Career Venue => Institution Reviews => Topic started by: b1i2a3 on August 09, 2019, 08:05:55 am

Title: Little Fox, LCI, TAG Members, Simson, Evan (Seoul) ...???
Post by: b1i2a3 on August 09, 2019, 08:05:55 am
I've gotten "offers" (interviews) from all of these schools.  I haven't been on Waygook in a while... is there no more search bar?? 

Sorry if any of these schools have been asked about before on here.  Anyone have information/opinions about them?

Location specs:
Little Fox - Misa, Hanam
LCI - Jamsil
TAG Members - Songpa
Simson - Jamsil
Evan - Gangseo

Thanks guys!! :)
Title: Re: Little Fox,
Post by: HappyPlanetAbuser on August 12, 2019, 11:04:22 pm
This is going to take a very long time to answer fully so I'm going to use speech recognition software to write this, please ignore any strange words that Dragon might have picked up on wrongly.

My 1st choice would be S J Evan kindergarten in Gangseo for personal reasons, all of the schools you listed look to be good to excellent schools.

Little Fox hakwon: OK


old review

Personal thoughts:
Every now and then the same concept gets reinvented and franchised throughout Korea. This time characters and materials from an American company are used but I think most materials were produced and narrated in Korea, because some videos have that distinct Korean animation feel to them. At first I struggled to understand the language goals of the videos because the sentences and words seem to be slightly disjointed and random at best.

You would also have to battle with students getting bored by watching these little Fox videos and doing homework or self-study that way because I believe that knowledge transfer, especially in a Confucian society as Korea, is primarily dependent on the relationship between teacher and student. The claim that they make that it would be somehow "more comfortable" to study with digital content is only partly true. Not only should it support clear language goals and other success criteria, it should also offer many different ways of actually using and integrating the content in various productive language skills. That part seems to be sorely missing and instead they indicated that little Fox learning is achieved through repetition (Skills Acquisition Theory) which has fallen out of favour since the 90s in northern Europe in favour of implicit and Emergentist approaches but as cramming and repetitive teaching methodology fit the Korean culture  so incredibly well, this old-fashioned view of language instruction has always been the go-to-method in Korea.

Will students eventually learn to speak English with this curriculum? Probably.
Will this curriculum be renewed and replaced by a similar franchise under a different name after few years? Probably.
Am I really excited about the programme? ... Any curriculum is as good and effective as the teacher. I think that learning, especially at a young age, is highly dependent on the communication between the teacher and student (Piaget) and that's why online materials can only be a supplement to the in-class activities, and cannot be the main focus of a curriculum.

In short, without a teacher and the opportunity to apply new language within a meaningful and comprehensible context, students will not feel motivated to follow such a programme. This, however, is my professional opinion based on my own experiences in Korea and that should not have any impact on your decision. The hakwon is brand-new, it has a lot going for it and I'm sure you are going to have a wonderful time in class but I'm just not so sold on the  curriculum but then again, I teach European kids and they our bit more assertive in their school choices.


 Current Schedule: The School can change the current schedule. Now the first class starts at 2:30 and the last ends at 8:15. The teacher has seven 45 minutesí classes and 5 minutesí break time between classes.

PREPARATION: Teachers are required to be in the building by 1PM on working days. In case the teacher doesnít prepare enough, the school can ask to come one hour and thirty minutes early everyday to prepare for the class.

MEETING & WORKSHOP a. Weekly Evaluation: Evaluate each studentís achievement in the classroom. b. Recording Evaluation: Evaluation each studentís recordings every day. c. Writing Evaluation: Writings are evaluated and corrected every day for the higher levels. d. Monthly Report: Write the report for the previous month by 15th of the month.
Title: LCI,
Post by: HappyPlanetAbuser on August 12, 2019, 11:29:29 pm
LCI Jamsil. OK


Your colleagues

9 : 30 ~ 10 : 00   English Education(기본생활습관 및 인성교육)
10 : 00 ~ 10 : 50   Snack Time 및 Verbal Time
10 : 50 ~ 11 : 30   Written Time
11 : 30 ~ 11 : 50   Play time
11 : 50 ~ 12 : 30   Special Activity
12 : 30 ~ 13 : 30   Lunch 및 리더쉽수업
13 : 30 ~ 14 : 00   Show&Tell
14 : 00 ~ 14 : 40   Story Telling or Reading Comprehension 및 Value Education Time

Title: TAG Members,
Post by: HappyPlanetAbuser on August 13, 2019, 12:15:32 am
TAG Members - Songpa OK


Your colleagues:


Personal opinion:
I can't really tell what their curriculum is based on. All I can see is that they have large facilities and something called 'Raz-kids' which looks legit. But here as well, without any meaningful context and real-life application of newly learnt linguistic items with the teacher that Raz-kids programme would be a dud. I am not too convinced that such a classroom setup with the kids being seated is particularly conducive, I'd have preferred to see standing tables for kindy or bean bags or anything the kids can move around and remain active with while doing some writing or reading. Of course you could remedy that yourself by adapting a teaching style like these teachers:
Some of the colleagues have a B.Ed so I guess they would have told management what would work best for their programme. I'd definitely would have pushed for more kinetic teaching within the ESL programme.

It seems like a nice place to work at, one where you could perhaps even stay longterm. There is one (neg) review that I found, but that might just be 1 person who has had a falling out of some sorts. I myself have switched schools this year and that just happens sometimes. I am initially positive because of the facilities and the team, but a passive-aggressive overbearing boss can completely render any team ineffective in a hagwon, because kids will start to switch to that person in the L1, destroying any progress made in the L2. I guess your bet is as good as mine, if you can get along with this team you'll be golden.


TAG Members Response

July 31, 2019 Ė Vice Principal

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience at TAG Members. Sorry, it took us a while to respond and your time at TAG Members didnít live up to your expectations, but we didnít see your review until just now. We would like to take the time to address each point specifically. *(1) Yes, we just opened less than two years ago, but we donít look at that as a weakness at all. We have great facilities, up to date American curriculum, and a lot of opportunities for professional growth. *(2) We always stress professionalism at TAG Members and treat our employees with respect. We are not sure what you mean by the entire management team is extremely emotionally unstable, unprofessional and petty. We are happy to speak to you more about this if you desire. *(3) We are sorry to hear you felt stressful, but we never intentionally stress out employees, and we have never threatened to fire employees over the smallest things. We always try to speak with teachers first about areas that can be improved. Like most companies and schools, we have clear policies for sick days, termination, tardiness, and professional appearance in our employee handbook that we follow and make sure teachers understand clearly. *(4) Communication is important to us, and we always welcome staff feedback and take it seriously. Thatís why we have weekly age-group meetings, daily announcements, and an open door policy at TAG Members. *(5) Depending on the individualís contract, we typically purchase an airfare ticket from Seoul to the personís home country. If an employee decides to purchase their own flight ticket, we typically offer 600.000 won. If an employeeís friend or significant other got more for airfare reimbursement from another school, we are obviously not legally obligated to match that amount. We always uphold our end of the contract and always try to be understanding with teachers. *(6) Yes, sometimes teachers do have to stay late and work three or four Saturdays a year, which is stated clearly in the contract and is typical of English kindergartens throughout Korea. We try to make up for this by offering 15 Ė 20 paid vacation days a year plus national holidays. Usually, kindergartens offer about 10 days plus national holidays. We are always open to answer any questions. You can visit our website at http://tagmembers.co.kr/ or contact us at tagmembers1@naver.com. We look forward to hearing from you!
Title: Simson,
Post by: HappyPlanetAbuser on August 13, 2019, 12:47:37 am
Simson in Jamsil  OK

No reviews found


I have to say, among all of the hakwons you have presented to us today, this programme seems to correlate the most with how I have been taught to teach. Authentic exposure, lovely debates and essay writing, but I'm not too sold on the frontal teaching that seems to be taking place all the time due to the constraints of the classroom. I'd rearrange the tables in groups of 4.

So, looks great but then again, an old-fashioned teacher could completely screw things up by doing the one- person-at-a-time conversational Korean-style teaching sessions instead of having the entire group engaged in the activity. I'm not saying that we are outperforming Korea educationally speaking, but considering how much time Koreans invest in their studies and seeing how Finland (8 ) outranked Korea (9) and seeing how Germanic/Scandinavian countries outperform in the world with very little to no homework or class, should give any Korean pause and hopefully be food for thought. The last time I have given out homework must have been years ago. (I teach MYP and upper 6th Form= high school)
Title: Evan
Post by: HappyPlanetAbuser on August 13, 2019, 02:03:16 am
SJ Evan kindergarten, Gangseo-Gu  OK++
if you are a good teacher then this school deserves your commitment



news article

Random positive review

My personal opinion
To think that I almost had decided to skip the last one on your list!

 It took me some time to find information on the school, because not only is the name different from the English one, but there is also hardly any information in English available. But gradually, by looking at all the available pictures, articles and other information I have taken a liking to the school. From the careful implementation of the overall concept of providing wholesome education in its facilities, the building (especially the building), the playground nearby, to the myriad of planned activities throughout the year, including Easter, I have to say that I I am liking how this principal thinks.

I also think that  you might be either the 2nd or 3rd native English speaker at that school which is actually a plus because you will have much closer contact with your colleagues and your principal and therefore I would expect that you would be able to discuss changes you would perhaps like to see with the owner and judging from their programme, they have been working closely together with the teachers a lot already. It is quite rare to see sex ed featured in an elementary curriculum, which I think could only have  been suggested by a foreign teacher. We actually had a discussion about this on this forum not so long ago, wondering why there isn't any being taught at Korean schools. Personally, I think it's unnecessary to include it at a language school, especially because it could be off-putting to some mothers. Even though we might consider this as absolutely normal, in Korea that might be considered a bridge too far, and an unneeded one to boot. Our core activity is language acquisition not modernising or assimilating other cultures into one huge Coca-Cola nation. My advice to this principal would therefore be to replace that with a Global warming project. I can still remember vividly how a young 6-year-old student once described how precipitation is formed through rising sea temperatures to a group of mothers during 1 of those projects.  They made shoebox projects featuring windmills, factories, melting glaciers et cetera. So, completely doable even at kindergarten level.

But the one thing that has truly drawn me to this school was a thing the principal said about "the need to ensure that the curriculum is fit for purpose and is aimed at providing the students with all the flexibility and necessary skills needed for growing up successfully (Lost in translation). Therefore, you should consider carefully whether a teacher has the necessary experience and skill set to coach and lead such a kindergarten- or elementary class."

I might be completely wrong about this of course, but this person sounds like a person with his/ her heart in the right place and that would be a person that you could reason with. If they truly have implemented their vision correctly, namely that they do not explicitly teach English but they choose to provide authentic exposure and let the students experience English within a comprehensible context through teacher-student mediation and dialectics, then they have implemented Krashen's (1980) and Ellis's (2005)  theories to perfection! Question is however, as the principal has mentioned, whether the teachers can fully grasp such complicated language acquisition theories and are able to adjust them to the demands of Korean ESL teaching. I think that only if you have seen and experienced it for several years you would be able to have a strong, firm footing in your expertise and deftly adapt to the everyday reality of ever-changing demands in our work field.

In addition, they use a US curriculum and even though it is quite unclear which book they use, I think it would be easier to work with that then trying to implement domestically produced English course books featuring little Minsu exclaiming random sentences at you in his annoying nasal voice with that thick Texan farmers accent. 'Bless his heart' as Texans would say . So, a carefully considered concept combined with committed teachers who provide their students with ample culturally authentic exposure could be a winner. However, this depends completely on how much room you are provided with to make full use of all of your expertise and scientific knowledge as an ESL teacher.

(If you end up working here, please be so kind to forward this post to the principal and your colleagues and I would also like to advise them to have a look at these British ESL teachers in Hungary)

Building, there's also a 2nd building to the right outside the picture, which is a daycare centre.

Title: Re: Little Fox, LCI, TAG Members, Simson, Evan (Seoul) ...???
Post by: b1i2a3 on August 20, 2019, 02:30:53 am
@HappyPlanetAbuser ... Wow!  I can't thank you enough. I am not the greatest at digging around for stuff on the internet.. a lot of these schools I couldn't find anything for.  You should work for the FBI! haha

I will definitely be sorting through all that great info tonight, so THANK YOU again!!

I've gotten two last offers in... any chance you'd want to take a crack at Dux in Daechi, or MI (Milestone Institute) in Mokdong?  ;D
Title: Re: Little Fox, LCI, TAG Members, Simson, Evan (Seoul) ...???
Post by: HappyPlanetAbuser on August 20, 2019, 11:15:22 pm
Apply to any of the schools listed above instead.
Wow!  I can't thank you enough
:-[ Cheers, but it wasn't a bother at all, I'm enjoying my summer recess so plenty of ''Yeoyu-ga isso''.

Don't go to Dux = Duke English Literature School.

As I've said before overbearing, mistrusting, incompetent people should not 'try running a school' because they lack the core-defining quality found in every educator: love and trust.
Trust in your students to be eager to study (Erikson's stages), trust in your teachers to do their best and basic love and kindness to people. The owner of Dux hagwon  has been blacklisted.

MI: never heard of...but generally speaking, having little internet exposure as an older school is a good sign.

DUX / DUKE English Literature Academy Daechi

Oct 29, 2018 at 2:15 PM

So, if you try to search for reviews on the Academy DUX or DUKE Literature Academy, you wonít be able to fine much information. But, let me tell you, it is not a very good place to work at. They overload the teachers with tons of work that is not listed on the contract and basically make you to create their tests for free on your own time. They donít give you any real break time so you are teaching class after class after class. There is no standard in their student intake, even when they claim they have over 500 students on a waiting list and only take the best of the best. They make the teachers do new student interviews, but when the student fails, they still accept them and put them into a class which they are not at the level for. Since it is a literature academy, it is very difficult teaching kids who donít speak adequate English how to understand novels and write theme essays on them. In addition to this, there is absolutely no FUN in this school. They donít want to hear the students enjoying themselves learning. Study means quiet and no joy. They wonít even let you play rock, scissor, paper with the kids. They never listen to the teacher when something is not working in the classroom, and the desk staff are like vultures waiting to cause problems or listen for any kind of noise. They have this idea of problem prevention of things that arenít even occurring but end up causing a big miscommunication and eventually a problem of frustration. Also, if you are a person of moral grounds and question anything, they basically pick on you. If you are okay with being told what to do in the worst way, working on your own time for free, and not wanting to have a good fun environment in the classroom, then this is the perfect place for you!
Title: Re: Little Fox, LCI, TAG Members, Simson, Evan (Seoul) ...???
Post by: m.corless on August 21, 2019, 04:40:37 am
I just spoke with someone who worked at that SJ Evan in 2017 and while he described his experiences as "okay/good" he also said that everyone he told about his job was pretty surprised at how terrible it sounded (long teaching hours, no time to plan, short vacation time). Things can change over the years so grain of salt :) Read through the contracts and make sure things are laid out (schedule, work hours, vacation, etc) properly.