Berlitz Japan has initiated Certification for their instructors. This is after an initial 8 day unpaid training session and unpaid interviews all employees are required to go through to become a Berlitz instructor.
Many current instructors question the need of “certification” and ask what happened with the initial hiring process- where eligible candidates should be sorted out for hire? In short has Berlitz lowered the bar to hire instructors and then demanded far more of them after making them train almost 2 weeks unpaid? Is Berlitz making employees pay for their own training and then telling them that isn’t enough?
The issue of standardization of material/instruction should rest squarely on the interviewer/Managers of Instruction/Mentors. If Berlitz is telling their teachers that they are not following the “Berlitz Method” yet the Managers of Instruction are the ones who are supposed to oversee the local workings of the school with the mentors who monitor lessons by listening in on class time through microphones, shouldn’t Berlitz be certifying the interviewer, Manager of Instruction and the Mentor instead of skipping down to the instructors? Standardization should be through the whole process instead of just holding one layer of the organization accountable.
Certification and the new Instructor Performance Evaluation are tools Berlitz can use to advertise teaching staff to clients. In an industry where a competitor’s TV English conversation commercial incorporates a person trusting a pet dog and then adding a comment about trusting their English teacher – maybe professionalism has been sacrificed for profits and market share? What if Berlitz took the attitude of saying “We stand by our teachers” rather than see how many hoops they have to jump through? Which would look more professional to a prospective client?