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English in Japan

If you're interested in discussion on the issues of the day in Japan, then you'll want to watch/listen to Tokyo on Fire. A subset of the show is Brand 2020. A recent episode explores how English is taught in Japan.

If you're familiar with teaching English in Japan, then you've heard this discussion before.

A couple of points:

How Canadian Banks are Like Eikaiwas

So, I'm going through my news feeds, checking up on the news, when I come across this CBC news story about the nasty sales tactics of Canada's banks. It's definitely scandalous, but I couldn't help but think that they ripped a few pages out of the eikaiwa sales playbook.

The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

Although I haven't been active updating this blog since the collapse of Nova and GEOS, I do get email and questions about what has been going on in eikaiwa. It turns out, not much has changed.


The Working Poor in Kitakyushu City

Many moons ago, when I had started having thoughts of working abroad, Japan was attractive. While the JET Programme offered the best salary, the large eikaiwas offered decent pay. You wouldn't get rich, but you could pay your bills, travel around Japan (or SE Asia), and maybe even save some money. You could live comfortably.

Christmas Cheer

It’s been a long time between posts. Sadly, somebody at the office decided to promote me, and I am also the proud father of two rambunctious kids.

Anyway, as Christmas and the New Year are also upon us, a couple of newsworthy tidbits that should make you feel a warm and fuzzy all over.

The first is that Nozumu Sahashi, Nova's former president who was sentenced to jail for embezzling funds in a desperate attempt to keep the company afloat, had his appeal rejected:


Berlitz Loses its Lawsuit Over Striking Teachers

After three years in court, the Tokyo District Court has ruled that there was nothing illegal about Berlitz teachers engaging in strike action for a raise and bonus payment.

In 2009, Berlitz sued a number of its teachers saying their rotating strikes were illegal and damaging the company.


Four Years After the "Nova Shock"

The Japan Times has a mini-retrospective on Nova four years after its collapse, with yours truly given a chance to flog Nova's corpse.

For added measure, there's also a piece on the horrors of working for Gaba.

According to William, his troubles began back home in the States when he was interviewed for a teaching position at Gaba by webcam.


GEOS Ireland Manager Awarded €30k Compensation

This is for you GEOS fanatics that can't get enough of the defunct school:

A JAPANESE-owned English language school has been ordered to pay one of its managers compensation of €30,000 and to increase her salary in line with that of a male counterpart.

The school, trading as GEOS Ireland, was found to have discriminated against Nerea Medrano on a number of grounds, including gender and family status.

Ichihashi: The Movie

From the Facebook page Please Stop the Sale of Tatsuya Ichihashi's Book comes this:

Shilling for Interac

A few days ago a reader commented on Interac's odd (new?) hiring scheme: Refer a friend to Interac and they'll make a donation of up to 500,000 yen (in your name?) to UNICEF.

Here's the pitch from the Interac newsletter:



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