6 Types of Eikaiwa Students and How to Handle Them

Source: Gaijin Pot
6 Types of Eikaiwa Students

In Japan, eikaiwa, or English conversation schools, are different from regular schools. Teaching here is not the same as being an ALT (assistant language teacher) at a public school or a university. The students are often taught individually, and they can review your lessons or even request to have (or not have) you as their teacher.

I’ve been teaching at eikaiwa for a few years now. From practical experience and valuable advice from veterans, I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t. Eikaiwa is a business. Student satisfaction can be more important than education, and you’ll encounter many different kinds of students you’ll remember for both good and bad reasons.

The difference in student personalities is what makes working at an eikaiwa so interesting.

A student once gave me half their mask collection after I mentioned I couldn’t find any. Another student spent our lesson discussing Naruto. One student complained that it was “unprofessional” to talk about my personal life after I mentioned my boyfriend never turns off the lights in a lesson about conserving energy.

From students who can test your patience to the ones who make your job worthwhile, here are six types I’ve come across teaching English conversation classes in Japan and how to handle them.

1. The chill one

This guy just wants to talk about your day.

This student is my favorite. Laidback and relaxed, it feels like they’ve just come to chat. Somehow, you start the lesson with the textbook, but by the end,, you’re talking about how great the sushi in Hokkaido is or the annoying things their boss does. They aren’t very interested in grammar and would instead ask you silly questions about your life or how …continue reading