Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A shitty way to learn a language

When I first came to Japan, I came to teach English at a chain of school that was to linguistics what Mickey D's is to haute cuisine. Nova talked a good game, but their real selling point was that they had the lowest prices if you bought enough lessons at once and had schools at every station, which means they are thicker on the ground in a city like Tokyo or Osaka than Tim Horton's in Toronto. They were the biggest employers of foreigners in the country with hundreds of schools and thousands of employees.
It was very much a place ruled by moronic policy manuals and systems designed to squeeze as much money out of customers as possible and there is little good to be said about it. At least I wore a necktie instead of a hairnet, but if you weren't in the glass-walled closet classroom kissing ass flirting entertaining teaching a group of one to three Johns suckers students, or trying to get toddlers to stop punching you in the nuts crying for their mommy being scared of the big pale-skinned blue-eyed giant learn English, you were expected to be in the parlour Voice room kissing ass flirting sarcastically abusing shaking your moneymaker entertaining facilitating English communication among the waiting psychopaths, suckers, random strangers and mental patients off the the street and no I'm not exaggerating students.

Too make an already too long story shorter, NOVA corkscrewed in for a landing last fall thanks to the sleazy, grasping fuckery of its president and owner, throwing thousands of young foreign teachers out of work after not paying them for a month or more. Suffice to say if this man were to walk into the wrong bar today, he'd get his ass kicked until his nose bled, but I digress.
This week I finally found out what happened to all the lame textbooks the schools had been using since the early 1980s

For those who can't make out the label, this is Let's study English! toilet paper.

crossposted from the Woodshed

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