teaching English in Japan

Discussion in 'The Barber Shop' started by gaseousclay, Feb 26, 2011.

  1. anyone here ever done it? If so, where did you teach? did you go through the JET program or did you teach at one of the many corporate Eikaiwa spread throughout the country? I'm mainly just curious which schools are now the big competitors and wanted to know what your experience was like. when I lived in Japan years ago Nova was one of the big schools but I believe they were rocked by scandal and have since closed their doors. I had a couple of friends go through the JET program and they had mixed feelings about it. my mom lives in northern Japan, so she frequently tells me to move there. Unfortunately, teaching English seems to be one of the few occupations foreigners can get unless you have a specialized degree and can speak fluent Japanese and I have no desire to live in the middle of nowhere. bueller?
  2. Hate to burst your bubble, but teaching English in Japan is not what it used to be. Unless you have at least a Masters, you will be limited to teaching at eikaiwas, most of which pay the least they can (250,00 yen a month) and screw you every which way they can for housing, insurance and though overwork. It's not a career. University work is the only decent teaching work, and only if you manage to get on with one of the very very few universities that treats its foreign employees like humans (I'm lucky, mine does). And most universities require a PhD for long-term employment.

    You might check out this site for a realistic view of life in Japan...

    Sorry to be pessimistic, but Japan is not the wonderland people think it is. It's economically depressed and racist as hell.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2011
  3. you're not bursting my bubble, so no worries. I'm just curious what people's experiences are with teaching English in Japan. most of the people I knew who taught at Eikaiwa's weren't very happy with their jobs and it seemed like you didn't have to have much in the way of experience to get those jobs. I was offered a couple of teaching positions through Eikaiwas but declined because it wasn't a vocation I was interested in. I would assume too that teaching English at a university is very competitive.

    may I ask which university you teach at? I briefly attended Sophia University (Jōchi daigaku) while I did my study abroad
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2011
  4. The Nid Hog

    The Nid Hog Moderator Emeritus

    If you haven't been to Tokyo for a while, you'd be surprised to see Sophia now. You were probably at the Ichigaya campus--it's been closed and everything is now at Yotsuya.

    I've never been an eikaiwa instructor myself, but the business doesn't seem to be anything like it was during the bubble. Or even in the years after the bubble burst. In general, I don't think that the opportunities for expats in Japan are particularly bright anymore. The days of being a highly paid bartender or an otherwise-plain fashion model are done. Now you have to compete with Japanese workers in a flat economy--a lot like the US. Unless you are posted to the Japanese office of some multinational corporation and have a fat expense account, you have to have something that makes you uniquely qualified to do something. Plus you have to be pretty well plugged into local networks. I occasionally run across people doing very specific import-export businesses (buying used cars from Japan and selling them in SE Asia; buying used household appliances and selling them in Russia) or unique skills (kickboxing or jiu-jitsu instructors, marine biologists, senior care providers).
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2011
  5. yeah, I was at the Ichigaya campus. why did it close? or did they simply consolidate the school?
  6. The Nid Hog

    The Nid Hog Moderator Emeritus

    They just brought everything down to the main campus at Yotsuya. I think that they realized that the small campus in Ichigaya was sitting on top of a fortune in real estate. There's been a lot of new construction at the new campus to contain everything.
  7. I taught at Berlitz language school for 5 years in Chiba City which is about 40km east of Tokyo. At the time Berlitz was one of the best schools with a good pay. Sadly as others have said it is not what it used to be. My understanding is that pay and conditions have gone down hill alot.

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