(41 of 50) CLT & Taiwan: 3rd Sign about a ‘Teacher’ Which Should Make You Worried


Six Signs Which Should Make You Worried About a ‘Teacher’: 3rd Sign

So, after having carefully looked at the use of whiteboards (the 2nd worrying sign about a ‘teacher’), let’s continue with the next sign which should make you worried.

Sign That You Should Be Worried 3

The IELTS course is short (or very short).

You might read the advertisement: ‘Our IELTS Writing Course is only 12 hours long: quick, cheap, and convenient for you.’

Yes, quick, convenient … but cheap? Hmmmm? And what do you learn? Hmmmm. It’s time to start thinking everyone. You should realise that very short IELTS Preparation courses …

might seem cheap, but the courses can be very costly per hour,

2  must necessarily provide limited preparation for the IELTS test.

are often a trick to get you in the school. After you do this first short course, you are told that you need to do the ‘other’ courses to be fully prepared for IELTS. And those courses all have catchy IELTS names to attract you. For example, the …

  • ‘find the answer course’,
  • ‘IELTS advanced course’,
  • ‘IELTS grammar course’,
  • and the ‘IELTS vocabulary course’.

Hmmmm. So, that ‘IELTS course’ wasn’t as short as you had thought, right? Or as cheap! In fact, it is now incredibly expensive, long, and at the end of it all ….. well, many students have come to me admitting that they spend months of their time, wasted tens of thousand of NT, and learnt nothing. And they don’t get the IELTS mark they wanted. And they admit that they were tricked.

These IELTS courses are getting shorter and shorter – because students want it cheaper and cheaper, and easier and easier, and quicker and quicker. And it allows schools to just keep raising the hourly rate (but students don’t seem to want to do the calculations: [remember, just divide the total price by the number of teaching hours you get]).

12-hour IELTS Course! Wow, so quick! Covers all four skills, and I can finish it in no time. But wait a minute! It costs $12,000 NT. Huh? That’s $1,000 NT per hour! And they have over 20 students in the class! So …. how much is that teacher earning per hour? Wowwwww!!!!

And who is that ‘teacher’, anyway? What does (s)he claim such special knowledge about IELTS? Where does his/her expertise come from? They are just Taiwanese people, and not IELTS examiners.

And at the end of the course, you might be thinking, …

  • Actually, I don’t really know much about IELTS.
  • That ‘find the answer’ course actually didn’t help me find the answers. It just confused me more.
  • Now I have to pay for the ‘special IELTS course’ – another $12,000. And then there’s another ‘IELTS Vocabulary Course’ – so, that will be over $30,000, and every course finishes so quickly (and that teacher is getting rich for doing very little indeed).

Now, let’s compare this to my IELTS courses at my studio. The ‘total’ preparation for all skills (Writing, Reading, Listening, and Speaking) consists of over 80 hours of direct teaching with the teacher, given in 25 individual lessons. In addition to this, there is homework in every lesson, consisting of Reading (of passages and tips from the book), IELTS Writing Assignments (9 pieces), and vocabulary exercises (from all the books), as well as independent research. This is a full and comprehensive course. There are no tricks or lies here. And you have to start at the beginning, since (particularly in the teaching of IELTS Writing), every class builds on the previous one.

It’s time to think, everyone. When a school or teacher offers very short courses, who are they really thinking about: what is good for you, or how to best get your money?

Why do these people do this?

The answer: because so many students like this, and give them lots of money.

The next post will consider the 4th sign which should worry you.

Now, check that you know the meaning of the underlined vocabulary (also repeated below).

  • to be catchy (adj)
  • a calculation (n)
  • to divide (v)
  • expertise (n)
  • to be independent (adj)
  • to be comprehensive (adj)

If you want to find out more about me, go to aisielts.com .