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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread May 6th, 2008, 12:27 am
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Clive Hawkins
 
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Question Is anyone familiar with the Helen Doron schools?

Hi everyone,

I've been looking at the Helen Doron children's schools and was curious to hear from anyone with first hand experience, either as one of their trained teachers, a parent of a pupil or the owner of one of the franchises. It seems a great idea but other than the official literature I've heard nothing at all. Thanks in advance,
Clive
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  #2 (permalink)  
Unread May 6th, 2008, 04:10 am
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Default Re: Is anyone familiar with the Helen Doron schools?

What is that? a methodology?
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Unread May 6th, 2008, 08:35 am
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Default Re: Is anyone familiar with the Helen Doron schools?

It's an English school for kids, with schools all over the world. They train up the staff with their method. I just wanted to know if anyone is familiar with it, either first hand as a parent or teacher or if they know anyone who has sent kids there or worked there.

Thanks!
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Unread May 7th, 2008, 01:15 pm
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Default Re: Is anyone familiar with the Helen Doron schools?

no, sorry.
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  #5 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 26th, 2008, 11:38 pm
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Default Re: Is anyone familiar with the Helen Doron schools?

Hi I had some correspondence with a Mr. John Chang, he was quite a gentleman, the school is conservative in an upper income neighborhood. If you aren't conservative by nature I don't think you would fit in.
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Unread Mar 15th, 2009, 03:22 am
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Default Re: Is anyone familiar with the Helen Doron schools?

I don't know anything about them...other than there is one in my city here in Spain. It makes me interested to know more as well. hmmm...
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Unread Aug 6th, 2010, 10:10 am
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Thumbs down Re: Is anyone familiar with the Helen Doron schools?

Not good!!! And so say many parents and children. The HD teachers I know can't even speak English. They pay you a little wage while they go on earning from your hardwork no thanks. And they make teachers sign a terrible contract...... You can't beat teaching cambridge english to kids using cambrige materials and all the other fantastic material available on line and from TEFL, EFL and the British council... and and and .....
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Unread Feb 28th, 2012, 04:27 am
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Default Re: Is anyone familiar with the Helen Doron schools?

Hi.

I am a Helen Doron teacher in Israel.

We teach using specially designed materials aimed at young children. We also have courses for older students.

The methodology is based on much research into early childhood development and language acquisition. Just like a child naturally learns their mother tongue through repeated hearing, songs and games, we believe that they can learn English and indeed any language the same way.

Starting young means that they pick up intonation, pronunciation and grammar structures without realising it.

Singing, dancing and playing with the children is a lot of fun, and gives them positive associations with language and learning in general.
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  #9 (permalink)  
Unread Feb 28th, 2012, 09:43 am
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Default Re: Is anyone familiar with the Helen Doron schools?

I am very familiar with the Helen Doron schools! I am proud to say that I have been teaching with the Helen Doron method for 11 years. I am also a teacher trainer.
First of all, The helen Doron method has existed for over 26 years. Teachers from over 30 countries teach using our method. If it weren't at such a high level, this wouldn't be the case.

Secondly, the teachers are carefully selected and go through an intense training which I can tell you first hand no one would pass if they couldn't speak English! Our teachers are the best in the world!

The results that this method has proven time and time again is not just in school grades like some of the other schools, our students speak English, fluently and at a very high level both in terms of accent and vocabulary.

The Helen Doron company supports their teachers with conferences, seminars, trainings and teacher's guides.

I have been able to make a very comfortable living by teaching for 11 years, if it wasn't worth it, would I still be teaching?

In fact, I wouldn't teach with with any other material for any amount of money. When you are a part of such an amazing company and you teach with the best method for language acquisition there is, you wouldn't go anywhere else.

Please be careful of the haters out there. There are teachers that may pretend to be a part of Helen Doron, just to get a free ride at our expense. Be sure that they should have the accurate documentation and use our original materials!

We offer free demonstration lessons, all around the world! We hope you will join us and see first hand!

Happy teaching and learning everyone!
Love Amal
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  #10 (permalink)  
Unread Jan 10th, 2013, 02:12 pm
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Default Re: Is anyone familiar with the Helen Doron schools?

Hey everyone!

For the start i recommend that you find a school where they train teachers to use multiple learning strategies to teach your kids. Any school that uses one "perfect" method to guarantee your child's success is a fraud because different students need different kinds of approach and that applies to all children and adults.

I started teaching for Helen Doron in the Czech Republic after 5 years of experience in ESL in Asia and Europe and i wasn't so happy with the method.

I taught for them for one year and trying to fit my teaching style to their methodology was a constant struggle for me. They do push a lot of language down a child's brain but (and for me it's a big BUT) they don't teach the kids how to have a conversation and most of all how to produce questions. Most of it is just memorizing and listening to riddles or songs. I found the language structure chaotic and it was lacking roots. I mean, if you teach a foreign language you have to start somewhere and move in a certain direction. In their materials grammar is just scattered around. You do teach grammar to small kids "without" actually teaching grammar just as Helen Doron does but still, it has to go from point A to point B and you can't teach point F without points A, B, C, D and E because point F is then out of context and lacks foundations. Using songs and riddles is definitely a great tool for learning and they are right that songs and riddles are one of the tools used when you learn your a native language but la anguage course settings are very different and if you learn just songs and riddles then you won't be able to use the plain language to just get your message across. What use is it to a kid to be able to say "Sandy Mandy sugar candy." if he or she can't say "I want a candy". When learning a native language these two go hand in hand whilst in Helen Doron you just get the first part.

Their courses for babies and toddlers are really cute and they do teach your kids some English. They say these courses are also good for developing good mother-baby relationship and physical contact. What they don't tell you is that, in despite of the fact that children have an amazing ability to learn (kid's brain works much faster than that of a university student), kids also have a great ability to forget and if they don't use the knowledge they have gained, this knowledge will be erased and the space in their memory it occupied will be used for something else that the brain finds more useful for the kid to remember. This in practice means that whatever your kid learns he or she will forget it really fast if you don't constantly continue in English courses. If you make a bigger time gap all that English will be gone.

What they have really mastered is their marketing strategy. Sadly, i felt it was mostly that rather than actual teaching. Their teaching course is massively over prized, it was just 5 days, i had to have it in order to be able to teach for them and their certification is no use outside of Helen Doron. I also own TEFL certification (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) which is valid everywhere in the world. My Oxford trinity TEFL course was one month long (full time of course) and cost me just as much.

During the course in Helen Doron, my trainer often used the phrase: "Because it is / isn't the Helen Doron method." as an argument for using or omitting certain strategies for teaching and that's just not enough for me. They claim the method is based on a vast scientific research but they don't tell you which scientific magazine they published their study and where they let it undergo a wider scientific discussion which is a common practice for accepting new theories in any kind of science.

For me, Helen Doron was rather a "cult" than a valid methodology. (Yeah, cult. Search for the term "cult" and you will find that saying something is true because the leader said it's true is one of the basics for a cult.)

Somebody here said that people who disagree are haters. Well, if that's so can you just give constructive arguments why i'm wrong? I am very much open to a discussion.

Have fun with English!
Peace
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  #11 (permalink)  
Unread Jan 28th, 2013, 04:35 am
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Default Re: Is anyone familiar with the Helen Doron schools?

Let's hear from someone independent:

97% Overall Satisfaction Rate by Parents of Helen Doron Early English Students in Germany - Yahoo! News

It think it should be enough!

I'm a mother of 3 boys and I'm very pleased with the method. My oldest is bilingual and he started with 6 YO with Helen Doron Method.
By the way, I know the teachers personally and they love what and how they teach.

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  #12 (permalink)  
Unread Jan 25th, 2015, 10:29 am
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Default Re: Is anyone familiar with the Helen Doron schools?

Hi!

I see that this thread is a year old, but I wonder if I could revive it to ask a question?

A Helen Doron school local to me have a job opening advertised on a forum for English speakers in the city (a new advert, posted yesterday). However when I look directly at the school's own website under "jobs" there is only a description of their short training course which, it states, could lead to a well paid and fulfilling job...

Can anybody who has worked for Helen Doron tell me whether an applicant for a job with Heleln Doron schools is expected to begin by paying out of their own pocket for a 6 day training course? I am happy to take a 6 day training course unpaid if I know I begin paid work upon satisfactory completion of the course, but I am not willing to pay to be allowed to work!

It seems there are a lot of scams out their disguised as salaried job opportunities, and in fact the advertiser wishes to sell a franchise or training. I realise that whatever else it is Helen Doran is a "real" chain of language schools, but can anyone tell me whther applying for a position with them will lead to a hard sell on a training course the applicant has to pay for?

Thank you!
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  #13 (permalink)  
Unread Mar 6th, 2015, 04:16 am
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Default Re: Is anyone familiar with the Helen Doron schools?

Good Day Everyone,

I have a lot of knowledge about HD if anyone would like to know more please get in touch with me via email adzidoli@gmail.com
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  #14 (permalink)  
Unread Jun 16th, 2015, 02:27 pm
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Default Re: Is anyone familiar with the Helen Doron schools?

Yes, I am. Absolutely satisfied as a mother who had her daughter 9 hears at the HD and my son who is now 6 and started at the age of 3 months and will attend the International School from Sept on.

My both kids are trilingual thanks to Helen Doron English because me and my husband gave them a language each but none of us a native speaker of English. My daughter speaks English fluently - never had problems with questions or negations to say the least; what she was short of in comparision with the children of the native speakers, however, was the vocabulary, till her command of English got so good that she could read thick books where she would expand her vocabulary so that she can match with the native speakers nowadays. But already at the age of 6-7, she could hold a conversation with my American friend on skype fluently. So she benefitted form the courses immensly.

I'm proud of her - she learnt since the age of 1 and at 6, when she started International School, she was the only kid without English speaking family that was assigned to the native speakers of english group in her class. She still is in the native English speakers group in the 5th grade and was better than the native speakers in spelling and grammar all these years long. She did HD till the last year and this year she was asked by three of her classmates to tutor them in English. I'm very proud of her and of myself to have taken the strain of regular visits at the English classes twice a week and then with two children - but it was - and still is with my son - absolutely worth it! In this way I'm giving them a better future.

We had a few teachers, as both kids attended classes once a week at the beginning and the last three years before starting school - twice a week. These teachers were all lovely and doing their best and seemed to have fun teachong which my kids felt - one was American, one British, two Austrian and one Hungarian. It doesn't matter where they come from because the kids take the accent from the CDs with the British English on which they listen to regularly. So some teachers have a slight accent which doesn't matter at all because they are excellent pedagogues and that's what counts. I have learnt that just being a native speaker does not make you automatically a good teacher, it doesn't enable you to teach your mother tongue without having learnt how to teach - teaching skills are vital and not self-understood and there are many native speakers who try to offer some classes with results that are far from glorious, if they have no longuistic background. A few downloads here and there don't make you a professional.

I am a business person and always go for clarity, especially in agreements, conditions, figures, and outlines, the remark of being badly paid seems quite funny to me. If what they offer to you is not enough, then why would you even start doing it? If that is enough or you got no other work being a native speaker not speaking a local language = no chances for another job, then why complain?
What I know is that HD is taught in many countries - and as we know Europe has different financial situation in each country. So I'd say before you start spreading bad vibes about the payment, check your local reality - go to watch some classes to see if that is for you (I have witnessed new potential teachers sit in and watch the groups where my kids were, so I know it's possible), get a work contract info, payment info and you'll know what is awaiting you. As the teachers look happy and no one seems to keep them there by force and they even work for many years (for instance my son is taught by a teacher who was there already when my daughter started, the most frequent reason for them to leave is when they have children themselves and go into materninty leave or move to another country/town), they seem to have a good life and don't starve, so I'd suggest to take responsibility for your decisions and check the conditions in your local area. I know they are demanding and I am happy - after all, I'm entrusting the future of my children with a teacher - so i want to know they have a solid background and should I have to move to another country, i want to have a guarantee that my child is able not only to continue in the same school system but also in the same language school system to build upon what they have learnt before, instead of taking chances with some teachers, not sure what level they will get my kid to, as they neither work by a recognized method, nor have European language standards, nor program, nor materials. And the HD has. So I felt it was a solid and good choice.

I always focus on the positive and if something doesn't work for me, I just leave it and move my focus to things that suit me and my standards. So I usually have hard time reading complaints - no matter what the subject - as it seems that some would rather spread bad words than take responsilibity and check what is out there in an effective way, as I could read some emotions in the comments above rather than clear facts.

Stay calm and spread peace ;-)

Yours,

Happy Human
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Unread Sep 24th, 2015, 03:02 am
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Default Re: Is anyone familiar with the Helen Doron schools?

Good luck!

Last edited by jamieSTAR : Sep 29th, 2015 at 09:39 pm.
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  #16 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 28th, 2015, 09:20 am
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Smile Re: Is anyone familiar with the Helen Doron schools?

Can a teacher use the Helen Doron schools methodology and combine it with another methodology?
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Unread Apr 27th, 2016, 06:46 am
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Default Re: Is anyone familiar with the Helen Doron schools?

After working for 10+ years as a ESL/EFL teacher, especially with gradeschoolers aged 6 - 13.
I have to say I have looked into the HD method (was looking to work there to be honest, went through all the testing) and have some reservations towards this method, here is why
1. The method is aimed at mainly babies, toddlers and preschoolers (maybe gradeschoolers up to the age of 9). Why?
  • It's basic drilling that can be seen in many other methods, such as the InLingua method and classic ESL/EFL methods.
  • Most teachers are (cheap labour) - non-native speakers with poor pronunciations (to my knowledge they also aim to hire non experienced teachers, straight out of school). You have quite a few examples on YT! For example a teacher told the kids to STAMP their feet, not STOMP! mind you!
  • The method is excellent for absolute beginners up until the age of 9. I got to be honest.
  • The method is VERY baby, toddler and preschooler friendly.
  • To my knowledge, they have only 1 lesson per week and you as a parent have to work daily with your kids at home!
  • It's one of the most expensive school in the country, if not the most expensive
  • The most expensive materials for class and home.
  • One method doesn't fit all ages, levels or learning styles.
  • Horrible contract for teacher? Not cool for very experienced (kid) teachers even insulting
  • You have to do a lot of drilling at home
These are just a few things I have noticed.

As an experienced ESL/EFL teacher, I have to say like all methods there is no such thing as a "ONE" perfect method fits all. Those are just lies.
Just because a method has been around for 26+ years, doesn't "really" mean anything to be honest. The only thing it actually means is that it works for some. No one really goes around bashing a method or school because it didn't work out for them, let's be honest.
I would say the only way you would know if this method works for your kid is to sign them up for class (not the demo class) and try it out for a few months or for a year.
As an native speaker and teacher, I would never let my kids learn a language with a non-native speaker (especially if it's an expensive school) or a native speaker teacher with no experience or qualifications. Sorry guys! Just because you can speak the language doesn't mean you can teach it and Just because you have a university degree doesn't mean that you can teach or speak a language.

I do believe in whatever Cambridge English advertises for any child over the age of 7+.
If you have a baby, toddler, preschooler or gradeschooler with NO english knowledge whatsoever; then, I would say yes give it a go! I do believe that the HD method could work out for you, but do keep in mind you will have to work with your kid at home. What I personally do not like.

I personally think a minimum of 2 lessons per week, 2x45 min, is a minimum for kids aged 7+ no matter what the level they are.
So this is my feedback based on everything I know about the HD method and from teachers that work there.
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Unread Apr 27th, 2016, 06:49 am
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Default Re: Is anyone familiar with the Helen Doron schools?

Quote:
Quote mycupoftea View Post
Hi!

I see that this thread is a year old, but I wonder if I could revive it to ask a question?

A Helen Doron school local to me have a job opening advertised on a forum for English speakers in the city (a new advert, posted yesterday). However when I look directly at the school's own website under "jobs" there is only a description of their short training course which, it states, could lead to a well paid and fulfilling job...

Can anybody who has worked for Helen Doron tell me whether an applicant for a job with Heleln Doron schools is expected to begin by paying out of their own pocket for a 6 day training course? I am happy to take a 6 day training course unpaid if I know I begin paid work upon satisfactory completion of the course, but I am not willing to pay to be allowed to work!

It seems there are a lot of scams out their disguised as salaried job opportunities, and in fact the advertiser wishes to sell a franchise or training. I realise that whatever else it is Helen Doran is a "real" chain of language schools, but can anyone tell me whther applying for a position with them will lead to a hard sell on a training course the applicant has to pay for?

Thank you!
1. You have to get a call back, perfect CV please
2. You have to pass the interview
3. You have to pass the DEMO lesson
4. You are hired and go to the 6 day training.

to my knowledge be careful they might offer the lowest pay from all the school, but charge a lot from their clients.
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