Need honest opinion of "Prague Schools"

Discussion in 'Expat Life' started by Roisina, Feb 6, 2006.

  1. Roisina

    Roisina New Member

    I have read on various posts that the "Prague Schools" language courses of poor quality.

    Can someone give me reasons for this? I would love an honest opinion from anyone who has attended their courses, or knows first-hand of someone who has.

    I am looking for a school and I liked that one because they had accomodation, transportation, etc for the duration of the course - allowing me the ability to look around for a flat, etc. of my own. Also, I liked what I read on their website - after comparing it with others.

    If "Prague Schools" is of poor quality, can someone recommend other schools in particular?
  2. Borntotravel

    Borntotravel New Member

    I have read the opposite, that their courses are of high quality and i figured if they're moderated by Trinity they should be of a decent standard. I have booked my place at Prague Schools for later this year. It doesn't matter which school you pick , as i've discovered, some people will love it and other will hate it. Choose what you think best fits your needs and go from there!.
  3. gementricxs

    gementricxs Well-Known Member

    I don't know about this particular school, I know about ITC school, which is in Kaprova street and as far as I know students like it.
  4. southie

    southie Member

    I attended Prague Schools in 2004.

    The Czech staff is very friendly and helpful. They’re a little shy, but if you reach out to them, they’ll reciprocate.

    Prague Schools offers a professional curriculum, monitored by Trinity in England. Successful candidates are awarded TESOL certificates, which are universally recognized.

    The housing is of an acceptable middle-class standard. It’s just not as close to the school as the website says. Also, the school is located much closer to the outskirts of the city than the Center.

    The reason I would not recommend Prague Schools, however, is because of the teaching staff.

    Teacher #1 (I’m withholding names) is a qualified professional, and at times can be charismatic, but his method tends to be just a little bit sadistic. He regularly uses intimidation and ridicule in the classroom and in his executive position. His attitude is straight out of Dickens.

    Teacher #2 is also well qualified, but . . . what can I say, . . . he has a “Napoleon complex.” One time, he got angry with me because I completed one of his grammar exercises too quickly (and perfectly). He openly mocks and belittles students for reasons ranging from academic performance to personal appearance.

    From my course, to the best of my knowledge, only four of the twelve who successfully completed the course are working as teachers. The other eight are perfectly qualified but are not teaching because they are afraid. They won’t even apply for a teaching job because their self-esteem has been shattered.

    And I can assure you that my course was not an isolated incident. I regularly meet Prague Schools “veterans,” and we’ve all got similar stories.

    You won’t find many candid threads of complaint about Prague Schools on the Internet because, at the end of the course, the students are told that a recommendation from Prague Schools is necessary in order to gain employment. It’s a veiled threat to keep your mouth shut.

    In regards to recommending a TEFL course here in Prague, I’m afraid I can be of little help. Other than to say that you should only take a TESOL or CELTA course. They are both internationally recognized. TEFL is a generic term, and as I’ve written in the past, anybody with a printer can issue a TEFL certificate.

    That said, . . . maybe you can check out Prague Language Center. They offer the TESOL. A former Czech language teacher of mine sends her daughter there for English lessons, and she is very happy with the school. However, I have no first hand knowledge of PLC.
  5. Wolfboi

    Wolfboi Member

    Southie, enlighten me please...

    You say you were ridiculed, mocked and belittled by these teachers? What would be the reaction if I were to kindly inform the teacher that I was paying for the course, and that therefore the teacher was working for me and if he didn't take a seat and learn to keep his opinion to himself I'd take my business elsewhere? And failing that, that I'd kick him in the ass with sufficient force that his kids would feel it? I'm a... large... person and don't take well to bullies, especially bullies I've paid to provide a service. Just wondering if such a response would get me into any trouble :)
  6. southie

    southie Member

    Clarification: ridicule, mocking, and belittling are commonly used tactics, but I would never say that I personally fell victim. I was the oldest member of the class, had the most education and work experience. So, I was more taken aback than cowed by their teaching tactics.

    In regards to the “I’m paying your salary” argument, . . . does it work with policemen? They will argue that they have to meet the standards set forth by Trinity, and that they can’t diminish the value of their TESOL certificate. They “only have four weeks, so we can’t be easy.”

    In regards to “kicking ass,” it’s been done. The instructor was badly beaten. No criminal charges were filed, but the student was expelled from the course and evicted from his housing. There was obviously no tuition refund; and he was left on the sidewalk, alone in a foreign country.

    Also, if you read the fine print, the guidelines regarding expulsion from the school are fairly arbitrary. And tuition refunds are almost always out of the question.
  7. Wolfboi

    Wolfboi Member

    Well, no, but hopefully the teacher wouldn't have a gun.

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