Where to teach English abroad: Teaching English in Japan + video🎞️
We are going to be talking about one of the most popular destinations for teaching English, and that is Japan. You will know about the kind of teaching jobs you can get in Japan and what you can expect as an English teacher in Japan
What to expect
Japan is one of those countries that really lives up to its expectations. When it comes to English teachers moving to the country, it really has something for everyone. The country has a massively long history, which of course you can explore, through their museums, castles, and temples, which really celebrate that long history.
Of course, there are giant metropolitan cities like Tokyo and Osaka. Those of you who like the nightlife you can visit izakaya, which is a combination of a bar and a restaurant that are open really late nights. And if you're looking for something more scenic, there are tons of small towns that offer great mountain, top views, and scenic rides along the coast.
So, in the North of Japan, you have Kioto and there are snow-capped mountains there all the way down to the islands in the South, where you can have a nearly subtropic climate. So Japan really offers a lot in the way of different lifestyles that you can choose, choose, which one really fits you.
Living in Japan
One of the drawbacks of living in Japan is it is a massively expensive country to live in. This includes housing and the cost of food. You can expect to be spending a lot of money when you live in Japan, just on normal expenses. Of course, big cities like Tokyo will be more expensive than smaller, more rural, or suburban cities. But overall, the cost of living is quite high. One of the reasons Japan is such an attractive country is because of its really high quality of life.
As I said it was a very expensive place to live. However, on an English teacher's salary, you'll be more than comfortable and able to pay for everything you want. And a little bit more, one thing you might not expect about Japan is how different the way of life is outside of the bigger cities. It's much more traditional.
A much more conservative and a lot of things that you associate with Japan, you don't necessarily find outside of, the big cities. For example, there are lots of places and smaller cities and towns in Japan, that don't really accept credit cards. So it's to know that that you might have to carry around a lot of cash as you're in Japan. But it is also one of the safest cities in the world. So don't be afraid as you carry around your larger amounts of cash.
If you've done any research into teaching English in Japan, I'm sure that you've run across the JET program. the JET program stands for Japanese exchange and teaching. It's one of the many programs that, exist in countries that are trying to recruit English teachers to come, which is supported by the government of that country.
So as an ALT, which stands for an assistant language teacher, you will go to Japan and you will work in Japanese schools. The JET program accepts about 5,000 teachers per year. These teachers are from all over the world. They are mostly English teaching positions and they don't have any preference to act now because yeah, as the program is so popular, it's also very competitive and it takes a lot to apply from the time that you send in your initial application to the time you'd be taking off to go teach in Japan.
It's about a year-long process. One of the reasons the JET program is so popular and therefore very competitive is because of all of the benefits you get as an ALT with JET. Jetters can expect a really good salary, especially considering that there's no experience required, as an English teacher to apply for JET and get a position with jet.
English teachers working with JET can expect to make about 3.4 million yen a year. Like most teaching jobs in Japan, you will need a bachelor's degree or the equivalent from your home country before you can teach in Japan.
Let's talk about the application process to become an ALT with JET. So after you send in your application, which usually is around November to December, you will be shortlisted.
Shortlisted candidates are invited to the Japanese embassy or consulate mirrors, their home to have an in-person interview that usually happens at the earliest. Spring of the next year. after that, if you've made it onto that process, then you will get invited to the jet program and you'll begin to work on your visa.
One of the other benefits of the JET is that they will help you and hold your hand throughout the visa process, which if you've ever tried to do it before is never a fun thing to do. So having the support of a program like JET to help you with your visa is a great benefit. Another important thing to keep in mind with the jet program is that your experience as a Jetter is almost entirely up to the kind of school that you are placed in.
So usually you will never be alone in a classroom of kids with JET. You will always have, a teaching partner, how much power or autonomy you get, as an ALT. almost entirely depends on the school and your teaching partner. Some jetters have the experience of being able to create their own lessons and implement new and creative ideas in the classroom. Other jetters might have the experience that they are nothing more than that kind of a recorder, just repeating phrases and sentences, that their co-teacher tells them to for the students to then repeat back to them. So, it really depends on the kind of school that you get assigned to that will determine your teaching life as a JET.
Teaching opportunities in Japan
Let's talk about other English teaching opportunities that you have in Japan. One of the most popular is working for a language school. Working at a language school, it means you'll have a really diverse group of students. You could be teaching anything from conversation classes to businessmen and women, or you could be going to kindergartens and giving lessons there.
It really depends on what the community needs and what the language school can provide. So if you're up for a challenge, teaching at a language, school is a really fun opportunity. If you don't have any experience, most language schools will offer training or at least a week of shadowing to see what they expect from their English teachers to apply to a language school.
The best way to do it is just to go to that school website directly or go to the ESL job board for it. Find a school that looks interesting to you and apply there. The process is pretty straightforward after you send in your application, they will probably contact you to have an interest.
There's a good chance that you'll be asked to give a mock lesson, especially if you haven't taught before. One of the benefits of working at a language school is they're very used to working with people who aren't familiar with Japanese culture. So they're very helpful and, helping you find accommodation, often times the school will own apartments and you will live in a company apartment that is either free or subsidized. If you need a car, or if you need a cell phone, the school will also help you arrange the paperwork. Because as you'll find teaching in Japan, things are very busy. You're a chronic, so it's really helpful to have a school help you navigate.
Direct to school application
The last option we'll talk about for teaching English in Japan is working directly with an elementary, middle high school, or even a university. Check available jobs in Japan here.
These jobs are a little bit more selective, so it's best that you have a bachelor's degree and some sort of TEFL, CELTA, or DELTA certification. They might even require that you have a teaching degree from your home university. One of the benefits of working directly with the school is that you'll almost never be alone in the classroom.
Because Japanese classrooms are very structured and they expect a certain amount of discipline. You'll always have a co-teacher in the room with you. This is great because they can help you translate. If there are some issues, they can also facilitate some kind of classroom management policies as well as discipline, so you can really focus on teaching.
When working directly with the school or at a language school, you can also expect a fairly high salary. Most English teachers in Japan can expect to earn anywhere between $2000, all the way up to $5,000 us per month. These higher salaries are usually for people who have a little bit more experience or people who live in bigger cities. Of course, living in a city like Tokyo, which is very expensive. They won't expect you to have a kind of blanket English language teacher. And if you do live in a big city, most schools will pay more so that you're able to live comfortably. That said almost all language schools offer great salaries and great benefits. You usually get paid time off as well as vacation time anytime you'd like to take it. That's everything you need to know about finding a job in Japan.