Japan Today has started a regular series on the state of the language school industry, in particular eikaiwa, written by Dean Rogers, president and CEO of Dean Morgan Co Ltd, the school that sounds like an investment company.
The first installment is an introduction laying out the ground to be covered, so there's not much meat in the article to talk about. However, I want to comment on the teacher statistics he uses. He talks about there being tens of thousands of English teachers in Japan. Fortunately, Adamu at Mutant Frog has done some research and found that the number of language instructors in Japan at the end of the 2008 was around 9,500. This is for all languages being taught in Japan, not just eikaiwa. If you factor in JETs, the number jumps to more than 10 thousand, but not tens of thousands.
If you're a regular reader of LJ, then you know that teaching English in Japan has been in the dumps for quite some time and is still in decline. The prospects for eikaiwa don't look bright when you factor in falling wages for instructors and lack of job security, the industry's tarnished image largely due to, but not limited to, the fallout from Nova's bankruptcy (lack of consumer confidence), an aging population (a shrinking customer base), and economic recession (less consumer spending and lower tax receipts putting the squeeze on local governments hiring instructors).
The series sounds promising though, so here's hoping that Dean makes the most of his columns.