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David English House Closes its Doors

Citing a tough financial situation, Hiroshima-based David English House has closed its doors as of September 1 and filed for bankruptcy.

While some of its schools will close, a number of its teachers will go independent and take over existing contracts and keep other schools open. For the most part, it sounds it will be business as usual for its students.

Apart from its English schools, DEH was also known for its distance learning courses through the University of Birmingham (MA in TEFL) and the University of Sheffield (MA in Advanced Japanese [no longer offered]). I did a Master's in Advanced Japanese Studies at the University of Sheffield through DEH a few years ago and have nothing but good things to say. It was well-organized and a lot of hard work, but a lot of fun, too.


I never worked for them but David's English House always struck me as being one of the better eikaiwas. David was always involved in a lot of volunteer work like organizing the ETJ group.

The good places have a problem with price competition. They can't keep up the standards and lower prices as well.


Yes, they did seem to be one of the better places

Wow, I feel really bad to hear this. I did my MA in TEFL/TESL though DEH. This is truly a loss for teachers and students alike.

I worked there for 3 years, then within months returned and they let me work some more. What a shame. Fantastic place to have been a part of.

Geeze kinda scary--English is supposed to still be the global language
What a nightmare There are two obvious things to fault this---Education
system and the people

Plus to make things even worse there are people who are just plain lazy, and unmotivated, don't care which sadly seems to be the reality nowadays.

People too easily it's mendou kusai, boring, and all other lame excuses and
Poor English skills is nobody else's but you know who period and it's understable why their life sux

*nobody else fault but theirs period I mean, it's their loss and stupidity

14:38 is that JapEnglish? Because obviously do not speak English well yourself. I figure you are Japanese yourself and just bitter at all "those damn gaijin" in your country.

No I blame us Japanese for this issue

He's the author of "Finding Out" and "Communicate," right?

Wow, what a shock for someone of that caliber to go under.

When Nova, and Geos went under I was like "yeah, die bastards, die". But David's English House going under was NOT something I wanted to hear. He is he of the good guys. He brought professionalism to the industry, and more importantly, he FOSTERED professionalism in other teachers.

Well,...goddammit...he had a good run, and went a lot of years. He put food on his own table for many years, and helped others to put food on their family's table, either by employing them, by offering them avenues for professional development, and last but not least, by directly, and indirectly helping Japanese people to create opportunities for themselves by learning English. I used Communication Strategies 1 and 2 to teach with and they were a dream to teach with. Hats off to David Paul.

Sorry to hear about this... one of the few good guys working in ELT in Japan. The firsttime I met him him was when he was paid by GEOS to do a presentation in Tokyo for one of their Big Jump corporate mind-rape meetings way back in about 2004. This was when GEOS had decided to outsource all their kids books to DEH and brought in Finding Out etc. for their GEOS schools. I remember sitting listening to all these great ideas which were completely at odds with everything the GEOS schools were doing at the time, all explained with the aid of a big rubber chicken. In fact, when he said that the staff at DEH always spoke English around the kids and started to explain some of the (very sensible) procedures they had in place for disruptive students I remember looking at the native trainers sat off to the side who were grinning at each other and shaking their heads.

Still, Finding Out, when taught within a GEOS lesson, was an absolute c**t to use.

My views on DEH are a bit more mixed than the universal praise I see heaped here. I was in on the founding of ETJ and edited one of its publications for most of its publishing history. I was always concerned about the relationship between DEH and ETJ and advised early on that ETJ should be organized as some sort of NPO with that sort of legal status. Advice ignored Then when DEH got into financial troubles, David Paul immediately tried to make cutbacks at ETJ. Moreover, he refused to expand ETJ to allow chapters or regional groups to cover subjects outside of teaching children. And since teaching children was his major commercial interest, this was clearly a conflict of interests. Of course, the financial health of DEH was more important than ETJ because ETJ wouldn't have been possible without the resources of DEH. But David Paul made bad decisions about ETJ, about the people he got involved in ETJ (far too many looking for bullet points on their c/v's or ways to expand their teaching children business in their own locations). I did a lot of hard work for ETJ but must say David proved an incapable leader and ETJ was not a very fun organization to be around. Little wonder then that it ended up so much like JALT, only with an even smaller focus than the JALT-holes.

DEH was a fine example of the dodginess of the eikaiwa racket. It was better than most, but it had a fairly high turnover of staff despite its 'professionalism'. Travel often was too much and health insurance was clearly in the gray area inhabited by Nova, Geos and others.

DEH was always better at selling itself to teachers than it was selling itself to students. Perhaps that was a good thing because it never dabbled in pressure sales or locking students into long-term contracts. But next to no advertising meant that few people knew DEH existed. Coupled with some negative word of mouth caused by staff problems led to DEH being on a downward spiral for years.

I also have mixed feeling about DEH and agree with the last post, having worked there a few years ago.

On the plus side they treated students well - they didn't charge students in advance and they had a good training program for new teachers, which meant classes were of a higher standard than in some schools. Their method of teaching kids classes was particularly effective and Finding Out 1 is a great book for beginners.

As for the treatment of teachers, they were less than professional. They didn't give new teachers the option of joining Shakai Hoken when I was there and teachers were told they had to join a private group scheme DEH had. There were also other issues concerning insurance and immigration, all of which created problems for teachers. And as the previous poster said a lot of staff left because of the schedules, many teachers having to work split shifts and ending up spending more time traveling than teaching.

While these issues are relatively common in Japan it didn't sit well with their reputation and claims of being a different kind of school.

DEH has been casting around for a buy out for at least 5 years that I know of. He was very nearly picked up by Shane back around 2005, but it fell apart over pricing and the inherent messiness of trying to bring anything into the Shane Empire and retain the slightest vestiges of quality.

Shame to see DEH go, but even through the boom times it never really looked like taking off.

>>They didn't give new teachers the option of joining Shakai Hoken when I was there and teachers were told they had to join a private group scheme DEH had. There were also other issues concerning insurance and immigration, all of which created problems for teachers.<<

Doesn't surprise me. They also tried to run dispatch into the universities, but the labor board and the ministry nixed that ultimately. David P. never really seemed to have much understanding of anything going on in Japan, not really. It must have been he had some key Japanese personnel handing such matters and may have not got good information.

Book should go out of business too.

Shocked to hear this, I worked for them 1998-2000. Hope the current teachers have managed to find jobs, at least for the short-term.

The finances always seemed on a wing and a prayer back when I was there, but they always managed to pull through somehow. RIP DEH.

Or you could just get a CELTA

I did...................a CELTA. And a complete waste of time. Don't waste your money on a failing industry. Get a real education (business, engineering, science) and get a real job.

A CELTA is only really useful if you want to aim for a job with one of the big international networks, like the British Council or International House. A CELTA plus 1-2 years' experience might land you a job with them. If you just want to spend a bit of time seeing Japan, it's not worth it.

Unlike some of the other contributors I did not know David Paul and have never worked for his organisation.
But I am a member of ETJ and was happy to receive an email from him when we first started Japan's Independent Network of English Schools. He sounded sincere, wishing us all the best with our efforts.
It is sad when any English school, big or small closes as there are always students, teachers and staff that lose. Lets just hope that David has put the ones who have struck out in this process some thought and consideration.
As far as the rest of us are concerned, it does effect us in one way or another. Lets just keep striving to be the best we can, put another failure behind us and move forward.

Only just read about this. It's sad to see any school go under - even when it's the likes of Nova & Geos, there'll be people suffering as a result who didn't deserve to.

That said, I'd share some of the scepticism expressed above about DEH. Because although I've heard that DEH were better for teachers than the big Eikaiwas in many ways, such as paid holidays, working hours etc, and I can well believe that to be true, I know of people employed by them who found them a lot less professional than some people in previous comments may be assuming was the case.

Issues like getting teachers in an a tourist visa and giving them "training" which was effectively largely just lesson cover for regular teachers on their vacations. It had to be called "training" though as it'd be illegal for them to be teaching on a tourist visa.

I know of a handful ex DEH-ers who complained of having to arrive in Hiroshima on a tourist visa, stay 3 or 4 to a room in a gaijin house, teach/be trained for several weeks before being sent over to Korea to get their visa properly sorted out. Heard a few accommodation complaints too; usually about being promised it would be arranged for them only to be pretty much told 'here's the address of the agent we recommend - go and see what he has to offer' with the agent happily taking the unwitting new arrival in the country around all the worst places he couldn't shift for months.

DP himself was described generally as coming across as a nice enough guy but a bit of an academic type who didn't always seem to be totally in touch with what was going on around him. One person who worked there told me that DP rather looked down on the big eikaiwas and teachers who worked for them.

I worked for DEH from 1993 to 1996. DP was always a gentleman - a genuinely nice guy who was always approachable. Am very saddened about the collapse of DEH. Even though I've not been to Japan since I left in 1996 it feels like the end of an era.

I worked for DEH in 2006 and left before my contract was finished for another position in Korea. I got there and had a very rushed training, basically to take over for teachers on holiday, and fell flat on my face, though I really tried. Problem is, they didn't seem to enjoy entertaining questions - they were too rushed to deal with it. Adjusting to a new culture wasn't easy. A lot of the students were spoiled and arrogant (particularly young women) and would not hesitate to bash a teacher after only days in the classroom. I was better off out.

Bullshit you are sorry. You are just taking the piss. When all Eikaiwa, big or small, are gone, then it's party time! Oh yeah, you bet ya ! Let them all burn, all of them, burn, burn, burn, let all Eikawia, burn, burn baby, burn!

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