One Last Bit Of Nonsense From New Standard

I thought I’d pop in to put one little update about Liuzhou New Standard Training Center. I’m back in the States after finishing up the year working at a decent-enough university (Guangxi Normal University in Guilin), and while my experience with New Standard soured me to the concept of ESL in China such that I will never go back to that country as a teacher, I do still like to keep in touch with some friends I made there.

A few days ago, I was surprised to log onto QQ and see one of my friends, a Chinese teacher at New Standard, relaying a message from the boss trying to get me to delete all the negative posts I had made about the school. It seems that they have finally noticed that just about all mentions of Liuzhou New Standard English Training Center on the Internet are unequivocally negative, and instead of working to change the poor conditions for foreign teachers at the school, they’d rather attempt to pressure their former employees into silence with such phrases as:

did you say something bad about New Standar on the internet (your blog) ?

It’s not good for you, just delete them all.

Such idle vague threats despite the fact that I reside on the other side of the planet and have no plans to return, and certainly not for anything related to employment in China! In the ensuing conversation (the non-English-speaking boss quite obviously present and speaking through my friend, and then in the end angrily typing in Chinese), I received a rhetorical whirlwind of approaches, jumping schizophrenically from the initial angry outburst to:

- scraping the bottom of the barrel for “kindnesses” the boss had done me, bringing up a time when I had broken my foot and the school had provided crutches for me to continue working (as if that was a sign of the World’s Best Boss; even a performing dog gets taken to the vet) — or when he had so generously roped my fellow teachers and me into paying extra to move from the provided apartment with years of mold growth in the kitchen and no promised Western toilet

- claiming that all the negative experiences we had gone through (detailed at length in my other posts) were simply because “this is China” despite constant accounts from other teachers and the coordinators from our CIEE program (and my own better experiences at GXNU later on!) that this situation was significantly worse than normal

- acting as if all of our complaints were confusing, impossible to understand, and had never been properly raised despite the five months of us all being clear and vocal on the reasons behind our complaints, which were routinely ignored

Considering all of us former teachers are still showcased on Liuzhou New Standard’s website, and I personally saw our visages used on newly-created flyers and advertisements five whole months after we all left that school (added to the collection, next to the photos of the foreign teachers who had left before we had arrived), I can’t particularly see a reason why I would censor myself so ludicrously. If anything, this little episode would hurt them further by inspiring this post. But after all, the boss was never good at dealing with people.

5 thoughts on “One Last Bit Of Nonsense From New Standard

  1. Ha! My wife is back in Liuzhou visiting family right now. She’s a former LZ cop…sister and brother in law are both cops there…Maybe I’ll have her stop by New Standard and advise them to leave my buddy alone! ;)

    You saw the true face of China, I’m afraid…when the mask of kindness comes off, the Chinese can be some pretty frightening folks. (Fortunately, it USUALLY stays on.)

    I know you’re glad to be back…I’m questioning my decision to go back next year. Good luck! Hope you’ll post a few thoughts as you continue to re-adjust to life in America.

  2. Thanks! It’s always good to hear from some really good fellows about all this.

    I hope my blog has been a good resource for those looking to do work in China. There can be some very good things, but there are a lot of potential pitfalls and deep dangers and frustrations given common cultural habits in China. I’d be happy just if potential future teachers read up on the common issues in China ESL (and take them more seriously than I initially had!), or at the very least just avoid Liuzhou New Standard.

    I’ve been back in the States for almost a month now, and I find I’m starting to get used to being in America again. If there’s anything particularly profound I’ve thought of about my readjustment, I’ll make sure to post it here.

    • Thank you very much for your blog. It has helped me explain to a dear friend, what foreign teaching can be… beyond the glossy brochures!

  3. I was wondering if you could answer me a question. Was the owners name of the school Miss. Yao Yao? I used to live in Liuzhou for about 2 years and used to work for a school called Liuzhou Foreign Language School. I am planning on moving back there for a few years and want to know this information before I return to Liuzhou. Thank you, Chris

    • I’m not familiar with that name. The owners of New Standard were brothers with the name of Li. I know of a school called “Liuzhou Foreign Language High School” — I think I remember teaching a couple guest classes there when I was with New Standard, but beyond that I’m not familiar with it or the administration.

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