Hi, I just moved to Taipei, and I have an interview at Williams English Services tomorrow. This is the first school I’ve contacted about work. So what’s the word on them - any good experiences/horror stories?
My ‘interview’ with Williams a while back was a pretty depressing affair. A smug little man who didn’t appear to know much about teaching, sitting in a fairly shabby little office and being so condescending as to discuss the suitability of my accent, in English I could barely understand. I seem to recall that he had either not read, or couldn’t understand, the CV he was holding in his hands.
Then he insisted that I ‘teach business english’ to him to demonstrate my competence. No books. No material of any kind. No direction. No learning objectives. When I asked him what he expected, what he wanted to learn, he just repeated ‘business english’, and then sat there with an idiotic smile on his face, observing me lecturing an empty room, and refusing to participate in the ‘lesson’.
He didn’t actually have anything he needed a teacher for right away either. I think he was just stroking his penis by wasting my time. He called me a few times in the following weeks, asking me to do 1-hr lunchtime classes and such like for some offensively small sum of money. 600 an hour maybe?
Eventually I got sick of trying to negotiate him into realistic money, and told him I wasn’t available any more.
For similar money, but a far more professional approach, try a guy called Simon at David’s English. I never worked for him, and don’t know if he is recruiting now, but he seemed like one of the better employers among the many I interviewed last time I was job-hunting.
I had a similar experience with him back in 1995. He was wasting my time, so I wrote him off. I had much better luck with Lado Management Consultants - I stayed with them until last Christmas, and still teach a morning class for them - an adult class in a trading company that I’ve taught since 1998.
Nothing beats walking around your own neighbourhood or an area where you would like to work, and dropping into one of the many buxibans around the area… not only do you get a first hand look at operations, you also get to control the situation since you can walk out anytime with no obligations. You can also get a chance to talk to some of the current staff on hand and get their opinions.
I hate to say it, but [quote]No books. No material of any kind. No direction. No learning objectives. When I asked him what he expected, what he wanted to learn, he just repeated ‘business English’, and then sat there with an idiotic smile on his face, observing me lecturing an empty room, and refusing to participate in the ‘lesson’. [/quote]sounds pretty accurate when it comes to a lot of business one-on-one English struggle sessions.
Perhaps try something other than teaching. Running a group of call-girls is a good thing to do, just as long as you stay out of my territory or else I’ll have to superglue your butt cheeks together.
Welcom to Taiwan, by the way.
I agree with Gener. It’s all about the Bushibans. If the teacher is good he can pretty much run the joint.
I also hear what Wolf is saying. Lack of motivation by the student and teacher! I prefer to teach 6-10 year olds. Any younger and you are a zoo keeper. Any older and the kids (or adults) are brain-dead.
I have some pretty apathetic senior high kids, but the juniors can be a real joy. And if my adults are brain dead how did I get talked into making apple pie for them all this weekend? 10-yr olds don’t invite you to come skinny-dipping either. Or do they?
Wolf, what kind of call girls are you talking about that you need your byootox glued together? I thought that was Thailand. Taiwan is a different place. Thought you knew that!
Seriously, if anything can be more serious than getting your bum sealed for fear of the wolf man, my 1-1 business classes were always a lot of fun - because I had material to work with and it was a 2-way street. Being ‘observed’ while you teach an empty room is not like real life at all, not even real life in Taiwan.
So, xiao cha!! How did the interview go? Are we talking about the same guy?
well, yeah their office decor is definitely not one of their selling points.
i don’t know if i had the same guy everyone’s talking about. i had a pretty nice chat with the person who interviewed me and i think was pretty enthusiastic about my application. although, after we shot the shit for about an hour, of course then i learned they don’t have any openings at the moment…
That sounds like the guy.
I used to work for Larry at Williams, but I went back a couple weeks ago and Larry has quit. There is a new guy. Actually, he’s an old guy who was doing something else before. Anyway, he’ll waste a lot of your time. I think it’s cause Larry used to BS a bit and build a rappor with teachers, or something like that idea anyway, and this guy is copying Larry’s style. When I went he was looking for a woman with a New York accent, but didn’t know if I had one or not and had to ask me.
I did teach for them before, however, almost 2 years ago, but the best class I’ve ever had in Taipei. A business class at ING in Shu Ling. I liked the class so much that I didn’t mind the hour commute I had to make. The pay was pretty sad, though, 600 an hr. and Larry gave me 650 to off set HALF that MRT fair. But I got plenty of support and lotts of materials.
They did, and do, seem a little hit and miss for classes available. Also, the pay was still 600 per hr. and no MRT fair this time. But really, I didn’t like the new guy much.
I had a similar annoying experience with them when I first got here about 2 1/2 years ago. The guy who I talked to was a real buffoon. They offered me a business class at NT$800/hour, but 1) it was a real commute, and 2) they wanted me to design an entire curriculum on my own time and at no extra pay … so I walked. Also, the aforementioned buffoon who interviewed me had terrible English, yet refused to speak Chinese with me even though my Chinese was obviously far better than his English. I hate when they do that … I’d say give Williams a pass …
[quote=“housecat”]I used to work for Larry at Williams, but I went back a couple weeks ago and Larry has quit.
I did teach for them before, however, almost 2 years ago, but the best class I’ve ever had in Taipei. A business class at ING in Shu Ling. I liked the class so much that I didn’t mind the hour commute I had to make. The pay was pretty sad, though, 600 an hr. and Larry gave me 650 to off set HALF that MRT fair. But I got plenty of support and lotts of materials.[/quote]
I also worked out at ING in Shu Ling from about January to April of this year (2003).
It was a really good class - I liked the people, the company, etc but HATED the commute and location.
But I found out how much ING was paying Williams per hour for me to teach the class - around $2,000 per hour ($330 per student X 6 or 7 students)!!!
Williams was paying me $600/per hour!! :shock:
So, I asked for a raise and Larry couldn’t get me one - so, I resigned. Larry called back and asked me to go back out because they liked me and he said that he’d pay me the $1,200/hour that I was asking (to start the new contract).
However, I declined.
To this day, I have never heard back from them again for any other work.
For more on William’s see
And for what it’s worth, all the corporate English stuff in Taipei is pretty much the same. Sorry Maoman, Lado may be a cut above William’s or EIE, but it’s still not where you want to be for a long time. All these companies, EIE, William’s, Lado, Gram, etc, all you can count them for is some reasonable employment for a while. They are not McDonald’s; they’re more like the White Spot (for you Canadians) of English teaching-- It’s a lot better for their customers than it for their staff.
Williams is still the same as you all said above. I went for an interview and was told by William and his brother Paul that they’d give me more hours than I knew what to do with at 600-800 an hour (600 standard classes and one-one-one and 800 for company classes). They even specified clients and times.
However, two months on I have done a total of 3 hours for them and am having trouble even getting that measly amount of money out of them.
In addition they told me to to tell porkies to the client about my experience and where I came from. They also told me that the seminar that I did do would have 10 people in it, but when I turned up there were more like 45-50. I also had to go to the client to be vetted first.
Overall, they wasted my time and lied to me and to the business that I taught (3 hours) for. I’d say stay away to both potential teachers and clients!
Since this thread is back to life, I’d like to point out that Lado has addressed some of the issues that I critized in my previous posting. Among these reforms have been a BIG pay increaase for teachers. Lado is now clearly the highest paying language teaching company in Taiwan.
I had an interview with Williams when I first arrived here at the end of 2003. The interview was not particularly strange, but it seemed a little dodgy in my books. I was told that I could not get an ARC through them, though didn’t care about that since I already had one though my marriage to my Taiwanese wife.
I was told I would hear from them soon.
I got a phonecall in the middle of a class SIX months later (I was working full time). Obviously I told them I wasn’t interested.
My Williams experience was also a little odd. There were 3 or 4 of us interviewed in one go by a foreigner who thought he was the bee’s knees. As a newbie (this was 5 years ago) I swallowed everything he said.
I did meet a local guy who was the marketing manager or some such position and was actually pretty cool. I don’t remember his name now, but I actually taught his wife some English privately at his very nice apartment (he lived near me). It seemed he preferred me to teach her rather than anyone working for teh company.
Never did a single hour’s work for the actual company, though. Wasn’t at all impressed, but that was with the foreign interviewer, not the local folks.