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to anyone teaching in japan

 
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peter andre



Joined: 21 Feb 2003
Posts: 5
Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2003 9:14 pm    Post subject: to anyone teaching in japan Reply with quote

Hey there all,

Just a note from someone presently on an MA English course in Ireland. I have a BA in english and a year TEFL experience in England (with C.E.L.T.A. cert).

I'm thinking about going to Japan after the course. I'm aware of the advantages of going via Nova/ Aeon or GEOS while I orient myself and then moving on afterwards with my visa... (Having read all the ups and downs I think I'll go NOVA). (anyone strongly disagree??)

But I was just wondering what kind of job I can expect to get with the above qualifications? Would a university job be out of the question? (I'm 24, male, blond, smart appearance...) I'd prefer rural Japan and not a business orientated school.

I am not a keen 'party person' (night clubs etc), more a curious, knowledge seeker, looking for experiences rather than entertainment (hence rural rather than city)

Can anyone direct me to a website or personal journal on the internet that might illuminate these issues...? (I've digested all the JI journal stuff) Or has anyone experienced japan with similar intentions and might impart any bon mots/ advice/ share some experiences...?

Thanks to y'all,
'spect
Peter
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Glenski



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

PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2003 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Peter,
Universities require a minimum of a master's degree plus publications for their full-time teachers, and at least a master's degree for most of the part-timers.

You are qualified for teaching at anywhere except universities, in my experience.
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PAULH



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

PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2003 10:45 pm    Post subject: Qualified to teach at a uni if you have a Masters Reply with quote

Glenski,

If he has a Masters degree he WILL be qualified for part-time positions, but as you rightly state he will need publications (at least 3) for full-time positions, as well as teaching experience.

For more info on getting teaching jobs at universities go to this link:

http://www.eltnews.com/guides/universities/index.shtml
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Glenski



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

PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2003 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul,

Thanks for the supporting information, as always. The only reason I wrote that "most" part-timers may need a master's is that I know a couple of people who have bachelor's degrees but teach PT at universities. I will qualify that, however, by saying that I believe they got their jobs several years ago, when universities may not have been as stringent about qualifications.

Thanks again.
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peter andre



Joined: 21 Feb 2003
Posts: 5
Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2003 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks a lot guys, that's really appreciated.
Publications being the order of the day. As a follow up question.... would a publication such as a creative work count? Being a writer I have these in a few magazines and broadsheets....?

But anyway, thanks for the info listed above, the time taken to reply is gracious,
With respect,
Peter...
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Celeste



Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Posts: 814
Location: Fukuoka City, Japan

PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2003 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is something that I am also interested in. When a job listing says that it requires "publications" what exactly does this mean?

I am looking into doing an MA, in the hopes that some years down the road I might be able to teach at a college either here in Japan, or back in Canada. I understand that my chances of getting hired for a University position here are slim, but I still think that an MA will be worthwhile for my own personal development as a teacher. In my current job, I am doing a lot of course design work, and I find I am fascinated by all I read on the subject.

If I were to attempt to have an EFL textbook or activities book published(and assuming I was successful in this task), would that count as a "publication" to a Japanese university hiring board? Or would they be looking for something more along the lines of a reseach publication? Hope to hear from someone on this topic.

Celeste
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PAULH



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

PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2003 4:33 am    Post subject: Writing articles Reply with quote

Celeste et al

When universities refer to a publication they are referring mainly to a refereed article based on research or a study you have done e.g. one that involves you observing your students analysing data and apublishing results. A good article will also include a literature review which is a summary or synthesis of reading (the more the better) you have done, previous research etc related to the topic you are writing about.

A well as seeing what your writing is like, an article will show that you have read up on a particular topic, you know what you are talkin about and that you can back up your argument with references and citations. The references will include articles you have referred to in your text, while a bibliography will list books you have read.

Universities usually prefer to see refereed academic articles, which means when you submit it to a particular journal they will have up to 3-4 experienced people "blind-read" i.e. they dont know the identity of the author and will give you suggestions for improving your writing or let you know whether it is suitable or aceptable for publication. Depending on your experience or the topic you may be asked to re-write it several times before they will accept it for publication. If you have a look at the Language teacher and the JALT Journal publcications on http://www.jalt.org you will get an idea of what is expected. Both are refereed publications.

There are many refereed and un-refereed journals you can submit articles to- I will post a link to some next week. E-TESL Journal and TESOL journal are also good places to submit articles. The EFL Journal in the UK also accepts articles from novices.


Most universities also have an in-house journal where full-time teachers and if there is space in the journal, from part timers as well. University journals (called "kiyo" in Japanese) are usually unrefereed and you have a good chance of beeing accepted if you submit an article.

Universities will look at the article and where it was published, what journal etc and assign 'weight' to each article depending on the journal whether it is refereed or not. Generally speaking articles in an international refereed journal are most sought after, then refereed journals in japan, unreferreed journals come next, then university journals. Text books and course materials generally dont have much weight.

You may also consider giving a presentation at an academic conference- again being accepted to present at an international conference carries a lot of weight, as does giving poster sessions (these are where you present your program on a large billboard with dozen of other teachers, usually held in a big conference room). Yo can also present at JALT chapter meetings, or at the national JALT conference held in November in Shizuoka every year.

Some universities will not really care what or where you publish, but also in my experience, after one year of your contract is up and you want to renew a full-time contract the school will also ask you where you have published articles or presented, or otherwise beefed up your resume, what work you have been doing etc. Depending on the school you may be expected to complete from 1-3 articles per year depending on the size of the article, while I know teachers who have done up to 10-12 over 2 years for instance. When renewing contracts and seeking other jobs, they look at presentation and articles as well as qualifications etc.
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PAULH



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

PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2003 4:51 am    Post subject: Teaching Philosophy also required at many schools Reply with quote

I just checked several notices listed in English on JRECIN and most asked for 3 publications (no mention of needing to be refereed but they are preferred). Looks like things are finally going the way of foreign universities, where foreign teaching staff have to be as qualified if not more, than they have been up until now. Any teacher thinking they can 'slip under the wire' or get by with doing the absolute minimum, or not have the qualification the school is seeking, will be sorely disappointed. When you have a dozen candidates going after the same positions it pays to have what they want IMO for if you dont, the next 5 guys waiting in line will.


(E.g. a university in Himeji).

a. The successful candidate must understand and be committed to the basic mission, aims, and philosophy of the university.
b. The successful candidate must have a true zeal for and demonstrated skills in teaching.
c. A Ph.D. or equivalent is preferred, ideally with some education at a foreign university.
d. Teaching experience and researching achievement, including publications, are required.
e. The successful candidate will have the ability to investigate, research, and develop educational systems and curricula.
f. Position (1): 45 and / or less than 45 years old at the time employment commences
Position (2): 60 and / or less than 60 years old at the time employment commences.
 
募集期間 2003年02月03日 - 2003年02月28日 
着任時期 2003年10月01日 
応募書類 1. Employment will commence 2003/10/1 (October 1, 2003)
2. Application materials:
a. Completed application form
b. Resume/c.v., including list of teaching positions previously held
c. Publications ...3 samples from the last five years
d. A personal statement of about 1000 characters in Japanese or 300 words in English about the candidateユs teaching philosophy, experience, and aspirations.
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Celeste



Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Posts: 814
Location: Fukuoka City, Japan

PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2003 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul-
Thank you for all of this information. I am currently on my first year of the JET programme, but as someone who has taught ESL/EFL for 6 years already, I am looking for a direction in which to point my career. I cannot imagine being an ALT or conversation school instructor forever, but I do see myself continuing on in ESL/EFL instruction. As I may stay in Japan, I am proceeding with Japanese language lessons, and expect to take the level 3 proficiency exam this December. I am still shopping around for a distance MA right now. Perhaps you would be able to give me your opinion on that. I am wondering whether it is better to have a master's of education or a master's in TEFL? Or is there another route that I haven't thought of? My bachelor's degree is in fine arts theatre, so I can't really see continuing in that area of study helping my career path at all. Once again, I really appreciate all of the information you have posted on this topic.
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Sunpower



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 256
Location: Taipei, TAIWAN

PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2003 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Celeste:

I was told to be careful about investing a lot of time and money in a distance M.A. program.

Taiwan, for example, doesn't recognize distance M.A.s as fullfilling the requirements for university positions.

I am not sure about Japan.

I've run into several people here in Taipei that have cautioned me against it, saying that if it's a distance M.A., I probably won't be hired.

Does anyone know how universities view the distance M.A. in Linguistics or TEFOL/TESOL?
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Sherri



Joined: 23 Jan 2003
Posts: 748
Location: The Big Island, Hawaii

PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2003 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am currently taking an MA from Birmingham University long distance. There is no difference in the programme I am doing and the programme done by people resident in Birmingham. When the degree certificate is issued, no mention is made of the degree being done by long distance, it the exact same one that is issued to home students. I think quite a few of the quality programmes are run this way.
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PAULH



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

PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2003 6:04 am    Post subject: Distance degrees Reply with quote

Sherri

FYI

I completed my Masters degree at the Osaka campus of Temple University. The main campus is in Philadephia. I am now struggling through the PhD of your university (uni of Birmingham) majoring in Applied Linguistics. The Masters and phD ARE recognised in japan- I work at a national university run by the Min of Ed and they recognise my qualifications.

M.Ed or MA? Not much difference IMO Columbia in Tokyo offers an MA in TESOL while Temple has an M.Ed. As long as it is accreditted and you have transcripts, you can transfer credits I see no problems. The govt actually sees Temple et al asa threat to their own programs and many Japanese teachers I met hid their Temple course from their colleagues, as it si a foreign university and not a japanese one. Its OK for our purposes though.

I couldnt tell you about which degree to take as it depends on what you want to staudy, your budget etc. Different universities have different specialities but I know USQ and Macquarie and Uni of tasmania are good in Oz and several in the UK.

Go to the following page and scroll to the bottom for links to distance programs (written by yours truly about the Temple program in Osaka)

http://www.teachinginjapan.com/continuinged.html


Hope this helps

PS Accreditted distance degrees are recognised in japan, diploma mill degrees are not. My degree from Temple Japan is the same as the one issued in Phillie. There is no mention of a branch campus or that it is done by distance (as in Birmingham)
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PAULH



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

PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2003 6:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Celeste

I hope I answered all your questions

re getting published I would seek out all possible avenues that I could for gettiing something in print. My job came up for renewal this year and I had to seriously get my resume into shape- in the last six months I put out 2-3 publications as well as a couple of presentations.

I dont know if you are a member of JALT but here is a good tip for you- rather than attempt to get accepted as a presenter at the conference (a bout 1 in 10 get to present in November) the JALT org has now said to poster session presenters that after the conference they can write up their presentation and it goes onto the conference proceedings i.e. a CD of all the presentations. You dont have to stand up in front of a crowd but you have to be able to condense a visual dispaly into a written report of about 1500-2000 words.

Last January I took the family to Hawaii for an education conference did one poster session and got published in the proceedings. Both the presentation and the article count on your resume

You can submit short articles such as a book review, lesson plan, teaching idea, conference report to TLT. It doesnt have to be a fullfledged article but even a few paragraphs in TLT or ELT journal are what they look for.

I have written several online articles for e-journals and many of them are refereed as well. Dont discount submitting online.

Get on a book committee and help out with proofreading and editing of articles. many seek people to read articles to check for coherence, grammatical ans spelling errors and style. After reading about 20 or so you get an idea of how to write articles and what not to do e.g is this persons idea or theme clear? Do their statistics and numbers add up? Is it logical and clear? etc.

Last year I was on the editing committee for the conference proceedings of a conference on IT. I know nothing about IT but I was reading and editing articles that experts and teachers using computers in the classroom etc wrote and making it understandable for lay people.
The best thing to do is ask around, volunteer your services, find places to submit articles (many have certain areas of interest so it pays to find out what they are seeking in terms of topic etc)

Hope this helps
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PAULH



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

PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2003 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Celeste

one last thing:

I tend to toot my own horn a a bit on herebut if you have any questions about career development, uni teaching and MAs and the like- you can email me here or later- I am in New Zealand right now and head back to japan on Sunday. i arrive back in Kansai late Sunday night. Once I clear my backlog of mail (3 weeks worth) I will be happy to throw some free advice your way.

hackshaw@hiei.kit.ac.jp

PS You are probably where I was 10 years ago- mid MA, single? and thinking about long term in japan- even permanent resident and needing a higher income and more fulfilling job. In my job I have come into a few major roadblocks career wise but nothing I cant manage or handle though I have chosen to make a life here, for better or for worse.


I have a few pointers on that area coming from a lifer with wife and kids here as well.
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Sherri



Joined: 23 Jan 2003
Posts: 748
Location: The Big Island, Hawaii

PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2003 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Paul. I should be working on my assignment right now--but wanted to procrastinate a bit! I chose Birmingham mainly because it got high recommendations from friends who had done the course. I also considered Temple and Columbia as I am based in Tokyo. The people running the Columbia program are friends of mine since I worked with them when they were based in Shinjuku with my old school (Simul). Their program is great and I have a lot of respect for Dr Fanselow but I couldn't face the idea of attending classes on the weekends and national holidays--as I have a small child. Anyway the long distance option works well for me as I can work while my daughter naps. I like the flexibility. Still there is a lot of support too through Birmingham and my Japan-based tutor. How's the PHD going?
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