11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

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Inakanosensei
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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by Inakanosensei » Wed Apr 09, 2014 1:20 pm

I left teaching work and Japan about two and a half years ago. And eikaiwa about eight years ago. I miss Japan but I told my wife I would rather live in a tent than go back to eikaiwa if we moved back to Japan. It's not that I hate teaching so much, but I have PTSD from all the crap I had to put up from my unscrupulous employers in Japan.

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by Junken Master » Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:43 pm

Yeah employers in Japan fucked me up pretty bad too. Took me two years to get the anxiety levels down to a managable level after coming back!

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by eb0li » Thu Apr 10, 2014 5:49 pm

It took me at least a year to undo the eikaiwa psychosis after moving to direct hire alt work

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by Inakanosensei » Fri Apr 11, 2014 10:27 am

MacGyver wrote: … after a 13 year absence, I'll be teaching English again twice a week, 3 hours a week for the next 8 months! Pretty apprehensive about the whole thing as I never really enjoyed teaching English back in the day but it's only twice a week, it gets me out of the house, it's close, and the money is fairly good. My mate has also been dealing with this company for over a decade and assures me they are easy going so fingers crossed it shouldn't be too painful. :luck:
I think some good things about your job is that it is few enough hours not to cause you too much trouble (unlike 40 classes a week at Nova like I had!) and even if it became rough it would just make you appreciate your translating job that much more. I am really glad to be out of eikaiwa but I could handle three hours a week for the extra money and/or to help a friend out.
eb0li wrote:It took me at least a year to undo the eikaiwa psychosis after moving to direct hire alt work
I wasn't lucky enough to get direct hire, but my early days at Interac were OK (got worse later) and helped me recover from NOVA. I took a pay cut but the hours were better and I was treated much better. I was a much happier person.

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by senseiman » Fri Apr 11, 2014 10:42 am

I got over it pretty fast. Actually I remember after my finishing my first year in Japan with GEOS the sense of utter relief my last day to be getting out from under those people`s thumbs. Never had any trouble after that.

Completely unrelated question/observation: It has been about a decade since I taught Eikaiwa and I realize that in most of the time since I left I haven`t actually met any Eikaiwa teachers. Is this just me?

It just seems kind of wierd. When I came to Japan with GEOS (and later worked at AEON) almost all of the foreigners I met were fellow English teachers. So I formed this impression that the majority of the foreign community (at least the native English speaking foreign community) were English teachers. Seemed like everyone I bumped into and had a conversation with was working at NOVA or ECC or somewhere.

But now I know lots of foreigners and none of them are English teachers. Of course pretty much all the foreigners I know are in my new line of work so that isn`t surprising, but it seems I hardly ever meet a foreigner who works at Eikaiwa anymore. I meet tons of people who are students or tourists or who have some random professional job (engineer, etc) that has brought them to Japan, but nobody working in Eikaiwa.

Have the numbers of Eikaiwa teachers gone down that much? I know there are a lot more foreign students at Japanese universities than there were at the turn of the century, which might explain part of it. Also I`m almost 40 years old now so I don`t hang out in the same places that Eikaiwa teachers in their early 20s are likely to hang anymore, which I guess might explain it a bit, but still....
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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by MacGyver » Fri Apr 11, 2014 2:15 pm

senseiman wrote:Completely unrelated question/observation: It has been about a decade since I taught Eikaiwa and I realize that in most of the time since I left I haven`t actually met any Eikaiwa teachers. Is this just me?
No, that's what I found too and for the most part quite natural I would have thought. Other than those I kept in touch with and a few blokes I played sport with, once I was out all my friends and the ppl I started meeting were not in eikaiwa, even if they weren't in the same company or doing the same type of job as me. As you say, just the ppl you start associating with and age makes a difference (and marital status) too, seeing as the eikaiwa crown are young pups for the most part.
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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by eb0li » Fri Apr 11, 2014 2:39 pm

In the last 3 years I've met 0 new eikaiwa teachers, 5 alts from work, a few random students, 1 google employee and a couple of secret Koreans. I'm a slow mover socially but the ratio seems fairly accurate.

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by scanman » Tue May 13, 2014 5:56 pm

Well, it looks like commenting on Eikaiwa schools is dead and buried. Hard to believe that people working for Eikaiwa schools don't have any comments about their situation. Maybe there is a new clause in their contracts forbidding them to post comments online. :?

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by angryboy » Thu May 15, 2014 10:19 am

scanman wrote:Well, it looks like commenting on Eikaiwa schools is dead and buried. Hard to believe that people working for Eikaiwa schools don't have any comments about their situation. Maybe there is a new clause in their contracts forbidding them to post comments online. :?
Mate, it has all been said a thousand times and most here have been around a while.
Wanna start a thread? Give a bit more than ,"Hey!Tell me a story!"
Maybe put your own thoughts and experiences up and the thread will grow legs.
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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by scanman » Thu May 15, 2014 6:47 pm

angryboy wrote:
scanman wrote:Well, it looks like commenting on Eikaiwa schools is dead and buried. Hard to believe that people working for Eikaiwa schools don't have any comments about their situation. Maybe there is a new clause in their contracts forbidding them to post comments online. :?
Mate, it has all been said a thousand times and most here have been around a while.
Wanna start a thread? Give a bit more than ,"Hey!Tell me a story!"
Maybe put your own thoughts and experiences up and the thread will grow legs.
Yes, I know it has been said before, but it has been a month since I came on here. Perhaps I am repeating what has already been expressed, but I can't help wondering why no one has posted anything about working at a language school for yet another month. I'll leave it at that. :?

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by angryboy » Thu May 15, 2014 11:27 pm

Well please go ahead and post something.
[quote="valve-bouncer"]Fuck me, I hope to christ you are a troll because the possibility of someone so mind-numbingly boring as you walking amongst us gives me the fear.[/quote]

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by RalphWiggum » Fri May 16, 2014 1:54 am

scanman wrote:
Yes, I know it has been said before, but it has been a month since I came on here. Perhaps I am repeating what has already been expressed, but I can't help wondering why no one has posted anything about working at a language school for yet another month. I'll leave it at that. :?
I think it's down to the fact that very, very few people work in eikaiwa any more. I don't mean the people who post "regularly" (I use the term loosely...) here - there's no-one here who works in eikaiwa any more - I mean in general. When I was in Japan there were thousands upon thousands of us. When I visited Tokyo last summer I was struck by how few obvious eikaiwa workers there were left. Let's face it, they stick out like sore thumbs...
Shit wank bollocks

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Which eikaiwa company is now top dog?

Unread post by In The Know » Sat May 17, 2014 4:39 am

I haven't lived in Jay-pan since 2010 (I visited last summer for three weeks though). I sense the learning-English-as-a-hobby trend is long gone. Is there any school which has schools in all the prefectures, at least on Honshu? Who is the big player these days? Is it Neo-Nova (or whatever name they go by)?

With a falling population and birth rate, a moribund economy, a recent sales tax increase (with another on the horizon), and more problems, I guess the end is nigh for the new crop of shiftless, hard-partying uni grads heading to Japan for "the good life." :rope:

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Re: Which eikaiwa company is now top dog?

Unread post by MacGyver » Sat May 17, 2014 10:48 am

In The Know wrote:I guess the end is nigh for the new crop of shiftless, hard-partying uni grads heading to Japan for "the good life." :rope:
For Aussies that in the past were coming over for good money/to get a job, that's long gone due to Australia's booming economy. In fact you couldn't afford to live in Aus on a Japan paycheck any more so unless you were coming over cause you are interested in Japan or teaching English, you wouldn't do it.
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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by scanman » Sun May 18, 2014 4:05 pm

RalphWiggum wrote:
scanman wrote:
Yes, I know it has been said before, but it has been a month since I came on here. Perhaps I am repeating what has already been expressed, but I can't help wondering why no one has posted anything about working at a language school for yet another month. I'll leave it at that. :?
I think it's down to the fact that very, very few people work in eikaiwa any more. I don't mean the people who post "regularly" (I use the term loosely...) here - there's no-one here who works in eikaiwa any more - I mean in general. When I was in Japan there were thousands upon thousands of us. When I visited Tokyo last summer I was struck by how few obvious eikaiwa workers there were left. Let's face it, they stick out like sore thumbs...

I, too, haven't seen many sore thumbs recently :)

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by allblacks » Tue May 20, 2014 11:04 am

I dont notice the eikaiwa people much either but I dont live in central Osaka nor do I usually go to the bars they tend to hang out at. Most of my long term Japan based friends dont work in English schools as well. So that doesnt really help much.

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Re: Which eikaiwa company is now top dog?

Unread post by wilde_oscar » Wed May 21, 2014 4:30 pm

MacGyver wrote: In fact you couldn't afford to live in Aus on a Japan paycheck any more so unless you were coming over cause you are interested in Japan or teaching English, you wouldn't do it.
Indeed. The JET Programme, which has a salary markedly better than most (all) eikaiwa jobs, pays less than most graduate positions in Australia these days.
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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by Futureal » Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:28 pm

NOVA is all but gone, but AEON still thriving. Eikaiwa have been trying to expand their customer base and fill the pre-afternoon hours by recruiting babies, sometimes below 1 year old. The cottage industry of teacher-owned eikaiwa seems to also have been growing. This is where I am, and I have almost no experience with the chains. I get the feeling it's better that way.

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by Futureal » Mon Jun 02, 2014 1:17 pm

I understand JETs even make more than 1st year regular English teachers at JHS and HS. Which surely only adds to their popularity.

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by MacGyver » Fri Jun 06, 2014 1:09 pm

So I've been doing this company gig twice a week for about 6 weeks now. It's been better than I expected (I guess only 3 hours a week is little enough to keep me interested) but the classes are starting to get boring for the students. Been using a book and they are obviously getting bored with it; you're typical eikaiwa book so you can imagine their boredom. Their level isn't great--high beginner or thereabouts at best. Any ideas for interesting activities/games for adults at that level? Most of my eikaiwa teaching back in the day, especially the last 2 years, was all kids so all the games I can remember are for kids and wouldn't transfer well to adults. Any ideas/suggestions appreciated!
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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by sirwanksalot » Sat Jun 07, 2014 7:18 pm

MacGyver wrote:Any ideas for interesting activities/games for adults at that level?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecc5asi0v3k

You will have to alter that to suit your students. I've always had good results with this game. Hangman works surprisingly well too. Also spot the differences of two nearly identical photos is an enormous time killer as is having student A give instructions to student B who has to draw the picture student A is holding. . I always try to incorporate listening grammar reading and speaking into every monthly block of lessons. I'm getting tired of doing these games so I'm hoping someone else will give me some good ideas.

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by angryboy » Sun Jun 08, 2014 11:13 pm

Do you remember "Celebrity Head" on Hey Hey It`s Saturday?If you have genki students who are
willing to have a go it works well but if they aren`t that type it can be painful.
[quote="valve-bouncer"]Fuck me, I hope to christ you are a troll because the possibility of someone so mind-numbingly boring as you walking amongst us gives me the fear.[/quote]

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by lordCONAN » Mon Jun 09, 2014 7:20 am

angryboy wrote:Do you remember "Celebrity Head" on Hey Hey It`s Saturday?If you have genki students who are
willing to have a go it works well but if they aren`t that type it can be painful.
Oh dam, that brings back memories. And red faces, and pluck a duck!

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by Junken Master » Mon Jun 30, 2014 11:53 pm

Met a young-ish chap today (mid 20s) where I'm teaching for the summer in the UK until my business venture gets going.

So he says he wants to go to Japan for at least a year, possibly longer.

Not sure what advice I was supposed to give him really. Its like a lottery ticket isn't it - you can get a great school, great students and great staff or a lunatic asylum, students all bored at out of their heads and complete psychopaths for workmates.

One thing I did mention was that its much better to not work directly for a Japanese boss. Well not in my experience anyway - you need to have some kind of western intemediary.

I guess there's not really much difference between Eikaiwa and ALT work in terms of pay and conditions is there (both crap).

Is there a least worst option out of either one of them? He mentions he wants to work at a University but I told him it would be tricky without a masters. (Although I heard westgate sends people to Unis, on term contracts, and you don't need a masters)

To those stil lin Eikaiwa / ALT (not that many of us anymore I'm guessing), anybody working for anywhere half decent out there? If so, can you apply from outside Japan or only if you are already resident?

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by MonkeyMagic » Tue Jul 01, 2014 1:54 am

Junken Master wrote:To those stil lin Eikaiwa / ALT (not that many of us anymore I'm guessing), anybody working for anywhere half decent out there? If so, can you apply from outside Japan or only if you are already resident?
Might I recommend ECC? I think it matches your criteria: http://recruiting.ecc.co.jp/
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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by Tall Tall Tree » Thu Jul 03, 2014 9:39 am

As a former ECC teacher, if ECC is considered half-decent, then the standards really are low…

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by Edogaijin » Thu Jul 03, 2014 4:12 pm

Decided to close my school last week as the ekimae rent was raised (progressively)...and if I'd stayed there another month would have been the 1st time in 14 years to run at a loss.
Last Friday I also decided to visit this other company I was doing business with 3 years ago and asked if I could possibly rent one of three meeting rooms they had on the top floor of their building. Told them a lot of my students lived nearby and blah blah blah....

The guy said...yeah sure... so I told all my students on their last day at school #1 it was the last day there and I'd return the unused portion of their annual fee if they didn't want to relocate to the new classroom. (one train station away) (for some it will be a hassle to get to with young kids ). They all said...'no problem' see you next week...' Still think one or two may quit...but have restored profit and the new landlord is already advertising for me on the company FB page as well as their business site...so things will/should improve. Not chained to having to pay monthly rent...can take a month or two off and not have to pay anything...

Was at the ekimae location for 14 months and didn't get as many students as were needed.... Told the lady in January, if I didn't get at least 10 new students I'd have to close so she had notice. The rent was cheap in the beginning but we came to an agreement the rent would be raised gradually each month to what it was worth... I couldn't get the student numbers to make it worthwhile...was a shame...but such a relief to have washed my hands of the added stress....

The new location has more kids living nearby and will be easier to advertise as is on a busy intersection... :shock:
Last edited by Edogaijin on Sun Jul 06, 2014 7:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by senseiman » Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:24 am

That is an interesting experience to hear, Edogaijin. Too bad it didn`t work out at the ekimae location (I give you a lot of credit for trying though, must have been a ballsy move at the time). Glad you were able to arrange an alternative, hope the transition goes smoothly!

Tall Tall Tree - I`m surprised, when I was working in Eikaiwa for GEOS and AEON I always had the impression that ECC was way better. At least the advertised conditions seemed much better, I remember the hours were quite a bit shorter for the same pay. I take it the actual work conditions weren`t all that great?
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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by Tall Tall Tree » Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:47 am

See, I recall buying into the buzz that ECC was "better," too. And maybe they were to some extent, but I was still making 250k and they still were doing games like counting the periods between classes as "breaks" and scheduling me an evening shift before a morning shift the next day and such. About the only thing that I can recall was quantifiably better was that the training lasted two weeks (I think; might have been three) instead of two days… Also, we didn't have to upsell textbooks in our classes and such. So I guess that's an improvement. But in terms of management and various other crap, it was all the same. I remember the worst offense was when they had the teachers fill out this "anonymous" survey about the working conditions and I listed some of my grievances, and then a few days later a manager started asking me about them. Anonymous, huh? :bang:

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by sirwanksalot » Mon Jul 07, 2014 11:31 pm

Tall Tall Tree wrote:See, I recall buying into the buzz that ECC was "better," too. And maybe they were to some extent, but I was still making 250k and they still were doing games like counting the periods between classes as "breaks" and scheduling me an evening shift before a morning shift the next day and such. About the only thing that I can recall was quantifiably better was that the training lasted two weeks (I think; might have been three) instead of two days… Also, we didn't have to upsell textbooks in our classes and such. So I guess that's an improvement. But in terms of management and various other crap, it was all the same. I remember the worst offense was when they had the teachers fill out this "anonymous" survey about the working conditions and I listed some of my grievances, and then a few days later a manager started asking me about them. Anonymous, huh? :bang:
ECC sucked. In fact it made me hate Japan by giving me a fucked up view of the general populace. On second return I've done it all pretty much on my own without some nanny company coddling me into resentful complacency.

On the out of eikaiwa note I've got 6 surfboards at the moment that were given to me for repair work. That's beer money or a trip or three to the oppai bar.

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