Berlitz Reviews in Japan | Glassdoor

Berlitz Japan Reviews

Updated April 8, 2018
57 reviews

Filter

Filter

Japan

2.3
StarStarStarStarStar
Rating TrendsRating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
Curt Uehlein
0 Ratings

57 Employee Reviews

Sort: PopularRatingDate

Pros
  • It was okay and the work environment was good (in 27 reviews)

  • Flexible schedule, chance to meet lots of interesting students from all sorts of backgrounds, easy work (in 22 reviews)

Cons
  • Low pay , sometimes students lacking motivation but this has nothing to do with the school (in 33 reviews)

  • No benefits for part-time employees and contractors (in 24 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Fantastic Experience"

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

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

    Pros

    Training is provided, so you are prepared even if you don't have teaching experience.
     if you are at the right Language Center the staff will be really helpful. I did not speak the language and the staff at my language center assisted me find the perfect apartment. The company pays for transportation and you will be reimbursed for the majority of your medical expenses. I believe Berlitz is the best of all the language schools in Japan.
    Bonus at the end of the year is an awesome perk!

    Cons

    There is hardly any room for growth within the company.
    Long hours on Saturday and Sunday at most LC's

    Advice to Management

    Headquarters should be more selective in choosing managers. I've had one excellent manager and two questionable ones.


  2. "Good depending on what you're looking for"

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

    I worked at Berlitz part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Most of the management and coworkers were pretty nice and laid back, classes are small with few exceptions (up to three but often just one) which I much preferred.

    There are many different students of various ages including many professionals, which I preferred to working with just kids. The pay is enough that you can get by in Japan comfortably without having to work long hours. You have flexibility over your contract hours providing you cover at least some of the busy times - peak hours are often early mornings, 6-9pm and weekends.
    There are opportunities to work in other countries as Berlitz has language centres all over the world.

    Cons

    A lot of the Berlitz materials were pretty boring - as is the Berlitz method (teaching style) on a whole.

    Depending on your contract and how much "availability" you open in your contract, demand for employees changes all the time. I was a part time teacher so 18 40-minute classes a week were in a fixed in different times of the week and didn't change (although the location of the language centre certainly did). However, non contract classes changed daily, and you never completely knew your next days schedule until you received an email the night before, let alone a week in advance. Maybe 2 classes in the morning, maybe 8 from the afternoon. This was definitely one of the worst aspects as an employee at Berlitz.

    Like most English schools in Japan students are discouraged from relying on their native language to get points across which is good if the materials they are using are appropriate for their level - thing is many students who have been patrons for a long time go through the books and usually proceed to more difficult textbooks despite not having learned much, making life difficult for instructors and students alike.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "New full time contract not great for employees"

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

    I have been working at Berlitz full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - Stable company to work for
    - good for first timers coming to Japan as they’ll facilitate the visa process

    Cons

    - new full time 50/50 contract is tough - you have to teach 50 lessons a week, that’s 10 units a day over a 9/10 hour period. And now all full time employees in Japan have to pay into the pension so that’s a large cut from your salary.


  4. "Not worth it"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Instructor in Tokyo (Japan)
    Current Contractor - Instructor in Tokyo (Japan)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Berlitz as a contractor (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    You can get a visa. If your manager is good your experience will be good.

    Cons

    There is a severe lack of good managers and the company won't get out if its own way. The material quality, training, and management are not worth the prices the students pay for lessons. The students pay 9000 yen per lesson but after 3 1/2 years of working there, I don't even get 2000 yen of that. They will also do whatever they can to cheat you out of the outservice bonus.

    Advice to Management

    You have to take care of your employees in order to keep up the lesson quality. If you don't learn this lesson, you will not survive much longer.


  5. "Good for a part time job."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Instructor in Kōbe, Hyogo (Japan)
    Former Contractor - Instructor in Kōbe, Hyogo (Japan)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Berlitz as a contractor (More than a year)

    Pros

    Flexible schedule, Great students for the most part, nice classrooms, good locations, good to meet people from all over the world.

    Cons

    Terrible curriculum, company constantly raises the bar to get more from their employees without raising the conditions, bully tactics from senior staff, 5 minute unpaid so called "breaks" between lessons where you are required to complete tasks.

    Advice to Management

    Develop your curriculum better and compensate staff for completing required tasks in their own time.


  6. "Dishonest and greedy company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Freelancer - Senior English Instructor in Nagoya, Aichi (Japan)
    Former Freelancer - Senior English Instructor in Nagoya, Aichi (Japan)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Berlitz (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    It's a job. Get to meet some interesting people from various industries and countries.

    Cons

    Everything from their books to their schedules, salary and benefits.
    They do anything to keep from paying social insurance. Wasted years fighting for the right to have it. Kept hiring more teachers and reducing my lesson volume and salary to keep me under the government threshold so that I could never qualify. Got so bad I had to quit.

    Advice to Management

    Drop dead


  7. "Deceptive Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - English Onstructor in Tokyo (Japan)
    Former Employee - English Onstructor in Tokyo (Japan)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Contracts were okay before 2016. Now they are designed to abuse and exploit teachers for the sake of company profit.

    A couple of good expat managers. And expat colleagues are good.

    Cons

    Management for the most part is extremely toxic and abusive, devoid of people skills.

    Contracts are designed to exploit teachers. Through contractual/legal Jiu Jitsu they have created a system to eliminate overtime pay and turn and burn teachers paying a bare minimum for the amount of work required. On paper it looks good but in reality it exploits teachers. Most people quit after 3 months because it is such a brutal work schedule.
    In reality, you will clear about $2,100 after taxes for over 50 hours a work..
    In the past you would clear over $3,000 for 40 hours of work after taxes.
    This system preys on foreigners desperate to come to Japan and will take any job to get a work visa. It doesn’t care that teachers turned and burned.
    The corporate management doesn’t care about you. The foreign teacher is just a number in the corporate machine to the Japanese management.
    Please beware of this company.

    Advice to Management

    Hopeless management.
    Please look at the success of progressive west coast US companies such as Automattic. Learn how to take care of employees properly as these companies do.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Great students, contracts, and coworkers"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Foreign Language Department in Tokyo (Japan)
    Former Employee - Foreign Language Department in Tokyo (Japan)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    They have the best contracts and if you work in central Tokyo you can teach some of the best and brightest minds in Japanese business. Coworkers are well-rounded, cultured, educated people with good sense of humor to make staff room banter enjoyable.

    Cons

    Management seems to hate the instructors. They were actively eroding working conditions when I left, and I've heard it's gotten worse.

    Materials are rubbish. This is an elite global brand but the textbooks are made by people with no qualifications.

    Advice to Management

    You could have the best of the best working for you but you'd still find ways to grind down their morale. No idea what your reasoning is behind this, but it was better in the old days for the clients who ultimately pay your salaries.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Much better places to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - English Instructor in Kōbe, Hyogo (Japan)
    Former Employee - English Instructor in Kōbe, Hyogo (Japan)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Berlitz full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Pay was okay, but work schedules really suck bigtime until you get some seniority. Forget having a life outside work for the first couple of years.

    Cons

    Management monitor the classes without notice (microphones in all rooms) and demand that EACH 40-minute class be identically structured. Even if you teach the same person two in a row, which is very common.
    Basically, this style of "management" allows people with zero knowledge of instructional methods to become managers and look like they know what they are doing. And do they act like it!
    Experienced instructors are not permitted to alter the Berlizt "style" to better suit the customers.So if your customer doesn't fit the mold—that's just too bad. You must ignore that and teach AS IF they were learning just fine by the method.
    Level Checks mean nothing, except as a way to get students to buy more lessons. Once students are regularly paying, they NEVER fail a level check!

    Advice to Management

    Hire managers who know what they are doing, and junk your "evaluation" methods completely. Allow good teachers to change lessons to better suit students. Or, sell the company to somebody who will.
    Don't know CEO Mark Harris, but I hope he does better than that Japanese loser we had when I worked there. Good luck, Mark.


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Split day shifts!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Full Time Instructor (New 50 Unit Contract) in Yokohama, Kanagawa (Japan)
    Former Employee - Full Time Instructor (New 50 Unit Contract) in Yokohama, Kanagawa (Japan)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Berlitz full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Unlike most others say, the full time monthly pay at 275000 as of 2017 is one of the best in the industry. This however requires a rough 50 hour week. (including at least 2 split days- with more than 4 hours of unpaid break in the middle of a day) making the pay one of the worst in the industry.

    There are actually a few individuals at the management level who have sincere sympathy for teachers. While maintaining their authoritative tone, they do whatever they can to make things slightly easier for teachers. HAVING said so, there are just one too many stark opposites, who care about nothing other then their own security.

    Cons

    The pay at 275000 requires you to work multiple SPLIT DAY shifts in a week. My schedule: Monday and Tuesday 8:30-21:10, Friday: 12- 21:10, SAT and SUN: 10:00-
    18:00. This is a 51 HOUR week including exactly 10 hours of unpaid breaks spread between those shifts.

    This means while Berlitz has a good monthly salary, the hourly rate comes down to 13 US dollars per hour , or using Berlitz terms: 916 YEN per 40 min class (yes they tell you a different figure.. I know... )

    UNPAID training. A $20,000 stipend is paid out with your first paycheque for the 6 day training you went through. This is a joke, and so Yes Berlitz, you have always been , and are still breaking the labour law. So start paying for the induction trainings.

    To new teachers: Some very good teaching material, but bad teaching structure and the customers dislike it. The only time you do a Berlitz method is when you are being monitored. Play the game and drop it. If you care about the quality of your teaching, please don't use it, don't treat your customers like infants by writing a goal on the board.

    Advice to Management

    Remove all split days. Increase base salary to 280000. Treat your staff better. get rid of the so called Berlitz method.

    Fire the individual who designed the so called Berlitz method. He is a pharisee. He designed this method to fulfil the company outward standards at the expense of customer satisfaction and effective teaching.


Showing 57 of 586 reviews
Reset Filters