miércoles, 11 de agosto de 2010

The worst Spanish languages academies: Enforex and Don Quijote

If you want a fast education, you should go to Enforex and Don Quijote, the Burger King of education. They are expensive, bad and useless, but they have one of the best corporate policy I have seen.
They work with travel agencies, they pay a lot of money with the condition that the agency only can show info about Enforex and Don Quijote, but there is a trick: Enforex and Don Quijote are the same academy. The students think they can choose between two offers, but in fact is the same and in both cases is a bad offer.
There are no methods or pedagogical objectives in these academies. The books and materials they use are the worst you can use, but they edited them. Therefore, the books are really cheap, although the students buy them at high price.
In fact, the only target is offer to students expensive “sangria” and “tapas” in order to help them to enjoy their time. ¿Learning…? It doesn’t matter anyone there.
I have been working with them this last month and I have tried to teach Spanish to my students. I did it, despite the books and the academic policy. In my city, Valencia, there are a lot of better and smaller academies, but they can’t promote themselves as Enforex and Don Quijote do it. There is a paradox, because these small academies are better and cheaper, but students spend more time to find them. The consequence: Enforex and Don Quijote are trying to buy at low price the competence in order to become the only academy. They use different brands with the intention to cover the monopolistic control of the market.
Of course, they pay a hilarious salary to the professors: less than eight Euros by hour. However, as professors could not teach, it is not so bad salary.

PD: Next month, I start to work again in university. When they read these words, obviously, they will want to fire me.

27 comentarios:

  1. Tu inglés es bastante malo, y algunas de las cosas que cuentas no son verdad, no puedes decir que el método prisma es malo, porque no es así, y debes conocer la diferencia entre enseñar ELE y enseñar LENGUA CASTELLANA.

    1. His English is in fact VERY good!

  2. Este comentario ha sido eliminado por el autor.

  3. May be "Prisma books" are not the worst handbooks , but books of Virgilio Borobio or “Contexta” are better. However, “Vive el Español” is a joke, not a handbook.
    Anyway, I realize which is the difference between teach ELE and teach Spanish. In fact, I have been teaching ELE to immigrants for five years and I thought ELE to Chinese people successfully (my students left Chinese restaurants and started to work for Spanish people).
    Besides, if Enforex and Don Quijote work, it is as a consequence of their professors, who try to do their best against the desires of the company.
    On another hand, we have the problem of salaries. If the only academy is Enforex-Don Quijote, the salaries will decrease more.
    May be is a good thing applied to the educational system management policies as Antonio Anadón Güemes have made, but I couldn’t see anything better, except his benefits. Enforex-Don Quijote don’t teach better than the rest, they are expensive and they don’t pay well. Why are they better? They only do more promotions. OK, promotion is really important if you want to sell Coca-cola. But is promotion the most important aspect of teaching-learning process?
    Their promo say: “We are the best, we have more students than the our competitors”. May be they are the biggest company, but “why are they the best?”. Students can’t compare and contrast because the others academies are small and they can’t promote themselves. Burger King has a lot of costumers, but they don’t sell good and healthy food.

    PD: My first day in Enforex, my Academic Director told me literally: “The students aren’t here for learning, they are here for drinking. They only want fiesta, not learning”. All students I met really wanted to learn, and they learnt despite the academic policy.

    Audiciones del libro Prisma B2: Literal: “Penélope Cruz es una jamona nacional”/Biografía apologética de José Antonio Primo de Rivera/ Canciones pirateadas a Alejandro Sanz para no pagar royalties/ imitaciones de acentos latinoamericanos a cargo de pésimos locutores españoles.

  4. I agree with Antonio. I have been in Enforex school not to long ago and...no words. The worst school ever. Good luck to those who want to attend lessons with Don Quijote and Enforex!

  5. Perhaps as a teacher you don't see things the way we students do. I studied at a Don Quijote school in 2003, small private schools in 2004 and 2006 and in 2006 I had a flatmate who studied for long term with Enforex in Marbella. My experience between Don Quijote and the 2 private schools was very similar and the level of Spanish education at both could not be faulted,nor could the level of customer service I received before booking. Don Quijote and Enforex as I understand offer more choice options for courses, although Spanish and kitesurfing which I did once I only found in a couple of schools, but I believe they offer courses with other activities - diving and stuff. Certainly my flatmate became fluent in Spanish over 4-5 months and subsequently found work and moved to Madrid.
    Whilst it is true that many of the summer students being teenagers just want to party, there are many different students out there who are looking for different things and do actually want to learn the language.

  6. I also had a TERRIBLE don quiote / Enforex experience - an excellent marketing and PR machine, over priced poor quality teaching where students are treated like numbers and not people. I then chaged and went to AIL Madrid. Totoally different and I would 100% recommend www.ailmadrid.com

  7. if you are an agency do your business a favour and keep your clients away of this branch. Adults at least can take their own decisions once the programme has started and they realise about where they are and in which conditions but with minors is absolutely crazy. This programmes are very far away to be safe and well supervised, we do receive hundreds of parent's complaints about the quality of the program, security, level of the Spanish lessons, food, excursions etc..and they all are right but Enforex will never admit it and for sure will never refund the money. The main problem with the program is that they cost a fortune and at the end the budget per child per day is so ridiculous that the staff working there have serious problems to keep the program running. Seriously..I've been working there and I would never send my daughter to these boot-camps. Do not enroll kids to ANY SUMERCAMP OF THIS IDEAL EDUCATION GROUP PROGRAMMES. IT IS NOT SAFE AT ALL AND KIDS WON'T LEARN A WORD.

  8. And a recent new: Few months ago the owner of this deceitful empire, Antonio Anadón Güemes, had to do a transfer of assets and operations on his brother's name and ran away to London due to a public funds fraud that by now has costed him several seizure orders.
    After loosing some properties he hasn't got anything on his name or any legal relation to this group in order to avoid jail but obviosly continues handelling the business.

  9. enforex is a bad language school. AVOID. Some teachers are very frustrated and even insult students such as FAUSTO madrid. He insults students and even telling them they are speaking through theot Ass. How can a teacher talkes this way to students. AVOID AVOID

  10. Can anyone recommend any good schools to study Spanish in Granda?

  11. Enforex and Don Quijote are not good.
    They have money, but they don't have soul or good feelings.
    Their method is old and their teachers are not good.

  12. I have been looking to learn spanish since long time and I am glad that i found online website brightspanish.com that offers Free Spanish Classes. They offers LIVE one-way video chat that is very helpful for those who are looking to learn spanish online.

  13. I think your English is perfectly fine. It sounds like an awful experience, but I am sure my story could beat your story.

    I can definitely say I never earned 8 euros per hour, but I worked for an awful language academy in Madrid. It is called "The Green Monkey." It is run by a husband and wife team. The husband is spineless, and the wife is an all out *itch. Her father was Franco's right hand man. They run the academy like a dictatorship. They put on a front to their clientele, but us teachers know the truth.

    I had the pleasure of working there for 8 months. It was flat out hell. After that, I went back home to the UK for some R&R after my academic nightmare. I called this nightmare 2012.

    The academy is located in a very posh area of Madrid. The money hungry wife only sees a € sign above the head of each student. She puts on a fab front talking to all the parents after class and after they leave you are guaranteed to see her true colours. She is no stranger to yelling, screaming, and swearing. Her victim can be anyone from a teacher, to the secretary, and even her husband.

    I have been in class before and I have heard her arguing with her husband while I was trying to teach the Present Perfect. I remember I had this class in the afternoon, and there were no other classes. Well, her and her husband just argued for 70% of the class. The office was right next to my classroom. The students were horrified and I was mortified. Then they boast about their professionalism and how they are setting the standard in this industry!

    It gets better. The husband and wife are renowned for budging into your class to lecture you or reprimand you in front of your class. I will call myself "Pete." This was very common: PETE, I TOLD YOU TO NOT LEAVE THE CD PLAYER IN THAT CLASSROOM. WE TOLD YOU THIS BEFORE THE CLASS. PLEASE, THE KIDS WILL GO AFTER THIS. WE SHOULDN'T BE TELLING YOU THIS. IT'S UNACCEPTABLE. It is humiliating to be reprimanded in front of your students, especially for such stupid things like leaving something on the table.

    It gets better. They fire everyone. They even fired their nanny of 8 years. They fired her in the last moment, no notification, just BYE-BYE. She had done nothing wrong. No compensation, no severance package, just gone. The poor woman is from another country and in the state of this economic crisis they could have at least given her 2 weeks notice. But this is what the GM represents. They fire anyone for any reason. All the good teachers are GONE. And maybe there will be a good teacher for a moment, but then he or she is gone within a moment. This includes secretaries, academic directors, etc.

    I was fired more or less around April. I was fired because a student's mother was angry that I was not reviewing school homework in class. Going over school homework in class was not part of the curriculum. So it was quite a surprise when they fired me about a stupid complaint. Quite frankly I felt liberated.

    Well I should stop. I could write a 5000 word composition about this place. I had spoken to another mate of mine who had worked for the Green Monkey. He said they were probably the worst type of human beings you could ever get to know. It's a harsh statement but it's the truth of the matter. This is solely in regards to the owners.

    Teachers beware. Students Beware. After some R&R in the UK, I am back in Spain and happily working with a decent company in Barcelona.

    When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

  14. He is right, Enforex is nothing compared to the Green Monkey.

    I have also witnessed B.S.from The Green Monkey in Madrid. My ex colleague is being a little too nice. I would also add that they never pay on time and try to get you to teach the "Baxter Way," which is B.S. This means unpaid training that adds up to hours in an academic year. If you are so lucky you may get a free pizza to share with your colleagues while you are stuck being "trained" until 22.30. This is degrading since I am a veteran of the TEFL industry for 20+ years! When life gives you lemons run and throw them out of your window while you are driving at 180 KM/hr outta the shithole!

  15. Sorry my English is not well good. This is such a surprise that Green Monkey maltreats their teachers. I am a student there but I will leave in december because of exams. My old teacher told me he was so unhappy in the academy and many of my colegues went with him to his new academy. I think I will go withi him in January. this disapoints me greatly. We students arent very ignorant. We notice good teachers go very fastly. Now I will give my money to a new school.

  16. Wow! I read all this post and comments and... well... where the h*** I've been studying? HAHAHA I mean: I went in Don Quijote Schools (and accommodation, a students shared flat) Madrid for 2 weeks last October and was GREAT! In all the senses. So... the only thing I can suppose is that, similar to the Bob Dylan's song, TIME ARE CHANGED ;-)
    PS: I had no idea was same company than Enforex. I have plans to go Barcelona Don Quijote's School, but maybe I'll try this time with Enforex ;-)))

  17. No - times haven't changed. Very aggressive guy that Antonio Anadon. Whenever there is a problem, he threatens to send his lawyers. I would never set a foot in his schools even if my boss his getting huge commissions every time we send customers to that Enforex/Don Quijote mafia. You need to avoid them at all costs. There are plenty of great small schools in Spain or Latin America.

  18. It is very sad to hear al the bad critics on don Quijote because it used to be an awsome school where you could learn a lot with fantastic teachers (I muself went to dQ Granada and Salamanca). Don Quijote was originally founded by a Dutch guy and his sisters who converted the schools in some of the best schools in in-country-Spanish learning. Sadly Rene de Jong became interested in other businesses and founded another company and sold don Quijote to the owner of Enforex - Antonio Anadón - who destroyed the entire reputation of don Quijote. Yet Enforex still is the cheap version of don Quijote and even worse!

  19. Here Is a List of the Top worst English school in Madrid
    1) Tandem
    2) Open
    3) English in Action
    4) Nestor
    5) One to One

  20. Hi can anyone recommend a good language school in Seville?

  21. Hello, Thank you for all your comments on the schools. Can anyone recommend a good spanish language school for my 7 year old daughter in Barcelona in July? I am looking for a 1-2 week day camp course and would like Spanish immersion.

    Hola, Gracias por los comentarios sobre las escuelas. ALguien puede recomendar una Buena escuela de espanyol para mi hija de 7 anyos en Barcelona en Julio? Busco un curso de dia de 1-2 semanas. Cuanto mas se hable espanyol, mejor.

  22. Hello, Thank you for all your comments on the schools. Can anyone recommend a good spanish language school for my 7 year old daughter in Barcelona in July? I am looking for a 1-2 week day camp course and would like Spanish immersion.

    Hola, Gracias por los comentarios sobre las escuelas. ALguien puede recomendar una Buena escuela de espanyol para mi hija de 7 anyos en Barcelona en Julio? Busco un curso de dia de 1-2 semanas. Cuanto mas se hable espanyol, mejor.

  23. Elisa, if you're looking for an academy in Madrid to learn Spanish, www.laemadrid.com is fab x

  24. Hi Friends! I'm looking for a good Spanish school for two American kids, one is 14 and the other is 11. We were considering Enforex in Barcelona, but now we're worried based on all the comments above. Are there any good schools in Barcelona or Marbella/Malaga

  25. If I were you I would take a look at Malaca Instituto in Malaga. Probably the best option to study spanish in Spain.