Teaching at a University in Tokyo, ESL or literature, qualifications question

by Michael
(Montreal, Canada)

Hi,


I'm interested in teaching English specifically at a university and specifically in Tokyo. I am wondering about how difficult it may be to get such a position, and if there is any particularly good way to go about it.

I am 29 years old. I hold a Master's degree in English Studies, and I have two years experience as an ESL teacher in Leipzig, Germany and Montreal, Canada, which is my hometown and where I currently reside. I have always worked with the young adult to older students.

I am eager and willing to continuing with English as a second language work, but I would really like to work with literature.

I appreciate any advice or anecdotes anyone might have to help me. Thank you,

Michael

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Sep 12, 2010
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Wrong Email address?
by: Kevin Burns

Hi Michael,

For a wrong Email address, I would do it the good
old fashioned way then--send it by mail, even if you
don`t know the contact name. --but put a
nice resume and photo together. Have someone
who will give you an honest answer, check what your are sending. You may want to pay a little and have it professionally done so that it stands out from others.

Universities like getting interested applicants
in any form--they want to find good interested teachers and just the fact that you take the time
to find and contact them, says a lot!


Sep 12, 2010
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Wrong Email address?
by: Anonymous

Hi Michael,

For a wrong Email address, I would do it the good
old fashioned way then--send it by mail, even if you
don`t know the contact name. --but put a
nice resume and photo together. Have someone
who will give you an honest answer, check what your are sending. You may want to pay a little and have it professionally done so that it stands out from others.

Universities like getting interested applicants
in any form--they want to find good interested teachers and just the fact that you take the time
to find and contact them, says a lot!


Sep 12, 2010
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Response to first comment
by: Michael

Hi Kevin,

Thanks a lot for your advice, I plan to dedicate a good few hours in the next coming week beginning everything.

One thing to mention, I am not after tenure. I am more interested in beginning with short term goals for now. If the difference in the lists is mostly an issue of tenure, then I shall look at both indiscriminately.

I have already begun perusing some University websites, and must admit it isn't always easy to find the right email for the right contact to send a resume and letter. Can you advise on what to do in these cases?

Michael

Sep 12, 2010
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University teaching in Japan Part 2
by: Kevin Burns

Continued from Part 1

So I would check out his blacklist (dark green) and his greenlist. There are many good universities on
both lists. (It seems to me at least that the universities on the blacklist rarely give tenure.)
That seems to be the author`s sticking point.

I agree that, not giving tenure often, isn`t very good, but do those universities deserve to be blacklisted for that?

Does that make them a terrible place to work?

In my mind no! There are so many other perks
of teaching at a Japanese university that offsets
that.

I guess you have to answer that for yourself.


You may want tenure badly. I can understand that.

So if that is true, be sure to find a university
that gives it often.


You may need to come to Japan to land a teaching job here. You can try applying from abroad.
Use the universities listed at the google page
(above) and apply.


Be sure to include a photo and as much information
as you can.

Post your resume at our site too!

A lot of employers read our site.

Post your Resume


If applying from abroad doesn`t work, come to Japan with some cash. Get a bank loan if necessary and pay it back.

This is the land of connections! Much more so
than Canada! So you may need to come to make those connections. Join some university related associations etc.

So you may need to come, work at an English school
for a while, get to know Japan and then make the
jump to a university. But hopefully not.

I think landing a position teaching literature
to start with is difficult. You will probably
have to work your way into that, perhaps teaching
it as an elective, as well as teaching English
and perhaps French is you are able to teach that too.


There is a lot of demand for TEFL teachers with your education and experience. But English
literature is more of a minor subject here, as you
can probably imagine.

You definitely have a good shot at this, but
may have to come and pay your dues at first.

That said, start applying and see what happens.
I would be honest and say that you would really
like to teach English literature and English as a foreign language. I was emphasize that you would like to teach both.


I hope this helps!

A final thought:

Have you thought about private schools here or
international schools? Have you ruled them out?

If not, you might be able to teach English literature along with other subjects at one.

















Sep 12, 2010
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University teaching in Japan Part 1
by: Kevin Burns

Hi Michael,

Good questions!

It isn`t easy but the fact that you have a masters
degree in English Studies is a BIG help! Also
your experience of teaching in a foreign country
is another big plus--as well as teaching in Canada.



If you check this google page below there are many listings of Japanese universities. The blacklist is so-so. I work for one of the universities blacklisted, and overall I enjoy it.

Google List of Japanese Universities



Plus the author of the blacklist, lectured at my
university a year or two ago on the meaning of
being Japanese. If he thought it was so bad,
why lecture at the university?



Another friend taught at a university on this blacklist and loved it. So I would think that
the Greenlist is just that, and the blacklist is
a darker shade of Green. Let`s call them the
Greenlist and the Dark Greenlist shall we?



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