(Photo credit http://bit.ly/1B4PigR)
This is an interesting topic and of course being a Language Centre founder myself, it is something that is constantly on my mind. But let me tell you what I think is what matters when you are looking for a good Language Centre, whether you are a teacher or a student.
- Are all the teaching staff qualified teachers?
This is an obvious point, but there are a few language centers who are far more interested in a white face an a native English accent to ever consider whether the person can teach or not. This is critical for both new students and new staff. If the Centre cares about the students, they will care that their teachers are the best they can get.
- Can you see that the teachers are motivated?
This is hard to tell initially when you are just registering or you are simply going in for an interview. The level of motivation from the teachers can be equated to the motivation of the interviewer. It isn’t always the case as the interviewer can also be a bit of a con-man but even so you will soon find out (when you look at the others points)
- Is the environment well looked after and modern?
A cared for environment means that the management care about the learning and working conditions of the people living inside it. Take a quick look around and see if it is at your required level.
- Is there friendly customer service?
A simply smile at the reception desk can take you a long way, whether you are a prospective teacher or student. Take note of this, it really IS important.
- Are the promises you are getting from the Language Centre realistic?
If you are reading the brochure and it says you have monthly trips away – make sure you get that, or at least ask other students to see if it is true. If you are promised the earth as a teacher, make sure you get it in writing. They promises the management make to you are the measure of integrity they have for retaining you as a staff member or student. They should honour everything they say!
- Do you have all your questions answered?
When you are looking around for a course or a job, make sure you yourself have a list of questions to ask and know what you want the answer to be. You have your own standards on how much you are prepared to accept. This is a really good idea and keeps the Language centre to its word later.
- Are the staff clearly enjoying each other’s company
When you see the students and the teachers having a laugh together, it really is a good signal. It means you too will feel that comfortable and happy with your time there. Never forget to watch what is happening around you as well as what people are saying, it speaks volumes.
- What have you heard about the Language Centre outside of the school?
This is a real tell-tale sign that things are either good or bad. Simply ask other people who have studied there or have worked there. These days you can go online and find the answers. But this is what you must look at before anything else, because everyone loves to talk…..good or bad.
- Is it packed with students?
Chances are if there are many students there, they are there for a good reason, it is a good place to be. That means the students are happy and tell everyone to come, and the teachers are good which means the Centre is professional.
- How to land your first tefl teaching job
- How to find the perfect ESL job
- English language centre reviews
- Choosing an English language centre