to Teaching English in Japan
What are the First Steps Teachers should take to teach in Japan?
What do new teachers to Japan need to do before they come?
Need a Cheap Guest House in Japan?
Merry Lue`s Guest House in Minamiashigara, Kanagawa has got you covered!
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*Decide on which country is best for you by reading up on the countries and the English teaching situation there.
*Get a University Degree--any degree is fine.
*Get some TEFL or other training
*Research Japan or whichever country you decide to go to.
*Can you get a working holiday visa?
*Save your money and research living cheaply in your chosen country.
*Study the native language of your chosen country--Japanese in the case of Japan.
*Volunteer teach in your hometown to get some valuable experience.
*You can try to get a teaching position while in your home country via the internet (by applying to jobs advertised at our site or other sites.) It is difficult to get a job this way though
*Even Better, go to Japan or the country of choice and apply for jobs once there. Take a lot of cash however. I came to Japan with 3,000 dollars - I took out a bank loan to come.
(I also had my job lined up beforehand.)
*Make Japanese connections by getting a job where you live that deals with Japanese people in some way.
(I was a program assistant in a summer program at Columbia College in Vancouver. I met hundreds of Japanese there and one of them helped me get my first teaching position in Nagoya Japan.)
Lastly - Don`t listen to criticism of your idea to go and teach abroad
Seems like a funny step to mention perhaps, but it will be one you need to get over. If you listen to the criticism and start to feel that they are right, you may gradually give up on your idea of leaving home to teach. I put off my dream for a year because of it. Don`t! If you have found this page, chances are, you are very interested in making the leap and soaring through life.
Many people won`t understand. Few have the chutzpah necessary to get up, and leave their comfortable situation in their town to move across the country for a job. Fewer still, are able to imagine packing up to go and work in Japan. Many will miss you and don`t want you to leave.
Face it, you are a bit different from the crowd, and there is nothing wrong with that. Welcome to the elite! --Those who see the world as their oyster and a place to explore.
Dive in and get to know the locals!
Do I Need a 4 Year Degree to Teach English in Japan?
The short answer is no! You need that 4 year degree to get a work visa. If you can get another visa ie) a spouse visa, or a student visa, you can teach English in Japan. How much you are permitted to teach varies by visa. Ryan Boundless explains all of this in more detail below:
How to Teach in Japan without a 4 Year Degree
Tips for Effective Resume Writing
School Managers, see many resumes. If yours is the one with the typo, or incorrect English, yours will go in the recycle bin quicker than others. You want to be the one, that gets a phone call, then you are part-way to the job. You need to write an effective resume. Read the article below on perfecting your resume then come back here to read about more first steps.
You have about 30 seconds to a minute to make an impression on the personnel manager. Make the first impression a great one!
Have a great looking resume. Either make it yourself or have a professional service type one up for you. Make it look professional as schools, institutions and universities here are trying to hire
First Steps: Specifically for Americans:
Americans are blessed in Japan in many ways. Japanese love winners and America is known as a country full of them. American English is thought to be the standard by many Japanese.
So many want an American teacher. (Us Canucks points to his
own navel) ride on your coat-tails - being thought of by the
Japanese as quasi-American. So many schools want American
teachers. However your situation is a little different from
people from Commonwealth countries like Canada, Australia, New
Zealand and the UK.
Jobs in Japan for Americans: the unique American situation
Have a Question about Living in Japan?
Ask at our Japan FAQ page!
Get more answers to your questions at the Japan FAQ.
Have a Question about Teaching in Japan?
Ask! No question is silly! (Except some of mine!) Probably someone else is wondering about the same thing. Have a question? Just ask! We will answer and no rude comments will be tolerated. So fire away and
Ask your questions!
Thoughts & Advice for Newbies!
Here are some more thoughts and advice on teaching in Japan
for new teachers.
For a comparison of the ESL situation in different countries read this article on teaching English overseas at
Post your Resume for Japan Teaching Jobs
Post your Resume for Free
Teaching Overseas - Primary Education Oasis
Primary Education Oasis details how to get international teaching jobs and what it's like to work overseas.
First Steps: My first 2 Years in Japan
After arriving in Nagoya it took me a while to get my bearings.
I dealt with new bosses, new food, no curtains, huge black cockroaches (that could fly!) not to mention
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First Steps -- Improving Ourselves through Study
Even after over twenty years of teaching experience, other teachers
constantly remind me of the importance of continuing to study. And for new teachers, it is very important too! Why not do it while traveling to a beautiful country like
(Pictured: Tokyo in the winter by Richard Baladad)
What will you be paid? More on Salaries in Japan.
Learn more about the visas offered.
(Pictured: Cherry blossoms along the road by Richard Baladad)
First Steps -- More in Depth Advice
"One large difference between the two countries is the visa system - Korea ties your English teaching (E-2) visa to your employer, while expats in Japan 'own' their visa. In other words, your legal ability to stay in the country is not tied to your job, which makes it a lot easier to legitimately switch jobs in Japan than Korea. As a result, the schools can't screw you over in quite the same way - although I'm sure it still happens in Japan in one way or another."
--from the Chris Backe at his "Chris in South Korea" Blog
First Steps - Why Japan?
First off, why are you interested in teaching English in Japan?
What stereotypes do you have of this exotic country?
Are they true, or merely a facade?
I cannot answer that question for you.
You need to answer that for yourself by doing
some research on modern day Japan.
What is she really like?
A good Lonely Planet Guidebook on Japan would be a great place to start--as would
Wikipedia and any book by Edwin Reischauer and
Why Japan over other countries? Why do you want to teach in Japan specifically?
Why not Korea or China for example?
For some the culture is intriguing--manga,
anime, sony, the temples, ikebana, sumo
and origami to name a few. For others
the pay is better in Japan than in many
countries. It is very safe. It is
clean and the food is healthy.
There are many reasons for choosing
Japan. What are yours?
For me: I had met many Japanese in
Vancouver and thought they were
great people. I had, had a
Japanese-Canadian friend and had
been exposed to a certain extent
to Japanese culture through
his family. My brother had
taught in Japan and he told me
all about it. Then I talked
with more people who had done
the same thing, and I read
all that I could. That
convinced me that Japan was
the correct choice.
But you need to find out for yourself.
In some countries the currency is weak or the
work situations are often negative.
I won`t mention any countries by name
but some of them are infamous for
bad working conditions.
Generally in Japan, the work situations are good.
However you need to be careful.
Hopefully this website will help you!
Read all you can! I can`t say this enough.
You will never regret the time you spent
reading about living and working here.
Get a University Degree
Although there are people who do teach
without a university degree, the jobs they
get tend to be not as good as those of
university graduates. Therefore, the
first step to teaching English in Japan,
is to get a university degree.
Get your TEFL or Other Training
Getting a TEFL certificate or equivalent will help you to get hired.
It also gives you valuable training. CELTA or TESL are other possible certificates you can study for. They will help to prepare you to teach, and they will show potential employers that you are serious about teaching English in Japan.
(First Steps photo: of clouds in Japan by Richard Baladad)
First Steps -- Do Some Research
At risky of sounding like your grandfather, repeatedly telling you about that huge storm back in `52, I will repeat:
Read everything you can about working in Japan. Not only at How to Teach English in Japan, but other websites and books from your local library. Almost everyone knows someone who has taught in Japan.
Ask them for advice and pepper them with questions about what it was like.
Become an expert on English schools and what it is like to live and work in Japan. You will regret it if you don`t! You may get into an undesirable situation if you don`t do the research.
No one said this would be easy. You are taking a huge step by
leaving your home and your family, but let`s make it a positive and exciting step, rather than a nightmare!
Okane--Money: Japan is Expensive, you need to Bring
I brought 300,000 Yen with me when I first came to Japan.
I wanted to have a cushion to get started with. It is crazy
to come with hardly any money. Bring some cash. Get a bank loan if necessary. That`s what I did. Then I paid it back over the first year.
Now that I have told you Japan is expensive. I have done my duty. I have warned you.
The reality though, is Japan can be expensive. When I go back to Canada, I think Canada is so expensive. In truth, I no
longer know how to live in Canada cheaply. I look at the restaurant bill, then realize I have to add a tip on top of that and think, Oh my God, this is gonna cost a bundle!
You will learn to live cheaply in Japan
Japan can be amazingly cheap. If you cook for yourself, you can
eat well and cheaply. If you want to eat out sometimes, go for lunch. Lunches are very large and very cheap at restaurants. Many if not most, have lunch specials.
There are many "recycle shops" where you can furnish your
apartment on the cheap. Japanese take care of their things
surprisingly well, so buying used is a great deal.
Japan is home to the best dollar shop in the world--Daiso.
They sell everything and most of it is 100 Yen--about one dollar.
I could go on and on, but you will learn how to live cheaply
here. But come with some cash to tide you over for the first
6 weeks or so--the time it takes to receive your first pay
Nihongo -- The Japanese Language
Many local community centres in North
America offer night classes in basic Japanese. Start learning before you go. You can also learn on the internet through some of the recommended sites in the Learn Japanese section of this website.
You may be able to do some language exchange via skype or by meeting Japanese people in your area.
First Steps -- Volunteer
Volunteer to help at some local schools. If possible teach some ESL classes voluntarily to get your feet wet. You may be able to do some volunteer ESL teaching at a community centre or your local library.
First Steps, How will you pay for your trip to Japan & Getting Settled
I saved what I could from the summer job I had, but as mentioned above, I also took
out a bank loan, which my father co-signed to get started. Japan is an expensive country, especially at first. You don`t
want to be overly stressed while getting settled. You will need
to budget once here, but why not make it easier on yourself by taking out a loan to make the transition easier?
First Steps - Abacus Finance to the Rescue for Kiwis Wanting to Move to Japan
One question you need to have answered before going anywhere is "How will I pay for everything?"
Abacus Finance can help you with Travel Money.
- no obligation application - and find out now if you can get the travel money you need.
What else should you do--more advice.
First Steps: the basics
Some lessons Conrad Matsumoto has taught me about the basics of
English teaching in Japan. Probably inately we know some of the
basics of being a good teacher. But it doesn`t hurt to be reminded of them from time
How to get hired to teach English in Japan
First steps: what kind of teaching situation would you like?
Read about a man who had a plan that can help you with teaching in Japan.
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