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GEOS: Sorry, Have Some Free Lessons

As scheduled, GEOS announced the measures it will take for its students affected by the closure of the schools in Australia: free English lessons.

More specifically, if you had a contract with GEOS Australia slated to start from February 2, 2010 or had made an application before January 29, GEOS will offer you 6 months of "Active lessons" at at any GEOS school in Japan at no charge. Students wishing to accept the offer have to provide GEOS with their details no later than December 29, 2010.

What a joke. Why would an international student go to Japan to to study English for 6 months? The offer only makes sense if you're Japanese. If you happen to be Vladimir Anelekov from Russia, Marcio Alves from Brazil, Pascal Fux from Switzerland, Mario Galindo from Colombia, or Filippo Zilio from Italy, you'd have to be insane to go to a non-English-speaking country to study English.

When Kusunoki says 6 months of free lessons, he means just the lessons. You can bet that any non-Japanese student interested in the lessons will have to arrange visas and accommodations on their own. You can also bet that Kusunoki is counting on a large portion of the students not taking up GEOS's offer.

The bare minimum from GEOS would have been a refund of unused tuition and a profound apology. But since Kusunoki has stated that the Australia schools weren't really part of GEOS he doesn't have to. The money siphoned from them is probably gone, too. Instead, students who traveled from around to world to Australia only to find their schools shut down receive a terse one-page memo (in Japanese no less!) posted on the GEOS website.

What an insult.

UPDATE I: Willy Wanka in comments nails it:

Haha, active lessons are the cheapest that Geos has. Up to 8 students per class. Another head costs them zero... the teacher is already there, classmates are already there, before they start they'll probably have to drop 10,000 on textbook set, and by the end of it all, they'll probably get hit up by the manager to "renew" the active contract.

GEOS's announcement of free lessons is worse than a half measure: It costs them nothing while it will cost any non-Japanese student taking up GEOS's offer everything. They will have to pay for their flight to Japan, arrange a visa and accommodations on their own, and probably have to find a part-time job, too. Since these students probably don't speak Japanese and their visas may not allow it, finding a job will be difficult if not impossible. Moreover, why would they want to work in a job that will require them to interact in Japanese? It's also not clear how many hours a week they will be studying. One or two classes a week will do nothing to improve their language skills. GEOS's offer is really no offer at all. At best, it's a way for GEOS to look like it's acting in good faith when it really isn't.

Japan: 

Comments

Haha, active lessons are the cheapest that Geos has. Up to 8 students per class. Another head costs them zero... the teacher is already there, classmates are already there, before they start they'll probably have to drop 10,000 on textbook set, and by the end of it all, they'll probably get hit up by the manager to "renew" the active contract.

Geos are making out like bandits with this one.

But let me ask you Shawn, with all the (well-deserved) Geos hating that you have been doing here over the past few years, you don't seem to have the same grudge against Aeon or ECC. Why not?

But let me ask you Shawn, with all the (well-deserved) Geos hating that you have been doing here over the past few years, you don't seem to have the same grudge against Aeon or ECC. Why not?

With the old Nova gone and GEOS heading in the same direction I'm sure Shawn will focus on Aeon/ECC in the future.

I still don't understand why the impending downfall of GEOS in Japan is a good thing with all the lost jobs for both Japanese and foreign staff. Remember, those people that work there choose to do so as of their own free will. I certainly don't celebrate the rather unfortunate circumstances students and employees find themselves in with GEOS Australia going down the tubes.

I rather pity those that celebrate in the misery of others. I don't work at GEOS to make things clear but I don't see how its failure is a good thing.

If you had taken the time to use the search function, you would know that I worked for GEOS a long time ago. AEON and ECC have also taken their lumps here and in the forums as well. You're also confusing criticism with hate. That's just not the case. The few commenters here cheering on scandals and shouting STOOGE--those people have hate issues.

Shawn
Let's Japan.org::Blog

Did you just hear a toilet flush?

If Mr K had any intention of providing an adequate solution for those affected by the Australian collapses, he would've funded the above offer within NZ schools (they're the closest alternative to Australia in terms of location & student immersion/experience).

IMO, anyone associated with GEOS NZ should GET OUT NOW.

Back to the main topic on Mr. K`s offer of free english classes at GEOS Japan. Thats a real bad deal.
Active classes are the cheapest contract a student can buy. Typically students comes once a week for active classes and pay around $2,600-$3,000 for a year. I think I read these students paid on average of $1,000 a month for tuition for 8 hours of english classes a day/ 5 days a week at GEOS Australia in line with the student visa requirement. That does not include pre-paid housing fees as well. I read most students paid on average of $10,000 up front.

How does coming to Japan and attending classes in dilapidated classrooms and buildings, being taught by teachers who dont care anymore be a replacement for studying english in Australia in environment full of caring and helpful teachers??

Im no expert, but I believe it could be a major hassle to get a student visa to utilize mr. k`s offer to study at one of his run down eikaiwa schools in Japan. GEOS would have to sponser the student visa...can GEOS be trusted to do that?? It can take 30 to 90 days to get a student visa. Why go through that hassle when students already have a valid Australian visa? GEOS would have to provide these students will full-time lessons several hours a day at least 5 days a week to meet the Japanese immigration requirement for a student/language studies visa. I dont think is possible.

Most GEOS schools teach 4-5 different active classes...but they vary by level and rarely do teachers teach more than 2 of the same active class a day or more than 3 active claases in one day. I dont see how this can work.

The bottom line is I dont see how free active lessons in Japan can be any compensation for the money they lost. Will GEOS provide free homestay or housing?? Because alot of these students pre-paid for housing in Australia.
$10,000 in pre-paid tuiton/ housing in Australia in exchange for $1,300-$1,500 worth of free lessons for 6 months and no housing at all. What kind of deal is that??

I seriously doubt any student will accept this outrageous offer. What a shame.
NOT a good deal at all mr. kusunoki.

Ideally, GEOS would clean up its act and start behaving in a proper, ethical way. As that's not going to happen, I think GEOS going down is preferable to GEOS carrying on in its present form. They're showing their true colors here, and it's typical eikaiwa "colors", basically - do whatever you've got to do to protect yourself, even if it means screwing over every single one of your staff and customers in the process. It's a disgusting business "model" and will inevitably fail.

If you're still on the eikaiwa ship of your own free will, you are on it at your peril!!!

They don't pay that much up front.
And they study for four hours a day maybe five if they do an elective
active lessons are a joke so is the way that Geos Japan
works the students over for money.
There is no quality, motivation for the students to improve.
Geos is trying their hardest to scare away the students they have
by pressuring them to buy shity books with shity useless lesson.
It's only a matter of time.

Active classes are not $2500-3000 per year, more like $1100 per year. Right now GEOS is having a campaign that takes the price down to just 7 man per year. That comes out to less than 1500 yen per lesson. At the current discount price, 6 months of active lessons would cost the student just 35,000 yen. But like I said, one extra person in the class will cost GEOS nothing.

If they were handing out 6 to 12 months of private flex lessons, that might go some way towards becoming acceptable... for Japanese students, at least. It still wouldn't actually cost them anything since Geos teachers have a fixed salary and they'd just pile the lesson on top of the teachers current schedule. But $350 of virtually worthless, crappy group lessons? GTFO, kusunoki.

No non Japanese student will even know about this! Even if they did why the fuck would they come here.
It is jus a red herring to make it look like the company
is doing something. It is actually discrimination if non Japanese can not come. Kuzunoki and his croonies are a bunch of nobs!

No press conference about their announcement but instead posting a PDF to the homepage means they want to limit the amount of students that are informed about this, then add to the fact that its in Japanese. So is this only for Japanese students who have gone over there?

Now what this is telling us is from GEOS' calculations, an immersion program is similar to 6 mths of once or twice weekly active lessons, and seeing as though these overseas schools don't actually benefit GEOS Japan but are independent and only use the brand. Why suggest studying overseas if the student can get the same benefit through those active lessons which are cheaper and it will also benefit GEOS Japan.

People who don't understand the hate/schadenfreude are likely people who have never worked for these companies.

I worked for NOVA, saw the rot from the inside, they fucked with me a bit and I still hold a grudge. I am not proud to have found myself working for what has basically been shown to be a criminal operation bent on defrauding students so the president can live a life of luxury.

I didn't work for GEOS, but the multiple tales of the switcheroo, new teachers suddenly being told they are really salespeople, only after they arrive in Japan, it doesn't surprise me GEOS is the next in line for eikaiwa doom.

Worked for AEON, I thought it was fairly good (or at least used to be) as they were focused on actually keeping customers, which means customer satisfaction, rather than trying to dupe every person in Japan at least once for a 6-month-and-quit contract, a la NOVA. Teachers were actually given time to plan lessons, once. However, AEON seemed to be getting more GEOS-ey when I left.

ECC, well, ECC is actually some sort of legitimate education company that does computer lessons and other stuff, isn't it?

But anyway, I guess some people can't figure out that when haters like me cheer the doom of these criminal enterprises, we are cheering the doom and hopefully criminal prosecution of the executives. Is is wrong to be happy when evil people get their just desserts?

As for the teachers, it is mostly just puzzlement. A teacher would have to be willfully ignorant to not realize how these "schools" operate, especially now that their tactics have been exposed on the internet. And just plain naive to keep working after not getting paid.

Anyone who thinks EIKAIWA is a legitimate form or business, or legitimate way to earn a living, does so, because they are either:

(a) Inexperienced, and are bedazzled by life in Japan (“honeymooners”)
(b) Know what a sham EIKAIWA is, but block it out, because they want to stay in Japan, and can’t do anything else (“ostriches with their heads buried in the sand”)
(c) Are sucked in by the fake corporate ladder that exists in EIKAIWA, would not stand ANY chance of making it in the real corporate world, and thus cling on to the only bit of power they are every likely to get (“stooges”)

AS for GEOS – if GEOS has deliberately put into liquidation it’s profitable Australian Operations, to allegedly bolster ailing schools in Japan (which has to be bullshit, since why would you bankrupt something which is making money, to pour into something which is not), then serious legal questions must be asked. I suppose, better to have unpaid creditors in Australia, than Japan, simple as that. I guess, GEOS Japan, believes that creditors to their business in Australia can’t hit GEOS Japan up for their debts – could be so, but what a slime ball act. If there is a loop-hole they have crawled through, then the Australian Government had better plug it up.

http://www.asic.gov.au/asic/pdflib.nsf/LookupByFileName/Complaint_Form.pdf/$file/Complaint_Form.pdf

For those that have knowledge of GEOS Japan's unethical and stealing behaviour, please complete one of these forms and send to ASIC - the more sent the better. Don't hide behind a blog - make a difference - get the bastards!

I totally agree with you to make a complaint with the Australian government to go after the crooks that secretly and illegally sent GEOS Australia funds to Japan. BUT here is the problem...the Australian government does NOT have the balls to complain or lodge a protest to the Japanese government about GEOS Japan illegal behavior. Take the whaling issue as an example...didnt the Prime Minister threaten to take international legal action against Japan...but it never has and never will.

Australia is not America. You saw how nasty the American government got with Japan the Toyota pedal defect cover-up and government forced recall. And you are seeing how the Americans are playing hardball about the Okinawa situation.
You got to play hard and rough with the Japanese to get things done...sadly thats not the Australian way. Thats why the Australians get taken advantage of and walked all over by the Japanese. The Australian government is NOT going to do anything about the illegal activities that happened at GEOS Australia....just all talk and threats and zero action. We have all seen it before.

Ah, ASIC the other elephant that may be encouraged to enter the room. And it's not just the Directors who it may wave its trunk at.

Anyone who thinks EIKAIWA is a legitimate form or business, or legitimate way to earn a living, does so, because they are either ...

First of all, you are not a Lawyer so it's not for you to decide what kind of business is "Legitimate".

Secondly, you must have worked at an Eikaiwa because you imply that you know about all this illegal activity going on. Why didn't you take action at the time? In fact, when you worked at an Eikaiwa, what did you do to get rid of the illigitimate company you worked at? Please provide us with the details.

Or, are you implying that any business that you deem as illigitimate should be closed down on your say so?

I feel your pain former GEOS people in Australia. The reality is that your government hasnt even arrested anybody, demanded the Japanese government get involved to get the money returned, no press conference to explain the lastest developments in the investigation. I can expect it will takes months to wrap up the Australian investigation with no one charged and no action taken or recommended. The longer the investigation drags on, the more likely people will forget about it.

Basically, GEOS Japan got away with the cash and there is nothing the Australian government will do about it. This whole ordeal will be swept under the carpet and forgotten about in a couple months time. I wish the outcome could be different.

Anyone who thinks EIKAIWA is a legitimate form or business, or legitimate way to earn a living, does so, because they are either:

(a) Inexperienced, and are bedazzled by life in Japan (“honeymooners”)
(b) Know what a sham EIKAIWA is, but block it out, because they want to stay in Japan, and can’t do anything else (“ostriches with their heads buried in the sand”)
(c) Are sucked in by the fake corporate ladder that exists in EIKAIWA, would not stand ANY chance of making it in the real corporate world, and thus cling on to the only bit of power they are every likely to get (“stooges”)

I have to agree 100%. I will admit I was an "ostrich" at NOVA for way too many years, all the way until it went bankrupt. I have since moved out of the teaching industry and work for a gaming company in Tokyo.

But I think those three categories are rather accurate and anyone in the eikaiwa field should take a look at what their long term goals are and if teaching in an eikaiwa actaully helps any of those goals. I would it doesn't. Best of luck to the GEOS teachers. Regardless of what happens, GEOS doesn't sound like a great place to work.

So now you feel so much more higher class tha a low life teacher,
well good for you mate, still get asked the stupid dumb questions by your co-workers.
I wouldn't want to work for any company in Japan, the everyday life of drifting through will roleplays ie otsukarisama desu and the like would drive me nuts. Get some balls mate work for yourself instead of having a company as a crutch.

Anyone who thinks EIKAIWA is a legitimate form or business, or legitimate way to earn a living, does so, because they are either:

(a) Inexperienced, and are bedazzled by life in Japan (“honeymooners”)
(b) Know what a sham EIKAIWA is, but block it out, because they want to stay in Japan, and can’t do anything else (“ostriches with their heads buried in the sand”)
(c) Are sucked in by the fake corporate ladder that exists in EIKAIWA, would not stand ANY chance of making it in the real corporate world, and thus cling on to the only bit of power they are every likely to get (“stooges”)

Well said!!!
-Luke

I wouldn't want to work for any company in Japan ...

So, now we have gone from all Eikaiwas are bad too all companies in Japan are bad.

This is just silly Japan-bashing. There are good and bad companies all over the world and places like Australia, England, America etc. have their fair share. Remember ENRON, great company that was. If Japan is so bad, it makes me wonder why people bother living here at all.

You do make a good point about how people are too judgemental of others. This "I don't like this company then it should go bankrupt" nonsense is becoming a bit repetitive.

First of all, you are not a Lawyer so it's not for you to decide what kind of business is "Legitimate".

Umm, you don’t have to be a lawyer, actually, to have any opinion, or to express it, and with regards to Eikaiwa, I am so sorry, but I think where there is smoke, there is fire, and thus tend to sway towards the side of overwhelming popular opinion, not to mention, what the lawyers and government agents discover, as they clean up the mess, past and present.

In fact, when you worked at an Eikaiwa, what did you do to get rid of the illegitimate company you worked at? Please provide us with the details.

Nah, I just threw in the towel, and got the hell out of that circus act. I don’t mind popping into discussion groups, now and then, for nostalgia’s sake, but I have no immediate vested interest in any of it. I must admit, while some individual tragedy is encountered in these kinds of incidences, which I take no pleasure in seeing, the whole thing is pretty damn funny, when viewed from a distance. I mean to say, no-one can deny Eikaiwa is not publically recognized as being a notoriously insecure place to work. What were jokers who signed up for these kind of outfits actually expecting? Like, come on! Well, I guess that honeymoon period can be pretty blinding.

Or, are you implying that any business that you deem as illegitimate should be closed down on your say so?

Definitely not, but the amount of people, lawyers and government agents included, who have find Eikaiwa to be illegitimate is pretty staggering. Consider Nova Corporation. Are you saying GEOS is not run like Nova was, or bares no similarities?

I think at the moment it is not really worth coming to this site as there are people who are actually distanced from the reality of working for an Eikaiwa Or living in Japan. The people here at the moment are just giving worthless opinions about nothing of value to us who want to know new information about the industry that we are involved in. I will be back when there are some post from people who know what they are talking about and are not just negative towards Teachers.

Advice to Teachers, dont take too much of what certian people say on this site as it will just get you down and thats the desired objectives of these people with too much time on their hand in New York etc....

I think at the moment it is not really worth coming to this site as there are people who are actually distanced from the reality of working for an Eikaiwa Or living in Japan.

Great post. If all they have to offer is that Japan is a terrible place to live or that all companies in Japan are bad then there's no point in having a discussion.

Are you saying GEOS is not run like Nova was, or bares no similarities?

First of all, I appreciate your respectful reply.

You are certainly entitled to your opinion. All I'm saying is that it's for the Government to decide what is legitimate. If they feel that Eikaiwa is illigitimate/illegal then it's there job to close it down. There are many companies that are involved in practices that people don't like. Should we close down Toyota because of its recent problems? Should we close down Microsoft because of its alleged anti-competetive practices? You tell me!

I don't like Mcdonalds but that doesn't mean that I feel it should go bankrupt or close down. I just don't eat there.

Some people have families and responsibilities and rely on GEOS to support such. Personally, I wouldn't work at GEOS but I certainly don't wish ill upon people who choose to do so.

Here are some snippets from a Wall Street Journal article than ran about a week ago. For those who feel we are Japan-bashing, this article gives some insight as to why we feel that way. Japan Inc. deserves a bad reputation and in alot of the cases deserved to be bashed for it. You decide what team you are on.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405274870453320457504737063323441...

Over the past two decades, I cannot think of one instance where a Japanese company has done a good job managing a crisis. The pattern is all too familiar, typically involving slow initial response, minimizing the problem, foot dragging on the product recall, poor communication with the public about the problem and too little compassion and concern for consumers adversely affected by the product (sounds just like GEOS). Whether it's exploding televisions, fire-prone appliances, tainted milk or false labeling, in case after case companies have shortchanged their customers by shirking responsibility until the accumulated evidence forces belated disclosure and recognition of culpability. The costs of such negligence are low in Japan where compensation for product liability claims is mostly derisory or non-existent.

Producer interests trump consumer safety.

Japanese firms often seek to cover up or fudge the facts and the people communicating with the media and public often do not have the information they need to do their job. The absence of a structure to quickly get accurate information to top management hampers an accurate and adequate response. That leaves management unprepared to deal with media questioning and conveys an image of stonewalling and indifference.

There is a cultural element to this penchant for mismanaging crisis. The shame and embarrassment of owning up to product defects in a nation obsessed with craftsmanship and quality raises the bar on disclosure and assuming responsibility. And a high-status company like Toyota has much to lose since its corporate face is at stake. The shame of producing defective cars is supposed to be other firms' problems, not Toyota's, and the ongoing PR disaster reveals just how unprepared the company is for crisis management and how embarrassed it is. In addition, employees' identities are closely tied to their company's image, and loyalty to the firm overrides concerns about consumers.

There is also a culture of deference inside corporations that makes it hard for those lower in the hierarchy to question their superiors or inform them about problems. The focus on consensus and group is an asset in building teamwork, but also can make it hard to challenge what has been decided or designed. Such cultural inclinations are not unknown elsewhere around the world, but they are exceptionally powerful within Japanese corporate culture and constitute significant impediments to averting and responding to a crisis.

`The Japan Inc. model of cooperative and collusive relations between the business and the government `

Should we close down Toyota because of its recent problems? Should we close down Microsoft because of its alleged anti-competetive practices? You tell me!

Some people have families and responsibilities and rely on GEOS to support such.

You just compared GEOS to Toyota or Microsoft..... That proves that you are stupid enough to be cheated out of pay and stranded homeless in a foreign country.

I feel sorry for any child brought into this world by someone dumb enough to start a family while working at an Eikaiwa. That's as irresponsible as it gets. Hopefully, this would be a wake call to those idiotic parents, and they will be forced to find a sustainable career to support their family.

-Luke

Totally agree Luke. You are on very thin ice if you are raising a family that depends on your eikaiwa salary. The recession has been raging for quite some time and things are not set to get better anytime soon. Hell, even the Finance Minister said last week that deflation could drag on another 4 years in Japan. Companies large and small are dropping out like flies and going under. Look around outside in Japan and you can easily see dozens of shuttered offices and businesses that went under in the past 12 months in the town/city/neighborhood you live in.
Shane closed one of their schools just a few months in my neighborhood in Yokohama.
Students taking lessons at eikaiwa are not renewing because their salaries and bonus have been slashed and they worry about the future. Learning english is an expense they dont need. Learning english is not going to land them a job these days, as there no jobs to be had. Students are not traveling overseas as they used to, so no need to learn english for a trip to the U.S. or Australia. Sure their are some students who have cash to burn, but they are getting fewer and fewer as this recession plays out.
All companies are in bad shape in form or another but eikaiwa is set for a major collaspe sometime in the very near future. My bet GEOS does under by June 1, 2010. I dont know how they can stay in business....they cannot defy the worst recession since WWII, especially since they are using the same old business model from 1984.
Dont depend on eikaiwa to pay the bills and especially to raise a family.

A lack of GEOS advertising paints a bad picture for the company for the pre-April school season. Its been standard procedure for GEOS to skimp on advertising and instead rely on its staff and teachers to stuff mailboxes with cheap flyers and discount coupons, that dont work. No more tissues, unless the tissues come out of the school budget and since schools have to save money, there are no more tissues to pass out. If the manager goes over budget then his/her salary is affected by the difference.

It looks like ECC doing great and prepared for the pre-April season. ECC is doing an all-out spring advertisement campaign to get a larger marke share of the available students, which will be alot more effective than cheap black and white print-outs GEOS uses. ECC ad campaigns on TV featuring a well liked comedian, ads plastered in trains and across billboards should pay off nicely come April and May.

Even AEON is doing a good, yet smaller ad campaign than ECC. Have seen some ads on the train for Berlitz and Gaba....but nothing from GEOS...thats because GEOS cannot afford it.

After all the money Kusunoki stole from Australia he should invest some of it on some kinda of professional advertisement and stop relying on the cheap folding boards that stand outside the GEOS schools. The school managers spend several hours a day on Microsoft excel to make the school advertisement, print them out on A4 paper and cut, tape and paste to the folding board....this done on an almost daily basis at the schools I worked for. Then the manager is required to take daily pictures of the folding board advertisements and send them to corporate. Why?? Because corprate does not trust the managers to fulfill their advertisement responsibilty.

All I'm saying is that it's for the Government to decide what is legitimate.

Umm, I thought you were arguing that is was up to a lawyer to decide, the inference being, if one is not a lawyer, then one’s opinion is not valid. In any case, when a government does decide to shut a place down, directly or indirectly, there usually are lawyers involved, taking care of the intricacies.

Frankly speaking, people should rely on their common sense, before waiting for the liquidator’s lawyers to come marching in, especially when the industry they find themselves involved in, has such negative public image, with the scandals attached to it, these days being no secret at all.

Respected newspapers in Japan did report that the METI intervention at Nova was the equivalent of the Government of Japan effectively asking Nova to withdraw from the business.

In essence, it can be said the government did shut Nova down (or at the very least, started the process), and many an educated and insightful punter could argue, that the core mechanisms that drive GEOS are no different to Nova Corporation, if not worse.

For once, relative to Eikaiwa, with Nova at least, well, the government did do their job.

Toyota, Microsoft………you are comparing apples with dog turds, I am afraid to say. No offence, but you are beginning to smell a bit stooge like, but I don’t really care on that. Each unto their own. I think you will find that industry guidelines, laws, rules, standards and regulations that apply to either of those companies, will form a Mount Everest of documentation, relative to the ant hill which applies to Eikaiwa companies

Do you think Toyota will embezzle funds from their dedicated employees fund, as a consequence of the cost of the recalls?

It is nice of you not to wish ill on anyone, and that you don’t think Eikaiwa should be abolished, and I note there are people who rely on places like GEOS to support their families. While I have some sympathy, my advice to anyone in that position, is “don’t be an ostrich with it’s head buried in the sand”, deeply consider why Eikaiwa is so notorious to begin with, and find something with a little more job security attached to it.

I don’t recall having said Eikaiwa should be shut down, or abolished, actually, but now that you mention it, well, I think it should be – because let’s face it, while quite possibly 99% of instructors very quickly conclude as it is a total scam, even the Japanese themselves appear to be waking up to it, in droves, these days.

Summary – being an Eikaiwa ostrich with it’s head buried in the sand is surely more reckless and dangerous than it ever was.

Luke, not that I disagree with what you are saying, but at the end of the day, for reasons that may well suggest the hallmarks of an irresponsible nincompoop, there are some punters in Eikaiwa who have very few alternatives, and do have a family to support. I feel for the kids, and if a parent is stuck in Japan, the love a parent has for a child would no doubt perpetuate that paren'ts “ostrich” status.

That being said, however, every situation has it’s casualties, and, assuming the topic is whether or not Eikaiwa should be permitted to exist, well, if Eikaiwa or GEOS is allowed to continue, based purely on catering to the handful of long-term ostriches who support families from it, then it could STILL be argued as being an injustice to society as a whole. No pain. No gain.

To the very few big birds that do have kids to support – you really need to think about doing something else.

Off topic I know, but what kind news coverage of GEOS has there been recently? I watched a link on the Japanese yahoo news site but that was it, and I couldn't tell which network it was from. I'm guessing this story hasn't been picked up nationally? Please correct me if I'm wrong.

The Aussie schools going boom?
I think it'll get very little coverage unfortunately.

You've got to remember that even though most of what is speculated on in this forum is probably accurate, is just that... speculation. This'll follow the same route NOVA did - When the speculation proves to be true (i.e. the company chokes and dies) then the press will be all over it and asking how it could happen again. GEOS'll get bought out, close 50% of it's schools and exist as NEO-Geos.

And then we'll wait for it to happen to AEON :)

Hmmm yes about oz, and that was the impression I was getting, not that I've been glued to the tv or reading every newspaper, but I havnt heard much about it in japan. You're probably right, the Japanese media will wait till it becomes another nova story until they bother to cover it. Incidentally, speculation is a very euphemistic way to describe the majority of the stuff on here, deluded bollocks spouted by armchair experts is more like it. Saying that I have no doubt GEOS will meet a sticky end, hopefully incriminating any guilty parties that may be, but for a resource that is meant to inform there is way too much bile and soapboxing for my liking. Your reply is appreciated though.

Not much news actually. It is pretty common knowledge, Japanese language school operators are dodgy as dodgy can be, so really, the whole shemozzle is just a case of more of the same old same old. It’s not exactly headline news material. If they had bombarded everyone’s mindsets with images of pink bunnies, and language instructors in chains, pulling the oars of viking ships under whip, like another now bankrupt, criminally convicted Eikaiwa King, I guess in Japan itself, the situation might be getting a little more attention. At the end of the day, inside Japan or out, it’s just another depressing story, and you can bet your bottom dollar, that the situation is most likely one where people just don’t care and have no sympathy, and thus can't be bothered reading about it, since popular opinion is no doubt, if you gamble, and lose your money, then shame on you, and tough titties. Post Nova, which really made the dark and dubious side of Japanese Language school operators public once and for all, the industry has been in decline, and in the most part, surely that is because, consumers understand and appreciate, it’s a high risk, bad value for money product they have on offer, and if you are foolish enough to allow it to put it’s hand into your once upon a time, innocent consumer’s pocket, well, derrrrrrr.....don't complain, when your pocket ends up empty, and you are standing in pooh.

Yes agree totally, Japanese consumers nedd to be more astute, which is not what they are when signing eikaiwa contracts.
Untill they wise up, they will continued to be ripped of by their fellow countryman.

All I see is negativity. All I see is apathy. I see not a soul in here who is making any positive, go forward, “solve problems” contribution. Don’t you people appreciate that Japan can be a wonderful and fascinating place? Don’t you people respect the important role that eikaiwa, yes, places like GEOS, play, in providing people wanting an adventure in Japan with an income? Can you people, and please, I insist you really think about it, so keep your minds open, can you people even imagine for one second, how difficult it would be to come to Japan fresh and settle in, without places like GEOS? Japan is an ancient society, yes, that is right, an ancient society, which has rapidly mechanized and modernized, but still holds onto agrarian values and concepts, and places like GEOS, yes, you ALL heard it, places like GEOS form a meeting place where emerging and evolving Japan meets the outside world, and where the outside world has an opportunity to look deeper than ever into unique and fascinating Japan. Have you people any concept at all? Do you realize what is before you? WELL I DON’T THINK SO. When you are all out of work, and getting jobs in Japan is next to impossible, let’s listen to all of you eikaiwa critics then? That’s right, the silence will be deafening. Wake up, wake up, know your place, and know what is right under your nose, if only you could see beyond the negativity and destructive commentary, posted mainly by bitter losers and haters, and SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL EIKAIWA TODAY! I and two of my friends, have already started to do two voluntary lessons per week, to support the company which has given so many, so much. Now is the time to unite, not to bury yourself in hatred, and wallow in lies and deceit. You all know the Chicken Little story. What are you all? Chicken Little? I like to view eikaiwa as being the three “L’s” – LIVE, LOVE and LEARN. Talk to your manager today, and see what you can do to make GEOS a better place, otherwise, go home.

That's a great retro name btw. I almost change my handle to "The Ant Hill Mob" - but couldn't be bothered :)

To an extent you're right. Customers should be more wary. However, don't forget, Japanese tend to be quite trusting, to the point if being gullible - KFC for Christmas dinner anyone? White day? I do prefer pointing the finger at those who take advantage, not those who are taken.
It's all well and good saying customers beware, but especially in Japan, where companies keep financials closely guarded and secret, you have to take so much on trust, regardless of the industry. Or you wouldn't leave the house right?

'Talk to your manager today, and see what you can do to make GEOS a better place, otherwise, go home.'

How will that stop the boss man stealing money from his employees and customers whenever he feels like it? If you want to spend your off-days slapping paint onto a rusty boat that is about to sink go ahead. I think the go home option is a much better one.

The positivity was refreshing, if a little hyperbolic, don't think eikaiwa will be curing cancer anytime soon, but sure it's brightened peoples lives. Always good to have some balance in a discussion rather than boiling everything down to simplfied slop, plus a little name calling thrown in for good measure. Speaking of the boss man who here thinks he has any marbles left? I'm sure the guy is as bent as a nine bob note, but some ponzi scheming evil genius I think not.

Talk to your manager today, and see what you can do to make GEOS a better place, otherwise, go home.

The managers have no idea what teachers can do to make GEOS better, or if they do they're not allowed to do it or talk about it. The changes needed go way beyond anything that any Japanese eikaiwa owner is willing to consider, as they usually seem to think inertia is best. It sounds increasingly like in Kusanoki GEOS has a very similar CEO to Saruhashi, i.e. whatever success he's had in the past has led him to believe that he can do no wrong, and now he's a ranting megalomaniac who won't listen to anyone else. I admire your idealism, but face facts: with a deluded, decadent incompetent in charge who's going to drive the company into the wall, there's very little teachers can do except get out.

Sarcasm; (n). 1. Mocking or ironic language intended to convey scorn or insult.
2. The tone or use of such language.

dont feed the trolls.

fuck them.

in the ass.

"whatever success he's had in the past has led him to believe that he can do no wrong, and now he's a ranting megalomaniac who won't listen to anyone else. "

I think that sums up the cause of what is happening to Geos better than anything else I've seen on the board. Success can be the greatest cause of failure. Something about human nature that has destroyed a lot of people and companies.

The likely demise of Geos will rest squarely on his shoulders. Without a big change at the top, there is little anyone can do either way. Teachers, managers, unions, this board etc. are all pretty much irrelevant when you have a nutjob in charge.

Thank you for the compliment. Some balance is well over due. I like my job in eikaiwa. I like my students. I like living in Japan.

Does that make me a criminal?

Why, God damn it, why should I hate my job, hate my students, and hate Japan?

Why? Why should I?

As a matter of fact, I love the life Eikaiwa has given me.

It is high time good, hard working and decent folk, who believe in free-enterprise and freedom of choice, stood up to the minority whiners and complainers!

Whose with me?

EIKAIWA TEACHER, SUPPORTING A FAMILY, AND DAMN PROUD OF IT !

Any staff in upper management who have the sense see that Mr. K is taking his company over the edge are too intimidated by him to even attempt to suggest that he may be making mistakes. Like the news piece about Japanese corporate culture posted earlier had stated, there aren't enough mechanisms in place to allow for the ground-level staff to give any positive input up the chain of command on how company operations could be made more efficient. Everything is top-down. It's the people in upper management who are flying blind because of the detachment they have with staff who are on the front-lines of their business.

Eikaiwa teacher supporting a family. Now is a good time to be looing for that better job. They are around if you put in the work ferreting them out you know. Maybe you like what you do now, and put down the antics of your president to free choice and enterprise. However, even so, whatever you do or do not do, GEOS type companys ain't going to get any better: believe me. Even if GEOS don't go broke, it's all downhill from here. That means your future and your family's future are on shaky ground. The time to do something about that is now.

He/she doesnt need your advice about what is good or not good for him/her, he/she is happy working in Eikawa maybe Geos, another thing you dont know about this person, if he/she is actually working for Geos.
To take Advice from this site as to what a person will do with their family if a company or certain industry is not seen as the best option in Japan goes bust, is the most stupid advice one could take. Life is up and down, companies go backrupt, people move on to another job. It is not and will not be the end of the world like some people here think. If you are happy to be in a job teaching English in Japan good on you, it is up to each individual to choose what is good for them.

From another English Teacher teaching in an Eikawa and raising a family.

I was walking outside the old Nova branch in Furukawabashi a couple of weeks after the close down and saw a notice on the window. I have a family. Please give me work. It was the saddest thing, and I would do anything to avoid ever getting into a position of having to put my hand out like that.

It's true enough that he doesn't specifically say that he is working for Geos. However, he is, by implication at least, advising (actually rallying) people who do work for Geos to take the same line that he is: (assuming of course that it is a 'he').

In the light of the way that students and staff were treated in Australia, I would personally say that it would be inadvisable to ignore other options and get in behind a company that thinks nothing of treating people like that. Companys go broke all the time: big deal, you say. So does that mean it's alright if a whole lot more students and teachers in Japan get shafted again. Par for the course in a job that you like?

Do mechanics quit their jobs and run around like Henny Penny shouting the sky is falling, The sky is falling because the industry is at a point where it has come into question. The responsibility is not with the teacher, they are paid to do a job and that is to teach English, just as mechanics are paid to repair cars. They do not have the responsibility of being responsible for the industry`s problems or mistakes. Saying that, if teacher incorrectly mistakes a state verb for another verb, well that is another story. Just like if the mechanic doesnt check the brake fluid in a customers car and they crash because of it. People work for money and dont need to feel responsible for mistakes that made by people in higher positions or are beyond their control. Go to work. do your job, go home and relax with your family.

If you dont feel secure in your job, then look for another one to try and better your situation but dont think that just because you work in eikawa that you are lower than anyone else in Japanese society.

A lot of the people on this site who make negative comments about climbing the ladder and bettering oneself through promotion within a company, be it eikawa or something else, are actually bitter because they were either stood down or just couldnt/wouldnt cut it in an office enviroment in Japan. Therefore these people go about putting down eikawa teachers on LJ, hoping that they will have some impact on the word or can watch a company collapse on their computer. Very sad people indeed.

I'm kind of sorry that so many people had such a bad experience with the GEOS. I did a stint over in Japan, admittedly a fair few years ago now and actually had a pretty good time. Yes, there was a lot of really stupid shit that I hated; paperwork, renewals, pointless sales campaigns. But honestly, the students were (mostly) great, my co-workers and managers were generally alright and I had a pretty enjoyable time on the whole. I REALLY enjoyed living in Japan and I look back on my time over there quite fondly. I got out at a good time and went on to other things overseas (still connected with ELT and education, hence my continuing interest in this site). I also appreciate though that not everybody was as lucky as me. Some of my friends found themselves in some pretty shitty situations working with some truly awful people so I'm not trying to paint a rosy picture of every GEOS school, just give my personal take on my own experiences.

I think the key point I'd like to make though is this though; a lot of people graduate uni with no idea of what they want to do and spend large portions of their twenties (or beyond) taking shitty jobs for very little money, generally being fairly miserable. While most of my friends were at home grinding away at a 9 to 5 job in an office cubicle I got paid about the same as they were making to live overseas, learn another language and generally have a pretty good time. And if you think eikaiwa is bad, just try 8-hour shifts in a call centre to keep student loans off your back. Or selling magazine advertising. Or any of the other jobs that graduates around the world without a life plan mapped out end up in these days.

And this is not just the dregs of the university system not being able to find a job. Most of my friends were in a very similar situation to me in that they graduated from a pretty good uni with pretty good grades but just had no idea at the age of 21 or 22 what to do next. Most of them have now figured out through trial and error what it is they want to do with their life and the same people who 5 or 6 years ago were answering calls at an energy company or selling life insurance on the phone are now chartered surveyors, school teachers, software managers and health professionals.

So no, eikaiwa is NOT something that you should spend your life doing. It's fun for a while but you should definitely get out once you get comfortable. Nor would I want to work for GEOS again or even recommend it to anyone nowadays. But I don't judge anyone who wants to go overseas for a year or two and do something like eikaiwa teaching, as long as they go in with both eyes open and try their hardest to give their students and their lessons the time and energy they deserve. There are far, FAR worse ways to spend a couple of years in your twenties.

(oh, and before the flame war really gets started, believe it or not I don't work for GEOS head office; I'm just trying here to give a little balance to all the really silly comments that I've been reading)

Thank you GEOS for the last two posts. Great to think you guys are putting in a Saturday pm at the office.

I new someone would say that!!!! you are so insecure that that is your only defence.
Read them carefully Idiot!!!!!!!!!!1

I wrote one of the posts and I think Yohoho is in Australia somewhere. why cant people read posts and understandthem on this site.

PS I DONT WORK FOR GEOS!!!!!!!!!! UNDERSTAND???

Gee, I love you GEOS office boys. Go for it!!!

Do you think today is Saturday? Are you blind or just plain stupid. I think the latter? You have no post to post so why bother? Go play with the traffic New York or Invercargill.

Here we go.

That guy who can only post comments if every other sentence is written in bold will be back in a moment. Ready to tell everyone just how wrong they are!

Seriously, and this really will be the last time I say this.. I have no connection with GEOS Japan, nor have I for many many years. I only wrote my comment above for the sake of adding just a little bit of balance to this discussion.

But then again, if I was sat on my head office computer late at night writing this I WOULD say that wouldn't I? But I'm not, so relax.

Why, God damn it, why should I hate my job, hate my students, and hate Japan?

Why? Why should I?

I'm not saying you should, but maybe you should start wondering whether

eikaiwa

classes are still a financially viable service to be offering. It might have been fine when everyone in Japan had loads of cash to spend on hobbies, but guess what? The economy's tanked and people here are deciding, as they tighten their belts and collectively spend less and less, that eikaiwa is a luxury they can't afford. I mean, they spend all that money and what, ultimately, do they have to show for it apart from a few third-rate textbooks and CDs? Have you heard of any student getting a job into university just because they took lessons at GEOS? Eikaiwa doesn't match what most Japanese people want or need any more. English school owners are going to see their businesses crash and burn if they don't realise that and do something about it, but all the signs are that they prefer timidity and inertia. Too bad for you - they don't deserve your loyalty.

Oh my god business is tough, lets all start looting, rob some banks and start stocking food in the event that eikawa dies. Man this is getting real boring.

When will some people realise that English will be a business option in the future in Japan if it is done properly with the goal of students obtaining goals to improve their English. This scaremongering is like the medievil times when people thought that if you sneezed you had the plauge.

There is nothing wrong with teaching English in Japan, Working for crooked bosses yes, but going to work and teaching your students and feeling good about it is what a GOOD experienced teacher does.
Long term it would get you down so one needs to be diverse and do what is good for your sanity and your Family if you have one. so yes working outside eikawa is an option if thats what you want.

People are being made redundant all over the world, not Just Japan or just the eikawa industry.

What does everyone think about hostess bars, pachinko, etc harmless fun?

When will some people realise that English will be a business option in the future in Japan if it is done properly with the goal of students obtaining goals to improve their English

That's right, but what you're talking about here is actual English teaching and language learning. Eikaiwa doesn't offer any of that. As the name implies, it's simply talking and entertainment, nothing more than that.

As said, when times are tough, people aren't going to be wasting so much money on stupid, comedy eikaiwa "lessons" (or pachinko and karaoke either), which is why it's a good bet that the eikaiwa "industry" will continue to decline.

What will survive more in the long run is the demand for proper language learning, getting real language skills that are actually going to count for something. Eikaiwa doesn't offer any of that (unless you believe Kevin Burns), which is why it doesn't have much a future.

I can see you understand where I am coming from but people on this site seem to tar english teaching with the Eikaiwa brush, which is so far from the truth. There are many English Teachers in Japan who do not entertain students just to be popular but actually have programmes where students improve, with out selling crappy books or CDs, but most people would put this in the Eikaiwa basket.
I hope people understand Teach English in Japan does not equal Eikaiwa.

A credible school needs proper, trained teachers, a proper teaching system, exam courses like IELTS or Cambridge that give students more purpose and direction in their English learning, and experienced management who understand language teaching and know how to manage.

On top of that, accredited status from an organization like the British Council gives the school more credibility. It may not make much money, but it'll last the distance more if they focus on quality, rather than being a typical silly eikaiwa "school" with no teaching system, no management system, and a recruitment policy of hiring any random, comedy gaijin to talk complete garbage and act like an idiot day-in, day-out.

Do mechanics quit their jobs

It is interesting that you would compare the job of mechanic to that of a teacher. That is one of the problems in the industry right there, I think. Teachers have a personal relationship of trust with their students that is more than a business relationship, or should be. But the industry tries to boil that down to something mechanical - and fails.

Usually, when a customer gets their car fixed, they pay for the work after it is complete. If they are not happy with the work, then they can ask to have the problem fixed before paying. In the eikaiwa industry, however, it is a bit like paying for your next year or more of repair jobs in advance. If the mechanic knows that the company they work for is in the habit of taking these advance payments and then not making good on them, are you saying that the mechanic should just go about their job and not worry that the customer may lose money. Ripping people off is the manager's business, not his. Well, teaching is not not like that, sorry.

Yes teaching is a different set of skills altogether buy I was trying to show that teachers in eikawa dont really have any control what the company implements or dictates.

Teachers should be seperate from business but in Japan Eikaiwa is just that and lik AGT says untill there is a fomula with accredited school be it The British Council or Cambridge etc for teaching in Japan and Hiring skilled, quality Teachers, the zoo like show will go on. However as I have said in my previous posts Just because someone chooses to work in Ekaiwa does not define those people as at the bottom of society or the social status, which so many people on this site seam to worry about despite choosing Eikawa at some point in their lives themselves.

I think a lot of the ranting and slagging off of Eikawa, Geos etc comes from inexperienced Teachers/ or people who came to Japan for other reason and were disapointed when they got here.

Please do not take me the wrong way, I dont like Eikawa and choose not to work in that enviroment but I am a Teacher in Japan and raising a family. So for the people who think I have made the wrong choice or I am evil doing it, You do not know what you are talking about.

I am glad these last few posts are starting to have a certain level decent quality comments, must be English teachers writing them.

Hellow PROUD. If you are for real, I think you and your eikaiwa buddies should organzie an Eikaiwa Pride March. You can all wear t-shirts and carry banners, which say "Eikaiwa Teacher, AND Proud". I must warn you, however, if you think you get laughed at by your students, as you sit there, perched in your booth, doing your daily show, that's only a scratch on the surface, relative to what you will get, if you and you fellow ostriches do decide to come out, and protest. If you are a long-termer in eikaiwa, then frankly speaking, you are a dickhead.

If he is happy doing it why not?Were you bought up in North Korea where people dont have the choice to do what they want. Sounds like it or maybe you just dont have any balls to stand up for what you believe in be it Eikawa. You are just another poster trying to put down teachers. Go play with the traffic!!!

That's right, but what you're talking about here is actual English teaching and language learning. Eikaiwa doesn't offer any of that. As the name implies, it's simply talking and entertainment, nothing more than that.

The management at eikaiwa schools would claim differently. In my experience some of them do have some people who actually know what they're talking about to plan their courses, and none of them would ever claim that all they offer is "talking and entertainment." In many cases though, that may be all that goes on. So I think there's a big difference between what eikaiwa schools set out to provide and what they actually do provide.

A credible school needs proper, trained teachers, a proper teaching system, exam courses like IELTS or Cambridge that give students more purpose and direction in their English learning, and experienced management who understand language teaching and know how to manage.

Agreed completely, especially about the management. Most of the time I suspect they just look at English as a product like any other, that they don't need to know much about themselves in order to sell. Therefore they don't care very much if the Japanese employees they hire don't know much about it either, and the idea is that it's supposed to be ridiculously easy to set up - as far as they're concerned the teachers don't need proper qualifications or training because everything's there for them in the textbook. The westerners they promote to be supervisors therefore usually know little except what it says in the company's teaching manual, and when the supervisors aren't listening in the teachers often feel it's okay to just chat to the students for forty minutes. However, as the alternative, i.e. proper courses with teachers with proper qualifications, would be expensive to set up, it's far better from the management's point of view to just let things continue as they are.

If it continues the way it is, schools will fail and teachers will lose jobs, students will get angry, More researh needs to be done on why it is so difficult for Japanese to learn and aquire English sskill and why the current education system is not working. untill educators can target the problems with a well planned out method of teaching English to Japanese they will continue to struggle with it Eikawa or no Eikawa.

Just because someone chooses to work in Ekaiwa does not define those people as at the bottom of society or the social status, which so many people on this site seam to worry about despite choosing Eikawa at some point in their lives themselves.

There's a lot of slating of eikaiwa instructors, usually from bitter, twisted ex-eikaiwa teachers who got out of there, and now think they've gone up in the world. I don't think being an eikaiwa instructor automatically means you're a scumbag, but eikaiwa does attract and suit wasters who've got absolutely nothing else they can do, or want to do, other than drift along talking crap at people for years, just because it's "easy" and the money's "OK".

as far as they're concerned the teachers don't need proper qualifications or training because everything's there for them in the textbook....
the alternative, i.e. proper courses with teachers with proper qualifications, would be expensive to set up

That's the attraction of eikaiwa to "business people". You've got a steady stream of cheap labour, namely working holidayers who want to come over and see Japan for a year, or people who got stuck in eikaiwa and will work for peanuts anyway. You don't need proper teachers to do the job, ie. talking to people, you just need a native speaker who can keep their mouth moving, dress up in a suit and just about pretend the whole thing's really professional and educational. Then these "professional talkers" get promoted to manager.

Teaching just doesn't come into it - it's not about teaching and learning.

OK a few points

Filtering out the spam above there are lots of very good questions emerging.

As it is, yes, the Eikaiwa of Japan are in terminal decline. And a big part of that is how they have been run, and I don't mean just money matters, but hiring, training, the lot. But I think everyone is accountable, from management right down to teachers and (whispers this) students.

Management
There needs to be better regulation, that's for sure. Don't forget that at the moment there is JALT (Japan Association of Language Teachers) who accredit Eikaiwa (although this is usually done by paying a fee, rather than meeting any criteria it seems). Also, most Eikaiwa run Kyufukin courses, and their textbooks have been 'accredited.' What the criteria is I have no idea though. And of course, as AGT has pointed out, they Eikaiwa are run by "Business people" - who of course are looking to profit from this.
This "business/money/low-cost" model filtered into the Junior-high/high schools a long time ago. Hence the ALT "industry," which suits lazy local governments, education bodies, and actually the teachers themselves, who get to live in Japan on good hours, with a pretty good wage. It's only recently that people in power have started asking questions about why ALT companies and Eikaiwa run things so badly. But they are asking the wrong questions. The wider problem is that generation after generation of Japanese grow up thinking this is how English should be taught.

Teachers
When I worked in an Eikaiwa, the Trainers actually did try to teach a version of the methods that I learned on CELTA - but once the teachers got back to the schools after training they went back to what they had been doing, just free conversation which has an educational value of zilch. That was as frustrating for me as the trainers crappy attitude. I've said before that all eikaiwa teachers should hold some kind of qualification, even if it's just a TESOL certificate out of their universities ESL dept. They really should. I've often heard it said that some of the best teachers are the ones without teaching qualifications who have a good personality - no, some of the most popular teachers are like that. Popularity doesn't necessarily make you a good teacher (except in Eikaiwa, where you'll get students continuing). Teaching qualifications don't either, but it's a start.

Students
But then there is the other problem which is a huge apathy in the student body. Your man-on-the-street salaryman doesn't give a hoot if their teacher is qualified or not. Eikaiwa help themselves here by pointing out that all their teachers are "university graduates" as if that instantly makes you a good teacher. Granted, if students discover that there is such a thing as a "qualified English teacher," of course they want one (which is why I was discouraged from advertising my CELTA), but there is almost a whispering campaign to make sure this doesn't happen. There will come a point when this need for qualified teachers 'tips' and it'll only be when there is customer demand that things will really change. but I think we're about 5 years away from that. Maybe the collapse of another big eikaiwa or two would hasten it a little.

And Research? Nah, real ESL/EFL methodology is fine, Japanese people just need to get out of the mindset that you can learn English for 2 hours a week and get fluent, and that English can't be learned like Math or Science. Just that.

I've just churned that out, so it might be a bit disjointed. Sorry about that, but I hope you get the gist. I haven't time to proof read it, so sorry as well for any typos.

Have a good one.

No need to be apologetic "questions". You've essentially summarised the core problems. I think 5 years could be a little optimistic although if a few of the biggies do fall, as you mention, there might be a rethink into how this market operates.
Have a good one yourself.

I second that, good post adding to the topic, nothing negative about it and informative the writer actually knows a lot about this topic and has thought about it. Hope we can keep going like this.

Actually an Eikaiwa Pride March is not a bad idea.

The number of Eikaiwa workers, contrary to what is said in here, who have tremendous pride, who believe in free enterprise, who believe in democracy, who believe in being positive, AND who DO NOT WALLOW IN MISERY AND NEGATIVITY, are prodigious in number, and the world needs to know this, to see and feel this, and EMBRACE THE HUMANITY.

I love my job, I love my students, and I love Japan, but most of ALL, yes, most of all I AM NOT ASHAMED OF ANY OF IT !

Enjoy your time in Japan, and don’t let the whiners and haters ruin one second of your precious Japanese adventure.

It is your Japan. Be proud!

that free conversation has zero value...building confidence is probably the single most important thing i can give students..especially here...and they dont get that from boring repeated drills..or writing homework.

they get it by talking to me..and having me understand everything they say.

i write down grammar errors, and let them correct them after..

the most important thing is that I understand what is being said..and i always do..cuz most students are great..they are just scared to try to talk to people...

yeah..im just some foreign guy who talks to them...but i know what they need..and thats confidence..

plus we have the "see a gaijin in the zoo before you see one on safari" aspect.

Drilling students with boring repetative sentences does not constitute teaching english neither does free conversation but practice of structured grammar and vocabulary followed up by a bit of writing to recycle the mix and there we have it an English lesson. If you are going to do free conversation, do it in a way that the students can practice something. A lot of free kaiwa teachers shut off, give the odd nod or grunt for 40 min, smile and NEXT!!!!

@ we owe GEOS
If you weren't such an obvious troll I'd applaud your passion. This kind of blind naivety to the reality of teaching at Eikaiwa, I would suggest, is downright irresponsible. To those teachers still propping up the corrupt business practices of the GEOS CEO, don't listen to this drivel. Dust off that resume today.
and to "we owe GEOS".... as you'll be the last one there make sure you lock the doors on your way out.

To Mr Canada - you don't have any teaching qualifications then I take it?
Hang on.... this is an Eikaiwa discussion....my bad - carry on....

The may need to change the name of this site in the future to Eikawa is dead what is next to debunk?

Questions made some good points about managers, teachers and students. But let's not forget HO's huge detrimental part in all of this.

Firstly there's the complete undermining of their staff. For example, the company line is "No opening Active classes for single students". Case study: Mrs Yamada is a claimer and wants her Geos branch to open a new class for her high school daughter. According to Mrs Y, the class she's currently in is no longer feasible (could it be because a new student joined and the class is no longer a Private by proxy?). The Weds class is no good. Nor is the Thurs class. She wants a new class (ergo Private again). The manager, following Geos policy, apologises but explains that there is no possibility to open the new class. Mrs Yamada is pissed, mouths off at the manager and then proceeds to call HO and complain. HO then call the school to tell them to open the class anyway. Mrs Yamada gets her class.
Now, the school would have been happy to open a new class and add new students later, but were told specifically by HO not to. Now that Mrs Y has complained, the class is opened and the school is made to look like the villain. The student no longer trusts the school, the manager or the teacher. It creates bad feeling between the school and HO.
This is one of many examples where HO will tell the school to give the company line, then change their minds so as to not lose a student (even if that student is costing them more money than their contract makes) making the school look bad.

Secondly, a complete lack of investment in schools, textbooks, teachers, etc... Schools are never updated. Carpets are never cleaned, repairs never made or only made if students start to complain. The school look tired and shabby, but managers can only make superficial changes without submitting claims to HO. All of the Geos-produced texts are over 10 years old. The only new texts in the last 4+ years have been a business text for NETs' students and a regular course text for advanced NETs' students. Both of these texts are produced by outside companies. Extra homework books are old and outdated (and in some cases very expensive). There is no 'real' teacher training given, only how to teach the Geos texts and how to keep kids interested in class. All trainings these days are done using V-Chats (yet a lot of schools don't have working microphones, headphones, reliable computers...)

Thirdly, there is a complete lack of communication between HO and teachers, unless it's to do with making money. Teachers regularly receive reports and paperwork to fill in, often relating to renewing students, GIEA sign-ups, making the school lobby look good with posters (see previous), but nothing in regards to the companies position, future plans... For example, recently as I'm sure everyone knows, Geos Australia went under. NETs have received absolutely zero information from HO. Manager have received the usual "nothing to see here" emails from HO, but NETs... They don't know what to say when students ask about Australia, they're still being told to recommend GIEA to students, but they haven't received anything in the way of a company line on the Australia situation. It would be so easy as well. All HO would have to do is ask the teachers to say something along the lines of "Geos Australia's operations are separate from Geos Japan and won't have any impact on your classes. The other Geos overseas schools are also unaffected." Easy. No need for details or big explanations.

And the "global careers" line is such a load of BS. Recently in the Kanto area, someone was promoted to Sub-teacher. This position was not advertised (nepotism possibly?) to staff. How are teachers supposed to build their "global career" if the very few and far between promotions are not even being advertised and filled on a "this is who we like best" basis?

If the schools and teachers are a reflection of the Head Office... well, it should be no surprise why things are the way they are now.

Sorry, the third paragraph should be "company's position" not "companies position".

Im sure YOU are just the top in YOUR field too...thats why youre here right? Cuz youre just slumming it until the Board of Education for Planters Country calls you up again and you can be back on the cutting edge of introducing sweet young minds to the intricacies of advanced Hebee Jeebeees 101.

twat.

I give what is required by my employer...which is correct their occassional english mistakes and to instill confidence in their abilities.

I dont know WHY I speak English..I just know I DO, and I know that its incorrect when someone says "I go to shopping." ..the important thing is that I understand them...Id like to know the percentage of native speakers who can identify the difference between an adverb, and a pronoun. Im not saying that knowing that is bad, Im saying its not important or vital to know it when getting someone ready to travel to Australia or New York, and ask "where the bus is" , which is primarily my job.

You learned English cuz you were surrounded by native speakers speaking english on TV, your mom, and your friends and teachers...I doubt very highly you learned much english from a grammar book. Show one your students an english grammar book, and try to get them to understand all the bullshit pissant rules, and irregular verbs and other brainiac shit from stuck up "educators" like you, and see how long your students hang around......past progressive fuck you.

We speak..we understand..they improve.

I get paid. I go home, I jerk off.

Thats my day.

And yours too..so dont get high and mighty.

You are in dream world Canadajin, do what you do best, stick to Eikawa because you are not a Teacher and as you have no intrest in grammar your students will still be at the same level as you found them but probably in a worse state for the next Teacher to fix all your fuck ups, that is if that Teacher is a Teacher and understands the way that English grammar is taught and learnt in a non English speaking country. If not then students are wasting time and money taking your crappy like Canadian free conversation lessons. You and Teachers like you are the reason Japanese can not master English!!!!!!

Present Perfect is complex but very important in the English Language but as you couldnt understand how to teach it, you choose not too.

A nice rounded, measured response there Mr Canada. Let's keep things civilised. But I think, with Eikaiwa you have found your place. Keep up the excellent work.

Part of the problem is that many teachers who know their grammar well, do not actually know how to teach it. That is because most of the textbooks and the teaching courses they have been on focus on overt/conscious methods or learning which are often ineffective. In addition to that, these textbooks typically teach grammar in a compartmentalised and sequentialised fashion, which is also the cause of considerable problems and delays. Many textbooks, for example, will put off 'past perfect' teaching until towards the end of a course, the teacher following this system will usually find that their students end up getting the least practice in an area that actually needs more attention. Moreover, a form like the past perfect is only infrequently needed, and correct use of it cannot be learned in a blitz. Students who have just been 'learning' the past perfect will often overuse it thereafter.

I consider it quite possible that a good 'free conversionalist' might get further with thier students than some text-book driven teachers on this account. However, they would do better if they had some specific goals that they were pursuing.

Present Perfect is complex but very important in the English Language but as you couldnt understand how to teach it, you choose not too.

You have your own grammatical error in this one sentence. You also spelled "Intrest" incorrectly in your first sentence.

I only point this out because you attacked others about grammar and accuracy. This line of attack doesn't work very well.

to your students?..

and they all fell asleep right?

and here we go again..lets all trot out the self-hating english teacher horse-shit again..look..its a job..i like Japan...I like Ebi-ten..and JGirls..and Kyoto..and tatami..there happy?..i LIKE IT here..yea..I could be at home in Mississauga at minus 20...living in our non-culture..in some cube..cuz thats "better" or "real" ..

Most jobs suck...most of them..unless youre a fireman..or a doctor..or a pro athlete...well I aint those..and neither are you...but i Like my job..and my students have been there for years..and I get more all the time...cuz im not some boring twat.

They learn stuff from me every day..and Ive heard them use thing Ive taught every day.

Order of Adjectives is nice and all..and I DO teach it..(along with verb tenses) but its NOT a vital part of my class, nor should it be when a student is interested in travelling..or learning about different places and customs.... Only a stuck up anal retentive Nova-clone AT asshole who hides behind an anonymous handle would care about such stuff.

I get my students to speak english...isnt that the fucking point?..You learn english by speaking english and having people understand you.

im sorry im rude..but its how baby Jesus made me.

thank you!

I was not nor have I ever attacked other posters use of grammar or spelling, I was commenting on the free conversation. please feel free to read the posts properly so you understand them and proof read them too, then get back to me because I dont check them on this site.

... to educate and correct.

Nothing too see here folks - move along.

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