Thursday, 19 August 2010

Start your own English school - no experience necessary

From the April 2010 EL Gazette

MANY TEFLERS have at some time suspected (or known for certain) that their school’s owners have little or no background knowledge of the subject, beyond an understanding of the money to be made. Now a company called offers all ‘business enthusiasts’ the opportunity to start their own English school in cyberspace for just US$250. The company promises that setting up an online EFL school requires ‘no setup, no hassle, and definitely no experience’. offer a complete English Website Package that lets you start your own online EFL operation for a one-off fee, which means you won’t have to pay any royalties. The fee includes one year’s free web hosting, search engine optimisation and other internet bells and whistles.

Details of lesson content are more vague. A ‘demo’ shows a dummy version of an online English school, which promises that you ‘can learn Business English, General English, Kids English, IELTS or TOEFL’. Students pay $15 an hour and up for English lessons.

The Gazette could only find one sample lesson, in which ‘we will learn how to express quantities’ to the tune of xylophone music in the background, and we learn from a rather unnatural conversation that ‘wholemeal flour is used to make bread’. To be fair to, their sample lesson is no worse that one you’d be expected to pay money for in many of London’s less reputable schools.

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