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Q: Why don't Chinese people know how to properly run a language school?

Big boss came from Shanghai. Was disastisfied and fired some of the senior employees. This is the 3rd time in 2 months this has happened. What he doesn't realize is that it's not the employees who are the problem. It's the entire system the company has built itself on. I hear many schools are like this. What's the deal?

8 years 38 weeks ago in  Business & Jobs - China

 
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Posts: 127

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its not only language school, all the school over china are similar.. their pedagogy is just copied or borrowed from a very old system of education, they don't have education reforms at all.. except for a few schools... everything is decided by their ministry of education, they  have to adhere to it or they have to close down their school.

By the way, schools in china are administrative mostly.....

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8 years 38 weeks ago
 
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Because the schools here, like in the rest of the world, tend to be set up by people after a quick buck (or kuai), and not by teachers who actually know what they're doing! So, they have no real interest in educating students. Which means, all they look at is bottom line figures (ie, personal profit). If you can teach 10 students, who all pay (say) 500RMB each per hour... then why not teach 12.. or 16... or 50? After all, it's more money!!! (and who cares if the quality of education goes down the drain??)

Also, those people setting up the school have little or no experience in running an effective business or operation, so have no idea on how things should really be done to achieve a great success (see the "quick buck" above).

If you really care, tell this boss from Shanghai what they're doing wrong. If they fire you, move on!

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8 years 38 weeks ago
 
Posts: 196

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because they only think about how much money they can exploit from their students and not how much they can teach them.

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8 years 38 weeks ago

Come on thumbs down everything I say. rnrnPlease I like it thumbs down some more.

 
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Because they are Chinese and have no business sence , I f they thought more about employing native speakers to help them they could have a could business right now to most its just a money machine they dont really care abut students education

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8 years 38 weeks ago
 
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To the above-poster, I know a great many native speakers in China who have precisley no business sense at all.  Many of them were flops in their own respective countries and they come to China to somehow enhance their own values with the "native-speaker bit".

Don't kid yourself, mrpopular above, many of the Chinese are astute, astute business people.  Just look at Chinese business, the Chinese economy, the little shops that probably surround you, etc., etc.  This is a commercial power and it was a commercial power until the Qing Dynasty imploded and the British set about dismantling the country.

That being said, LTC's are just another business product.  Some succeed and others fail, often for reasons that confound us Westerners.  Here in China, more often than not, a business can survive and thrive based upon "relationships" whereas in the West, relationships in business are hardly of any matter.

So let's not generalize about what Chinese language training centers fail.  When I pick up the Western newspapers, all I read about (online these days) is in what a financial morass the West finds itself, with Britain and American leading the pack into the morass.

Let's try to learn what we can from China -- they must be doing something right around here.  60 years ago this was a fourth world country, not even a third world, and now, according to Western statistics, it is on its way to becoming the new economic superpower.  By all standards, it is already the banker of last resort for most of the West, particularly the US.

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8 years 38 weeks ago
 
Posts: 29

General

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I have been in the teaching business in China now 10 years, and the Chinese don't get it.  It is like a big black cloud that surrounds them, and they believe in this stability ideal.  Stability to what, given their huge unemployment problems.

Schools are controlled by the government, and they have very poor quality environments, That is too many students to really teach. 

They need to promote English in China, by having and recognizing the serious students, and have them placed together in the same class environment. 

Tell the kids who don't want to study to please leave, because they disrupt the class.  The class size needs to be small.  Many small classes, creates many teaching opportunities.  Schools that think they need to have large classes need to think differently about this. One big class of 30-35 students can make 6-7 small classes. This means more employed English teachers. 

This means faster results in level proficiency, and solves an employment problem, while promoting the English curriculum.  In order for teachers to maintain their jobs, they need to have their students passing the exams.

This would also produce the need for more congenial classrooms, and bathrooms that have a real toilet and sink, instead of a hole in the floor and a dripping tap into a bucket. 

Students could also be catered to like in the restaurants, which would create more chef jobs, and waitress jobs, to go toward paying their education expenses. After class is Lunch that is served, and students return to their dorms for a rest.  And the same for dinner time.

Of course time would be used for sporting activities and outside activities, for students leisure and exercise.  

The teachers organize the classes, and the school administration organizes the teachers in morning meetings, for any concerns of importance.   

I have been actively doing this myself, after working at a Private School here, but the bosses do not listen to advice. So I opened my own studio and only allow max 5 per class hour time, and I make as much money as I do in teaching 500 kids a week in the crowded classrooms. And I only have the evening hours to work with. That is from 6-7, and 7-8. I have some who are asking for a new slot 8-9. But I am only one person.

I think I am right, and China Education is going to change to this type of small class size arrangement, for the sake of jobs, and better quality education. 

The next economic explosion of growth will be this new Educational Setup.

And I think it's good, for China, the students, teachers, and many others in the Education Business.

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8 years 38 weeks ago
 
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Most schools are for-profit businesses.  The main concern of these places is not to teach children, but to make the parents happy so they shell out more money.  Happy kids, happy parents = continued cash flow.  Education is secondary when it comes to English teaching.

Parents are willing to pay more for a native speaker (especially one that looks like they come from an English speaking laowai land, ie white).

Try your best to teach the kids, but understand that most foreign teachers here in China (not all of you of course) are nothing more than marketing tools to charge higher tuition fees.

As for knowing how to run a school, it's always going to be in conflict because they aren't running schools, they're running a business to generate money and their concerns have nothing to do with quality education.

This is never going to change in China unless there are some radical changes to gov't policy.  That's not going to happen.  Kids in schools here are taught how to pass a specific test, not learn life knowledge.

I can't even begin to tell you how many people I've met with 4 year college degrees that know absolutely nothing about their chosen fields.

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8 years 38 weeks ago
 
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There are many reasons for this imho. The employees themselves could have gotten the job because they merely knew how to speak English somewhat or the foreign language they teach. However, knowing how to speak a language does not particularly make that person qualified if they don't have the necessary training then it should reflect in their work. Because of this many of the training centers are ignorant imo to the extent that whatever they say is 'right'. That's the problem...right there! That's a huge problem for any language teaching. 

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8 years 38 weeks ago
 
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Why don’t Chinese people know how to properly run a language school?
 
The writer who compliments the Chinese on achievement and thinks we may underestimate the business owners, is correct to some degree.  Those who criticize current methods are correct, to some degree.  But before anyone thinks they know the “correct way,” we need have a lot more conversation about specifics with regard to educational goals and business goals.  These are two very different sets of goals, and what is the proper blend for any school needs a lot of definition work.
 
First of all, the wording of this question implies that there is “a” “Proper” way to run a language school in China.  Perhaps the author of the question has some experience in running a language school someplace other than China, and thinks they know “the” correct way.  That’s a mistake in perception and a false paradigm.  From a business perspective, it is also narrow minded, and short sighted.
 
There are many different kinds, sizes, and shapes of English schools in China.  Most of them are as different as day-and-night.  They have a huge variety of M.O.’s and varying degrees of success and/or failure.  So, let’s be as practical and logical as we can.  The real question that should be asked is “what does a school want to accomplish, and what is their target market.  The purposes and markets are also varied.
 
The only “proper” way to ask the original question is to ask it on a school-by-school basis.  That is, “Why don’t the Chinese school owners know how to properly run “their” language school?”  (which assumes that they are not achieving what they set out to achieve)
 
Or, perhaps the author is really asking “Shouldn’t there be a standard metric of success in terms of the students achieving English proficiency?”  If this is the question, then we need to further define it…….   
 
What are the goals of the students?  Oral fluency for travel?  Technical proficiency for education?  Effective business skills?  The list could go on, but the answer to how to manage a school to achieve any of these goals is different.  The class format “should be” different for each.  The teacher qualifications “should be” different for each.  That also goes for marketing, classroom rules, size of class, etc. etc.
 
Immersion is not the answer for everyone.  Oral conversation is not the answer for everyone.  Mixing age groups will not work for everyone, but may work for some.  Dormitories may be needed for some, but not for everyone.  Six months of day long classes, operating like a university or live-in High School is not right for all of them.  Disciplining business focused adults in the same way you would a middle-school student is obviously not effective.  One-on-one tutoring is not right for everyone, or for every goal.
 
With regard to business purpose, more than anything it depends on what the “investor of capital” wants to achieve.  If they want to grab a large corner of a specific market, they should focus on marketing, class room configurations, teacher qualifications, and management styles that fit their goal.  One thing is for sure, if a school owner wants to be the end-all of every market, and succeed with all age groups, it’s going to take a HUGE investment, and they had better clearly define and separate their programs in order to offer the differing products that each age group and other classification demands, or they will fail.  
 
Different English markets can have opposing interest and demands, and to mix them only diminishes the effectiveness of your product.  And somewhere along the line you will offend one group to satisfy another.   And the news of offenses and poor service will spread throughout all the markets you are trying to serve.  Sooner or later, you will pay the price for it.
 
Finally, because technical English training schools are at heart “for-profit” businesses, rather than educational institutions, many of them fall into a business paradigm that hurts many companies in the world, regardless of their national origin.  They are “marketing driven” vs. “service driven” and this is always a problem.  To put it plainly, it’s a huge problem when marketing people make glowing promises that the operations side of the business cannot deliver.  And the truth is that when a marketing type is “in heat’ over a new customer, they rarely stop to ask the operations side, “can we do this?”  Who gets hurt by this?  First, the customer.  Second, the reputation of the business.
 
So, for purpose of answering this question, in this venue, suffice it to say….  If someone wants to have a real conversation about how a technical English program should or should-not be managed, the question needs to get a whole lot more specific.
 
 

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8 years 36 weeks ago
 
Posts: 3442

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Most language schools (and possibly Chinese schools in general) are lacking three things. First,  the management don't know much about education. Second, they have students who don't know how to learn. Third, they have fake teachers who don't know how to teach.

So sorry BNinja. I know you will dismiss this as pointless, because it is not the answer you wanted, but the fake teachers and employees are a large part of the problem. Perhaps the major part.

Please commence your personal attacks now.

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8 years 36 weeks ago
 
Posts: 124

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If they could run properly then they would no more called chinese and westerners were not required in china.......jst b happy that chinese  system is a mess.......Laughing out loud

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8 years 36 weeks ago
 
Posts: 3339

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Language schools the world over are a scam, in Vancouver a few years back the government shut down 84 scam language schools. 

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8 years 36 weeks ago
 
Posts: 100

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All that should matter is if the students can speak and understand english which doesn't seem to be a priority at most schools.

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8 years 36 weeks ago
 
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