According to this article in Elt News, Berlitz in Japan has seen 40% of its teachers become unavailable since the earthquake and tsunami in March, and is looking to change its provision through online lessons.
The implications of this could be very interesting; if a major chain, and there are about thirty schools in Tokyo alone, manages to find a workable solution for such a staff shortfall, and one that increases online teaching and requires fewer teachers, it seems logical that it will be more cost effective.
They already have blended and online learning, but the CEO said it had little support before the quake. If they do find a solution to a crisis like this that works with their clients, it could have a far wider impact felt in many areas of the industry. If they can make up a 40% shortfall of teachers without bringing them to Japan, then the mobility which is one of the key attractions to many of ESL may be reduced. If they do it successfully, it will work well from a corporate perspective, but many teachers may find it less appealing.
Categories: Asian Blog