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In Search of Answers

Old news is fun! The Japan Times reports on Yano Research's survey on the foreign language learning market in Japan, which I wrote about this at the beginning of August and touched on again earlier this month. The only difference with today's article is that the JT spoke with somebody at GEOS.

The Dirty Undertaking of Dispatch Companies

The Yomiuri Shimbun, via Yahoo!, has a story about the dark underbelly of ALT dispatch companies as English will become a compulsory subject in the fifth and sixth grades in 2011.

For example, schools have to deal with the constant turnover of ALTs. One BOE member in Saitama related that he is on his 4th ALT quit since April. This revolving door of teachers is not conducive to learning.

More Details on the Coming Change in Visa Renewals

The Japan Times has a good summary of the issues surrounding the changes to the visa renewal process starting in April 2010. I blogged about this a while back, but the Japan Times column covers some of the implications of having to enroll in an insurance scheme in order for foreigners to renew their work visas.

Berlitz Drags its Feet

When we last saw Berlitz, it was suing five of its instructors and two officials of the National Union of General Workers (NUGW) Tokyo Nambu for ¥110 million in damages each on the grounds that their strike was illegal and that the union was trying to damage the company.

Tough Times

A propos my comment on now being a bad time to come to Japan, an example of how the economic meltdown affects English teachers:

Comments on GEOS

In light of the comments rumours here about GEOS's troubles or impending doom, I'll start a thread here to entertain those concerns. If you want to talk GEOS, do it in comments here. I have no idea whether the claims about GEOS teachers not getting paid are true or not. Judging by the lack of information and outrage in other forums around the internet, I assume that it's nothing more than a rumour.


Berlitz Sues its Teachers

Great company to work for:

It has been 14 months since members of the Berlitz General Union Tokyo (Begunto) first downed chalk and launched rotating strikes against the language school Berlitz Japan.

The strike has grown into the longest and largest sustained strike by language teachers in Japan. While about 500 Nova teachers struck during that firm's collapse in 2007, the action only lasted a day.

METI's Complicity

The Mainichi Shimbun has an article looking back on METI's role in Nova's failure. Here's a translation of the article.


General Union Demonstrates in Front of G.communication

The union was at it again today, hounding g.communication over its refusal to rehire former Nova employees.

Eikaiwa:'s Interpretation of its Promise

Browsing the Nova/ website, I came across a press release dated February 18 [PDF in Japanese] in response to the accusation that had reneged on its promise to hire all former Nova staff and instructors.


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