Golly gosh, not Geos too??!

Two years after the demise of Nova, by far the biggest chain of Eikaiwa (English conversation) schools in Japan, rumours are that one of the remaining big three, Geos, is also showing signs of strain with late payment of wages, pressure on students to pay further and further ahead and massive branch closures planned- all a virtual repeat of the collapse of Nova. Of course, the reason why the gossip on this one is remarkably similar to the last one could just as well simply be lack of imagination in the rumour mongerers, as online reports of pretty much the same at Shane six months ago seem to have been entirely made up by a disgruntled teacher trying to cause the TEFL equivalent of a rush on the bank (rush on the whiteboard?? Sounds more like a new TEFL game…)

More details (meaning idle speculation) at the home of Eikaiwa bile,  Let’s Japan. If my generally much more discerning and informed commenters have any actual facts on the matter, would love to hear it by comment here or email via the Contact Me button (top right on this page).

PS, if you are wondering why I even care what happens to the much maligned world of Eikaiwa, it is that in the increasingly flooded market place that is a Japan that is very liveable how ever little they pay you, I might one day find myself back in it just for the sake of free schooling for my kid. Had the usual conversation of ex-Japan teachers about it recently:

A “Surely there must be someway of staying out of Eikaiwa”

B “You would think. But you need connections to get in at the universities and if you’re freelance you spend as much time chasing business as teaching them”

A “Good points. I guess you have no choice then”

B “But, surely there must be some way of staying out of Eikaiwa”

etc

This entry was posted in Eikaiwa, Geos, Let's Japan, Nova, Teaching English in Japan. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Golly gosh, not Geos too??!

  1. That’s the rumour, but I can’t vouch for it’s veracity.

    I think students are wising up to the fact that not just any random foreigner can teach them English. Some of the Eikaiwa staff are great, some are an absolute disgrace, and it’s a pretty expensive gamble. Nova hit confidence in the big chains hard, and I think the ‘mom and pop’ school is the future.

    http://www.eltnews.com/news/archives/2009/09/the_number_of_s.html

    I’ve taught the odd private lesson myself. I charged quite a lot of money, and was always slightly surprised to get it. But by cutting out the middle men, the students were actually paying less for an experienced and qualified teacher to come to their home than they would have paid to visit a 22 year old media studies graduate fresh off the boat. (I know, I was once that callow moron myself, and I was a big fat rip off).
    More students get that now, they got savvy. The days of the “blue-eyed, blonde haired” qualification are through, I think.

    But surely Alex, there…..

  2. Tara Benwell says:

    This one hit home. I still have friends in Canada working at GEOS. Despite being a chain, this school treated me very well and welcomed my creativity, especially in the writing class.

  3. Alex Case says:

    It’s funny how a lot of chains of schools run that way. Shane and EF schools in London had quite good academic reputations when I taught there, despite the international chains being quite the opposite

  4. Rumour is, GEOS staff were all paid on time today.

  5. Pingback: Japanese eikaiwas, like 19th century banks, rely on the trust of the customers « Hoofin to You!

  6. Pingback: My TEFL Journey

  7. cf says:

    TODAY’s NEW …

    All GEOS schools in Australia have just closed down!!!!

    It looks like it won’t be long to the mother ship in Japan also crash and burns…..

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