Clients' Voice

Thanks to her improved language skills, she is able to deal with native speakers more comfortably.

NetSTAR, Inc.

As of 2023:Director, Chief Technology Officer

Mr. Yasuaki Arakawa

Services used


Workload was unevenly distributed to some members

Some team members had limited English communication skills, and the burden of overseas business was unequally shared with them.

After training:

We were able to distribute the workload effectively.

By improving overall English skills, they were able to respond to overseas customers, and distribute the workload equally.

Mr. Arakawa’s voice

Q: What challenges did your team face in communicating in English?

Unfortunately, the workload was unfairly skewed to a few members who had sufficient English skills due to the overall lack across the whole team.

When we started our overseas business in 2008, the scale of the business was small, and the English needs of the team were minimal. It was sufficient for me, and the director at the time to handle any queries.

However, as our business grew and expanded, we found it increasingly difficult to handle the workload. We felt unable to cope and our core business was suffering.

To solve this problem, I initially thought about hiring security engineers who could speak English. However, in a very competitive IT industry, it proved difficult to hire only a security engineer. Furthermore, finding candidates with suitable language skills was hard to secure. Even when we found one, their rates were very high.

Considering the above, I realized it would be more realistic to improve the skills of existing members.

It was around that time when Ms. Sugawara, one of our team members, said she wanted to improve her English ability. Of course, I was in favor of strengthening our team member’s English, so I gave her the green light to proceed.

We have learned that if you select a school based on cost it will not necessarily meet your needs, however if you choose carefully based on research as Ms. Sugawara did, finding an option like Canning & Associates is possible.

Mr. Yasuaki Arakawa

Q: From the management’s point of view, what were the benefits of improving the English skills of employees?

Effect 1: More members speak English, allowing management to focus on core activities

As the number of members who could speak English increased, the management was able to focus more on its core work. I was able to distribute the English required workload, especially my email correspondence which decreased by up to 60 to 70%.

I was able to leave many tasks to Ms. Sugawara who confidently applied the English skills she obtained from her recent training.

One such example are expressions that are similar to Keigo(honorifics in English) which are widely used in Japanese, we found that simply translating those possibly annoy native speakers  These kinds of nuances cannot be recognized by those with surface level English ability.

In that regard, Canning’s training incorporates expressions used by native speakers into specific business scenarios. Ms. Sugawara learned English at a level that can be described as “work-ready”. When she now communicates with native speakers, I have less tension about the use of English words and phrases that commonly used in real business English communication and seeing Ms. Sugawara perform admirably gave me some peace of mind.

Moreover, Ms. Sugawara’s transformation was obvious not only to me but also to other team members. It gave them the motivation to improve and the desire to utilize their English skills in their work and contribute to the team. At first, I thought to hire security engineers who could speak English, but looking back now, we have achieved wonderful results not only in terms of cutting costs but also the impact it has had on Ms. Sugawara and the people around her.

Effect 2: Sales increased

There was also a positive impact on sales. As previously mentioned, the capacity to handle English-language work has increased so much so that the scale of our operations has boosted and so too our sales.

As the Director, I can now spend my time on strategic management tasks and research. Being able to focus more on business expansion, has the net effect of increasing sales overall in the company.

Regarding our global business, Ms. Sugawara’s improved English ability has allowed the team to work better thereby freeing them up to handle more tasks. There has been an increase in revenues for the last three years.

Effect 3: Acquired comprehensive business skills

As well as her language skills, her “general business communication skills” benefited beyond initial expectations also. These included such things as “saying your conclusion first” or “speaking logically using evidence and specific examples,” or “speaking concisely,” or “being aware of time management when speaking,” and “choosing words carefully according to the person you are talking to.” These are defining features noticeable in Canning training.

Q: What do you expect from Ms. Sugawara in the future?

In addition to continuing to improve her conversational skills, we are looking to give her the responsibility to create user documentation. Currently, when we create manuals, the US side create the base and the Japan side arrange the technical aspects.

A manual that is easy to use for engineers is directly connected to customer satisfaction, so it would be helpful if we can take complete charge of manual creation together with Japanese engineers. Based on the experience of instruction cultivated in daily support, it would be great to see Ms. Sugawara and her team create customer friendly manuals.

Q: What do you expect from Canning in the future?

I am really happy that the Canning training has facilitated steady progress so far for Ms.  Sugawara, and that we have been able to enjoy the cost benefit when compared to the hiring of a new English-speaking security engineer.

In the future, we are hoping our team members are able to participate in Canning training, and we look forward to your future support of our team’s growth.

Comments from Ben (a colleague of Ms. Sugawara)

Ai’s (Ms. Sugawara) English proficiency has improved dramatically over the past few years, and her dedication to improving English skills has helped her communicate with Fortune 100 global technology companies.

In addition, Ai has been directly involved in helping business partners and potential customers by responding to emails in English, attending online meetings and answering technical questions in English.

Ai’s efforts have had a significant impact on internal and external communications and have resulted in profits. Ai is really important to us!

Ben Gruidel, VP Sales Engineering & Technical Account Management

All of the “Clients' Voice” interviews

  • NetSTAR, Inc.

    “The training content is flexibly customized according to each participant’s challenging area. ”The content of the training matched my actual business reality. “Acquiring better English skills has given me the momentum to improve not only my own skills but that of my team

    We spoke to a participant who continues the Canning 1to1 Business English Skills training more than 3 years. The participant shared positive feedback about her experience with Canning 1to1 training.

    Read more
  • NetSTAR, Inc.

    -“There was also a positive impact on sales.”
    -“As the number of members who could speak English increased, the management was able to focus more on its core work.”
    -“Ms. Sugawara learned English at a level that can be described as "work-ready"

    We asked the participants’ manager to share his thoughts on our training programs and their effects on their business.

    Read more
  • Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.

    -“The training is always rated 4.8 or higher on a scale of 1-5. Consultants sometimes receive perfect scores.”
    -“Canning's highly experienced consultants are all on point.”

    In the interview, we take a detailed look at the highly positive feedback from this client.

    Read more

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