Wednesday, January 15, 2003

If you've been following this blog for a while you'll remember the chains of Barcelona English schools, Opening and Brighton, that crashed and left an extremely bad odor in a lot of people's nostrils. A third has now gone down, Oxford English, leaving 4500 students without classes. I personally hadn't heard any nasty gossip about them like we'd heard about Opening and especially Brighton, but they were running one of those multimedia pay-for-a-year-in-advance teach-yourself-and-learn-at-your-own-speed things, too. That language-learning strategy only works if someone is methodical enough to discipline himself to spend hours a week at a computer terminal, but not so methodical that he's too damn square-headed to learn a language, and what's funny is that the stuff they charge you to use on their computer is inferior in quality to a lot of free sites for students of English available on the Net. Well, charged. The language-teaching industry is under a very dark cloud right now in Barcelona, since company after company is going broke and out of business, with people who had paid for their services in advance left up Shit Creek with a turd for an oar.

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