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Classroom Confidential

Stories from inside the classroom

Rakuten and Fast Retailing Boost Eikaiwa

With Rakuten and Fast Retailing making English the first language in their offices, the Daily Yomiuri Online says that it has given English conversation schools a much needed boost:

Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss

Nova and GEOS are under new management. The new boss is Kobe-based food and beverage importer and distributor Hanshin Shuhan. According to the Yomiuri shimbun, Foodys, the current parent company of Nova and GEOS, is to hand over its 50.98% share in the eikaiwa schools to Hanshin Shuhan by the end of August.

EFL Job Survey

Help Douglas out by taking part in his survey:

Dear colleagues,

My name is Douglas Meyer, and I am organizing a nation-wide survey on our EFL profession. I am interested in the various working conditions, opinions and thoughts on language education in Japan, and have made an easy-to-complete (5-6 minute) anonymous online survey to gather your input. Please forward this message to friends if you have already completed the survey.

Japan: 

The Japanese Way

Comedy gold!

Page launched an unfair dismissal claim against GEOS, which comes under the umbrella of the GEOS Corporation founded by Japanese businessman Tsuneo Kusunoki.

But the company responded by claiming that Page "accepted understanding of the 'Japanese way' of doing business". They went on to say he was used to Kusunoki "ranting", "berating" and "humiliating" people "so this was nothing new".

Japan: 

Sahashi Appeals, Maintains Innocence

An update on former Nova president, Nozomu Sahashi's, appeal. You may recall that he was sentenced to three and half years for embezzlement last August. He quickly appealed his sentence, maintaining that he was innocent.

JIOSU: A Website for Teachers, Students, and Staff

Novawhiz in the forums finds a website called jiosu.com:

ジオス.com A website for GEOS student, GEOS staff and GEOS teacher support.

ジオス.com (jiosu.com) aims to provide information, links and support for GEOS students, staff and teachers by providing an online forum where you can discuss the latest GEOS related information and events.

Kusunoki Stomps his Feet

As I wrote previously, Oh to have been a fly on the wall at GEOS. You already know the obituary:

The failure of major language-school operator Geos Corp. occurred because the company didn't trim unprofitable branches fast enough at a time when the industry was facing a drastic drop in students, people in the industry said.

Japan: 

The Foreign Language School Market by the Numbers

Adamu at MutantFrog has taken the time to graph the numbers for the foreigner language market in Japan. If you've been following developments, you know that the numbers are bad. That said, he has an optimistic take on what's in store in for eikaiwa.

Lessons Unlearned

When Nova went bankrupt in 2007, two central themes of the collapse were the large pre-payment of lesson fees and the inability of Nova to provide refunds. The fallout was so large, the media dubbed Nova's collapse as the largest consumer wipe-out since the end of the Pacific War.

Japan: 

The GEOS Fallout Begins

If you saw the GEOS press conference on TV this evening, one thing was very conspicuous by its absence: Kusunoki wasn't there. In his place was Kazumi Suhara giving the bad news.

According to the Jiji Press, Kusunoki didn't attend because he wasn't prepared to file for bankruptcy while some of his executives were. A GEOS lawyer at the press conference said that due to divisions within the company, bankruptcy proceedings went ahead without the consensus of the board.

Japan: 

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