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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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Ukhelp4U, Swindon England

Posted on the "nominate a school for blacklisting" section. Be warned.

"SLIPPERY SCHOOL IN SWINDON, UK.

UKhelp4U Ltd is now trading as Ukhelp4U Academy of English Language.

It owes several teachers a lot of money and changed its name in order to benefit from a loophole in the Insolvency Act.

Ukhelp4U Ltd is in the hands of the official receiver and it is less than clear what any of the creditors may be able to recover. Ukhelp4U has four County Court Judgements against it and there is other legal action that has successfully been taken against it.

If you are thinking of taking a job with this company, don't. The likelihood of your getting any pay at all is extremely unlikely.

The British Council have so far failed to remove the school's accreditation, though it is hoped that they will do this in due course."

This is how they describe themselves:

UKhelp4u Academy of English Language Ltd
UKhelp4 is a small, friendly and modern language school situated in the centre of Swindon, an hour west of London by train. We offer flexible, General English courses incorporating exam preparation. We also offer ESOL courses, and one-to-one tutorials and are looking to introduce IELTS preparation courses in the coming 4 months. We have learners from a variety of countries including from the EU, Brazil, Colombia, Japan, Turkey, and many more. We look forward to helping you to improve your English soon.
Contact: Monika Bystrzycka
Cheltenham House
1st Floor
45 Regent Street
Swindon
Wiltshire
SN1 2NG
Telephone: +44 (0) 1793 610180

_________________________________________________________
Inspector McHammered of the Lard in Pamplona, Spain
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Monday, November 17, 2008

EE BOO YOUNG Talking Kids Club, Korea

Surely this can't be true? Someone must be trying to wind The Inspector up. Left on the "Asta Kids Club in Incheon Korea section. The person names an EE Boo Young Club. Your noble sleuth feels it is probably E Boo Young. Any comments oh and if it's a joke own up. If it isn't then bargepoles out pronto troops.

E BOO YOUNG Talking Kids Club

Hi You are naive to assume that a bad situation in Korea is easily rectified or mediated. This is a story I heard, I will quote: " I worked at a Talking Kids Club. The day I arrived the Director met me with an anti American diatribe and went into a rage which I found very unnerving. I was dropped off in the middle of a southern city from a bus. She took me to an apartment and said we would renegotiate my contract or I could earn money on my bed. The apartment had windows facing an alley where tires were burned in trash cans regularly this ultimately made me sick. My employer's English, the employer was a woman was what I would have expected from a prostitute. Every aspect of my contract was violated, no overtime, no matress on bed, pay was late and short of overtime, I did not receive an alien registration card, without which I could not open a bank account or apply for a drivers license, I had not medical insurance (the burning tires really made me sick, I am still sick) I went to a Korean doctor who gave me a prescription which I thought was for lung and sinus infection, I looked it up on the net and it was for a tranquilizer, my boss made continued references to selling my body. She brought a man to the school and told me he would take me to his house every weekend and return me to the school for adult English classes. I had an adult class at the school. This was an illegal request, the man was weird and spoke obscene English. When I refused she threatened to take away my company paid apartment. Previously she had entered my apartment on many ocassions and remarked on my wardrobe at school.Some of my clothing vanished. I received money from home via Western Union then traveled to Seoul where I went to my recruiter who said I needed an attorney (Without a paycheck and bills back home and an infection which made me feel very ill?) When I missed a Monday I called her she told me to "eat vomit" On Tuesday she called and was very nice. I turned in a resignation to comply with the letter of the law and my boss hit me. I went to the police and she followed me there and hit me in front of the police. They said I could leave Korea. I could not prove the things she said she did not say these things in front of other people and she denied them to the police but it was obvious she broke the contract. She had a bipolar personality, was probably on alcohol, and was the most artful of liars. The woman was a maniac. No one who worked for her liked her but the depend entirely on their job. The economy in Korea is such that jobs are hard to find. When I first read these postings before going to Korea I thought just malcontents and disgruntled unhappy people were writing. IT IS A FOREIGN COUNTRY AND YOU ARE CRAZY TO THINK THEY REALLY LIKE AMERICANS WE ARE A NECESSARY EVIL. They do not have the same labor standards and employment customs we do, think Industrial Revolution conditions but apply this to the academic world. Let me also add that children are beaten at school, I don't beat children. Once after the boss argued with her husband in the office she stormed into my phonics class and hit the children with a sharp stick, tiny children. They had done nothing wrong. And let me explain something else. These students go to a public school until the afternoon. At 2 or 3 or 4 they are sent to the private school where they remain until 7 or 8 or 9 p.m. They are only 7-14 years old. Many are both tired and hungry. the parents are often working class mothers work in a store until 10:30 fathers are truck drivers or mechanics and the children are sent to a school where they parents hope to improve their futures at the worst they just want the children to have a babysitter. The children realize either they cope or they go to someplace worse than the school.
My second day I was driven to the school that night students walked me home. The next day I started out very early to find the school that night I was lost for hours with no phone trying to find my apartment which I eventually located. The people I wrote to urged me to leave but I was threatened that if I left I would be placed in jail and charges could have been trumped up. Some of the people on my incoming flight to Korea had good experiences, mine was bad and I have taught overseas before.

I never had books to take home to prepare classes. She constantly threatened me stating "If you take these books to use for private classes I will have you raped." This employer was purely evil.

I feared for my life because she was
demented and evidently very paranoid.

Also leaving was not easy, she told me she had friends at the railroad ticket office and bus station.She had threatened to invent charges. I had huge suitcases. I left without many personal things I took with me to lighten my load. And guess what, if you are in a small town and you do make it to Seoul the subway doesn't have escalators or porters.
I found a ride with a man who by the grace of God knew about this woman from a previous employee who was also in a situation similar to me. He was a man and received a text message in English from the school threatening to set him up.
I prayed I could get home. I prayed and prayed. I pray more naive people do not go to Korea.

Remember this, if you complain what are you going to do between the time the complaint is made and a court date is scheduled. My boss might have been involved in something illegal. I don't know. But this woman was not a nice person.

I left Korea in the middle of the night because I was told the woman I worked for wanted me dead rather than loose face in the community. She was sinister. The Embassy will receive your remarks and provide you with a list of attorneys, you have to remember whatever is said to you in English or at the school can be denied by your employer unless you make a tape recording.
_________________________________________________________
Inspector McHammered of the Lard in Pamplona, Spain
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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Leeds Language College


The following comment has been left on the 2008 Oscar Results section by the founder of this blog Mr. Sandy McManus esq.

Your noble sleuth can hardly believe it's true.

Please email Adam Priestley of LeedsLanguageCollege@yahoo.co.uk and enlighten him as to where he can stick his "job", preferably accompanied by a prize-winning cucumber.


"Shocking!! Could you accept this dear Inspector, as a late claimant for the title of "Crappiest EFL Job in the UK"? It's enough to move me to start up me old blogging business again!

It's the Leeds Language College, offering no less than 250 quid a week for 30 hours of teaching!! That makes about 8 quid an hour, according to my mental Maths..."

*******

Qualified CELTA teacher required to teach English to foreign students (age18+) of all levels in a lively college in the centre of Leeds. Must be a native English speaker with degree level education. Average six hours daily. Three to nine hours subject to requirements (it is expected that this will give an average six hours daily over the year). Please send CV'S for the attention of Adam Priestley to LeedsLanguageCollege@yahoo.co.uk.


Qualifications
Must have CELTA qualifications or equivalent. Degree level educated. Native English speaker.

Compensation
Guaranteed hours Monday-Friday all year round. Starting salary £12k+ per annum (30 hours per week). Initial contract will be extended to a permanent contract after 6-12 months. Stakeholder pension scheme. Personal training (e.g Delta, PGCE, ESOL) encouraged. 4.8 weeks paid holiday per annum.



Company/Organisation
Leeds Language College Ltd
Address Provident House
Vicar Lane
Leeds, ls2 7nl - United Kingdom
Telephone 0113 242 7534
Fax 0113 242 7534
Contact person Mr. Adam Priestley, Manager

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Beijing New Oriental Foreign Language School

Rudeness, arrogance and swearing are not good methods to employ if you wish to to get your school removed from the TEFL Blacklist but in the spirit of democracy your noble sleuth has decided to publish this comment from "Andy" which was today posted on the Beijing New Oriental Foreign Language School blacklisting which was created in 2006 although this particularly stupid comment from "Andy"was only added today. 
In this particular case the Inspector would appreciate any feedback whatsoever.
Incidentally I didn't write the original post. If you take the time to read through the blog you'll see that the infamous old rogue Sandy McManus (The TEFL Tradesman) published it, even though the default signature might indicate differently. 
The Inspector took over the maintenance of the Blacklist in 2007 which is why your comment has not only been published but given its own posting.
Sandy would have just told you where to stick your comment and he may well be right. I'm probably simply in a good mood because today we've seen the back of Dubwa.

"Yes, in image-crazy China, Beijing New Oriental does employ some gimmicks and marketing strategies but I work at New Oriental Yangzhou and get treated like a king. Its nothing like any job/employer I've ever had in the U.S. Curfews? Pay deductions? Many extracurricular activities? Either things were very different when this blacklist was compiled or the author is just a liar. He must have been walking to downtown if it took over 30 minutes. Why do you feel so powerless to leave the campus? What a pathetic person the author of this site must be. I understand disagreements with the philosophy of this school/business but this website is victimhood on steroids.
Anyways, the retention rate is quite substantial (some teachers have been here 4 years so they MUST know the author) and when I ask the returnees why, they say they had been fucked-over at other schools in China and they are comfortable here. Feel free to discuss things further with me. I doubt this will be approved and published by the author.

Michel Raux Inlingua Belfort France

Michel Raux has been mentioned on this blog before. He clearly operates some of Inlingua's worst franchises in the East of France. Bargepoles out troops and avoid this guy like the plague. This was originally posted on the Inlingua Paris section.

"I worked for Inlingua MBR in Belfort, for almost 3 years. (It's part of the MBR Services franchise owned by Michel Raux and operating out of Strasbourg.)

Everything that the previous commentors said about MBR is 100% true - and more.

I left, on medical advice, after becoming really ill and severely depressed from the stress of working for them.

Let's see - there were the mad hours I had to work, the long distances I had to drive to see clients, the amount of paperwork that they forced us to do that was unrelated to actual teaching (because they got rid of office staff to save costs and made the trainers pick up the slack), the psychological bullying and threats. Many phonecalls to my home after hours. A total invasion of privacy. Awful, awful company.

They blatantly lied to me about the hours I'd be working when I was offered the job, and then gradually forced me to work more hours than I wanted to, often until 8pm (after starting at 8am - never mind I was a single parent and had children to get to and from school and childminders) threatening to reduce my classes to nothing if I refused, (so that I'd be forced to resign and save them from the hassle of firing me.)

I received only 4 hours of 'training' and was then thrown into the deep end and left to swim. A client then complained that I didn't seem to know what I was doing (well of course I didn't) and I received a written warning from Michel Raux. How crazy is that?

I have since thrown away my Certificate of Training - it is worthless.

Even in treachorous winter weather (and I mean heavily snowed under roads and even in snow storms), I had to drive through dangerous mountainous regions to get to clients - no excuses were tolerated. I cannot tell you how close I came to having horrible crashes - on more than one occasion.

Their attitude to clients was equally as bad - arrogance such as I have never seen in any company before. My clients complained bitterly about being charged for last minute cancellations - which were usually due to factory lines breaking down and needing urgent attention. (Since when is an English class more important than getting a production line up and running again?) Inlingua refused to budge on that.

Having said that, most of my immediate colleagues/trainers were brilliant. It was just management that truly sucked.

My advice? Steer clear of Inlingua MBR."

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

God Save The Queen (and the USA)

Well it's election time tomorrow in the USA and The Inspector would like to contribute the following solution for the Queen to consider proposing to our former colony.

To the citizens of the United States of America from Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
In light of your failure in recent years to nominate competent candidates for President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately.
  1. Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except Los Angeles , which she does not fancy).
  2. Your new Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections.
  3. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded.
  4. A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.
  5. To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect: (You should look up 'revocation' in the Oxford English Dictionary.) Then look up aluminum, and check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it. The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as 'colour', 'favour', 'labour' and 'neighbour.' Likewise, you will learn to spell 'doughnut' without skipping half the letters, and the suffix '-ize' will be replaced by the suffix '-ise'. Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (look up 'vocabulary').
  6. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as 'like' and 'you know' is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no such thing as US English. We will let M*crosoft know on your behalf. The M*crosoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take into account the reinstated letter 'u' and the elimination of -ize.
  7. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.
  8. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you're not quite ready to be independent. Guns should only be used for shooting grouse. If you can't sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist then you're not ready to shoot grouse.
  9. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. Although a permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.
  10. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left side with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables.
  11. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.
  12. The Former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline) of roughly $10/US gallon. Get used to it.
  13. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.
  14. The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. South African beer is also acceptable as they are pound for pound the greatest sporting Nation on earth and it can only be due to the beer. They are also part of British Commonwealth - see what it did for them.
  15. American brands will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat's Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.
  16. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Dick Van Dyke attempt English dialogue in Mary Poppins was an experience akin to having one's ears removed with a cheese grater.
  17. You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind of proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body Armour like a bunch of nancies). Don't try Rugby - the South Africans and Kiwis will thrash you, like they regularly thrash us.
  18. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America . Since only 2.1% of you are aware there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. You will learn cricket, and we will let you face the South Africans first to take the sting out of their deliveries.
  19. You must tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us mad.
  20. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).
  21. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 pm with proper cups, with saucers, and never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; plus strawberries (with cream) when in season.
  22. God Save the Queen

_________________________________________________________
Inspector McHammered of the Lard in Pamplona, Spain
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Saturday, November 01, 2008

Speakers' Corner (TEFL section)


And why not stand on your virtual soapbox and let rip? This speech was posted on the Oscar Results 2008 section just below and worthy of a posting in its own right. As always, all comments are welcome.

"FOR OWNERS OF THESE SCHOOLS

Human dignity refers to a state of righteousness, integrity, or virtue in human beings. The term dignity is defined as "the state of being worthy of honour or respect." When this concept is associated with the adjective "human", it is used to signify that all human beings possess intrinsic worthiness and deserve unconditional respect, regardless of age, sex, health status, social or ethnic origin, political ideas, religion, or criminal history. If violated, this can be considered discrimination. In other words, this respect is owed to every individual by the mere fact that he or she is a "member of the human family" (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948, Preamble). This intrinsic worthiness is widely recognized by international law as the source of all human rights. In this respect, both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) of 1966 affirm that human rights “derive from the inherent dignity of the human being”. At the philosophical level, following Kant, the expression human dignity is used to indicate that persons should always be treated as ends in themselves and NEVER MERELY AS A MEANS. Kant presents “dignity” as exactly the opposite of “price”: while “price” is the kind of value for which there can be an equivalent (roughly economic value), “dignity” makes a person irreplaceable. Therefore, dignity can be explained as a requirement of non-instrumentalization of persons.



ITS TIME TO STOP THIS ESL/TEFL EXPLOITATION ONCE AND FOR ALL. THE JOB OF ENGLISH INSTRUCTOR DOESNT EQUATE TO SLAVE LABOR, NOR DOES IT GIVE YOU AS OWNER THE RIGHT TO TREAT INSTRUCTORS AS YOUR PROPERTY! "