After the world war II, Japan was in shambles. It drove the survivors to make big families and the family men to work harder than oxes. In time, the cooperative efforts paid off and slowly Japan rose to the ranks and even exceeded expectations as it took hold of the second most powerful economic position in the world. It has also preserved most of its culture and traditions until this day.
There's a change however, that Japanese people needed to make; a decision that many Japanese people had to do. They must learn English - 'cause that's the only way they can remain competitive in the global market and retain their dominance especially in the field of electronic innovations and car industry. They also need to connect to the civilizations other than their own and reach out to other nationalities by speaking the language that is understood by all nations.
The Japanese government did recognize that English is the international language so it is being taught in Junior High School, High School and in the university. However, this is not enough since after graduation from school, the Japanese people barely have practical experiences to use the language in a real-life setting especially with foreigners unless they have the opportunity to travel, visit or live abroad. This makes retention and learning English harder for Japanese than other people from other countries who are also learning English as a second language. Everybody in Japan speaks the native tongue and there are not many foreign tourists. Even if they've learned English in school, they are doomed to forget what they've learned until they get to speak and use the language to communicate to other people on a regular basis.
Tomahisa Kato, the CEO of the company, saw this need and brought it into realization. He was very hesitant to put it up in the beginning 'cause as we all know, starting a business is hard, difficult and unpredictable. He was earning a good pay as a management consultant and it was hard to trade that off with something he wasn't sure would click. He, together with Gaku Nakamura, the Chief Technical Officer - started out an online company by offering English lessons to Japanese people - especially to businessmen who have to take TOEIC test or conferences and business trips abroad. The company moreover, caters students from all ages - as long as they can speak and understand basic English (since most of the teachers can't speak Nihonggo). As a company strategy, they only employ University of the Philippines students and alumni, the premiere state university of the Philippines where they can be sure of the intellectual capacity and speaking ability of the teachers. As the company expands - the management deems the need to hire people from other universities but is securing measures to evaluate applicants.
As a quality assurance measure, the company trains the tutors before they start working. The students also get to evaluate their tutors' performances. These are very important for both parties - for the teacher to improve and for the student to have the kind of lesson that he/she deserves.
"How does the online school operate?", you may ask since the company is based in Tokyo, Japan and the teachers are in the Philippines or all over the world. The lessons are conducted through Skype, a video-messaging application so both parties only need to have PCs and stable Internet connection. The students reserve lesson slots with the tutors they prefer. One lesson slot is 25 minutes and the students can choose to have one, two, three, four lesson slots per day according to their agreement with the management. The available lesson hours are only from 8 PM-12 midnight (Philippine time) or 9 PM-1 AM (Japan time) on weekdays and additional lesson schedule from 8AM-12 noon on weekends. The tutors are paid through bank transfers made by the Filipino staffs in Diliman, Quezon City and Los Baños, Laguna.
The current statistics of the company is 400+ tutors and 5000+ students strong. The company started in November 2007 and is growing rapidly. It is the number one online English school in Japan and was even featured in Japanese television. I am happy to be part of this company as it surely developed my teaching, social, interpersonal and communication skills as well as my professionalism. Teaching English is actually learning English also - because there are just to many vocabularies to learn, idioms to get familiar with, grammar rules to master, stories and news articles to read and topics to discuss. It's also great to meet different kinds of people with varied fields of interests from all ages. It's fun and I am loving it.
Thank you to my RareJob family. I don't know how long I will stay but this experience is something that I will always be grateful for and will never forget.
--- Not a sponsored post ----
P.S. If you're from UP and you wish to apply, contact me at my email (check my profile) and check this RareJob teachers' home page. Don't forget to mention me as your referrer. HAHA.