Non native-speaker teaching in Japan - is it practical?

by annette
(Hong Kong)

Hi, Kelvin.


Before I say anything, I would like to say your website is awesome in a way it provides lots of useful tips and information.

As for my story, I am Chinese, a non-native English speaker from Hong Kong. I am not being narcissistic but I possess near native proficiency in English, including speaking. Brought up locally and currently teaching senior English and senior English Literature in Hong Kong, I have started to consider the possibility of expanding my career to places outside HK. Like what you did before you left for Japan, I read a lot online and have applied to the TESOL Certificate to equip myself. I am doing the course in London next summer. I picked London purely because it is an English-speaking country, hoping it is going to make my resume a little more "international".

I hope my story is not too long. My question is, I am worried all I did will become a waste of time and money because I am Chinese and a non-native English speaker. Even if I graduated from The University of Hong Kong, it is "Hong Kong", after all. What else can I do to make myself a promising ESL teacher so that others will be convinced I am nothing less than the native speakers?

Do you know anyone like me teaching in Japan?

(Many have told me how impractical such a dream is, they said it was literally a dream because I am not a native speaker. "Who would want Chinese to teach them English?" Kelvin, would you please be so kind to tell me what you know about this?)

Thanks,
Annette

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Dec 05, 2015
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Believe in your self NEW
by: Anonymous

I am not good as you are but a lot of Japanese here are teaching English at home, even Filipino like me. You can teach English and Chinese here lots of Japanese willing to learn Chinese and Chinese character too, actually I envy you so don't give up.

Nov 06, 2012
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Reply from Annette
by: Annette

Oh, my. My apology. I was not aware it would be inappropriate to address you as Kelvin.

Thank you so much for your reply. I am doing CertTESOL next year and going to sit for CPE, hopefully this will lead me a breakthrough in my career.

All your advice is much appreciated. ;)
I hope I will bring you good news in no time.

Nov 06, 2012
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Go for it!
by: Kevin R Burns

Thanks for your kind words! Shei shei!!!

(And I will forgive you for calling me Kelvin, LOL!)

Pursue your dream! If it doesn`t work out, at least you tried. If it does, you will be so happy!

You asked:

Even if I graduated from The University of Hong Kong, it is "Hong Kong", after all. What else can I do to make myself a promising ESL teacher so that others will be convinced I am nothing less than the native speakers?

Take the TOEIC test, get a great score. Take the TOEFL do the same. No one can doubt that.

Do you know anyone like me teaching in Japan?

Yes many! They are mostly from the Philippines where Tagalog is their first language and the language they speak with each other usually. But they are teaching here.

(Many have told me how impractical such a dream is, they said it was literally a dream because I am not a native speaker. "Who would want Chinese to teach them English?" Kelvin, would you please be so kind to tell me what you know about this?)

People are always going to disagree with our dreams. My parents did too. People who care about you want to keep you safe and don`t want to lose you.

I`m not saying it will be easy. I`m not saying you can definitely do it. But I would give it a shot and see what happens.

Many are doing what you want to do. I don`t know so many Chinese doing it, but I know many from the Philippines as mentioned above, and some from Malaysia, India and other countries.

You need to prove how great your English is, either by test scores, and or interviews. Show them how great it is and you will get hired.

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