El Fomentador

Alive and well in Mexico…

“Star trek” Languages Inc.

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You know, after visiting hundreds of really bad schools of English in half a dozen cities in Mexico, I thought I had seen it all. What a fool I was. Tonight as I was walking past our local branch of the https://i2.wp.com/blogs.amctv.com/scifi-scanner/2star_trek_csg_031.jpgUniversity of Bugtussle (well, it actually has absolutely no connection with any university in Bugtussle, they just use the name “Bugtussle” because, well, I guess they use it because it sounds better than calling it the “University of Screw You”. This outfit has several buildings downtown and they are making money hand over fist by, frankly, cheating every poor SOB that walks through the door expecting a useful education. The main thing that students learn at this place is that there is no end to the number of ways that scam artists will try to steal your money.                 https://i2.wp.com/www.freeimageslive.com/galleries/buildings/london/pics/bigben01958.jpg


I was part of a presentation there once with three other teachers. Fully three-quarters of the students there are studying psychology. I don’t have anything against psychology, it is an important science. But you really can’t learn a profession like that at what amounts to a glorified high school. Their biggest selling point is that they have a nice cafeteria, I’m not kidding, they list it first in their ads. An adequate snack bar is important no matter where you may go.

But I will say that the only thing Mexico needs less than a bunch of untrained, unemployed architects (and they have a lot of them) is a bunch of poorly-trained, poorly-equipped, unemployed psychologists.

Someone once said, we use our knowledge of psychology to drive ourselves crazy. If that is true there are a lot of crazy young students being turned out by this outfit in Mexico.

But back to “star trek”. As I walked by the “play-school” I noticed a huge new banner (since the development of a computerized screen printing process, everything in Mexico is printed on huge vinyl banners, and I mean everything) trumpeting the availability of the “startrek” languages system. The basic idea is, apparently, Bugtussle U cannot afford to pay actual qualified teachers to teach languages in the classroom so they have outsourced to some kind of virtual program that promises to cheat students out of even more of their money while providing virtually worthless instruction in, get this, more than 25 different languages. They couldn’t even fit all of the languages on the banner (they had to make room to keep mentioning the snack bar) and I have not had success getting on their web site, but I will make a list of the languages they offer (I assume the only language they don’t offer is “Klingon”, but I am sure if you are willing to pay for it they would be happy to put together a course. May I say that would appear to be illogical, Captain? )

You can call me a wise guy, (I’ve been called worse), but, for example, I just don’t think there is a big market for a course in Hebrew in central Mexico. Maybe I’m wrong. As I like to say, I’ve been wrong before–I thought I made a mistake once. (I’m kidding, I’m a kidder!)

But I am serious about this: DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME OR MONEY ON THIS SCAM!!! And, as John McCain likes to say over and over and over again: “My friends” you can take that to the bank (although I guess, considering the current financial crisis, banks are one of the least safe places to take anything these days.)

Anyway my point is it is a case of a patito, that is unwilling to fulfill its stated mission, simply sub-contracting out to another patito that will, in turn, be unable to meet its responsibility. Oh, the irony, oh, the injustice, oh, the poor example that has been set. There is a private patito “university”, one of the big names here, with branches all over Mexico, owned by a private group from the US, that has done the same thing. Apparently, actually providing real language classes for students and paying qualified teachers a living wage, just cuts into the profit margin too much. You know, when it comes to things like quality and ethical behavior the thriving “edu-business” industry can’t be bothered.

I think El Fomentador may go to the University of  Bugtussle and sign up for a course in Hebrew–that would look good on a resume, right? Well, ok, I’m only going to do it because I like being a wise guy. Shalom, amigos. And may the force be with you…oh, wait a minute, that’s from Star Wars.

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Written by El Fomentador

November 13, 2008 at 6:54 am

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