Neo-Nova

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MrX
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Re: Neo-Nova

Unread post by MrX » Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:26 pm

Japandy wrote:I did my Masters dissertation on emotional burnout in eikaiwa instructors. My primary research would have so many more examples had I been doing it now! It is hard to fathom how they can motivate themselves enough to get the students they need to make a liveable wage. It sounds like a total sweatshop.
They're not really looking to hire people who are worried about getting a liveable wage, and never have been. Japan might be getting more and more expensive and everything, but the people running Nova now, especially JMH, are quite happy to hire graduates who are fresh out of university and have never made much money before, and pay them just about enough to cover travel and living expenses and maybe a bit extra. Various manuals do say that instructors are supposed to adapt and personalise their lessons, but in actual fact all the skill that's required is the ability to follow the steps on a lesson plan so why pay anything like a proper professional wage just to do that? Like Saruhashi when he became obsessed with expanding Nova everywhere, Inayoshi and co are more interested in continually opening more schools than providing a good standard of teaching, which they wouldn't know how to do anyway. They do offer a little extra money (a "skill allowance") for people they acknowledge as reasonably capable when they renew their contracts, but I think they would prefer it if virtually all their instructors went home after a year so that they can spend the money on gimmicks like iPads and drinks bars for new schools, and stupid online lessons with animations - which are now offered free on the Nova website because no one wanted to pay for them.
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Re: Neo-Nova

Unread post by SamhainP8 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:50 pm

On Saturday night I saw a bloke that I used to work with every now and then 5 years ago who had been working for Nova for 5+ years prior to that, doing a lesson in the local ‘fish bowl’ branch. :jaw:
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Re: Neo-Nova

Unread post by MrX » Tue Nov 01, 2011 10:00 pm

SamhainP8 wrote:On Saturday night I saw a bloke that I used to work with every now and then 5 years ago who had been working for Nova for 5+ years prior to that, doing a lesson in the local ‘fish bowl’ branch. :jaw:
He's back at Nova, in other words? Inexplicable as it may seem, some people do go back. But maybe there won't be so many doing that when the new pay conditions kick in.
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Re: Neo-Nova

Unread post by SamhainP8 » Tue Nov 01, 2011 10:19 pm

MrX wrote:
SamhainP8 wrote:On Saturday night I saw a bloke that I used to work with every now and then 5 years ago who had been working for Nova for 5+ years prior to that, doing a lesson in the local ‘fish bowl’ branch. :jaw:
He's back at Nova, in other words? Inexplicable as it may seem, some people do go back. But maybe there won't be so many doing that when the new pay conditions kick in.
I don't know his story but I'd hazard a guess that he never left!
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Re: Neo-Nova

Unread post by Wastedatwork » Sat Nov 19, 2011 3:58 pm

Does anyone know whether the nova mm centre is still running? I worked there many, many moons ago - for about five minutes.

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Re: Neo-Nova

Unread post by MrX » Mon Nov 21, 2011 12:08 pm

Wastedatwork wrote:Does anyone know whether the nova mm centre is still running? I worked there many, many moons ago - for about five minutes.
Yes, but in a different location.
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Re: Neo-Nova

Unread post by inflames » Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:31 pm

One interesting tidbit about Nova. They lied to new people who arrived in October. The contracts for new instructors changed in October. People who came over were told they had a salary fixed at a certain amount (that wouldn't change depending on the number of students). They show up and not only is their salary less than promised, but now it varies based on the number of students. Gotta love it!

"Hi, welcome to your first day. As part of your orientation, here's your new contract and salary information, which is substantially different in a negative way than we had promised. Please remember to treat us with respect and honor the contract, unlike us."

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Re: Neo-Nova

Unread post by MrX » Thu Nov 24, 2011 2:20 am

inflames wrote:One interesting tidbit about Nova. They lied to new people who arrived in October. The contracts for new instructors changed in October. People who came over were told they had a salary fixed at a certain amount (that wouldn't change depending on the number of students).
Well, it is kind of true. Depends on how you look at it. The Base salary and various allowances will always stay the same, but together they probably never add up to whatever figure JMH said the instructors would get. Weaselly, isn't it?
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Re: Neo-Nova

Unread post by inflames » Thu Nov 24, 2011 2:26 am

MrX wrote:
inflames wrote:One interesting tidbit about Nova. They lied to new people who arrived in October. The contracts for new instructors changed in October. People who came over were told they had a salary fixed at a certain amount (that wouldn't change depending on the number of students).
Well, it is kind of true. Depends on how you look at it. The Base salary and various allowances will always stay the same, but together they probably never add up to whatever figure JMH said the instructors would get. Weaselly, isn't it?
According to people (including one of the instructors) they were given a salary amount they would receive per month (before they came to Japan). The recruiting information at the time said it was a fixed amount. They came over and got told that this was no longer true, that their salary would depend on how many students they had and their minimum salary would be substantially less than they were promised. Nice first day of work.

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Re: Neo-Nova

Unread post by MrX » Thu Nov 24, 2011 10:40 am

inflames wrote:
MrX wrote:
inflames wrote:One interesting tidbit about Nova. They lied to new people who arrived in October. The contracts for new instructors changed in October. People who came over were told they had a salary fixed at a certain amount (that wouldn't change depending on the number of students).
Well, it is kind of true. Depends on how you look at it. The Base salary and various allowances will always stay the same, but together they probably never add up to whatever figure JMH said the instructors would get. Weaselly, isn't it?
According to people (including one of the instructors) they were given a salary amount they would receive per month (before they came to Japan). The recruiting information at the time said it was a fixed amount. They came over and got told that this was no longer true, that their salary would depend on how many students they had and their minimum salary would be substantially less than they were promised. Nice first day of work.
It's hardly surprising, coming from the same people who said they would employ all the ex-NOVA Corporation employees in principle, and then kept increasing the ratio of students to instructors they felt they needed to teach them (40 students:1 instructor, then 60:1, 80:1, and so on) so that a lot of people were not in fact given jobs. They would probably rather spend the money on iPads, posters that aren't posted, new textbooks that hardly anyone will buy (French Diplomat, anyone?) and new branches in Aichi. Of course, the message will be, "don't complain if you're not making as much money as we said you would, it's your own fault for not motivating enough students to reserve and show up for your classes."
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Re: Neo-Nova

Unread post by MrX » Sun Dec 04, 2011 12:54 am

According to glossy colour flyers that were distributed in the spring, NOVA had 510 schools open across Japan. According to a new batch of flyers, there are now just 220. Wonder what's happened...
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Re: Neo-Nova

Unread post by » Mon Dec 05, 2011 11:53 am

MrX wrote:According to glossy colour flyers that were distributed in the spring, NOVA had 510 schools open across Japan. According to a new batch of flyers, there are now just 220. Wonder what's happened...
There were NEVER anywhere near 510 branches in the new Nova. They counted every juku etc. that had a ginganet machine sitting idly in the corner and a Nova sticker on the window as a "branch". This grossly overinflated the numbers.

Imagine if a bank included every ATM machine located throughout Japan (including convenience stores, shopping centers etc.) as a "branch". Their competition would immediately complain about it.

It is yet another example of the dishonesty of the executives at Nova.
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Re: Neo-Nova

Unread post by MrX » Mon Dec 05, 2011 8:07 pm

∞ wrote:There were NEVER anywhere near 510 branches in the new Nova. They counted every juku etc. that had a ginganet machine sitting idly in the corner and a Nova sticker on the window as a "branch". This grossly overinflated the numbers.

Imagine if a bank included every ATM machine located throughout Japan (including convenience stores, shopping centers etc.) as a "branch". Their competition would immediately complain about it.
That might very well be what happened, then.
It is yet another example of the dishonesty of the executives at Nova.
Those bankruptcy trustees really did hand Nova over to a bunch of diamond geezers, didn't they.
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Re: Neo-Nova

Unread post by mfgrape » Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:23 am

One thing I've noticed after reading all this crap about the new contracts you all are being offered and one which has only been briefly discussed I think and will become a sensitive issue is the student numbers from the branch's perspective.
The fresh off the boat newbie doesn't always draw in the same amount of gullible students as a seasoned old timer.
I'd encourage instructors considering the new contract to ask what guarantees they intend to receive when the staff under pressure from their managers will more than likely choose to fill classes in a way that maximizes branch performance.
My guess is that most haven't even considered the problem or have they???

Good luck old timers still hanging on at that company! You're gonna need it.

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Re: Neo-Nova

Unread post by inflames » Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:49 pm

I can see instructors getting quite pissed off when sent to a new branch - there are no students, so that's the equivalent of a huge pay cut right there.

Some instructors had e-mailed their manager with questions about the contract and I saw the reply e-mail. One of the comments literally was "there are 5 students at my branch total" and the reply was something like "and the question is?"

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Re: Neo-Nova

Unread post by MrX » Fri Dec 09, 2011 4:57 pm

inflames wrote:I can see instructors getting quite pissed off when sent to a new branch - there are no students, so that's the equivalent of a huge pay cut right there.

Some instructors had e-mailed their manager with questions about the contract and I saw the reply e-mail. One of the comments literally was "there are 5 students at my branch total" and the reply was something like "and the question is?"
It's not hard to guess the thinking going on there - "if you want to work in a branch with more students, go out and find some." That's always been the mentality, pretty much - find ways to blame the instructors for anything they're complaining about.
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Re: Neo-Nova

Unread post by Mogura » Fri Dec 09, 2011 5:25 pm

MrX wrote:
inflames wrote:I can see instructors getting quite pissed off when sent to a new branch - there are no students, so that's the equivalent of a huge pay cut right there.

Some instructors had e-mailed their manager with questions about the contract and I saw the reply e-mail. One of the comments literally was "there are 5 students at my branch total" and the reply was something like "and the question is?"
It's not hard to guess the thinking going on there - "if you want to work in a branch with more students, go out and find some." That's always been the mentality, pretty much - find ways to blame the instructors for anything they're complaining about.
If I was managing an Eikaiwa school, I would establish a system tying year-end bonuses to students successfully recruited. A 6-month committment gets you 4,000 yen, a 12-month committment gets you 10,000 yen. There would be no cap. If you manage to hustle and bring in 100 students (on 12-month contracts), then your bonus is 1,000,000 yen...
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Re: Neo-Nova

Unread post by MacGyver » Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:32 pm

Mogura wrote:If I was managing an Eikaiwa school, I would establish a system tying year-end bonuses to students successfully recruited. A 6-month committment gets you 4,000 yen, a 12-month committment gets you 10,000 yen. There would be no cap. If you manage to hustle and bring in 100 students (on 12-month contracts), then your bonus is 1,000,000 yen...
I can't comment on the exact nature of the commissions but don't some schools already do this?
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Re: Neo-Nova

Unread post by angryboy » Thu Dec 15, 2011 9:47 pm

MacGyver wrote: I can't comment on the exact nature of the commissions but don't some schools already do this?
Supposedly yes but I don`t know of any that pay up a decent amount.
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Re: Neo-Nova

Unread post by MonkeyMagic » Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:28 pm

Shawn gets to have his say in this article.
Four years after 'Nova shock,' eikaiwa is down but not out Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/fl20111220zg.html
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Re: Neo-Nova

Unread post by MrX » Mon Jan 30, 2012 3:54 pm

MonkeyMagic wrote:Shawn gets to have his say in this article.
Four years after 'Nova shock,' eikaiwa is down but not out Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/fl20111220zg.html
Hrm. They ran an article a couple of years back about NOVA and there was a very similar comment about the quality of teaching improving because the short-termers had all quit:
The instructor adds that he has seen the level of professionalism and the quality of teaching improve in the last few years, with the bankruptcy having weeded out a lot of backpackers and short-termers whose teaching skills were of questionable quality.

"A lot of instructors with old Nova were fresh out of university and here for a year of fun and frolics before going back to their home countries to start a 'proper' career," he says. "Most of these scurried off after the bankruptcy, so the majority of those remaining are those with a longer-term investment in the country such as family or property."
(Japan Times, Dec 20th 2011)
"The bankruptcy shook off a lot of the frat boys and the people just out of college looking to have fun for a year," said one teacher, who spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing a reprimand. "The teaching at Nova has much improved because the staff that have remained tend to have a longer-term investment in this country.
(Japan Times, May 4th 2010)

Kind of looks like they spoke to the same person again to me, and whoever they are they're talking crap. The teaching is probably worse than it ever was, the management certainly is. Incidentally, the JMH/NOVA management's latest genius idea is to post student feedback on the NOVA instructors' website, and the two comments so far are complaints about instructors checking their mobile phone email in class and saying "That's what I already told you" in bad Japanese if a student wants to confirm something.
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Re: Neo-Nova

Unread post by mfgrape » Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:31 am

The short-termers may have already quit. Not saying that any of the long-timers are better. In some cases they stayed on because they have families like those at my branch.
However, looking at their hiring practices today (usually holiday visa holders and those already with visa's that have yet to expire) I don't think their point about short-timers holds any water.

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Re: Neo-Nova

Unread post by inflames » Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:46 am

So apparently kids are being put into new levels. The catch is that, while instructors are being told levels are levels, parents are told levels are years.

So when an instructor checks "yukiko" (an imaginary Nova kids student) into level 1 despite spending 2 years ignoring the teacher in a Nova kids class, yukiko's parents are going to come and bitch at the staff about why their little angel spent 2 years at Nova yet got ranked at less than 1 year of exposure to English.

The end result will be one of the following (maybe multiple!):
Yukiko will be put into a level based on her year of study, not her English. This will be done by the branch staff, despite her inability to answer "what's your name?" as she instead decides to probe the instructor's ass.
Yukiko's parents will complain then she'll quit
A memo will be sent to instructors. The gist will be that you all suck and that the New Nova Kids CATs, which you were trained for (by the motherfucker with the most cum on his face in the prefecture - note this must be a dude - as this is the only way to be a "trainer" at the new Nova) was administered incorrectly and it's all your damn fault. The closing line will be "Fuck you from personnel" There'll be an attachment for you to sign in which you apologize for the mistakes and agree to a 20% lower salary as penitence (note: not signing will result in some cum-covered guy asking at your branch why you're a bad instructor and haven't signed).

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Re: Neo-Nova

Unread post by AsahiSupaSpy » Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:56 pm

inflames wrote:So apparently kids are being put into new levels. The catch is that, while instructors are being told levels are levels, parents are told levels are years.

So when an instructor checks "yukiko" (an imaginary Nova kids student) into level 1 despite spending 2 years ignoring the teacher in a Nova kids class, yukiko's parents are going to come and bitch at the staff about why their little angel spent 2 years at Nova yet got ranked at less than 1 year of exposure to English.

The end result will be one of the following (maybe multiple!):
Yukiko will be put into a level based on her year of study, not her English. This will be done by the branch staff, despite her inability to answer "what's your name?" as she instead decides to probe the instructor's ass.
Yukiko's parents will complain then she'll quit
A memo will be sent to instructors. The gist will be that you all suck and that the New Nova Kids CATs, which you were trained for (by the motherfucker with the most cum on his face in the prefecture - note this must be a dude - as this is the only way to be a "trainer" at the new Nova) was administered incorrectly and it's all your damn fault. The closing line will be "Fuck you from personnel" There'll be an attachment for you to sign in which you apologize for the mistakes and agree to a 20% lower salary as penitence (note: not signing will result in some cum-covered guy asking at your branch why you're a bad instructor and haven't signed).
Come on, don't sugarcoat it for us. Tell us how you really feel.

The memo that had me putting in my resignation was a couple of years back, soon after they had introduced 5 student lessons and the possibility of students booking into any level below their own (eg a 3 goes into a 7A). It basically said "We have regularly introduced measures to make your jobs harder and harder to do, at the same time reducing your salaries. Oh, and the increased number of complaints from students is all your fault so please work harder. We won't provide training or new materials or anything it is simply up to you to be better."
Do NOT arrest this man.

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Re: Neo-Nova

Unread post by mfgrape » Fri Mar 09, 2012 1:21 am

Oh come now. I'm sure they were concerned about the product.
I mean, that's why they hired the best instructors possible and trained them to be able to adapt their lessons to 5-person classes.
There is no way that Nova just decided one day that they would just impose new student numbers on staff without preparing them for the different teaching methods.
And, on top of that, I'm sure upper management proved their worth by providing you with every thing you would need to instruct a competent lesson like they did at old Nova!

So stop blaming the company for your own shortcomings.
I'm sure everyone in upper level positions did everything and anything they could do to ensure that the transitions went as smoothly as possible.

Well, either way, it's your fault for not trying harder since any one above you demonstrated their worthiness in more than enough ways, even if they never had to prove their worth.

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Re: Neo-Nova and the Stupid Things they do.

Unread post by » Sat Apr 07, 2012 9:31 am

Anyone seen the "Nova Usagi Instant Noodles" yet?

I hear that they are being delivered to branches but I haven't seen them yet.
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Re: Neo-Nova

Unread post by Kawasako » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:26 am

Does Nova still use ginga net lessons by any chance? I have a bunch of the machines in boxes taking up too much space in my office! Free for the taking if anyone wants them.
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Re: Neo-Nova

Unread post by Japandy » Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:45 pm

My long-suffering former colleague told me wages have been reduced again. Apparently teachers are on a low base salary with incentives based on how many students they can attract. Sounds like the are looking for ways to cut salaries even further.

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Re: Neo-Nova

Unread post by SamhainP8 » Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:36 am

R. O. C. K. S. I. N. H. E. A. D. :eyes:
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Re: Neo-Nova

Unread post by MrX » Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:58 am

Japandy wrote:My long-suffering former colleague told me wages have been reduced again. Apparently teachers are on a low base salary with incentives based on how many students they can attract. Sounds like the are looking for ways to cut salaries even further.
Is this very recent, i.e. in the past few days or weeks? A few months ago there was a bit of talk here on the same topic.
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