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Re: An English School Owner`s Experience in Japan Link
By:Smithparody <Smithparody@yahoo.com>

I owned a Smith's school for 4 years. I know the truth. I know the scam. Here are some of my favorite quotes directly from the Smith's website referring to Mark's made up methodology "Coaching Communicative Confidence" (with my comments in parentheses):

Coaches of Communicative Confidence and how Smith’s philosophy differs from the majority of English schools in Japan

.....We are in fact Coaches of Communicative Confidence. One doesn’t need a PHD or even a degree in order to be a good coach. Why then is there publication upon publication saying that you cannot or even should not work at an English school without a degree? Who knows? ---(This is a great quote. This shows how little Mark knows about TEFL theory and methodology. His system is ineffective for real, meaningful learning to take place. The training you will receive at Smith's is based on a system that one man with no TEFL qualifications made up.)

......write the following on the board in any adult English conversation class: "Where do you live?"
They can read it. They do understand it. They may not be able to answer it verbally. That’s where our job begins. Oh, and know this: If the student can’t understand this sentence or form some type of answer, chances are neither you nor the majority of the teachers in this business in Japan today can teach it to them as a non-native Japanese speaker. To do so would require: An in depth knowledge of the grammatical structure of the English language (is he admitting he needs to brush up on his grammar?), the ability to explain that structure (which any qualified TEFL teacher could do), and most importantly, the ability to make that explanation in Japanese. --- (Oh, Mark, how little you know about real teaching. On my first day of CELTA, our trainer took 4 people who said they never took Spanish class, and taught them to say this very phrase in Spanish, and more! They were able to greet and have a short conversation in a language they had never studied before, and the teacher did it using only Spanish in 30 minutes! Further proof that the Smith's system is not based in any proven, tried and tested, internationally recognized TEFL methodology. He made up his entire system!)

..... how can we be expected to teach the English language with one 45 minute lesson per week? The answer is: we can’t. (Ugh! I can't believe I fell for this crap! If you take a real TEFL course, you'll find that actually, you can! I mentioned in an earlier post that the Smith's "curriculum" ignores 75% of language skills development. Mark probably doesn't know what I'm talking about, and that's why he can't teach effectively in 45 minutes. If he can't do it, and you train under his system, how do you think you will do?)

....Moreover, English conversation schools are no more than an extension of the job started by Monbusho. They teach grammar. We teach communicative confidence. (He doesn't teach grammar because he doesn't know how!)

.....In order to define and in turn perfect our own performance in that relationship we did research into the English language education provided by Monbusho. (I would love to go back to him and ask him what kind of research he did! I'm sure, since I've spent so much time with him and his system, that this is an outright lie.)

.....The proof that Monbusho has a different goal altogether lies in an average student to teacher ratio of 40 to 1. What conversation coaching based organization would advertise a class ratio of that nature? The answer is none. In that situation, during a 45 minute class any one of these students gets only a very small amount of Student Talk Time. (again, further proof that Mark Smith knows nothing of true TEFL. Sure, a ratio of 40:1 is far from ideal, but a well-trained teacher would be able to manage this class to give everyone plenty of talking time.)

.....Monbusho does their job giving Japanese people the technical skills of English (in the professional TEFL world, these "technical skills" are called "English systems", but Mark wouldn't know that.) and with this, we can start ours. We have the responsibility to coach to confidence to vocalize the skills provided by Monbusho. We are Coaches of Communicative Confidence. ("vocalize the skills", is this an admission by Mark Smith himself that the Smith's system focuses on only one language skill, speaking? Do yourself a favor, don't buy an English school franchise from a guy who know nothing of TEFL.)

Messages In This Thread

Re: An English School Owner`s Experience in Japan Link -- Smithparody

Go to another board -