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  1. Newbie
    Student or Learner
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      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Malaysia
      • Current Location:
      • Malaysia

    • Join Date: Jul 2011
    • Posts: 1
    #1

    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. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    English Teacher
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      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 68,453
    #2

    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. konungursvia's Avatar
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      • Home Country:
      • Canada
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    #3

    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. Junior Member
    Student or Learner
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      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
      • Home Country:
      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Jan 2011
    • Posts: 80
    #4

    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. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    English Teacher
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      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 68,453
    #5

    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. I'm With Stupid's Avatar
    Senior Member
    English Teacher
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      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Vietnam

    • Join Date: Oct 2007
    • Posts: 597
    #6

    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. Newbie
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      • Home Country:
      • United States
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      • United States

    • Join Date: Oct 2011
    • Posts: 7
    #7

    Re: Teaching English in Japan

    I taught English in Japan for 6 years. I really enjoyed it. It wasn't difficult but I did notice that many people who teach there have no background in teaching before they go, so the companies expect you to know nothing. They make you teach their own way even if it isn't useful. Fortunately I taught at university most of the time, so I could teach my own way as opposed to using a method. I taught at Hitachi Corporation which I really enjoyed. They are really nice, serious abut learning and pay well.
    Good Luck to you.
    Do you have experience teaching?
    If you do, that would help you get a job but it's not necessary. They really want teachers who have good pronunciation so Japanese learn how to speak correctly. (Of course, I understand that.) You could get a job as a JET. It's easy and after you work there you can search for something better.
    Kimberly Fujioka (I married a Japanese man, a former student.)
    By the way, I recently wrote a book on teaching ESL. It's called Get Them Talking! a Complete Guide to ESL. I taught for 25 years. I have a MA in Applied Linguistics from the University of Surrey.

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