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Teaching English In Japan  
User currently offlineIFLYMCO From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 482 posts, RR: 2
Posted (8 years 2 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 1466 times:

Hi All!

Where else better than A.net to get career and life advice.  Smile Anyway, I am currently considering teaching English in Japan. A very well-known company has come to my university and has granted me an interview...

Just wondering, due to the vast ranges of experience other there, has anyone else done it? What are the drawbacks? Advantages? I am a US citizen that has lived abroad before (only Europe though). I am accustomed to being in environments with limited English; however, I don't speak Japanese (but I am willing to learn and take classes at least).

Any info on teaching English, Japan or related info would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks so much!


Now it should be "IFLYDCA"
17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineSATX From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 2840 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (8 years 2 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 1445 times:

http://www.peterpayne.net/2003/03/so...ant-to-teach-english-in-japan.html


Open Season on Consumer Protections is Just Around the Corner...
User currently offline777ER From New Zealand, joined Dec 2003, 11853 posts, RR: 18
Reply 2, posted (8 years 2 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 1439 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR

One of my college mates is currently in Japan teaching english. He said it is very hard work, but he really enjoys it

User currently offlineDoona From Sweden, joined Feb 2005, 3760 posts, RR: 13
Reply 3, posted (8 years 2 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 1435 times:

Read this:
http://outpostnine.com/editorials/teacher.html

This guy puts it all in perspective.

When you say you are accustomed to being in environments with limited English, do you realize that the only environments with limited English in Japan are Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto. Of course you might find other pockets of people who are willing to speak English to a Gaijin, but they are rare. Learn Japanese. I did it. It wasn't that hard (I'm sure inventing the atom bomb was alot harder, for example). Take Japanese classes for a year before going, and it makes a huge difference.

So go for it. Check out the JET-programme at http://www.jetprogramme.org and you'll find plenty of info.

Cheers
Mats



Sure, we're concerned for our lives. Just not as concerned as saving 9 bucks on a roundtrip to Ft. Myers.
User currently offlineIFLYMCO From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 482 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (8 years 2 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 1394 times:

Quoting Doona (Reply 3):
When you say you are accustomed to being in environments with limited English, do you realize that the only environments with limited English in Japan are Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto.

Yes Doona,I realize this.What I was trying to say in my original post is it doesn't bother me to be in environments that are not English based. I speak 3 languages (unfortunately not Japanese) so this is nothing new. I appreciate your comments- if I am offered a position in the next several months I will definitely start Japanese classes right away. I wouldn't be going until March 2007 so I have a bit of time. The job am looking at would be based in Osaka.


I have been reading some of the online articles about the teaching experience and all the cynicism really turns me off. The reasons I have for going are all positive (to increase my cultural awareness, try and help Japanese people learn a language and just because I feel I could do some "good") but many of the links and postings I find online are all blasting these sorts of teachers. I understand there must be a contigent of people who are solely out there for their own personal gain, but I am not one of them. Additionaly, I wouldn't want to work an environment where I am viewed as someone who is solely out there for myself. There is also quite a bit of insinuation in these articles/postings that the English schools blatantly take advantage of Japanese students- anybody have any thoughts on the validity of this?

Has anyone else ever worked for any of the eikaiwa? or lived in Japan for a year or longer?

Thanks again to all those who responded and any additional information!!!!!



Now it should be "IFLYDCA"
User currently offlineBabybus From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (8 years 2 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 1392 times:

If I was going to live in Japan I'd go to Kyoto or Tokyo. The slow life of the provinces can be a bit dull.

I had a friend teaching in Tokyo and her only comment to me was that she earned a lot of money but living there cost her a lot too, especially flying home now and then. I think she broke even at the end of it.

If you have the chance to live in Japan jump at it. It's an endlessly facinating country.


User currently offlineSATX From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 2840 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (8 years 2 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 1389 times:

Quoting IFLYMCO (Reply 4):
I have been reading some of the online articles about the teaching experience and all the cynicism really turns me off.

The pay and the lack of true acceptance is what turned me off from living and working in Japan. Nice place to visit, but there is no way in hell I'd live there. I had a friend who majored in Japanese and seemed to love the idea of visiting Japan. After spending six so-so months there he never talked about wanting to go back.

Quoting IFLYMCO (Reply 4):
Has anyone else ever worked for any of the eikaiwa? or lived in Japan for a year or longer?

I suggest you email Peter Payne (from my link above). He's responded to my emails, so I would assume he would respond to yours as well.

Personally, I like a lot about Japanese culture, but you don't have to actually live there to experience it. The quality of life seems to be much better over here in America than what I could get for the same work in Japan as an eternal outsider.



Open Season on Consumer Protections is Just Around the Corner...
User currently offlineNoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7917 posts, RR: 12
Reply 7, posted (8 years 2 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 1378 times:

Quoting IFLYMCO (Thread starter):
Any info on teaching English, Japan or related info would be greatly appreciated!

They have f***ing great books over there:




I support the right to arm bears
User currently offlineMKEdude From South Korea, joined May 2005, 1010 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (8 years 2 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 1353 times:

Wow there is too much to tell you. I was in the Jet program for 3 years. I livd in a small rice paddy town about 400 km north of Tokyo. I loved it, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

There are lots of things I can tell you, so send me an E-mail through the address on my profile.



"You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline." Frank Zappa
User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39478 posts, RR: 75
Reply 9, posted (8 years 2 months 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 1346 times:

IFLYMCO:
I have two friends over there right now. Both said they would do if for abour 6 months to a year. Well one move there in 1997, the other in 2002 and they never came back to the United States to live. They love it over there.
They are getting laid left & right but I am sure that's not the only thing keeping them in Japan. It's expensive in Japan but so is California.
It all depends on you and what you want in life.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineCentrair From Japan, joined Jan 2005, 3598 posts, RR: 21
Reply 10, posted (8 years 2 months 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 1341 times:

I agree with MKEdude. Too much to say.

I have been living and working here for 6 years now. I still love it. I live in one of those small rice paddy towns but since I was from a small farm town, I could adapt quicker to the situation. I spent the first year NOT BEING A GAIJIN. This was my trick. Instead of spending free time with Gaijin, I spent time with local people and made solid relationship which helped develop trust. Many foreigners come to Japan and DON'T interact with locals why? They think that they are ONLY seen as "foreigners." Reality: Japanese are shy and not going to come up and welcome you, its not in their nature. You have to make the first move and show interest in them before they open up.

Though my profile says Coordinator of International Relations, I spend a lot of time teaching.

Are you looking at an Eikaiwa or ALT program?

Quoting SATX (Reply 6):
The quality of life seems to be much better over here in America than what I could get for the same work in Japan as an eternal outsider.

This might be true. I would say the quality of life is better here. Many things are taken care of and I do not have to worry about changing health care when changing jobs or anything like that. Vaccines are covered for children unlike the U.S. and I can get tax breaks for buying environmentally friendly products like the Prius or solar panels for my house. But as for Quality of work environment. It can get old when you are treated like a second class educator even when you have more experience than most.

As for being an eternal outsider...I have seen plenty of foreigners who keep themselves as eternal outsiders. You will be a foreigner if you act like one. There are many foreigners like myself who never hang out with other Gaijin. They hang out with Japanese of the same age or with Gaijin with local interests. I have few foreign friends but many Japanese. If you show interest in your community and the culture, make local friends and keep involved you will be respected. Most ALTs and Eikaiwa teachers at ECC or NOVA are here on a short "killing time" personal adventure. They do not have true interest in Japanese education or helping to make a change in that education.

IFLYMCO...read up on Japanese education and English education in Japan. It is not as "amazing" as the ministry of education would like to portray. It has some great ideas but outside of Tokyo, those ideas are not practical. As for learning Japanese...it helps. But it will come quickly.

You can contact me offline if you need anything.



Yes...I am not a KIX fan. Let's Japanese Aviation!
User currently offlineMKEdude From South Korea, joined May 2005, 1010 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (8 years 2 months 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 1337 times:

Centrair, where in Japan?


"You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline." Frank Zappa
User currently offlineCentrair From Japan, joined Jan 2005, 3598 posts, RR: 21
Reply 12, posted (8 years 2 months 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 1333 times:

Quoting MKEdude (Reply 11):
Centrair, where in Japan?

I am in Kashimo, a small district of Nakatsugawa City in Gifu Prefecture. It was an independent village till last year. Its 2 hours north of Nagoya...in the flight path of the old NGO.
JET 2000-2003
Private hire 2003-present

Originally from Marshfield, Wisconsin.



Yes...I am not a KIX fan. Let's Japanese Aviation!
User currently offlineMKEdude From South Korea, joined May 2005, 1010 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (8 years 2 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 1328 times:

I was in JET at the same time you were, only in Fukushima-Ken, in a small coastal town about an hour south of Sendai.

Now back in MKE where I went to college, teaching, going to grad school, and sometimes wishing I could go back.



"You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline." Frank Zappa
User currently offlineBhill From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 927 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (8 years 2 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 1323 times:

IFLYMCO....Do it!!! You have a wonderful oppertunity..grab it while you still can..My cousin did it, and taught Jazz piano also...see the world if can..and PLEEZE do not dangle your partciples...."at" is BAAAAD


Carpe Pices
User currently offlineDoona From Sweden, joined Feb 2005, 3760 posts, RR: 13
Reply 15, posted (8 years 2 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 1315 times:

Quoting IFLYMCO (Reply 4):
I have been reading some of the online articles about the teaching experience and all the cynicism really turns me off.

Don't worry about this, my friend. While there are many things that will make you complain, you will still love it. I was driven to the brink of insanity by all the talking escalators, talking ATMs, ultrasonic voices of shop clerks, the lack of fiber in any food product, being stared at by everyone, being glared at by old men (can't really complain about those two, I liked the attention, and I am a foreign devil), and a million more annoying things. Still, I loved every minute of it, and I'm sure you will too.

Quoting Centrair (Reply 12):
I am in Kashimo, a small district of Nakatsugawa City in Gifu Prefecture.

Cool, I spent two months in Gifu City last summer.

Cheers
Mats



Sure, we're concerned for our lives. Just not as concerned as saving 9 bucks on a roundtrip to Ft. Myers.
User currently offlineCentrair From Japan, joined Jan 2005, 3598 posts, RR: 21
Reply 16, posted (8 years 2 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 1311 times:

IFLYMCO... you come and we all can get together and commiserate about teaching while hanging out at one of the fine airports.

An A.net meet in Japan...that would be nice.



Yes...I am not a KIX fan. Let's Japanese Aviation!
User currently offlineIFLYMCO From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 482 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (8 years 2 months 11 hours ago) and read 1274 times:

Thanks everybody! I will know this Spring whether or not I am offered a position. Your information has really helped a lot and don't be too shocked if I contact you in the future!

Cheers!- Patrick



Now it should be "IFLYDCA"
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