Avoid fraud in language teaching

The Association of Language Teaching Centers of the Community of Madrid (ACEDIM) has begun a campaign to avoid deception in language teaching centers, especially in summer, one of the times of the year in which this type of teaching is used the most.

Summer is an ideal time to learn new things or start with new ones hobbies. One of the options that most parents like is to enroll their children in schools of language teaching, because learning a second or third language is very useful for the future professional. But not all available centers are legit.

For this reason, the Association of Language Teaching Centers of the Community of Madrid (ACEDIM) has enacted an initiative to prevent the proliferation of illegal centers and fraud in these schools. This information campaign is added to the agreement signed with the General Directorate of Consumption of Madrid in February.

The ACEDIM is aware of the importance of language teaching, so it has been proposed "to defend the work of the many legal centers that comply scrupulously with the current regulations and that every day strive to offer avant-garde and quality education," says María José Artero, president of the association. In addition, he wants to eliminate that bad image that the pseudoschools of languages, more and more frequent.

Without magic formulas

Every day there are more options available to learn a new language. Given the wide range of offers, students and parents face the difficulty of choosing the best center to learn languages. We look for something that adapts to our level and rhythm of learning, teachers that are capable of motivating us, etc.

We may even be tempted to resort to centers that offer miraculous recipes to learn. There is the error. "The methodology of language teaching has evolved a lot in recent years, however, there are no magical resources that allow you to speak a language in a short period of time," certifies Artero.

Criteria for choosing a good language center

The ACEDIM, through this initiative, wants to "guide consumers and prevent them from being victims of deception or paying for impossible promises." For this, he recommends that we look at the following aspects to make sure that the teaching center we choose is reliable:

- Accessible and truthful advertising. Contrast the advertising of the center with its academic validity, that is, make sure that the diplomas and certificates offered are real. Also, verify that the information on prices, offers and conditions is accessible and truthful.

- Clear and transparent information. Before enrolling your child, ask for the following information: the courses, their duration and their objectives; the prices, the cost of registration and the forms of payment; the number of students per group; and the need to sign a teaching contract.

- Academic offer and teaching staff. You must confirm that the center offers an experience and guarantee of learning. Therefore, you should inform yourself about the center's trajectory, the experience and qualifications of its teachers, and how is the level test that is done to assign the best program to each student.

- Organization. Is the center legally established? Do you have Opening and Activity permits? You can also confirm that they have claim sheets and belong to any association committed to the quality of teaching.

- Hiring, without abusive clauses. Before enrolling your child, make sure that the teaching contract does not have abusive clauses and that the center facilitates the cancellation and withdrawal of the contracted course. It is necessary that you request a numbered receipt or invoice for the payments made.

Isabel López Vasquez

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