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List of careers in Japan that use English
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timothypfox



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 372

PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:28 pm    Post subject: List of careers in Japan that use English Reply with quote

I'm trying to make a list of careers (and not be cynical!) in which you can use a lot of English in Japan for my high school students. I think this kind of list would give students - whether they are truly interested in English or not - more motivation to work at their English.

I was wondering if any of you might be able to help me with this list.

This is what I've got so far:

- flight attendant
- tour guide
- interpreter
- English teacher
- legal secretary (particularly at a firm that deals with international law)
- work at an import export company
- airport employee - shuttle bus crew, information counter, ground host/hostess
- train station / department store employee - information counter
- police officer - in a large urban center or airport
- driving instructor - think of all those ALTs that have no choice but to learn how to drive!
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 630
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

International business
People that work for companies that import and export
Hotels that have guests from abroad
Large companies like Uniqlo and Rakuten have English as a working language
Companies that send workers overseas
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Glenski



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

PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

translator (as compared to your first example of interpreter)
scientists and engineers (field-dependent, of course)
politicians (case by case, but think of foreign ambassadors for one)
teacher in an international school (any subject except Japanese)
some military personnel
English test companies (STEP, TOEIC)

I wouldn't list driving instructor as a common one. People I know who have ever used one said they never spoke English.

Now that you have a list, ask them what they think the company's requirements are to get hired.

Then ask what they think is needed to achieve them. This is the crucial answer.
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Pitarou



Joined: 16 Nov 2009
Posts: 1043
Location: Narita, Japan

PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

- scientist
- researcher

If you want to keep up with what's going on at the cutting edge, then the list gets much longer:

- doctor
- architect
- computer programmer
- designer
- engineer
- economist
- accountant (Japan conforms to international standards)
- ... and so on

One of my private students is an extremely talented computer programmer. He's enormously frustrated because his high-school English isn't enough for him to understand the wealth of material available that's freely available on-line. He travels a long way to have classes with me, because there are so few English teachers around who have the specialist knowledge needed to conduct a conversation in the field that interests him.
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Jessiemiles



Joined: 07 Jun 2012
Posts: 49
Location: Home

PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Working in local media in Japan only requires Japanese, but English language skills would benefit international work. Several possibilities are:

-Radio personality
-Film and/or television actor, producer, or writer
-Publisher
-Editor
-Journalist
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 630
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

work at a church or mosque
work at travel agencies
Japanese who teach foreign people

people who work for JICA must undergo training in English and an additional language

Japan post
immigration or customs
Japanese foreign ministry and defense ministry
Japan Times and Daily Yomiuri
NHK (they even have their own school)
stores that sell to foreign customers whether inside or outside Japan

people that deal with foreign workers, whether at schools, factories, or companies
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G Cthulhu



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Posts: 1342
Location: Way, way off course.

PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Soaplands? Rolling Eyes Confused
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G Cthulhu



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Posts: 1342
Location: Way, way off course.

PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, (slightly) more seriously, I can remember an article in the Daily Yomiuri back in 2000-2001 (?) that was talking about yakuza having trouble finding ESL teachers for "staff" that were going overseas "for work". Entertaining article as they treated it as a serious problem for a non-yen hard-currency earning enterprise!
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Mr_Monkey



Joined: 11 Mar 2009
Posts: 661
Location: Kyuuuuuushuuuuuuu

PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pitarou wrote:

- accountant (Japan conforms to international standards)
Nitpicking, but, I have it on good authority (an accountant) that that plan was dropped.
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HLJHLJ



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 905

PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see a lot of students who have to get 650+ TOEIC scores for work, even though they don't/won't use English. It seems like a lot of bigger companies are insisting on high TOEIC scores for positions or promotions, so they need English to get the job, rather than needing it for the job.
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Glenski



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

PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HLJHLJ wrote:
I see a lot of students who have to get 650+ TOEIC scores for work, even though they don't/won't use English. It seems like a lot of bigger companies are insisting on high TOEIC scores for positions or promotions, so they need English to get the job, rather than needing it for the job.
Can you give some examples of this? I am not disputing anything. In fact, this is part of my own research. I'd just like to know who wants such a TOEIC score yet has no English on the job for workers to use. Most importantly, why do they have such a policy and (lack of) practice?
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HLJHLJ



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 905

PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 4:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't really give specific names without potentially breaching client confidentiality, but they are big companies, international brands in electronics or manufacturing. It's certainly feasible that there are numerous jobs within the company that would require foreign language skills, but these people weren't applying for them.

I have one student who was promoted above other more experienced colleagues because she got 850 in TOEIC. She went from a job were she used English daily to one were she doesn't use English at all. She couldn't explain why they did it, but she's very unhappy about it. Now she has to take classes to maintain her English level.

I don't know why, I find it pretty baffling. My students don't seem to know either, but just accept it because if the company tells you to do something, you do it. It's possible that the companies are planning ahead assuming they will need more English speakers in the future, but I don't know enough about Japanese business practices to know if that's likely. There also doesn't appear to be anything in place to help them maintain their English for future use. It seems a fairly pointless requirement to me, but it's still a requirement nonetheless.
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Glenski



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

PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds pretty goofy to me!
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StringerBell



Joined: 15 Feb 2012
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also to be a pilot flying internationally or to work in Air Traffic Control you need a decent level of English.
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Inflames



Joined: 02 Apr 2006
Posts: 416

PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glenski wrote:
Sounds pretty goofy to me!

A Japanese HR department is generally regarded as a laughingstock by the rest of the world.

The fact that this country is still functioning is in spite of the best efforts of Japan's HR "professionals." Most people I know are expecting HR departments and meetings to simply cause most companies to cease functioning sometime soon.
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