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Classroom Confidential

Stories from inside the classroom

So you Want to Teach English in Japan?

Hey, kids! Welcome to our web site all about riding the gravy train in Japan. What's that you say? I can make money just by existing, by simply showing up and speaking English?! Yep, you sure can! Our site is dedicated to all you carbon blobs out there. Learn how to tie a tie and nod your head thoughtfully and you're in!

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:

Japan: 

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.

Japan: 

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.

Japan: 

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:

Japan: 

Nichii Gakkan Buys Gaba

As reported in the Nihon Keizai Shimbun and ELT News, Nichii Gakkan, a medical and educational services company, will purchase Gaba's stock and make it a wholly-owned subsidiary:

Japan: 

Open Thread: Don't Worry, Be Happy

I had been meaning to write about this earlier, but given the way events are unfolding in the Fukushima nuclear crisis, an article published in May in the Japan Times about an ALT returning to finish his contract isn't so outdated.

On one hand, it's admirable that this guy and the other ALTs decided to stick around and finish their contracts. But on the other hand, I wonder if they are not fools for willfully living so close to a nuclear reactor that has melted down.

The University of Nova?

The last I checked, April 1st is still a few months away, but that's the question the Yomiuri shimbun asks in a brief article about G.communication's attempt at running a university.

Robots in the Classroom

Some time ago I took a look at the rise of English lessons offered online. With eikaiwa in ruins after the collapse of Nova, online lessons were slowly taking off by offering cheap lessons any time you wanted. Now it seems that South Korea has upped the ante and Japan must certainly be green with envy--South Korea has introduced robot English teachers into the classroom:

Japan: 

Eikoh Buys Shane

Cram school operator, Eikoh Inc., has bought Shane English School.

Cram school operator Eikoh Inc. said Friday it has acquired Shane English School to strengthen its English-language education for elementary school children ahead of the planned compulsory teaching of the language for fifth- and sixth-graders.

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