Jump to content
vanivani

Teaching English In Japan?

Recommended Posts

I hope this is the correct place to post this... If not, I'm sorry! m(_ _)m

 

I graduated with my BA and have been thinking about what I may want to do.

I've been considering applying for English teaching in Japan, but I'm not sure which programs to check out.

 

Has anyone else taught/been teaching in Japan?

If so, what programs did you go through?

And do you have any other advice?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

JET has the best pay and support but will stick you anywhere. Recently they added a crap ton of Tokyo locations so there's a good chance of Tokyo now. But you had to apply last fall/winter in order to go this August.

 

A lot of those big companies that hire overseas you should be wary of because they are considered "black companies." Use websites like glassdoor to check for reviews on specific companies.

 

Generally you want to avoid eikaiwa.

 

Do not come on a tourist visa and try to find a job it is stressful and frankly extremely difficult. Likewise: don't work on a tourist visa.

 

One of the best sites to check for job listings is gaijinpot. It's honestly practically the only one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, anakuro said:

JET has the best pay and support but will stick you anywhere. Recently they added a crap ton of Tokyo locations so there's a good chance of Tokyo now. But you had to apply last fall/winter in order to go this August.

 

A lot of those big companies that hire overseas you should be wary of because they are considered "black companies." Use websites like glassdoor to check for reviews on specific companies.

 

Generally you want to avoid eikaiwa.

 

Do not come on a tourist visa and try to find a job it is stressful and frankly extremely difficult. Likewise: don't work on a tourist visa.

 

One of the best sites to check for job listings is gaijinpot. It's honestly practically the only one.

 

Thank you for your reply!

 

I will definitely check out JET. And that's good I missed the deadline for this year. I want to save up the money and take courses to get my TESL certificate. That'll give me time to get everything ready to apply for the next year. 

 

Thanks for all your advice as well on looking for jobs in Japan, etc. Appreciate it!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While I lived in Tokyo a lot of my gaijin friends got a full-time work there because they were able to get a foot into a place simply by being in Japan. So I wouldn't say it's a bad way, although like @anakuro said it is  very stressfull probably. Besides that, yeah, gaijinpot is basically what you need. If you're not a native english speaker, working as an english teacher will be difficult unless you got: 1. TOEIC or something similar 2. A way to prove you don't have an accent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Takadanobabaalien said:

While I lived in Tokyo a lot of my gaijin friends got a full-time work there because they were able to get a foot into a place simply by being in Japan. So I wouldn't say it's a bad way, although like @anakuro said it is  very stressfull probably. Besides that, yeah, gaijinpot is basically what you need. If you're not a native english speaker, working as an english teacher will be difficult unless you got: 1. TOEIC or something similar 2. A way to prove you don't have an accent.

 

Thank you! I'll be sure to check out Gaijinpot. I am a native English speaker, so that won't be a problem for me. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to revive this topic a little, because I know a lot of overseas gya go this route (I did lol)

 

- JET has the best pay and is the most stable, but they will literally send you anywhere so if you're stuck in, say, Kumamoto or something, you're probably not gonna get to see many lives. It also has a 5-year limit. If you have decent Japanese skills, apply for a CIR position instead of teaching. Much less competition, so more chance of being accepted, and it will look better on your resume.

 

- Dispatch teaching jobs are easier to get than JET and may offer you slightly better placement than JET. If not, after about 1-2 years of teaching in whatever location you do get, they'll usually let you transfer to a Tokyo or a bigger city position if they have a branch or contract there. However, you take more risk with pay, benefits, and shadiness than JET.

 

- Eikaiwa jobs are easier to find around major cities. They usually pay more than dispatch, but offer the same risks.

 

-If you can tough out teaching for at least 5 years and have good connections with the local expat/Japanese community, often you can score a direct hire teaching job with a school district. This is generally the biggest win-win.

 

- If you come without a visa around early Jan-early Feb and are good about hunting down open positions, it's probably easier to get a teaching job in person. That would still give the employer ample time to get your visa processed for the upcoming Japanese school year in April. That said, you would need to be staying in country the whole time and take a trip to Korea at some point to finalize the visa process (cannot be issued in-country the first time), and this could cost a lot of money if you don't have someone to stay with.

 

- I second not working without a visa or while it is being processed. Not only is it illegal, but you run the risk of your boss holding the visa over your head and taking advantage of the situation to make you do uncompensated overtime or something else undesirable for it.

 

As far as which one is "better", that will also depend on you. All of these options will have pros and cons, and it is rare you will find a "good" teaching job your first year or even couple of years into teaching. The market is generally always over saturated and there are too many employers that take advantage of this.

 

Teaching at a regular school often has the best hours (especially if your main goal is to attend lives) and requires less of you, but the English education system here is so lacking you might feel really unhappy from a "purpose" perspective or never see any real improvement in the kids you teach. On the other hand, with eikaiwa you will see more improvement in your students, but balancing the business side of things can be tough and demanding, and you may be busier or have to work more events than at a regular school.

 

Whatever you do, decide your goals early on and stick with them. If you are planning to learn Japanese and get into something else as soon as possible, do that. If you like teaching, get certified and work on your skills so you can get those better positions down the road. The JET/dispatch/eikaiwa thing will burn you out and become a career dead end if you let it.

Edited by jaymee

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just want to say about the CIR position for JET.. I don't know for other countries, but it *is* pretty competitive to get a CIR position I think if you're from anywhere besides the US (and possibly countries where that's the only option)? It seems that way. Most people I know end up getting alternated. The interview sounds super tough too. I do know someone who finally was upgraded and got the position this year after applying four times though. The good alternative is you may be offered an ALT position instead. One friend of mine regretted not choosing this option but ended up getting a decent job over there and loves his work.

 

I've always wanted to do JET but I don't plan on staying in ESL work long-term (or maybe I will, who knows). However, for me it'll be beneficial to my career choices and I know others who have done JET/taught in Japan in the past and work in the field I want to pursue. So definitely think of why you want to do it. I think it's also fine to just do it because you want to or to try something different. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was recently offered a position with NOVA but it's leaving a sour taste in my mouth and seems extremely high risk. They offer two contracts: employment, and independent. What I'm confused by is they apparently want me to sign the independent "dummy contract" for the CoE, but when I get to Japan I would get to choose which contract I want? Is this common? Because once I sign this contract they can fill in anything they want to and I would have already put my signature all over it. It's reeking of scam already and it's kind of crashed my hopes for it.
this has since been clarified for me

Is Aeon any better? I am definitely considering JET as the main goal, or being an ALT in general, but just wondered if anyone here has actually worked for NOVA specifically and signed this 'dummy contract' or how they went about the process.

Edited by Paraph

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Teaching English in Japan seems to be a super shady business contract-wise.... 😑

🤨

I would suggest you get some other skills and go for a "normal" job instead....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/13/2019 at 6:03 AM, Masato said:

I would suggest you get some other skills and go for a "normal" job instead

That works well for engineering or IT, not for every career :(

 

I'm applying for Eikawa simply because it's practically the only thing that will sponsor me a visa being from a non-native country with 0 options to attain the required level of Japanese to apply for something else without being already in Japan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Komorebi said:

That works well for engineering or IT, not for every career :(

 

I'm applying for Eikawa simply because it's practically the only thing that will sponsor me a visa being from a non-native country with 0 options to attain the required level of Japanese to apply for something else without being already in Japan.

I hope you can get it then! 😊 

Just be aware that it's a bit difficult contract-wise and many people get stuck in situations that are not optimal (no pension scheme etc.).

So for a year or two, have fun! Otherwise think twice if that is really what you want to do with your life. Especially if teaching was not your dream to begin with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
43 minutes ago, Masato said:

Just be aware that it's a bit difficult contract-wise and many people get stuck in situations that are not optimal (no pension scheme etc.).

So for a year or two, have fun! Otherwise think twice if that is really what you want to do with your life. Especially if teaching was not your dream to begin with.

I'm a translator, so weird contracts with no pension are the norm for my field of work lol
I hate teaching, but I want to move to Japan to become fluent and attain the required level to actually work as a translator later. I did the equivalent to eikawa in Chile for four years while I was in college and survived, I guess I can do it again for the sake of a better goal.

 

I'm still thinking I should have majored in IT lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/15/2019 at 12:10 AM, meikyoushisui said:

For what I read here, do not work with Int*rac

While that is really unfortunate, I feel like this person didn’t really have a good grasp on how things “work” here. Which is not to blame her, but just point out some things to keep in mind.

 

Lying to the BOE or customers about experience is pretty normal for any dispatch company or eikaiwa. I mean, honestly telling your clients/customers you’re taking their money for what essentially is on the job training for a new ALT or instructor through their lessons wouldn’t really set well with anyone. (Would you want to pay a hefty sum of money to be taught by a total newb? Probably not.)

 

Also, when you work for a dispatch company you aren’t actually a proper employee. You’re hired as a subcontractor for the dispatch company, which is contracted by the school to fill xx amount of days work per year.

 

Basically it means you legally can’t accept directives etc from the school - all of that and other communication must all come from the dispatch company. This is why Int*rac was upset she went to the school directly with her concerns. Also I’m sure the Aya chick acted out because the whole debacle made her lose face and/or the company would have rather her quit (accomplished through bullying, etc.) than pay a severance package by firing her if the company or the school had deemed her “problematic” for making waves. (Which seems likely from what she described.)

 

The reason dispatch companies hire ALTs as subcontractors is so the company can get out of giving paid sick leave, paying part of your insurance, contract bonuses, etc. The government is aware of this but they usually turn a blind eye unless a major scandal breaks out or it becomes a labor union case. And, of course, one reason they mostly hire new university graduates with little experience in Japan is so that they’re unlikely to be aware of how badly they’re getting ripped off.

 

So what I mean is that while Int*rac does suck and the salaries, training, and support they offer are abysmal, they aren’t any better or worse than your average dispatch/eikaiwa company here. I’ve worked for them before and at least they don’t work you without a visa and they pay on time. Whether you have a good experience with them or not depends highly on the branch (area in Japan) you get employed under, your attitude, and your school(s).

 

Additionally getting “groped” is pretty normal, especially by younger children. (It’s not uncommon for random strangers to touch my hair or old ladies to have a go at my boobs, too.) In some ways Japanese will respect you more than they do other Japanese, in other ways less, especially where foreigner exoticism is concerned. If it happens at school my advice is to stop the lesson and address it then and there with the homeroom teacher in the room. It becomes harder to “prove” and more of a hassle nobody wants to take on later after the fact if you wait and get more people involved.

 

If anyone is thinking about coming over here make sure to RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH, be really flexible, and be able to pick and choose your battles.  SJW types tend to get fed up really fast because Japan/Asia doesn’t operate on Western values nor will it bend to them. Also working conditions can be crappy, the pay not great unless you hustle multiple gigs, and it can be difficult to make close friends or find a decent s/o (esp if you’re a woman who doesn’t fits “normal” beauty/girlfriend material standards here).

 

I’m not speaking out of bitterness or anything btw. I feel like I’ve done pretty well for myself despite all that (not cutesy and petite, married to a j-dude, have a lot of close friends, speak Japanese fluently, able to find work outside of teaching) but it definitely doesn’t seem to be the norm, especially if you’re only staying here a couple of years before moving on to something else.

 

Edited by jaymee

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know this thread was dead before but just to add on...I've never taught English in Japan before, but I have friends who do or have. From my understanding if you really want to do it, go through JET. And do NOT work for an eikaiwa. You will not have a good time. And from the rest of the replies here I'm seeing the same thing. 😕 If you really want to go to Japan and don't want to teach, my advice is to study abroad. It only lasts a year but it can be a really great experience! I studied abroad in Kyoto for a year and absolutely loved it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/10/2019 at 2:05 PM, ambivalentideal said:

I know this thread was dead before but just to add on...I've never taught English in Japan before, but I have friends who do or have. From my understanding if you really want to do it, go through JET. And do NOT work for an eikaiwa. You will not have a good time. And from the rest of the replies here I'm seeing the same thing. 😕 If you really want to go to Japan and don't want to teach, my advice is to study abroad. It only lasts a year but it can be a really great experience! I studied abroad in Kyoto for a year and absolutely loved it.

 

JET may put you waaaaay out in the boonies so you can’t do lives since JET costs more money for Boards of Education to contract and your experience is still up to how well you get on with your school, but yeah bc it is run thru the government you will be a proper full time worker with subsidized health insurance/pension benefits and the pay is better.

 

I agree if you don’t plan on making Japan a home for more than a year or two do study abroad. Working society in Japan is really a bummer in most job sectors (even outside of teaching) bc of the huge wage gap for women, sexism, and forced overtime.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, jaymee said:

 

JET may put you waaaaay out in the boonies so you can’t do lives since JET costs more money for Boards of Education to contract and your experience is still up to how well you get on with your school, but yeah bc it is run thru the government you will be a proper full time worker with subsidized health insurance/pension benefits and the pay is better.

 

I agree if you don’t plan on making Japan a home for more than a year or two do study abroad. Working society in Japan is really a bummer in most job sectors (even outside of teaching) bc of the huge wage gap for women, sexism, and forced overtime.

That's true, you don't exactly get to choose where to go but you can always travel. It might be expensive to get out of the inaka and with time constraints and stuff but I don't think it would be completely impossible to go to lives occasionally. Not in Tokyo or anything but in the closest major city or something. I think it makes more sense to go through JET because of what you said about the benefits. 

 

Definitely. Everyone always asks me why I don't want to teach in Japan or work there and that is exactly why. 😕 I'm not a woman but as an LGBTQ person I feel like that would be another added thing that wouldn't exactly be great for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, jaymee said:

JET may put you waaaaay out in the boonies so you can’t do lives since JET costs more money for Boards of Education to contract and your experience is still up to how well you get on with your school, but yeah bc it is run thru the government you will be a proper full time worker with subsidized health insurance/pension benefits and the pay is better.

I know several former JETS who were placed in the boonies (ie Shimane, Yamaguchi, Aomori, Akita, etc) and they were still able to go to lives. 

I didn't do JET but I used to live in Gunma and still went to 3-6 lives a month.

It really depends on how much time/money you're willing to spend on your hobby.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All in all, one should really consider if Japan is to be a short or long term option. Also note that if you are going there in the prime of your youth, you might, or might not meet your significant other and if you are really interested in having a J-husband in the long term. Including overtime, him going to nomikai, possibly hostessbars for work, the woman seen as a stay at home mom, pressure to have children, other values, enternal racism etc...

And you might not even find anyone serious and be the strange gaijin...

 

I actually decided against asia when thinking about these thing when I had to make the decision of where to go. 

Japan would have been fun for a year or so, but not a long time option. 

Now I have a 10 year serious relationship with a scandinavian national of the contry I did my masters in and he is super supportive and totally for equal rights and has no trouble with me earning more and him staying at home.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...