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

Saturday, January 06, 2007


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

ASTA Kids Club in Incheon, Korea

Another place for the wolves. This place seems to have caused countless teachers a miserable time and to be run by sadists.
Seems to be a place to avoid. Now's your chance to put the boot in.

I've received a posting asking me WHY it's so bad.

It took me two minutes to trawl this from the web. Each paragraph delineates a different quote. The Inspector is McKnackered!

The crap western "management" tried to put me on probation because I was seen talking to other teachers outside of school, and had been seen with a guy who did a runner (he was braver than me).

In the end I wasn't allowed to walk the streets with other westerners - how can they dictate friggin BS like that.

If that miserable MF Marc comes back to Korea, I would pay someone to do him over - wouldn't lower myself to touch scum like that.

WORST school in Korea, on the upside I think I am now at the best school!

Marc learned well from Rick. That guy had one heck of a mean streak.

As for the small gu thing, when I arrived, Kid's Club was the only hogwon in the district, and we the only teachers (12 at the time). Two years later, hogwons had sprouted like weeds within a 1 km radius.

Yeah, Greg got here in 2000. A pervert if ever there was one.

Did I mention the cameras in the classrooms?! Sheer intimidation. I suppose they waned to document that we were being "cruel and unusual" to the poor kids.
Mr Jong is one of the most evil persons Ii have ever encountered. Mr Park is a Lackey, and therefore to be pitied, but he is on the level of a concentration camp guard - guilty as h*ll.
What an evil place LCI/ASTA Kids Club is.
Funny thing is, what with lectures about "you are in Korea, you must follow Korean customs," I hate Korea and Koreans. Good PR for you Korean patriots... You are all lying, deceitful pieces of s*it, judging by your actions.
Totally despicable...

"You're in Korea, you must follow Korean customs." and "You need to speak more American English."

I just nodded my head. "Whatever," I thought, and did my own thing. Teaching, ignoring Rick, and only using the American accent to teach phonics. (I found it easier using the US accent to teach these kids phonics/reading than the Aussie/Brit one)

One of the funny things is that they use mostly Aus/NZ books, which introduce all sorts of contextualized/limited vocabulary.
Oh, my Lord, I love slagging this "school."
I still have dreams sometimes... When I wake up, it is hard to describe the euphoria I feel when I remember I'm no longer in Korea, slaving away for those b*stards.
I wish I were a believer, so I could picture Jongie and Parkie in hell...
This hagwon WILL go down, I swear.

When I got there in 1999 I was asked to teach in an American accent (i'm an Aussie). It wasn't too bad of a place when I started, but when I left in 2001 I couldn't wait to get the hell out of there.

"Sit nicely!"
Once, when I was teaching Kindly, I was told to show "extra attention and love" to a little girl who was new in class. Nice.
They're still telling Ozers to do an American accent - pathetic.

Why didn't/don't one of you make a helpful call to the Incheon police about Rick and his habits.

The crap western "management" tried to put me on probation because I was seen talking to other teachers outside of school, and had been seen with a guy who did a runner (he was braver than me).

In the end I wasn't allowed to walk the streets with other westerners - how can they dictate friggin BS like that.

If that miserable MF Marc comes back to Korea, I would pay someone to do him over - wouldn't lower myself to touch scum like that.

WORST school in Korea, on the upside I think I am now at the best school!

Jung was absolutely livid when one of the female teachers got married (this was back in the 90's)- made her life hell after that (she got married to a Korean, too, so you'd think he'd be more likely to back off). He has very serious control issues.

Was that Janelle?

Yeah- I saw her in 2001. She was pregnant with her second baby by then.

Tracy should be leaving soon, or is already gone, if she sticks to her plans. Now that Marky is gone, the school will be hard up for "management." My bet is on Betti staying on to be head *****.

Here's even more reasons to avoid the arsehole of Korea, ASTA LCI Kid's Club in Dongchoon Dong, Incheon.

Everything written about this atrocious hagwon is true. It really is the rectum of Korea, headed by two sly directors and a bunch of incompetent western twits on a power trip.

Kid's Club parades as a professional "school" to lure teachers into a contract, lying and misleading them on work hours among other things.
We're an Australian couple that just finished our stint in hell.
Here's common practice at Kid's Club:

1. Big Brother: two cameras scrutinise teachers' every move in the classroom to find something pathetic to blast them about.
Kid's Club operates on fear and control. The directors choose their "whipping boy" (or couple) to pick on, hauling them over the coals for anything and everything, as well as serving them the worst possible schedule each month.
On two ridiculous occasions they threatened to fire us - one was for being sick. As evil Jung told teachers, "It is selfish to be sick".

2. Rosters: while the contract says 120 hours a month, in reality teachers work more than 34 hours a week because of how the calendar dates fall in line with their pay day. Also, public holidays free up more hours to work, as 120 hours can be squeezed into 19 days, not 20 days, for example.

3. Suck it up: there is no avenue for legitimate complaints. As we discovered, it's simply fodder for them to pick on you more. We were foolish enough to believe The Witch, (name removed), when she told us we'd finish at 6pm if we worked morning kindergarten. After approaching The Twits (western mgt) about it, we were basically told to suck it up, "that's the way things work in Korea" and "it's all about team work". What crap.
From then on (a fortnight into our contract) we were the naughty ones for complaining and treated accordingly.

4.Western managers: what a joke. The Koreans like to bestow the honour of being a manager on any power-hungry idiot in need of a quick confidence boost.
{name removed), now departed, are/were the Head Twits, bending over daily for the directors. Tracy is a hard-nosed lying tramp and Marc is some kind of schizophrenic with shrivelled balls.
(name removed)(only loser Aussies try to sound American, and in the process mis-pronounce their own name) are hypocritical lackeys. At first they enjoyed dobbing others in for not towing the Kid's Club line, now they're shouting "poor me!"
(name removed) should go back to being a taxi driver in Canada. (name removed) has some serious issues, most notably intelligence ("Why is the snow on the road black?"). She quite enjoys shovelling *beep* on others - even her own friends - if it boosts her pathetic flailing self-esteem just a tiny bit.
Suck it up girls. May you forever extend your contracts and rot in the Kid's Club prison.

If you're offered a contract at this disgraceful attempt at an educational institution, run for the hills! Staff are treated like excrement on the directors' well-polished shoes and once you're trapped it's difficult to escape.

Working there sounds like fun. The only reason they can push you around is that they control your visa and your apartment. I wonder what it would be like to just go work there out of simple challenge on an F2 or F5 with your own place. What could they do to control you? Fire you? Smile Approaching this as a challenge that would be something id expect to happen anyway, so no skin off my nose.

Sit Nicely!
I struggle to find words to describe "Mr" Jong/Jung"
This pathetic excuse for a school WILL go down, if not the 1/3 MES will take care of it... Don't ask.why
When I left, I left my apartment in an absolutely fetid state - it was the only payback I could get at the time...

For the record. I would like to state that most of the guys on the Incheon Iceholes are a great bunch of lads. I just received a PM from one of the goalies on the team and I realise that I worded things in a way that. That may have offended many of the players that read this board.
When I was referring to the "useless goalies" I actually meant a "Dummy Goalie" which is a peice of foam rubber in place of an absent goalie.

I was actually referring to the lack of cohesion on the team. Many guys with a lot of skill refuse to pass the puck in practice and in games that do not matter so they can score goals. They are still nice guys. Skill wise, I am not in a position to criticise, as I said before, I am nothing special as a hockey player.
Personally, I on;y have serious issues with two players on the team. I am sure we all know by now who one of them is.

So, if any of you Iceholes(with two notable exceptions), are reading. Sorry boys! And keep your stick on the ice!

Riverboy- good story. I know some other guys that used to play hockey with him. They said he was an asshat and everyone laughed at him, but they never told me any stories- I was a bit disappointed about that^^. Amazing he made captain, being the jerk that he was (is). Anyway, consider yourself lucky you didn't work there!!

Didn't know he cruised at Gecko's. Good thing I don't hang out there in the evening, then.

You know, I bet the director's seen this thread and is just livid (I was forbidden to access this website while I was at work- no prob, cuz I just went down the street one of the many PC Bangs!). Har har~

Yeah, I have a personal grudge against the guy. I really shouldn't have acted like that, but I don't like being talked down to by anyone, and the way they suspended me.... two freaking months for a two minute penalty!!!
The Gyopo President of the hockey team is your classic little man who will do anything to make himself feel important. He was the guy behind the suspension, but he used the individual we are talking about to do his dirty work. He was all to glad, but he did it on the phone and I was guilty without being allowed to explain myself. It really was a black eye for the team as lots of guys lost a lot of respect for those guys and a few don't even go anymore.
I hate to stay so bitter, but I would like to meet the president and the former supervisor, square off with both of them and give them both a good old fashioned a$$ whoopin. That would make me feel better!
Man do I ever have issues lol

At the infamous LCI/ASTA Kids' Club in Dongchoon-Dong, Incheon, I had 3 (count 'em) THREE different apartments, all of which sucked. I'd forgotten about this. When I first arrived, I spent I think 2 days in one apartment, because they didn't want the departing teacher, into whose 3 bdrm I was supposed to live, to infect me with his "bad" attitude. Should have known right then and there, but that's another story. Then I had a decent bedroom with an en suite bathroom for a month, but pretty much had to move into the infamous closet room, which had been abandoned by a runner and was filthy... This room had a bed and a wardrobe, because that was all that would fit in it... And this was in August... OMG it was miserable. Then I got a single, which was a hole. Bathroom opened onto the hallway and was freezing cold all Winter...
Ugh, another Kids Club memory... make it go away!

Beware the old Canadian "head teacher" is back at LCI Kids Club, Yeonsu-Gu, not sure what his aim is this time - to torment the other teachers, or fire a few of them.

If you wanna last 12 months working 125 hours a month for 2.0 million, start kissing his arse or bald head!

I met some newbies who work there the other day, very nice girls, who were already having reservations (I didn't find out till later where they worked) - I wish them good luck and smooth sailing.

Which one? The tall one starting with M, the pregnant one starting with G or the Dalek who was in the hockey team, starting with R?

I met some newbies who work there the other day, very nice girls, who were already having reservations (I didn't find out till later where they worked) - I wish them good luck and smooth sailing.

My school is in the next building over. Considering that we're looking for a teacher, maybe I should go over there and start recruiting them.

This is the Veterans of ASTA Clubhouse, this thread. And it's kinda fun to peek in and hear you guys telling your war stories and comparing battle scars. Though I'm just eavesdropping here, I have to say it's depressing that these rotten outfits just never seem to go belly up, implode, get busted for something... They just carry on as nasty as they wanna be, racking up more veterans as the years go on. How can businesses this vile survive for so long?

Well, well, well... It's been about one year to the DAY that I set off on a plane to Korea. Who knew three months later, I'd be starting a thread that would carry on for almost a year? Gotta say I'm pretty happy about the success of this thread, although it's not my preferred method of keeping in touch with old friends. And I realize that I'm going off topic here, but I don't post a lot, so I hope you'll excuse the "breach in protocol".

Since this is about the one year anniversary of my departing (and subsequent return three months later) to Korea, I thought I'd I'd mark the occasion with another warning to any noobs out there who are thinking of working overseas. If you are contacted IN ANY WAY by ANYBODY about working at this school, please, please, PLEASE keep looking. There are a lot of great places to work in Korea, and LCI/ASTA Kids Club is NOT one of them.

That being said, it was a good lot of fun to read how people feel about this school and the people who work there. I am, of course, referring to the "administration". Was it a horrific, trying, life-defining, grueling, "forced-labour" experience? Indeed it was. How did I make it through those three months, you ask? Great friends, trips into Seoul with my good friend, travelx, Friday night poker (W and C, you still got my chips?), and coffee and the PC Bang every night with my good friend, BadPegge.

Was it the worst experience of my life? Quite possibly, and yet it's strange how the best memories sometimes come out of the worst experiences. So, in the spirit of the festive season, there are many things I would like to raise a glass to.

1) Leaving town with 400 bucks from my last paycheque, only to pass through Japan to go riding in Nozawa Onsen. If there's anybody from that school (and again, I'm refering to the "administrators"), that's where I went, and I gotta say, after putting up with your crap for three months, I don't think I would have ever fully appreciated the FANTASTIC Japanese hospitality.

2) W and C, who put up with you for a full YEAR, and are now reaping their benefits traveling around Southeastern Asia. You put up with a lot of crap, and if you ask me, you're living proof that Karma exists. And just so you know, W and C, I am GREEN with envy. GREEN.

3) My good friend, and fellow Canadian D McD, who I've spent many a bus ride back from Seoul, coming back from the Rocky Mountain Tavern. May your new baby be blessed. You're currently tied for 4th in our hockey pool, and I'm stuck near the basement...

4) My two good, good friends, travelex and Bad Pegge. They may sound a little bitter, but for good cause. What I put up with for 3 months, they put up with for 3-4 times as long. Without the two of you, I wouldn't even have made it as long as I did.

It's been a long hard road, but we're all in better places, now. And what's better, none of us will ever, ever have to deal with the mofos that run that place. To LCI/ASTA Kids Club, and it's Korean administration, I hope the earth opens up and swallows you up. Parky, if you're reading this, you have a couple of great kids, please don't subject them to that crap curriculum. To the Canadian cockroach, you don't control anybody or anything. You're not even a man. Sit down, shut up, and let the rest of the adults do the talking. To the Canadian cow, and the Australian dumbass, you're both ugly, fat, mean-spirited people who are as dirty on the inside as you are on the outside. You'll never get married, and you'll die miserable and alone. To D McD, haven't talked to you in a bit, but I'll drop you a line soon. Oil are going all the way this year, with or without Prongs. To travelex, miss you HEAPS. David Gray makes me nostalgic. To Bad Pegge, it's called EMAIL. Use it. Miss you, buddy. To W and C, I know you're having a blast in Asia. I know I've had a blast reading about it. Travel safe and happy.

In the spirit of the season, let's raise a glass. Cheers to good friends, good times, and good memories. I hope everyone has a fantastic Christmas, including all those people in the room I don't know, but excluding, of course, all the aforementioned people. In fact, you LCI/ASTA folk can disregard all the good feelings altogether. Your coal will be arriving post-haste. Better get your stockings out, lest Santa have no other place to stick it except up your POOPER.

Inspector McHammered of the Lard

Dave's ESL Cafe

Is dear old Dave Sperling as respectable as he would have us believe? He seems to post hundreds of jobs with little regard for any form of quality control. How many of you poor shafted teflers have been posted to god-forsaken schools worked to death while old Dave pockets the advertising revenue?

Do let us know the juicy details so other poor suckers can avoid the places.

WIKIPEDIA the objective and free online internet encyclopedia have two articles about Saint Dave:
1. A Wikipedia search on "ESLCAFE" reveals the following little gem .

Remember this isn't the nasty old blacklister up to mischief, this is a totally objective analysis so you can't say you haven't been warned. Don't believe me? Look it up yourself.

Criticisms Dave's ESL Cafe has come under fire in South Korea as well as other locations for placing the interests of schools that advertise on the website over the interests of teachers, even in cases where the schools had displayed a history of chronic teacher abuse.

As far as the forums are concerned, periods of relative peace are usually short-lived as the members' personalities will flare up and create flaming wars. This results in extremely heavy handed moderating, which only fans the flames.

Examples of heavy handed moderating include the deletion of threads that are critical of the website, mention any other competing ESL websites, the thread that lead to the establishment of this wikipedia article, and any others that the moderators deem unacceptable.

Some of the long time posters on the forum will ridicule and insult newcomers, or even lie about their experiences to make themselves appear more grandiose in the eyes of forum members.

While there is good information to be found on the website, it is important to always remember that Dave's ESL Cafe is primarily a profit oriented business.

2. A Wikipedia search on "DAVE'S ESL CAFE" informs us that: "Dave's ESL Cafe is a privately owned job search engine for English as a Second Language (ESL) jobs around the world. Hosted in California by Dave Sperling, it was one of the first job boards for overseas English teaching jobs to be created. Revenue is derived from advertising from small and medium-sized private language schools, mostly in Asia.

While, local employment offices for positions in one's home country are subject to adhering to local labor laws and other laws, overseas jobs posted on Dave's ESL Cafe are not. Therefore, quite often, fraudulent businesses advertise teaching positions which do not comply with labor laws even in the host country.

For example, by law, it is mandatory in Japan that an employee be enrolled into the Japanese government's health care and pension plan (shakai hoken); however, since it is an overseas job, a Californian Internet job board has no fear of being sued for advertising a job that violates Japanese law. Therefore, advertisers can misrepresent job conditions such as pay, holidays, health insurance etc....

Although this Internet job board does provide a forum to discuss jobs, advertisers may demand posts critical of their particular school to be censored or completely deleted. Moderators of the forums are not required to have any experience or training in labor issues, and often are unaware of labor law standards.

Similar Internet job boards exist for ESL jobs which have similar censorious behavior such as GaijinPot and the tesljb-l listserv."

Inspector McHammered of the Lard

Inlingua Naples, Italy

To get the ball going I'll throw a few schools to the wolves.
I've read so much negative stuff about this place over the years I'm sure some of the more experienced battle scarred veterans of the TEFL world can enlighten the readers of this blog as to what the reality of the place is like. I personally have never read a single good word written about the place. Anyone care to enlighten us?

Inspector McHammered of the Lard