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Is ESL Japan really that bad? I hear lots of bad things
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Chopin16



Joined: 30 Nov 2016
Posts: 69

PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes that Takibansai geezer is right about one thing. Korea studios. Theyre crap. GThere is no proper heating for the winter. All it is, is a switch you turn and some heat comes up from the floor. I mean WTF? What you supposed to do when it's freezing cold in mid-winter with a warm floor? I am heading back to the ME I think where it's warm and you get paid decent wages
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kzjohn



Joined: 30 Apr 2014
Posts: 227

PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Besides other things that have been mentioned, one factor that some ESL people may want to consider is that Japan is family and child friendly. There are no international schools anywhere near here, and our kids and kids of many other people we know all went thru the local, public school system. And even younger, they also went to 保育園 (gov't subsidized, and we still go to the yearly bazaar every summer to reconnect). That education for your kids happens here, and it works. Ours went on to 国立大学, which is a real bargain--¥268,000/term for tuition--and one did applied chemistry, the other is finishing in molecular biology at 東大, for about $5000/yr. I don't want to think about what the equivalent would have cost overseas.

***

Oh, and tho I love japanese food, you know, 寿司 and 刺身 (the かに and 寒ブリ are great these days) and the other stuff, I still miss good korean food--all those different kinds of great kimchi, which I had not only for dinner, but for breakfast, too. The spicy radish stuff ( http://koreanfoodgallery.com/wp-content/files_mf/koreanmom_kkakdugi.jpg ) was a fav, and good versions of it are hard to find here.
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taikibansei



Joined: 14 Sep 2004
Posts: 726
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kzjohn wrote:
Besides other things that have been mentioned, one factor that some ESL people may want to consider is that Japan is family and child friendly. There are no international schools anywhere near here, and our kids and kids of many other people we know all went thru the local, public school system. And even younger, they also went to 保育園 (gov't subsidized, and we still go to the yearly bazaar every summer to reconnect). That education for your kids happens here, and it works. Ours went on to 国立大学, which is a real bargain--¥268,000/term for tuition--and one did applied chemistry, the other is finishing in molecular biology at 東大, for about $5000/yr. I don't want to think about what the equivalent would have cost overseas.


This is another really good point. While not perfect, the educational system here provides a relatively safe environment where students can learn--well, learn at least other subjects than English Very Happy --and yet still be very affordable. (Congrats to your kids, by the way!).

kzjohn wrote:

Oh, and tho I love japanese food, you know, 寿司 and 刺身 (the かに and 寒ブリ are great these days) and the other stuff, I still miss good korean food--all those different kinds of great kimchi, which I had not only for dinner, but for breakfast, too. The spicy radish stuff ( http://koreanfoodgallery.com/wp-content/files_mf/koreanmom_kkakdugi.jpg ) was a fav, and good versions of it are hard to find here.


Yeah, I'm not getting the dissing of Korean food on this thread either. For me, that would be one of the main (only?) reasons I'd want to work in Korea! Very Happy
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kzjohn



Joined: 30 Apr 2014
Posts: 227

PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quoted to provide emphasis on the very valid points made:

taikibansei wrote:
victory7 wrote:
I hope you're still with us and not put off by the arguments between a couple of posters on this thread.


At least two of the people "arguing" have never lived overseas, let alone in Japan (or Korea). One is yet another incarnation of the infamous Dave’s troll "mrpianoman," whose mission in life seems to be going to multiple boards (Japan, China, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Italy, etc.) claiming qualifications he does not own (the current version has now claimed a PGCE, QTS, MPhil in English Studies from Cambridge, etc., etc.), talking up an improbably vast experience (including teaching at international schools on three continents), bragging about his incredible income and lifestyle in Korea (China, Japan, Italy), all the while mocking the rest of us for struggling to make a living far inferior to his. Invariably, though, he will start talking about false degrees (as he doesn’t have a degree himself) and get kicked off yet again.

victory7 wrote:

I know other old hands like me seem to be disagreeing with that but the fact is those who have lived in Japan more or less continuously since the early to mid 2,000s or before have had it sweet compared to those after. Yes, the quality and number of English teaching jobs has dropped like a stone for around the last 7 yrs or so [...]. I have what is objectively a pretty good job but I don't put my blinkers on and say that these jobs are usual. They are not. Even the posters saying that if you have a Masters and higher, other qualifications etc etc, then you can earn real money per month fail to add the qualifying truth - competition for those jobs is far, far higher than it was even 5 years ago.


No, the number of tenured/tenured track university positions on offer has increased over the last seven years, while the number of applicants remained constant.

Seven years ago it was 5,763 such positions:
http://www.kantei.go.jp/jp/singi/jinzai/jitsumu/dai1/siryou2_2.pdf#

Last year it was 7,300 such positions:
http://www.mext.go.jp/b_menu/toukei/002/002b/1349641.htm

Foreign visa applicant numbers then and now:
http://www.e-stat.go.jp/SG1/estat/List.do?lid=000001111233

These numbers don't include those on contracts or part-timers--numbers in both these categories have increased as well.

More to the point, until the late 1990s/early 2000s, there were no tenured/tenure-track university positions for foreigners at most universities in Japan. None. Accordingly, I'm not sure what you're talking about when you refer to the "easier good ol' days," because those days sure didn't exist for many of us.

I'm guessing you're referring to backpackers and the days before the Nova implosion. Back in those days, entry-level positions (eikaiwa/dispatch ALT) in Japan for unqualified native speakers were both plentiful and lucrative. These positions are now far fewer and the conditions flat-out suck. We’re in agreement there. For these people, yes, China (and maybe Vietnam) would be by far the better choice over Japan.

victory7 wrote:

It aint just Tokyo - you'll find the same situation in other, relatively big Japanese cities. They are worse because of the smaller populations and hence less opportunities and more clubbiness.


Again, not true. Look, I run university searches. I also know people (Japanese and foreigners) who run them at other universities. If your university is outside of Tokyo (and Kyoto), you're often lucky to get 4-5 qualified applicants. (Yes, you might get 50 applicants total, but only 4-5 will meet the minimum requirements listed in the adverts, let alone satisfy the other requirements I have detailed in other posts.) This has been the reality for at least the last ten years.

Are things perfect in Japan? Of course not! And yes, I do agree that things will be getting worse from now on, for reasons I’ve discussed at some length. However, again, this is not just a "Japan" thing. Full-time jobs are getting more and more rare everywhere. And when you finally find one--assuming you ever do--the conditions are often a lot worse than they were in the past. It's a tough market everywhere, with the qualifications needed to get even entry-level positions increasing exponentially as well. It sucks, but these are the cards we've been dealt.
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victory7



Joined: 22 Mar 2016
Posts: 64

PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kzjohn wrote:
Quoted to provide emphasis on the very valid points made:

taikibansei wrote:
victory7 wrote:
I hope you're still with us and not put off by the arguments between a couple of posters on this thread.


At least two of the people "arguing" have never lived overseas, let alone in Japan (or Korea). One is yet another incarnation of the infamous Dave’s troll "mrpianoman," whose mission in life seems to be going to multiple boards (Japan, China, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Italy, etc.) claiming qualifications he does not own (the current version has now claimed a PGCE, QTS, MPhil in English Studies from Cambridge, etc., etc.), talking up an improbably vast experience (including teaching at international schools on three continents), bragging about his incredible income and lifestyle in Korea (China, Japan, Italy), all the while mocking the rest of us for struggling to make a living far inferior to his. Invariably, though, he will start talking about false degrees (as he doesn’t have a degree himself) and get kicked off yet again.

victory7 wrote:

I know other old hands like me seem to be disagreeing with that but the fact is those who have lived in Japan more or less continuously since the early to mid 2,000s or before have had it sweet compared to those after. Yes, the quality and number of English teaching jobs has dropped like a stone for around the last 7 yrs or so [...]. I have what is objectively a pretty good job but I don't put my blinkers on and say that these jobs are usual. They are not. Even the posters saying that if you have a Masters and higher, other qualifications etc etc, then you can earn real money per month fail to add the qualifying truth - competition for those jobs is far, far higher than it was even 5 years ago.


No, the number of tenured/tenured track university positions on offer has increased over the last seven years, while the number of applicants remained constant.

Seven years ago it was 5,763 such positions:
http://www.kantei.go.jp/jp/singi/jinzai/jitsumu/dai1/siryou2_2.pdf#

Last year it was 7,300 such positions:
http://www.mext.go.jp/b_menu/toukei/002/002b/1349641.htm

Foreign visa applicant numbers then and now:
http://www.e-stat.go.jp/SG1/estat/List.do?lid=000001111233

These numbers don't include those on contracts or part-timers--numbers in both these categories have increased as well.

More to the point, until the late 1990s/early 2000s, there were no tenured/tenure-track university positions for foreigners at most universities in Japan. None. Accordingly, I'm not sure what you're talking about when you refer to the "easier good ol' days," because those days sure didn't exist for many of us.

I'm guessing you're referring to backpackers and the days before the Nova implosion. Back in those days, entry-level positions (eikaiwa/dispatch ALT) in Japan for unqualified native speakers were both plentiful and lucrative. These positions are now far fewer and the conditions flat-out suck. We’re in agreement there. For these people, yes, China (and maybe Vietnam) would be by far the better choice over Japan.

victory7 wrote:

It aint just Tokyo - you'll find the same situation in other, relatively big Japanese cities. They are worse because of the smaller populations and hence less opportunities and more clubbiness.


Again, not true. Look, I run university searches. I also know people (Japanese and foreigners) who run them at other universities. If your university is outside of Tokyo (and Kyoto), you're often lucky to get 4-5 qualified applicants. (Yes, you might get 50 applicants total, but only 4-5 will meet the minimum requirements listed in the adverts, let alone satisfy the other requirements I have detailed in other posts.) This has been the reality for at least the last ten years.

Are things perfect in Japan? Of course not! And yes, I do agree that things will be getting worse from now on, for reasons I’ve discussed at some length. However, again, this is not just a "Japan" thing. Full-time jobs are getting more and more rare everywhere. And when you finally find one--assuming you ever do--the conditions are often a lot worse than they were in the past. It's a tough market everywhere, with the qualifications needed to get even entry-level positions increasing exponentially as well. It sucks, but these are the cards we've been dealt.


Congratulations. Just reproducing a long post by another poster. It's obvious that you both missed my key points and that is you're focusing on some things that aren't relevant to the points about usual work in Japan.

We aint discussing how Mr Abe has helped make a bunch of new tenured or semi-tenured university jobs. We're also not discussing how those jobs with the bar set high for university positions have increased over the past whatever years. The topic is about usual English teaching for usual applicants who want to live and work in Japan.

Usual applicants don't always mean and don't always have to mean fresh graduates with no or little experience with ESL/EFL. There are different kinds of people interested in coming to Japan directly from their own countries or wanting to escape Korea or China or wherever. The majority aim for an English teaching job in a standard English language institute.

Talking about tenured university jobs doesn't address the issue. Those jobs that want Phds/MAs/publications/maybe Japanese skills, maybe not are for a tiny minority. The discussions about finding work on the eslcafe and other sites are mostly directed towards different kinds of jobs, the usual ones.

And a few of you can deny how lucky the people were who came to Japan in the 80s or 90s or the beginning of the 21st century and who ended up working at universities/colleges. However, you don't know what you are denying, or you were beneficiaries of the better opportunities then minus qualifications. Many of those who have been working at universities/colleges for some time now got jobs with just the humble BA and then had the benefits that come from being inside the institutions.

They didn't have to be given tenure to be privileged - just getting in the door by hearing about often unadvertised jobs from their networks of friends and acquainances was privileged. It led to more opportunities and being staff fixtures at those institutions.

I've worked in a number of different cities in Japan for what is a long stretch now and I knew any no. of people who got university/college teaching jobs in the timeframe I mentioned because a position had to be filled and they were recommended by another foreigner already working there. The foreigner friend/acquaintance already there usually didn't have anything more than the BA or another basic degree.

There were very few demands for Phds and MAs, publications, whatever for teaching English conversation classes. Now it's become a joke to see any ol 'university' or any ol senmon gakko, no matter how low their standards, demand similar for teaching conversation.

In fact a couple of years ago I was on an interview panel to select a native English speaker to teach vocational English/conversational English, and had to deal with other foreigners behaving like douches and demanding over-qualifications.

None of them had got their original positions through having higher qualifications but they had known people who tipped them off about openings back then. They were trying to reject a candidate who had done teaching at college level, who had consistently worked at jobs that were not the usual Nova or Geos gig.

No Phd etc but this person could walk into a classroom with completely zero resources except a whiteboard and teach engaging English lessons complete with grammatical knowledge and do it with big classes. Luckily an influential Japanese colleague was with me on this one after I involved him. This is an example of why it's a thankless task now and has been for a while to try and get a good English teaching job at a higher level than an eikaiwa etc.

Contrary to the propaganda about useless gaijin who bring nothing to Japan, there are too many people with significant resumes who can't get a remotely good job that reflects their skills. This is the reality of teaching in Japan for most people with some skills now.

And as Black Beer Man has succinctly expressed, with all the expenses eating up incomes like the common 200,000 or if they're lucky 220,000 per month with no kokumin nenkin refund beyond 2 and some years' payments even if you pay it for 5, 10 whatever years, it's just not worth coming to Japan for most people out there now and it's proving harder and harder each year for many of those already in Japan.
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taikibansei



Joined: 14 Sep 2004
Posts: 726
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

victory7 wrote:

Congratulations. Just reproducing a long post by another poster. It's obvious that you both missed my key points and that is you're focusing on some things that aren't relevant to the points about usual work in Japan.


There is no "usual work" in Japan. This is not Thailand, foreigners can work in just about all fields, and do. Per that link I shared, people holding visas directly involved with education make up only about 12% of the total foreigner population in this country. (About 35,000 by my count.) Of these, over 33% (over 12,000) are either university faculty or JETs. Why can't people discuss the hiring situations of the latter here?!

And yes, those visa numbers by job don't include breakdowns for long-termers on spouse visas. The point TokyoLiz, timothypfox, Kzjohn, etc. keep making is that many (most?) of these long-termers are doing fine. Many (most?) are direct hire public school teachers, school owners, university professors, etc. They don't work entry-level positions. They own houses, raise families and have great careers/lives.

victory7 wrote:

We aint discussing how Mr Abe has helped make a bunch of new tenured or semi-tenured university jobs. We're also not discussing how those jobs with the bar set high for university positions have increased over the past whatever years.


You're not discussing it because you heard about it first from me. At least twice now, you've posted that the number of these positions has been decreasing, which is (as I have again demonstrated) false.

victory7 wrote:

The topic is about usual English teaching for usual applicants who want to live and work in Japan.


Again, there is no "usual" in this country. More to the point, on every other job board at Dave's, one focus of discussion is invariably on university employment. The Japan board is the only one where we have these surreal exchanges on how those people mentioning their experiences outside of entry-level work are "elitist" or "wrong." Nobody here is arguing that the situation is great for the unqualified. Nobody here is arguing that the qualified are somehow guaranteed jobs here (or anywhere). That said, and no offense, but people with the proper qualifications and language ability want to know about other, better options. Why is providing them with correct information wrong?

victory7 wrote:

The foreigner friend/acquaintance already there usually didn't have anything more than the BA or another basic degree.


Since at least 2007, the backgrounds of just about all full-time faculty in this country have been put up on their university websites. Please give me an example of a foreigner teaching full-time at a Japanese university with just a BA. Thanks in advance.

victory7 wrote:

And as Black Beer Man has succinctly expressed, with all the expenses eating up incomes like the common 200,000 or if they're lucky 220,000 per month with no kokumin nenkin refund beyond 2 and some years' payments even if you pay it for 5, 10 whatever years, it's just not worth coming to Japan for most people out there now and it's proving harder and harder each year for many of those already in Japan.


As RTM posted earlier in this same thread, the kokumin nenkin refund is three years, not two. As numerous other people have posted, many employers pay half the premium for health care. As numerous other posters have posted, living outside of places like Tokyo is actually very cheap. (I'm renting a 3-bedroom house for just 35,000 yen/month.) Finally, as many other posters have posted here over and over again, well-paying jobs do exist.

Would I advise somebody to come over here and work for 200-220,000 per month? Of course not--and I've been saying this from the beginning. There are other options, though, and I plan to keep discussing them. ご了承の程宜しくお願いします。
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1426
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 2:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A teacher at a university in west Tokyo I know just has a BA.

I pay 127,000 a month for a house the size of yours.

I am tired of the apologist argument.
Things were better before where contracts would get renewed every year instead of being limited.
A minority is doing OK, they say, which means that the majority which struggles is somehow making it up?

Half of teachers must be part-time working at 2-5 institutions. A third are probably on a limited contract and 15% could have tenure.

Universities are cutting back. My hours were cut for next year, so my pay goes down by a third.
I know a teacher who lost two days at a university in Tokyo.
He has two kids and has to make money. So now he is down to 11 koma for next year.
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taikibansei



Joined: 14 Sep 2004
Posts: 726
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mitsui wrote:
A teacher at a university in west Tokyo I know just has a BA.


What university? Name please--pm would be fine.

mitsui wrote:

I pay 127,000 a month for a house the size of yours.


Leave Tokyo then. Places outside of Tokyo are much cheaper. (Heck, if I remember correctly, Tokyoliz moved just outside of Tokyo and halved her rent.) Oh, wait, you "can't" do that.....

mitsui wrote:

I am tired of the apologist argument.


Nobody's making one.

mitsui wrote:

Things were better before where contracts would get renewed every year instead of being limited.


I agree with this. I think the new law sucks.

mitsui wrote:

A minority is doing OK, they say, which means that the majority which struggles is somehow making it up?


How many times do I have to write this? Tokyo is not all of Japan.

Tokyo is one of the most competitive places to find "good" jobs in the world. You have written before that you "have" to live in Tokyo. You have also written that you have never learned Japanese. Do you have any refereed publications? Any presentations? Any TESOL teaching certs? Any special skill areas of particular need?

I don't know what to say to you. I can say that I have spent time helping out at the job desk at the national JALT Conference--many people each year tell me how they have to live in Tokyo (or Kyoto or Osaka). They show me their CVs--half don't even have an MA. Many of those with an MA have no Japanese language ability, no publications, no presentations, no certs, etc.--and no interest in getting any. They then complain that they can't find jobs in these very competitive markets--heck, you might get 100 applications from very qualified people for a university position in Tokyo.

If it were me--and I have been in such a situation before--I would either get the necessary qualifications to qualify for the jobs in my desired location...or leave.

mitsui wrote:

Universities are cutting back. My hours were cut for next year, so my pay goes down by a third. I know a teacher who lost two days at a university in Tokyo. He has two kids and has to make money. So now he is down to 11 koma for next year.


It's going to get worse as MEXT wants universities to stop relying on part-timers so much. That's part of the reason why there have been so many full-time positions available in recent years. Part-timers (particularly in Tokyo) are to be squeezed out.

Hope you have better luck in the States (where I believe you've mentioned you are going).
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twowheel



Joined: 03 Jul 2015
Posts: 543
Location: Beijing

PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

victory7 wrote:
In fact a couple of years ago I was on an interview panel to select a native English speaker to teach vocational English/conversational English, and had to deal with other foreigners behaving like douches and demanding over-qualifications.


Ugh, the wanna-be, second-rate douches--JALT is full of those types. Completely nauseating. At least there are also a lot of great people in JALT to balance it all out. I appreciate that the heavy hitters at the top (i.e., Helgesen, Murphey, Benevides) generally are nice people who do great work that makes a solid contribution to our field.

victory7 wrote:
And a few of you can deny how lucky the people were who came to Japan in the 80s or 90s or the beginning of the 21st century and who ended up working at universities/colleges. However, you don't know what you are denying, or you were beneficiaries of the better opportunities then minus qualifications. Many of those who have been working at universities/colleges for some time now got jobs with just the humble BA and then had the benefits that come from being inside the institutions.

They didn't have to be given tenure to be privileged - just getting in the door by hearing about often unadvertised jobs from their networks of friends and acquainances was privileged. It led to more opportunities and being staff fixtures at those institutions.

I've worked in a number of different cities in Japan for what is a long stretch now and I knew any no. of people who got university/college teaching jobs in the timeframe I mentioned because a position had to be filled and they were recommended by another foreigner already working there. The foreigner friend/acquaintance already there usually didn't have anything more than the BA or another basic degree.


During my five years in Japan (2007~2012) and running around the JALT circles (attendance at five consecutive national conferences and holding two leadership positions), I got the sense of this as well.

victory7 wrote:
There were very few demands for Phds and MAs, publications, whatever for teaching English conversation classes. Now it's become a joke to see any ol 'university' or any ol senmon gakko, no matter how low their standards, demand similar for teaching conversation.


I thought this was a bad joke as well. "Wait, you're requiring that one has three publications for a non-renewable contract instructor position of teaching required Oral English classes to unmotivated freshmen?" I never understood the need of that and thought it was a bad p!ss take; I concluded that such institutions were unnecessarily full of themselves.

twowheel
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taikibansei



Joined: 14 Sep 2004
Posts: 726
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

twowheel wrote:
victory7 wrote:
In fact a couple of years ago I was on an interview panel to select a native English speaker to teach vocational English/conversational English, and had to deal with other foreigners behaving like douches and demanding over-qualifications.


Ugh, the wanna-be, second-rate douches--JALT is full of those types. Completely nauseating. At least there are also a lot of great people in JALT to balance it all out. I appreciate that the heavy hitters at the top (i.e., Helgesen, Murphey, Benevides) generally are nice people who do great work that makes a solid contribution to our field.

victory7 wrote:
And a few of you can deny how lucky the people were who came to Japan in the 80s or 90s or the beginning of the 21st century and who ended up working at universities/colleges. However, you don't know what you are denying, or you were beneficiaries of the better opportunities then minus qualifications. Many of those who have been working at universities/colleges for some time now got jobs with just the humble BA and then had the benefits that come from being inside the institutions.

They didn't have to be given tenure to be privileged - just getting in the door by hearing about often unadvertised jobs from their networks of friends and acquainances was privileged. It led to more opportunities and being staff fixtures at those institutions.

I've worked in a number of different cities in Japan for what is a long stretch now and I knew any no. of people who got university/college teaching jobs in the timeframe I mentioned because a position had to be filled and they were recommended by another foreigner already working there. The foreigner friend/acquaintance already there usually didn't have anything more than the BA or another basic degree.


During my five years in Japan (2007~2012) and running around the JALT circles (attendance at five consecutive national conferences and holding two leadership positions), I got the sense of this as well.

victory7 wrote:
There were very few demands for Phds and MAs, publications, whatever for teaching English conversation classes. Now it's become a joke to see any ol 'university' or any ol senmon gakko, no matter how low their standards, demand similar for teaching conversation.


I thought this was a bad joke as well. "Wait, you're requiring that one has three publications for a non-renewable contract instructor position of teaching required Oral English classes to unmotivated freshmen?" I never understood the need of that and thought it was a bad p!ss take; I concluded that such institutions were unnecessarily full of themselves.

twowheel


Well trolled there, twowheel. How's life teaching oral English in China (for far, far less money Wink )? Get a chance to brag much about the following?

twowheel wrote:

I was a JET ALT and PA (Prefectural Advisor) from 2007 to 2012 in Shizuoka prefecture. I was an unusual JET as I came in with an M.A. in TESOL and substantial teaching experience under my belt as well as a New York State teaching license for K-12 TESOL in hand.


Moving, that was. Good thing you're a humble bloke and not a wanna-be, second-rate douche! Laughing

Just so you know, I don't like much of JALT either. I do like to try to help people out when they are having labor issues and/or looking for better jobs. As an officer in a national union, I have been volunteering to help people here for about ten years. When I attend the JALT Conference--a rare event--I do the same, usually just sitting down and trying to help people. Do you have a problem with this?

P.S. I don't teach "Oral English"--never have, never will. Don't work on a contract either. See, shockingly enough, I've a pretty decent gig here, as do a lot of people.
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twowheel



Joined: 03 Jul 2015
Posts: 543
Location: Beijing

PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, why the overly unnecessary vitriol and the chip on the shoulder? I was just being honest and posting my two yen.

Troll? Nope. Check my posting history and you'll see that there's no history of trolling whatsoever.

Douche? Again...nope, just posting some background to my bio to make my situation more transparent as to help make it clearer why I wanted to jump from JET into something more substantial in Japan.

Teaching Oral English in China? I wrote a post on the "why did you leave Japan" thread in tandem with this one which I see you've found but you seemed to have missed the part where I indicated that I came to China on an English Language Fellowship with the U.S. Department of State...definitely a far cry from teaching Oral English for far less money.

Quote:
I do like to try to help people out when they are having labor issues and/or looking for better jobs. As an officer in a national union, I have been volunteering to help people here for about ten years. When I attend the JALT Conference--a rare event--I do the same, usually just sitting down and trying to help people. Do you have a problem with this?


Nope, no problem at all, glad to hear that you are being of service to folks.

Quote:
P.S. I don't teach "Oral English"--never have, never will. Don't work on a contract either. See, shockingly enough, I've a pretty decent gig here, as do a lot of people.


P.S. Great. Good for you.

twowheel


Last edited by twowheel on Thu Dec 08, 2016 8:10 am; edited 3 times in total
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TokyoLiz



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1490
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I heard my name...

For the record, I've never lived in Tokyo proper. I have always lived in the 'burbs, and I worked at schools in Tokyo until the disaster. My partner and I share a 4LDK with a big garden in Chiburbia. Rent and bills are ¥100,000/mo.

There is nothing usual about the teaching positions I've held. I started in TESOL in the mid 90s in my hometown. I have a TESOL diploma, post-grad work in TESOL, a slim list of conference papers, etc. I've always had stimulating (sometimes stressful) jobs on the merits of CV, teaching experience and Japanese language ability.

When I came over, in the first year, my salary was ¥270,000-¥330,000 (I left ALT taperecorder job for a HS writing and literature position). Can a rookie with ground level TESOL manage today what I did 15 years ago? I think it would be tough, as the salaries are much lower, and you'd need a wad of money to bootstrap yourself through Japanese language training and TESOL.

About BA holders working in unis. Are you sure the person isn't working dispatch, or rinji contract, or through the continuing ed section of the school? It seems risky for a school to bring in someone with no conventional postgrad work.
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1426
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know two people with a BA in such positions.
And know many who teach part-time, although at just one university.
One got the job over 40 years ago, and the other knew the right person.

I am rather offended by the smear campaign. Twowheel and I are not making up stuff up.
The insinuations are too much.
I did not ask for advice.
I learned Japanese, have publications and presentations.
The competition is fierce here. I know three people with doctorates who cannot get full-time work.
All are over 50.

If I had moved out of Kawasaki it would have helped me get better work, but it is not easy with two small dogs. Most places I cannot live in.
There was one in Yokohama I wanted to move to, but the rule is just one dog and it is UR.
My wife is sick of moving just for me to get a limited contract.


Last edited by mitsui on Sat Dec 10, 2016 9:06 am; edited 1 time in total
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TokyoLiz



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1490
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mitsui says

Quote:
I know two people with a BA in such positions.
And know many who teach part-time, although at just one university.
One got the job over 40 years ago, and the other knew the right person.


I wasn't having a go at you. Your colleagues are lucky.
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taikibansei



Joined: 14 Sep 2004
Posts: 726
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mitsui wrote:

I am rather offended by the smear campaign.


What smear campaign?

mitsui wrote:

Twowheel and are not making up stuff up.


Never said you were making stuff up. I asked you the name of the university. Regarding Twowheel, his comments regarding JALTers are certainly true for some JALTers I've met.

That said, what is the obsession--seen in post after post after post--with putting down people successfully making a living here? We are not all teaching "oral English" here. We are not all earning 200-220,000 yen per month here. We were not all hired through "friends of friends." We are not all "wanna-be douches" either. Again, a large number of us have good jobs doing the things we love for pretty decent money. Sure, some luck may be involved...as with everything everywhere. A lot of hard work went into getting these positions too. Why can't we post/discuss this? Why must this forum be filled only with negative comments--including link after link after link (by certain posters) about how awful this country is? Rolling Eyes

Finally, regarding your Japanese ability, I'd thought you'd mentioned in this post that you didn't speak Japanese fluently:

mitsui wrote:
You assume everyone should act like you. Not everyone is willing to move anywhere since they may have a place to live and the spouse already has a job. Not everyone can get to N1 even if they try. It does not make them dumb or lazy. Some teachers come to Japan in their 30s or later. Learning a foreign language as one gets older is not easy.
Not everyone wants a doctorate. Not everyone dreams of being a university teacher with tenure. They just want stability and a decent salary.


If I misunderstood you, I apologize. Sincerely.

Best of luck as you make your transition back to the States.
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