Teaching English in Japan – Sapporo

Published: 15 September, 2016  |  Last updated: 15 September, 2016

Teaching English in Sapporo, Japansapporo_japan

Report submitted on 31 Mar, 2016 by Greg Emond.

Teaching English in Sapporo, Japan:

How can teachers find teaching jobs in Sapporo, Japan?
They can find jobs through Gajinpot, and the Hokkaido insider.

The main English teaching jobs available are:
Full time English language school positions, part time English language school positions, agencies (send teachers to different locations), teaching at kindergartens / pre-schools.

What are the minimum teaching requirements?
A university degree From an English speaking country is the minimum required to get a working visa, but additional qualifications, such as TESOL, are preferred.

What teaching requirements would you recommend?
Additional qualifications, such as TESOL or TEFL, are preferred. Native speakers are much more in demand, and 5 years experience opens quite a few more doors.

What are the levels of payment?
250000 yen (roughly 2500US$) a month is the average salary for full timers in Hokkaido.

How many teaching days a week is normal?
5-6 days per week.

How many face-to-face teaching hours a week is normal?
30 hours per week.

What is the normal arrangement for holidays?
2 weeks summer vacation and 2 weeks winter vacation are pretty much the norm.

What advice would you give to someone considering coming to Sapporo, Japan to teach English?

The boss is always right. Always. No matter how wrong you think he is (and you are probably right thinking so), He is right nevertheless, and you must follow the directions he tells you, with a smile to boot. Period.

If you can live with that, then you’ll live quite happily in Japan.

What are the positive aspects of teaching English in Sapporo, Japan?
Japan is a great,and most importantly safe country. It also has a great social system, with good health insurance and very good family support. So it’s a great place to raise your kids.

What are the negative aspects for teaching English in Sapporo, Japan?
Teachers are very recognisable in the streets, so they are expected to always “act” like role models while in public places.

 

Living in Sapporo, Japan:

Are there any visa or other legal requirements to live in Japan?
Yes, a work visa is necessary.

What is the cost of living like in Japan?
It really depends, but a cheap apartment near downtown is roughly 100000 yen (1000 US$) it gets cheaper if you are willing to commute a lot, but then again, commuting is pretty expensive in Japan. If you live pretty far and need to take the train, it can run up above 3-40000 yen (30-40 US$).

But just a subway pass will cost you between 10000 and 25000 Yen (98-245 US$).

What are the usual accommodation arrangements and how can you find accommodation?
The employers outside the big cities often offer accommodations near their school for pretty cheap. Teaching in a smaller town is a much better decision financially, but it can get a bit boring.

Other than teaching, what positive aspects are there for living in Sapporo, Japan?
Hokkaido is probably the slowest paced place to live in japan, aside from Okinawa.

If you don’t like Tokyo’s frenetic lifestyle, this place is for you.

Other than teaching, what negative aspects are there for living in Sapporo, Japan?
Japanese is a hard language to learn, and you pretty much need to be pretty fluent to live normally in Japan.

Reading is the most difficult challenge, as you need to be able to read hiragana, katakana, and roughly 1000 kanjis to be able to function.

Also, the banking system is a mess, and you need a bank account to work.

What advice would you give to someone considering coming to Sapporo, Japan?
The good time to look for job is in January since the school year begins in march.

What things do you miss most (other than family and friends) from your home country?
The freedom to speak my mind, and act a little silly sometimes is dearly missed.

What do you think you will miss most when (or if) you leave Japan?
The safety inherent to Japan, the courteous service everywhere, and the karaoke booths 🙂

What things would you recommend to new teachers in your area to bring with them from their home country?
DEODORANT! What they have over here is a joke for us stinky foreigners.

and if they are bigger/taller than the average Japanese people, shoes and long sleeve shirts, as they never fit correctly.

About Me and My Work:

My NameGreg Emond

Nationality: Canadian

Students I’ve taught in Japan: Toddlers (2-4 years), pre-school / kindergarten (4-6 years), elementary (6-12 years), junior high school (12-15 years), high school (15-18 years), university, adults.

Where I teachOozora English school, Teine, sapporo. Working here for 9 years.

How I found my current jobs: At the international plaza in Sapporo. But unfortunately, it’s not what it used to be. Less and less people post job ads over there.

My school facilitiesAdequate. The Japanese people don’t want to learn English so they can speak it. They have to learn it to pass a grammar test for their high school exam. Which makes them pretty good readers who can’t say a word.

And that won’t change anytime soon.

But outside the national school system, there are great language schools out there.

Teacher support at my school: Training / workshops, peer support / training.
 
 

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Teaching English in Japan – Nara

Published: 21 June, 2016  |  Last updated: 16 September, 2016

Teaching English in Nara, Japan

nara-japan

Report submitted on 4 Jan, 2016 by byond.

Teaching English in Nara, Japan:

How can teachers find teaching jobs in Nara, Japan?
I worked first at a private women’s university in Osaka for 38 years. After retirement I went to work at a language school teaching children. I would suggest that teachers check job sites online and also newspapers for available jobs. Other possibilities are checking with people they might know who are living in the country/area that they wish to go.

The main English teaching jobs available are:
Full time English language school positions, part time English language school positions, agencies (send teachers to different locations), teaching at companies, teaching at community centers, etc., private teaching (not through a school, agency, etc.)

What are the minimum teaching requirements?
If the candidate is looking for a position at a university, then a PhD is often required these days. At least an M.A. is necessary. University jobs are hard to come by these days. If the person is looking at language schools, then a B.A. may be all that its required. The JET program is still a fairly good way to get experience in Japan.

What teaching requirements would you recommend?
I recommend at least a B.A., some ESL training if not an actual degree and at least a little experience.

What are the levels of payment?
It of course depends on the place but the average is about 2,500 to 3,000 yen per hour (approximately $20-25/hour).
With the high cost of living in Japan, it’s often hard to make ends meet.

How many teaching days a week is normal?
5 – 6 days per week.

How many face-to-face teaching hours a week is normal?
18 hours per week.

What is the normal arrangement for holidays?
All national holidays are usually off. If the job is part-time, you are not paid for holidays.

What advice would you give to someone considering coming to Nara, Japan to teach English?
It’s a nice, safe place to get experience if you don’t mind crowds, noise, high prices and language barriers.

What are the positive aspects of teaching English in Nara, Japan?
People are generally very well-mannered. The service industry in Japan is top-notch, unbeatable, so that makes living here easier.

What are the negative aspects for teaching English inNara, Japan?
If you don’t speak the language, you might encounter problems and there are many rules that some might find unbearable.

What are some of the teaching challenges for English teachers teaching the local people in your area?
For some, the lack of progress seen in their students might be a challenge.

 

Living in Nara, Japan:

Are there any visa or other legal requirements to live in Japan?
Yes, you need a working visa. You’ll need a sponsor for that visa, so getting employment assured before arrival is best.

What is the cost of living like in Japan?
It is expensive.

What are the usual accommodation arrangements and how can you find accommodation?
Some places will include accommodation but most do not. You have to find it on your own. It’s best to take someone who speaks Japanese with you to the real estate agent. Many places require hefty key money (down deposit which is usually refundable when you leave).

Other than teaching, what positive aspects are there for living in Nara, Japan?
It is a very safe, relatively clean environment.

Other than teaching, what negative aspects are there for living in Nara, Japan?
Lack of space; crowded streets.

What advice would you give to someone considering coming to Nara, Japan?
Bring an open mind, patience and a real desire to learn to adapt.

What things do you miss most (other than family and friends) from your home country?
Space, variety of health type foods..

What do you think you will miss most when (or if) you leave Japan?
The wonderful hospitality and service that you get everywhere you go here.

What things would you recommend to new teachers in your area to bring with them from their home country?
If they are on the large size, then enough clothes and shoes to last until they can return or get someone to send them.

 

About Me and My Work:

My Name: byond

Nationality: U.S.A.

Students I’ve taught in Japan: pre-school / kindergarten (4-6 years), elementary (6-12 years), university, adults, business.

Where I teach: English Masters Communication Center in Nara, Japan. Teaching here for 2 years.

How I found my current jobs: A former colleague introduced me.

My school facilities: Excellent- Classrooms are bright and airy, I’m given full reign to choose textbooks and teaching materials and given a proper budget for buying them, the staff (both teachers and office) are wonderful to work with and it is easily accessible by public transportation.

Teacher support at my school: Lesson observations, peer support / training.
 

Do you teach English in Japan?

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Teaching English in Japan – Mito-shi, Ibaraki

Published: 12 June, 2015  |  Last updated: 12 June, 2015

Teaching English in Mito-shi, Ibaraki, Japan

 

 Mito-shi, Ibaraki, Japan

Report submitted on 15 May, 2015 by Elena.

Teaching English in Mito-shi, Ibaraki, Japan:

How can teachers find teaching jobs in Mito-shi, Ibaraki, Japan?
This is a sister city program, working as an Assistant English Teacher at public schools.  If you live in California or Oklahoma, you can look up the Mito AET program and apply.

Similar programs include the JET Program, or you can apply to work at English conversation/cram schools online on sites such as gaijinpot.com.

The main English teaching jobs available are:
Full time English language school positions, part time English language school positions, teaching at kindergartens / pre-schools, teaching at state schools.

What are the minimum teaching requirements?
– Bachelor’s degree, and preferably a basic understanding of Japanese language.
– Some teaching experience preferred, but not required.
– They like to see experience with children, some experience teaching, some Japanese knowledge, and a passion for teaching/living in Japan.
– The most important thing they look for is character – if you seem determined and well likeable, you can be hired, regardless of experience.

What teaching requirements would you recommend?
– Have some experience with children and teaching- especially learn how to make lesson plans, create/use games, etc.
– Know how different age groups think and what kinds of activities they react best to.
– English level can be basic (native, or proficient, but you don’t have to be an English major).

What are the levels of payment?
AET/ALT positions are typically US$13-15 per hour, full time position.

How many teaching days a week is normal?
4-5 days per week.

How many face-to-face teaching hours a week is normal?
10-20 hours per week.

What is the normal arrangement for holidays?
National holidays are paid vacation.  Depending on the employer, a certain number of paid vacation days and sick days are allotted per year- typically 20 vacation days, 20 sick days. These paid vacation days can be taken by the hour, so you can go to the bank/post office, take a half day off, etc.

What advice would you give to someone considering coming to Mito-shi, Ibaraki, Japan to teach English?
Learn to read basic Japanese characters so you can read signs and labels.  A lot of words are borrowed, so you can recognize some English words if you can read the characters.  Also, make sure you’ve travelled before. This will be a completely different place from your home, and if you are not used to being in strange places, you WILL experience culture shock and stress.

What are the positive aspects of teaching English in Mito-shi, Ibaraki, Japan?
Everyone is extremely kind and goes out of their way to make you feel safe and welcome.  They place a very high importance on English education, so your position is considered to be very important.  You will have a lot of support, and a lot of fun.  The students love to greet you, and will never fail to say “Hello” or “Goodbye, Sensei!!!”

What are the negative aspects for teaching English in Mito-shi, Ibaraki, Japan?
– Culture shock and culture stress is a very real thing. Japan is extremely far from the US and Europe, and unless you come from a place super close to Japan, you can’t just come home when you miss your family.
– Japanese teachers think differently from American teachers, and the school set up is completely different.
– The phrases, environment, and expectations are all brand new, and it will take a lot of mistakes and memorizations to get it right.
– Also, communication is not really a thing. You will get cut classes, added classes, or the main teacher will not be there and you will have to teach on your own, without a lesson plan, on the fly. Things happen, so you have to always be ready and expect the unexpected.

What are some of the teaching challenges for English teachers teaching the local people in your area?
– Sometimes the teachers are hesitant to help or lead your class, making ASSISTANT English teaching very difficult.
– The programs in Japan are meant to create a team teaching situation, which is rarely the case in reality.
– This stems from the fact that Japanese teachers are embarrassed not to know English and do not want to make a mistake when they teach. Your job then becomes not only that of a teacher, but also a cheerleader. You typically will spend months working on dragging the main teacher out to demonstrate examples, assist in games, or answer questions in simple English. You encourage them and let them know that no, you, the native English speaker, are not judging your main teacher’s English skills, and yes, they are doing an amazing job, so please please please help with this class.

 

Living in Mito-shi, Ibaraki, Japan:

Are there any visa or other legal requirements to live in Japan?
You need a work visa to live here, as well as a residence card.

What is the cost of living like in Japan?
Comparable to living in Southern California, but slightly more expensive.  Accommodations (small apartment) are approximately US$800/month, groceries usually run me about US$40/week, and eating out, I can’t get away with paying any less than US$8 for a meal.

What are the usual accommodation arrangements and how can you find accommodation?
If you apply through Mito AET Program or JET Program, accommodations will be arranged for you. Depending on location and program, the program will pay for part of the cost, as well as transportation costs to your schools.

Other than teaching, what positive aspects are there for living in Mito-shi, Ibaraki, Japan?
– Most English teachers will ride on buses, trains, bikes, and subways. This can be annoying, but I think of it as relaxing. Public transportation is almost always on time here, so it takes the stress out of worrying if you’ve missed the train or if it’s still coming.
– The scenery here is amazing!!! Forests, farmland, hills, ocean, new and old traditional buildings, shrines and temples and cemeteries, metropolis and suburb and rural land… They all exist in my tiny little city of Mito. It is truly unique and gorgeous and I fell in love with it!!
– I can’t say it enough- the people here are so kind! I’ve never once felt unwelcome, or unsafe. They are here to help, and they go way out of their way to make you feel welcome and at home.

Other than teaching, what negative aspects are there for living in Mito-shi, Ibaraki, Japan?
– It is insanely difficult to get a driver’s license here. It is also insanely expensive to own a car. To me, no matter how annoyed I am that I can’t drive anywhere, it isn’t worth the pain.
– They have almost no American/non-Asian food here. They do have Indian, Thai, Korean, Vietnamese, and Chinese (limited selection, but they exist). They have no American food, or British. They have “Italian” food, but you can tell how I feel about that one.

What advice would you give to someone considering coming to Mito-shi, Ibaraki, Japan?
– Make sure you bring enough money with you to start you off. They don’t pay you until the end of the first month of work, so you have a month of living here before getting paid. You may have to pay rent, buy groceries, buy appliances, pay for buses/trains, etc, so be prepared.
– Pack a raincoat, and have a hat and sunscreen with you at all times. Since it is humid here, it rains a lot and the sun is strong – it is extremely easy to get sunburnt here, as compared to dry California in similar weather.

What things do you miss most (other than family and friends) from your home country?
American food, speaking English, being able to read the random papers that are given to me at work every day, and most of all, I miss my car.

What do you think you will miss most when (or if) you leave Japan?
The scenery. This place really is beautiful, and I fell in love with the city life here, as well as the people in general and the land. Just the atmosphere and the… general being of this place? It’s hard to describe, but I would miss just being here.

What things would you recommend to new teachers in your area to bring with them from their home country?
Bring Mac n Cheese, your own brand of face wash, deodorant, your own shoes if you are a woman past size 9, and lots of clothes if you do not match the Japanese body type (few curves, petite, stick-like). If you are busty, have hips, are tall, have long legs or arms, etc, you need to pack lots of clothes. If you dyed your hair blonde, bring some extra hair dye. They don’t cater to foreign hair/body types here.

Is there any access to culture shock/stress help in your country?
Yes, it is available. The school board offers a hotline for extreme cases of culture shock or culture stress, and the structure of the program allows contact between all Mito AETs, resulting in a tight-knit community of foreign teachers who can help one another in an instant. If you are in a situation where you feel lonely, panicked, stressed, pessimistic, or otherwise unsettled, do not hesitate to reach out for help.

 

About Me and My Work:

My Name: Elena

Nationality: American

Students I’ve taught in Japan: Pre-school / kindergarten (4-6 years), elementary (6-12 years), junior high school (12-15 years).

Where I teach: Iitomi Junior High, Elementary, Kindergarten, Mito-shi, Ibaraki. Teaching here for 1 year.

How I found my current jobs: Offered by my Japanese professor upon graduation from California State University, Fullerton.

My school facilities: Good – teaching resources are outdated and I have no textbook at the elementary level. I have to create a lot of my own tools, and there are not many supplies in the schools at my disposal. I cannot bring my own computer and my school computer cannot print, making it difficult to prepare worksheets, etc. However, I have my own classroom in Elementary school, I have a very supportive English teacher in Junior High, and I have a lot of time in school to plan my lessons.

Teacher support at my school:training / workshops, lesson observations, teacher evaluations.
 
 

Do you teach English in Japan?

Tell us about your experiences – click here to submit your report about teaching English in Japan.

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Teaching English in Japan – Ginowan Shi, Okinawa

Published: 15 May, 2015  |  Last updated: 15 May, 2015

Teaching English in Ginowan Shi, Okinawa, Japan

Ginowan Shi, Okinawa, Japan

 

Report submitted on 15 May, 2015 by Joanna.

Teaching English in Okinawa, Japan:

How can teachers find teaching jobs in Okinawa, Japan?
Online or through the local community international papers.

The main English teaching jobs available are:
Part time English language school positions, agencies (send teachers to different locations), teaching at private international schools, teaching at colleges / universities, teaching at companies, teaching at community centers, etc., private teaching (not through a school, agency, etc.)

What are the minimum teaching requirements?
BA Degree is the top requirement usually. Also being a “native speaker” is the next draw. Sometimes you can get a job by experience – but you usually have to be living in the country already.

What teaching requirements would you recommend?
TOEIC or TOEFL classes online, a BA Degree.

What are the levels of payment?
Anywhere from US$15-US$100 per hour. Depends on where & who you teach.

How many teaching days a week is normal?
4-6 days per week.

How many face-to-face teaching hours a week is normal?
15-40 hours per week.

What is the normal arrangement for holidays?
Japanese holidays off.

What advice would you give to someone considering coming to Okinawa, Japan to teach English?
Many opportunities. Speak loud & slower than usual, enjoy the time.

What are the positive aspects of teaching English in Okinawa, Japan?
New culture, new atmosphere, fun with young children.

What are the negative aspects for teaching English in Okinawa, Japan?
Shy kids, sometimes not a good curriculum given, long time to get decisions made.

What are some of the teaching challenges for English teachers teaching the local people in your area?
School administrators don’t understand a natural way to teach English. Parents don’t see the importance in their children learning this international language at an early age.

 

Living in Okinawa, Japan:

Are there any visa or other legal requirements to live in Japan?
Yes, you must have a teaching visa in order to live & teach here.

What is the cost of living like in Japan?
High cost of living … comparable to living in Hawaii, USA.

What are the usual accommodation arrangements and how can you find accommodation?
If the host school offers it, they usually have a “teachers” apt. or they assist the teacher in finding a comparable living accommodation.

Other than teaching, what positive aspects are there for living in Okinawa, Japan?
Clean, safe country, fun learning and seeing a different outlook in life.

Other than teaching, what negative aspects are there for living in Okinawa, Japan?
A lot of the cities do not have help for foreigners – or it may be hard to find help for your children.

What advice would you give to someone considering coming to Okinawa, Japan?
If you are young & single – do it!

What things do you miss most (other than family and friends) from your home country?
Small things, but they aren’t too important. It always goes back to the people we leave behind.

What do you think you will miss most when (or if) you leave Japan?
The friends we have made here, the beach, the laid back atmosphere, clean air.

What things would you recommend to new teachers in your area to bring with them from their home country?
American cookbook, measuring cups & spoons, a small crock pot.

 

About Me and My Work:

My Name: Joanna

Nationality: American

Students I’ve taught in Japan: Babies (0-2 years), toddlers (2-4 years), pre-school / kindergarten (4-6 years), elementary (6-12 years), university, adults, business.

Where I teach: Integrity English School, Ginowan Shi, Okinawa. Teaching here for 10 years.

How I found my current jobs: Referrals from Japanese friends.

My school facilities: Good – most of our classes are going to preschools to teach classes.

Teacher support at my school: Lesson observations, teacher evaluations, peer support / training.
 

Do you teach English in Japan?

Tell us about your experiences – click here to submit your report about teaching English in Japan.

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Teaching English in Japan – Nagoya

Published: 08 April, 2015  |  Last updated: 08 April, 2015

Teaching English in Nagoya, Japan

 

 Nagoya, Japan

Report submitted on 08 April, 2015 by Linda.

Teaching English in Nagoya, Japan:

How can teachers find teaching jobs in Nagoya, Japan?
Websites, notice boards, agencies, word-of-mouth.

The main English teaching jobs available are:
Full time English language school positions, part time English language school positions, agencies (send teachers to different locations), teaching at kindergartens / pre-schools, teaching at state schools, teaching at private international schools, teaching at colleges / universities, teaching at companies, private teaching (not through a school, agency, etc.).

What are the minimum teaching requirements?
University degree.

What teaching requirements would you recommend?
University degree.

What are the levels of payment?
250,000 yen (US$2,080) per month for full time work. 3,000 yen (US$25) per hour for part-time or private work. 3,500-4,000 yen (US$29-33) per hour for Business English classes.

How many teaching days a week is normal?
5 days per week.

How many face-to-face teaching hours a week is normal?
30 hours per week.

What is the normal arrangement for holidays?
4 weeks a year usually – 2 at Xmas, 1 for Golden Week in May and 1 for Ubon in August.

What advice would you give to someone considering coming to Nagoya, Japan to teach English?
The hours can be quite long but the work itself is not difficult and there is plenty of private work available so if you want to save and are prepared to work hard then it’s a good place to live. The lifestyle itself is not something I love as it’s too work focused but I came here to save money so for me it has been worth it in that sense.

What are the positive aspects of teaching English in Nagoya, Japan?
Plenty of jobs, all of my Japanese co-workers have been super friendly and helpful.

What are the negative aspects for teaching English in Nagoya, Japan?
Long hours and extra tired students due to all the extra-curricular activities they do.

What are some of the teaching challenges for English teachers teaching the local people in your area?
It’s sometimes hard to get them to talk or express ideas or opinions due to their culture.

 

Living in Nagoya, Japan:

Are there any visa or other legal requirements to live in Japan?
Yes you need a valid working visa but most companies will organise this.

What is the cost of living like in Japan?
It’s high enough but you can still save – rent is about 50,000-60,000 yen (US$415-500) per month including utilities. A meal out costs about 1,500 to 2,000 yen (US$12-17).

What are the usual accommodation arrangements and how can you find accommodation?
It’s difficult for foreigners to find accommodation so your school usually organises it or there are some apartment complexes which cater to foreigners.

Other than teaching, what positive aspects are there for living in Nagoya, Japan?
Easy, comfortable living. Clean and safe country.

Other than teaching, what negative aspects are there for living in Nagoya, Japan?
Culture can be difficult to cope with and the rules and conservatism can be hard to deal with.

What advice would you give to someone considering coming to Nagoya, Japan?
Forget all your ideas or expectations of Japan – just be prepared to accept what it is.

What things do you miss most (other than family and friends) from your home country?
Decent bread and good music.

What do you think you will miss most when (or if) you leave Japan?
Good money, people I work with.

What things would you recommend to new teachers in your area to bring with them from their home country?
You can get most things here – there isn’t anything I couldn’t live without. Maybe stock up on skincare as a lot of the products have whitening in them here.

 

About Me and My Work:

My Name: Linda

Nationality: Irish

Students I’ve taught in Japan: Babies (0-2 years), toddlers (2-4 years), pre-school / kindergarten (4-6 years), elementary (6-12 years), junior high school (12-15 years), high school (15-18 years), university, adults, business

Where I teach: World Family in Nagoya. Teaching here for 1.5 years.

How I found my current jobs: Through Gaijinpot.

My school facilities: Excellent – Resources, classroom, assistance from company and colleagues.

Teacher support at my school: training / workshops, lesson observations, teacher evaluations, peer support / training
 

Do you teach English in Japan?

Tell us about your experiences – click here to submit your report about teaching English in Japan.

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Teaching English in Japan – Nagoya

Published: 27 November, 2014  |  Last updated: 27 November, 2014

Teaching English in Nagoya, Japan

 

Nagoya, Japan

Report submitted on 27 November, 2014 by Linda.

Teaching English in Nagoya, Japan:

How can teachers find teaching jobs in Nagoya, Japan?
Through teaching websites such as Gaijinpot, Dave’s ESL cafe or just by coming here and looking for a job.

The main English teaching jobs available are:
Full time English language school positions, part time English language school positions, agencies (send teachers to different locations), teaching at kindergartens / pre-schools, teaching at state schools, teaching at private international schools, teaching at colleges / universities, teaching at companies, private teaching (not through a school, agency, etc.).

What are the minimum teaching requirements?
A degree and must be a native speaker. A TEFL qualification may be required but this is not always necessary and an on-line one is sufficient.

What teaching requirements would you recommend?
A degree is the most important but you can get one without a degree but getting the visa is difficult in this situation unless you can get a working holiday visa from your country.

What are the levels of payment?
250,000 Japanese yen (US$2,130) per month is the standard rate. Hourly rates are about 2,500 – 3,500 yen (US$21 – US$30) or 4,000 yen (US$34) if you teach business English.

How many teaching days a week is normal?
5 days per week.

How many face-to-face teaching hours a week is normal?
40+ hours per week.

What is the normal arrangement for holidays?
You get the standard Japanese holidays i.e. 2/3 weeks at Christmas, 1 week in April for Golden Week and 1 week in August for Obon. This is for private language centres.
Public schools get a lot longer but I work in a private language centre so I don’t what they get exactly but definitely a long summer break.

What advice would you give to someone considering coming to Nagoya, Japan to teach English?
If you are finding it difficult to get work in your own country just come here and look – there are plenty of jobs. Have at least $2,500 as you wont get paid for the first month.

What are the positive aspects of teaching English in Nagoya, Japan?
Lots of jobs available, students are mainly studious and respectful. Japanese people are very polite and nice to work with.

What are the negative aspects for teaching English in Nagoya, Japan?
Long hours as this is Japanese culture, can be difficult to meet people due to language and culture barrier but not impossible at all:-)

What are some of the teaching challenges for English teachers teaching the local people in your area?
Sometimes students don’t want to learn – they are just there because their parents make them. Can be difficult to deal with these type of students

 

Living in Nagoya, Japan:

Are there any visa or other legal requirements to live in Japan?
You must have a valid working visa but usually your school/company will organise this.

What is the cost of living like in Japan?
Rent is approx 50,000 – 60,000 yen (US$425 – US$510) per month (including utilities) and in a central location. I find I can save a bit so if you are not going out all the time you can live on 120,000 yen (US$1,000) per month.

What are the usual accommodation arrangements and how can you find accommodation?
Foreigners cannot rent a lot of house as they need a guarantor but schools usually assist with accommodation and there are some places that provide accomodation especially for foreigners.

Other than teaching, what positive aspects are there for living in Nagoya, Japan?
Easy convenient living, possible to save and still live comfortably. Nice food and people.

Other than teaching, what negative aspects are there for living in Nagoya, Japan?
Culture barrier can be frustrating at times as difficult to meet people who will talk freely to you.

What advice would you give to someone considering coming to Nagoya, Japan to live?
Come and experience it but be prepared to work.

What things do you miss most (other than family and friends) from your home country?
Brown bread and good music.

What things would you recommend to new teachers in your area to bring with them from their home country (e.g. things that are difficult to get in your location)?
Good shoes, skincare products as lots of them have whitening in them here. Anything else you can get or order online.

What do you think you will miss most when (or if) you leave Nagoya, Japan?
Efficient transport and sushi.

Other comments:
Its a completely different culture to our Western culture but one I am very happy to be experiencing.

 

About Me and My Work:

My Name: Linda

Nationality: Irish

Students I’ve taught in Japan: Toddlers (2-4 years), pre-school / kindergarten (4-6 years), elementary (6-12 years), junior high school (12-15 years), high school (15-18 years), university, adults, business.

Where I teach: World Family English Language School in Nagoya. Working here for 1.1 years.

How I found my current jobs: Through Gaijinpot.

My school facilities: Excellent – Excellent resources, amazing staff who are extremely helpful and great working conditions and salary.

Teacher support at my school: Training / workshops, lesson observations, teacher evaluations, peer support / training.

 

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Teaching English in Japan – Yokohama

Published: 14 October, 2014  |  Last updated: 14 October, 2014

Teaching English in Yokohama, Japan

 

Yokohama, Japan

Report submitted on 14 October, 2014 by Justin Schornack.

Teaching English in Yokohama, Japan:

How can teachers find teaching jobs in Yokohama, Japan?
There are numerous schools looking for native teachers.
Online listings are usually posted in English and are easy to find using a Google search.

The main English teaching jobs available are:
Full time English language school positions, part time English language school positions, teaching at kindergartens / pre-schools, teaching at state schools, teaching at private international schools, teaching at colleges / universities, teaching at companies, teaching at community centers, etc., private teaching (not through a school, agency, etc.).

What are the minimum teaching requirements?
If you have a 2 year degree it’s not difficult to find work in either public (elementary – high school) or private conversation schools.
The degree is not even required to be related to English.
Even those without a degree can have opportunities if they find another way to enter the country legally (marriage or other visa).

What teaching requirements would you recommend?
The most important requirement is personality, if you meet the above requirements or more, it’s more than enough.
But many schools will bend over backwards for teachers that have outgoing personalities and are friendly and kind.

What are the levels of payment?
Ranges for a native teacher are usually around 2,000 yen per hour (US$20) for a regular full time job and up to 5,000 yen per hour (US$50) for specialized private lessons (group lessons or business lessons etc.).

How many teaching days a week is normal?
5 days per week.

How many face-to-face teaching hours a week is normal?
20-30 hours per week.

What is the normal arrangement for holidays?
Holidays are normally flexible for English teachers, with public holidays, and even Summer vacations being off for elementary – high school teachers. Ten days to two weeks personal holidays are also the norm (though often not necessary).

What advice would you give to someone considering coming to Yokohama, Japan to teach English?
Language teaching is one of the easiest ways for a native English speaker to find work in Japan. The pay is good for the amount of work, and the conditions are usually very good.

What are the positive aspects of teaching English in Yokohama, Japan?
For those who are looking to find a career in Japan, it is a very easy way to go. Many people start it, planning to continue for only a short while, but continue for years.

What are the negative aspects for teaching English in Yokohama, Japan?
If you have the personality for being a teacher (i.e. infinite patience and an ability to get along with others), it can be very good/easy. If not, then even for a short time, you will find it hard.

What are some of the teaching challenges for English teachers teaching the local people in your area?
Learning patience and care for others feelings.

 

Living in Yokohama, Japan:

Are there any visa or other legal requirements to live in Japan?
A work or perhaps marriage visa is required to teach continuously. A tourist visa of up to 3 months though is usually enough to find work.

What is the cost of living like in Japan?
Comparable to many first world countries, housing is usually small but not unbearably so.

What are the usual accommodation arrangements and how can you find accommodation?
Rental apartments and the like are available, people almost always go through real estate agencies as brokers. So contacting several is almost the only method.

Other than teaching, what positive aspects are there for living in Yokohama, Japan?
Japan is a wonderful, safe and dynamic country with kind people.

Other than teaching, what negative aspects are there for living in Yokohama, Japan?
A feeling of being put apart, or sometimes on a pedestal can make people feel uncomfortable in rural areas.

What advice would you give to someone considering coming to Yokohama, Japan to live?
Take a chance, you will enjoy.

What things do you miss most (other than family and friends) from your home country?
Some foods.

What things would you recommend to new teachers in your area to bring with them from their home country (e.g. things that are difficult to get in your location)?
Whatever culturally unique things they feel they may not find in another country. Everything else is available.

What do you think you will miss most when (or if) you leave Yokohama, Japan?
The food and people.

 

About Me and My Work:

My Name: Justin Schornack

Nationality: USA

Students I’ve taught in Japan: Toddlers (2-4 years), pre-school / kindergarten (4-6 years), elementary (6-12 years), junior high school (12-15 years), high school (15-18 years), university, adults, business.

Where I teach: Working in Yokohama for 11 years.

How I found my current jobs: Online.

My school facilities: Very good – Environment is good.

Teacher support at my school: None.

 

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Teaching English in Japan – Nirasaki

Published: 26 August, 2014  |  Last updated: 11 October, 2014

Teaching English in Nirasaki, Japan

Nirasaki, Japan

 

Report submitted on 26 August, 2014 by Ita Slattery.

Teaching English in Nirasaki, Japan:

How can teachers find teaching jobs in Nirasaki, Japan?
There are a few jobs at local primary and junior high schools in the area but the teachers are supplied by agencies in Tokyo. The senior high school teacher is JET (a foreign supply teacher as part of a government exchange program – for more see http://www.jetprogramme.org).

I am hired directly by the city hall.

The main English teaching jobs available are:
Teaching at state schools, private teaching (not through a school, agency, etc.)

What are the minimum teaching requirements?
A Bachelors degree.

What teaching requirements would you recommend?
A drivers licence is a must. Any ESL study is also a plus. But really a BA is enough.

What are the levels of payment?
The JET position is best, about 3,600,000 yen a year (approx. US$35,500)
I think the junior high schools pays about 250,000 yen a month (US$2,400).

How many teaching days a week is normal?
5 days per week.

How many face-to-face teaching hours a week is normal?
20-25 hours per week

What is the normal arrangement for holidays?
I get the same holidays as the students.

What advice would you give to someone considering coming to Nirasaki, Japan to teach English?
Try to have something lined up before you arrive or at least have some contact numbers of agencies and language schools. All this can be found on the net. Jobs can also be found on the net and set up before you arrive. Be careful though, many times it is not as good as it sounds!! Sorry to sound negative.

What are the positive aspects of teaching English in Nirasaki, Japan?
Yamanashi (the prefecture) is a beautiful place and close to Tokyo.

What are the negative aspects for teaching English in Nirasaki, Japan?
The cost of living is high and I lose about 25% of my pay due to insurance, pension and tax. It doesn’t leave me with much.

What are some of the teaching challenges for English teachers teaching the local people in your area?
A lot of people here do not consider English necessary, so there is a lot of negativism.

 

Living in Nirasaki, Japan:

Are there any visa or other legal requirements to live in Japan?
Some positions require or prefer if the teacher can speak Japanese, especially at primary level.

What is the cost of living like in Japan?
It can be expensive here, rent, food, utilities can cost up to 100,000-120,0000 yen a month (US$960 – US$1,160).

What are the usual accommodation arrangements and how can you find accommodation?
Probably the school will offer you the same flat as the previous teacher.

Other than teaching, what positive aspects are there for living in Nirasaki, Japan?
Japanese people are very kind.

Other than teaching, what negative aspects are there for living in Nirasaki, Japan?
I do not like the summer heat and humidity.

What advice would you give to someone considering coming to Nirasaki, Japan to live?
Come with a friend. You can help each other out.

What things do you miss most (other than family and friends) from your home country?
The cool summers and decent chocolate!!

What things would you recommend to new teachers in your area to bring with them from their home country (e.g. things that are difficult to get in your location)?
If you have large feet or are tall, you might want to bring some extra shoes or clothes. My son needs 28cm shoes, but are generally not available here.

What do you think you will miss most when (or if) you leave Nirasaki, Japan?
The safety and convenience.

Additional comments:
I am married here so it is not like I have a choice but if I was not married I would not have stayed more than 2-3 years at my current job!!!

 

About Me and My Work:

My Name: Ita Slattery

Nationality: Irish

Students I’ve taught in Japan: Pre-school / kindergarten (4-6 years), elementary (6-12 years), junior high school (12-15 years), high school (15-18 years), adults, business.

Where I teach: I work for the local board of education and teach at two local primary schools. I also have my own private school (Ita’s English school) where I teach all ages.  Teaching here for 20 years.

How I found my current jobs: Through my husband’s friend who works at the city hall.

My school facilities: Adequate – English is not a real subject as such so there is no special room, equipment or materials. I had to make everything from scratch. I also regularly bring stuff from my own private school to use at the public schools.

Teacher support at my school: None.

Links: Ita’s English school Facebook page

 

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Teaching English in Japan – Osaka

Published: 30 June, 2014  |  Last updated: 01 July, 2014

Teaching English in Osaka, Japan

Osaka, Japan

 

Report submitted on 30 June, 2014 by David.

Teaching English in Osaka, Japan:

How can teachers find teaching jobs in Osaka, Japan?
There are lots of ways to pick up work, both full-time and part-time. Firstly, there are the big “Eikaiwas” (e.g. Geos, ECC, Aeon) which are the English Conversion schools – they have schools al over Japan and employ thousands of foreign teachers.  You can just contact them and set up an interview.  Then there are lots of smaller conversation schools who are often looking for full-time and part-time teachers – you can drop in with your CV. Lots of schools post jobs ads online and also in free foreigner magazines, such as Kansai Flea Market.  There are also company business classes – agencies hire teachers and send them to different companies to teach their staff – again look out for ads or call them directly.  Probably the best way to find work is through word of mouth – get to know the foreigners in your area and they will know exactly where you should look.

The main English teaching jobs available are:
Full time English language school positions, agencies (send teachers to different locations), teaching at kindergartens / pre-schools, teaching at state schools (e.g. ALT), teaching at companies, teaching at community centers, teaching at colleges / universities, private teaching (not through a school, agency, etc.).

What are the minimum teaching requirements?
A Bachelors degree – you will need this at the very least.

What teaching requirements would you recommend?
A TEFL or similar teaching certificate – this is almost necessary now.  Experience is also a big help in finding work.

What are the levels of payment?
250,000 yen – 300,000 yen per month (approx. US$2,400 – US$2,900) for full-time teaching work (by law the minimum is 250,000 yen)
Anywhere from 2,000 yen to 5,000 yen per hour for part-time work,

How many teaching days a week is normal?
5 days per week.

How many face-to-face teaching hours a week is normal?
20-30 hours per week.  If you work at a lot of different places you can pretty much build up as many hours as you want.

What is the normal arrangement for holidays?
All public holidays and about 2 weeks personal holidays.

What advice would you give to someone considering coming to Osaka, Japan to teach English?
For finding jobs, network!  The more teachers you know the more job leads you will get.  The Japanese really place high value on smartness and punctuality – never be late for classes and dress smart.  Wear a full business suit for any interview and you may even need to wear a suit at your school – so bring a suit with you!

What are the positive aspects of teaching English in Osaka, Japan?
Japanese are very kind and classroom discipline is usually not much of an issue.  Students (especially the adults) generally love being taught by a foreigner so you can have a lot of fun in class.  Schools are usually very well equipped and the big ones offer teacher training and support.

What are the negative aspects for teaching English in Osaka, Japan?
The hours can be long and you will often finish teaching late in the evening (9 or 10pm).  In the summer it is unbearably hot and humid so you’ll be exhausted at the end of the day.  In the big cities transport to and from your school can be really crowded, especially during rush hour – at this time be prepared to stand, squashed against everyone else in the train or bus.  Saying that, transportation is amazing in Japan – always on time and frequent.

What are some of the teaching challenges for English teachers teaching the local people in your area?
Japanese are very shy so it can be difficult to get any conversation or discussion going in class.  At the junior and senior high school level expect a lot of silence and nervous giggles in class!  Japanese often find it very hard to lose their accent when speaking English – they use what’s called a “katakana” accent, which means they put a vowel at the end of every syllable.  Also, they tend to focus a lot on accuracy and not fluency, so many students will talk really slowly and carefully as they are scared to make a mistake … this makes conversations and discussions difficult.

 

Living in Osaka, Japan:

Are there any visa or other legal requirements to live in Japan?
You will need a working visa – if you get a full-time job the school will usually help you with the paperwork.  Once you have got the visa you will need to use this to get an alien registration card (often called a gaijin card – gaijin means foreigner).

What is the cost of living like in Japan?
It is expensive but the salaries are high so it all levels out.  If you are careful with your spending you can save quite a bit.  Rent can be around 50,000 yen for a one-room apartment (around US$580)

What are the usual accommodation arrangements and how can you find accommodation?
For full-time teachers your school will often set this up for you.  Otherwise there are lots of agencies – foreign speaking ones advertise online and in magazines for foreigners.

Other than teaching, what positive aspects are there for living in Osaka, Japan?
The big cities are lively, exciting and full of life – you’ll never get bored.  Outside of the cities the countryside is beautiful.  All Japanese are really nice and kind, although they can be overly shy as well.

Other than teaching, what negative aspects are there for living in Osaka, Japan?
The summer heat. The difficulties of the language (learn the basics quick!), crowded, concrete jungle cities.

What advice would you give to someone considering coming to Osaka, Japan to live?
Get to know people in the foreign community – this will be a huge help and allow you to let off steam so the culture shock won’t be so extreme.

What things do you miss most (other than family and friends) from your home country?
English food, pubs, football.  Walking down the street without being stared at.

What things would you recommend to new teachers in your area to bring with them from their home country (e.g. things that are difficult to get in your location)?
You can get a lot of stuff in Japan that you would get in your home country.  Bring a suit and if you are a large size bring plenty of clothes as the Japanese sizes are small!

What do you think you will miss most when (or if) you leave Osaka, Japan?
Japanese restaurants, friends, mountains.

 

About Me and My Work:

My Name: David

Nationality: British

Students I’ve taught in Japan: Pre-school / kindergarten (4-6 years), elementary (6-12 years), junior high school (12-15 years), high school (15-18 years), university, adults, business.

Where I teach: Various English conversation schools and companies in the Osaka and Kobe area.  Working here for 11 years.

How I found my current jobs: Via other teachers that I know.  Word of mouth.

My school facilities: Very good – Most schools have all you need.

Teacher support at my school: Lesson observations, trainings / workshops, teacher evaluations, peer support / training.

 

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Teaching English in Japan – Karumai

Published: 30 June, 2014  |  Last updated: 01 July, 2014

Teaching English in Karumai, Japan

Karumai, Japan

 

Report submitted on 30 June, 2014 by Kevin Ellis.

Teaching English in Karumai, Japan:

How can teachers find teaching jobs in Karumai, Japan?
I responded to a job posting on Gaijinpot.com.

The main English teaching jobs available are:
Full time English language school positions and teaching at state schools – I am an ALT (Assistant Language Teacher at a Japanese state school).

What are the minimum teaching requirements?
It’s good if you are a Native speaker but when I was going through training there was also a Filipino who the company had hired to be an ALT.
The big thing is to have a 4-year college degree from an accredited school.
I also have some informal teaching experience in Djibouti, Africa and Afghanistan.
I went to Thailand and took a 120 hour ESL course which was invaluable in helping me learn how to give a proper English class.
I’m sure a combination of all those things helped me get noticed.

What teaching requirements would you recommend?
Take a 120 teaching course and help yourself out. Don’t do an on-line course because it’s been my experience that those are not taken as seriously as a hands-on course in an actual classroom environment.

What are the levels of payment?
I get a flat 11.500yen rate a day (approx. US$110) and I’m only paid on days that I work. I don’t get Japanese holidays or sick pay. If I do not work I do not get paid.

How many teaching days a week is normal?
5 days per week.

How many face-to-face teaching hours a week is normal?
11 hours per week.

What is the normal arrangement for holidays?
I get an unpaid day off from work.

What advice would you give to someone considering coming to Karumai, Japan to teach English?
Japanese people are very nice and kind people but I would not come to Japan again to teach. The Japanese people are ridiculously shy and it’s very hard to have any type of social life or just talk with some one.
I’ve worked at my current school for 4 months and some of the kids will still not look at me when they walk by or say “Good morning”.
I sometimes think the Japanese people are afraid of their own shadows.

What are the positive aspects of teaching English in Karumai, Japan?
Again, Japanese people are very nice but I have not found any positive aspects to teaching here other then the kids are very respectful and I don’t have any discipline problems in class.

What are the negative aspects for teaching English in Karumai, Japan?
I think the shyness factor is the biggest thing and I’ve covered it pretty well.
My deepest conversation with any kid at my school has been, “How are you?”, “I’m happy”. They are too shy to speak for fear of making a mistake and losing face.
The kids are great and they seem to like me but I feel that I’ve made no impact on them learning the language and speaking English with foreigners.

What are some of the teaching challenges for English teachers teaching the local people in your area?
The biggest challenge is getting the kids to speak the English language with me. I see them in class speaking it with the Japanese English teachers but they never try speaking it with me.
Anyone working in Japan needs to accept that they will probably not be talked too much unless you get a rare kid who grew up around Western people.

 

Living in Karumai, Japan:

Are there any visa or other legal requirements to live in Japan?
You must have a one year working visa with the status of Instructor.

What is the cost of living like in Japan?
The cost of living in Japan is crazy high and I find that I don’t go out much. I save anything that I can for a small vacation a couple of times a year.
I find myself coasting down hills just to save on some gas mileage.
Just going to a movie costs the equivalent of US$17. If I want a drink and snack I’m easily looking at US$30 for a simple 90 minute movie.

What are the usual accommodation arrangements and how can you find accommodation?
I was lucky that my company already had a place for me to stay that they contracted out ahead of my arrival. When I arrived here I just had to go pick up the house key and sign some paperwork.
The apartment is new and I’m the first one to live there so I got pretty lucky.

Other than teaching, what positive aspects are there for living in Karumai, Japan?
Japan is a beautiful country filled with nothing but great scenery. They rival the Germans when it comes to the environment and even the major cities like Tokyo and Osaka are clean and mostly free of trash.

Other than teaching, what negative aspects are there for living in Karumai, Japan?
People will not speak to me unless I ask for help with directions. I can be in the middle of Tokyo surrounded by a million people and I feel as if I’m invisible. Japanese people are just too shy and it makes living here really not too fun unless you are a private person who likes to live in their own world.

What advice would you give to someone considering coming to Karumai, Japan to live?
Have a good chunk of spending money before you arrive because it really is an expensive country to live in. Getting a large pizza at Pizza Hut will run you around US$35.

What things do you miss most (other than family and friends) from your home country?
I miss fast food, occasionally speaking English with a stranger and having a social life.

What things would you recommend to new teachers in your area to bring with them from their home country (e.g. things that are difficult to get in your location)?
Japan pretty much has everything you can get back home with the exception of my Western food.

What do you think you will miss most when (or if) you leave Karumai, Japan
I will miss the beautiful location of the school I work in. I work in a rural location in a small town surrounded by trees, hills and streams.

 

Additional Comments:

Bring a smile and good attitude to class and make learning fun. Japanese kids are shy and you will not get their trust or attention unless you are very personable.

 

About Me and My Work:

My Name: Kevin Ellis

Nationality: American

Students I’ve taught in Japan: Pre-school / kindergarten (4-6 years), elementary (6-12 years), junior high school (12-15 years).

Where I teach: State schools in Karumai, Iwate Prefecture. Teaching for 1 year.

How I found my current job: I spent time searching the Internet for teaching jobs in Japan.

My school facilities: Very good – Japan is a pretty rich country and they give their kids the resources they need to learn. Every elementary school that I’ve been to has their own swimming pool. Sweet.

Teacher support at my school: Lesson observations, peer support / training.

 

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