Ecce Quam Videri “It’s better to be, than to seem to be.”
My name is Joseph Fisher, and the Latin quotation above is part of my old high school crest.This is an idea that I’ve lived by since my days at Salisbury School. When I made the decision to relocate to Japan with my family, I began my career as an English conversation instructor at one of the many large eikaiwas (English conversation school chains). My goal was to gain enough experience to eventually open our own school. My experience at a large eikaiwa was invaluable- not only for the lessons I learned on what to do, but maybe more importantly, on what NOT to do. Many of the eikaiwas had a great front end- beautiful waiting areas, flashy promotional materials, and loads of textbooks, CDs, etc. that were constantly pushed onto customers regardless of whether they were useful or even needed.
The back end, or the end user's real experience with English conversation class, often left much to be desired. The quality of the promotion was not equaled with the quality of the teaching in the classroom, and many customers felt trapped in their contracts with few other options that were often the lesser of several evils. I was determined to create a place where not only did we seem to be a good school, be were a good school- where the experience in the classroom would outshine the limited promotional front end. Where we would be, rather than seem to be.
Ingles School of English was born, and we've been providing quality, low-cost English conversation lessons to children, adults and companies for over 10 years. Our motto of acquiring English naturally is exercised daily with our children's classes via all of the things kids love- music, games, role-play, art, dance and technology. With our adults and companies, we provide a strong foundation in the English language and cultural basics relevant to what their individual or group goals are. These are all based on the language and culture as it is currently, and not on some outdated textbook from 40 years ago. Our kids learn along side other kids with similar language abilities, not confined to a certain grade or age group. This simulates real society, or what they might encounter on the playground, as closely as possible.
Our adults and companies discuss current events, technical fields related to their jobs, personal interests and everything in between- using English that is current in all of its generational, political and cultural nuances. What is politically correct today may not be so tomorrow, and what is harmless to say in one country, may be the opposite if expressed in another. These often touchy English language subjects are an essential add-on to the basics and other business or technical English learned. In the end, whatever our students' goals are for learning English, they will eventually want and/or need to actually use it- with other English speaking people from not only the USA. Interpersonal and international relationships will be made stronger with an ability to communicate using English that is culturally and generation relevant and sensitive.
The recent covid pandemic, and the sudden and sweeping changes in our societies continues to leave its mark on many small business- ours included. Social distancing, limitations on gatherings and non-essential group activities becoming a liability- Ingles School of English has taken a hard hit that it's becoming more and more difficult to recover from without additional assistance. Although I do see a light at the end of this covid-era tunnel, the next year is going to be crucial to our survival as a business. Japanese scientists have predicted herd-immunity in Japan by the end of the year. Vaccines are scheduled to become available soon, though there is a shortage of syringes currently. All in all, if we can get through another year, I feel we will be able to make it as people slowly return to semi-normal group activities.
Ingles School of English in Kawasaki needs to cover property rental and utilities costs in order to continue operating through the year (the estimate for a year is about $20,000, of which we are currently falling short of).
The current covid restrictions have severely limited our main income stream. Making ends meet is becoming a task that is not certain month after month. Any assistance we can raise to help us get through this year would be greatly appreciated, and paid forward to some current and potential students in the form of free lesson awards for as long as is financially feasible. (tuition for one month of lessons is 8000 yen, or about $80.00)
Any finances raised that exceed our need for assistance that month, will be put towards providing tuition-free English lessons to current and/or potential students. Awarded students will be featured on our campaign and web pages.
Thank you for taking the time to look at our campaign page, and if you would be willing to share it with others, we would greatly appreciate any support!
I will personally respond to any and all inquiries: [email protected]