Language Resources Ltd. was nominated in the Global Talent category of the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan’s 2013 British Business Awards. Why do you think your firm was nominated?
Geoff Rupp, M.A. (Appl. Ling.), founder and chairman: I imagine it was because we have established a reputation as a provider of quality language services for people working in the global market. Although we are a relatively small firm, based in Kobe, we work in most major cities in the Kansai and Kanto areas.
What services do you provide?
We are a kind of “resource bank” of professional language specialists. Our main work is in English language training for business and technology, where we design and implement courses for corporate clients, according to the English skills, job functions and learning objectives of their staff.
Our other work includes providing professional interpreters for business meetings, and technical translation in a range of fields, including medicine and pharmaceuticals, engineering, and environmental issues.
Teacher training is also an important part of our work, as we offer the highly respected Cambridge CELTA Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Over 10,000 teachers take this course each year in some 300 approved centres worldwide, but we are the only such centre in Japan.
In this way, we are not only working to improve the standards of language education in this country, but we also believe in setting standards for others to follow, while offering clients a level of training that meets or exceeds international standards.
When and why did you start your firm in Kobe?
We’ve been in business since 1981. I had recently returned to Japan after completing a Masters in applied linguistics in the UK. A major steel firm in Kobe hired me as an in-house trainer, knowing that my plan was to establish my own training business.
Later that year, the steel firm gave me that opportunity, and after training thousands of students and hundreds of teachers, we are still here—showing there’s always a better way to learn.