A Japanese School Finds Success in Chicago

June 20, 2008 at 2:52 pm Leave a comment

The Daily Herald (give it up for my hometown newspaper!) has a story on a Japanese school, Futabakai, smack dab in the middle of Arlington Heights, a suburb of Chicago. Much like The American School in London does for U.S. ex-pats, Futabakai offers an opportunity for Japanese kids temporarily living in Illinois to receive the same education they would get at home. And once they return to Japan, they won’t have to scramble to catch up with their peers because they’re all on the same page.

Funded by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce, with textbooks and teachers supplied by the Japanese Government, Futabakai is a year-round school that teaches kindergarten through 9th grade. My favorite quote from the article comes courtesy of English teacher Diane Strack, who seems appreciative of and stunned by her all-Japanese students:

“Kids get homework but want more; they thank you after class for teaching.” (They also bow after lessons. Sounds like a dream come true for most western educators.)

The story got me thinking about the Nova scandal last November. Since the big bankruptcy, many teachers who lost their jobs stayed in Japan to work for Nova’s replacement, G. Communications, but it hasn’t been easy.

Japan News Review reveals that a lawsuit has been filed alleging that G. Communications did not honor the teacher contracts it set up seven months ago. And how’s this for irony: remember how Nova was considered the McDonald’s of eikaiwa? Well, it seems G. Communications owns a series of franchised restaurants, which is how they make most of their money…

Sarah S.

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Entry filed under: Japanese Business, Japanese Culture, Uncategorized. Tags: , , .

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June 2008