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Why Review?

I know this school/university or recruiter is bad, why no reviews?

ESLwatch has had a number of emails and over the last few years, one seems to pop up from time to time. The gist of it is “I know this school/university/recruiter is bad, but I cannot find any reviews, WHY?

There are a number of reasons why reviews on schools/universities or recruiters are missing from search results, forums and websites so ESLwatch thought it might help users if we posted a few of the reasons, then allow users to post their own theories on why a bad school/university or recruiter seems to be review/comment/forum free:

  • Gag order: This is becoming a common occurrence especially since wikileaks, you may find a clause in your contract or a contract that has been revised after your first year, expressing a statement that teachers will not post any information about the school in any outside social settings or on any media format including papers, websites, forums, social media etc.

  • Defamation of character: This is more likely to happen in asian/middle east countries where freedom of speech is restricted due to the culture of the country or confucianism. You may have posted a review for whatever reason and the school knows it was the teacher still working at the school or have previously left , the school/university or recruiter then threaten with legal proceedings with defamation of character, and cajole a teacher into retracting their posting. ESLwatch receives these threatening emails on a regular basis from company attorneys, and understand why teachers will take down an article or comment.

  • Witch Hunt: When a teacher has posted something, most likely if the school is unsure of the culprit, they will call all suspected teachers into the office normally one-by-one to be interrogated by the director or attorney to try and ascertain who has posted the offending article, we know of some cases where the teachers family has been called to try and persuade teachers to confess and retract their article.

  • Date cover-up: Sometimes there are postings on the internet dated two or three years ago and nothing since. ESLwatch has found that teachers tend to try to cover themselves by backdating the actual date they worked at a school to try and mask their identity to give an impression they have already left the school.

  • Not Disgruntled enough: Most teachers have to be disgruntled enough to make negative posts about a school/university or recruiter and you never know if the school or director have changed their management style or even improved the working conditions, hence reviews for the school are now scarce.

  • Bad press removal: It has been known that some teachers are paid by the school/university or recruiting company to have a negative press, ie: articles, forum posts and comments, on the internet, removed knowing the working conditions and present problems. Even though they agree with the teachers posting they work really hard to have the article removed.

  • Complacency or Cultural - One of the most interesting things that have been noted by ESLwatch is that teachers become complacent especially in ESL or the teacher is an NNS (Non-native speaker). Talking to some of these teachers we think it may have to do with that some of these teachers do not know any better, most come from 3rd world countries where culture is a hindrance and becomes the norm. So these teachers just put up and shut up because they do not know any better.


The bottom line is that there might be consequences for teachers who post articles against a school/university or recruiters. If discovered teachers would be immediately dismissed from their position, possibly threatened with legal action, or even lied to by a present teacher who is coerced by the owner of the establishment and has noted your complaint and made changes to improve.