Leading the way

Jackie Dury, Director of Human Resources
Stuart Braun

GABA is committed to redefining the concept and practice of English Learning in Japan. Maki Nibayashi spoke to Director of Human Resources Jackie Dury about GABA’s search for like-minded individuals for their Learning Centres and Ebisu headquarters.

Tell us about your organization
GABA started modestly in 1995 without investment support. Its goals and objectives were visionary yet simple and derived from the personal experience of founders Karen and Hideki Yoshino, who believed that the traditional learning system of English conversation was lacking in effectiveness, in direction and in student care.

GABA is about recognizing the changing times of English learning in Japan and responding proactively with a makeover of the traditional language school. We specialize in private English lessons that provide a 100 percent focus on student needs and desired goals. The original focus on private teaching has proved visionary and successful. We are offering a premium service at a very competitive price, made possible because of creative and efficient management that does not compromise quality or customer service.

All our Learning Centres are in prime locations and have stylish, modern interiors that reflect the fresh GABA approach. Each lesson is conducted in a “wired” Learning space with open access to the Internet and students’ learning records. Our typical student profile is a motivated professional with ambitious and specific reasons for improving his or her English skills. Due to the backgrounds of the CEO and COO, a unique blend of Eastern and Western business ideas and the need for a multicultural understanding has characterized GABA management. The GABA philosophy has evolved into seven Learning Centres (with 15 more planned for 2002) staffing over 200 full-time instructors, 3000 plus registered home-based instructors, and a headquarters staff of 100 employees made up of a mix of Western, European, Australasian and Japanese nationals. GABA is continually recruiting and training instructors and headquarters staff to support the service of our student body. GABA has registered over 30,000 students!

How have the English schools changed over the years, and how will GABA stay competitive?
English schools have had no choice but to change because the customer has changed. Students have higher expectations of themselves and a greater experience in lesson quality. GABA has responded to this by offering high-quality, personalized English lessons in modern, wired learning spaces.
At the same time, the fact remains that some English schools have not changed. The management style and machinery of traditional language schools is not conducive to change. A real danger of complacency and immobility exists for our competitors. GABA has the competitive edge because we are young and flexible. A commitment to customer service and a desire to excel in the language business drives the operations in HQ and on the front line of GABA Learning Centres.

What positions are you seeking to fill and with what responsibilities?
Our entry and expansion into the language business is based on creative, open-minded and talented individuals. We are always on the lookout for more people to fill immediate and future requirements. You have to be in tune with the changing times and have the drive to take GABA to the next stage. In return, we can offer a pioneering and fast-paced environment where you are rewarded on performance and where, as the company grows, you can grow with it.
We recruit English instructors all year round. Teaching experience is preferred but not necessary as initial and on-going training is provided. Private lessons place more emphasis on the instructor-student environment so personality and professionalism are crucial. Instructors are also encouraged to participate in the operations of the Learning Centres in a teaching and non-teaching capacity.

Please tell us about salaries, benefits, etc.
GABA currently offers real opportunities for career advancement along with a competitive package. For teachers, salaries range between JY270,000 and JY400,000 a month for a 36-hour week with 2 consecutive days off. Benefits include an end of contract and performance bonus, paid vacation, visa sponsorship, housing and a black suit.
With the continual growth of new and existing Learning Centres, HR managers, recruiters and Learning Centre operations managers are required to attract, recruit and support the best English instructors. Other management level opportunities in sales, marketing, business development and administration also exist in our Ebisu headquarters, and salaries range from range between JY300,000 and JY670,000 per month (inclusive performance incentive). A five-day week, performance bonus and housing support is also offered. Japanese language skills preferred for management level positions.

Contact Info:
English instructors: Please call for an orientation session at 03-5768-2785.
HQ applicants: Please call HR at 03-5768-2785.
Visit  or email your resume to  

Do you have a position to fill? Email

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