Japanese online firm in Cebu to hire 2,000 Pinoy teachersBy Aileen Garcia-Yap
Cebu Daily News
A Japanese English language learning center based in Cebu will hire this year at least 2,000 more Filipino teachers to address the online demand for Japanese students who want to learn to speak English as a second language.
This developed after officials of Langrich-On, Inc. saw the firm grow rapidly in the past two years. They said there was a growing demand for online Filipino teachers among Japanese students in Japan.
“We’ve been in operations here since 2009. We started two years ago at the sixth floor of the Keppel Building but we have to move to the eighth floor to accommodate more cubicles for our operations,” said Haru Urabe and Yohei Maruyama, co-chief executive officers of Langrich-On Inc. in an interview last week.
Last year, the firm served at least 10,000 Japanese students online and about 25 on-site students .
Urabe said most Japanese students prefer to have a Filipino teacher because the students don’t feel intimidated.
“Aside from being very good teachers, most Filipino teachers always have a smile on their face when they teach and the Japanese feel more comfortable,” said Urabe.
Urabe said that nine out of 10 Japanese would prefer having a Filipino teacher than native English speakers like Americans.
At present, 200 full-time and part-time teachers are employed by Langrich-On Inc.
They come for their online classes from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. or from 8 p.m. to midnight, which is the only time students in Japan can take online classes.
Urabe cited the growing demand for affordable online classes in Japan because most of these students wouldn’t have the time to come to the Philippines to study English.
“Some come here but only for a month during their vacation but really most Japanese now prefer doing it online because not many can afford to travel,” he said.
Langrich-On Inc. is the biggest online learning company that focuses on Japanese students in the country.
“We are the biggest and we are still growing. This year, we are looking at growing 2,000 more teachers to cater to the growing demand. We already have another space that we will soon be setting up for our operations in Mandaue City which measures at 2,200 square meters,” said Urabe.
Urabe said that the firm was confident that the available talent pool in Cebu could fill their requirement of 2,000 teachers.
“There’s a lot of good English speakers here and we don’t really require them to have a degree in education as long as they can teach. We train them as well so that they can be equipped with the right skill,” said Urabe.
Urabe also cited the thriving and growing call center industry in Cebu as a sign of the talent pool available for the firm’s manpower requirements.
Aside from Cebu, Urabe said they were planning to expand operations in areas like Clark, Dumaguete, Davao and Manila.
“We expect our client base to grow 10 times this year so we have to be aggressive in getting teachers,” said Urabe.