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Japan UnderGround >> teaching english in japan?


12/15/05 3:02 AM
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obesedaryl
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Edited: 15-Dec-05
Member Since: 04/11/2003
Posts: 467
It would have been hard/impossible to get a job in public schools with no degree AND no experience. They didn't say anything about correspondence. Actually, I should be considered a litmus test, because my degree is possibly the shittiest degree on Earth (an online general studies degree from an unknown university.) I was 95% done the degree, and I had just gotten 5 months of experience in eikawa, so it was ok. Especially because 2 guys before me had bailed on short notice and left the schools with no Native teachers. Which is really the point. If they need bodies, you will get hired. I was fortunate to get a spot in Tokyo. But I was prepared to go to Yamanashi or wherever a spot opened in the public system. They can't find enough people to teach in Gunma and Aomori. I believe they would hire death row inmates to teach there.
12/15/05 3:52 AM
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SILK
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Edited: 15-Dec-05
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 7421
Thing with degrees by correspondence is that many of the actual degrees won't have "by correspondence" written on them, so you won't know unless you ask. Also, as far as masters go, most of them are done by correspondence, so they'll still be accepted for some time to come, especially from some of the UK and Aussie unis. But yeah, at the end of the day it's who you know and being at the right place at the right time.
12/15/05 8:23 PM
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Opash
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Edited: 15-Dec-05
Member Since: 03/14/2002
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Good to hear! Might look further into it. Silk - did you get my mail bro?
2/14/06 4:04 AM
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bluesquash
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Edited: 14-Feb-06
Member Since: 11/01/2004
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Just got rejected by JET. i am considering nova, because i really want to live in japan for a year or two while i am young and before i move into the professional world. (i will be graduating from u of iowa in may). i just want to be able to pay my student loan interest, eat, and see as much of japan as i can. how hard is it to find training? anyone know how flexible nova is with placement? how possible is tokyo or saitama? do you ex pats believe this is possible for someone with no current japanese language ability? (but who loves trying to learn languages)? sorry if these questions have been asked before, this thread is kind of old and i wondered if things have changed
2/15/06 1:52 AM
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Dogmeat 1
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Edited: 15-Feb-06
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 3519
bluesquash, placement is pretty much random by all the major conversation schools. You can of course give preferences but unless you pick somewhere quiet and in the country you are unlikely to get them, especially in and around Tokyo. also your chances of getting recruited right now are not good. The conversation school market is pretty much in decline now and it looks like there will be a huge number of schools closing down over the next year or so. NOVA is expected to close about 25% of its branches and GEOS & ECC (among others) could be doing the same. Thats going to leave a large excess of experienced teachers so I doubt there will be a huge amount of overseas recruiting in the near future.
2/15/06 1:17 PM
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bluesquash
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Edited: 15-Feb-06
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dogmeat, thanks for the info.
2/16/06 12:10 AM
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bjjguy
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Edited: 16-Feb-06
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Dogmeat1, Why do you think the conversation school market is in decline? Is the value of English declining, or are those schools perceived as ineffective? Brian
2/16/06 12:49 AM
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Dogmeat 1
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Edited: 16-Feb-06
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its most likely due to overexpansion of many companies due the industries boom period in the late nineties. Nowdays there are too many schools and not enough students to run at a profit.
2/16/06 1:04 AM
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Opash
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Edited: 16-Feb-06
Member Since: 03/14/2002
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I have been suprised for a while now that the English conversation market lasted as long as it has. They generally thrived on a 'lets learn English' boom, but I think its pretty aparent that nobody really becomes competent in any language via the conversation school method. Maybe people are finally catching on to that. Its a double-edged sword as to why they are not successful. One reason is the native speaker employment thing. Just look over the previous posts on this thread - plenty of people wanting to go to Japan to train, or sight-see, or have a break before they enter a life-time career. Thats great n' all, but would you pay these people to teach your kids? Secondly there are the customers, a large percentage of whom think that by handing over the cash and going throught the motions once a week or so. They will suddenly become mystically imbued with the ability to speak an alien tounge (of course if its that added bonus of being with a native speaker then this should happen faster via osmosis). The combination of people whose main focus is not to teach or even spend any great length of time teaching. With students who don't actually really wanna study all that much. Means that whilst Conversation schools will always be around, I think that their days of imense popularity are slowly coming to a close.
2/16/06 1:19 AM
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bjjguy
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Edited: 16-Feb-06
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Interesting. Thank you both for the replies. I'll be visiting my wife's family in Osaka this summer for anywhere from one to three months, and I was considering trying to teach a little on the side for some extra cash. It's too bad the schools are starting to close. I'll be starting a new job in the fall and I probably couldn't go to Japan on any kind of long term basis anyway, but I liked knowing that there would be work for native english speakers. Given the potential slow down, what do you think schools will look for?
2/16/06 1:54 AM
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Opash
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Edited: 16-Feb-06
Member Since: 03/14/2002
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Looking at recent job vacancies it would appear that 'teaching experience' and 'currently residing in Japan' seem to be the most common critera. That is obviously aside from having a Bachelors degree, which is kind of a basic requirement in most of Asia.
4/15/06 8:05 PM
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mestregruber
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Edited: 15-Apr-06
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Something else that needs to be mentioned is that, although these jobs are still readily available, the pay and benefits are steadily going down due to the aforementioned glut of teachers. Some places are paying laughable wages these days, less than $2,000 US a month, which doesn't go very far in a big city in Japan.
4/18/06 8:11 AM
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Bunnymonster
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Edited: 18-Apr-06
Member Since: 07/14/2003
Posts: 289
Blergh, must admit I'm getting a bit worried, I'm coming over in time for August and the job market is seriously depressed, especially compared to Korea where conditions are improving nicely. Oh well I need a change of pace as 3 years here has left me with itchy feet...
4/18/06 8:33 PM
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Opash
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Edited: 18-Apr-06
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Yup a lot of people I know are leaving/have left Japan for Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea - where the market is seemingly growing, the money is better and most importantly people are actually serious about learning English.
4/20/06 6:29 AM
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Dogmeat 1
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Edited: 20-Apr-06
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"Yup a lot of people I know are leaving/have left Japan for Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea - where the market is seemingly growing, the money is better and most importantly people are actually serious about learning English." I have to disagree with the last line there. Many people in Japan are very serious and capable of learning English if given the right opportunities. The fault lies in the English teaching industry which remains bogged down by inept teachers with little desire or motivation to teach, badly structured courses and false promises being handed out by schools as to what students can achieve with a minimum amount of study. of course there is little that can be done about the huge number of kids and businessmen who seriously do not want to be there but I doubt that is different in other countries either. from what I've heard from my friends teaching in Korea and China the conditions are a bit better now but most teaching programs are still somewhat crap. At the very least the falling industry in Japan is forcing companies to get off their arses and actually try to do something about the quality of their courses.
4/24/06 5:07 AM
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Opash
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Edited: 24-Apr-06
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Of course there are people who are serious about learning English in Japan. But even working in English language education, the majority of people you will come across will not be dedicated students. Of course anybody is capable, but language learning is a lifelong process and if you want to make anykind of progress you have to but in a lot of effort, time and hard work. Like anything else most people want a quick fix and are not really up for the long haul and dirty work. Also, where you guys work and live may also have a great deal to do with the kind of people you come across.
5/16/06 8:45 AM
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havokk_15
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Edited: 16-May-06
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Unless you go through JET, you won't be teaching in a public school. 90% of English teaching jobs in Japan are with private "conversation schools". The big four are NOVA, Geos, Aeon, and ECC. There are plenty of others though. You basically need a 4 year University degree and that's about it. Doesn't matter what your degree is in.
5/17/06 1:44 AM
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Opash
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Edited: 17-May-06
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Also depends where you live.
5/17/06 7:06 AM
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SILK
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Edited: 17-May-06 07:54 AM
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Easytarget is correct. The standard 250 is enough for a comfortable lifestyle while still being able to save a bit. I don't know where you get the "borderline suicide" bit. Heck, I know of several Japanese people who make less than 200k a month, and theyare still living ok. Not everybody needs a big house, big tv with satellite, and throws away pants at the toilet and buys new ones. Some people know how to deal with money
5/17/06 8:55 PM
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Opash
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Edited: 17-May-06
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As Silk said - the average Japanese person probably doesn't make that. I knew a married couple - a Fireman and a Nurse, both fairly decent jobs. Yet they made around that mark with their wages combined.
5/18/06 12:09 AM
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Dogmeat 1
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Edited: 18-May-06 12:13 AM
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I survived on 80,000 a month living in Fukuoka as a student (in a student dormitory). Even when I first started living in Osaka (2nd highest cost of living in Japan) I was only making 180,000 a month. Despite this I managed to save up a fair amount of cash before I changed jobs. I even went out a lot, had a decent apartment, internet/cableTV hookup, etc. as long as you are not an idiot with money you can live easily and save a lot of money basically anywhere in Japan with 250,000 a month. for the record the average salary for a university graduate is 220,000 a month. for less qualified positions I've heard its around 170,000. Full time conversation school teachers make around 250,000 - 260,000 a month on average which is pretty good considering a large percentage of English teachers lack teaching qualifications, skills and dedication.
5/18/06 6:33 AM
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havokk_15
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Edited: 18-May-06
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I make about 250 000 yen/month and it is easily enough to live comfortably on. I live about 40 minutes from the center of Tokyo, pay 56 000 yen/month rent for a decent sized one bedroom apartment, and I am able to save about 50 000 yen/month, all the while going out at least once a week, and eating basically all my meals out. Plus, I have been able to attend MMA shows, taken a couple short trips to Korea and Hong Kong, AND I have satellite and internet in my apartment.
5/18/06 6:56 AM
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SILK
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Edited: 18-May-06 08:05 AM
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havokk_15 - have you learned nothing? Your salary is borderline suicide! Please don't get too depressed about it and jump in front of a Yamanote line train.
5/19/06 1:50 AM
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Opash
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Edited: 19-May-06
Member Since: 03/14/2002
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Thats a fair point, I guess it does depend what you are accustomed to. I guess because either the Dollar is a relatively weak currency or America is really cheap (or a combo of the two), I often meet American ex-pats who bitch and whine about Gas and food prices (amongst other things) in Japan. But thats often because they are mentally converting all the prices and not adapting to local rates. This is most common amongst people who are tied in with the American military in some fashion. I think all things considered Japan is not an expensive country to live in - obviously central Tokyo may be a different story. When you balance out all the costs things generally balance out and end up being the same as anywhere else.
5/19/06 11:12 AM
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Dogmeat 1
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Edited: 19-May-06 11:13 AM
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i've lived in Japan for over 3 years and I've never met a single person who struggled to live on 250,000 a month without it being due to something like drugs or alcohol. You'd seriously have to be blowing money everywhere you go to get into financial difficulties getting that much each month. I've worked and studied with hundreds of other foreigners so I'm not basing my opinion on just what I've heard at the local bar. of course I know a lot of students and Japanese workers who have struggle to make ends meet but those guys are getting way less than the 250,000 average for conversation school instructors.

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