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Out of curiousity...
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cwidstrom



Joined: 11 Dec 2012
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:28 pm    Post subject: Out of curiousity... Reply with quote

Hello Everyone,

I recently graduated with a B.A. in Cognitive Science and found myself a bit lost in what I wanted to do for a career that would make me truly happy. It happens. Anyway, i've always had a passion for Japan for many reasons and now I am a few months away from going there through Interac to be an ALT. Yay! So, i'm just curious to know about what the former/current ALT's out there have/plan to do career-wise? For those who are no longer ALT's, have you found that your experience benefited you in getting your job? I see the value in what being an ALT says about a person's character and therefore I figure I may very well find my calling while i'm there, be it teaching or something else. I'm just interested in hearing about other people, let me know! Thank you Smile
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 2557
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, and welcome to the forums! Smile Wink

I was an AET on JET for 3 years, and then (a year or two later, after spending some time back in the UK) did about 5 more years mainly as a dispatch AET with various companies in the Kanto region (including Interac by the way, who were the best of that bunch IMHO). I'm hoping that the experience will be relevant and count for something if~when I apply to do further education-related qualifications (an MA? A PGCE? A degree in Chinese?), but I don't see it as being that marketable in and of itself. My advice would be to use your time in Japan to at least study for formal qualifications in Japanese (i.e. the JLPT), if not further degrees, somewhat distracting though all that may be from researching ELT-related issues and grammar (I used a lot of my free time on JET especially to read around in TEFL, Applied Linguistics, Lexicology, etc. Not that one really needs to be particularly well-read or knowledgeable to be an AET in the average school LOL).
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kathrynoh



Joined: 16 Jul 2009
Posts: 63

PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I never worked as an ALT myself but, when I returned from Japan and was doing the round of recruitment agencies and interviews, I found so many people working in recruitment or HR who said they'd worked teaching in Japan.

Not sure if they made that step in Japan - one of them said she'd worked in HR for Nova but the others didn't say, or if the teaching work shows tranferrable skills that help in that area.
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move



Joined: 30 May 2009
Posts: 101

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's my path (hopefully)

ALT > direct hire ALT > private school (current) > university

As fluffyhamster pointed out, you will probably have a lot of free time as an ALT. Use that time for all it's worth. Look up lesson ideas, research current teaching methodology or study Japanese (if your school doesn't mind).

Being an ALT gave me much more of an insight into Japanese culture than being an eikaiwa teacher. I could see both the good and bad of schools, see coworkers and students on good and bad days, eat delicious school lunches and awful ones. You get the idea.

It was also a good chance for me to try out lots of lesson ideas. I feel particularly sorry for the teachers who I taught with in my first 6 months as an ALT, who had to experience some of my lesson ideas that just didn't work at all. But I got the hang of it and the lessons started to get better.

As far as other positions you could go into in the future. If you become fluent in Japanese you can do so many jobs. I wouldn't want to stay an ALT for a long time though.
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Solar Strength



Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 552
Location: Bangkok, Thailand

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

move wrote:
Here's my path (hopefully)

ALT > direct hire ALT > private school (current) > university

...you will probably have a lot of free time as an ALT. Use that time for all it's worth. Look up lesson ideas, research current teaching methodology or study Japanese (if your school doesn't mind).

...If you become fluent in Japanese you can do so many jobs.


How important do you feel your Japanese ability was in helping you get a university teaching job?
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teacheratlarge



Joined: 17 Nov 2011
Posts: 155
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Solar Strength wrote:
move wrote:
Here's my path (hopefully)

ALT > direct hire ALT > private school (current) > university

...you will probably have a lot of free time as an ALT. Use that time for all it's worth. Look up lesson ideas, research current teaching methodology or study Japanese (if your school doesn't mind).

...If you become fluent in Japanese you can do so many jobs.


How important do you feel your Japanese ability was in helping you get a university teaching job?


I think you want to ask "How important do you feel your Japanese ability will be in helping you get a university teaching job?"

It can be important, though it depends;

-On where you work
-Which department you're in
-What type of position you hold
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Solar Strength



Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 552
Location: Bangkok, Thailand

PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

teacheratlarge wrote:
Solar Strength wrote:
move wrote:
Here's my path (hopefully)

ALT > direct hire ALT > private school (current) > university

...you will probably have a lot of free time as an ALT. Use that time for all it's worth. Look up lesson ideas, research current teaching methodology or study Japanese (if your school doesn't mind).

...If you become fluent in Japanese you can do so many jobs.


How important do you feel your Japanese ability was in helping you get a university teaching job?


I think you want to ask "How important do you feel your Japanese ability will be in helping you get a university teaching job?"

It can be important, though it depends;

-On where you work
-Which department you're in
-What type of position you hold


THanks. I read that a little too quickly!

So you feel that it also depends on the dept. one teaches for?

What do you meanby "What type of position you hold"?
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Mr_Monkey



Joined: 11 Mar 2009
Posts: 661
Location: Kyuuuuuushuuuuuuu

PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Solar Strength wrote:
What do you mean by "What type of position you hold"?
Tenured "professor", non-tenured department bitch, term-limited chump, part-time monkey.
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Solar Strength



Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 552
Location: Bangkok, Thailand

PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr_Monkey wrote:
Solar Strength wrote:
What do you mean by "What type of position you hold"?
Tenured "professor", non-tenured department bitch, term-limited chump, part-time monkey.


Okay, I see. Yeah, then there's going to be huge disparity in salary and benefits based on whether the position is contract full-time, part-time, term-limited contract, or tenured / permanent teacher.
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Glenski



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

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 1:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

teacheratlarge wrote:
I think you want to ask "How important do you feel your Japanese ability will be in helping you get a university teaching job?"

It can be important, though it depends;

-On where you work
-Which department you're in
-What type of position you hold
Equally important to language skills, if not more so, is the number and type of publications you have published. Networking helps enormously, too, since there are 20-100 candidates for each position, usually. If they don't know you, your resume is likely not going directly into the A pile right away.
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kah5217



Joined: 29 Sep 2012
Posts: 255
Location: Ibaraki

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 2:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So if you need publications to get a university job, does that mean it's relatively easy to get published in Japan? Here it's usually only the ones with uni jobs that get published.
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Glenski



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

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kah5217 wrote:
So if you need publications to get a university job, does that mean it's relatively easy to get published in Japan?
I fail to see the connection.

Many/Most publications (certainly the peer-reviewed ones) take a year to be issued. Lots of authors don't like waiting that long. Many don't think they should rewrite anything (but need to).

It's not just publications, but they play a big role. You're still going to be up against 20-100 other candidates. They say the norm nowadays is to be a part-time teacher instead of full-timer.
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G Cthulhu



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Posts: 1303
Location: Way, way off course.

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kah5217 wrote:
Here it's usually only the ones with uni jobs that get published.


Yr profile says the US? A good amount of published research, and the vast majority of applied research, in ESL/EFL comes out of community colleges/polytechs in the US, not universities.

In terms of Japan, "published" is a very loose term overall. I know of one person that "published" via lulu.com and his prefectural JETAA magazine for the four years he was on JET and then simply walked into a university job.
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Glenski



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

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

G Cthulhu wrote:
In terms of Japan, "published" is a very loose term overall. I know of one person that "published" via lulu.com and his prefectural JETAA magazine for the four years he was on JET and then simply walked into a university job.
That is far from the norm, though. Very far.

Most unis in Japan have a strict format for examining publications. An extensively detailed form must be completed to show your coauthorship/ single authorship, percent you contributed to the paper, whether it was peer reviewed in an international pub or not, etc. Books are considered less valued than scientific journals.

There are exceptions all the time, but G Cthulhu's example is not a typical example of someone who gets in solely on the basis of pubs. Depends on the ranking / quality of uni, too.
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kah5217



Joined: 29 Sep 2012
Posts: 255
Location: Ibaraki

PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I studied psychology, and I know journals for that particular field are extremely competitive. From reading posts on here I assumed "published" meant the same thing in EFL as in psychology. So it didn't make sense to me that you can get published without already teaching in a university.
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