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Thread: How many students in Eikaiwa?

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    Member kasugai's Avatar
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    Default How many students in Eikaiwa?

    I'm a current JET but am considering applying for an Eikaiwa in the next town over if I decide not to recontract.

    So for any of you who are working / have worked in an Eikaiwa could you tell me a bit about the conditions you are working under. One of my major concerns is how many students do you teach?
    I find JET to be rather impersonal considering I only see most of my students once, maybe twice a month, so I'm kind of hoping for a job with more regular students.

    Also, how much control do you have in your classroom. Like I understand they expect you to "sell" English in a specific way that's compatible to their business plan, but do you work side by side with Japanese English teachers (like in JET), or are you more "on your own"?

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    Али Димаев AliDimayev's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many students in Eikaiwa?

    Sid enote; Is your situation in JET really bad?
    <a href=http://www.ithinkimlost.com/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=3134&dateline=1245615339 target=_blank>http://www.ithinkimlost.com/image.ph...ine=1245615339</a>
    Quote Originally Posted by Hyakuman View Post
    As usual, you all (Aliを除く) have your heads up your asses.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kasugai View Post
    I'm a current JET but am considering applying for an Eikaiwa in the next town over if I decide not to recontract.

    So for any of you who are working / have worked in an Eikaiwa could you tell me a bit about the conditions you are working under. One of my major concerns is how many students do you teach?
    I find JET to be rather impersonal considering I only see most of my students once, maybe twice a month, so I'm kind of hoping for a job with more regular students.

    Also, how much control do you have in your classroom. Like I understand they expect you to "sell" English in a specific way that's compatible to their business plan, but do you work side by side with Japanese English teachers (like in JET), or are you more "on your own"?
    staroverfuji started a thread in another part of the forum about the same subject sort of. link here.

    I'd say on average I run 4-5 classes each day. Each class ranging from 1-on-1 or up to 7. So I probably teach somewhere between 50-75 students at my school? The other teacher probably does the same if not more.

    ESID of course, but yea. the school that I'm at has a very specific system set up (a ranked system) for kids between 6 and 13 (so elementary up to Jr. High). The system almost takes out all the thinking from teaching, it's more like learning all the activities, smiling and remaining positive. All three are hard to do, especially when kids are being kids, but it is so structured that you don't have to come up with your own material. You just have to learn it and regurgitate it.

    With kids in Jr. High and above, at my school, we are given textbooks and virtually free reign over what we teach (textbook or not). I've had trouble my first week with these types of classes. I had to gauge which students/classes were able to do what they call "free talk" (conversational) or if their English is poor, focus on more structured bookwork. I believe most of these classes I will have to do more bookwork and get them to really break out of their shells.

    My favorite classes are always the adult/high school classes because those students 9 times out of 10 ten, at my school, tend to know enough English where I can sit and have a convo with them about whatever and call it a class. Not to say that it's all BSing, I focus on fixing their grammar and pronunciation, but it definitely beats reading from the book or playing "What would you do with a 100 million yen?". I am entertained and they are learning and it's a win/win.
    Last edited by Lee; January 11th, 2009 at 23:34. Reason: math fail

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    Senior Member reed's Avatar
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    My first eikaiwa was privately owned and very well managed. Many are not.

    The largest and most obvious changes you will make are to your basic living schedule. Eikaiwa cater to mid-afternoon elementary school students and then adults in the evening. You will typically start in the early afternoon and commute home after 9:00 pm. You will teach 45-minute classes to the children while the sun is shining and ramp up to one-hour or 90-minute classes after 6:00 pm in person-to-person adult sessions or in small suited groups, usually not exceeding 15 people. The better the management, the more appropriate the age levels and ability levels per class.

    I emphasize again: eikaiwa clients are elementary school students and adults. You will get the occasional junior high / high school individuals, but the money is largely in pre-junior high "prep" and parent- or community-driven child enrollment, and for businessmen and housewives in private lessons. They will want and expect certain things and the daily lesson structure will be very different from what you are used to in public school with a Japanese-speaking lesson leader. You will be instructed to use English only, and the environment will be in favor of the client. If any single person becomes unhappy, the whole class may start to degrade, and with private lessons you will promptly know you've "misprovided" service because they will quit class the next week, citing a busy schedule.

    Remember that eikaiwa depend on regular recruiting and repeat business (on the client side) to pay your salary. You will give regular "demos" or trial lessons to potential new clients (15-30 minutes), and 90% of new clients will sign regardless of your performance -- only in Japan! Some eikaiwa do evaluate their English teachers based on the ability to sell, but you won't get more pay -- you'll just get a lot more demos worked into your schedule between regular classes.

    The big four (three) chain companies typically fill your daily schedule from arrival to last class, specifying 30-35 class hours per week in the contract. Be aware that different companies count "class hours" and "office hours" differently. It's up to you to explicitly identify your schedule at the interview stage. Most companies only pay for class hours, and define classes by minute or quarter-hour, meaning two 40-minute classes taught at 1:00 and 2:00 pm, and another at 4:30 pm, will only count as 2 hours (120 minutes) of work that day.

    My first company strictly limited the classes to 6 per day or 30 per week, from 1:00 pm to 9:30 pm, but they ranged from 45 to 90 minutes per class. I did not teach any overtime. I was required to be in the office from 11:00 am every morning, logging close to 11 hours of office time after notes and cleanup were done. Like many eikaiwa staff I worked a "split weekend", meaning Friday and Sunday off, or Saturday and Monday off (no two-day weekends). There was no opportunity to negotiate that schedule in a future contract. My original schedule was to include two public school days each week, which would mean "split shifts" -- working from 7:30 am to 2:00 pm in the school, then from 4:00 pm to 9:30 in the office. I strongly opposed this and was able to negotiate a 55-hour "in house" (no split shift) workweek instead. I can't say whether it's easier work, or whether larger chains will accomodate individuals in this way.

    As dayman said above, it's ESID, and you'll find yourself constantly reevaluating and adjusting for your students, especially during the first few weeks of class. Adults are great to teach, although I especially love kids -- the sponge factor is much higher, and with no crutch for the dreaded "free talk" the lessons feel more productive.
    Last edited by reed; January 12th, 2009 at 06:52.

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    Member kasugai's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing your own experiences. Really helpful stuff you posted there! I'm also reading that other post, thanks for bringing it to my attention, dayman114.

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    Senior Member Saitaman's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many students in Eikaiwa?

    I worked for Nova, it wasn't for me. I had 8 classes a day for 4 days and 5 for one day (37 total and it didn't pay as much). When I didn't have class because someone canceled i had to do things for the Japanese staff or pass out tissues out front. There was really no vacation days or paid sick days, actually I think that is where Nova gets its name No-va(cation) and they were open on most public holidays. I had to share my way over-priced dump of a Nova apartment with a co-worker, which was like never leaving work (before I got my own appartment). And of course they stopped paying employees and for a few months before they filed for bankruptcy and stranding a bunch of their employees in Japan without money.

    I was lucky (or smart) enough to get out before it got really bad, but needless to say, I will not be going back to eikaiwa jobs after JET.

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    Senior Member Saitaman's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many students in Eikaiwa?

    oh it was 1 to 4 students, and think it was to up to 8 if it was the kids class. Don't quote me on that, I I try to forget their is any such thing as a Nova. I wish someone would buy that empty Nova building by my train station......

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saitaman View Post
    I worked for Nova, it wasn't for me. I had 8 classes a day for 4 days and 5 for one day (37 total and it didn't pay as much).
    And I thought my 5 class days were tiring...

    By my last period today I realized I had just completely zoned out for I don't even know how long. Good thing the kids were just working on a worksheet at the time

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