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|maxh1985 14 posts||
I am very new to all of this and it seems the more i read about teaching in japan the more confused i get! Was wondering if someone could clear a few things up for me.
I have also been looking at teaching in china and S.Korea but really dont know enough about these countries or japan to make a descision yet. It seems to me the way to go about getting teaching work in japan can be quite different from say china. For example in china it just seems to be a case of: Get your TEFL certificate, find a decent enough job and get out there. Now ive stated looking at japan it seems there is a different route i.e. getting onto a placement as an ALT with a company like JET or AEON. Is the placement route generally an easier or more popular way to get teacing work in japan?
Also, my qualifications are, I have a degree, i will have done a 100 online TEFL course with the 20hr classroom section, other than that i dont have any other teaching experience. Now realistically, how easily could i find teaching work in japan with these credentials? I cant help but find it hard to believe ill be able to swan into the country and start teaching earning over £1500 a month, which is what i have been told on some sites. I definately need to be saving money whilst iam out teaching as i want to continue travelling afterwards. Would this be difficult considering the living costs in japan? Or would i be better off maybe teaching in s.korea or china if this is the case?
thank you very much for reading and i look forward to hearing from you
|emmafoers 71 posts||
Hi, in Japan all you need is a degree - any teaching qualification is a bonus and will put you above all the other graduates that go out there with no teaching experience or qualifications! I'm biased as I have taught in Japan, as I think it's a great place to begin your teaching career. The students are lovely and well behaved and you get a good salary to boot. i-to-i has a job placement system for Japan, they start recruiting in March (no is 0113 2054896). If not try www.daveseslcafe.com and www.tefl.com. You will need to get a job before you go to get your visa! China out of the three is the lowest rate of pay, but the cost of living will be cheaper. South Korea and Japan pay well as do Taiwan and Singapore!
|emmafoers 71 posts||
P.S Japan is only expensive if you are going over on the pound...when I was there I found it cheaper than the UK! You can eat out in really nice restaurants for just over a fiver!
|maxh1985 14 posts||
I have to agree, from where i stand at the moment japan does look like the most appealing country to work in, for many different reasons. Is the ItoI placement programme INTERAC? and if so is it quite difficult to be accepted onto?
Also, is it more common to see ESL teachers working on placement programmes rather than just finding jobs independently?
|PDixon 169 posts||
Hi, primarily if you want to teach in Japan you have to have a degree followed by a min of 2 years teaching experience OR a recognised TEFL qualification (or both of course).
You`ve stated that you have a degree and i am presuming that you have done the course with i-to-i...if so then your part the way there.
To teach in Japan generally there are 2 main options: Work in schools employed either direct or through a company OR teach business and private classes through a company.
If you want to work in schools be wary of going direct tot he schools - normally they prefer you to have teaching experience but once youve signed the contract you belong to them and you will work japanese hours (normally paid 9-5 but expected to work 8 until when even its time to leave, usually after 7 - and you dont get paid overtime). Also be warry of some companies because they might just act as an employment agency and once youve signed that contract they will have nothing to do with you and you are left in the hands of the school or BoE who might have you working long hours and teaching more hours then you should.
Do you research on the companies, look for facebook pages for the companies, find forums. You mentioned AEON but unfortunately they are not very good. Also avoid HEART.
Interac is the company you normally go through if you opt for the job help via i-to-i. Interac are one of the largest employers and suppliers of ALTs in Japan. They not only have several offices throughout Japan (i think they have 8) but they also have offices around the world. You have a phone interview (they call you to save you money), a group day interview in your country (such as UK, australia, canada, usa) and then most contact after that is done via email but they will also call you to keep you updated etc. There was a couple of time i called them and they instantly said they`d call me back because of the cost of long distant calling. Interac also are more well known throughout Japan and have a good rep. In fact most ALTs prefer Interac over the JET program - the JET program is also very hard to get on and has a long waiting list. Another advantage with Interac is you can be employed by them as long as you like and they will sponsor your visa renewal, unlike other companies such as the JET program where you visa renewal might be limited to 3years, afterwhich that company wont employ you again until another 8years.
As regards to the money...my advice would be to never compare exchange rate unless you are about to come or about to leave. General living costs in japan is relitivly cheap compared to countries like the UK and US. Just as long as you are not eating out all the time, only eating western food and brands or living in the big cities then you will find it easy to live and save here. You have a store called the Diaso - ￥100 store...this is the equivallent to the $1 store or poundland...but if you use the exchange rate then you could say everything is about 70p...
In restaurants you do get large servings. Bacon is a little different here and beef is expensive. Biscuits and sweets come in smaller packaging and there is no western sweets and chocolate (no galaxy or cadbury) - you maybe able to find these items but they will be expensive...
Finally you said you couldnt believe that you would be on 1500pounds...well believe it. adverage wage for most jobs regardless of company or school, you will get paid about ￥230000. im on ￥240000. I work 5 days a week 830-4pm with a max of 29.5hrs teaching time (although this is shared with the teachers so i do less then that) I also get 10 days holiday pay which i can carry over to the next year. plus i get paid bankholidays which is about 11days throughout the year. the only downside is for about 2 weeks of summer and 2 weeks of winter when its the holiday i dont actually get paid.
But considering i was on about 900pounds back home and now im on about 1700pounds, it works out theorectically i could save about 1000pounds a month quite easily and i will also be on more then my mum for doing less work. Some places you can get paid up to about ￥270,000
Japanese people are also more friendly and its much safer then other countries. For me i feel ive made the right decision...cos i too was unsure which country to choose out of china, japan and thailand
good luck on deciding
|Mimi123 1 post||
im also new to this whole process but the only difference is that i have only decided that this is what i want to do. All i have is a degree and i have been looking into the tefl coarses which everyone seem to be telling me is the best decision.
My question is after i do the online tefl course how long does the whole process of getting out there to Japan usually take, like sorting out my visa and find a job, at this moment, because i really want to get out there asap.
I would really like some advice from anyone thanks
|Rin 94 posts||
what do you think the chances are of teaching in Japan without a degree?
I will have a TEFL and teaching experience from China.
|PDixon 169 posts||
@Mimi123 Having a TEFL/TESOL will certainly make you stand out from the crowd and it is possible to apply with just the degree - more so if you have experience in working with children especially in an educational setting...Some companies employ people throughout the year but the main intakes for schools are March/April and August/September
Applying can take a long time and for most companies a fair bit of paperwork is involved...sometimes you have to first fill in an online application and send a CV with a covering letter...then a phone call, then maybe an interview, then they may ask you to put you details onto an online data base for their clients or schools, after which you should find out if you have a job and then you maybe asked to attend training before starting...its a long process for most part.
Now is the best time to start applying to most companies for next years intake. Interac is linked with i-to-i because i-to-i acts as an agency and so if you do the 120hrs course they can offer help in getting a job with interac, although nothing is guaranteed. If you are not bothered about where you teach and which level then if there is a position that opens up before March then you may be able to start sooner, otherwise they will consider you for the main intake. I believe with JET, now is the time to apply but the intake is usually August...
you might want to check out online sites for listings of current jobs and what it required...check out gaijinpot as a starting point
|PDixon 169 posts||
@rin unfortunately it is becoming increasing difficult to get a job without a degree...its no so much needed for the job itself, it part of the visa requirement...
so if you can find a way of getting a visa that will allow you to work with the correct paperwork then employers will consider you...it also doesnt hurt to ask companies but without a degree unfortunately the chances are slim and you could end up with a bad company.
|fredx08 13 posts||
Hi, I am one of those really interested to work in Japan or Korea for that matter. My problem however, is a completely different one. Yes i do have 10 years teaching experience under my belt, a 120hr completed i to i course and the necessary educational qualifications. What i don't have or rather what i am not is a person who was actually born in an English speaking country. For this reason i don't think i to i is able to assisst me with jobs applications even though English has been my native language for the last 35years. What i would like to know is whether this is going to stop me in finding work in Japan altogether.
It is frustrating and somehow rather unfair because i know for a fact that my English much better than many native speakers born Australia. I am starting to feel the pinch as i apply for jobs. Is there anyone in the same boat as I am or am i the odd one out.
|jmblisse 3 posts||
I am also in need of some advice. I have rescently graduated and am looking at going to Japan to teach english .... fingers crossed.
Is there any advantage of doing a 140 hour compared to 120hour TEFL course or disadvantage to doing a 100hour or so on when applying for jobs? Also is there any alternative to these courses as i have read there is a CELTA course availible, or is the TEFL course prefered by Japanese employers. How long do the TEFL courses take to complete or is it a case of "what it says on the tin".
Also i would be wanting if possible a placement in Tokyo, is this realistic having no previous teaching experience, or is the market far to competitive?
|fredx08 13 posts||
you will find that most employers require you to have 120hrs TEFL certificate. i think that extra 20hr classroom course gives you the practical side of teaching and that's why it is important. the other 20hrs is a set of 4 videos probably demonstrating the teaching methods used. i think it is vital to complete 120hrs but not as important to do the extra 20hrs video.
The CELTA is a much more in depth and much harder to complete than the TEFL but as far as i know the difference is that with the CELTA you become qualified to teach adults (certificate english language teaching adults. In australia it costs around $2700 and it can't be done online.
if you do the i to i TEFL course i think you are given 60days to complete but you can ask for an extention at a cost. i finished mine in time and i think it is ample time to complete it.
hope this helps
|jmblisse 3 posts||
Thank you fredx08!
I am not particulary hot on the Japanese employability market yet. But do you or anybody else know if you could command a higher wage with a CELTA over a TEFL qualification, or does it simply just allow you to teach adults and open more opportunities.
|fredx08 13 posts||
i think the CELTA is an advantage in employability but the main difference is that it allows to teach adults as well. i don't think the wage will be much different; what will make you earn more i think is the experience you have accumulated over the years.
|jmblisse 3 posts||
yea, i had a good look round last night and basicaly CELTA is only if you want to teach english abroad as a career, otherwise TEFL is adequate.
sorry for sidetracking this thread slightly.
|PDixon 169 posts||
generally this is true but for most part CELTA is normally for the higher levels of English and certain private schools may request it.
If you wish to teach in places where english is the native tongue (UK, USA, Canada) etc then you more or less will find that you have to have at least a CELTA...it is possible to get jobs on a TEFL in these countries but normally thats freelance and wont really pay the bills...but for most other countries, especially if you are to be an ALT then TEFL is enough and cheaper
|Kumasan 1 post||
I am hopeful that someone might be able to clear up a few issues I am curious about and steer me in the direction I need to go for further investigation. I have been working in the EFL industry for the past 13 years--the last 8 of which has been in Seoul, S. Korea. Prior to this, I worked for 5 years in Osaka. My academic qualifications are a B.Ed. in secondary education, English (although I didn't gain my P.C.G.E., or teaching certification/licensure, as I transferred over to psychology after completing my core requirements) and a CELTA certification in 2005.
I am wanting to return to Japan, as out of all the countries I have worked in TEFL this has been the most enjoyable. My conundrum is I am now 44 years old and wondering how much of an impediment my age will be on hireability. What would I need to do to investigate the possibilities of returning to work in Japan? I am currently pursuing a MS in counseling psychology and I have a moderate conversational level of ability in Japanese.
If I may be so bold, please send recommendations to firstname.lastname@example.org as it is more often checked than this website.
|cryogenesis 2 posts||
Does anyone know about the AMITY Corperation? They're supposed to be a division of AEON, which I heard in this very discussion isn't very good. Why is this company not good? I've only been researching teaching in Japan for a day, but I thought they were a part of "the big 4" of teaching companies.
I was also wondering if it's very likely for someone who has a degree, taken the 120 hour TEFL course, applied to tons of companies only to be turned down again and again. It almost sounds like a sure thing that you will be hired if you have these three required credentials, but I'm sure that can't be true.
How does it work paying bills? I pay all my bills online, but I'm sure the internet in Japan is set up different, and I certainly can't read Japanese. How easy or difficult is it to pay rent, bills and the like?
It sounds like working in Japan is a sure thing, in that there is an almost infinite need for teachers.
How lonely does it get working in Japan? Are there a lot of other english-speaking people around?
Here are my credentials: I'm 34, have a BFA in sculpture (I went to art school). I've worked in the same retail store off and on for 10 years. I currently work in the stock room. I barely have any people skills. I'm pretty shy and stammer a lot when speaking, even with people I feel comfortable with. I'm very slow in bodily movement, not very energetic. I space-out easily (I think I probably have ADHD). I feel I have a good speaking voice, use of grammar and writing ability. I have always loved Japan and have desperately wanted to live there. I love the language and feel I'd pick it up very quickly. I've always felt Japan is where I belong. It would be really easy to leave my life here (in the U.S.); I'm not married or have kids. So, would I have what it takes to teach english in Japan simply by completing a 120 hour TEFL course?
Thank you all for your time!
|cryogenesis 2 posts||
Oh yes, I also wanted to ask, once you are TEFL certified, is it like a diploma? I mean, is it something you have to do every six years to renew or is it a one time thing?
|PDixon 169 posts||
I havent heard of the AMITY Corporation...but if it is linked with AEON then they might not exist anymore.
Aeon was one of the Top 4 dispatch companies but about a year or 2 ago they went under...many teachers lost their jobs and lost several months pay because Aeon had no money. A lot of the teachers had to return home due to their visa...others managed to get jobs with other companies. - Therefore Aeon is a bad company...
The top dispatch company at the moment is Interac - it has one of the best rep in japan and is growing stronger each year. It's office are spread out throughout japan and they also offer the most support. Some people opt for the JET program over interac because of money - in the long run Interac is the best option.
When i first came to japan i didnt know any japanese, except for hello and goodbye...generally you will have a savings account at the post office...this is the best choice because you can access you money and nearly all ATMs and there are Post offices in nearly every town, village and city...whereas if you opt for a bank, that bank might only be in one prefecture.
As for paying bill. If you work for a good company, such as interac, they will set up direct debits (automatic withdrawal from you account). With internet you most likely will have NTT which have an english telephone line, post office ATMs have an english option to withdraw money... occasionally you may need to pay at an ATM, again you can ask for instructions or ask at the post office...the rest of the bills can be paid at the convenience store - you get sent a receipt which is the estimate and then a letter with a barcode...you simply show it at the post office, they scan it, you pay and they stamp it - no japanese required. - this method is usually for most of your bills and is the easiest way to pay.
There is an increase in needs for teachers, especially for next year because the government is making it compulsory to learn english at elementary schools - however, more and more people are coming to japan to be teachers - so a BA degree or a equiv is needed for the visa (nothing to do with teaching) and 120hrs TEFL or higher is preferred.
Some experience working with children is a bonus (maybe try volunteering with youth groups)
If you are in a big city you will meet lots of english people - both people who live here and those who are tourist - some teachers actually hate been in the city because of this.
Living in a rural area can be very lonely - i recently moved to the nearby city because of this...becareful though because a city can include the nearby village and can be quite small - my city is 60,000 people...this is smaller then my home town back home...but either way there will be large cities within reach and there should be other teachers nearby
Now here is the bad thing...to be a teach, generally you need to be a people person and out going. You need to be able to adapt, think on your feet and change the lesson at last minute if needed. In japan as a teacher you usually stand at the front of the class and the focus is on you. Having said this for schools you will be an ALT, so you wont necessarily have to teach for the whole 50mins...sometimes you dont teach, sometimes you read from the book, other times you prepare games and activities...the JTE (japanese teacher of english) will do most of the teaching
If you work for a language school you will be the only teacher but the classes are usually small...but you will have to teach the whole class.
I dont want to seem rude but if you stammer and want to be an english teacher in japan you will find it a huge problem because at school they mainly teach oral communication classes and rely on the english speaker to do a lot of demonstration...so maybe consider working on controlling the stammer - work out what causes it etc...this will be your main challenge...
You dont have the be energetic and bouncing off the wall...elementary is more demanding and usually consist of you playing a lot, even in your breaks...but at high school its less work...for most part i sit at my desk, planning, reading etc - in class though i sometimes try to liven things up but i depend on my kids
as long as you can teach and your method works, then its fine...sometimes acting the clown can be a down fall
hope this helps
|counterintui... 2 posts||
Get a degree, get a good TESOL or CELTA certificate (not one of these mickey-mouse online ones) and get out there!
Tokyo is the greatest city in the world. I was there for four years and always miss the people and the place.
But my wife reminds me of how wonderful the country is!
|PDixon 169 posts||
CELTA is certainly not needed in Japan - in fact most people whos come to japan with a CELTA have found they have paid way too much for a course that doesnt really have much relevant in japan...the classroom experience is normally seen as a bonus for CELTA but in the case of japan the style of teaching is different if your in schools - normally you cannot move desks and are expected to teach from the front of the classroom - occassionally schools may permit you to move desks but usually there is not a lot of space due to bags, coats and the fact the classrooms are small and usually host 40 students (language schools you have a bit more choice of classroom layout etc)...At the same time for most part you are an assistant and so rarely have to prepare whole lessons and in fact if your a confident teacher who doesnt mind teaching a bunch of excited elementary kids then you can get away with not doing any qualifications (except the degree for the visa) - you just need to be good with kids, happy, energetic, have a book of activities, a book of songs and if you play the guitar youre sorted.
As for TESOL - if you do a JUST TESOL course then youve wasted most of your time - TESOL and TEFL do have many cross overs and are usually best learn hand in hand because if you just do TESOL then most of the jobs in Japan which are in public schools require TEFL because they are learning english as a foreign not a second language and so teaching methods are slightly different.
As for online or in classroom - this is just nonsense - most classroom courses are taught around the countries as part of extra curriculum activities at unis or colleges that issue a certificate that is not wildly recognised...yes certain online courses you have to be weary about because there certificate again isnt recognised by most countries or there course is just for their companies projects - as for i-to-i...it is recognised world wide and in fact it very well known in japan...for interac i-to-i is more wellknown then CELTA and again because of the content of the i-to-i course it is preferred...
because i-to-i is online you can go at your own pace, you still have tutors who you can ask questions and 90% of your work is marked by real people and not a machine - so if your implying that i-to-i TEFL is a mickey mouse qualification then you should at least try it and then see where it takes you
i know that i paid 350pounds for my course and currently my job pays more then the person who came over at the same time and did CELTA (and paid 1200pounds for his course)...at the same time i feel like the course covered everything i needed and in fact even though some of it hasnt been relevant for teaching at school it has been relevant for teaching private classes and with my certificates opens up more options than the CELTA has for my friend...currently he is actually doing the i-to-i course additional certificates so he can broaden his horizon.
my personal advice is CELTA is more useful for the EU and native english speaking countries - for asia the teaching methods are not relevant
|joyjoy123 1 post||
Hi,Question. I will be moving to Tokyo in March of this year. I do not have a teaching background but have a business university degree. Will i be able to find a teaching job without teaching experice or any CELTA or TEFL?
I can teach business english of needed.
|PDixon 169 posts||
Generally speaking it might be difficult - the problem being no teaching experience...also if your going over on a holiday/tourist visa - legally you wont be able to teach - you can get away with your own private 1-on-1
to stand a better chance i'd advise doing an online tefl course to make you stand out amognst many...look o gaijin-pot and hopefully you will find something
its usually better to have something set up first before you go
|Richiephil 3 posts||
Kumasan asked a question earlier on this thread about age being an impediment to employability in Japan. I have the same concern.
I'm 53, have a B.Sc., am a native English speaker, and have (almost) completed the 120 hour i-to-i course. I don't have any teaching experience, but I have a lot of management and business-type experience over a long public service career. I speak some Japanese, and have holidayed there in each of the last 4 years, so I have some familiarity with the culture. I'm very keen to work there for a few years, if possible.
I've applied for about 2 dozen jobs -- all the big places and some smaller ones -- and I got the sum total of 2 rejections -- no explanations, and no other replies, even. I keep reading that it's fairly easy to get a job in Japan, but I'm not even getting a look-in.
When I did the i-to-i intensive weekend course last month, I saw that i-to-i were offering job placements in Japan, so I applied. They eventually got back to me, and just told me to apply to Interac, which I'd already done, so that wasn't helpful at all. It's not what I call a job placement service! Needless to say, I've heard nothing from Interac.
I'd be very keen to hear any opinions on whether my age is likely to be the problem.
I'm now considering going to Japan anyway, and searching 'on the ground' to see if I have any better luck.
Thanks in advance.