Teaching English in Japan

Non-LIT specific topics about Japan and Asia - culture, customs, food, people, art, film etc.
Post Reply
User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 314
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 3:55 pm
Location: United States

Teaching English in Japan

#1 Post by Bob_san » Wed Jan 30, 2008 3:11 pm

Apparently an easy way to fund a stay in Japan if you are so inclined is to teach English!

There are bunch of websites out there about this and I found the following interesting:

http://teach.3yen.com/2006-03-10/should ... -for-nova/

This one talks about the different kinds of people that go and do this. It has links to other sites like this one:

http://news.3yen.com/2006-03-02/hinking ... ther-amen/

Personally if I was 25 or 30 again I'd go do it!

User avatar
Japanese Surfer
Posts: 203
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2004 2:57 pm
Location: Somewhere

#2 Post by samwright8380 » Tue Feb 05, 2008 8:26 pm

Since these articles were written in 2006, the bubble has burst even further (if that's possible). Nova was by far the biggest of the Eikaiwa chain schools, but went under a few months back. Basically, their business model involved selling package deals for lessons, which could be redeemed using a points system. Often, it was difficult for students to redeem their points at times convenient to them, as Nova traded at a profit by taking these large sums of money for lessons they were yet to provide.

Eventually what caught up with them was their cancellation policy, which meant that students were being refunded their unused 'points' at a rate far below their purchasing price. It was all a bit of a scam really, and after the Japanese government caught on to their game they were restricted from signing up new members for 6 months, which was the nail in the coffin for them. Thousands of English teachers were without jobs or pay, and the market was saturated with newly redundant teachers looking for a job. Only the excessively optimistic would try their luck at moving to japan for a teaching job at the moment. And, as said in the articles above, employee benefits and treatment are really quite poor, leading to Eikaiwa being likened to a 'mcjob'. One wonders why people still choose to take such jobs, but there is always a steady supply of curious foreigners to take the place of those who leave, including potentially myself in the future. It'll be a couple of years yet before I'm in a position to do so though, and hopefully by then any market saturation will have burned out.

Agood source for info on Eikaiwa is http://www.letsjapan.org

User avatar
Just Like Honey...
Suntory Time
Posts: 398
Joined: Thu Nov 18, 2004 10:56 pm
Location: Prince Edward Island, Canada

#3 Post by Just Like Honey... » Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:56 am

I had heard similar things about the teaching over there.. that excessive supply had driven pay rates down which just won't fly in a city that expensive.

Plus I'm reasonably intimidated by the implied class system in Japan and how easy it is to come off as rude. I thought about it before, but if I end up there now, it will probably be just for a short while unless I can grasp the language and culture well enough to stay there a little longer and work a more comfortable job. There are many ways to live more cheaply in Japan, some of them, through volunteer networks and such, can be nearly free, and you don't have to live in the middle of a bustling city.
I'd rather be a gear in a big, deterministic, physical machine than just some random swerving.

User avatar
Old Member B
Charlie Brown
Posts: 117
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2006 10:53 am
Location: in heaven

#4 Post by Old Member B » Mon Feb 11, 2008 10:33 am

Last edited by Old Member B on Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

Dupont Odeon
Sleepless in Tokyo
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2008 12:16 am

#5 Post by Dupont Odeon » Sun Jul 13, 2008 6:59 pm

I looked into the idea of teaching in Japan a few years ago, but what deterred me the most was the inability to choose where one might be teaching. I have been to Japan, and life there can vary greatly. Tokyo is certainly one of the world's great cities, but once you get out into the countryside, life becomes very, very different. Even a city such as Kyoto is not one someone would want to live in if their idea of Japan is Tokyo. Osaka would be ok, but again, its nothing like Tokyo. For me, it was Tokyo or nothing.

As for teaching, the best program by far is the one that is actually run by the Japanese government. It is known as the "JET" (Japan Exchange Teaching) program. It is very competitive, and the experience is rewarding if you like teaching school-aged kids, but even it does not allow you to specify where you would like to teach.

Post Reply