What's happened to Eikaiwa?

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Re: What's happened to Eikaiwa?

Unread post by sirwanksalot » Wed Jul 01, 2015 7:20 pm

inflames wrote: and the other people actually want something from them.
Those are the students I hope to cater to. I can't stand people who just want to chat. Just not a fit with my personality. Anyway most of my students are kids which I've managed to move all of my classes to Saturdays. Got 21 students at the moment. Each one of them is very teachable. I'm happy and I assume they are happy as well since they keep throwing their money my way.

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Re: What's happened to Eikaiwa?

Unread post by scanman » Fri Jul 10, 2015 11:16 am

Yes, in the hay days there were many more foreigners earning reasonable wages and enjoying their time in Japan, with quite a few teaching positions open. I guess the world financial crisis, which occured in 2008, had an impact on the the teaching industry, along with other sectors.

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Re: What's happened to Eikaiwa?

Unread post by T.D. » Fri Jul 10, 2015 11:42 pm

I got out of Japan around 2007 right when everything was imploding, but I was still doing quite well at the time. I heard people saying that alot of schools and agencies hire English speaking foreigners (from Russia I think?). Anyone else hear about this?

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Re: What's happened to Eikaiwa?

Unread post by senseiman » Wed Jul 15, 2015 12:45 am

What are the options for someone in North America/Europe/Australia etc to come over here these days anyway?

When I came over I remember having a few places to apply for with a reasonable chance of getting a job - GEOS, NOVA, AEON, ECC, JET program. GEOS and NOVA are now gone, and I am guessing the others aren`t hiring as much overseas as they used to, if at all, but I haven`t been looking at ads or anything so I`m just curious.
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Re: What's happened to Eikaiwa?

Unread post by wilde_oscar » Wed Jul 15, 2015 10:55 am

JET, now in its 27th year, is still going.

There were nearly four and a half thousand participants in 2014 according to their website.

http://www.jetprogramme.org/documents/s ... tats_e.pdf

Edited to add 'thousand' to the number of JETs this year.
Last edited by wilde_oscar on Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What's happened to Eikaiwa?

Unread post by lordCONAN » Wed Jul 15, 2015 7:33 pm

senseiman wrote:What are the options for someone in North America/Europe/Australia etc to come over here these days anyway?

When I came over I remember having a few places to apply for with a reasonable chance of getting a job - GEOS, NOVA, AEON, ECC, JET program. GEOS and NOVA are now gone, and I am guessing the others aren`t hiring as much overseas as they used to, if at all, but I haven`t been looking at ads or anything so I`m just curious.
AEON used to have permanent recruiting offices in the US, Canada, and Australia, but they've closed all of them except for the 2 in the US (east and west coast). Not sure how indicative that is of eikaiwa, but it seems like they're not able to fill their positions as fast as they used to.

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Re: What's happened to Eikaiwa?

Unread post by wilde_oscar » Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:52 am

JET peaked at around 6,200 in 2002 but 4.478 is still a pretty significant figure. I'd suggest that anyone wanting to come to Japan and have a good chance at reasonable conditions should at least consider JET.
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Re: What's happened to Eikaiwa?

Unread post by lordCONAN » Fri Jul 17, 2015 7:16 am

Our old friend Jake Adelstein ... cause everything he writes is 100% spot on ... Might as well have linked to a kotaku article (scrolls down) what a surprise! They've also done an article about this!

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Re: What's happened to Eikaiwa?

Unread post by lordCONAN » Fri Jul 17, 2015 7:58 pm

Unfortunately Jake is also notoriously known to just make shit up.

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Re: What's happened to Eikaiwa?

Unread post by senseiman » Fri Jul 17, 2015 11:12 pm

lordCONAN wrote: AEON used to have permanent recruiting offices in the US, Canada, and Australia, but they've closed all of them except for the 2 in the US (east and west coast). Not sure how indicative that is of eikaiwa, but it seems like they're not able to fill their positions as fast as they used to.
Interesting. I was actually hired by AEON in 2001 in Vancouver, their `office` was actually just the living room of the recruiter`s apartment. If they can`t afford even that anymore they must be hurting.

GEOS was a bit of a contrast (I was hired by them in 1999, also in Vancouver. Not sure if I`m the only person ever to have been hired overseas by both companies, kind of meaningless now but anyway....). They had a sizeable office right downtown and also a pretty big mansion in an expensive neighborhood where they did the training. Must have cost millions.

All gone now.....
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Re: What's happened to Eikaiwa?

Unread post by Inakanosensei » Mon Jul 20, 2015 4:45 am

Langslave wrote:I may not have been here as long as him, but only a little shorter, but I don't recall hearing anything about Yak thugs beating up Nova teachers for wanting to unionise. Not saying it didn't happen, but "interesting stories" would get from Hokkaido to Okinawa by the next day with the old in-house rumour mill.
I agree with you. Those kind of stories would have gotten around. Back in the late 1990s I was one of the few members of the Nova union in the Kanto area and I personally knew the union president at the time. There were so few of us we got to know each other. I heard about some sleazy stuff that Nova management did but he never mentioned anything about Yakuza beating up people. I don't know much about what happened before or after that time, but I kind of doubt that Nova would have Yakuza beat people up. I would want to see some proof before believing that.

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Re: What's happened to Eikaiwa?

Unread post by redpower » Thu Aug 20, 2015 10:24 am

I was in Japan from 1999-2004. 6 months at NOVA, 3 and half years at ECC, a year as a glorified ALT and a year as a door mat at Shogakukan homepal. From 1999-2003 I seem to remember that the minimum salary was 250K a month and this was for immigration. Then I think in 2003 this changed and you began to see jobs paying less that 250K. Dispatch companies became more important in ALT gigs and I can remember seeing jobs in the international centre for 1500 yen an hour.

The halcyon days of eikaiwa were before I got to Japan. There was an old timer at ECC who worked 20 hours a week, got more allowances than everyone else and paid more. It might be apocryphal but there were stories of recruiter waiting at airports and stopping people to offer them work.
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Re: What's happened to Eikaiwa?

Unread post by Edogaijin » Wed Apr 13, 2016 7:39 pm

Put up my prices this year for the first time last month.
12 new students since. Mostly 6 year olds.
Some from the local International Kindergarten.
With the International kids I put the price up more than 30% and they were still happy to sign up.
Still only run my school as a side business but still going after 16 years.
Created LINE groups for each class and upload video footage of what they are doing in class.
Seems to be a hit.
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Near bustling kiddy neighborhoods.
The eki-mae location was a disaster... Got out of that when the rent went up.
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Re: What's happened to Eikaiwa?

Unread post by allblacks » Tue Apr 19, 2016 11:19 pm

Awesome. Congrats on that.

NTJ (My company) been incorporated as a company for a full year now. Had to make some changes late last year but for the most part pretty good. Unavoidable tax crap of course but sorted now.
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Re: What's happened to Eikaiwa?

Unread post by Winermute » Fri Apr 22, 2016 8:14 pm

Wow, forgot all about this place, came across it in an old bookmarks folder. My time in Japan was 2003 - 2010. First 4 years and a bit with Nova at the MM Centre until the bitter end (why I signed up here), a year and a half out in the wilderness chasing odd jobs and the remaining time from 2008 - 2010 at the Osaka YMCA. I look back now a lot more fondly than at the time I was there. I can say it was a lot of fun and a fantastic life experience working at Nova. No where since can I think of a company and workplace where you got to work with so many different people with so many different cultural norms and points of views. I actually burned out at the YMCA due to a feud with the manager there and went home to Australia. In way it was good because had I stayed I would have become jaded and hating Japan in general.

In a government job now. Pays well and great benefits. That said, I miss Japan a lot but glad I didn't end up a lifer in the English teaching sector like some of my friends did. Nothing against the work itself but the general lack of job security as you get older and nil social benefits to speak of always worried me and was the main driver to come back. Pay-wise, I made in the area of 280K at MM, peaking at 300K when it all collapsed. I made a tonne working odd jobs, my best month was 600K but the hours were killing me. YMCA was decent, in the vicinity of 280K again. I don't know how people do it on 230K. Japan is cheap to live in but still, that's bare bones. Glad the forum is still here, was a great place to vent after Nova's collapse.

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Re: What's happened to Eikaiwa?

Unread post by Privileged » Sat Apr 23, 2016 11:19 am

I miss the active forums too. Part of the cycle of life, I want posts from the Japan/eikaiwa newbies! Both to laugh at and to relive.

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Re: What's happened to Eikaiwa?

Unread post by Inakanosensei » Fri May 06, 2016 5:20 am

I am interested to hear what is happening with eikaiwa, too. My last five and a half years in Japan were as an ALT, which might or might not be defined as eikaiwa, but I worked in a juku and eikaiwa schools for about 14 years before that. I was a lifer, but I am back in the U.S. struggling through a university program (as a rather mature student) so I can get a better job. Things had gone pretty far down hill for many dispatch ALTs and eikaiwa teachers when I left Japan in late 2011, but I am curious what has happened since.

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Re: What's happened to Eikaiwa?

Unread post by Shawn » Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:57 pm

I decided to update my blog:

http://www.letsjapan.org/more-things-ch ... -stay-same

Seems that working conditions in eikaiwa are still terrible.

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Re: What's happened to Eikaiwa?

Unread post by sirwanksalot » Thu Mar 16, 2017 2:46 am

During my brief stint in the greater Tokyo area I was hired by shane and went through two days of training. I was misled the whole time by the dorky Drew Carry lookalike Hiring Manager. The straw though was I was offered two different days off than what we agreed to verbally when I was hired. I walked away instantly only to return as a part timer. I never showed up for my first shift moved back to Aichi and worked at a Yakiniku as a cook/dishwasher. The Yakiniku job paid 900 an hour and was way more satisfying to do then working at Shane would have been. In the six months since I started teaching again I have 18 of my own students on Saturdays (money day) am teaching company classes in the evenings for 4500 an hour four days a week and will return to the University job I left last year to work in the mornings. I've also gotten factory space to make surfboards again. Thanks Shane for being so repulsive to make me return to where i have friends and connections.

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Re: What's happened to Eikaiwa?

Unread post by BergKatse » Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:56 am

I know this isn't the topic of this thread, but I'm gagging to know more about hiring factory space. Do you have your own self-contained unit, or just a corner of someone else's work space? How big is it, and what do you pay in rent? Is it just a space, or does it come with some fixtures and fittings?

Sorry for the digression. I'm not thinking of renting a factory or anything; it's just that this kind of thing fascinates me. That's why I'm a terrible drinking buddy... every place I go to, all I can think about is the rent, the floor space, and how they're making their money.

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Re: What's happened to Eikaiwa?

Unread post by allblacks » Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:03 am

It's been ages since Nova etc went under so good update Shawn. That company doesn't have a good reputation at all from memory. The general union definitely had issues with them. I'll try to find a link to it...
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Re: What's happened to Eikaiwa?

Unread post by Shawn » Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:36 pm

I've been blogging up a storm. :cheers:
Another entry, this time about how Canada's banks are like an eikaiwa.
http://www.letsjapan.org/how-canadian-b ... e-eikaiwas

Direct link to the news story here' http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-c ... -1.4023575

It's shocking how much overlap there is in the way they do business.

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Re: What's happened to Eikaiwa?

Unread post by T.D. » Sat Mar 25, 2017 2:23 am

Shawn, It's not just Canadian banks. Wells Fargo here in the states just got popped for doing the same shit. Nice to see ya updating the blog and breathing a little life back into LJ!!

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Re: What's happened to Eikaiwa?

Unread post by Shawn » Sat Mar 25, 2017 9:01 am

T.D. wrote:
Sat Mar 25, 2017 2:23 am
Shawn, It's not just Canadian banks. Wells Fargo here in the states just got popped for doing the same shit. Nice to see ya updating the blog and breathing a little life back into LJ!!
You're right, but when I read that CBC article, it just looked like an eikaiwa Greatest Hits of doing business. :cheers:

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Re: What's happened to Eikaiwa?

Unread post by senseiman » Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:06 pm

WOW, cool to see the blog being updated again!! I had read those articles about TD bank on CBC last week and had the exact same reaction: GEOS flashback!

If you are back into it, one thing you might want to blog about is a change to the Labor Contracts Act that came into effect in 2013 and likely has major implications for Eikaiwa teachers.

Under the Act anyone on a fixed term contract (such as the 1 year contracts standard in the industry) who has worked for five years with the same employer can demand to be turned into a permanent employee (which the employer must grant).

This on its face is intended to help the precariat stuck in short term contracts be turned into permanent employees. But in practice it is a disaster for everyone on such contracts for two reasons:

1) the law does not apply retroactively to people who have already been employed for five years. Basically the clock started ticking from 2013 when the law came into effect, so the first batch of people eligible to make such demands will gain such right in 2018.

2) the law does not prevent an employer from simply firing or non-renewing someone when they have worked for 4 years and 364 days with the employer.

Because of these two loopholes, everyone working in an Eikaiwa job now who is approaching five years of service is at very high risk of being fired.

This is becoming a battlefield on university campuses right now since a large portion of professors are now on short term contracts rather than in tenured positions like they used to be. The University of Tsukuba summarily announced a few months ago that its entire contract workforce of professors (nearly 3000 people) would not have their contracts renewed once they reached five years, specifically to avoid having to hire them permanently. And pretty much all new positions being advertised in academia are explicitly limited to five year, non renewable terms for this reason.

So the days of those lifer Eikaiwa drones working for AEON or NOVA (or whatever its called now) on 1 year contracts forever are definitely over. Five years and you are out is now the law of the land.
祇園精舎の鐘の聲、諸行無常の響あり。娑羅雙樹の花の色、盛者必衰のことわりをあらはす。おごれる人も久しからず、唯春の夜の夢のごとし。たけき者も遂にほろびぬ、偏に風の前の塵に同じ。

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Re: What's happened to Eikaiwa?

Unread post by Shawn » Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:07 pm

I won't say that I'm back blogging, but just couldn't resist posting the CBC story for its GEOS flashback factor. The contracts and law surrounding them would be a good idea for a post (a lengthy one). I'll need to brush up on the law and probably need to look at a few contracts to understand what has changed, though. As you say, it's not just about eikaiwa; the changes affect hakken staff and anyone on a contract in Japan. I think I read about the changes somewhere on The Japan Times...

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Re: What's happened to Eikaiwa?

Unread post by senseiman » Mon Mar 27, 2017 4:04 pm

Shawn wrote:
Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:07 pm
I won't say that I'm back blogging, but just couldn't resist posting the CBC story for its GEOS flashback factor. The contracts and law surrounding them would be a good idea for a post (a lengthy one). I'll need to brush up on the law and probably need to look at a few contracts to understand what has changed, though. As you say, it's not just about eikaiwa; the changes affect hakken staff and anyone on a contract in Japan. I think I read about the changes somewhere on The Japan Times...
Yes, it is a "everyone in Japan" getting screwed over thing rather than specific to Eikaiwa, but (in addition to my own current job) one of my first thoughts about it were the poor old Eikaiwa lifers who managed to survive NOVA and GEOS going bankrupt but who may now get kicked out by this law designed to help them.

There was an article in the Japan Times last year about it which goes over some of the detail. University unions are up in arms about it so it will likely be in the news a lot more as the 2018 deadline approaches.

Article 18(1) of the Labor Contracts Act is the relevant rule (just FYI):

Article 18 (1) If a Worker whose total contract term of two or more fixed-term
labor contracts (excluding any contract term which has not started yet; the
same applies hereinafter in this Article) concluded with the same Employer
(referred to as the "total contract term" in the next paragraph) exceeds five
years applies for the conclusion of a labor contract without a fixed term before
the date of expiration of the currently effective fixed-term labor contract, to
begin on the day after the said date of expiration, it is deemed that the said
Employer accepts the said application. In this case, the labor conditions that
are the contents of said labor contract without a fixed term are to be the same
as the labor conditions (excluding the contract term) of the currently effective
fixed-term labor contract (excluding parts separately provided for with regard
to the said labor conditions (excluding the contract term)).
祇園精舎の鐘の聲、諸行無常の響あり。娑羅雙樹の花の色、盛者必衰のことわりをあらはす。おごれる人も久しからず、唯春の夜の夢のごとし。たけき者も遂にほろびぬ、偏に風の前の塵に同じ。

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Re: What's happened to Eikaiwa?

Unread post by Shawn » Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:27 pm

Well now, it sounds like I'm being goaded into another blog post. :mrgreen: I'll do some research. If you have any other information or tips, PM me.

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Re: What's happened to Eikaiwa?

Unread post by senseiman » Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:18 pm

Shawn wrote:
Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:27 pm
Well now, it sounds like I'm being goaded into another blog post. :mrgreen: I'll do some research. If you have any other information or tips, PM me.
Yeah, go for it!

Actually I made a mistake, it was Tohoku and not Tsukuba University where the mass layoffs are happening, here is that article in JT about it

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2 ... Nm607hF6M8
祇園精舎の鐘の聲、諸行無常の響あり。娑羅雙樹の花の色、盛者必衰のことわりをあらはす。おごれる人も久しからず、唯春の夜の夢のごとし。たけき者も遂にほろびぬ、偏に風の前の塵に同じ。

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Re: What's happened to Eikaiwa?

Unread post by Inakanosensei » Fri Mar 31, 2017 12:36 pm

I might be doing coursework from home next year and I thought about going back to Japan to work so I can support myself while doing this. Are there many eikaiwa jobs around? Even the not-so-good ones? When I left Japan in late 2011 the ship seemed to be sinking and my salary and working conditions (with Intercrap) seemed to be getting worse year by year. But there is not much work here in this part of Florida, either. Any suggestions, opinions, etc. would be greatly appreciated.

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