ESL Jobs in Japan?

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ESL Jobs in Japan?

Unread post by Asdrubael »

I have heard from several sources that Japan is a fantastic place to pursue ESL opportunities. Japanese culture has always fascinated me, and I'd love the opportunity for an abroad experience. I've already taught abroad in Rome, and I work fulltime in the US as an English teacher. Does anyone know of any programs that I could look into if I wanted to pursue this avenue of employment? I do not, however, have ANY schooling on Japanese whatsoever.

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Re: ESL Jobs in Japan?

Unread post by becki »

I've taught in Japan for over 10 years, and I would recommend it to anyone. However, there are some really bad jobs that can make the experience less desirable. I would recommend the JET Program and Westgate.

JET Program
This is a really good job working for the Japanese government as an assistant language teacher. You are placed in a city/town and work at a junior high school. The application process takes a long time with applications due in October and actual placement in the following July.

This is a short-term posting if you just want to see some sights and decide later whether you want to actually work in Japan. You work as a communication teacher/language lab coach at a university.

There are many jobs advertised on Ohayosensei, but you really have to be careful. I wouldn't take a job offering less than 250,000 yen.

I'm willing to answer any other questions you may have if you want to send me a private message.

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Re: ESL Jobs in Japan?

Unread post by poppsensei »

I would also highly recommend teaching in Japan. I taught in Japan for 16 years, had my own English school and started a corporate ESL consulting business as well.

I, myself, would stay away from the JET program or any other program or school that would hire you abroad for three reasons.
A) Money: The programs that offer jobs to teachers overseas generally underpay their teachers. They often charge outrageously for housing or other "services" as well. You will do much better, especially if you have experience teaching, by forging your own path.
B) Quality of Life: Schools and programs that hire you overseas are, generally (not always), looking to fill vacancies in their systems far from the beaten path. Teaching in a larger city, Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Yokohama etc. etc. gives you many opportunities to supplement your salary and interact with other professionals. Until you have fairly good Japanese language ability, living in the far off Yamagata-ken or Aomori could leave you feeling very alone and isolated.
C) Your development as a teacher. If you decide that you would like to become a university professor or write texts or, essentially, engage in any kind of professional development or bounce ideas off of fellow native speaking English teachers, you want to be in a bigger city.

I would also say that very few people I have met have truly enjoyed or benefited from the JET program. You are essentially, in most cases, treated as a "student teacher" by the Japanese classroom English teacher. There are often some weird twistys happening because of the fact that they are in control of the classroom and yet their English is limited to terrible and they and the students know it. That is why experienced English teachers are often not offered JET positions. The ministry, Mombusho, knows that real teachers are going to have issues with what is going on in the classroom.

I went to Tokyo on the advice of a friend, who shared basically what I have shared above. I am retired at age 53, very comfortably, because of the wonderful people of Japan and the amazing experiences I had. I too am willing to share with anyone interested.
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Re: ESL Jobs in Japan?

Unread post by Rockman »

New to forums, I like to talk to poppsensi to hear more on his aspect because before your post my desire to live in toyko has been a life long dream. I looking to getting advice on doimg so thru Esl program. I have a personal drive to teach in the public school because it seems bad from your post but I truly enjoy big classrooms and public schools. I am not rushing it, I want to save money (about 22k) And get my TEFL cert before making the Jump. You mentioning life in citys has drawn my attention because its my goal to live In Japan as in staying and making my life. I wont post here but its personal that i can explain my desire to live in Japan and I see ESL as my way. I try to pm you, but also if anyone has advice on this matter please feel free. Thank you all.
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Re: ESL Jobs in Japan?

Unread post by ZionRion »


I work at a small English teacher recruiting firm in Japan.
I've learned a lot since I started working there.

I came to Japan on the JET program, and later moved to Tokyo working in a Japanese "eikaiwa", which is a very common form of business-based English schools that are on every major street corner (kind of like fast-food education).

The easiest kind of job to get is with an eikaiwa, there are also 'dispatch companies' that employ you to visit schools on their behalf, but ultimately they pull all the strings. The company I work for tries to make "direct-hire" contracts between schools and English teachers, and from what I can tell, direct-hire contracts are the best jobs English teachers can get besides at a full-fledged International School (that is the best of the best).

If you don't mind the incidental plug for my company, you can read more about direct-hire contracts with private Japanese schools on my companies website.

I just found this forum, but it looks like great inspiration for our blog and Facebook too

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