First Advisor

Jeff Unsicker


In 1996, I worked at NOVA Information Systems (NIS), the computer software devision of NOVA, an English language school in Japan. NOVA is owned and operated by Japanese people. While most decisions are made by the Japanese, teaching, training and curriculum development are almost exclusively done by native English speaking expatriates. Teachers at the NOVA schools are all native English speakers with varying degrees of teaching ability and experience. Before beginning teaching at a NOVA school, each teacher participates in a three-day training that focuses on training them to use existing lesson plans. Teachers are not expected to create lesson plans, but are expected to create creative applications and role-plays. They receive several in-service trainings that focus on such subjects as grammar, conversation classes and kids teaching. Most teachers at NOVA must have at least one year of teaching experience before becoming trainers.

I taught at a NOVA school before becoming an English language materials writer at NIS. My first task on the job was to help test different remote video systems for their usefulness in English language education. After a few months, NIS decided to collaborate with Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) to create an English language education program using one of these systems.


International and Comparative Education | Teacher Education and Professional Development