Is Eikaiwa dying in Japan?

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Is Eikaiwa dying in Japan?

Unread post by browser » Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:50 am

For quite some time now there have been fewer comments, postings regarding English language schools, teaching in Japan. Is this a sign of the poor economic times or something else? From what I've heard, salaries and conditions have fallen. There appears to be far fewer openings for Eikaiwa teachers now than before. What are your experiences, views?

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Re: Is Eikaiwa dying in Japan?

Unread post by bmore » Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:59 am

The reason that eikaiwa-related posts are down is (I think) because most of the people on this board are no longer in eikaiwa. It certainly seems like salaries for eikaiwa have fallen, though I’m sure many people will point out that this has been the general trend for quite some time.

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Re: Is Eikaiwa dying in Japan?

Unread post by MacGyver » Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:08 pm

If you are referring to comments posted on forums/bulliten boards, I don't frequent any other than this one now but I believe that social media, such as Facebook, has really dented interest in and activity on forums like this one. Surely there is a FB page for eikaiwa related banter?
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Re: Is Eikaiwa dying in Japan?

Unread post by MacGyver » Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:10 pm

bmore wrote:The reason that eikaiwa-related posts are down is (I think) because most of the people on this board are no longer in eikaiwa.
Yeah this is a fair point, certainly related to this board specifically. The long termers are the ones that hang around on this board, and they are also the ones that tend to get out of eikaiwa. Whereas the kind of ppl that work in eikaiwa tend to be short(er) termers and also don't post to boards like this, and if they do, they don't post much or for long.
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Re: Is Eikaiwa dying in Japan?

Unread post by Edogaijin » Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:29 pm

A job ad would get 50 to 80 applicants a few years back...

I posted one the other day. 4 applicants.

One Indian lady 47 who had sent me a resume a year ago as well. (Saitama).
No text in the email just a resume attachment...not updated in 2 years so her age is incorrect.


another Indian in India who is a Native speaker because his teacher was American.
I am a phd student in Education at University of Pune, India. I am going to submit my thesis by the end of March 28.
one point I must mention that my accent is American. I was taught by American teachers. My English is native.

A Brit in Korea who actually has a good resume and experience....(yeah mate come in for an interview tomorrow).

An American who wants me to sponsor him.
I am a native English speaker from the U.S.A. I am getting (a) TESOL Certificate from a course in Hong Kong. Can I >Apply to teach in your company with just a TESOL certificate and no Bachelor degree and still get Visa sponsorship?
Slim pickings...

and I'd usually get 10 Filipinas and a few Africans...... none yet.

I would employ non natives if they could do the job and have a visa.... but they at least have to be able to send a decent email/resume/cover letter....

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Re: Is Eikaiwa dying in Japan?

Unread post by Inakanosensei » Sun Mar 03, 2013 1:44 pm

As someone who barely survived eikaiwa and ALT, I always wondered if this day would come. The wages kept going down and working conditions got worse in many places.

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Re: Is Eikaiwa dying in Japan?

Unread post by steki47 » Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:21 pm

Following the trends on ESL cafe and you can see where the crowds are moving to. SK and China offer better packages, Vietnam still pays surprisingly well. Other SE Asian countries are hit and miss. My friend in Taiwan said the market is saturated with teachers and the birth rate is even lower than in Japan.

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Re: Is Eikaiwa dying in Japan?

Unread post by browser » Mon Mar 04, 2013 6:56 pm

I guess the Tohoku earthquake put a lot of people off coming to Japan. On top of that companies like Nova started to cut salaries and conditions. Also the overall economic downturn added to the industry's contraction. Can't see it picking up any time soon.

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Re: Is Eikaiwa dying in Japan?

Unread post by Junken Master » Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:07 am

You don't hear about the JETS much any more either. Where has everyone disapeared to? (well maybe that's a blessing re the Jets)

I ran a small school from 2007 until 2011. Definitely noticed a difference. When we advertised around Feb / March for the first couple years there was always a lot of interest for new students. In 2010 and 2011 however the interest really started to fall off. I think there was another chap here who was saying the same thing. We were lucly to milk it while we could.

Also maybe its because I'm a bit older now but I just don't hear about many people setting off and working overseas anymore. Maybe the collapse of the pound might have something to do with it this end, and the fact is if you're in a steady job now maybe you don't want to take the risk of losing it any more.

Back in the late 90s, early 2000's it was all the rage to piss from a job you didn't like very much and do something new.

Certainly wouldn't like to repeat my travelling again now - my money wouldn't have gone half as far. And going travelling is what led me to try this teaching in Japan bollocks in the first place.

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Re: Is Eikaiwa dying in Japan?

Unread post by Junken Master » Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:21 am

Inakanosensei wrote:As someone who barely survived eikaiwa and ALT
Yeah I sometimes wonder how I got back without ending up in the nut house! Came close a few times!

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Re: Is Eikaiwa dying in Japan?

Unread post by steki47 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:05 am

Junken Master wrote:Also maybe its because I'm a bit older now but I just don't hear about many people setting off and working overseas anymore.
I am hearing about Americans who see teaching English overseas as an escape plan from a shit job market. Not sure if that would be a great idea for the long haul, though...

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Re: Is Eikaiwa dying in Japan?

Unread post by browser » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:31 am

Perhaps if Language schools advertised job vacancies by telling the truth regarding pay and conditions, then perhaps the situation would worsen. Eg:

No paid public holidays, except New Year.
No sick pay.
No pay between lessons.
No health insurance.
No bonuses.
Deteriorating renewable annual contracts.
Cramped working environment.

:(

steki47

Re: Is Eikaiwa dying in Japan?

Unread post by steki47 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:13 pm

browser wrote:Perhaps if Language schools advertised job vacancies by telling the truth regarding pay and conditions, then perhaps the situation would worsen. Eg:

No paid public holidays, except New Year.
No sick pay.
No pay between lessons.
No health insurance.
No bonuses.
Deteriorating renewable annual contracts.
Cramped working environment.

:(
Back in the US, #4 is not that unusual. And compared to working at Red Lobster or Wal-Mart, it's easier to pay off student loans working eikaiwa.

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Re: Is Eikaiwa dying in Japan?

Unread post by browser » Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:34 am

steki47 wrote:
browser wrote:Perhaps if Language schools advertised job vacancies by telling the truth regarding pay and conditions, then perhaps the situation would worsen. Eg:

No paid public holidays, except New Year.
No sick pay.
No pay between lessons.
No health insurance.
No bonuses.
Deteriorating renewable annual contracts.
Cramped working environment.

:(
Back in the US, #4 is not that unusual. And compared to working at Red Lobster or Wal-Mart, it's easier to pay off student loans working eikaiwa.
I guess you've hit the nail on the head. Yes, working for an Eikaiwa outfit could now be compared to working for Wal Mart or Red Lobster. :)
Last edited by browser on Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Is Eikaiwa dying in Japan?

Unread post by allblacks » Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:41 am

What happened to the comparison to McDonalds? That is what I thought Nova was when I worked there. Branches everywhere. Same menu at each one. Staff wore same uniforms at each branch. And probably particular to Japan; One at every station.

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Re: Is Eikaiwa dying in Japan?

Unread post by browser » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:22 am

allblacks wrote:What happened to the comparison to McDonalds? That is what I thought Nova was when I worked there. Branches everywhere. Same menu at each one. Staff wore same uniforms at each branch. And probably particular to Japan; One at every station.
Perhaps McDonalds is a bit too classy, efficient to compare it to Nova :)

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Re: Is Eikaiwa dying in Japan?

Unread post by steki47 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:34 pm

browser wrote:
allblacks wrote:What happened to the comparison to McDonalds? That is what I thought Nova was when I worked there. Branches everywhere. Same menu at each one. Staff wore same uniforms at each branch. And probably particular to Japan; One at every station.
Perhaps McDonalds is a bit too classy, efficient to compare it to Nova :)
Ignoring the general quality of the food, McD's is an amazing example of efficiency, consistency and marketing strategy.

None of which I would say about Nova. Well, maybe the third.

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Re: Is Eikaiwa dying in Japan?

Unread post by Inakanosensei » Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:04 am

WIth just a quick look at Gaijin pot job ads, there were a couple of eikaiwa or ALT jobs offering more than 25-man. This might not be unusual but I wonder if there might be a bit of a rebound of wages if fewer people are going over to teach eigo, especially in the prefectures close to the nuclear leaks. A few extra man do not make an eikaiwa gig high-paying in my opinion, but every bit helps. Of course, they could also load up the course load on any teachers they are paying more.

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Re: Is Eikaiwa dying in Japan?

Unread post by JD9 » Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:33 am

Inakanosensei wrote:WIth just a quick look at Gaijin pot job ads, there were a couple of eikaiwa or ALT jobs offering more than 25-man. This might not be unusual but I wonder if there might be a bit of a rebound of wages if fewer people are going over to teach eigo, especially in the prefectures close to the nuclear leaks. A few extra man do not make an eikaiwa gig high-paying in my opinion, but every bit helps. Of course, they could also load up the course load on any teachers they are paying more.
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Re: Is Eikaiwa dying in Japan?

Unread post by browser » Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:43 pm

I do believe that most foreigners hired by Eikaiwa schools are not classified as regular workers like their Japanese counterparts. That's why they have to go to the tax office each year to declare their income, earnings. Just like a self-employed person. Whereas, most companies declare their Japanese employees' earnings automatically through the company, without their employees drapsing down to the tax office. That, of course, is on top of the company not paying health insurance for their non-Japanese staff.

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Re: Is Eikaiwa dying in Japan?

Unread post by allblacks » Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:20 pm

You are preaching to the choir here mate. Most of the regulars here are in varying stages of exactly this. Japanese racism towards gaijin employees is not so in your face as other racism. Its stuff like this that makes you want to leave the country. And most people that come here as expats invariably do eventually.

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Re: Is Eikaiwa dying in Japan?

Unread post by browser » Fri Mar 08, 2013 8:50 am

allblacks wrote:You are preaching to the choir here mate. Most of the regulars here are in varying stages of exactly this. Japanese racism towards gaijin employees is not so in your face as other racism. Its stuff like this that makes you want to leave the country. And most people that come here as expats invariably do eventually.
Yes, you are probably right. Also, the Eikaiwa choir has gotten smaller.

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Re: Is Eikaiwa dying in Japan?

Unread post by MacGyver » Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:57 am

browser wrote:I do believe that most foreigners hired by Eikaiwa schools are not classified as regular workers like their Japanese counterparts. That's why they have to go to the tax office each year to declare their income, earnings. Just like a self-employed person. Whereas, most companies declare their Japanese employees' earnings automatically through the company, without their employees drapsing down to the tax office. That, of course, is on top of the company not paying health insurance for their non-Japanese staff.
Foreigners are generally treated as transient workers and as such are generally contract employees. Can't remember what it was like in eikaiwa but I don't remember having to file tax returns. Usually the company files tax returns on the behalf of even contract employees. I also remember hearing a while back that anyone that has a contract renewed more than three times (or was it 3 years?; usually contracts are for a duration of one year but I'm sure there are variations depending on field, company, etc) has to be made permanent (or was it "firmly encouraged"?).
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Re: Is Eikaiwa dying in Japan?

Unread post by browser » Fri Mar 08, 2013 2:02 pm

MacGyver wrote:
browser wrote:I do believe that most foreigners hired by Eikaiwa schools are not classified as regular workers like their Japanese counterparts. That's why they have to go to the tax office each year to declare their income, earnings. Just like a self-employed person. Whereas, most companies declare their Japanese employees' earnings automatically through the company, without their employees drapsing down to the tax office. That, of course, is on top of the company not paying health insurance for their non-Japanese staff.
Foreigners are generally treated as transient workers and as such are generally contract employees. Can't remember what it was like in eikaiwa but I don't remember having to file tax returns. Usually the company files tax returns on the behalf of even contract employees. I also remember hearing a while back that anyone that has a contract renewed more than three times (or was it 3 years?; usually contracts are for a duration of one year but I'm sure there are variations depending on field, company, etc) has to be made permanent (or was it "firmly encouraged"?).
Yes, you are correct. I made a mistake. You need to go to tax office if you have more than one job, which a number of eikaiwa teachers have, had. It's true, as you say, that generally foreigners are treated like transient workers employed under contract. Usually a year, which can be renewed, depending on the circumstances.

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Re: Is Eikaiwa dying in Japan?

Unread post by senseiman » Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:10 pm

Just to return to the question of why there are fewer teachers coming over, salary probably has very little to do with the changing trend, though I agree that it is going down. The biggest factor has to be the fact that the market has changed to the extent that it no longer is economically efficient for big eikaiwa to maintain extensive (and expensive) programs for overseas recruitment.

When I graduated from my undergrad in the late 90s in Canada there were quite a few places that were hiring grads in Canada - GEOS, NOVA, AEON, JET, etc etc. Having never been to Japan or knowing anything about the country at all, the existence of numerous companies that had systems for recruiting, training, moving and setting people in that situation up was a deal-maker for me. Those organizations, due to their size, also provided some assurance that they weren`t fly-by-night places that would disappear a month after I arrived (lucky for me, unlucky for people around when NOVA and GEOS did just that). That provided the level of security I needed to commit to Japan - without it I just wouldn`t have come at all.

Seems that today there just aren`t that many companies doing that. If I am not mistaken NOVA and GEOS probably aren`t hiring overseas anymore? JET seems to be doing less. AEON also seems to have cut back, I don`t think they hire through Vancouver (where I was hired) anymore at least. ECC I don`t know but I`m guessing they don`t either. If you are a grad today and aren`t able to get one of the few positions being offered directly to grads in your home country your only option is to make the highly risky investment in a self-funded trip to Japan to seek work, which I know I wouldn`t have been willing (or able) to do when I was a new grad.
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Re: Is Eikaiwa dying in Japan?

Unread post by steki47 » Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:54 pm

:agree:

There a few schools that will do interviews via phone/Skype and a few ALT companies have interview sessions overseas as well. But the blunt reality is that lots of experienced teachers with visas are already here.

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Re: Is Eikaiwa dying in Japan?

Unread post by inflames » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:32 pm

I know that Nova, Gaba and a few other schools do Skype interviews - it's a lot less expensive to have someone in Japan do that than setting up overseas offices.

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Re: Is Eikaiwa dying in Japan?

Unread post by senseiman » Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:27 am

Ah that makes sense about Skype, I guess they can realize big savings doing interviews that way. Perhaps the main difference is in quantity though, with all the qualified teachers already resident in Japan with valid working visas (and with way fewer NOVA and GEOS branches now than there were 10 years ago) I can only imagine that there must be really fierce competition for the jobs that are available to people not in Japan already.

Actually this makes me think about how times have changed. When I did my interview with GEOS in Vancouver in 1999 (I was hired by both GEOS and AEON at different times there) the interview was a massive 3-day affair in their nice offices downtown with two full time staff devoted to it. Must have cost them a ton. Then after getting the job I did 4 days of training at this massive mansion that must have been worth millions which they had in the suburbs. Again, huge $$$ involved.

Now it is all done by Skype. Go figure.
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Re: Is Eikaiwa dying in Japan?

Unread post by MacGyver » Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:42 am

senseiman wrote:Now it is all done by Skype. Go figure.
Not really. Actually it makes a lot of sense of you think about Japanese people. As I tell my wife all the time, Japanese people are so 極端. They go from one extreme to the other. And this is a perfect example. When times are good, they are shelling out all this money on interviewing and training, most of which is a complete waste. The next minute, once they've lost a shed load of money, they then spend nothing on interviewing. As with everything, there is a happy medium, but as I say Japanese people generally gravitate toward the extremes.
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Re: Is Eikaiwa dying in Japan?

Unread post by browser » Sat Mar 23, 2013 3:37 pm

Hmmm . . . . No Eikaiwa postings for more than a week. Things are very quiet.

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