Pacific Language School: Teach English to Japanese Kids


Pacific Language School (PLS) in Tokyo was founded in 1973. More than 40 years later, the PLS System for teaching English to Japanese children and adults continues to evolve. This system is used by over 50 PLS sister schools throughout Japan. We emphasize communicated love, good class management and efficient learning. Our well-trained, caring teachers lead fun, student-centered classes with a clearly defined curriculum.

What are sister schools?

Serious fun in an intimate class setting

Serious fun in an intimate class setting

More than 50 language schools and kindergartens throughout Japan, having found that they agree with the principles and basic curriculum of the PLS System, have adopted it at their own schools. We share a philosophy of teaching, learning and caring that sets us apart.

All sister schools use PLS-published learning aids and homework sets. To help teachers use these materials and understand our system, training seminars are held several times a year in Tokyo, Osaka and elsewhere. These seminars are a chance for us to meet, mingle and learn from one another.

What are PLS classes like?

Our lessons are characterized by a speedy tempo and loving strictness. We stress aural comprehension, gradually increased student centering and strict pronunciation and penmanship standards. In-class exposure to English is reinforced with a variety of interactive homework.

Our teachers come from all over the world and teach English as natural, personal communication. But for us, teaching doesn’t end there. One of our broader goals is to show students good examples of social interaction, so we’re always on our best behavior. It is our duty and privilege to help our young learners mature.

In addition to teaching mainly small classes of children, we also offer adult lessons and send native language teachers (NLTs) to private elementary, junior and senior high schools. The PLS “Recipe Method” is used at public schools in Nagano and Ibaraki prefectures.

How are we different?

Starting with founders Ray and Masumi Ormandy, our program has been developed by many contributing native English-speaking teachers. This means that we emphasize natural communication, not “textbook English.” And we offer decades of accumulated know-how in cross-cultural counseling, so management-staff communication isn’t compromised.

The PLS System includes a wealth of unique classroom activities, methods and learning aids, largely developed in-house. Our teachers can make use of strategies and materials unavailable anywhere else. And having a unified curriculum for young learners of all ages helps us plan effective lessons at any level.

PLS founders Ray and Masumi Ormandy

PLS founders Ray and Masumi Ormandy

Our schools are “schools” first, “companies” second. While we must all make a living, we strive to put education foremost. This dedication is reflected at PLS conventions and forums held several times a year, where hundreds of teachers, managers and owners gather to discuss teaching, working with children, overcoming cultural differences and other topics of professional interest.

Our focus at training seminars (cumulatively, six full days) is about practical, hands-on learning. PLS trainers also visit sister schools to observe classes and offer help. When cost and distance make this difficult, we offer video feedback and assistance via phone or email. We are continuously working to improve our support system for teachers and staff.

What kind of teachers are we looking for?

We believe in “serious fun.” While our lessons are not dry academic exercises, they are also not simply play time with an English speaker. We seek teachers who will rise to the challenge of using a richly complex, many-faceted teaching system. Experience is a plus, but above all we are looking for people with a passion for teaching who love children and are interested in learning and self-growth.


You’ll find PLS sister schools in urban, suburban and rural areas from Miyagi in the north to Miyazaki in the south, and especially in the Kanto and Kansai areas. While teaching with us brings many perks, the best reward is the chance to make an impact in kids’ lives.

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Some comments from teachers who have attended PLS training:

The seminars really showed me how to follow a curriculum and make an effective lesson plan quickly and easily. The results have been nothing but positive. Classes are going much more smoothly now and I honestly feel that the students are learning more.

From a teacher in Yamanashi

I walked away from the seminar having a much better understanding of the big picture. There is no doubt in my mind as to the positive impact this has had on my students’ learning.

From a teacher in Miyazaki

Everything has been useful in the classroom, helping me to become a better teacher. Acting things out in small groups, being critiqued and corrected, then repeating the activity until it’s right, is a great way to practice, learn, and gain confidence.

From a teacher in Nagano

I was having trouble with kids getting a little out of control. I needed educational activities to keep the whole class engaged, and the activities laid out in the seminars were just what I was looking for.

From a teacher in Osaka

Hands-on training with teachers from all over Japan

Hands-on training with teachers from all over Japan