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Thread: The Unbiased Truth About Nova

  1. #176
    Danshaku Elizabeth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bucko View Post
    I've never quite understood the whole "I want to study English conversation" thing. Surely a well rounded process of grammar, vocab, plus speaking practice is much better overall than the rubbish people learn at "conversation schools". I saw so many students over the years who complain that their grammar, spelling, writing, well, pretty much everything, was bad. "It's no wonder" I thought, you come here and repeat a few lame situational phrases from a monkey, and you expect to be learning?
    The emphasis on learning is slight because these schools realize most students are coming for decidedly unacademic reasons. They want to meet foreigners, socialize, experience something different, get out of the house, etc...which makes for an expensive hobby but isn't necessarily anything condemnable once you understand it isn't likely they'll ever either need to use or even have the opportunity to practice speaking English outside of class.

    Of course at NOVA things were always done a bit different, and always a bit more underhanded....no hanging out with instructors, so we'll have to con students into enrolling as a way to find more Japanese friends (remember that "NOVA tomo" ad ?!). Hilarious !!

  2. #177
    継続は力なり bakaKanadajin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bucko View Post
    I've never quite understood the whole "I want to study English conversation" thing. Surely a well rounded process of grammar, vocab, plus speaking practice is much better overall than the rubbish people learn at "conversation schools". I saw so many students over the years who complain that their grammar, spelling, writing, well, pretty much everything, was bad. "It's no wonder" I thought, you come here and repeat a few lame situational phrases from a monkey, and you expect to be learning?
    I have to agree and disagree here. You're right that learning 'English conversation' as your one and only means of becoming proficient in English is flawed. Learning phrases by rote completely avoids the inner structures that allow one to create ones own language. Being able to tailor your skills to participate in different situations is made easier by figuring out how to 'think' in another language, and that only comes through analyzing grammar and seeing the thought processes behind it, its logic.

    However in the defense of some Eikaiwa students and also myself, once you have learned those key grammar points and built your vocabulary into something fairly well-rounded, knowing how to naturally execute a conversation is a challenge. Most people who show up on the door step of Eikaiwas are quite well-versed in grammar but simply don't have the ability to immerse themselves in English to the degree that they're thinking in English and producing it naturally. They think in Japanese and produce something thats English but still not intelligible to a native speaker. All my theory and studying didn't amount to anything the first time I tried to have a conversation, using language is different from studying it.

    Seriously, without bragging, I've been studying Japanese for two and a half years, and I'm pretty sure that my ability in every single area, except for maybe vocab, is better than many of the "high level" students at Nova, who have been "studying" English for 5, 10 years plus.
    I too have been studying for a very short time (around 1 year) and I also seem to be ahead of my peers in terms of my reading, writing and speaking ability. I would wager that you and I delved quite deeply into our grammar books and dictionaries, I know I did, and that our progress wouldn't be as far along if we'd relied solely on a Barron's or LonelyPlanet phrase book. So again I agree with you there, rote-learning isn't the way to go.

    But another commonly overlooked skill is listening. I'd go so far as to say listening is just as important, if not slightly more so, than speaking. Conversations go both ways and listening at a near native-speaker level is paramount. As a former teacher I can adjust my speech to suit the level of anyone from a beginner to an advanced person, but most regular individuals won't do that. Listening and processing quickly is a hard thing to improve at. Again, being in an immersive environment is the only way to achieve this, and the Eikaiwa or some form of 'conversational coaching' becomes necessary. My language exchange partners are a valuable part of my learning process at the moment.

  3. #178
    Master of the Universe Bucko's Avatar
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    Interesting discussion. I'd just like to add that I'm not totally against the "Nova way". In fact, I'd actually quite like to take Japanese lessons in the Nova style because, as bakaKanadajin says, being able to tailor your skills to participate in different situations is made easier by figuring out how to 'think' in another language.

    Most people who show up on the door step of Eikaiwas are quite well-versed in grammar
    I'd have to disagree with you here. I'd have to say that, even though these people have been "taught" grammar, they don't actually know it. They either forget it quickly, or consider it unimportant, thus never learning it from the beginning. The Eikaiwa companies actually use this mentality to sell their product too, telling people that they "don't need grammar", thus people end up not being too concerned about it, which turns into a viscious cirlce. Whether it was the Eikaiwas who started this philosophy to get lazy people to sign up, or whether the lazy people wanted a different way to learn is not really clear though. Nevertheless, that's the mentality. Also, if you look at the quality of many of these student's written English, you'll see that grammar learning has been severely neglected, so I don't believe that most people are well-versed in grammar. Which again supports my (pretty understandable) belief that only a well-rounded learning process of Nova-like conversation, plus decent, solid grammar study will get these students anywhere. If, however, they are simply the types that have the so-called "English fetish" then by all means they should simply go to Nova and not worry about anything else. But they're not allowed to complain that their English sux

  4. #179
    Regular Member Sukotto's Avatar
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    Heart

    Quote Originally Posted by senseiman View Post
    Why on earth would you be philosophically opposed to a degree? Its a tool that you can use to get the type of job in Japan that you want, if you can get one then go for it, otherwise your options are pretty limited.
    The main problem for you is that the normal avenue for non-degree holders, the working holiday visa, isn't available to Americans. I say go finish that 1/3 of the degree you've got left.
    Also, about that "4 year degree" requirement, if you've got a 3 year degree then they'll still take you. I had a 3 year undergraduate degree from a Canadian university and I was hired by both GEOS and AEON despite that fact without any trouble.

    US has 2yr Associates degrees.
    and working holiday visas for Americans?
    these people are too crazy, as the following may attest to:


    oh, boy,
    are you ready for this one?


    you're all going to totally rip this apart, i know.
    i'll try my best. i never put it "on paper", so to speak.
    just had varying ideas going around in my head for a number of years.
    and, if i list spell them out to you, it might be the end of it and might just
    wind up getting one after all because a) you might convince me otherwise; or b) whenever i say i am going to do something, i often do not do it.
    so here the opposite.

    my very first semester in attending university was a 2nd semester and the school i went to wasn't that big so the first Japanese language course was not taught during this semester. i'd had it in high school and my Japanese teacher suggested why don't i go to college for Japanese after he learned i didn't really have any plans after high school. i could get a degree in anything and go to Japan to teach English. so Japanese language was
    the primary reason i went after taking a couple years off not really thinking too much about attending during that time.
    that was what got me to go in the first place. had it not been for Japanese language, i would not have gone to college at all.
    with my first semester not having Japanese, when it was almost done i almost failed to make the minimum required gpa because one particular course i'd just about given up on. i didn't really want to be there any way and i'm not taking the courses i wanted, so why should i be there? an adviser convinced me to go talk to one prof about the particular class. so i remained in college.

    even though i really had my doubts about wanting to be there at all.
    i felt college was for the rich people.
    why should i get to be a privileged shmuck?
    maybe i could become an "expert" and tell other people the way
    things should be or how they should live their lives?
    that seemed kind of immoral to me.
    for instance, i don't want to become a social worker and tell some kid they had better shape up or face the consequences. coercion.

    and the whole "IQ" test thing is culturally biased.
    "so we college graduates are smart because we have these
    degrees that show a mastery of set of knowledge X."
    which whom deems that particular knowledge important?
    generally speaking, groups that control more of the planets resources
    than the rest.

    those with the degree should get paid more money because those
    that control most of the resources(money) deem that particular set
    of knowledge valuable. why? because it helps them keep control
    of the resources, of course. share a little more of those resources
    with with those (degree/knowledge holders) that can use their cleverness to help maintain the resources in the hands of the few.


    and if you are not able to obtain enough of the pre-determined set
    of knowledge that is good at helping maintain the resources in the hands that they are, you should just get less resources of the earth. or so it is determined by those (we allow) to lay claim to a disproportionate amount of the earth's limited resources.
    the earth is not an endless resource, therefore, the theory that a "rising tide of economic goodness will raise all ships" is rather incorrect.
    only so much can be "re-invested" in resource extraction, the source of all real wealth -the earth, because there is only so much resources to extract.
    simply adding some numbers to current numbers and "inventing" more value or wealth is a flaming joke; a house of cards ready to crumble when it goes on too long.

    that's also a sort of time line of ideas as i obtained or contemplated them. (perhaps poorly)

    so,
    college is primarily about the restocking of the ruling class.

    at least in a society with such disparities in wealth as the US,
    despite the idea of "class" being well hidden behind ideology and rhetoric.


    today,
    the ruling class primarily hides their privilege behind the legal protections
    of the corporation. not only privilege in disproportionate access to the earth's resources, including the resources in other peoples' countries which are actually a particular people's first and foremost, but also the privileges that the legal form called the corporation constructs, such as limited liability for the owners/shareholders, among others. these privileges were primarily constructed over the past century, century and a half.



    and criticizing corporations i've found out, not in a collge class, but in extra-curicular activities, is not a "communist" endeavor:
    "I hope we shall take warning from the example and crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country."
    said (Letter to Logan, 1816). THOMAS JEFFERSON

    “I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. . . . corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.”
    – U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, Nov. 21, 1864

    and the patron saint of capitalism
    Adam Smith condemned corporations for their effect in curtailing "natural liberty."


    so blah, blah, blah,
    the us is the belly of the beast.

    something bad was going to happen but we didn't know what.
    well, lots bad was already happening coming from dc, but mostly
    didn't affect people in the US so much.
    then the US flat out invaded 2 countries,
    dropping the war by proxy and usual low-intensity warfare of arming dictators and death squads (read Pinochets & Contras).
    (low-intensity meaning attacking civilians; not very low-intensity for those it was aimed at: unionist/worker rights advocates, church groups, community groups, democratic organizers, etc...)


    and maybe cute Japanese girls almost got me to leave this trash heap.
    but thanks to others who are much smarter than i, this did not happen.



    regarding going to Japan without a degree to try to get a job,
    i also thought this not such a good thing because
    one should respect the requirements of one's host.
    i mean, "white males", be they wealthy land holders or not,
    have historically gotten their way throughout history.
    so here lies a very good reason, imo, to not try to weasel one's
    way into a job in Japan without a degree.


    yeah, yeah, sounds nice.
    so who wants to give me a job?
    not


    yeah,
    that about sums it up.
    and going to Japan is an escape from this reality.
    so, yeah.
    forget about it.
    at least for now.
    lame-duck presidents still might claim they have a legal power
    to attack Iran. impeachment is the least we can do for the rest
    of the world; for those that live on the periferary of the empire,
    to say we are sorry. will that happen? or are too many of us,
    myself included, addicted to American Idle?
    if only i'd stop sitting in front of this damn screen!
    check out this awesome shirt.
    If You're Really a Goth, Where Were You When We Sacked Rome?
    no, i got nothing against goths. just think the shirt is neat.

  5. #180
    Cute and Furry Ewok85's Avatar
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    You should have studied English in college, might make your posts easier to read.
    Leon - http://www.leonjp.com
    Expat Japan! - http://forums.expatjapan.net
    半ばは自己の幸せを、半ばは他人の幸せを

  6. #181
    Resident Realist nice gaijin's Avatar
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    There are a lot of thoughts floating around in that post, I'm not sure exactly what point you are trying to make, Sukotto...

  7. #182
    Regular Member Pepe's Avatar
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    1st: University (or College in American English) is not only about imparting knowledge in individuals, but also the tools to create, interpret and apply knowledge in a productive fashion. As to the idea of restocking the elite class, I fear you are not only barking up the wrong tree, but also are projecting.

    2nd: A 4 year degree from the U.S. is equal to a 3 year degree in many other countries - the result is a Bachelors degree in 'x', so I suggest we use the termn Bachelors degree instead of 4 year degree, as in NZ a 4year degee either infers a double major or honours.

    I apologise in advance if I offended/infuriated anyone, I couldn't be bothered sugar coating this post.

  8. #183
    Regular Member Sukotto's Avatar
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    more blah, blah, blah

    Quote Originally Posted by nice gaijin View Post
    There are a lot of thoughts floating around in that post, I'm not sure exactly what point you are trying to make, Sukotto...

    basically,
    college in general is a privilege.
    so why should i take it.

    even with the background of decent elementary and secondary
    schools to provide the needed background requirements for entry;
    if one is lucky enough to be born in neighborhoods
    that make it difficult for one not to drop out-even as early as the 4th grade, as with one guy i met. This guy was in the 20s mind you. Not our grandparents' generation.
    the background of decent upbringing too, is a privilege.

    granted, a local state college is not Yale, Harvard, or any of those others
    that produce snobs and twits that think that so much think they deserve so much of the planet's resources that they will actually kill to defend it.
    witness forcing other countries to accept the legal structures called corporations, call it the "free" market, and construct some sort of philosophy to try and justify it. the "corporation" is not the same as 'making a snowball and selling it to someone'. a corporation, that is made of laws, is actually government interference in the economy - if defending the corporation is part of one's philosophy that makes one believe controlling so much of the earth's resources/wealth is only "natural" and government should not interfere with it.
    the corporation is a historic tool of imperialism/colonialism to extract wealth in the name of the king.

    so, maybe if i went to one of those "prestigious" schools, i'd more likely be in the ruling class. but they are always looking for servants; people to manage their money at the banks, their newspapers while having the same assumptions they do (such as great concentration of wealth is only natural, or those noted above corporations), and even their imperial grand strategies(note today's neo-cons, or liberals that have corporations butter their bread).


    to Pepe:
    nothing you wrote upset me.
    i'm not of the ruling class, nor am i wishing to enter it.
    so i do not understand the projecting thing.
    but, the US does indeed have a ruling class.
    even though there is no queen or nobility present.
    though we are brought up not to recognize it.
    yes, you might actually say indoctrinated.

    college is about getting an education,
    and/or about job training.
    but it is also used to justify a system that is...
    not entirely just


    Ewok85 said:
    "You should have studied English in college, might make your posts easier to read."



    that stuff is basically
    why i have not wanted to get a bachelor's degree.
    it started out simple, but only got more complex or wordy over the years.
    or maybe that's all just made up so i can
    justify wanting to just hang out and play video games instead?
    something i actually find little time for these days.

  9. #184
    Villain Iron Chef's Avatar
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    Seriously, without bragging, I've been studying Japanese for two and a half years, and I'm pretty sure that my ability in every single area, except for maybe vocab, is better than many of the "high level" students at Nova, who have been "studying" English for 5, 10 years plus.
    That's because you have been living in Japan for some time now (I assume). You probably interact with Japanese daily. Take a Japanese student of English and transplant them for the same amount of time while they pursue English study in a total immersion environment and watch their progress skyrocket. Paying for a 50 min. class at an Eikawa then leaving your English at the door when you leave until the next time you arrive gets a student nowhere.

  10. #185
    Five times to Japan. ArmandV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Chef View Post
    That's because you have been living in Japan for some time now (I assume). You probably interact with Japanese daily. Take a Japanese student of English and transplant them for the same amount of time while they pursue English study in a total immersion environment and watch their progress skyrocket. Paying for a 50 min. class at an Eikawa then leaving your English at the door when you leave until the next time you arrive gets a student nowhere.
    This reminds me of junior high Spanish classes. You go in for an hour's worth of instruction and as soon as you leave the classroom, the Spanish stays in the room and becomes "fugitive information" to you.

    Armand's Rancho del Cielo

  11. #186
    Regular Member Sukotto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sukotto View Post
    basically,
    college in general is a privilege.
    so why should i take it.
    i'm not saying it SHOULD be a privilege, just that it IS - currently.
    and continues privilege onto the next generation.

  12. #187
    Just me Glenski's Avatar
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    sukotto,
    Have just read a few of your more recent posts. Sounds like you are against getting a college degree, yet you want to come to Japan for work. Is that it?

    Well, let me enlighten you on a few things.

    1) To work here, you need a proper visa. Work visa is more common, and it requires either a bachelor's degree (or equivalent) or a minimum number of years of experience (3 for a teacher). Don't have either of these? No work visa. You can work on other types of visas, but you probably won't like them:
    student visa (if you are enrolled in a school here FT),
    cultural visa (if you are here to study a craft under a master),
    dependent visa (if you are married to a foreigner with a work visa),
    spouse visa (if you are married to a Japanese).
    None of these requires a degree, and except for spouse visa, you can only work part-time (with permission from the government). You still have to face the fact that many employers will require a degree, any degree for teachers.

    2) There is no working holiday visa for Americans. You don't need a degree for it, and with a year of college, WHV holders can work for NOVA part-time. The PT thing is NOVA's policy. Moot point for you, though.

    3) You think college is for the rich. Wrong. It is for people who can afford to go, and that means people with money or the means to get it (in the form of loans, grants, scholarships, etc.). I was in the latter category. Poor family but got through college with assistance. I'm not the first or the last.

    4) You wrote this:
    i felt college was for the rich people.
    why should i get to be a privileged shmuck?
    maybe i could become an "expert" and tell other people the way
    things should be or how they should live their lives?
    Are you suggesting that college graduates are experts and tell others how to run their lives? If so, think again.

    5) You also wrote:
    those with the degree should get paid more money because those
    that control most of the resources(money) deem that particular set
    of knowledge valuable. why?
    College graduates don't always get more money. Learn who does, if money is that important to you. It's not about power, no matter how much you think it is. Look how much money carpenters, plumbers, and electricians make, for example, and compare it to what a social worker makes, or a government employee at the DMV. If you are here just to dis on the "ruling class", then talk politics, not academic qualifications. Look at the ruling class in countries where there are military dictatorships. How many of those guys are college educated?

    6) And, another quote:
    regarding going to Japan without a degree to try to get a job,
    i also thought this not such a good thing because
    one should respect the requirements of one's host.
    i mean, "white males", be they wealthy land holders or not,
    have historically gotten their way throughout history.
    Not all foreign workers in Japan are white males. You have a lot to learn.

    7) More:
    going to Japan is an escape from this reality.
    If this is the case for you, I suggest you buy a ticket, plan a vacation, and spend time here as a tourist first. See what you envision as that "escape" vs. "reality". If you think the USA is a "trash heap", wait till you have started to live and work here. It's not all roses.

    8)
    basically,
    college in general is a privilege.
    so why should i take it.
    If you want a job here, you'll need it. If you don't have it, you'll need the experience. Pretty straightforward. That "privilege" opens a lot of doors, though.

    it is also used to justify a system that is...
    not entirely just
    It is your prerogative to look at college education any way you like. Sadly, IMO, you choose to look only at the negative side. I think there is a stronger, hidden reason other than the political ramifications and sociological philosophies you spout here, though.

    With all the mumbo-jumbo you type here, why not just go back, sleep through a few political science classes, and get a degree in that, then apply to the JET programme or an eikaiwa? Personally, with your attitude here, I think you'd fail the interview miserably, though.

  13. #188
    Regular Member FrustratedDave's Avatar
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    I don't really care if I get ripped to shreds for saying this, but on a whole English teaching in the private sector is pretty lame, sure there are some great teachers out there, but they are very few and far between.

    Why I say this is b/c any old harry whos mother language is English can get 4 days training and become an English teacher. What percentage of these teachers actually have degrees for being an English teacher back at home? I dred to think of all the wrong information about grammer and such that has been conversed through one of these big English schools. I realise that they are conversation schools, but some natives can't use correct grammer in speech let alone on paper.

    Just my thoughts on the matter and this is why I did not become an English teacher, b/c I had no confidence to be able to teach absolute correct grammer.

  14. #189
    Master of the Universe Bucko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Chef View Post
    That's because you have been living in Japan for some time now (I assume). You probably interact with Japanese daily. Take a Japanese student of English and transplant them for the same amount of time while they pursue English study in a total immersion environment and watch their progress skyrocket. Paying for a 50 min. class at an Eikawa then leaving your English at the door when you leave until the next time you arrive gets a student nowhere.
    That's exactly true, and it's the point that I was getting at. If you want to learn a language properly then going to one or two classes a week is not going to do anything for you. So when they complain about their lack of English, and how English is "too difficult", I want to tell them that their way of learning is flawed, and they shouldn't really expect too much. If all they want to do is have it as a hobby, then fine, but for those students who say "I wanting to use English at jobu" then they might want to reconsider.

  15. #190
    Villain Iron Chef's Avatar
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    I don't really care if I get ripped to shreds for saying this, but on a whole English teaching in the private sector is pretty lame, sure there are some great teachers out there, but they are very few and far between.
    There are two kinds of "English teachers" in Japan (from my experience):

    1) Those who do it because they can. It's the only thing they are legally qualified to work as while in Japan. Simple as that. They are considered native-speakers, have an accredited four-year degree, and do it as a ways to support their weekend lifestyles while playing the cultural tourist for the duration of their stay. Most have no real inclination towards teaching as a career and this usually shows in the classroom. Minimal preparation + minimal effort = a lot (not all, but enough...) of the major Eikawa teachers I have met/dealt with.

    They leave their work at work and rarely take anything home with them. Additional handmade supplements/worksheets/handouts etc. made by the teacher in their offtime? Forget it. 2 minutes before their shift is scheduled to be over they are waiting to punch/sign/clock out. Student care is minimal, sometimes non-existant. I've seen foreign teachers cut students off just as the lesson time was up and proceed to usher them out the door.

    One time a student even posed a question a few minutes before his lesson was scheduled to end to a teacher whose lesson I was observing. The teacher immediately looked at the clock, looked at me, looked back at the clock, then said curtly "Sorry, time's up. Save your questions for next time and we'll get to them." How would you feel as a student who just forked over a couple month's salary to sign up only to get that kind of treatment for your money?

    The good news is most of these teachers don't renew their contract past a year or two at most. They save a little (if they haven't blown it all yet) and return home to find careers more suitable to their liking. Of course a few teachers become inspired and perhaps move on to the second kind of teacher I have found.

    2) Those who do it because they enjoy it. At some point you cross that road where you start to take pride in your work. Or maybe you don't and stay forever labeled as one of those I mentioned above. Helping your students achieve their goals becomes just as much a reward for yourself as the money you're earning. The work is challenging, sometimes tedious, but never boring. You enjoy what you do and this too shows in the classroom. Outside preparation + extra effort on your part to go the extra mile = a great teacher. You customize, tailor, adopt and adapt as much as you can to suit the needs of your students. You learn to focus on their weak areas while reinforcing their strengths simultaneously. Progress is slow but measurable. Ultimately the student accomplishes what they set out for and the satisfaction they have in doing so is undeniable. This kind of cause-and-effect only serves to validate your motivations further as a teacher.

    I myself went from being the first kind of teacher to becoming the second kind. For many, the whole teaching English thing is only a short-term gig to be enjoyed while it lasts. It gives people an easy in to Japan and allows them to see what Japanese life is all about firsthand. For others like myself, teaching has become a career that I enjoy tremendously and with enough time, effort, and a little risk taking has become more financially rewarding than anything I could be doing back home.

  16. #191
    Just me Glenski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bucko View Post
    That's exactly true, and it's the point that I was getting at. If you want to learn a language properly then going to one or two classes a week is not going to do anything for you.
    Not necessarily an accurate assessment, IMO. You do realize that eikaiwa students (adult ones) have already had 6 years or more of English education, so they are not starting from scratch to learn grammar, don't you? Eikaiwa means "English conversation", so these types of schools capitalize on people's perceived needs to get some spoken language skills because they don't usually get any in HS. Two classes a week is actually a bare minimum I would recommend anyone to take for such a course. You get out of it what you put into it. Some don't look at the book or any other materials between classes, while others study hard on their own. Pretty obvious who improves.

    So when they complain about their lack of English, and how English is "too difficult", I want to tell them that their way of learning is flawed, and they shouldn't really expect too much. If all they want to do is have it as a hobby, then fine, but for those students who say "I wanting to use English at jobu" then they might want to reconsider.
    Precisely my point above.

    Re: Iron Chef's assessment.
    Yes, there are good and bad teachers. There are also mediocre ones. Not all teachers who are less than serious are bad teachers. Not all teachers who enjoy the work are good ones, either. And, it's not always the case that some come here because they can't find anything else to do in life; they may actually be seeking a change or some excitement. Of that crowd, some are good at teaching, some suck, and some are in between.

    I came with no aspirations of staying here more than a couple of years as a teacher, and along the way I felt I would be able to land a different sort of job. Was I a crappy teacher back then? No. Did I prepare 2 minutes before each class? No, far longer. I took (and still take) my lessons seriously and have done quite well after almost 9 years. I haven't found that other sort of job, but I've taken my teaching seriously all the time. I've moved from eikaiwa to part-time HS job + private lessons to full-time HS to FT university work. I also have a side business of scientific proofreading.

    But I think I can see what Chef might have been getting at.
    1) the less than serious types
    2) the serious types
    "Serious" meaning people who care about how they teach and put an effort into it, whether they are talented enough, mediocre, or horrible at it.

  17. #192
    Master of the Universe Bucko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenski View Post
    Eikaiwa means "English conversation", so these types of schools capitalize on people's perceived needs to get some spoken language skills because they don't usually get any in HS.
    And it's nothing more than that too. I got an email from a friend the other day feeling down about his English ability. One of this complaints what not being able to read or write properly, as well as not understanding the grammar properly. I asked him why he expected to be able to do these things when all he's being taught are cliched conversational phrases.

    One of the biggest misconceptions of the typical eikaiwa student is that they already know the grammar and thus eikaiwa is a way to broaden their ability. This is total nonsense. What adult, after being out of highschool for 3 + years remembers any of the grammar they learnt? They might remember a few verb tenses, and the basic English word order, but that's about it. And even when they were in school they most likely absorbed only 50% of what they were taught.

    I'll say this as many times as I can until I can get through to people, both students and teachers - the only students who will get something out of attending an eikaiwa are those that are concurrently learning the grammar that goes with it, i.e. high school students, university students studying English, and anyone else who constantly refers to a grammar book.

  18. #193
    Regular Member FrustratedDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenski View Post
    Not necessarily an accurate assessment, IMO. You do realize that eikaiwa students (adult ones) have already had 6 years or more of English education, so they are not starting from scratch to learn grammar, don't you? Eikaiwa means "English conversation", so these types of schools capitalize on people's perceived needs to get some spoken language skills because they don't usually get any in HS. Two classes a week is actually a bare minimum I would recommend anyone to take for such a course. You get out of it what you put into it. Some don't look at the book or any other materials between classes, while others study hard on their own. Pretty obvious who improves.
    Precisely my point above.
    Re: Iron Chef's assessment.
    Yes, there are good and bad teachers. There are also mediocre ones. Not all teachers who are less than serious are bad teachers. Not all teachers who enjoy the work are good ones, either. And, it's not always the case that some come here because they can't find anything else to do in life; they may actually be seeking a change or some excitement. Of that crowd, some are good at teaching, some suck, and some are in between.
    I came with no aspirations of staying here more than a couple of years as a teacher, and along the way I felt I would be able to land a different sort of job. Was I a crappy teacher back then? No. Did I prepare 2 minutes before each class? No, far longer. I took (and still take) my lessons seriously and have done quite well after almost 9 years. I haven't found that other sort of job, but I've taken my teaching seriously all the time. I've moved from eikaiwa to part-time HS job + private lessons to full-time HS to FT university work. I also have a side business of scientific proofreading.
    But I think I can see what Chef might have been getting at.
    1) the less than serious types
    2) the serious types
    "Serious" meaning people who care about how they teach and put an effort into it, whether they are talented enough, mediocre, or horrible at it.
    I am still going to say that the private sector is pitiful. I suppose it comes down to what anyone thinks is a good standard. I tell you if I was on the other side of that fence and was learning Japanese the same way, I think I would be a very dissapointed customer. I would want some one with qualifications in teacher that language, not some joe blow who has just fininshed a three year art degree and wants to make a quick buck and get or even worse someone who has no degree and is here on a working holiday and is using the English teaching as means to an end. I mean ,thats what it amounts to... How many people come to Japan with a teaching degree with aspirations of teaching Japanese English the way it is suppossed to be done? I will answer, they are very few and far between. But hey , I am not completely negative, b/c I know of some teachers that really do study and prepare for thier students, but again these are few and far between. I hate being like this , but I have more bad experiences than good.
    Last edited by FrustratedDave; Jun 19, 2007 at 19:40.

  19. #194
    継続は力なり bakaKanadajin's Avatar
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    I’d agree that there are some large discrepancies between the abilities and experience level of various teachers within different kinds of teaching programs. I also agree that places like NOVA do need to hire a little more carefully, but I’m not convinced the failure of Japanese Eikaiwa students rests solely on the Eikaiwa teachers. As Glenski pointed out, there’s a wide spectrum of both teacher and student ability out there as well as varying levels of commitment to the entire process. But just 50 mins. of anything per week, no matter how good the teacher is, won’t help if you don’t study.

    I don’t doubt that among teachers there are varying levels of commitment and enthusiasm for the entire teaching enterprise, but these varying levels are mirrored in student commitment and willingness to study at home as well. Again, the only way I see the Eikaiwa as a total failure and waste of money is during the beginning stages where you’re attempting to teach language basically through mimicry and classical conditioning, much like the Rosetta Stone language software if anyone’s ever tried it. (I’m sure glad I didn’t pay for that crud.)

    Beyond that, most students who come to an Eikaiwa fairly soon after graduating have had enough language exposure such that IF THEY STUDY, the pieces will come together more rapidly and those latent grammar lessons and vocabulary will bubble to the surface and serve a purpose. I may have had exceptionally smart students at my school or something, but I never saw anyone between the ages of 15-21 start at a 7C Nova level. (Bottom of the ladder). Most came in at a minimum of 7A, if not 6, and in some cases a low 5. I think the students need more credit regarding what they’re taught in school.

    Beyond that, while the aftermarket English instruction industry could stand to hire better teachers, we all have to remember that flying teachers over here, finding people willing to re-locate, to go through the upheaval, survive in another country, etc., isn’t an easy thing to do and its usually going to be fresh university graduates and young people answering the call. Bob Smith, age 45, with years of teaching experience and a family, isn’t going to move to South Korea or Japan for anything less than 100k a year.

    Standards could improve, but teaching is not rocket science and on average if the students would study more and not rely on 40 mins a week, they’d succeed faster.

  20. #195
    Regular Member Sukotto's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback on this stuff.
    It has been one of the first times I have laid it out for anyone.



    Quote Originally Posted by Glenski View Post
    sukotto,
    Have just read a few of your more recent posts. Sounds like you are against getting a college degree, yet you want to come to Japan for work. Is that it?
    Well, let me enlighten you on a few things.


    3) You think college is for the rich. Wrong. It is for people who can afford to go, and that means people with money or the means to get it (in the form of loans, grants, scholarships, etc.). I was in the latter category. Poor family but got through college with assistance. I'm not the first or the last.
    Well, yeah. It's for anyone who can afford it, or who wants to enslave themselves with years or worse of indentured servitude called debt.
    When I speak of poor, I was thinking of poverty. Like living in a neighborhood in which dropping out of school in the 4th grade is the smart thing to do because it is too dangerous to keep going, or whatever reason really.
    There is class in the US, despite that every sitcom on tv attempts to paint
    the world (excuse me, only the US) as all "middle class". And making lots of money makes you a good person, really... it does.

    4) You wrote this:

    This was how i felt when i first entered college at age 20.
    Perhaps I should have added that i do not believe everyone
    that acquires schooling is a shmuck. Nurses, doctors that don't
    cancel their appointments just to play golf, social workers that
    care, are a some that might aquire beneficial skills at a college.

    Are you suggesting that college graduates are experts and tell others how to run their lives? If so, think again.
    When I was at college, someone I knew was going into social work.
    Work with youth in trouble with the law. I told him I could never do
    that. There's probably some stuff they are in trouble for I'd feel
    like a real hypocrite doing a job about. Smoking pot for example.
    The laws around this are total b.s.
    While I have not smoked it in many years, it is less harmful than
    alcohol or tobacco, and should not be illegal.

    5) You also wrote:

    But you left out comments about what knowledge base is deemed
    valuable. The private colleges such as Yeel, Harvord, etc... set the
    standards for the entire country. If these places want 4 year foreign
    language high school requirement, than other colleges and universities
    follow suit. I happen to agree that more 2nd languages is a good thing.
    But the point here is who sets the agenda. The wealthy.

    College graduates don't always get more money. Learn who does, if money is that important to you. It's not about power, no matter how much you think it is. Look how much money carpenters, plumbers, and electricians make, for example, and compare it to what a social worker makes, or a government employee at the DMV. If you are here just to dis on the "ruling class", then talk politics, not academic qualifications. Look at the ruling class in countries where there are military dictatorships. How many of those guys are college educated?
    Money IS power.
    And money is not important to me.
    A couple years ago, I would have gone to Japan to "teach" English with only my dictionaries and text books. And since I rarely drink (never got drunk until I was 25. no "straightedge" cult, just didn't) I wouldn't have been one hitting the bars or clubs that I imagine many people are into.

    Someone asked me why I did not want a degree, so I responded.
    That is why I have written such stuff in this string.
    Schools are a major institution in which a society recreates itself.
    That includes privileges that also existed.
    Including class, which even the mighty land of equality has never
    been free of. And in fact today the US is more divided by concentrations
    of wealth than a place like Britain, with its monarchy.

    I guess schools are really 2 1/2 things,
    job training, and also education.
    Falling under education would also be indoctrination.
    Myths told here might be: the US won the cold war.
    There is now, in the year 2007, a "clash of civilizations" (teaching er, cough, racism). And maybe taken less serious these days: before Europeans
    arrived in Africa and brought with the institution "the state",
    Africa was uncivilized.
    Maybe even taught, that a corporation is as natural as the rain from above.
    Or that all "Americans" really can have one common interest.


    6) And, another quote:
    Not all foreign workers in Japan are white males. You have a lot to learn.
    Well, yeah.
    I hear there are a lot of "Asians" doing construction jobs in Japan.

    I meant the "white males" thing in a wider historical context.
    But, still, if someone, anyone wanted to go live in another people's
    area, shouldn't they respect the local customs, traditions, and even
    modern rules, regulations, and laws?
    One guy suggested to me:
    With globalization, maybe one good thing that might come from it is that at least among the ruling class (finally) we might eliminate racism.
    Despite backwards hicks, I believe it to disappear quicker at the bottom,
    when people need their paychecks and can't fly away on a jet. White flight for the 21st century. ha! ewe. sorry, bad joke.

    7) More:

    well, the reality of fascism coming to the gosh darn ole us&a.
    yup. that's a pretty ugly reality we might be facing sooner (if not already)
    than we expect. some of us have been seeing this coming since well before Bushjr (who didn't invent empire for the us either, btw)

    If this is the case for you, I suggest you buy a ticket, plan a vacation, and spend time here as a tourist first. See what you envision as that "escape" vs. "reality". If you think the USA is a "trash heap", wait till you have started to live and work here. It's not all roses.
    And, admittedly, some of this is carry over language from earlier years.
    "trash heap" stuff. Now it is a bit more evolved, naaw, pretty much the same: today it is fast food and American Idle.

    Parts of me have come to realize that it is the same every where.
    At least in the consumer societies. And referring to human interactions that is. Everybody wants to be loved and there is no such thing as "evil". Yes there are evil deeds, which are caused by ignorance and a lack of empathy (thank you Aung San Suu Kyi)


    8) If you want a job here, you'll need it. If you don't have it, you'll need the experience. Pretty straightforward. That "privilege" opens a lot of doors, though.
    You said it right there: "opens a lot of doors".
    aka privilege.




    It is your prerogative to look at college education any way you like. Sadly, IMO, you choose to look only at the negative side. I think there is a stronger, hidden reason other than the political ramifications and sociological philosophies you spout here, though.
    I agree. I happen to believe that there is hardly ever, if ever, a single reason for anything. Or even a mere two reasons.

    I'm not saying learning is not a good thing.
    Whenever I criticize school in general, people
    always get on my case about this.
    They think I am against learning.
    Learning, one does not need to attend an institution for this.

    With all the mumbo-jumbo you type here, why not just go back, sleep through a few political science classes, and get a degree in that, then apply to the JET programme or an eikaiwa? Personally, with your attitude here, I think you'd fail the interview miserably, though.
    Political science? ech.
    As far as what our rulers do, in the name of our pain and their gain, it's just my opinion that people in the US need to pay more attention. Pretty much the rest of the world knows more about history and what the US gov't does than US citizens do. (But I've heard recently Japan has this problem too. ?)

    I'm not trying to claim I am all caring or any such b.s.
    Don't get me wrong.
    I probably care no more about the stuff I've listed than any randomly selected
    person living in the US.

    I have thought of this stuff before.
    I actually do highly doubt I care.
    Afterall, if I really did care,
    maybe I would volunteer to teach ESL
    to Central American & Mexican immigrants or
    tutoring for 7th graders that read at a 4th
    grade level. Maybe that would just be putting
    a band-aid on the dyke; treating the symptoms
    rather than the disease? Still, that stuff does
    need to be done.

    I didn't mean to sound mean while typing my original post.
    Sorry.
    I just happen to have a bleak world view.
    With "terrorism" being the new "red scare", it seems there might
    be new cointelpro-style stuff for our generation.
    Arundhati Roy describes perhaps similar stuff going on in India.
    Maybe there will be a global "operation condor" among the so-called
    "free democracies" of the world.

    Sure, I could "get mine" while I still can.
    ...sigh.
    and 28 other reasons as well.

    Anyway, thanks for the feedback.

  21. #196
    Just me Glenski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrustratedDave View Post
    I am still going to say that the private sector is pitiful. I suppose it comes down to what anyone thinks is a good standard. I tell you if I was on the other side of that fence and was learning Japanese the same way, I think I would be a very dissapointed customer. I would want some one with qualifications in teacher that language, not some joe blow who has just fininshed a three year art degree and wants to make a quick buck
    I suppose I should add the word "frustrated" to my own moniker. I just started a (free) Japanese course at city hall (2 hours a night, once a week). Got to choose my own level, but since there were only 2 levels, and one was for complete ground-zero beginners, I opted for the "intermediate" course. The teacher DOES happen to be a certified, experienced teacher of Japanese, however she can't teach to save her life. Two hours of listening to her rattle on aimlessly (yes, no goal in sight and no sense of organization) drive us crazy. First class had 18 students, and second one had only 7. Go figure. She doesn't answer questions when posed. She tries to discuss 50-year-old concepts in the history of kanji (part of the course is to mix writing with speaking, but this is outrageous), and when I describe some of the stuff from class to my wife (Japanese), she says it's dead wrong. Little to no participation from students, despite the fact that we demanded it after the first class. Zero grammar structure, despite the same demand. Theme for last class was giving directions on the street, but there was no practice, and she only covered a helpful word or two, then seemed not to have prepared any examples to use in class. About half an hour or 45 minutes before the class ends, she starts looking at her watch every 5 minutes, suggesting that she has no idea how to fill the time, and that's when she starts repeating everything from the first hour (for the 5th time, mind you) or just talking to the ceiling instead of to us.

    So, experience and qualifications don't necessarily make for a good teacher.

    Quote Originally Posted by bakaKanadajin View Post
    Beyond that, while the aftermarket English instruction industry could stand to hire better teachers, we all have to remember that flying teachers over here, finding people willing to re-locate, to go through the upheaval, survive in another country, etc., isn’t an easy thing to do and its usually going to be fresh university graduates and young people answering the call. Bob Smith, age 45, with years of teaching experience and a family, isn’t going to move to South Korea or Japan for anything less than 100k a year.
    I agree with the above, and yet you will also see signs that the eikaiwa business doesn't even want professional teachers. Besides the fact that they hire anyone with any degree, read this assessment (an account of what some eikaiwa managers perceive as professionalism vs. what real teachers at eikaiwa do). Makes for interesting reading.
    http://www.eltnews.com/features/special/015a.shtml
    Last edited by Glenski; Jun 20, 2007 at 14:28. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  22. #197
    Just me Glenski's Avatar
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    Sukkoto,
    You have a lot of pent-up feelings, and you also have a hard time staying on track. This thread is about NOVA, but let's keep a little to the side of teaching in Japan just to maintain some semblance, ok?

    You don't want to get a degree. That's your prerogative. How you perceive it is also yours. "Privilege"? Well, yeah, don't you think if someone goes the extra mile to get some sort of training/education/related experience, they deserve a privilege over someone who didn't? It doesn't matter why the other person didn't -- be it poverty or choice. You do more, you get more in return. Save the social commentary for another forum, please.

    Opening doors ("privilege") also happens by networking -- a very common way that qualified and sometimes unqualified people here get university jobs and high school jobs. It's not what you know, it may be who you know sometimes. No degree needed sometimes there, and it's LIFE, no matter where you go.

    It's for anyone who can afford it, or who wants to enslave themselves with years or worse of indentured servitude called debt.
    You didn't even read or take to heart what I wrote, did you? There are scholarships and grants out there, which you don't have to pay back, hence no servitude or debt. Get off the soapbox. Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps. By the way, are you one of those in the poverty group that you said you really meant, or are you just whining for the masses?

    you left out comments about what knowledge base is deemed
    valuable.
    Didn't have to mention them because as has already been mentioned, any degree will get you a work visa here as a teacher. No real "knowledge base" is really required. So, if you want to come to Japan and work, you either have the experience or a degree in poly sci, anthropology, microbiology, quantum physics, or underwater basketweaving. It's all the same to places like NOVA.

    (Granted, NOVA and GEOS will give you some sort of general knowledge test at the interview, but that's to begin the weeding out process for the truly uninformed.)

    I hear there are a lot of "Asians" doing construction jobs in Japan.
    I hope this was meant tongue in cheek, because you otherwise show a total lack of knowledge about the work force in Japan. Nuff said.

    Someone asked me why I did not want a degree, so I responded.
    That is why I have written such stuff in this string.
    Schools are a major institution in which a society recreates itself.
    That includes privileges that also existed.
    Including class
    Again, this is non sequitur for the thread. Besides, the elite classes of people you espouse don't always exist. Do you call someone with a BA in Art History a member of the elite? Or with a degree in paleontology? Or forensic medicine? Or culinary science?

    Whenever I criticize school in general, people
    always get on my case about this.
    They think I am against learning.
    Learning, one does not need to attend an institution for this.
    Learn all you want. It still won't get you a work visa unless you have the degree or the experience to go along with it. Pretty straightforward. You can criticize all you want, but that is the simple fact. Now, you are just trying to do what so many frustrated degreeless people do in these forums -- find a loophole or other means to get a job here. There aren't that many.

    Your view of the world may indeed be "bleak", but that won't get you very far, whether towards a work visa, a teaching job in Japan, or anywhere else in life. People usually don't like complainers.

  23. #198
    Regular Member FrustratedDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenski View Post
    I suppose I should add the word "frustrated" to my own moniker. I just started a (free) Japanese course at city hall (2 hours a night, once a week). Got to choose my own level, but since there were only 2 levels, and one was for complete ground-zero beginners, I opted for the "intermediate" course. The teacher DOES happen to be a certified, experienced teacher of Japanese, however she can't teach to save her life. Two hours of listening to her rattle on aimlessly (yes, no goal in sight and no sense of organization) drive us crazy. First class had 18 students, and second one had only 7. Go figure. She doesn't answer questions when posed. She tries to discuss 50-year-old concepts in the history of kanji (part of the course is to mix writing with speaking, but this is outrageous), and when I describe some of the stuff from class to my wife (Japanese), she says it's dead wrong. Little to no participation from students, despite the fact that we demanded it after the first class. Zero grammar structure, despite the same demand. Theme for last class was giving directions on the street, but there was no practice, and she only covered a helpful word or two, then seemed not to have prepared any examples to use in class. About half an hour or 45 minutes before the class ends, she starts looking at her watch every 5 minutes, suggesting that she has no idea how to fill the time, and that's when she starts repeating everything from the first hour (for the 5th time, mind you) or just talking to the ceiling instead of to us.
    So, experience and qualifications don't necessarily make for a good teacher.
    I know the feeling. When I first got here I went to freebi classes and thats pretty much what I got, a bunch of teachers who were pretty much volenteeing their services to help out foriegners in need ( I thank those teachers for taking the time to teach). Some teachers were great and others were terrible, I resigned to the fact that unless I enrole in a Japanese langauge school I was not going to be able to learn this incredibly, ridiculously difficult language. I wish they had classes on learning how to understand the other langauge that is never spoken here....... That what makes me frustrated.

    That article pretty much sums it up I think, as the managers that were quoted said they did not have the time or money to bring in qualified teachers. Instead they wanted to ensure that the leason was fun to bring back repeat customers. That is what it is all about and myself having run a business here in Japan for a while now know the system involved. I can't blame the business for wanting to make a buck, but it is like anything over here money takes precidence and of corse it should. I know there is a bigger problem and the private sector is capitalising on this in a big way.

  24. #199
    継続は力なり bakaKanadajin's Avatar
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    That was an interesting article thanks for posting it. I think it was fairly accurate as well. While I obviously can't vouch for the managers point of view as being accurate (I'm not Japanese and don't work at an Eikaiwa), I can say it closely mirrors the attitudes of the company 'spirit and propaganda' I was exposed to. I'd guess that its fairly accurate. I don't think there's anything particularly wrong with it either aside from the fundamental difference in the starting points between a school and a business, which is more philosophical than anything. As was pointed out, people need to make a buck and get by in life.

    As for the teachers, I don't really think it's smart to complain about being 'left out of the loop' when it comes to managerial issues. The teachers aren't brought in as consultants they're brought in to teach, thats it. Any Eikaiwa teacher who feels they need to be part of the organizatioinal structure should work their way up the chain of command and do something about it. Otherwise it's just too many cooks in the kitchen.

    The article did highlight something though that I think is one of the main issues at Eikaiwas, and that's the transient nature of the job. You need gaijins to manage gaijins, its the only way, and unfortunately very few of them are willing to stay beyond 2 or 3 years at the most. And that's not surprising either, re-locating to a foregin country isn't the highest priority on alot of young people's lists, and in all fairness its advertised as a post-graduate 'experience', many teachers arrive with the idea that they're definitely gonna leave. So finding people who are strongly committed to the company, to enforcing its rules, etc. is hard and the professionalism gap widens between management and English-speaking staff, which was the point of the whole article.

    To remedy this I think from personal experience, dangling a few carrots in front of us might help (bonuses for the individual with the most positive feedback received in a monthly period perhaps). It would also help if promotions carried significant incentives as well. The job of AT and BT at Nova for example (Assistant Trainer and Block Trainer) both carry a lot of increase in workload with little increase in pay. With the extra work and hours it's almost a pay cut compared to the salary increase. Again, gotta dangle those carrots, that seems more 'professional' and business-oriented to me.

  25. #200
    Just me Glenski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bakaKanadajin View Post
    As for the teachers, I don't really think it's smart to complain about being 'left out of the loop' when it comes to managerial issues. The teachers aren't brought in as consultants they're brought in to teach, thats it.
    I don't agree completely. Think of the ideal situation, where a business actually DOES take the time and spend the money to hire someone with credentials and/or experience. Since the company is run by Japanese, and many Japanese managers know squat about teaching, it is only fair to assume that your professional teachers know enough to plan curricula. They are your expert consultants in the fielf of teaching. You leave them out of the loop, and you might just as well hire monkeys.

    Any Eikaiwa teacher who feels they need to be part of the organizatioinal structure should work their way up the chain of command and do something about it.
    Sorry, but in most eikaiwas there ISN'T a chain of command. There's just one link, from teacher to manager. Only in the big places do you have intermediaries.

    The article did highlight something though that I think is one of the main issues at Eikaiwas, and that's the transient nature of the job. You need gaijins to manage gaijins, its the only way, and unfortunately very few of them are willing to stay beyond 2 or 3 years at the most.
    I've seen plenty of reports where gaijin managers or gaijin eikaiwa owners are equally or more unscrupulous than the worst Japanese. They will sometimes physically threaten teachers, where you don't get that from most Japanese bosses, and they (gaijin) will lie more overtly because they don't have the excuse of language barrier to fall back on. I hear what you're saying about gaijins managing gaijins, though, and to a certain degree, I agree. However, where does it stop? The gaijin manager needs a boss, and it is likely going to be a Japanese person. How does THAT interaction and relationship go? The only really good relationship is one that has a gaijin with strong Japanese skills and plenty of experience here to understand the business culture. THEN, you have someone with the savvy to hold his J boss at bay while he deals with the problems that the gaijin teachers have, and vice versa.

    I guess you said it youself with this quote:
    So finding people who are strongly committed to the company, to enforcing its rules, etc. is hard and the professionalism gap widens between management and English-speaking staff,
    To remedy this I think from personal experience, dangling a few carrots in front of us might help (bonuses for the individual with the most positive feedback received in a monthly period perhaps).
    Gee, John got 1 and I got none. Is he THAT much better than me and deserving of a promotion? Suzy got 37 positive remarks and I got "only" 36. Same question. Perhaps there's a better way you had in mind?

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