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  1. #1
    Rayne1989 is offline Newbie
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    Teaching English in Japan

    Greetings, I would like to ask about the experiences of members who have had experience teaching the language in Japan.

    Anything from lifestyle, challenges, difficulties, getting a working visa or even the typical problems of Ideal vs Reality being there.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Teaching English in Japan

    Things have been unsettled with the big chains, a couple of which went under because they had massively over-expanded, but things seem calmer now, though a couple are said to be in trouble. The glory days are over and these are deflationary times, but the salaries offered would still provide for a reasonable lifestyle here. The cushiest jobs are in the universities.

  3. #3
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    konungursvia is offline Key Member
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    Re: Teaching English in Japan

    I heard that you teach English in Japan if you love Japan, not to make money. It's expensive and you won't save anything if you have a life at all. Personally, I love Japan. But others may find it not as lucrative or fascinating as they had imagined. Much of old Japan is gone, in favour of parking lots, 7-11 stores, and big square buildings that look just like North America.

  4. #4
    Kengo is offline Junior Member
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    Re: Teaching English in Japan

    Hi Rayne1989,

    As a local who's done both learning English and working in the industry, I agree with Tdol.

    In terms of business, the dominant school chain (where I first took up the language 5 years ago..) went buncrupt and casual learners gave up continuing and prospective students are often skeptical when choosing a school.
    The government has decided to introduce English education to 5th and 6th graders at Elementary schools so it's most likely the kids schools if anything's viable.
    The overall inductory is past its bubbly heyday but there's still a fair number of job opportunities and native English speakers earn enough to make a living. Never luxurious but I've never seen an English teacher in poverty.

    To get a visa, as you should know, you need to get a company to go through the application procedures, which might not be very easy from outside Japan. I've met quite a few foreigners on their working holiday in Japan. They come over with a working holiday visa and find a way to stay longer while their visa's valid as there's so much more information once you're in the country.

    Everyday life in Japan seems to be quite comfortable for foreigners. Not a lot of us speak good English but even less people will make trouble. I guarantee nothing but peacefulness of Japanese people.

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Teaching English in Japan

    It's not cheap, but I have not found it as expensive as many say- accommodation and transport are cheaper than in the UK. I have no idea about how things compare with North America. Some things are expensive, but it gets rated as so expensive because it's assessed for the lifestyles of expat bankers and so on. I don't come out of the supermarket thinking that food is very expensive. Alcohol's overpriced, but my apartment in a comparable area of London would cost a lot more, though would probably be more spacious.

  6. #6
    I'm With Stupid's Avatar
    I'm With Stupid is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Teaching English in Japan

    I was interested in Japan for a while, mainly because I was interested in the country. But the schools that hired outside of the country seemed to be a bit of a joke from a professional POV. If I was going to look at Japan again, I would definitely insist on going there and applying from within the country (for schools that actually value professional qualifications and have bosses that actually know about the job they're in charge of).

  7. #7
    marmoset is offline Junior Member
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    Re: Teaching English in Japan

    The JET Programme--Official Homepage of The Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme--

    It is competitive, but if you qualify and can get through the process, it is probably the best way to come teach English in Japan. Lots of people save a lot of money because housing is often very cheap.

  8. #8
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Teaching English in Japan

    Jet do pay better (3.6 million yen a year) than the commonly quoted figures for eikaiwa.

  9. #9
    I'm With Stupid's Avatar
    I'm With Stupid is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Teaching English in Japan

    The money is definitely appealing, but from a professional POV, it seems like a massive step backward. From what I've read, they expect you to have teaching experience. But I don't see why anyone with teaching experience would want to take a job where they're an assistant to someone else, when they've previously been running their own classrooms. And while the pay is impressive, it's not a massive amount more than some schools. I saw Aeon advertising entry-level jobs at 270,000 yen per month, which works out at 3.24m per year (plus bonuses). I'm sure someone with the background of a JET applicant could match the salary elsewhere. And like most of these hire-from-abroad schemes, they give you little choice in where in the country you end up.

    But I'd be interested in advice about finding high quality schools in Japan. Do they tend to favour people with in-country experience? Where do people with DELTAs work in Japan? Or perhaps more accurately, do people with DELTAs work in Japan?

  10. #10
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Teaching English in Japan

    The British Council is one possibility. I am not sure about the universities and the DELTA- I will ask someone I am having dinner with later this week about that.

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