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June 30, 2004

ECC Goes Celtic

ECC has recently opened a new online school based in Ireland. ECC Foreign Language Institute plans to employ about 30 people at its latest Internet-based foreign language teaching center in Dublin over the next five years. The Irish workers in the new center, which opened June 1 and is continuing to recruit, will become on-line tutors for Japanese English students. The new center will, according to the company, add to the capacity of its center in Osaka, and due to the time difference will extend the availability of the service to 2am for students in Japan. ECC's product is called "Web Lesson," which was launched in 2002 and has since been a success, leading to the expansion.

Apart from low operating costs in terms of telecommunications, property and payroll, ECC's decision to place its new facility in Dublin rather than in Japan was influenced by the number of highly talented English tutors in Ireland. According to the Irish Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Mary Harney, "This innovative Web-based project will be an important addition to Ireland's emerging e-learning sector." ECC was established in 1962 and is now one of the "Big Five" eikaiwa chain schools in Japan, operating over 170 language campuses across Japan, with regional headquarters in Osaka, Tokyo and Nagoya. It has a base of 300,000 students and it employs about 13,000 people.

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