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Applying to Interac and Altia Central with No Japanese?
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Blanca



Joined: 04 Jul 2011
Posts: 4
Location: East Midlands, UK

PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:59 pm    Post subject: Applying to Interac and Altia Central with No Japanese? Reply with quote

I notice, upon reading the websites for Interac and Altia (who I'd prefer to go with), it seems that being able to speak basic Japanese is "preferred" and "required", respectively. The missus and I don't speak a word. Are we likely to run into problems here? Altia, in particular, mention assessment of your Japanese speaking abilities in the interview. Hmm...
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Pitarou



Joined: 16 Nov 2009
Posts: 1041
Location: Narita, Japan

PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Take it for what it says.

If you say, "I speak fluent Japanese." they'll check.

If you say, "I don't speak a word." I reckon they'll believe you.
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rxk22



Joined: 19 May 2010
Posts: 1181

PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pitarou wrote:
Take it for what it says.

If you say, "I speak fluent Japanese." they'll check.

If you say, "I don't speak a word." I reckon they'll believe you.


When i have interviewed, they usually had me speak to someone in Japanese. Who knows, maybe it is random? Then again, I did claim some Japanese ability.

I would say go ahead. Maybe Japanese gets you a gold star on your resume? Who knows with ALT dispatchers, they may dislike it.
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RM1983



Joined: 03 Jan 2007
Posts: 155

PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not something youre gonna be able to blag your way out of so be honest!
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PO1



Joined: 24 May 2010
Posts: 134

PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From experience I interviewed with Altia Central and the interviewer asked me stuff in Japanese. I'd only been in Japan one year and didn't speak that much, so yeah, I didn't get hired. He noted that it was one of the reasons as well because they need people with at least conversational level I believe.
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steki47



Joined: 20 Apr 2008
Posts: 685
Location: BFE Inaka

PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My interview with Altia included a 10-minute segment in Japanese. But a friend just showed up in Japan and got the same job as me with zero ability. Our training included some basic office Japanese.

My interview with Interac never even mentioned Japanese ability.

Just apply and find out.
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kah5217



Joined: 29 Sep 2012
Posts: 268
Location: Ibaraki

PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interac doesn't care one way or the other, but I highly recommend against it if you don't know any Japanese. There are a lot of things Interac won't help you with that require Japanese skill, especially if they place you in an area without a significant foreign population.
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rxk22



Joined: 19 May 2010
Posts: 1181

PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kah5217 wrote:
Interac doesn't care one way or the other, but I highly recommend against it if you don't know any Japanese. There are a lot of things Interac won't help you with that require Japanese skill, especially if they place you in an area without a significant foreign population.


It depends on who they sendwith you to set up your life. My guy was a weirdo older guy, so I had to get my Gaijin card, set up my bank, and get internet on my own. Others had it all done, and then some. It really depends.
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nightsintodreams



Joined: 18 May 2010
Posts: 402

PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Interac doesn't care one way or the other, but I highly recommend against it if you don't know any Japanese. There are a lot of things Interac won't help you with that require Japanese skill, especially if they place you in an area without a significant foreign population.


I'm not saying that kah5217 is making this up, but my experience was completely different to the above.

I and many people I know came to Japan with zero Japanese and worked for interac with few problems. They hire a Japanese helper who can speak English to help get you settled in. This person will take you to open a bank account, get a mobile phone, show you how to pay bills and will give you their phone number so you can call them at any time if you're having problems with something.
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rxk22



Joined: 19 May 2010
Posts: 1181

PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nightsintodreams wrote:
Quote:
Interac doesn't care one way or the other, but I highly recommend against it if you don't know any Japanese. There are a lot of things Interac won't help you with that require Japanese skill, especially if they place you in an area without a significant foreign population.


I'm not saying that kah5217 is making this up, but my experience was completely different to the above.

I and many people I know came to Japan with zero Japanese and worked for interac with few problems. They hire a Japanese helper who can speak English to help get you settled in. This person will take you to open a bank account, get a mobile phone, show you how to pay bills and will give you their phone number so you can call them at any time if you're having problems with something.
that they do, but read my previous post.
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RM1983



Joined: 03 Jan 2007
Posts: 155

PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had an interview with an ALT dispatch company who said they might prefer someone who spoke Japanese to help with the smooth running of things. This was for schools in Tokyo though so I assume it is quite competitive around here for these jobs.

I'm writing here because they actually asked me 'What would you do if a kid came and asked you something in Japanese in the corridor?' which totally threw me as I hadnt thought about it. Think I said I'd try and have a mimed conversation, which didn't even sound good in my head at the time. Perhaps prepare an answer for this should it come up
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nightsintodreams



Joined: 18 May 2010
Posts: 402

PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
nightsintodreams wrote:
Quote:
Interac doesn't care one way or the other, but I highly recommend against it if you don't know any Japanese. There are a lot of things Interac won't help you with that require Japanese skill, especially if they place you in an area without a significant foreign population.


I'm not saying that kah5217 is making this up, but my experience was completely different to the above.

I and many people I know came to Japan with zero Japanese and worked for interac with few problems. They hire a Japanese helper who can speak English to help get you settled in. This person will take you to open a bank account, get a mobile phone, show you how to pay bills and will give you their phone number so you can call them at any time if you're having problems with something.
that they do, but read my previous post.


I did. I'm sure what you say really happened. I just shared my experience.

How did you do all of the above with no Japanese ability btw?
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HLJHLJ



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 904

PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you don't arrive with a school that recruits overseas you won't usually have anyone to babysit you while you do these things, the same as when you arrive in most countries. Speaking the language makes it easier of course, but it's perfectly manageable without it.

Banks, phones, bills, gaijin card are all easy enough to arrange without Japanese. The only admin things I really struggled with were when I had to change health insurance plans, and when there was a problem with my tax return. I got them sorted out in the end, it just took a little longer.
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kah5217



Joined: 29 Sep 2012
Posts: 268
Location: Ibaraki

PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nightsintodreams wrote:
I'm not saying that kah5217 is making this up, but my experience was completely different to the above.


A lot of the time, they prefer playing the phone game than having someone go with you once you reach a certain point in your contract, because they have to pay the person who goes with you.
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TokyoLiz



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1104
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I surveyed ALTs last year about working conditions. Out of the 40 or so who corresponded, most told me that Japanese ability was important for their quality of life and ease of work.

There are many studies about ALT and Japanese teacher interaction that show failure in communication in the classroom. You can see this information on the JALT website, in their publications.

You don't have to fail, though.

Even the most basic course in Japanese before you start as an ALT is going to help you have an easier life. Once you start, take Japanese language courses. Many city offices offer these for free to foreign residents.

The Interac minders don't necessarily have good English fluency. Don't count on things getting done quickly, and expect bumps due to language barrier.

Good luck!
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