Berlitz Japan

  www.berlitz.co.jp
  www.berlitz.co.jp

Berlitz Japan Reviews

Updated November 9, 2014
Updated November 9, 2014
22 Reviews
2.7
22 Reviews
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  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    Fair wages for admittedly easy work

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Berlitz Japan

    Pros

    You get to meet a lot of different people that you normally wouldn't meet for whatever reason. LCs are a real melting pot both in terms of the variety of students AND in the backgrounds of the teachers.

    Cons

    There are a lot of 8:30am starts (or earlier, depending on your LC) that go until 10pm with a lot of unpaid dead time in between. If you live more than walking distance from your LC, you're stuck there all day. Bring a few books to keep in your locker, or invest in a Kindle.

  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Berlitz Japan (Phoenix) was great to work for

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Berlitz Japan as a contractor (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Excellent office staff and great training and textbook support

    Cons

    Limited career advancement for Instructors

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    The Burger King of English Teaching (premium fast food)

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - English Instructor
    Current Employee - English Instructor

    I have been working at Berlitz Japan full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    The best part is the work/life balance in regards to giving you the flexibility to enjoy Japan however you see fit. You clock in and you clock out, not a lot of brain power is required so there is minimal stress that lingers outside the workplace.

    Cons

    After a year, you have pretty much mastered everything there is to know about the job. Any working skills that can be transferred to another career are fairly minimal. And for those that can't make use of the on/off/on/off/on working schedule, it can be maddening.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Poorly managed English conversation school with heavy pressure from top management to increase sales, not customer satis

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - English Instructor in Tokyo (Japan)
    Current Employee - English Instructor in Tokyo (Japan)

    I have been working at Berlitz Japan full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Will hire new graduates and sponsor a visa for the first year you come to Japan. Provide training (albeit, unpaid for one week). Possible to get overtime (extra lessons) if you are placed in a school that is busy enough. Its hit or miss.

    Cons

    Until recently we used very dated material. They seem to be slowly rolling out the new material which was professionally written. Still, too much of the dated material being used to teach. Little support after the initial training. Previous manager provided little to no useful feedback, possibly due to a poorly managed schedule. Newest manager is highly efficient, flexible, kind. I would have liked working for him from the beginning, and perhaps I would feel a lot better about the company overall. This company is only about profits!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop focusing on profits and riding the famous name, eventually the customers will figure out your have been skimping on teacher development and material and then you will really feel the effects of a poor economy.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    Enjoyable work, terrible company.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - English Instructor in Tokyo (Japan)
    Current Employee - English Instructor in Tokyo (Japan)

    I have been working at Berlitz Japan full-time

    Pros

    The work is easy and relatively stress-free. I have the experience of many other industries behind me to justify this claim. For the most part, you show up, teach lessons, and go home. There are almost never any meetings and your direct bosses will only rarely communicate with you. There is no sense of managers breathing down your neck or watching your every move. Upper management are fabled names only - you'll never see or deal with them.

    You can work as much or as little as you wish. A full-time contract guarantees a minimum of 40 lessons per week, generally laid out over 10-12 (8:30-5:30 or 6:10) on each Saturday and Sunday with the rest made up during weekdays. A part-time contract guarantees 20 lessons (typically weekend-heavy, with 2-3 short days during the week. A per-lesson teacher has no guaranteed lessons, but can often earn more than a contract teacher because they get paid more for each lesson they teach. Outside of contract lessons, anything else is at your discretion. As a per-lesson teacher you can basically make your own schedule, although there may be weight applied to busy days by management. The only reason a teacher would be overworked is if they choose to be.

    Cons

    The salary is stagnant. There haven't been any pay raises to speak of since the 1980s (true for the entire industry, from my understanding). Annual raises are laughably small and not far away from being insulting, even if you're evaluated very highly every year. There is a Christmas bonus, but no summer bonus like in most Japanese companies. Don't expect the salaries to increase soon, if ever.

    The company clings to money like a dying man to life. They are stingy and don't maintain their schools or materials very well. 1990s-style CD players are still common in many classrooms. Upper management refuses to accept any requests or demands from the union regarding pay raises, proper bonuses or compensating for work done out of contract time. They charge more for lessons than any competing school, yet only around 15-20% of the revenue from each lesson goes to the teacher who delivers it. Management has even declined to give employees a cost of living raise to coincide with the tax increase, even though PM Abe has requested that all companies do so.

    The company additionally forces teachers to work extensive hours to "qualify" for the Shakai Hoken insurance plan, even though Japanese law requires all companies to offer it to anyone who wants it. They quote some comment from a labor agency as justification, but quick research shows they are in the wrong. If you want Shakai Hoken you have to work like a dog for one month and hope they give you enough lessons to hit the target (there is zero guarantee). After that, you have to "maintain" your qualification by repeating the process every so often. It's penny-pinching nonsense backed up by a bureaucratic mess of managers who place the bottom line so far ahead of the happiness of employees that it isn't even visible with a telescope.

    Now owned by Benesse Corporation, who were one of 8 nominees for the "Black Corporations Award" in 2013.

    Teachers are seen as tools by the upper management, and nothing more.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please give teachers a respectable salary - one that is reasonable for 2014 cost of living, not 1985 upon which the salary seems to be based. Please get your facts straight about Shakai Hoken and start offering it to everyone regardless of lessons worked, as per Japanese law. Please stop stonewalling the union every time they make a request, especially if money is the motivator. Please remember that the only reason you can get away with charging what you do for lessons is because of the ability of your teachers. Two weeks of training that are promptly forgotten are not the reason why lesson quality is so high, nor is it the terrible textbooks teachers must actively work to compensate for. It's the teachers themselves - their knowledge, effort, and dedication to educating that makes Berlitz money. Leeching off of our hard work by hiding behind a 40-minute lesson plan (that few teachers actually use) is unjust.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Better than other language schools

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Language Instructor in Tokyo (Japan)
    Former Employee - Language Instructor in Tokyo (Japan)

    I worked at Berlitz Japan full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Competitive pay, you get to meet interesting people (both students and other teachers), can be flexible and accommodating with schedules.

    Cons

    Lifers contribute to politics and can be overbearing, while younger, less paid, IS/managers get pushed around.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't roll over of veteran teachers even if they are three times your age.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    apparently better than the other eikaiwas?

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Berlitz Japan full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    high level customers, lots of jobs

    Cons

    the hours are terrible. working every weekend and from 8.30am-9.10pm is the norm. Very few other companies will give quite such terrible hours.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Realise that for most people working weekends is a sacrifice, its tough to see my kids. The workload should be shared better, give one weekend a month off at least.

    Neutral Outlook
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    It was life saving.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - English Teacher in Yokohama, Kanagawa (Japan)
    Former Employee - English Teacher in Yokohama, Kanagawa (Japan)

    I worked at Berlitz Japan full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The students are the biggest pro.

    Cons

    There is a sense of slave labor, which a famous writer has written about.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take your own advice, we are all customers.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    Job is standard and if you work with good people, its fine.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - ESL Teacher in Sakai, Osaka (Japan)
    Current Employee - ESL Teacher in Sakai, Osaka (Japan)

    I have been working at Berlitz Japan part-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Convenient working locations, often very central

    Cons

    Some of the teachers are very arrogant, quite unfriendly, especially the long-term teachers

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more flexible!

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  11. 4 people found this helpful  

    Good pay, but not the best management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - English Instructor in Tokyo (Japan)
    Former Employee - English Instructor in Tokyo (Japan)

    I worked at Berlitz Japan full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The pay is better than most ekaiwa schools, they pay for your travel time for lessons away from your home school, and relatively professional

    Cons

    From my experience there's was a bit of a gap between what they initially tell you to expect and the reality, management is unreasonable at times but they expect you to comply regardless

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