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ESL in Japan in 2017.
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weigookin74



Joined: 30 Mar 2010
Posts: 261

PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 2:07 am    Post subject: ESL in Japan in 2017. Reply with quote

How are things in Japan in 2017? I will assume you still don't make money there? High rent, taxes, ect and lower salary? IE Public school dispatches try to gyp you on things.

Just to be clear, I'd love to experience it again. But, my guess is 2017, go with a lot of money saved up and have more saved up to subsidize your lifestyle because the wages may barely be enough and you won't be able to save or pay off loans or anything like that?

One of these websites - interact? - says bring 5 grand as start up costs. Staying for a year or two with basic salary after deductions means not much of a life. They also gyp you with holidays. Do, they still try to scam you by not giving pension or medical insurance?

So, my thinking is have 10 grand saved. Use 5 for start up costs and the other 5 to dip into to subsidize your living there. I mean don't go to Japan to make money, but just to experience it. I have saved up a lot working in another Asian country (though that one might be slowly following in Japan's footsteps).
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kzjohn



Joined: 30 Apr 2014
Posts: 227

PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:40 am    Post subject: Re: ESL in Japan in 2017. Reply with quote

weigookin74 wrote:
How are things in Japan in 2017? I will assume you still don't make money there? High rent, taxes, ect and lower salary? IE Public school dispatches try to gyp you on things.

Just to be clear, I'd love to experience it again. But, my guess is 2017, go with a lot of money saved up and have more saved up to subsidize your lifestyle because the wages may barely be enough and you won't be able to save or pay off loans or anything like that?

One of these websites - interact? - says bring 5 grand as start up costs. Staying for a year or two with basic salary after deductions means not much of a life. They also gyp you with holidays. Do, they still try to scam you by not giving pension or medical insurance?

So, my thinking is have 10 grand saved. Use 5 for start up costs and the other 5 to dip into to subsidize your living there. I mean don't go to Japan to make money, but just to experience it. I have saved up a lot working in another Asian country (though that one might be slowly following in Japan's footsteps).


Pessimists! Calling all pessimists! Please pick up a white courtesy telephone...
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taikibansei



Joined: 14 Sep 2004
Posts: 720
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 4:25 am    Post subject: Re: ESL in Japan in 2017. Reply with quote

weigookin74 wrote:
How are things in Japan in 2017? I will assume you still don't make money there? High rent, taxes, ect and lower salary? IE Public school dispatches try to gyp you on things.

Just to be clear, I'd love to experience it again. But, my guess is 2017, go with a lot of money saved up and have more saved up to subsidize your lifestyle because the wages may barely be enough and you won't be able to save or pay off loans or anything like that?

One of these websites - interact? - says bring 5 grand as start up costs. Staying for a year or two with basic salary after deductions means not much of a life. They also gyp you with holidays. Do, they still try to scam you by not giving pension or medical insurance?

So, my thinking is have 10 grand saved. Use 5 for start up costs and the other 5 to dip into to subsidize your living there. I mean don't go to Japan to make money, but just to experience it. I have saved up a lot working in another Asian country (though that one might be slowly following in Japan's footsteps).


Rolling Eyes

Or, you know, you could just come through the JET Program (among other perks, they pay airfare to and from Japan, subsidize your insurance, and assist with housing):

https://jetprogramusa.org/
https://jetprogramusa.org/eligibility/

Or, you could, like, become qualified, avoid dispatch entirely, and instead get a great job that pays a very high salary. Many of us here have done just that.

I will say it again: Whatever you do, do NOT come to Japan if you are over 40 and minimally qualified (generic BA/BS and not much else) just to be an eikaiwa instructor or a "dispatch" ALT. Not only are the salaries and working conditions often horrible, these are almost invariably dead-end positions, particularly at that age (when age discrimination really begins to bite).

Anyway, good luck.
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taikibansei



Joined: 14 Sep 2004
Posts: 720
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 5:36 am    Post subject: Re: ESL in Japan in 2017. Reply with quote

kzjohn wrote:

Pessimists! Calling all pessimists! Please pick up a white courtesy telephone...


Laughing
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1423
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I make less than I used to.
I have to make my resume look better.
Get better at Japanese. N2 at least.
Have an exit plan.
I am certified in a couple states in the US so I can head back there if I need to.

It does not get easier the longer you are here.
You get older and younger teachers keep coming.

Taxes will go up since the debt the government has is too high.

I know a couple teachers. One is 59, and the other is 60 or 62. Guess what? Both are unemployed. One has a BA and the other a MA.
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The Transformer



Joined: 03 Mar 2017
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you just want to come over to Japan for a year or two for the experience, then probably any job is OK, as long as you've got enough money to cover whatever it is you plan to do while you're in Japan.

If you're in it for the longer haul, you can still make something more of it beyond the bog standard eikaiwa and ALT hellholes, if you stick at it and are in it for the long haul. I know a guy who came over in his early 40s, nearly 10 years ago, just as the global economy was tanking. He did 5 or 6 years in an eikaiwa instructor job, then landed a job a couple of years ago as an ALT through an agency that pays more (300k a month). He also started doing a distance MA. He's now married with a kid.

They may actually prefer older candidates in some ways, as you'll likely be more mature, on the straight and narrow and focused on your career, rather than just looking to paint the town red.

Money isn't the be all and end all. What's more important is working out what you want to do with your life and the kind of lifestyle you want, then earning enough to cover that from stable, steady employment (which has been getting harder to find). You don't necessarily need to be rich to do that.
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Jagariko



Joined: 14 Oct 2013
Posts: 40

PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2017 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
They may actually prefer older candidates in some ways, as you'll likely be more mature, on the straight and narrow and focused on your career...


Only for university teachers and, of course, you'll need to have a masters. Some uni jobs advertise with a cut-off age of 40! Eikaiwas like the young, fresh meat that are happy to go to school events and not get bored with the "do you like Japanese food" questions the obachans will want to ask. Would a reputable school hire an older person that isn't qualified for anything else - ie not career-focused - or obviously intends to quit for a much better job as soon as one comes along?

A 300k a month job in a city wouldn't go far for a family with a child unless the wife was also working - not always the aim of Japanese wives!

Weeigokin - Yes, salaries in Japan have decreased across the board. Some uni jobs that used to ask for a master's degree and two or three publications are now asking for a PhD - of course with the same salary. And the uni jobs that don't ask for a PhD now pay only 350,000-520,000 on average rather than the 500,000-650,000 that they paid 10-15 years ago.

At the other end of the scale, I've seen full-time eikawai type jobs advertised for as low as 180, 000. A youngster that just wanted to get by and experience Japan for a year or so and was living in a studio or small 1K apartment would be OK if s/he lived in the suburbs, cooked most evenings and took left-overs for lunch and only had a big night out once or twice a month or so.

I can't see that you would need 5,000 dollars if you had a job already lined up and only had to wait one month for your first pay check. Most jobs that provide apartments jack up the rent and don't charge the key money.

How about a rural location if you previously lived in a city. Salaries would be lower and jobs fewer but living costs - including rent - would be low.

Besides you don't state your qualifications or experience. If you have experience teaching TOEFL or are a qualified IELTS instructor, you can pick up part-time work paying 4,000-5,000 per hour in a juku-type place. Private students will pay 5,000 per hour if you can offer something other than conversation practice: most teachers can't! The British Council pays 5,000 per hour for DELTA-holding teachers and has advertised a six-hour Sunday job in Osaka and Tokyo recently: 120,000 for working Sundays wouldn't be bad for a start!
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1423
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 1:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes but iof you aren't British good luck getting a job at the BC.
Even a MA and experience isn't enough.
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The Transformer



Joined: 03 Mar 2017
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The British Council require a CELTA/Cert TESOL, or better still, a Delta/TESOL Diploma. If there are a lot of kids classes (in places like Hong Kong for instance), they like people with a PGCE/BEd.

An MA is more for people who want to work in uni. In the UK, I'm told that unis prefer people with TESOL Diplomas rather than MAs.
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1423
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a MA in TESOL, but not good enough for the BC.
I think only if they have TOEFL classes.
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The Transformer



Joined: 03 Mar 2017
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mitsui wrote:
I have a MA in TESOL, but not good enough for the BC.
I think only if they have TOEFL classes.


They occasionally look for uni teachers with experience to specifically teach uni classes. They have contracts with unis. I would have thought the experience would be more important than the qualification, though they may prefer people with Diplomas over MAs.
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Jagariko



Joined: 14 Oct 2013
Posts: 40

PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Yes but if you aren't British good luck getting a job at the BC.


If you don't have a DELTA, good luck getting a job at the British Council more like it!

Outside of Japan, and, well, most of Asia, teaching ESP/EAP to foreign student job adverts usually state "Must have a DELTA, should/may also hold a masters in a teaching-related field." Practical versus theoretical.

I loved my applied linguistics masters course but it was in no way related to teaching English (probably why I enjoyed it so much). However, that seems to suffice for Japanese universities!
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1423
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well my MA was quite practical with an internship in Africa where I taught for a few months.
Whatever. I am just looking for part-time work.
No way the Delta is superior to my degree, considering I had 37 credits.
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Jagariko



Joined: 14 Oct 2013
Posts: 40

PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Well my MA was quite practical with an internship in Africa where I taught for a few months.
That sounds very interesting and rewarding.

Quote:
No way the Delta is superior to my degree, considering I had 37 credits.
But it is all about the general perception not the subjective perception. I'd probably agree with you - although credit information in isolation doesn't really reveal much - but the UK government's Qualification and Credit Framework has ranked DELTA at grade 7 - the same as a master's degree - since 2011.

I'd imagine there was some political whispering that helped the decision, but the fact is, Europe and the Middle East regard them as as equal and the DELTA as superior for teaching academic English.

If you were in possession of both, then I guess you could say which you felt was "superior" but the fact remains that a DELTA is always required to teacher EAP/ESP at decent UK university. Most - but not all - require a master's degree in addition.

A few year's ago, Scott Thornbury was smiling and nodding along in agreement to a conference participant who, after saying how she had studied his Dogme methods during her DELTA, added: "By the way, if you are considering whether to go for a DELTA or a master's, go for the DELTA!" Thornbury, of course, is one of the coordinators of the New School's TESOL MA!
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1423
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is the Japan board. Work outside Japan is not relevant here.
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