Sunday, April 4, 2010

Eikawa: or The Hellish Nightmare of English Conversation School

I'm not going to focus much on the job I had for my first 5 months in Tokyo. Because I dislike languishing in negativity and complaints.

That being said, let me express my opinion...ARRGGGHHHH!

I was hired by a large Eikawa in Japan. (They shall remain nameless for now.) I thank them for their recruitment, and the legitimate Japanese work visa.

What are my issues with the job? Well...

I told them that my experience was mainly in teaching Business English, so they said I would be placed at a location with LOTS of Business Clients.
-I was placed in a location with almost no business clients. Mostly hobby learners, and children.

I told them that I would live in Shin-Okubo. They said I would be placed at a location in Shinjuku or Ikebukuro - as it was close and LOTS of business clients.
-I was placed in a rather far away residential center.

They said that training was paid.
-No, it was not.

They said that I would be paid for a minimum amount of lessons (160) per month, and could make more money if I taught more than that.
-No. Just paid by lesson, and they ENCOURAGE teachers to teach at least 160 - but no promised salary.

They said that after three months, teachers get a pay raise if they have attended some various workshops (unpaid) and have good scores from students.
-Only get a pay raise if the company feels they can "afford" to have higher ranked teachers. You might qualify for the raise, but have to wait 2,4, or more months. And it is not retroactive. experience with Eikawa was not great. Personally, I think that for a single person or a person with no children - it might be okay. Most general learners book lessons after 6pm. A person with no family could work late every night and get maximum lessons. They could work at two centers - go to one in the day for business clients, another at night for hobby learners.

Although, even as a single person/non-parent - it seems so much time would be spent at work, there would be minimal chance to see and enjoy Japan.

But I got some "teach English IN Japan" experience to go with my "teaching English in the US" experience. I made a great friend from one of my students. So...for all the hardships, it worked out.

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