Aeon (language school)
|Founded||Tokushima, Japan (1973)|
|Key people||Kiyoshi Aki (Chairman and CEO)|
Aeon (株式会社イーオン Kabushikigaisha Īon?) is a chain of English conversation teaching companies in Japan. It is considered one of the historical "Big Four" eikaiwa schools. Although it shares a nearly identical name in English, Aeon is not affiliated with the Aeon Group, a major Japanese retail and financial services corporation.
The company operates 320 branch schools throughout Japan, and maintains staff recruitment offices in New York City and Los Angeles.
In November 2013 it was reported that Aeon had approximately 100,000 students studying English.
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (April 2010)|
In 1973, university classmates Kiyoshi Aki and Tsuneo Kusunoki founded the company AMVIC. The name was an acronym of the phrase "AMbition and VICtory." The company would focus on foreign language studies.
Later,[when?] AMVIC International was split into two divisions. Aki became the head of AMVIC Gaigogakuin (AMVIC外語学院 anbikku gaigogakuin?), which provided foreign language training for students. Kusunoki assumed control of AMVIC Eikaiwa (AMVIC英会話 anbikku eikaiwa?), which specialized in English language education for non-native speakers.
In 1989, AMVIC International split into two separate companies, as the former partners developed differing visions of the company's future. Aki's company became Aeon, focusing on language learning in Japan. He remains Aeon's chairman as of 2010. Kusunoki's company became GEOS, focusing on global language learning. GEOS and Aeon remained competitors until April 2010 when GEOS filed for bankruptcy protection.
Aeon's corporate headquarters are in Okayama. Its operations are divided into three regions.
|Region||Areas covered||Number of schools||Headquarters||Regional manager|
|East Japan||Hokkaidō, Tōhoku, Kantō, Kōshin'etsu and Kansai||149||Shinjuku||Yoshikazu Miyake|
|Central Japan||Tōkai, Chūbu, Hokuriku, Kyūshū and Okinawa||71||Nagoya||Kiyoshi Aki|
|West Japan||Chūgoku and Shikoku||26||Okayama||Masashi Satō|
Aeon also has a subsidiary named Aeon Amity which offers classes to children and students up to high school age. The Amity group operates 74 schools throughout Japan.
As of December 2010, Aeon held total assets of 28.7 billion yen. Its total revenue for 2009 was 24.8 billion yen.
On 5 February 2010, Aeon announced that it would henceforth be depositing 50% of the lesson fees that students pay up-front into a trust account managed by the Mizuho Trust Bank. These funds would be held on behalf of the students, to be refunded in the event the company could no longer continue operating. The initial amount paid into the trust account was 4.3 billion yen.
- Seargeant, Philip (2005). "More English than England itself": the simulation of authenticity in foreign language practice in Japan. International Journal of Applied Linguistics. pp. 326–345. doi:10.1111/j.1473-4192.2005.00094.x.
- "'Eikaiwa' vets look beyond Big Four". Japan Times. 2007-07-31. Retrieved 2007-08-12.
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