The post by Chiharu of the Otsu Smith’s School of English brought into focus the fact that owning and teaching at your own franchise English school does not have to be only for native speakers. And this fact might someday be one thing that will drive more Japanese students to work harder to master English conversation and English in general. Not just to take the TOEIC or TOEFL or to study abroad but wouldn’t it be wonderful if more Japanese people realize the potential that Chiharu has realized?
Many of my students do not really know exactly how learning English will help them to get better jobs or a more interesting job in which they will be able to really use English. Often this ability is taken for granted by Japanese companies. And that is really too bad because those people who have achieved good proficiency have really worked hard to get where they are with English and there should be more of a reward for that effort. So why wouldn’t owning and/or teaching at your own Smith’s School be a great goal for Japanese people who really want to take advantage of the English they worked so hard to master? The rewards of having a school, in terms of earning potential and general satisfaction, could definitely be greater than working even for one of the bigger Japanese companies who do need their employees to speak English.
So I say “more power to industrious Japanese students of English!” Look at what Chiharu is doing in Otsu and think what you could do if you work hard to perfect your English. You might one day own and/or teach at your own Smith’s English School. Now that is a very good prospect and reason to master English!
So buckle down and get to work. There’s no such thing as a free lunch! Chop chop! It’s up to you!
Al Bartle (Smith’s School of English – Okamoto)