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Struggling to find an english teaching job in japan...
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Solar Strength



Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 555
Location: Bangkok, Thailand

PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mitsui wrote:
It is hard to get work. I need a job for next year.
One guy I worked with quit last month and works in China.
The pay is pretty good.


Yeah, I know more people heading off to China these days. A few back over to Korea, where there is more demand.

Japan is dead these days in terms of viable full-time TEFL work. Most jobs are crap with low salaries and terrible conditions. And Japan isn't a cheap place to live.

All of my friends in China are getting accommodation thrown in with their contracts. Maybe even flights, too, although I'll have to check on that.

Friend recently said he's earning US $2,000 a month. No rent, as his apt. is included in the deal. 15 hours a week in the classroom.
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ssjup81



Joined: 15 Jun 2009
Posts: 534
Location: Tendo, Yamagata, Japan

PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 5:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did volunteer ESL teaching at a community center back home. I also had middle school assistant teaching experience, but was rejected by JET. Some CELTA training too. I did manage to get over here though. Did ALT work and now I'm doing Eikaiwa work.
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Solar Strength



Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 555
Location: Bangkok, Thailand

PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 5:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ssjup81 wrote:
I did volunteer ESL teaching at a community center back home. I also had middle school assistant teaching experience, but was rejected by JET. Some CELTA training too. I did manage to get over here though. Did ALT work and now I'm doing Eikaiwa work.


Yeah, it's tough, isn't it?

I had some friends who did the CELTA yet said they were paid the same as those who were untrained.

It doesn't matter, I guess. Japanese are looking for a face vs someone who is trained and professional.

Ken and Barbie - Blonde hair and blue eyes.
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ssjup81



Joined: 15 Jun 2009
Posts: 534
Location: Tendo, Yamagata, Japan

PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was discouraged after being rejected by JET. I figured that I had a good chance since I had tutoring experience, assistant teaching experience, ESL teaching experience, and CELTA training, although it was unfinished. An emergency hospital visit which turned into an eight day stay prevented me from completing it and was too expensive to do again at the time.

For the Eikaiwa I'm working for, if you have CELTA training or a cert of some kind you get paid ¥10,000 more a month than those who don't, but seems that lately, if advertising for a position, the potential candidate is required to have it. If hired without it, you have a year to work on it.
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deadzenpoet



Joined: 06 Aug 2010
Posts: 70
Location: Thailand

PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If one is that passionate about Japan and has some savings, then why not come to Japan for a few months, apply in person, and then use another country as a backup? Sure it's more competitive but with good timing, research, and ambition isn't the possibility to find work more realistic?
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steki47



Joined: 20 Apr 2008
Posts: 653
Location: BFE Inaka

PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ssjup81 wrote:
I figured that I had a good chance since I had tutoring experience, assistant teaching experience, ESL teaching experience, and CELTA training, although it was unfinished.


Informal hearsay, I have heard that JET often rejects people with "too much" teaching experience. Maybe they worry you will be "yoo serious" in the classroom when much of your job is bond with the kids. Socially rather than pedagogocially.
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ssjup81



Joined: 15 Jun 2009
Posts: 534
Location: Tendo, Yamagata, Japan

PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 3:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

steki47 wrote:
ssjup81 wrote:
I figured that I had a good chance since I had tutoring experience, assistant teaching experience, ESL teaching experience, and CELTA training, although it was unfinished.


Informal hearsay, I have heard that JET often rejects people with "too much" teaching experience. Maybe they worry you will be "yoo serious" in the classroom when much of your job is bond with the kids. Socially rather than pedagogocially.
That is a possibility. Having done ALT work, I found it fun, but at the same time extremely frustrating because I knew those kids weren't learning much of anything because of how it was taught. I was thinking at the time, "Dude, set up a curriculum that have these kids doing immersion courses like other countries do when teaching languages. Throwing a native English speaker in the room isn't going to have them miraculously learn English."

Even though I do work for an Eikaiwa now, I still have to do minor ALT-like work, which is always frustrating. I have to visit a high school twice a week. I like the kids and staff, of course, but the fact that these kids can barely string a sentence together is ridiculous! Or need a translation for, "Please stand up!" for example. Seriously, with the exception of the good students, how can one study a language for three or more years and not get any of it? I studied Spanish altogether (middle school/high school/college) for about five years. Sure I can't really use much now, as I've forgotten a lot (but reading it isn't as challenging and I can usually figure it out if I do), but at least I could while I was still studying it.

Eikaiwa work is a little more satisfying. At least the classes are conducted in full English immersion and how Japanese is discouraged (although it can't be helped if the students use it at times).
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teacheratlarge



Joined: 17 Nov 2011
Posts: 155
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You do have to remember JET is more for 'cultural value' learning than teaching just 'mere language'. There has been some thought given to changing the program, and part of the starting earlier to study English (though some schools only 1x a week) is part of it, yet there is still not a strong will to have more students really gain useful language skills. The number of people who major in English, yet can't string a sentence together is numerous in Japan.
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 448
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This problem is at universities too.
I use more Japanese than I like.
The fault lies with how students are taught by their Japanese English teachers from 7th grade. Teaching to the test does not foster communication.

A minority of students actually want to learn, and want to hear real English.
Ideally, I should use simple English more and repeat a lot.
It gets boring, especially with students who don`t pay attention, but never forget to bring their phone to class.

At this point, since it is harder to find a job, and the students are probably going to be low level, is it worth it anymore?

If you can teach adults or business English with students who pay, and so want to learn, it is ok. The problem is you could make less money.
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stumptowny



Joined: 29 May 2011
Posts: 219

PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you gotta be in japan to get the jobs.. your original write up sounds like you are hunting from abroad which is job-hunting lite in the esl world. how you look on paper matters not. JET is the exception
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louissenn



Joined: 02 Sep 2013
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:44 am    Post subject: Re: Struggling to find an english teaching job in japan... Reply with quote

redstanggt01 wrote:
I don't know if I'm the only one feeling this way. I graduated back in May 2012 with a Major in International Business and minor in Marketing, and since then I've been trying to find a English-teaching job in Japan. I've applied to Interac and JET twice and haven't even made it to the actual interviews, and I've also applied to Berlitz, A to Z, ECC and AEON and other companies in Gaijinpot. I failed the pre-screening interview with Berlitz and most other companies wouldn't even bat an eye on me. I have a 120 hour TEFL certification I obtained last year in November and I have study abroad experience at Kansai Gaidai. I also have tutoring experience, though it was only for two weeks because during my study abroad term in spring 2011, I had to evacuate due to the tohoku earthquake.


Your major will be a factor when applying from overseas; these companies get hundreds of applications, and the ones with relevant degrees/experience/teaching certificates will go to the top of the huge pile. Being rejected by Berlitz after a pre-screening interview is troubling.

As others have said, applying from overseas is more or less useless as there's a ton of foreigners here with sufficient credentials to fill these jobs. Korea and China are far better options as you only see this as a short-term thing (which again acts against you), and will have far more opportunities (though Korea is tightening up against 'backpacker' teachers, and has quite draconian visa regulations).

Not sure why you say you had to evacuate after the Tohoku earthquake as Kansai Gaidai is, as its name suggests, in Kansai and was unaffected, with no evacuations. Do you mean you chose to return home? If so, that's insensitive towards those who were genuinely affected and lost their lives, homes, livelihoods, and are still in temporary accommodation.
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timothypfox



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 345

PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2013 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's probably not fair to judge what was going through redstanggt01's mind when he/she chose to leave Japan around the Tohuku disaster. One should recall, the panic, the mishandling by TEPCO, government blundering, incredible overseas media hype, and Japanese themselves who fled Japan to other countries.

So let's keep to the issue at hand which is how we can help redstandggt01 get back to Japan. To add my 2 cents worth, I would say that you (redstandggt01) could probably find work in Korea or China without too much difficulty. And even if you only intend to work as an ESL teacher temporarily, you could start in Korea or China for a year or 2, and then see from there if you can get work with your new experience added to your resume in Japan. At the very worst, you will have an incredible experience and travel opportunities to Japan you do not have now.
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Solar Strength



Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 555
Location: Bangkok, Thailand

PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2013 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, once you leave your EFL job in Japan, many people are often screwed when they try to get back in. I've seen this happen to a lot of people, it's happened to me.

Japan is the hardest country in the region in which to find a reasonable TEFL job these days. The market is super saturated with EFL teachers and those who are aspiring to go to Japan to teach English and who are all competing for very few EFL jobs.
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jmatt



Joined: 29 Apr 2012
Posts: 103

PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 4:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Solar Strength wrote:
Yeah, once you leave your EFL job in Japan, many people are often screwed when they try to get back in. I've seen this happen to a lot of people, it's happened to me.


I've been in and out of Japan 3 times in the last 15 years and I've never had a difficult time finding work.

Solar Strength wrote:
Japan is the hardest country in the region in which to find a reasonable TEFL job these days. The market is super saturated with EFL teachers and those who are aspiring to go to Japan to teach English and who are all competing for very few EFL jobs.


I suppose reasonable is the key word here. If you mean full time, well-paid university work, then sure---very hard to find. I work company jobs and at universities and I have more work than I can handle at the moment, so it's not like there's no work out there. However, I'm very lucky in that I live in a convenient location in Tokyo and have qualifications and experience. If I wanted to live in a smaller city or in a rural area, it would definitely be a different story.

Point being---it simply isn't true that there is no work. Like anything, it depends.
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Solar Strength



Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 555
Location: Bangkok, Thailand

PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 5:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jmatt wrote:
Solar Strength wrote:
Yeah, once you leave your EFL job in Japan, many people are often screwed when they try to get back in. I've seen this happen to a lot of people, it's happened to me.


I've been in and out of Japan 3 times in the last 15 years and I've never had a difficult time finding work.

Solar Strength wrote:
Japan is the hardest country in the region in which to find a reasonable TEFL job these days. The market is super saturated with EFL teachers and those who are aspiring to go to Japan to teach English and who are all competing for very few EFL jobs.


I suppose reasonable is the key word here. If you mean full time, well-paid university work, then sure---very hard to find. I work company jobs and at universities and I have more work than I can handle at the moment, so it's not like there's no work out there. However, I'm very lucky in that I live in a convenient location in Tokyo and have qualifications and experience. If I wanted to live in a smaller city or in a rural area, it would definitely be a different story.

Point being---it simply isn't true that there is no work. Like anything, it depends.


Good for you. I'm not able to report similar success in getting back to Japan, either. Like those who have mentioned above, I have found it very hard. However, I'm looking for a full time teaching position, not trying to string together 7 or 8 part-time corporate and university classes.

Back to your situation, though, yeah, if you can work it so that you are able to put together a half dozen or so corporate and college classes, I'm sure you are doing quite well.

That tells me that you're either "self-sponsoring" your own work permit or on a spousal visa. This puts you in a unique category of teacher who is already established. Those of us coming from overseas need to find a company to sponsor our work permits before we could attempt to do what you're doing.

But then you said you've came back 3 different times over the past 15 years, so I guess at each of those times you were able to find a full time position in order to get a work permit. Or you already had a work permit and were returning to Japan before it had expired.

And finally, the last time you came back, maybe the market was still thriving. Was it within the last 2 or 3 years? Because I've known people during the last few years who have had a miserable time getting back into the country to work.
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