How TBI Lures New Teachers with Lies and Aliases

On Monday we showed how by May Dave’s ESL Cafe user “Sun Shan” had become disillusioned with TBI, complaining of its pretentiousness, its typo-ridden letters and its poor diligence in corresponding with people on the CELTA course. According to this CELTA candidate, all other candidates for the TBI CELTA course had complained of TBI’s errors and delays too. This doesn’t surprise us, as TBI has been on a downward slope for years, but it is interesting to hear it independently confirmed again.

Sun Shan’s earlier posts on Dave’s are also interesting in revealing the deceptive and dishonest methods TBI use to attract in new teachers with English degrees. Back in late March he was feeling much happier about TBI:

Joined: 28 Mar 2013
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 11:23 am    Post subject: Thoughts on TBI & Bandung? Or other? BA English & CE Reply with quote

Hi guys! 

I’m just about to finish my BA English and Linguistics degree, and have registered for the CELTA course in July. 

I’ve been offered an interview with TBI and the current options are Bandung and Jakarta. I’ve been to China, Hong Kong & Thailand before but prefer Bandung at this point as it seems a like a good place to start having never been to Indonesia (I like bit cities but Jakarta seems a bit hectic). 

What are people’s thoughts about TBI as an employer & Bandung as a destination? Or is there any other good employers? 

I know it’s annoying for people with a non-English based degree as they can’t apply, but this does this put me in a good postion to work with a company like TBI (whom seem quite professional).

  This thread on Dave’s gives us a good insight into how TBI is trying to lure teachers with the right degrees these days. Their sales pitch seems to be based on promising to support teachers to get a CELTA, which is really just cross-promotion, as the CELTA courses are a nice money spinner for them. It is also seems to be based on feeding teachers the line that: 

   You are so lucky to have the right degree so you can work for TBI! Other teachers without the right degree are so unlucky by comparison.

   The truth, of course, is that TBI is desperate for teachers with the right degree. They are stocked full of illegal teachers working on VKUs and getting flown back and forth to Singapore. Wall Street is attracting all the teachers with English degrees, leaving TBI in the dust. 

   Then things got even weirder. Sun Shan discovered this blog and asked questions about it. At this point they dragged David Bradbury posing as “Chezal” out of the woodwork, and for the 123rd time, “Chezal” started pimping TBI (even though ‘she’ claims not to have worked for them since 2008). In a typical “Chezal” move she attacks another user who disagrees with her (pity poor Plumpy Nut) and the goes on to pimp TBI Bandung, where Luke Preece’s most spineless stooge Scott Martin has just regained control of TBI Riau after poor Ratna became the latest victim of Preece. Dave “Chezal” Bradbury mouths a lot of Luke Preece’s favorite opinions such as how wonderful it is to live in a foresaken kampung in “the hills of Bandung” (where Luke has built his concrete house!)


Joined: 25 Feb 2009
Posts: 123

PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not sure what Plumpy Nut has against Indonesia but I love it. I’ve lived here on and off since 2004 and don’t find it a hell hole to work in. Any place is what you make it. There are some lovely places around Bandung area. 

If I had the choice I would choose Bandung. Many of the teachers that work at TBI Dago live up in the hills of Bandung. My friend worked at TBI in Bandung for 3 years and loved her time in Bandung. It’s cheaper and cooler than Jakarta. While I’m living in Jakarta at the moment I would jump at the chance to move to Bandung. 

While I’ve never worked for TBI Bandung I used to work for TBI Medan. They were the most professional ESL school I worked in while I was teaching ESL in Indonesia. They actually give professional development unlike some other schools and will also give you the option of doing the add on courses of the CELTA like the young learners. Many of which are held in Bandung. 

I say go for it and head for Bandung!

  “Chezal” (whose biography reads exactly like David Bradbury’s, right down to meeting her Indonesian husband while at TBI Medan) then proceeds to turn against us and this blog for the umpteenth time:


Joined: 25 Feb 2009
Posts: 123

PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 5:40 am    Post subject: Yawn. Reply with quote

Ragil wrote: 

Thoughts anyone?

Yawn. I can’t believe he is still posting a year on. If you look at the lack of comments it suggests that nobody else really cares about this ranting either. 

I don’t know who the person is who is writing but I would warrant a guess that he’s some bored and miserable mid aged expat with an axe to grind. He obviously has nothing else going on in his life. I don’t see why he cares he no longer works there so move on. There is more to life than axe grinding.

In short, as always on Dave’s, TBI management use a supposedly objective forum to pimp TBI under a couple of aliases (Wall Street and EF don’t need to resort to such dirt-cheap tactics) and to try and tear down anyone who criticizes their tacky, mafia-run school. But this story has a happy ending. Within a month TBI’s lack of professionalism was all too evident to “Sun Shan” and he was thinking about doing his CELTA somewhere else. They really are a bunch of rank amateurs.

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