Berlitz Reviews in Japan | Glassdoor

Berlitz Japan Reviews

Updated July 9, 2018
59 reviews

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Japan

2.9
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Curt Uehlein
1 Rating

59 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "It was okay and the work environment was good" (in 28 reviews)

  • "Flexible schedule, chance to meet lots of interesting students from all sorts of backgrounds, easy work" (in 20 reviews)

Cons
  • "Low pay , sometimes students lacking motivation but this has nothing to do with the school" (in 34 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 way to enter into Japan"

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

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

    Pros

    Kind co-workers, fun atmosphere if you find the right LC.

    Cons

    Not much room for development.

  3. "Language Instructor"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Instructor of Language in Yokohama, Kanagawa (Japan)
    Current Employee - Instructor of Language in Yokohama, Kanagawa (Japan)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    Some very good people work there. If you are hard working you have the potential to earn an ok salary on the previous contract.

    Cons

    New contract doesn’t promote a good working conditions. The company doesn’t support its people and compensate them for their efforts. There is a very negative vibe amongst many teachers.


  4. "Good company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - English Teacher in Hamamatsu (Japan)
    Current Contractor - English Teacher in Hamamatsu (Japan)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Berlitz as a contractor (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great company with a lot of great students to work with. Colleagues are awesome

    Cons

    not shappy with working schedules but you get to choose your own schedule. Plus the new contract sucks

    Advice to Management

    Give your instructors importance and the longer they work for you try to give a lil bit more.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Business ESL Teaching in Japan"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - English As A Second Language Teacher in Tokyo (Japan)
    Current Employee - English As A Second Language Teacher in Tokyo (Japan)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good training for entry-level teachers who wish to move on to corporation teaching.

    Cons

    Weekend work is mandatory, so no social life.

    Advice to Management

    Give teachers more opportunities to to create and design own lesson plans.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "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.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "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.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "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.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "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


  10. Helpful (1)

    "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.


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