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Are Gaijin locked out?

 
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The K Dog



Joined: 27 Feb 2003
Posts: 24
Location: Paris

PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2003 8:07 pm    Post subject: Are Gaijin locked out? Reply with quote

Readers,
I am wondering if it is possible to work in the Japanese university system with only an M.Ed in Postsecondary TESOL and four years of teaching experience abroad. I have been told that one must have a Ph.D and an impressive list of publications as well as fluency in Japanese to be considered; is this true? If I go to Japan are language schools my only option? I have seen that it is much easier to get into the Chinese university system with an M.Ed as well as Korea, but Japan seems to be highly selective. Anyone have any information? It would be much appreciated. Thanks.
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2003 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

K Dog,

I'm sure PaulH will respond with detailed answers to your question, but I'll also chip in with a question, if you don't mind.

What is the source of the information that you were "told" about needing a PhD to get a university job? If you look at any advertised posts for such positions, you'll see that quite a few of them (Paul may have a better idea of the percentage) require a master's degree plus publications as a minimum.

Please forgive the question, but I am building the FAQ section for this area of the site, and it strikes me as odd that anyone would spread such blatantly false information to you. Another example I've seen is that "everyone says that you can get rich easily in Japan". I started a thread on where that statement comes from today, and the best answer was that it was uninformed, secondhand individuals who had little to know connection with present day Japan.

To answer your second question, K Dog...

Quote:
If I go to Japan are language schools my only option?


no, they are not. In fact, I find that to be a rather startling question. Japan has kindergartens, high schools, corporate classes, international schools, and cram schools, too. Take a look at the FAQ section on teaching in Japan at www.eltnews.com for a nice description of your options.
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PAULH



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 4672
Location: Western Japan

PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2003 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KDog

I dont know where you got your information or how reliable it is but for part time jobs (i.e up to 3-6 classes a week, one or two days) you need a Masters degree.

For full-time positions you need a Masters, at least 3 refereed publications, usually 2 academic references, a 1000 word report on your teach philosophy or a lesson plan etc. Many now require a summary of your articles in japanese as well as a Japanese resume. If the position is a non-tenure position i.e guest lecturer or lecturer a Masters is usually sufficient.

Some of the better universities, especially those offering tenure require a PhD as well as publications. Of the advertisements I have seen maybe 20-30% ask for a doctorate.

It is much harder to get into a Japanese university position in Japan than Korea and China. My guess is that because there are more qualifications foreigners with the requirements they ask for, Japan to all intents and purposes is a developed westernised country with a westernised democracy. Japanese universities are striving to attract qualified professionals (though they dont give them tenure but thats another story) and be more like American universities in their hiring practices.

To teach at a Japanese university you actually need a postgraduate degree (after all you need a phD to teach graduate students), teaching experience, academic publications, which is the norm in universities around the world.

I teach full-time at a university in Kyoto now if you have any more questions or need info on getting a job here. Glenski and I have a good article which explains how to do that and what you need.


PS if you have a Masters and want to do a PhD it is possible to get one from an accredited British or Australian University. Temple University in offers a D.Ed at its Tokyo and Osaka campus as well
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PAULH



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 4672
Location: Western Japan

PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2003 10:52 pm    Post subject: Knowing Japanese Reply with quote

I forgot to mention

If you are working part time nkowing japanese is not really required as most teachers just come in and teac their classes

Full-time you will likely get your own office, all administration and paperwork, correspondence, and dealing with the student office, accounts, personnel, the bookstore. You will be dealing with a lot of people who dont speak English.

You can get by without Japanese but knowing the language is better. Full time you may also be asked to sit in on (but not participate) in faculty meetings, prepare and proctor entrance examinations, and proofread articles for Japanese professors, things may not be asked to do as a part time.

In several of the recent interviews I have had, part of the interview was in Japanese to test my speaking ability and to see how I could handle dealing with problems and office staff etc. Japanese knowledge is preferred but not mandatory when seeking a full-time position.
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