The End of G.com Thread

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Re: The End of G.com Thread

Unread postby Tripod Jimmy » Tue Aug 12, 2008 1:03 am

Win Some wrote:This particular thread is getting wildly off topic because despite all the doom and gloom predictions, G-NOVA is actually expanding and recruiting teachers and staff. Just as it was wildly optimistic of them to think they could match old NOVA in a short space of time, it is equally silly for LJ posters to compare G-NOVA to the old NOVA which is where many complaints and misconceptions come from. Personally, I think if they were going to abandon ship or dismally fail into bankruptcy then it would have happened by now. Perhaps the admins should just close this thread? There are a few other G-NOVA threads which people can use to post off topic things on.


I wouldn't be that optimistic. It's highly doubtful they are making money and are quite probably in the red every month. I don't dispute that they are at least making a go of it but when you get told you aren't allowed to use scrap paper in lessons (to save money) they are clearly not exactly rolling around in cash. Those Level 3 students doing Diplomat for the hundredth time will be the ones to go first. I knew a student who had done every lesson over 15 times and that was last year before I left. God help the poor woman now!
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Re: The End of G.com Thread

Unread postby InTheColdLightOfDay » Tue Aug 12, 2008 11:41 am

Tripod Jimmy wrote:Those Level 3 students doing Diplomat for the hundredth time will be the ones to go first. I knew a student who had done every lesson over 15 times and that was last year before I left. God help the poor woman now!


I reckon the opposite's true. The lifer Level 3's are exactly the type of student who'll continue to stick around, because it's all they know and they're in a little comfort zone. The students who, at old Nova, would give the little sigh and the slight sinking of the shoulders when they opened up their textbook to be faced with the same lesson they've done 4,5,6 times before were the same students who would then go and by another 500 point package.
I can't see any reason why that would have changed now.
They'll have a moan about the 5 student lessons, grumble a bit that it's difficult to book lessons, whine that they don't like the textbook and/or have already done every lesson multiple times... but they'll keep going.
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Re: The End of G.com Thread

Unread postby Tanks » Tue Sep 30, 2008 2:20 am

I agree with a lot of what is said about lessons and the company in general, but as far as level 2/3/4 students who have done lessons a ton of times...why not be a teacher and teach them something different?

dunno how it is working out in other places, but i don't see a lot of management observations going on where i work...plan some lessons and go teach them....your students will appreciate it...for those who can actually stand to do something with a student knowing they've already seen it 15 times--good luck with that....lessons must be boring as hell for you...
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Re: The End of G.com Thread

Unread postby SamhainP8 » Tue Sep 30, 2008 10:32 am

Tanks wrote:I agree with a lot of what is said about lessons and the company in general, but as far as level 2/3/4 students who have done lessons a ton of times...why not be a teacher and teach them something different?

dunno how it is working out in other places, but i don't see a lot of management observations going on where i work...plan some lessons and go teach them....your students will appreciate it...for those who can actually stand to do something with a student knowing they've already seen it 15 times--good luck with that....lessons must be boring as hell for you...


When do you propose this “planning of lessons” take place? In the 2 minutes before a class or are you suggesting homework? :huh:

What will more than likely happen is:

If such said student is in a M2M lesson they will probably complain to the staff that you didn’t do a book lesson step by step. Remember if THEY don’t ask for general conversation or something outside “the book” then you’re obliged to do a lesson.

If such said student is in a group lesson then the other students will complain to the staff that you didn’t do a lesson.

I had “observers” praise me for expanding roll plays etc. beyond the LMP and then follow that up with a bollocking from other “observers” for not sticking to the LMP…….. Retards.
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Re: The End of G.com Thread

Unread postby Langslave » Wed Oct 01, 2008 7:50 am

..and the number of Level 4/3/2 s who do any home study and show signs of REALLY wanting to improve is...
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Re: The End of G.com Thread

Unread postby jon » Wed Oct 01, 2008 9:40 am

Quite high, according to my recollection, and of those that don't many would if they could place any faith at all in the mass of contradictory bullshit advice that gets thrown their way.

Actually, however, I think that hard personal study is only a substitute: a way of getting input when there is nothing else of much use available. Only problem is, its not interactive.
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Re: The End of G.com Thread

Unread postby thedeli » Wed Oct 01, 2008 9:58 am

Tanks wrote:I agree with a lot of what is said about lessons and the company in general, but as far as level 2/3/4 students who have done lessons a ton of times...why not be a teacher and teach them something different?

dunno how it is working out in other places, but i don't see a lot of management observations going on where i work...plan some lessons and go teach them....your students will appreciate it...for those who can actually stand to do something with a student knowing they've already seen it 15 times--good luck with that....lessons must be boring as hell for you...


Yeah, they appreciate the non-text lessons alright. So much that you end up with back-to-back 5-student Zone G lessons on your schedule every day. :axe: Fine at first if you've got volumes of material but they tap you out after a while. Back in the day. you had morning, afternoon and evening lessons and students tended to come in at certain times. There was your morning group, afternoon group and evening group. There were the weekenders etc. Now students are scrambling to book lessons whenever possible so the probability of having at least one student in your class who's done your "original" lesson is quite high. You invariably have to take your job home with you - there's no way one can effectively plan out a lesson in the time alloted.
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unpaid lesson prep time, anyone?

Unread postby In The Know » Wed Oct 01, 2008 11:09 am

thedeli wrote:... there's no way one can effectively plan out a lesson in the time alloted.


That was always the problem. As it was, you would spend 15-20 minutes of your OWN (unpaid) time getting ready for your 8 lessons. If eikaiwa were serious about helping students and respected the teachers' time, they would have paid for for a 40-minute lesson every day to do some real preparation... but they didn't. "You get what you pay for" applies here. I threw together a half-assed lesson with little preparation because that is what I was paid for. Real teaching involves preparation and I'm not up for volunteering (i.e., unpaid).

The "End of G.Comm " thread seems to be more active recently. I wonder... :huh:
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Re: The End of G.com Thread

Unread postby Langslave » Wed Oct 01, 2008 9:40 pm

Well jon you must (have) be(en) lucky in your branch 'cos in my old haunt there was sod all in the way of study or motivation. All they were, for the most part, were junkies getting their fix.
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Re: The End of G.com Thread

Unread postby Stick-Swinging Incident » Wed Oct 01, 2008 10:38 pm

I can relate to that. I mean when people take the same lesson on 4 mark off sheets full, and then are STILL surprised when the vocab is explained to them, I think a tad bit of homestudy is needed. Sure, maybe 8 or so times nobody bothered to explain the key vocabulary, it happens... 8 times... but the OTHER 4 times???

This wasn't a single Level 2 or 3 mind you, but the vast majority. There were SOME that took notes, got the idea, tried to apply it and took the info on board. And generally people didn't mind teaching them the same lesson 3 or 4 times, as they seemed to improve. Those students were the exceptions, not the rule.

But the hung over salarymen golfers that always book lessons on Sat Sun first 3 or 4 lessons that never bring text books and basically use the time to get away from the family who was making entirely too much noise for their splitting heads??? Meh.
The bored housewives or grandmothers who just came to Nova on a daily basis 3 or 4 lessons and then zipped home just after 4...
They had the same teachers, same lessons, and picked up little or none of it. It was just the routine... a very expensive one. :shock:
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Re: The End of G.com Thread

Unread postby jon » Wed Oct 01, 2008 11:46 pm

Langslave wrote:Well jon you must (have) be(en) lucky in your branch 'cos in my old haunt there was sod all in the way of study or motivation. All they were, for the most part, were junkies getting their fix.


I guess I would class around 20 percent of the high level students in my branch as people who did serious home study on a regular basis. Of the others, most had put in some hard yards at some time before that in order to get where they were. However, many just heard so many different things from different teachers about what they should be doing as well as from the (so called) counselling staff, that they didn't take much of the study advice seriously any more.

During the days of the Quest text, most students used to study their textbook pretty hard when they first got levelled up, often to the point of memorising it. However, with the whole program really going nowhere slowly, it's no suprise that they would give up at some point or else pursue independent study options. After the introduction of the comparatively unstudiable Diplomat series many even gave up paying serious attention to the textbook.

Core problem: the free booking system. Totally impossible to take an incremental approach that corresponds in any way to the lessons one might or might not receive. Last teacher told me to practice the language of the last lesson in the next lesson. Next teacher looks pissed off when I try and says: Today's lesson is:....
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Re: The End of G.com Thread

Unread postby jon » Thu Oct 02, 2008 12:15 am

Stick-Swinging Incident wrote:I can relate to that. I mean when people take the same lesson on 4 mark off sheets full, and then are STILL surprised when the vocab is explained to them, I think a tad bit of homestudy is needed. Sure, maybe 8 or so times nobody bothered to explain the key vocabulary, it happens... 8 times... but the OTHER 4 times???

This wasn't a single Level 2 or 3 mind you, but the vast majority. There were SOME that took notes, got the idea, tried to apply it and took the info on board. And generally people didn't mind teaching them the same lesson 3 or 4 times, as they seemed to improve. Those students were the exceptions, not the rule.

But the hung over salarymen golfers that always book lessons on Sat Sun first 3 or 4 lessons that never bring text books and basically use the time to get away from the family who was making entirely too much noise for their splitting heads??? Meh.

The bored housewives or grandmothers who just came to Nova on a daily basis 3 or 4 lessons and then zipped home just after 4...
They had the same teachers, same lessons, and picked up little or none of it. It was just the routine... a very expensive one. :shock:


To get a word or phrase into short term memory, then to long term memory and then to the point where you are going to be able to retrieve it when needed for your own production requires you to get varied and contextualised exposure to that word or phrase - exposure with which you actually engage and comprehend at least 80 times. Just sitting at home looking at your book only gets you so far.
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Re: The End of G.com Thread

Unread postby Stick-Swinging Incident » Thu Oct 02, 2008 12:31 am

I'll take your word on the amount of times required to fully intigrate a specific word or phrase into your lexicon. Not my balliwick.

But, perhaps opening the textbook at home might hurry it a long... just a little.

Its not so much that a lot of the zone G's didn't remember the exact meaning, its that they didn't remember EVER seeing those specific words or having the vocabulary explained to them. (even when they had written Kanji next to the words ... or that they had 10 dates up on the title bar of the lesson indicating clearly to them that its been seen before.)

There should be, after say 10 times of seeing a word or phrase, that small tingling in the mind that says... "Yeah, I've seen it before but... just can't pull the rabbit out of the hat and guess its meaning."
It happens with Kanji when we study. We at least RECOGNISE that its something we have seen before.
But this isn't really about the End of GCom. Students like this are what would keep Gcom afloat.
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Same Lessons Over and Over

Unread postby thedeli » Thu Oct 02, 2008 12:45 am

Ever use the Workbook? Most of the students haven't. When you ask them "Where is your workbook?" the response is usually "Somewhere at home" "At the bottom of the drawer" etc. At least it gives you one more resource to work with. Also it comes in handy when they start bitching about not levelling up. :wink:
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Re: The End of G.com Thread

Unread postby jon » Thu Oct 02, 2008 10:39 am

Sounds like a strike to me. It wasn't that bad when I was at Nova. However, the upper level Diplomat series had only just been introduced when I left. I have one private student who is level 3 and coming to me as well as using up her GComm points at Nova. Her attitude to the text is one of complete uninterest. Perhaps that is typical: I wouldn't know. She likes and actively seeks teachers who just talk to her and thinks she can get more value from listening than doing a lot of exercises and applications with more 'serious' teachers. I think she is probably right about this. I had one trainer who insisted vigourously that a good lesson should be at least 60 percent applications: a very inefficient way to learn as far as I'm concerned.
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Re: The End of G.com Thread

Unread postby indoctrin8 » Thu Oct 02, 2008 6:16 pm

jon wrote:
To get a word or phrase into short term memory, then to long term memory and then to the point where you are going to be able to retrieve it when needed for your own production requires you to get varied and contextualised exposure to that word or phrase - exposure with which you actually engage and comprehend at least 80 times. Just sitting at home looking at your book only gets you so far.


id love to know where you got that little statistic.

so that means i would have to hear "inu" at least 80 times before i could associate it with "dog"?

i hope youre not being guilty of my pet hate of pulling spurious statistics straight out of your arse.
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Re: The End of G.com Thread

Unread postby jon » Thu Oct 02, 2008 6:51 pm

indoctrin8 wrote:
jon wrote:
To get a word or phrase into short term memory, then to long term memory and then to the point where you are going to be able to retrieve it when needed for your own production requires you to get varied and contextualised exposure to that word or phrase - exposure with which you actually engage and comprehend at least 80 times. Just sitting at home looking at your book only gets you so far.


id love to know where you got that little statistic.

so that means i would have to hear "inu" at least 80 times before i could associate it with "dog"?

i hope youre not being guilty of my pet hate of pulling spurious statistics straight out of your arse.


I didn't say that one would have to hear 'inu' at least 80 times before associating it with the word 'dog'. I said that one should be exposed to any word or phrase (the figure is an average) in varied and comprehensible contexts at least that number of times before being reliably expected to be able to produce the same word or phrase just when needed.

I don't know, honestly about the statistics, but it's the figure recommended by the people who write the books on language teaching that I personally employ in my work. That is to say I work on the basis of gaining maximum varied and comprehensible repetitions of new items in my classes and recycle constantly. My vocabluarly target for a year is around 600 items only. However, students learn them deeply and don't forget them.
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Re: The End of G.com Thread

Unread postby indoctrin8 » Thu Oct 02, 2008 7:28 pm

jon. yes you did. you said i would have to be contextually exposed to a "WORD or phrase" at least 80 times before i could produce it.

if you are not sure of where your statistics come from, then dont use them.

or can you give me the authors of the books you cite. id love to know more.


EDIT. and of course, the titles of the books would be useful.
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Re: The End of G.com Thread

Unread postby Langslave » Thu Oct 02, 2008 9:42 pm

I'm not disagreeing with you jon, just talking about some of the "students" I encountered at my old branch on a (sometimes) daily basis. No effort, no interest, no retention. As much use in a language class as a decapitated yak ( and sometimes just as smelly).
Not all of them by any means, but by my reckoning, in the vicinity of 80%. The standard joke was it seemed they expected to learn by osmosis, just soaking up the English atmosphere.
Totally agree with Sticks re repeat after repeat after repeat, and yet those words, their meanings, pronunciations, synonyms, antonynyms, or any of the other things I KNEW I had taught them were just so many koan trees that fell in the forest.
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Re: The End of G.com Thread

Unread postby indoctrin8 » Fri Oct 03, 2008 10:25 am

aah! langslave, youre doing it as well!
"in the vicinity of 80 percent".
did you take a calculator into lessons?

please, everyone, dont get into the
ludicrous habit of applying ratios and
percentages to things.

99.327 percent of my students do it
and its REALLY annoying.
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Re: The End of G.com Thread

Unread postby jon » Fri Oct 03, 2008 11:56 am

indoctrin8 wrote:jon. yes you did. you said i would have to be contextually exposed to a "WORD or phrase" at least 80 times before i could produce it.

if you are not sure of where your statistics come from, then dont use them.

or can you give me the authors of the books you cite. id love to know more.


EDIT. and of course, the titles of the books would be useful.



Well, firstly 'hear' is not the same as 'exposed' and 'associate' is not the same as 'produce'. So you can see why I felt that your rendition of what I said was contrary to my intention. However, I can see why you misunderstood me as regards what I meant by 'produce'.

Two items I can recommend are: Fluency Through TPRS Storytelling: Blaine Ray and Contee Steele, and his DVDs exemplifying the method. You can find out about these and many other items at Blaine Ray's website at www.blaineraytprs.com However, much of the material relates to the teaching of Spanish in the Junior High and High School situation. Over the last two years I have been adapting the approach to the EFL situation on the basis of once a week lessons.

Problems in Nova lessons would be:

insufficient repetition, with over reliance on student repetition
insufficient contextualisation (not enough put into building up contexts in which the word can be fully understood)
insufficient variety of context (embedding items in varied discourse patterns)
insufficient concept checking (this should be continuous)
too many words introduced at one time (in a 40 minute session 3 items would be a good limit)
recycling is random and not timed (teachers don't like to teach the same student the same lesson twice. Actually, this would be a good idea).
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Re: The End of G.com Thread

Unread postby indoctrin8 » Fri Oct 03, 2008 5:33 pm

whoa there, jon.

bit of splitting hairs there.
whatever words you wish to use,
you said i would have to be told
that "inu" means "dog" at least 80
times before i could point to a
dog and say "inu".

you were talking bollocks, and
your attempts to worm out of
it just makes you appear more
foolish.
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Re: The End of G.com Thread

Unread postby Langslave » Fri Oct 03, 2008 8:17 pm

indoctrin8, I'm just doin' a rough calculation based on the people I met on the other side of the table. I'm not claiming it's a figure that's been based on anything more scientific than my reckoning. If I could get into the old branch and count thru all the files of people I met tho I don't think I'd be far off. Again, I'm only talking about the customers in my old branch too.
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Re: The End of G.com Thread

Unread postby jon » Sat Oct 04, 2008 12:23 am

indoctrin8 wrote:whoa there, jon.

bit of splitting hairs there.
whatever words you wish to use,
you said i would have to be told
that "inu" means "dog" at least 80
times before i could point to a
dog and say "inu".

you were talking bollocks, and
your attempts to worm out of
it just makes you appear more
foolish.


That is not what I told you. Most definitely not. You can read it that way if you like, but it is not what I meant. Personally, I aim for 70 to 100 varied and contextualised repetitions of each new item I introduce in a single session and I believe that is what students need. If you don't agree, no problem.
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*how* much repetition?

Unread postby In The Know » Sat Oct 04, 2008 10:17 am

jon wrote:... Personally, I aim for 70 to 100 varied and contextualised repetitions of each new item I introduce in a single session and I believe that is what students need. If you don't agree, no problem.


I wasn't going to inject myself into this mini-flame war until I read this. I've self-studied myself to a decent and passable intermediate level of fluency. It took me about 5 times / 5 exposures to 'nai' and 'arimasen' before it clicked forever that it meant the 'negative' or 'doesn't have'. Even more complex, again, it took about 5 times to realize that I can use any verb to communicate that I can't do something: "kanji o yomu koto ga dekinai' = I can't read kanji.

I certainly would have lost motivation to study Japanese if it took me "70-100" repetitions to add new grammar, functional phrases and vocabulary. :chug:
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Re: *how* much repetition?

Unread postby jon » Sat Oct 04, 2008 11:08 am

In The Know wrote:
jon wrote:... Personally, I aim for 70 to 100 varied and contextualised repetitions of each new item I introduce in a single session and I believe that is what students need. If you don't agree, no problem.


I wasn't going to inject myself into this mini-flame war until I read this. I've self-studied myself to a decent and passable intermediate level of fluency. It took me about 5 times / 5 exposures to 'nai' and 'arimasen' before it clicked forever that it meant the 'negative' or 'doesn't have'. Even more complex, again, it took about 5 times to realize that I can use any verb to communicate that I can't do something: "kanji o yomu koto ga dekinai' = I can't read kanji.

I certainly would have lost motivation to study Japanese if it took me "70-100" repetitions to add new grammar, functional phrases and vocabulary. :chug:


OK. I'm not saying that every item in the language needs the same level of repetition, although I would say that knowing something in theory and doing it correctly every time because it 'sounds right' are not the same thing. I don't teach grammar and functional items the same way that I teach vocabulary and phrases, although in point of fact, in the course of learning, these items are repeated thousands of times. Obviously cognates like 'hamburger' don't need the level of introduction that I'm talking about, although in case of the word 'dog', particularly when teaching children, I would repeat at the levels I am talking about just in case it is needed. You lose motivation if the repetetive process is not also varied, engaging and comprehensible, and that is where the challenge of teaching lies.
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Re: *how* much repetition?

Unread postby japansmith » Sat Oct 04, 2008 12:21 pm

jon wrote:
In The Know wrote:
jon wrote:... Personally, I aim for 70 to 100 varied and contextualised repetitions of each new item I introduce in a single session and I believe that is what students need. If you don't agree, no problem.

I wasn't goi...................Japanese if it took me "70-100" repetitions to add new grammar, functional phrases and vocabulary. :chug:

OK. I'm not saying that ever................... is needed. You lose motivation if the repetetive process is not also varied, engaging and comprehensible, and that is where the challenge of teaching lies.


I'm sorry, now I'm obliged to step in to this, I was just sitting by the sideline. It took me less than zero times to be able to use Japanese like a motherfucker. Yeah baby. Me's sooo cool, I started talking Japanese like a native just by landing in the country. But unfortunately, they broke the mould after I was born so my kind of ability is no longer available to you ordinary mortals. But in that as well as every other respect, I am special. Just no one seems to want to listen to me tell them how special I am. So that's why I frequent forums like this.
Basic fact is, at least concerning myself, I didn't even have to listen to the language to be able to speak it. I could go to Burkina Faso and speak Dioula like a native within minutes. In fact I can prove it.
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Re: *how* much repetition?

Unread postby parallel universe » Sat Oct 04, 2008 4:53 pm

japansmith wrote:... It took me less than zero times to be able to use Japanese like a motherfucker. Yeah baby. Me's sooo cool, I started talking Japanese like a native just by landing in the country. ... I could go to Burkina Faso and speak Dioula like a native within minutes. In fact I can prove it.


Wow, that was some post! :hohum: The punctuation and spelling need some work, but otherwise...

I'm not sure Dioula is that well-known to make the effort to learn it. But have it!
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Re: *how* much repetition?

Unread postby InTheColdLightOfDay » Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:00 pm

japansmith wrote: I'm sorry, now I'm obliged to step in to this, I was just sitting by the sideline. It took me less than zero times to be able to use Japanese like a motherfucker. Yeah baby. Me's sooo cool, I started talking Japanese like a native just by landing in the country. But unfortunately, they broke the mould after I was born so my kind of ability is no longer available to you ordinary mortals. But in that as well as every other respect, I am special. Just no one seems to want to listen to me tell them how special I am. So that's why I frequent forums like this.
Basic fact is, at least concerning myself, I didn't even have to listen to the language to be able to speak it. I could go to Burkina Faso and speak Dioula like a native within minutes. In fact I can prove it.


I used to work with a guy who was exactly like this.
Reckoned he spoke 5 languages and had just "picked up" Japanese as he went, including all the written forms.
Of course, when you actually asked him to read something in Japanese (even katakana) he couldn't.
But no matter how many times he fell flat on his face he was still absolutely convinced he could speak and read Japanese.
Absolutely infuriating.
Each monkeys has different face. It's very difficult to distinguish monkey's face, like we can't memorize foreigner's face.
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post-NOVA points

Unread postby sex_sensei » Tue Oct 07, 2008 12:19 pm

It's been about a year now since G.Spot took over from NOVA. That's been sufficient time for most, if not all, students to use up their old NOVA lesson points. My question to 'agents in the field' (i.e., current G.Comm teachers) is this: are enough new students coming in and are old students buying new lesson packages to allow G.Comm a proper revenue stream to keep going? Everything I read here suggests that management is chaotic-- schools are short of teachers, they suddenly get shifted around and sent elsewhere, students complain about not being to book lessons, etc. Is there really an 'End of G.Comm' in sight?

On a related note, I still see ECC's advertising campaign posters featuring that funny man :roll: Beat Takeshi. Nothing like paying a few hundred million yen to a 65-year-old 'tarento' to accurately represent and entice your student base.
Nobody gets out alive-- Jim Morrison
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