Stonewalled by the bureaucracy again.

The British Columbia provincial government decides how immigrant ESL funds are spent in this province. Thanks to my local member of the Provincial Legislative Assembly, I was put into contact with the Minister of Advanced Education, to whom I wrote a letter describing LingQ and how it might help some immigrants to improve their English. I was contacted by the department that looks after provincial language programs. In late fall I was given an appointment for Feb 24th, a telephone conference. This was the earliest date they could talk to me since they are so busy.


Well, Feb 24 was yesterday. There were three people on the phone from Victoria, the provincial capital. None of them, nor any of their staff members had looked at LingQ. Not one. I explained the system on the phone. They had 3 questions:


1) How do we test? I said we do not test, but our members often go to third party testing agencies like TOEIC  and report that they do very well after a period of study with LingQ.
2) What are the credentials of your tutors? I said, that our system is based on the learner, not on the teacher. All members help each other. Native speakers of one language help learners of that language.Credentials are not an issue, but anyone can be a tutor, even a credentialed teacher.
3) How do people learn to speak properly? I said that we put a lot of emphasis on input, and when the learners feel up to it, they can speak as often as they want with native speakers.


They said that I should approach the existing immigrant language teaching centres. I said that I had, and these people looked upon LingQ as competition.


Well they said, let us tell you about our programs. I said, you have no interest in my program, and to be frank I have no interest in yours. All I know from my immigrants friends, is that your programs are largely ineffective.


That ended the discussion.

2 comments on “Stonewalled by the bureaucracy again.


It seems from your posts that the education bureaucracy in Canada is similar to that in the US (and, probably, the rest of the developed world). It’s unfortunate. I wonder, though, why you continue to go after them, instead of relatively more lucrative things like corporate training? They’d probably still want testing (or some sort of ROI feedback), but it’s more of a results-driven environment.

Steve Kaufmann

Tests and credentials!! Our experience with corporations has not been much better. If they have a training department they are just as bureaucratic. Tests and credentials, always the same. I really do not think either are relevant for language learning. You can pass tests and have a teacher with credentials, or simply study on your own and with native speakers without credentials, no difference in my view.

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