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The Need for Self-Regulation

 
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Lexicon



Joined: 11 Sep 2006
Posts: 153
Location: New Orleans

PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 4:52 am    Post subject: The Need for Self-Regulation Reply with quote

Fellow ESL Pro's,

There have been dozens of discussions on this and many other boards regarding different standard in accreditation, governing bodies, and how to separate good schools from bad ones.

It's a sad part of our industry that for all of the great language schools out there, there are just as many really bad ones. Many people have realized this, and thus several countries have begun regulating the ESL industry. In some cases this has been a good thing, and will hopefully provide some protection for teachers, school owners, and students alike.

But, my dealings with the lovely bureaucracy that is the US government leaves me leery of any industry regulation by governments. It usually means additional licenses, permits, and of course lovely fees. Aside from another reason to give governments more of our money, it also means there is likely to be someone who knows very little about our industry putting their noses into everything.

Now, if we had no regulation of the Language Education industry, we end up with bad guys. Its too bad, but they exist. Just look at the boards, and you'll see warning messages about schools. Some of these complaints are not legit, but unfortunately most are.

Therefore I propose this to you all. To prevent being forced into several government regulating schemes, we voluntarily choose to regulate ourselves.

I propose forming an organization that would have the eventual goal of regulating our industry. Even though it would be I suppose non-binding, and voluntary, I believe the simple fact of forming a collective effort would be a big step.

Every industry with an academic nature has a similar organization. They are not usually just associations which only provide networking, but normally also address academic concerns as well. These are normally referred to as colleges. Dentists have the International College of Dentistry, Exercise Science has the International College of Applied Kinesiology.

I propose forming the "College of Applied Linguists & Language Educators".

It would be basically what it says. A network of professionals who study, teach, or work in the realm of world languages and linguistics.


I know there are already organizations for trade purposes, or some like the British Council that are more like shells for them to sell schools their products. But I think there is a definite need for a simple, common, global organization though which we can share ideas, agree on standards, and speak with a common voice.

Please let me know what you think.

Also, please email me if you're interested in working on this.

Thanks,

Drew

ward@lexiconbusiness.com


Last edited by Lexicon on Fri Feb 13, 2009 11:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Lexicon



Joined: 11 Sep 2006
Posts: 153
Location: New Orleans

PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Im bumping this up again just because I was really surprised and disappointed that it got no responses. If you have any input on this or a similar idea it would be good to hear from you.

Thanks

Andreas
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btownsend



Joined: 23 Feb 2006
Posts: 21
Location: France

PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 10:51 pm    Post subject: Self regulation Reply with quote

Unfortunately there is no simple soluiton to this problem. Self-regulation has no credibility at all. As long as ELT is seen as a commercial activity it will be subject to market forces and the only advice to teachers and students is caveat emptor.

I think the advice to those who wish to choose a school, either as students or teachers, is to research the establishment meticulously, It will have a history, a brochure, former clients who can be referees. If there is a respectable accreditation system in its country of establishment, then look for recognition by that.

I would once have felt confident insaying that state provided courses would be a safe bet. This is not longer the case, since everybody is scrambling for foreign earnings. Do your homework; check references.
_________________
Brenda Townsend Hall, Ph.D.
www.esl-school.com
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