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Any Speed School of English in Poland?


delphiandomine 87 | 16,888    
13 Nov 2015  #31
Bwahaha. On 35zł an hour maximum, with no guaranteed hours?

I mean, I know pubs in Bielsko where you can drink for 3.50zł. Doesn't mean that it's a good wage ;)
Lyzko 18 | 5,325    
14 Nov 2015  #32
"Speed School"?? Hmm, that seems an odd name! One automatically thinks of "Crash-Course" School for learning English quickly, not necessarily thoroughly:-) Why "speed", anyway? What's the hurry? I've vaguely heard of "speed dating", but that's about it. Don't mean to knock it. If it's authentically good, then fine!

LOL

Is this linked in any way to the concept of "super learning", once popular in Europe in the late '90's, I was told by a German acquaintance?

Only curious:-)
jon357 65 | 13,654    
14 Nov 2015  #33
Not really. It's the name of a chain of language schools who use something (actually very old-fashioned) called the Callan Method. Popular in Poland but not really anywhere else because it was once heavily marketed there. And is cheap.

Based on pre-war ideas about learning English, basically shout and repeat.
Lyzko 18 | 5,325    
14 Nov 2015  #34
Sounds almost a bit like the Rassias Method, popular here in the States some years back, started by a chap named Dr. John Rassias, professor of French at a New Hampshire college (NOT Middlebury, by the way!), who'd typically throw various objects around the classroom, not necessarily aimed at students however, in order for them to "grasp" the concept both physically and corporally, e.g. "LA CHAISE!!!!, LA CHAISE!!!..", while hurling a small chair across the room, etc.

Not sure in the end how effective it was, but he made quite a name for himself, not to mention ruining a lot of furniture:-)))
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,717    
14 Nov 2015  #35
that method does sound fun, L., I might try it..:)
Lyzko 18 | 5,325    
14 Nov 2015  #36
Just make sure both you and your students are insured against flying objectsLOL
Argen9120    
27 Nov 2015  #37
The hours are guaranteed, and the money is more than enough to live off 'delphiandomine'... No the job doesn't make you rich but it's enough to live off and enjoy life. Also the method is completely different from what the Speed School's used to use now... Definitely not the Callan Method.
delphiandomine 87 | 16,888    
27 Nov 2015  #38
Guaranteed? I would love to see a copy of your "guaranteed" hours on the contract ;) We all know that language schools would never offer guaranteed hours on the contract for the simple reason that they can't do it. The reality is that such schools cut the hours of teachers at a whim, especially if the students are irritated.

As for the "method", are you now using Avalon? ;)

As for enough to "live off", sure, if living like a student is what one wants to do in a foreign country.
InPolska 11 | 1,823    
27 Nov 2015  #39
Absolutely! NO school is able to guarantee number of hours since clients come and go all the time. Also, quite often, big assignments announced by schools don't happen or get cancelled once started. This is the reason why foreign language teachers in Poland work for several schools at same time. It is easy to say while reading so many posts in PF (and not only) that foreigners planning to teach in Poland are very naive and have no idea of the way it works. And YES, some - long established and very qualified/experienced - foreign teachers can and do make a lot of (by Polish standards) money in Poland but they are a tiny minority and the big majority of teachers including of course the new ones have to put up with few hours at non convenient times of the day and make peanuts and no need to talk about those British "teachers" ending up in sh@@t hole areas boring as h...l for peanuts in order to avoid unemployment at home (most probably it would make more sense to take some training in UK in order to find employment in UK since conditions shall always be better than in Poland...)
Argen9120    
29 Dec 2015  #40
Hello again 'delphiandomine' you crazy person. As for the method, yes it was very similar to the Avalon one, well done. Though as for the "living like a student" I'm afraid that's incorrect... I lived as a student in England for 4 years and the way I lived in Poland was a lot better than that, obviously the money wouldn't have went far in England but it went very far in Poland, I could've ate out every night if I'd wanted to. If I did eat out every night I would've still had money to spare. This was not possible for me when I was a student, a can of baked beans was suffice. Also, of course I'm not sending you the contract, but I can understand why you're so skeptical.
delphiandomine 87 | 16,888    
29 Dec 2015  #41
The sheer amount of transference errors from Polish in the post above should be enough for any native speaker of English to understand that it's obviously a representative of the school posting here and not a genuine ex-teacher.
Dougpol1 26 | 2,160    
29 Dec 2015  #42
I know pubs in Bielsko where you can drink for 3.50zł.

Yes - but would you want to..... ? The place is a rough-house at the best of times.
Lyzko 18 | 5,325    
29 Dec 2015  #43
Amen, Delph:-)

Thanks for being honest!
Argen9120    
1 Jan 2016  #44
delphiandomine I'm afraid you're wrong again...
depechemode1966    
2 Feb 2017  #45
Hello All

I have just discovered this board, but belong to other efl forums. Reading the comments about a particular method, school and directors made interesting reading and thought that I would add my tuppenceworth.

I have never worked at the school that has been mentioned, nor have I ever met the lady in question, so therefore will not comment on either. However, I do have experience of the Callan Method. I worked with it at the first two schools that I was employed at in Poland. To be honest, I stuck with it for about 6 months before deciding enough was enough. Now, I would rather walk away from teaching altogether than work with it again. The first school stuck to the method rigidly and the lessons zipped along nicely, but I thought it was a complete waste of time, what with the questions that you had to ask, such as: What would happen if you fell out of a tenth floor

window? or Is Napoleon alive or dead? I mean, when the Hell are you ever going to ask questions like that to anyone in normal day-to-day life? Students could tell me the answers easily, but couldn't answer me when, after a period of abensce, where they had been or why they had been absent. After seven weeks, I walked out on the school (in the south of Poland) because of the owner, not because of the method, although I did think it was of little, or no use.

Arriving in the north of Poland, I started working at another Callan school. At the time, it was the only job I could get. I tried to deliver it as I had been trained in the south, but, after complaints from the students, the owner asked me to repeat the questions to 5 or 6 of the students in the class. Despite the protests from myself and mentioning my previous experience, she insisted on doing it the way the students, and she, wanted it. You can imagine the sheer boredom of asking the same questions over and over and over again for that hour, and then maybe having to repeat the same lesson and rigmarole for the group that came in afterwards. Eventually I found a normal teaching job at another couple of schools and told the Director of the Callan school that I was not going to work there anymore. I will never work with it, or any other Direct method again.

I have worked in Poland since 2009, and on-the-whole, I have been very happy here. I believe it's what you make of it. During this time, I have also lived and worked in Russia and Spain, but would still come back here for the Christmas and summer holidays. Despite earning a lot more money, I wasn't as happy and never really considered those countries home, like I do with Poland. Yes, I earned a whole lot more money in Britain, but again, I grew unhappy and wanted a change, and I took a big risk in doing so. In terms of salary, I knew what I was letting myself in for when I came here, but you learn to appreciate that money isn't everything. Yes, it's important, to be able to live, but, to be honest, if you're only interested in teaching because of the money, then you're probably in the wrong job. However, I still earn enough to be able to pay for a 60 metre flat (on my own), pay the bills, eat nicely and go out for a few beers now and again. At my age, I no longer feel like acting the rockstar week in, week out. I have done all that. So, just a couple of times a month and to perodically watch the football on a Sunday afternoon suits me now. I live alone because that's the life I have chosen and I enjoy it.

In Poland, I feel much better with myself and my work. I can say what I want without having to think about it, not have to worry about office politics and political correctness. I am also working with people that actually want to learn, unlike the people I was working with in Britain for the seven years before I left. Guys, I am not saying Poland is perfect, because we all know it isn't. There are good and bad schools to work at. There are good and bad directors to work for, who will take the mickey and take you for granted if you let them. But, then again, you get that in Britain too. I have lost count the number of so-called managers I have worked with in Britain who only got the job because of who they knew, or because nobody else wanted the job. How many people there can say they are truly happy with their jobs? You only have to ask the number of people who work, or have worked in call centres, to realise that Poland isn't the only place with bad places to work and equally bad managers and directors. Yes, I have had interviews with Polish directors who have told me they have had Native Speakers waving their contracts in their faces, upon which, I have told them that, personally I have never done that, or know of anybody who has, but they will do it if they think you are trying to take the mickey and laugh at them. You should never believe what a Director tells you in terms of hours they can offer unless you get in writing and signed. I believed the first one when he told me that he could give me the minimum of 25 hours per week. I was lucky if I did half that. While I was there I found out that many other Native Speakers had walked out on him, which I fully understood why. He has since closed down, which in my mind, he fully deserved.

I have worked at quite a few schools here now, and each one has been an experience - some good and some not so, but from each one, there is something learned. If it's something I haven't enjoyed and you don't want to repeat it, I write it down and just say that I am not prepared to do it again. When I was in Spain, the majority of my groups were very young children and kids. After a year there, I didn't want to do it again, so when I came back, I told the schools here, no kids. Both in Poland and Russia, I worked with Individuals who constantly cancelled meetings, or wouldn't show up for their lesson, so I wrote a list of rules and now tell the Directors at the

beginning my rules. If they don't like them, then I don't do Individuals. In Russia, I also worked on Saturdays until I told them I no longer wished to do it. Now, I don't work weekends at all. In my experience now, you have to say what's-what right at the beginning, to avoid any confusion later. You have to tell the Directors that you are prepared to be flexible, but it has to work both ways and not just in favour of the school. You have to be firm, but diplomatic, otherwise they will walk all over you.

In my experience, I find it better to work in the less well-known cities, which is not touristy or over-populated with Native Speakers. It gives me that edge to call-the-shots with schools. I know with what I tell the schools here, I could probably not get away with in Krakow, Poznan, Wroclaw or Warsaw.

I am like the other writers here in that I will never work, in any capacity, for nothing. This includes lessons, meetings and any other work-related activities. It also includes not receiving text messages, or phone calls, at the weekend to discuss work. If I have a school-owned flat, I insist my privacy is respected and Directors do not have the automatic right to disturb my evenings and weekends with 'quick chats' If the school want me to work in companies, that is fine for me, but I insist upfront that I want paying for the cost of travel and travel time. I see no point in going somewhere where the waiting time (for buses, trams) and the the travel time is taking as long, or longer, than what the lesson itself lasts. If I have to travel to various companies throughout the day, I make sure I get paid travel time. Do not accept, "The expenses are part of your salary."

Outside of the school, I do have a few people that I meet and that is the only time I 'work' where I don't make any money from it. These meetings take place with people that I have known for a while and usually occur in a coffee shop (if it's ladies) and the pub, for the men and then it's a few beers. They just want to practise their English and I am happy to help them as they really want to learn. I choose to do this, but from this, I have been invited to some terrific dinners, parties, barbecues and even the occasional wedding. For me, it's not work.

I think that's all I have to say about Poland. I enjoy working here and I am now settled at a brilliant school. I just hope I am still saying that come June. Yes, my fellow writers on here are correct in saying you are not going to become rich, but if that's what you want, then stay in Britain and enjoy all the stress and b******t that goes with it. Personally, I wouldn't go back to what I was doing before if I can help it.

Thank you for taking the time to read and enjoy Poland for what it is.
pnaplsoda    
15 Aug 2017  #46
I worked at the Bielsko branch and it was great. I also subbed in at Tychy from time to time, similar vibe. Organized and friendly. The method they currently use is fun and easy, and the management is great. I'm super shocked to see the negative reviews about Andrzej in particular. I guess he can be intimidating but he's honestly got the best heart-- if you're his employee he won't forsake you for a second. And I've seen him deal with employees who deserved forsaking. No shortage of hours, money was plenty to travel, live a comfortable life, and even save a little. You don't go to Poland for the money but for the adventure, the food, the people, the travel, the fun. Plus it's honestly a really good job, especially if you're inexperienced. The manager, Natalie, will turn you into a good teacher.
delphiandomine 87 | 16,888    
15 Aug 2017  #47
I worked at the Bielsko branch

So we know who wrote this, then.

Here's a hint: you've made countless transference errors from Polish in your writing here. It's very obvious that a Pole wrote it :)
jon357 65 | 13,654    
15 Aug 2017  #48
if you're his employee he won't forsake you for a second

This is not written by an English teacher; it is written by a Poles.

transference errors from Polish

Loads of 'em.

This particular school have produced similar posts here a few times - this whole thread is about that. I wonder who they think they're fooling.

And Callan Method is a stain on any CV - it isn't taken seriously as a pedagogical toolkit, and in fact can deter future employers.
Lyzko 18 | 5,325    
15 Aug 2017  #49
If one can bribe one's way into getting a job teaching English (however NEVER Polish, French, German etc..) without really knowing it (or, "just enough to get by.." aka "..who'll know the differences anyway, much less care a whole lot!!), what does that say about the entire profession??!

Gosh, Poland's starting to sound more and more like America everywhere you look; no standards, little quality control to speak of:-)
jon357 65 | 13,654    
15 Aug 2017  #50
Poland's starting to sound more and more like America

These Callan 'schools' are a particularly Polish thing - basically a marketing idea, based on flawed and very outdated theories of language acquisition.
delphiandomine 87 | 16,888    
15 Aug 2017  #51
This particular school have produced similar posts here a few times - this whole thread is about that. I wonder who they think they're fooling.

I wonder as well. You'd think they would have figured out by now to get a native speaker to write these posts with the help of some bullet points.
jon357 65 | 13,654    
15 Aug 2017  #52
Even then, there are so many suspect posts about 'Speed school' on the internet now that any prospective employee (I won't say Teacher or Trainer) will see both types.
Lyzko 18 | 5,325    
15 Aug 2017  #53
Sometimes they're called "language" or "speech arts therapists":-)
Oetker Pizza    
4 Dec 2018  #54
In my experience working there (in Wroclaw, Gliwice, Krakow) for a year, and to the best of my recollection...

If you are reading through these posts and deciding, as I did, that on balance it sounds like the method isn't great but the school is fine to work at--please don't accept the position.

The Speed School does not use the direct method anymore in name. But the Talkman method, which is very similar. Although you use MFP to introduce new language, after that it's all Q&A. The justification for this is that the idea is to get students speaking skills to improve quickly. Sometimes it works, often it's ill-paced and unnatural.

The methodology isn't the problem. The entire business model is the problem.

"Talkman" direct isn't the best method. So why is it used? Because it means spending 0 on resources for teachers but still charging students for access to the course material.

The top priority of the school is to make the most money possible.

Again, you might be reading this and thinking, "Well, of course! It isa business. That's normal." I can assure you, from working at similar schools in the region, it is not normal to this degree.

You will work at least 12 hour days, but the pay will reflect maybe 6 hours. You will be paid in cash (ask yourself why). You will not be compensated for planning or travel time. You will neverhave 10 hours of uninterrupted rest, free from job requirements, during the week. You will be expected to teach ages anywhere from 4-17 without any training or guidance.

There is cheap, and then there is not replacing the first aid kit for months because it is "so expensive." Not that you would be able to access the office while teaching some classes anyway, because you are not trusted with office keys and it is too expensive to have Polish-speaking staff on-hand during all teaching hours.

One of my colleagues was promised housing upon arrival from the school and then told weeks later to find it herself.

Please, take any other job you've been offered, but not this one. Moving to another country is a very expensive investment and you will feel trapped at this "school."



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