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May 11, 2017

Best places to teach private students English

It's been a while since I've taught private classes outside of a school but I might have something coming up with maybe 3 students. So with 4 of us, I'd like to know if anyone here has recommendations as to the best cafes and spaces (other than home) to teach private (group in this case) classes in Japan. I'm in Tokyo but any kind of chain cafes etc will be helpful.

DaveJpn

DaveJpn

Love travel, football, and a good read. Been in Japan for a little while now. Still loving it, still discovering new things, and still annoyed by how much packaging they wrap around snacks in this country.

18 Answers


18 Answers


  • Jackson

    on May 12

    I always go to starbucks, doutor, the chocolate crossant place (which I like because it's often dim and quiet) or similar coffee shops. The have affordable options that are quick and ready. Plus they are around and easily accessible, even when one is full and another might be just around the corner. What I would recommend against is things like family restaurants. Sure they have drink bars and even desserts, but the atmosphere just makes it harder for the teacher to bail when the time is up. It feels like there is an obligation to sit for a bit longer to socialize, and if you're down for it, it's all cool. If not, it's kinda a free overtime. Also not McDonalds if you can avoid it, usually because of the crowd there and it kinda cheapens the value of your lesson.

    1
  • DaveJpn

    on May 12

    @Jackson , "the chocolate crossant place (which I like because it's often dim and quiet) " You mean CHOCOCRO (with the orange / brown logo)? Seems like a good choice - usually quieter than others. I need a bit of noise though so that not everyone is listening into the lesson. The family restaurant point is a good one. I had not thought of that but it certainly makes sense now that you say it. Thanks

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  • helloalissa

    on May 13

    I'd look into nearby community centers. For around 500 yen an hour, you can rent a small classroom (with a whiteboard sometimes) and have some privacy. It's more professional and you can charge more than cafe lessons, plus it's the cost of buying a coffee and snack anyway. Some community centers, libraries, and other public buildings have group study spaces that are free to use for adult lessons that small. I've also heard of people using a karaoke room for lessons - drink bar and a time limit so you won't run over, although it depends on when the lesson is as it could be noisy in the evening and on weekends.

    2
  • DaveJpn

    on May 14

    @helloalissa , That's great, thanks. I might look into the community centers and see if there is one I can use near to where they want to meet. Yes, I've heard of classes being conducted in karaoke rooms. A former student of mine used to take Korean classes that were conducted in a karaoke room. I'm wondering if the machine had songs with the lyrics in that language.

    0
  • Jackson

    on May 15

    The issues with karaoke-room lessons are that: 1. the noise coming from the machine's constantly running ads (some machine types don't let you turn them off) plus the noise from the next rooms 2. the initial cost of the room rent. Let say it is around 150yen per 30 mins per person, and some places require you to order at least one drink (350yen~)... that adds up and it's an amount that is aimai on who should pay, and overall better saved. CHOCOCRO (delicious stuff) is good cuz at least from my experiences, the seats are also separated enough that I feel like the privacy was enough for a lesson :)

    1
  • Saitama

    on May 15

    Another vote for both community centers and karaoke rooms. Just to comment on what @jackson said: you can turn the volume off completely on the machines. And in my experience if it is during the morning to early afternoon there is little to no noise from adjacent rooms. I've used karaoke rooms for playgroup (slightly different I know) but it was a great option because we could take in whatever we needed (books etc) and the base cost is ridiculously low. It usually works out about 200 yen per family for 2 hours with a drink included!

    1
  • Jackson

    on May 15

    @Saitama Then you're going to the right karaoke chains! WIth shops like Banban and Utahiroba, that kind of price might be available especially in other prefs such as Saitama, but those are really hard to come by in Tokyo. Also, I believe you can turn the volume off with all the Joysound machines and the latest Live Dam Stadium, but I don't think that option is available for Live Dam Premium and earlier models.

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  • DaveJpn

    on May 16

    @Saitama @Jackson @helloalissa You guys seem to know a lot more about these karaoke boxes than I do! I'm liking all the insight. Thanks. The students are office workers and I'm not sure if a karaoke room is going to be fitting. I'm kind of hoping to let them just pick the place and take the responsibility away from me. The lesson is coming soon, so I'll let you all know how I get on, and where we end up!

    0
  • Babina

    on May 18

    I prefer small peaceful cafe.

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  • helloalissa

    on May 20

    To be fair, I don't know about karaoke rooms but in the last year went to a Joysound during the day for an hour to hang out alone and get the included drink bar. Not super nice, but could be done. A note about community centers: the ones in my city at least, require a certain number of students, and the (adult at least) students sign up for the room and get the key at lesson time. They also might limit the monthly fee you can charge per person. So I'd let the students work that out with the community center if that's where they choose to have the lesson. It seems most fitting for office workers unless they're using a space at work.

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  • Jackson

    on May 20

    I agree with letting the students deal with the community center-side cuz of the language barrier. I'm trying to set up a session too, and I'm letting the parents of the students find the place :)

    0
  • DaveJpn

    on May 23

    @Saitama @Jackson @helloalissa @Babina , and everyone else who's been reading this - thought I'd just relay my experiences. I met the 'students' finally. Actually it was more of just a meet-and-greet and have a bit of chat to suss each other out. Anyway, as it turns out we met in a MacDonald's!!! It was fine for the purposes of our first meet, although it wasn't me who decided on the place. They did suggest doing the lessons there from now on, but I said that maybe it wasn't so suitable (it was quite noisy and there was no privacy whatsoever). But in the end though I realise I'm happy for them to take the responsibility of picking the place (which they said they will do). I don't really want to get involved in that - if it turns out the place isn't so great, it's on them. Maybe that's bad on my part but it is what it is. On another note - and this is something I've wondered about quite often - who's responsibility do you think it is to secure the seats in the cafes e.t.c where these classes take place, teacher or student? Anyway, thanks for all the input so far.

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  • Louiseyd

    on May 24

    If you have Greenberry's in Tokyo I recommend using their space which you can reserve, borrow for free and use for up to 2 hours.

    1
  • Aluma

    on May 31

    Maybe a family restaurant like Joyful?

    1
  • DaveJpn

    on Jun 6

    @Louiseyd Thanks for the suggestion. I've not head of Greenberry's. I Googled it and it came up with a nice looking coffee shop. Is that the place you're referring to? Looks really nice.

    0
  • DaveJpn

    on Jun 6

    @Aluma I like the sound of a family restaurant for teaching English; plenty of table space I think. I'd worry about having to order food though rather than just a coffee.

    0
  • If you’re looking for companies you could maybe try for Kumon. They are a big tutoring company in Japan and actually in America as well. Also Berlitz sometimes has part-time options. For independent probably Starbucks that’s what I use in America for tutoring too.

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  • helloalissa

    on Dec 12

    Maybe similar to Greenberry's (?) there's a chain called Hoshino Coffee I went to for a meeting & they will also lend you a private room for up to two hours if everyone buys a drink. It's best to reserve in advance just in case, as some locations have just one private room (the private room at the Hoshino near my house seats ten people). I thought it was brilliant for lessons, but all my students like the free community center open space with no obligation to buy a drink. If I start a new small group lesson, I'm going to suggest Hoshino Cafe. Store finder link: http://www.hoshinocoffee.com/shop.html

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