Saturday, August 30, 2014

Would YOU work for 20K in London?

Well, would you? If you’re an EFL teacher you’d probably have to, but did you also know that – even as a Diploma-qualified Tefler with the following attributes, you may well have to!

• Experience of delivering examination classes ( FCE/CAE/CPE/IELTS) 
 • Experience of working in multilingual classroom 
 • Experience with continuous assessment, adapting lessons to meet individual needs, giving tutorials and setting learning goals 
 • Proficiency in time management and record keeping 
 • Can demonstrate a strong commitment to own CPD 
 • Confident with using IT in the classroom including IWBs
 • Flexibility and cultural awareness

Yes, step forward the Wimbledon School of English for advertising such a demanding job with so little reward!

I’m rather surprised, and not a little disappointed, that despite this very same school having won the highest of all possible marks in its recent British Council inspection, it’s still offering shit salaries for Dip teachers with oodles of experience.

 What’s worse, the ad makes no mention of how many of hours of classroom capers you’ll have to put in before they cough up that mighty 385 quid every week. If it’s around the 25 mark, that means you’ll be in effect working for something like a pisspoor 15 quid an hour!

Mind you, they do offer a free lunch. Whether you’re allowed a doggy-bag to help prevent yourself from starving to death on their shit salary is not clear, however. 

 Care to comment on that, Fiona Dunlop and Jane Dancaster?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Speak Up! forced to Pay Up!

Once again, Sandy's Tefl spies have brought to greater attention the dodgy doings of another shyster school. In this case, I am very proud to be able to shine the 'Spotlight of Shame' on Speak Up! London, who have been found guilty of flouting employment laws and promoting outright sexism in the workplace. The main character responsible is an upstanding gentleman of Asian extraction, pictured alongside, who goes by the glorious name of Mr Fartan!

Without doubt, this thieving toad represents another fine example of the cockroaches and scumbags who infest the UK Tefl scene. Last month he attempted to fire an employee for no reason and without notice or payment. No doubt this is the way employees, especially female ones, are treated in his country of origin. However, Mr Fartan (a.k.a. Farhan Quraishi) seemed to overlook that he lives in a civilised country now, whose laws need to be respected.

After a spirited campaign via social media, Mr Fartan was forced to change his cheating ways. You can find out all about the matter here:

Anyway, I did some further digging into Mr Fartan and his academic cesspit, and I found some pretty vile stuff. He is a man who is not shy of making grand claims on his LinkedIn page, but in reality he appears to be much more of a wimp.

For example, he claims to be a "Multi talented individual whose skills set ranges" . Indeed , they probably range from promoting discrimination against his female teachers to failing to issue teachers with contracts. Or perhaps that is what he means by his boast that he is "Definitely not a one trick pony."? After all, he seems to have lots of tricks up his sleeve, especially when it comes to dodging his legal obligations as an employer.

He has also been pulled up about the full name of his school, which is Speak Up! London School of English on their website and advertising. Certain people at the London School of English, which is probably the UK's very best EFL school, have asked him to either alter his school's name or issue a disclaimer, stating clearly that his cheapskate outfit in tourist town is nothing at all to do with the high-quality outfit in Holland Park. However, for some strange reason that only Mr Fartan can provide, he has consistently refused to do so!

Another strange matter is the fact that on June 4 this year - just a few weeks back - Mr Fartan and his co-director, Kamila Cwiklinska (both of 49 Clarence Gardens, Camden) registered a new company at Companies House. This new school is called Speak Up London Language School Ltd - a name that is very similar to their current company, which was incorporated in August 2012, called Speak Up London Ltd.

Now, language schools come and go, and my experience of those that go after a name change is that they often claim insolvency and dodge the taxman. And for some reason, the current Speak Up! outfit has apparently paid no taxes and filed no accounts EVER!

Oh, and sometimes these shyster schools avoid paying their employees too. Is this another of those tricks that Mr Fartan likes to crow about?

Do YOU work at Speak Up!? Got a story to tell? 
Just send it to and you'll receive a free packet of 10 Park Drive in return!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Via Lingua TEFL Scam

I received this nice little addition to the blog the other day. Just so that it did not feel all alone hanging about at the foot of a blog posting about crappy TEFL courses, I have decided to promote it to pole position and do some follow up.

The Via Lingua TEFL course in Florence, Italy is a total scam. The school intentionally misleads potential students on its website by claiming that 85% of graduates of the TEFL course get a job within 30 days of finishing the course. This is a blatant lie - most of the people from the course go home without a job. The school provides very little in the way of support. Their idea of an exclusive lifetime job network for graduates is a binder full of print outs of job postings from and Dave’s ESL cafe.

Furthermore, the housing they provide is subpar and the owner of the school when confronted about these issues becomes very hostile. Via Lingua is basically a marketing scheme - they’ll say whatever they can (mislead, or leave out important information about the job market or working visas, etc) so they can get you to sign up for their course. They have about five or six websites all saying the same stuff, and they’ve paid bloggers and ESL sites like ESL Base to do free advertising. It’s not a professional school in any sense of the word. However, on the bright side (can’t all be bad, right?) Florence is a beautiful city!

It’s time for this school to be added to the TEFL blacklist. Via Lingua, you’re on notice.

For further information, please contact, call toll-free in the US (888) 835-6207 or in the UK (44) 203-004-0943.

Actually I called the outfit in Florence a couple of times, but found it impossible to communicate with anybody there who could speak even basic English. Doesn't say much for their 'school', does it?