As the Internet grows and social media takes the spotlight, more and more people are discovering new ways to connect online. Living in Japan is a dream for many people and teaching English is one of the basic gateways to getting a job in the Asian country. But if a person is hardcore about teaching (regardless where they live), they might not have to even move to Japan. Let me explain why in more detail.
Japanese English learners are going online! Increasingly, Japanese English learners are looking for English schools online. In the past, the Japanese people studied English at “eikawa” (English conversation schools) located close to train stations, etc. Rent on these pricey locations, plus the expense of paying foreign teachers enough to keep up with Japan’s high cost of living, added to the cost of English lessons. The Internet and Skype have introduced new possibilities. Now, Japanese English learners can go online and have live lessons with teachers overseas. For example, Conversations Direct is an American eikawa that uses Skype to provide students in Japan and other countries with live English lessons.
With small classes, native English-speaking teachers, and live video lessons, the quality is every bit as good as the big English conversation schools in Japan. However, unlike the big schools in Japan, Conversations Direct is affordable and has no hidden fees. It’s also more convenient than traditional schools. Students can reserve lessons up to 10 minutes before their lessons start, then log on to their computers from home, work, or wherever else they are. If students move or travel, they can easily take their English lessons with them.
The convenience and value of online English schools is starting to have an impact. According to data from Google insights, searches for the Japanese keywords for “online eikawa” and “Skype eikawa” are skyrocketing, despite the fact that searches on “eikawa” are flat. (See the tables below.)
These trends suggest that English learners in Japan will continue to move online as students discover and become comfortable with their online learning options. What are your thoughts about this?