El Fomentador

Alive and well in Mexico…

Posts Tagged ‘textbooks

The “Harming-them All” School of English

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Another name-brand franchise patito. True-to-form, this one’s tucked into a junky-looking building on a side street across from a shopping center parking lot. Its cheap, back-lit sign is the only light on the block. The narrow one-way street in front serves mainly as a short-cut for harried commuters trying to skirt the afternoon traffic that piles up across el centro. https://i2.wp.com/katiejeffreys.com/ducky/ducky30.jpg

Yes, more than just another crummy, store-front patito, “Harming-them All” really lives up to its pseudonym. Of course the foundation of any patito is built on reams of useless, outrageously over-priced material. This place doesn’t even bother to have their crap printed anymore–it’s all just photo-copied (of course it is still over-priced).

“Harming-them All” is a real triple-threat: They throw poorly-prepared (and even more poorly-paid) “teachers” into classes of up to 30 students and then make certain that any student that can pay is passed up to the next level–whether or not they actually learned anything. The idea is that they don’t want the students to learn too much so they can keep them hanging on and hook them into the full course.

It works something like this: 18 levels–18 months. The students have to buy new material at different levels throughout the course. You can be bi-lingual in one and a half years. And if you’re not they will just “tweak” your test scores and present you with a certificate of completion that is pretty much worthless anyway. “Thank-you very much for giving us your hard-earned cash, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”
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Written by El Fomentador

September 3, 2008 at 8:31 pm

Top Ten Signs of a Patito

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Oh, I know, it may be considered kind of a cheap hook; the whole “top-ten” list thing. But a friend suggested it and I thought it might provide a little relief, while providing some clues on what to look for in las escuelas patitos de ingles in Mexico. I admit I have a list of ten, but I am going to add them over a few days. I am hoping that people will add their own ideas and we can see what people are finding out there.

The Top-Ten Signs That You May Be Attending A Patito In Mexico

Number 10. Although the school is in Mexico, it is named after a dead U.S. President. (Or a statesman, or scientist, or the Queen of England, for God’s sake!)

Number 9. They offer “certificates” in 14 different languages, including Swahili, but only have three teachers. And they only speak Spanish.

Number 8. Employee dress code includes clause requiring teachers to use deodorant, comb their hair and change their underwear everyday. (And the code needs to stipulate that doesn’t mean to just exchange your underwear with someone else.)

As promised here are the next three signs your school may be a patito. You know, I could use some help here; as you may have noticed I am not really a comedy writer. The sad thing is all of these have some truth to them. The dress code thing, for example, I wrote to the company asking if it wasn’t a little embarrassing, no response, go figure!

Number 7. No one at the school actually speaks English, including the owner.

Number 6. “Textbooks” are all photo copies of stolen material.

Number 5. Patito franchise owner defends $30 pesos per hour (with no guarantee of number of hours) as a “competitive” salary and brags about the “benefits package” that includes a 10% discount at some fly-by-night optical company. (Oh, he wishes everyone “Bueno Suerte” as he drives of in his new Mercedes.) Here is a guy that really cares about the future of education in Mexico, (as long as he can make a buck off of it.) Ok, I’m being sarcastic, does that count as humor?

Stay tuned, and add some of your own sarcastic remarks. Luego
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