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Author Topic: Ameson Institute of Foreign Languages  (Read 15909 times)

MK

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Re: Ameson Institute of Foreign Languages
« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2013, 04:54:54 PM »
Quote from: Ameson
A decent life in China, however, would cost around 2,000 RMB...

...the students you will be teaching are among the best and the brightest in China...

...Teachers work in garden-like senior high schools with more than 100 years history...Classes operate like conventional American high school classes...

The salary looks good and I am sure it is a great place to work but they are gilding the lily a bit with some of this stuff, surely?

The Local Dialect

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Re: Ameson Institute of Foreign Languages
« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2013, 12:06:37 AM »
Well, to play devil's advocate, I teach some students from Beijing No. 4 High School and that school's kids ARE among the best and brightest in China. Every year they have a couple of Ivy Leaguers and the school is quite famous. Ears perk up when I mention it and name dropping that school never fails to impress local Chinese people. 

Can't speak for the rest of the schools on the list, but checking them out, most of them do not seem too shabby.

MK

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Re: Ameson Institute of Foreign Languages
« Reply #17 on: March 09, 2013, 05:53:10 AM »
Wow, OK, sorry that was my cynicism showing after experiencing how foundation year/joint venture programs etc usually work.

I suppose one of the main the differences lies in that these students are opting out of the education system here BEFORE the Gaokao, not after...

The schools do look nice too.

BTW, do they only accept teachers from the U.S.?  It kind of looks that way from the website. 
« Last Edit: March 09, 2013, 07:40:03 AM by MK »

CaseyOrourke

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Re: Ameson Institute of Foreign Languages
« Reply #18 on: March 09, 2013, 06:33:47 AM »
Wow, OK, sorry that was my cynicism showing after experiencing how foundation year/joint venture programs etc usually work.

I suppose one of the main the differences lies in that these students are opting out of the education system here BEFORE the Gaokao, not after...

The schools do look nice too.

BTW, do they only accept teachers form the U.S.?  It kind of looks that way from the website.  

The school I work it is similar to the gardens in the area (Humble Administrators, Lion Forest and Master of Nets)

I know we have teachers from England and Australia.  Teachers just need to be native English speakers and have a 4 year degree
« Last Edit: March 09, 2013, 06:48:19 AM by CaseyOrourke »

CaseyOrourke

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Re: Ameson Institute of Foreign Languages
« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2013, 06:40:29 AM »
Congrats on the great raise Casey, that's awesome for you.

I don't know what info people are looking at saying the salary is low. Ameson's site, because if you're looking at the American High School program, clearly states up to 12K a month for ESL teachers and up to 20k a month for subject teachers, which is pretty standard for work in this sector.

http://www.ameson.org/ahsp/en/teachers/teacher-faq




True, but who you going to believe, a post on a website or somebody actually with the company who is giving up to date information.

No, I think you misunderstood me. I'm saying that what you're posting here about salaries is consistent with what Ameson is posting on their website. Other people are saying there are "low low salaries posted on the website." People must be looking at an outdated site, because 12k for ESL and 20k for subject teaching isn't really "low," especially for a 2nd tier city. And you're a subject teacher, right? Doing mostly social studies courses? So I would imagine you're not getting paid on the ESL teacher scale.

Sorry, I was was meaning to agree with you. My comment was supposed to be aimed at the critics, but it looks like I massed the mark.

The Local Dialect

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Re: Ameson Institute of Foreign Languages
« Reply #20 on: March 09, 2013, 12:18:18 PM »
No worries Casey!

MK, this sort of thing isn't really the same as a foundation program. They are "international departments" within public high schools.

Basically, the deal is that every year there are high achieving students who opt to to America for college. These kids could very well be admitted to high ranking Chinese colleges, but they don't want to stay in China. Having these kids who are planning on going abroad in regular Gaokao classes creates issues for the public schools, and for the kids. Kids who do not need to take the gaokao basically waste three years if they stay in normal public school classes. They also are a distraction for the kids who ARE taking the gaokao, because often they need special permission to go off campus for study abroad specific coursework. So what public schools have decided to do is split these kids up and put them in their own classes. Some public schools have had outside companies (like Ameson) come in and offer international classes (taught all in English, for three years) for these kids. Usually these classes start off with TOEFL and SAT prep, and build up towards AP stuff. AP US History, AP European History, AP Physics, AP Chemistry. Kids who are part of these programs usually pay tuition which higher than what they'd pay normally at public school, but also not exorbitant. Their schedule is set by the program and they are required to take the course load that the program sets.

Other public schools simply split the kids up and then deal with them internally. The school I mostly work for is like this. I teach the kids AP US History and AP Language and composition, but my kids are not required to take my classes -- the ones who wanted the classes paid tuition and I come in and teach them. Their lead teacher is supportive of our classes but she does not require the kids to  take them and the students arranged the classes on their own (aside from my classes they've arranged some cooking and calligraphy classes for themselves as well). The kids who are not in my AP classes are basically on their own. Some of them go off campus for SAT/TOEFL tutoring (although we're past that season right now).

Some other public schools set up in-house international programs without the help of an outside company, usually hiring an experienced program manager who is an overseas returnee or foreign born Chinese. If the school is offering a full course-load, they'll charge tuition. If they're just splitting the students off into a class and letting them fend for themselves, they don't charge extra tuition. In all three cases, the students are originally accepted into the main public school, and then at some point, usually in their 2nd year, split off into international class/program once they've made the final decision to study abroad.

If you're an experienced teacher and can convince an area school to give you a shot, this is really an excellent sector to get involved in. The work is very rewarding. The students are capable and mostly motivated (you always have a few duds, but that's true everywhere). I have a student this year who got into to Yale. Others going to Claremont-McKenna, Pomona, Notre Dame, Northwestern, William and Mary, Barnard ... these are not your typical "study abroad because I'm useless and can't do anything else" type kids. Lots of top Chinese students, students whose parents are academics and politicians and professionals, don't even think twice about going abroad. They see Chinese education for what it is and want no part of it. They are, by and large, really great kids to teach. These sorts of schools pay well, give you interesting teaching opportunities, and have a vested interest in holding on to quality teachers (these top students will chew you up and spit you out if you're a hack), so they do not screw around. I've been doing this kind of work for 5 years now and won't go back to any other kind of teaching in China.


MK

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Re: Ameson Institute of Foreign Languages
« Reply #21 on: March 09, 2013, 01:28:29 PM »
Really interesting and useful to know, cheers LD.

Fozzwaldus

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Re: Ameson Institute of Foreign Languages
« Reply #22 on: March 09, 2013, 02:55:54 PM »
these top students will chew you up and spit you out if you're a hack

interesting, could you tell us some more?

what do you mean by hack exactly? and how do they chew you up?
两只老外, 两只老外,跑得快,跑得快,
一个是老酒鬼,一个是老色鬼,真奇怪, 真奇怪

The Local Dialect

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Re: Ameson Institute of Foreign Languages
« Reply #23 on: March 09, 2013, 03:38:28 PM »
LOL Fozz, are you messing with me, or do you really not have that word in Leprechaun Land? Hopefully you're being serious because I'm just TLDR-ing all over this thread now.  bibibibibi

A hack (in American English anyhow) is someone who doesn't do their job well. We use it for writers a lot, but you can use it for anything. I suppose the implication is that people are doing a job that requires a certain amount of skill, yet the skill level just isn't there.

What I mean is that when you're teaching substantial courses and the students have very concrete goals, there is a level of accountability required of the teacher. And top students are pretty good at figuring out which teachers can teach. They're a savvy bunch. A lot of them have participated in summer programs in America, at schools like Columbia or Stanford, some have done a semester abroad. They aren't impressed by just having a foreigner in the room, they aren't interested in whether you can use chopsticks or not, and they don't want to hear you sing. Know what I mean?

The stakes are pretty high for these kids. They don't all come from terribly wealthy backgrounds, they've forgone the gaokao, so they're kind of locked into the idea of going abroad, and since they're high achievers, they don't really want to end up going to a second rate school. The stakes are high for the schools too, as the success of these programs depends largely on how successful the students are. In my experience, these schools will pay good money for experienced, reliable teachers who can produce results.

MK

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Re: Ameson Institute of Foreign Languages
« Reply #24 on: March 09, 2013, 03:54:54 PM »
This is an interesting one.'Good' Chinese students sometimes make pretty 'bad' students in a western uni for example. Look at the differences in expectations in terms of self study, group work, critical thinking etc.  Being a teacher bridging this gap can be difficult.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2013, 04:00:13 PM by MK »

The Local Dialect

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Re: Ameson Institute of Foreign Languages
« Reply #25 on: March 09, 2013, 04:11:17 PM »
Definitely. Casey can probably back me up on this, but in my classes we do a lot of work on writing skills and critical thinking, and also we do a lot of reading (that's one of the killers for these kids too -- they are not at all used to the amount of reading Western professors assign). I also teach them about academic dishonesty and try to scare the piss out of them the way my high school teachers scared the piss out of me.

For some the transition is tougher than for others. In my experience the girls, for whatever reason, have an easier time of it than the guys. But ... drifting off topic here. :)

Fozzwaldus

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Re: Ameson Institute of Foreign Languages
« Reply #26 on: March 09, 2013, 04:31:11 PM »
LOL Fozz, are you messing with me, or do you really not have that word in Leprechaun Land? Hopefully you're being serious because I'm just TLDR-ing all over this thread now.  bibibibibi

Sorry, no, I was being serious, I just didn't express myself all that well - what I meant was what counts as a hack in your teaching context, and from you answer above I think I understand.

Cheers!
两只老外, 两只老外,跑得快,跑得快,
一个是老酒鬼,一个是老色鬼,真奇怪, 真奇怪

CaseyOrourke

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Re: Ameson Institute of Foreign Languages
« Reply #27 on: March 10, 2013, 07:31:38 PM »
Definitely. Casey can probably back me up on this, but in my classes we do a lot of work on writing skills and critical thinking, and also we do a lot of reading (that's one of the killers for these kids too -- they are not at all used to the amount of reading Western professors assign). I also teach them about academic dishonesty and try to scare the piss out of them the way my high school teachers scared the piss out of me.

For some the transition is tougher than for others. In my experience the girls, for whatever reason, have an easier time of it than the guys. But ... drifting off topic here. :)

I agree about the girls being easier to teach.  Most of my boys are currently fixated on basketball, but that is another story.  Another killer is convincing these kids it is OK to ask questions or to have an imagination.  It has been so ingrained in them to just sit there and listen to the teacher and copy whatever is written down in front of them. 

Senior one is by far my best group of students. I'm emphasizing the importance of good note taking and how studying them will improve your test scores.

CaseyOrourke

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Re: Ameson Institute of Foreign Languages
« Reply #28 on: December 21, 2013, 12:41:46 PM »
Wow, OK, sorry that was my cynicism showing after experiencing how foundation year/joint venture programs etc usually work.

I suppose one of the main the differences lies in that these students are opting out of the education system here BEFORE the Gaokao, not after...

The schools do look nice too.

BTW, do they only accept teachers form the U.S.?  It kind of looks that way from the website.  

The school I work it is similar to the gardens in the area (Humble Administrators, Lion Forest and Master of Nets)

I know we have teachers from England and Australia.  Teachers just need to be native English speakers and have a 4 year degree

Into my third year.  I quoted this post because this year we have a teacher from Italy who teaches TOEFL and AP Italian.

I'll probably get a new contract offer early next year, but after the huge smog attack earlier this month, Mrs. Casey is getting disgusted with the land of her birth and wants me to seriously consider looking for a position elsewhere.  I've adopted a wait and see attitude.  if I can't find anything and will have accept a new contract, I might consider sending her and the baby back to the US to stay with family while I do the year with a trip back for CNY.  It won't be much different from the year I did back in the military where the wife at the time stayed in the US while I did a year remote tour in Korea.

KeyserSoze

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Re: Ameson Institute of Foreign Languages
« Reply #29 on: December 29, 2013, 12:36:52 AM »
nvm
« Last Edit: December 30, 2013, 09:41:34 AM by KeyserSoze »