Inlingua Valencia

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Inlingua Valencia

Unread postby ubik24 » 28 Jun 2008, 13:46

Firstly, I want to say that Valencia is a lovely city and I hope this doesn't put anyone off teaching there. Now, that out of the way, lets get down to the nitty gritty. I worked for Inlingua who are a reputable school and are a well known academy around the world. However their school in Valencia was the most unprofessional institution I have worked for. During my 8 month stint 9 teachers I knew of left. This turnover in itself highlights that there were problems. So, where to start, well basically the teachers were treated like dogs. There was no respect ever from anyone in this academy except from one recepionist who left after 2 months. We had to nearly beg for our money outside the director's office, wait up to an hour at times, and were constantly fobbed off coming back different days to get money. Another issue was that within the academy no one spoke English and I had okay Spanish. This was a joke and made a complicated situation even more fustrating. The DOS was not even a DOS, she had no teaching experience and came from a business background. She caused alot of teachers serious headaches with her incompetance. Often, I was at a business in the city where I had a business class that the business had cancelled but the school had failed to inform me. No sorry or apology when this happened.
Whatever about the Inlingua method which I found crap they had no materials for the business English classes. They sometimes had one headway book for a certain level but no cd for listening and no teacher books. A shambles. I told them about this often but they never did anything about it. Luckily I have some good books and materials of my own which I used. Not that this mattered because we were never checked up on so we could have been doing anything. There was no weekly meetings. No constructive communication. The school only got business beacuse of the Inlingua name. I know that this is a franchise and its the people not the brand that are accountable but I'm getting in touch with Inlingua headquarters to alert them about these guys. Any one to one students I taught at the school wanted me to teach them outside of the school because they didn't like the school and dealing with the administration. Re the money I did get paid into my bank account (a week and a half into the month) but I got my travel expenses in cash as they didn't pay tax on that. Every month was a pain trying to collect this and dealing with their avoidance. Our last months wages I collected in cash as my girlfirend worked some hours there too. They tried to tell me vehemently that one month was paid and had actually forged the receipt to prove this. It was laughable. I asked to see the receipt which was really badly forged, I pointed out this while maintaining my cool, then the boss was fussing around and then gave me the money. I was lucky because I heard that some teachers have not been paid their last months wages from them. I never lost it at them in the school beacuse it was too surreal. Hopefully Inlingua head honchos will sort these cowboys out after I email them. Avoid them at all cost.
ubik24
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Re: Inlingua Valencia

Unread postby systematic » 29 Jun 2008, 13:39

We've done some of the Google searches (which you will of course certainly have already done yourself) and we came up with this at http://www.inlingua.com/
The legally independent Language Centers, free to shape their training programs in accordance with the requirements of the local market, are committed to the high quality ideals and uniform teaching principles of inlingua International.

Inlingua generally enjoys a good reputation - by that we mean a lack of negative reports - unlike another worldwide franchise, whose many branches, particularly the ones in China and Southeast Asia constantly come under fire and have been a prominent feature of web boards for over eight years. And of course nothing has changed. The franchise company is only interested in selling dozens of Apple computers to it s branches, and a totally useless homespun English course book to the students.
Hopefully Inlingua head honchos will sort these cowboys out after I email them.

The franchising head honchos are very clever to dissociate themselves from the everyday running and administrative tactics of individual 'branches', and can do so quite legally - it's their 'disclaimer'.
Your Inlingua branch, like all the others, is an independent registered business and the only recourse you have is to pursue them under Spanish law. This would probably cost you more than the compensation you would gain, but if several, or all of the (nine?) teachers are experiencing similar problems, then you could share the cost of litigation.

There are exceptions, but franchisees, from MacDonalds to language schools are notorious the world over for paying low wages and treating their staff very badly. Inlingua branches in Thailand escapes this stigma and it is rumoured that Inlingua began life in Thailand as the brainchild of the founder of another similar organisation. But this is pure conjecture.Our short promenade into what Google offers, came up with no street addresses for the corporate identities of the holding companies for either. Switzerland is a traditional home to spurious global organisations, or to those that do not want their head offices to be readily accessible.

Franchise language institutes are generally at the lowest level of education - the street level - and are not an employment solution for the serious teacher. They can be a useful springboard however, and as the hours are flexible, teachers can look around for better offers in schools and universities.

Nevertheless, ubik24, your posting is very important and, in order to maximise the distribution of your warning, could you please also post it on this brand new TESOL forum.Thank you.
I offer any information or advice 'as is' and hope that it has been of help. I am not an admin of this board, and my postings do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the board management.
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Re: Inlingua Valencia

Unread postby ubik24 » 29 Jun 2008, 14:27

I also noticed there was no ready information on the Inlingua headquarters, but I'll try to get onto them anyway, even if it's futile.The reason I can't get the other teachers together is because the school tried their best to keep teachers apart. This was encouraged. So, if you were taking over from a teacher the would never give you the teachers ph no. I don't know why they did this, maybe so you didn't hear the teacher explain why they were leaving, I don't know. I only got to know some teachers because I worked in the same business or covered a class for them. In most cases I found out from someone that a teacher had left. There was only one other teacher who I got to know well and he is going to go to them tomorrow, I think, to give them a piece of his mind. I'm not going because I know they don't care and won't change unless they're forced to by a higer power. They only see €€€€€€€, that's all they speak. Sadly, I've heard that the academys in Spain are more or less the same but that's generalising. My g/f worked for an English guy in a small academy and was treated really well and had a great experience.Another thing they did was swap teachers around during the year. This was really bad for obvious reasons. I had an elemtery class but was changed after 4 months to take on a business class that wanted a native teacher. No commonsense at all.
ubik24
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Re: Inlingua Valencia

Unread postby systematic » 02 Jul 2008, 12:04

This is all still very typical of the way these street level cowboys operate - and there are 1,000s of them worldwide, even in central London. The best advice is simply always to speak to current members of the staff before accepting a job offer, and if the shop owner won't allow it, draw your own conclusions. At the end of the day, nobody in TESOL except a down-and-out backpacker is that desperate for a job at that level - you can often earn more washing dishes in MacDonald's. It's just an experience trip. Careers are made in mainstream schools, colleges, and universities.
I offer any information or advice 'as is' and hope that it has been of help. I am not an admin of this board, and my postings do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the board management.
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Thailand TESOL forum
systematic
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Joined: 21 Apr 2008, 13:38
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