Teacher Demotivation in a National Eikaiwa Chain in Japan

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James Taylor, Kanazawa Technical College

Private language (eikaiwa) schools are big business in Japan, but the teachers are often undervalued. Inspired by the author’s personal experience, this exploratory study is aimed at giving a basic understanding of what it is like to be a foreign teacher working at a national eikaiwa chain. Data collected through interviews with 3 participants and previous literature on eikaiwa schools, in addition to the author’s experience, will show that these teachers’ motivation was negatively affected by their perception of several aspects of their working conditions, such as (a) the relationship between management and teachers, (b) infringement on their personal time by the company, (c) inadequate training provisions, (d) career path, and (e) strained collegial relationships. The author also suggests possible areas for further research.