasonably good time in China. Its major issue is the ridiculous lack of organization. When homeroom teachers tell you that the exams we give the students don't really mean anything - well, there you go. Don't waste your time."
_________________________________________________________
Inspector McHammered of the Lard in Pamplona, Spain

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Sorrento Lingue Sorrento, Italy

Posted on the "nominate a school for blacklisting section". Any comments?

"I'd like to nominate Sorrento Lingue in Sorrento, Italy aka Sorrento Sweatshop Lingue.

If you mind:
- working 10 to 12 hours a day without a lunch break or time for preparation;
- dubious pay slips that even the accountant cannot explain and always inevitably gets wrong every month;
- less pay at Christmas to reward you for your hard work and efforts (a Christmas tax I believe, or so I was told;
- 10 month contracts that will be changed after you have signed them (i.e. a 40 hour week dubiously being changed to 40 teaching hours per week!);
- arrogant staff on ego power trips treating you like a slave because they're Italian and you're just the foreigner - (be prepared to be constantly reminded that you should be ever so grateful to have this job otherwise you will end up on the streets) even if you are over-qualified for the position, come from a country far richer than Italy and are financially secure;
- a dodgy and unhelpful DOS who will do everything in his power to make your life unbearable;
- working Saturdays without paid overtime; and
- no holiday whatsoever

Then Teflers everywhere …. I'd give this place a miss if I were you! You have been warned."
_________________________________________________________
Inspector McHammered of the Lard in Pamplona, Spain

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British Institutes Rimini, Italy

Posted on the "nominate a school for blacklisting section". Any comments?

"Please, please, please STAY AWAY from British Institutes in Rimini (Italy). The director, Valentina Douglas, will take MONTHS to pay you - or not pay you at all! They will load up your schedule, give you classes at the last minute, and give you a hard time reimbursing you for your gas (petrol) money. I swear I am not the only person with a problem , there are many, many people who have quit and / or are waiting to be paid. She even treats her Italian staff and teachers this way, not just her foreign workers.

I swear, I am not on a vendetta, this is the truth!"
_________________________________________________________
Inspector McHammered of the Lard in Pamplona, Spain

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English World, My English World Tongliao, Inner Mongolia, China

henovqPosted on the "nominate a school for blacklisting section". Any comments?

"I nominate English World, aka My English World, aka English World Business Liability Co. Ltd., Tongliao, Inner Mongolia, China. In 2005-2006, English World was investigated on 3 different occasions. First by the Tongliao Public Security Bureau due to the fact that teachers were teaching under "F" visas, which is illegal. "F" visas are reserved for those invited to China to conduct business, not to teach. Lian was informed of the investigation beforehand by a friend who works with the PSB and all of the foreign teachers had to be interviewed by the PSB. We were told by Lian to tell the PSB that we did not teach, but rather that we participated in the writing of textbooks and did promotional work. We went through with the interviews, but it was very hard on alot of us because we knew what could happen if we were caught lying. But, it was either that or lose our jobs. The second time we were investigated, Lian left the office and a woman and 2 men from the Department of Education came to investigate...they went through Lian's filing cabinet and rifled through the desks.

They had alot to say about a sign that Lian had on the door to the office that claimed we were a school (it was written in Chinese) and because she didn't have the permit to be able to operate a school, or have foreign teachers, they said that she was breaking the law. These Department of Education people returned again and insisted that we all have medical examinations done, and to make matters worse representatives from the Department of Education were present in the room when we had our examinations, and saw us half-naked and it was quite humiliating to us foreign teachers. So, there were at least 3 occasions while I was there in which there were investigations. Until recently, illegal recruiters could fly "under the radar" so to speak, but now there have been alot of changes to the Chinese visa process which will make things alot harder for people like Lian.

I believe there will be no "F" visas issued between March 2008 and October 2008. Also there is no such thing as a visa extension anymore (Lian used to get a doctor to write a note stating that the foreign teacher was too sick to go to Hong Kong to get a new visa so that they could go there with an expired visa to renew it) Usually it worked, but I believe the authorities began to catch on...ask Nate, an American foreign teacher who worked for her. Lian told him that although his visa was expired she "had it covered"...he went to Hong Kong, was detained and fined for having an expired visa...at his expense of course. I went to Hong Kong with an expired visa and was questioned, but they let me through just because I was lucky.

Before I left for Hong Kong, Lian told me that she made a call and that it would all be fine. When I told the immigration officer upon entering Hong Kong, he laughed in my face and said that there was no such thing as "making a call" in such matters...an expired visa is an expired visa. Luckily, he let me through, but I felt like such a fool. I also read something about there being no visa switches anymore, starting in March 2008...before, you could come to China on a tourist visa and change it to a Z visa (which is what you need to have to teach) but now whatever visa you come in with is what you have to stay with; you can't switch it anymore apparently, and if it's expired, you need to get a new one by leaving China for 5 days (I think it used to be 24hrs, if that.), provide travel receipts and prove that you are affiliated with a government approved agency and so on. (For an "F" visa that is, but good luck getting that in Hong Kong without good solid proof, especially if you're not American or Canadian.)

Anyway,with regard to your question why Lian can have dealings with the school board and so on, while not being legal...it's not that hard to justify. Not many Chinese know about permits to employ foreigners (from the S.A.F.E.A.) or visas or anything like that. They're pretty much going on her word. Then there is the whole aspect of how "money talks" in Chinese society. Things often move a little quicker and a little more quietly when it's greased with a few 100 RMB bills.

Also, the schools are not going to care if the foreigners don't have the proper documentation, only Lian and the foreigner will get into trouble...maybe just the foreigner. Chinese don't know much about policies for foreigners, especially where foreigners living in Tongliao is still a relatively new thing for that city. They don't have alot of experience dealing with such matters. You can actually check with the State Administration of Foreign Employee Affairs (SAFEA...they have a telephone number on their website) and they will tell you if the place you are woking for is permitted to employ foreigners. The last time I checked, Inner Mongolia University for the Nationalities was the only school in all of Tongliao with a permit, and also able to provide "Z" visas. As for the name of the company it has been changed, because she had to have the word, "business" in it in order to get away with having "F" visas which are only allowed for business oriented companies, not for teaching. By the way, after leaving China I did some research...foreign employees living in China for less than a period of 2 years are exempt from paying taxes so, if she's taking taxes off of your pay...it's going into her pocket.

I had Chinese ex-employees of hers tell me that they were apalled at how she used to keep the taxes for herself and the foreigners were not even supposed to pay taxes. Alot of things go on "in Chinese" that the foreigners do not understand...things that would make you sick. Did you know that all of her teachers are different prices to the schools? If a school isn't willing to pay whatever for a white foreigner, then she will say, "well, I can give you a Filipino or a Black for that money, but not a white person". Kinda makes you feel a little bit like a herd of cattle doesn't it? Oh well...the way I look at it, everything always comes out in the wash eventually. No bad deed goes unpunished and people always pay for their dishonesty.

As long as there are people willing to teach for Lian, then she will make money from them. I just couldn't stay around anymore, because I was tired of being treated as less than a deserving human being. There is no need to try to pick falsehoods out of what I say at all...I have no reason to make things up about English World. I know what I'm talking about, because I have been in China for a long time. This is a horrible company to work for...stay far away!"
_________________________________________________________
Inspector McHammered of the Lard in Pamplona, Spain

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Sunday, August 03, 2008

The Language House, Malaysia

Posted on the "nominate a school for blacklisting section". Any comments?

"'The Language House' in Malaysia. Beware! A momey making racket! No concern for education, teachers are given absolutely no respect. Students pour in by the hundreds from the middle-east, Korea and China expecting good teaching. Close on six hours contact time, 1 hour preparation time. Payment also sucks! If you are looking for a job in Malaysia, don't settle with less that RM3500 a month, free accomodation or alowance, medical benefits, 18 day paid leave a year! They will tell you to put up with unbelievable nonsense. If you complain, they will tell you to be professional! They are the most unprofessional bunch under the sun! Be warned and warn anyone wanting to teach in Malaysia."
_________________________________________________________
Inspector McHammered of the Lard in Pamplona, Spain

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Wall Street Institute Buenos Aires, Argentina

Posted on the "nominate a school for blacklisting section". Any comments?

"I nominate Wall Street Institute in Buenos Aires, Argentina (there are about 30 centers, and I've worked at 3). It's commonplace here to disrespect teachers, apparently, and pay them pitifully, and lie to the customers to get them to sign up, ...

- You will get 13 pesos/hour (U$D 4), and way fewer hours than you were promised when you began, meaning that you will only be earning, approximately, a measly 1000 pesos/month (U$D 300). My rent is 900 pesos, so you can imagine what a fantastic wage WSI was gracing me with.

- The ultra-neurotic manager rudely criticizes teachers about their hair and attire.

- The director doesn't even speak English, never says hello and is never friendly.

- The turnover rate is staggering. I wonder why!

- The teachers are grossly over-qualified and exploited. Most don't know better until after they get screwed over, at least a month into it.

- The WSI materials are full of spelling mistakes and wrong answers in the keys!

- Students complain about getting cheated by the salespeople, getting things promised that turned out to be lies and they can't get their money back.

- If a class gets cancelled more than hour or so before it's scheduled, you don't get paid for it unless you do "busy work", and if there's nothing to do ...

- They don't respect teachers' time. If the last class is cancelled or the student doesn't show up, you do not get paid for it, no matter what. Why? Because you were going to leave anyway ...

It is ridiculously inadequate and and a blow to your dignity to work there."
_________________________________________________________
Inspector McHammered of the Lard in Pamplona, Spain

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Hampson school in Mlada Boleslav, Prague, Czech Republic

Posted on the "nominate a school for blacklisting section". Any comments?

"Maybe this doesn't count as a nomination, because I haven't worked for the school, but I almost did.

Hampson a school in Mlada Boleslav, 50km from Prague. They use accelerated learning techniques based on relaxation and fun, and run intensive immersion courses. It's run by Pavel Sudik, who also has a sideline in organising corporate firewalking events.

I'm interested in accelerated learning methods so I sent a speculative note and CV. They responded in five minutes, saying "At the moment we have one opening for native speaker. Full time contract starting immediately. We would appreciate to know your decision about joining our staff. You could start to teach tomorrow."

So suddenly they have a vacancy, and they've just about offered me the job without checking my qualifications or referees, and they'd like my decision instantly.

They sent a brochure which mentioned that the pay is 120 crowns (after tax) per hour taught. There's no monthly wage - you get paid by the lesson, so if there's no students, there's no pay. Assuming 25 hours teaching a week, that's barely a living wage. The brochure said there'd be health and travel insurance provided, plus accommodation provided, but was extremely insistant that I must sign a years contract immediately on arrival.

I emailed again asking if they could refund my air fare to Prague (because I'm bankrupt), and they responded saying it wasn't company policy but they'd make a special exception in my case - because I'm so highly qualified with a CELTA, an MA and two months teaching experience.

Now, I'm in my first TEFL job - which I'm trying to leave because there's literally no students, hence my application to Hampson. Why should Hampson be so eager to get hold of an inexperienced teacher like me? Why do they want me to sign their contract so quickly? Why are they offering to pay my travel costs? And...why don't they want to interview me first? I offered twice, they declined.

The day after the first exchange of emails, Pavel Sudik's wife telephoned to encourage me to come. Her English isn't great, so she said she'd ask Hampson's one native English speaker to call me later so we could talk properly.

He called exactly on time...and it was very strange. I asked about wages, teacher turnover, course content and accommodation, and his responses were slow, vague, confused and noncommittal. Maybe he was being watched, I don't know. But...he honestly sounded as though he were drugged. His answers were not just perfunctory, they were drawling with long gaps.

I am, basically, freaked out by all this. There's no way I'll work for them because the pay just not enough to pay my debts. But am I imagining it, that there's something creepy about that place?"
_________________________________________________________
Inspector McHammered of the Lard in Pamplona, Spain

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LTC Eastbourne, England

Posted on the "nominate a school for blacklisting section". Any comments?

"LTC Eastbourne. Just don't work there. The place is a mess. The principal is a bully and hated by all the staff.

In summer school you are overworked for no pay and the place is a mess.

It's full of racist middle-aged teachers who are bitter about failing in life and graduates who don't have a clue and spend all their time drinking.

You get no support from management either and the photocopier never works meaning you have to do lessons off the cuff every day."
_________________________________________________________
Inspector McHammered of the Lard in Pamplona, Spain

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Pro Linguis, Belgium

Posted on the "nominate a school for blacklisting section". Any comments?

"Be careful about taking a job at Pro Linguis in Belgium. Although the teaching is reasonable (when you get any) the contract is worthless and the state contributions you will have to make from your wage are outrageous. There are no guaranteed hours, the (free) food is rubbish and the place is very remote, so it's not a place to consider for a job. Unless you like being a monk or a nun..."
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Inspector McHammered of the Lard in Pamplona, Spain

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Every International School of Choueifat - SABIS supported school

Posted on the "nominate a school for blacklisting section". Any comments?

"Every International School of Choueifat/SABIS supported school.
I am writing about my experiences as a Choueifat. I have worked at a number of schools in several different countries. I have been looking back on my whole experience and feel driven to share my experiences. Anyone who is even considering becoming part of Choueifat/SABIS needs to be forewarned. They are continually looking for teachers because they have extremely LOW retention rates. Their sole aim is financial gain at any cost.

They proclaim to care about staff. This is the boldest face lie any human could ever encounter. They do not treat staff with any human decency, but instead bully, blaming for them for every short fall of the schools practice. Choueifat/SABIS employees people whose main duty it to spy and report back to the higher up in power. They call them “supervisors” who are supposed to be monitoring the children’s behave, but is only a small part of their job. They encourage students to engage in this behavior as well, not only reporting on other students, but teachers as well. Choueifat/SABIS does not believe teachers should deal with classroom discipline because teachers are incapable of this.

Choueifat/SABIS discriminates based on nationality and bases pay dependant on where a employees comes from despite the fact the living cost the employee is working in is the same in a country whether one is from Ireland or from Egypt. There are no standardized employee policies and procedures, but vary from person to person. The organization is run by mainly Lebanese, with rigid outdated ideas about education and curriculum delivery.

Choueifat/SABIS claims to take a holistic approach to education. This is one of the biggest lies out there. They utilized a very draconian method which focuses on one type of learning style. They utilize a whole class teaching methodology which believes classes does not matter. They use the points methods which is based on the belief, though it has never been proven by academic research study, which claims every child can learn every concept at the sometime with one form of presentation. There is no deviation from the Choueifat/SABIS curriculum. Teachers are given s set amount of topics which must be covered weekly despite the fact that some students fall behind and others are not challenged and loose interest. Constant examinations are given which causes memorization of information, but lack the development of critical thinking skills. Teaching methodologies do not support or even develop the research or studies skills student need to be successful when studying at Universities. And god forbid, a student has a learning disability or other need which requires additional support service. I have heard first hand from a “top administer” that such things may exist, but the cost of employing school psychologist or teachers with training in special education is not cost effective.

And when children are not successful the Choueifat/SABIS the child is labeled as stupid or lazy when in fact the child most possibility would be successful if provided the learning supports and opportunities which are available in most western nations. The number of students who have been permanently emotionally and psychologically traumatized by this is system is shocking.

This is a warning to both parents and teachers alike. DO NOT GET INVOLVED in this organization unless you are willing to compromise your integrity and basic humanity. Do not allow the administration to deceive you into their lies and deceit."
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Inspector McHammered of the Lard in Pamplona, Spain

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Komalingua sl, Basque Country, Spain

Posted on the "nominate a school for blacklisting section". Any comments?

"While this is not the worst EFL school I've worked for in terms of working conditions, salary and general treatment (apart from their recruitment strategy: see below), there is no good reason for which an EFL teacher (especially a native one) should decide to work for a company placed in a small town in the middle of nowhere (and where there is nowhere), spending his day driving (if lucky, going by bus or walking if unlucky) among mountains from seven in the morning to seven in the evening, when there are hundreds of better location in Spain. This has been my worst choice ever in terms of location but I was misled in making it by the lies of the centre director. Beware: she's desperate to get people for the school (and to keep them there when they arrive) and will tell absolutely any lie about promotions, payrises and the such in order to drag you to this place forgotten by God and men!"
_________________________________________________________
Inspector McHammered of the Lard in Pamplona, Spain

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Komalingua sl, Basque Country, Spain

Posted on the "nominate a school for blacklisting section". Any comments?

"While this is not the worst EFL school I've worked for in terms of working conditions, salary and general treatment (apart from their recruitment strategy: see below), there is no good reason for which an EFL teacher (especially a native one) should decide to work for a company placed in a small town in the middle of nowhere (and where there is nowhere), spending his day driving (if lucky, going by bus or walking if unlucky) among mountains from seven in the morning to seven in the evening, when there are hundreds of better location in Spain. This has been my worst choice ever in terms of location but I was misled in making it by the lies of the centre director. Beware: she's desperate to get people for the school (and to keep them there when they arrive) and will tell absolutely any lie about promotions, payrises and the such in order to drag you to this place forgotten by God and men!"
_________________________________________________________
Inspector McHammered of the Lard in Pamplona, Spain

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BONAS International School Valencia, Spain

Posted on the "nominate a school for blacklisting section". Any comments?

"Please beware---BONAS International School in Valencia, Spain is a SCAM.
They initially asked me for a 250 euro deposit to show my seriousness for the position which I paid...then an additional 950 euro (which thankfully I didn't pay) b/c it was 'more than they anticipated' for my arrival.
When I refused, they said they would refund my original deposit to 'retain their good name' which they have yet to do.
BEWARE!"
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Inspector McHammered of the Lard in Pamplona, Spain

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Berlitz Zagreb, Croatia

Posted on the "nominate a school for blacklisting section". Any comments?

"Berlitz Zagreb Croatia is nearly identical to its Turkish counterparts. 40 odd hours of unpaid and irregularly training, a Canadian LIS who can't tell time and confuses Tuesday and Thursday and who prefers to communicate changes telepathically, promises of ample classroom hours only to be rewarded with late or missing pay, unfulfilled working permits etc. They're also constantly hiring and have known to have a nearly complete turnover every 3-4 months. I'd recommend collecting garbage or volunteering for work in Iraq before this place. Hope it's not too late for inclusion."
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Inspector McHammered of the Lard in Pamplona, Spain

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Berlitz Istanbul, Turkey

Posted on the "nominate a school for blacklisting section". Any comments?

"

I wouldn't recommend Berlitz Istanbul. If you are interested in seeing a foreign country for 6 months and experience a new culture then this place is a no-brainer. But, if you are looking for medical benefits, a teacher's permit, travel pay (all promised in the original contract) forget it! This thief has no honor. They even pocket the teacher's income tax at the end of the year!"

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Inspector McHammered of the Lard in Pamplona, Spain

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Eurolingua Brno, Czech Republic

Posted on the "nominate a school for blacklisting section". Any comments?

"Eurolingua in Brno, Czech Republic is best to avoid.

After one interview and seeing the premisis, I opted not to take a job offer with them and decided that I will not work with them ever.

The woman who runs the place has very little in people skills or social graces and said to my face that she refuses to hire people legally, won't help employees with taxes. Basically, she said she gives you the money and the rest is your problem and don't ask her for help.

The bureaucracy in the Czech Republic for foreigners is quite daunting, so you certainly don't need an employer like this

While I have not worked there personally, I have a colleague and a former student who both have done teaching work there (they are both Czech) and neither had much good to say about the owner of the school or her people skills, they also went on to say that many students were not happy at the owner's business practices on one level or another."

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Inspector McHammered of the Lard in Pamplona, Spain

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Daleena International Language Centre in Malaga, Spain

Posted on the "nominate a school for blacklisting section". Any comments?

"Not too sure if this is strictly one for the blacklist as I doubt this school really exists!!

Just wanted to warn others not to waste time with these guys- any recruitment process will end with them asking you to wire money.. its just a scam!

They may operate under other names also- but if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is."
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Inspector McHammered of the Lard in Pamplona, Spain

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Yang Jeong Academy, in Yongin City, South Korea

Posted on the "nominate a school for blacklisting section". Any comments?

"I nominate Yang Jeong Academy, in Yongin City, South Korea. The director prioritises building new apartments over paying teachers, Korean teachers always get paid late, so they are often understaffed due to them quitting after a month. Foreign teachers have had to battle with him to get their final payments. The glorified secretary (or self-proclaimed assistant manager) is the pettiest Korean i've ever met. She tries to scam you out of money, and when i called her on it, she turned into a silly teenager, got everyone at the academy to ignore me for a few days and made my work as much of a nightmare as she could. As extra punishment, they added free english lessons for her to my timetable, so i would have to come into work early, only for her to not bother showing up. I've heard from previous employees that she has done this every year. She's given a fair bit of control over the foreign teachers, and abuses that whenever she can - she's withheld pay, she's taken money from pay without permission and in breach of contract, she's refused to give vacation - we had to ask her permission for so many things that were already in our contracts. There were numerous occasions when they breached our contract terms and tried to lie and claim we had oral agreements, then tried to make us sign new agreements. They made oral agreements with us, refused to put them in writing, and then denied having ever made them - most of my year spent there was a battle for something.
They tried to send me to teach illegally at a school, and when i asked them if it was legal, they insisted it was and told me they'd check. Thankfully, i had a korean friend who called immigration for me and found out it was completely illegal, which is what the academy were also told, but they still wanted me to go because they didn't want to pay a korean teacher extra to cover the classes. To add to this, the book they wanted me to teach was all in Korean, and i was told to just find a way to teach it. I refused to go as i was illegal, and we'd had several people in the area recently caught for the same thing, and again i spent the rest of the day being shunned by all the teachers, whilst they plotted ways to punish me.
The academy has a reputation in the area for treating foreign teachers badly. I would never work there again - there are so many better places, and it's just too much hassle and pettiness."
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Inspector McHammered of the Lard in Pamplona, Spain

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