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Guide to Teaching English in Japan

Teaching English in Japan is a great way to not only live in and experience Japan, but actually get paid to do so! Thanks to the great number of Japanese who both want and need to learn English, English teaching jobs in Japan are always in great abundance, and with opportunities like the JET Program, it is relatively easy to secure a teaching job if you know where to look.

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Overview of Teaching English in Japan

Teaching English in Japan is a lot easier than you might think. There are two basic requirements for landing an English teaching job:

bullet4 Teach English in JapanBe a native English speaker

bullet4 Teach English in JapanHave a college degree

Actually, there are plenty of English teachers in Japan who neither have a college degree nor are native English speakers, but let’s just stay with the above two assumptions just to be safe.

Now you may be asking yourself: don’t I need to have special training or a teaching degree to teach English in Japan? Don’t I need to speak Japanese? The answer is no!

The reason for this is that most English teaching jobs in Japan are actually English conversation jobs (in Japanese, English conversation is called “eikaiwa”). In other words, all you really have to do as an English teacher is facilitate English conversation with your Japanese students.

In fact, most such jobs prefer that you never utter a word of Japanese while you teach, so while it’s always advantageous to know some Japanese before you go to Japan, knowing Japanese is definitely NOT a requirement for teaching English in Japan!

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How to Find Teaching Jobs in Japan

There are two basic methods of finding an English teaching job in Japan:

bullet4 Teach English in JapanFind an English teaching job before you go to Japan

bullet4 Teach English in JapanFind a teaching job once you get to Japan

Finding a Japan English Teaching Job before You Go

The safest way to find an English teaching job in Japan is to secure a job before you actually go there. There are many online job sites that list tons of teaching jobs. Here are a few to get you started:

bullet4 Teach English in Japanwww.how-to-teach-english-in-japan.com

bullet4 Teach English in Japanwww.gaijinpot.com

bullet4 Teach English in Japanwww.jobsinjapan.com

bullet4 Teach English in Japanwww.tokyoconnections.com

bullet4 Teach English in Japanwww.tesall.com

As you can see if you browse these links for even just a few minutes, there is an abundance if English teaching jobs in Japan available. Some of the easiest places to start looking for an English teaching job in Japan are the big chain schools like ECC, Gaba, Aeon,and Berlitz.

However don’t feel you have to limit your Japan teaching job search to just these big schools. The smaller schools also need eikaiwa teachers and many are willing to provide the visa support and sponsorship that you will need.

Find an English Teaching Job in Japan Once You Get There

A slightly more risky but still viable way to find an English Teaching job in Japan is to simply go to Japan on your travel visa and attempt to line up a job once you get there.

Although there is no guarantee you will find a job, the advantage of this approach is that you can line up interviews and apply for a job face to face. If you’re successful, you’ll be able to line up a Japan teaching job and find a sponsor for the work visa you’ll need.

Check out our section on Japanese Business Etiquette for some tips on how to present yourself during your Japan job interview!

An additional resource for finding English teaching jobs in Japan is the classified ad section of the Monday edition of the Japan Times English-language newspaper, which provides a generous list of current English teaching jobs.

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Teaching English in Japan – Private Lessons

Whether you have lined up an official Japan teaching job or are still in Japan on your travel visa, there are always opportunities to teach private English conversation classes. Often you need do little more than simply post or distribute some flyers or even hang out at Starbucks and strike up a conversation!

Private eikaiwa jobs often pay significantly more than company jobs, especially if you can secure a small group willing to pay 2-3,000 yen each per hour, which is not at all unusual.

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Teaching English in Japan – The JET Program

The JET Program is a program sponsored by the Japanese government to bring in and place thousands of qualified English-speaking applicants each year in to English teaching jobs at elementary, junior, and senior high schools throughout Japan.

The goal of the JET Program is to not only provide quality English instruction, but to promote cultural exchange between young students and the foreigners who teach them.

The JET Program is also great because it provides visa support, airfare, housing assistance, and a higher salary than many other English teaching jobs in Japan.

Find more information about the Jet Programme

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Teaching English in Japan – How Much Can You Earn?

The amount you can earn as an English teacher in Japan will vary greatly depending upon the location, the job, your position, and many other factors. In general, eikaiwa teaching salaries are not very high, but they can be supplemented by doing private lessons.

Certainly you should not go to Japan to teach English in hopes of getting rich. Rather, we recommend you view your English teaching job in Japan as an opportunity to experience Japan while getting paid.

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Hopefully this quick overview has given you a broad overview of teaching English in Japan. For even more info, check out the following great site, which is packed with detailed info that will surely help you secure your own English teaching job in Japan!

How to Teach English in Japan
The straight story on getting a great teaching position in this exotic country.

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