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  • Looking for teaching job, several questions ...

    Hi,

    I will be coming to Tokyo in the beginning of October looking to settle ad find a job. At present I am thinking that my most likely avenue would be to find a job in Language teaching (English and German) ALT or Eikaiwa, though I would also consider a career in my old work field (climate change consultancy).

    I would like to know the opinion of people whether my plan is realistic. Here's a bit more about me:

    My background:

    - Age: 34 years (though people estimate me to be around 26-28 most of the time)

    - Education:
    › Bsc. Science and Msc. Science (Environmental Sciences) duration 7 years taught in English in Germany and two semesters abroad (1 in Thailand 1 in Southafrica)

    - Work experience
    › 5 years Climate change consulting in Germany and Netherlands (international company most work in an English environment)
    › 3/4 year in Thailand Climate change Project development
    › 9 months in the UK working in organic farming
    › 1/2 year studying organic farming.

    - Teaching experience:
    › Day Workshops for environmental managers
    › No language teaching experience

    - Language skills
    › English (very fluent close to native)
    › German - native
    › Polish - fluent spoken and listening no writing and reading
    › Japanese - none (plan to take private classes once I arrive in Japan, cannot study now due to time constraints)

    I read quite a few post here on this forum and several websites and have a few Questions:

    - Would I qualify for a visa to work as an English and/or German teacher?
    - How realistic is it to find a job before Christmas if I arrive in the beginning of October?
    - Should I take an online Tefl/Tesol course and if so which one is a recommended one?
    - What are the best approaches for finding said job in Japan? Online, going to schools in person, using an agency or the forums webboard?

    I will be living with my girlfriend in the beginning and am looking to search for jobs either in or close to Tokyo or near Kuwana/Nagoya. I am in principle open to go to other areas of Japan preferrably south and definitely not closer than Tokyo to Fukushima.

    Thanks a lot for any helpful tips.

    Pio

  • #2
    Originally posted by Pio Jaworski View Post
    Hi,

    I will be coming to Tokyo in the beginning of October looking to settle ad find a job. At present I am thinking that my most likely avenue would be to find a job in Language teaching (English and German) ALT or Eikaiwa, though I would also consider a career in my old work field (climate change consultancy).

    I would like to know the opinion of people whether my plan is realistic. Here's a bit more about me:

    My background:

    - Age: 34 years (though people estimate me to be around 26-28 most of the time)

    - Education:
    › Bsc. Science and Msc. Science (Environmental Sciences) duration 7 years taught in English in Germany and two semesters abroad (1 in Thailand 1 in Southafrica)

    - Work experience
    › 5 years Climate change consulting in Germany and Netherlands (international company most work in an English environment)
    › 3/4 year in Thailand Climate change Project development
    › 9 months in the UK working in organic farming
    › 1/2 year studying organic farming.

    - Teaching experience:
    › Day Workshops for environmental managers
    › No language teaching experience

    - Language skills
    › English (very fluent close to native)
    › German - native
    › Polish - fluent spoken and listening no writing and reading
    › Japanese - none (plan to take private classes once I arrive in Japan, cannot study now due to time constraints)

    I read quite a few post here on this forum and several websites and have a few Questions:

    - Would I qualify for a visa to work as an English and/or German teacher?
    - How realistic is it to find a job before Christmas if I arrive in the beginning of October?
    - Should I take an online Tefl/Tesol course and if so which one is a recommended one?
    - What are the best approaches for finding said job in Japan? Online, going to schools in person, using an agency or the forums webboard?

    I will be living with my girlfriend in the beginning and am looking to search for jobs either in or close to Tokyo or near Kuwana/Nagoya. I am in principle open to go to other areas of Japan preferrably south and definitely not closer than Tokyo to Fukushima.

    Thanks a lot for any helpful tips.

    Pio
    I think you need at least 8 years to be thaught in English. Im not sure whether schools hire non native English speakers. With your 0 Japanese you will hardly find other job than language teaching (may be a good idea to look for German teaching which is your mother tonque). Anyway good luck, will be not easy. And start learning some Japanese as soon as you can.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Pio Jaworski View Post
      Hi,

      I will be coming to Tokyo in the beginning of October looking to settle ad find a job. At present I am thinking that my most likely avenue would be to find a job in Language teaching (English and German) ALT or Eikaiwa, though I would also consider a career in my old work field (climate change consultancy).

      I would like to know the opinion of people whether my plan is realistic. Here's a bit more about me:

      My background:

      - Age: 34 years (though people estimate me to be around 26-28 most of the time)

      - Education:
      › Bsc. Science and Msc. Science (Environmental Sciences) duration 7 years taught in English in Germany and two semesters abroad (1 in Thailand 1 in Southafrica)

      - Work experience
      › 5 years Climate change consulting in Germany and Netherlands (international company most work in an English environment)
      › 3/4 year in Thailand Climate change Project development
      › 9 months in the UK working in organic farming
      › 1/2 year studying organic farming.

      - Teaching experience:
      › Day Workshops for environmental managers
      › No language teaching experience

      - Language skills
      › English (very fluent close to native)
      › German - native
      › Polish - fluent spoken and listening no writing and reading
      › Japanese - none (plan to take private classes once I arrive in Japan, cannot study now due to time constraints)

      I read quite a few post here on this forum and several websites and have a few Questions:

      - Would I qualify for a visa to work as an English and/or German teacher?
      - How realistic is it to find a job before Christmas if I arrive in the beginning of October?
      - Should I take an online Tefl/Tesol course and if so which one is a recommended one?
      - What are the best approaches for finding said job in Japan? Online, going to schools in person, using an agency or the forums webboard?

      I will be living with my girlfriend in the beginning and am looking to search for jobs either in or close to Tokyo or near Kuwana/Nagoya. I am in principle open to go to other areas of Japan preferrably south and definitely not closer than Tokyo to Fukushima.

      Thanks a lot for any helpful tips.

      Pio

      Depends on where you will be living.

      In the Kanto area, I suspect it would be hard finding an English teaching gig given the competition from native speakers already prowling for such work.

      In the countryside you might have better luck.

      Comment


      • #4
        OP, online TEFL courses are not recommended, if you opt for English teaching, better go for a ful time in class course, they are more expensive but certainly worthy.

        Comment


        • #5
          Are you white? Blond hair? Blue eyes?

          For each of those that you answered 'yes' to, your chances of employment increase.

          Do you have an accent when you speak English that does not belong to a major western English speaking country such as England, USA, Australia etc? If you answered yes, your chances of employment are reduced.

          Comment


          • #6
            I had an acquaintance from Russia. He spoke excellent English and had a Master's degree in TEFL, but he had to return to Russia because he couldn't find work teaching English even at a conversation school. Schools here put a huge emphasis on being a native speaker, especially for full-time teachers. My advice for you is to play to your science BA or like Kiboo said, teaching/translating German.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Esoteric View Post
              Are you white? Blond hair? Blue eyes?

              For each of those that you answered 'yes' to, your chances of employment increase.

              Do you have an accent when you speak English that does not belong to a major western English speaking country such as England, USA, Australia etc? If you answered yes, your chances of employment are reduced.
              So I get 3+ and 1- for my english with a slight German accent. Well better than nothing.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Kaylarr View Post
                I had an acquaintance from Russia. He spoke excellent English and had a Master's degree in TEFL, but he had to return to Russia because he couldn't find work teaching English even at a conversation school. Schools here put a huge emphasis on being a native speaker, especially for full-time teachers. My advice for you is to play to your science BA or like Kiboo said, teaching/translating German.
                I was hoping based on the experience of some other members on the forum who managed to find a job while not being a native speaker. I will look into the German side as well to work in the field of my science Msc. would be allright but seems to be difficult to get a job without japanese language skills.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Kiboo View Post
                  OP, online TEFL courses are not recommended, if you opt for English teaching, better go for a ful time in class course, they are more expensive but certainly worthy.
                  The only one I could find so far was really expensive approx. 1800€ for a month. Do you know of a good value school for Tefl / Tesol in Tokyo?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Pio Jaworski View Post
                    › Japanese - none (plan to take private classes once I arrive in Japan, cannot study now due to time constraints)

                    › No language teaching experience
                    Du hast so gut wie keine Chance. Lass es bleiben.

                    Und sag mir jetzt nicht, dass es in Deutschland nicht genauso waere (1-Euro-Jobs als Putzfrau ausgeschlossen).

                    Was kannst Du, ausser Englisch sprechen, was ein Japaner nicht genau so gut oder besser kann?

                    Deutsch = kein Bedarf
                    Polnisch = kein Bedarf


                    My apologies to those who couldn't understand this, but I guess you get what I'm on about from what I quoted.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It can be done. There are non-native speakers teaching english in Japan. But it is no way near easy.
                      With a bit of luck and some, if not hard than at least, dedicated work I myself might be able to make a living here doing just this. It should be said though that me getting a "job" depended on connections from my time living in Japan as a student and the fact that I already held a visa.

                      Anyway, you can do it but it is difficult and it will most likely cost you a lot of money just surviving until you can support yourself. If you don't have a very god reason to come to Japan I'd say get a good job back home and spend your generous european vacations here.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Pio Jaworski View Post
                        The only one I could find so far was really expensive approx. 1800€ for a month. Do you know of a good value school for Tefl / Tesol in Tokyo?
                        I got my TEFL certificate 3 years ago in London (by Trinity Oxford) and it cost me 1300 Euro for the entire course (it took 1 month). Why dont you get it while you're still in your home country, before going to Japan? Im sure you can find a cheaper one, even in Germany, if you look it up. Good luck anyway...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If you are not a native English speaker, then a work visa to teach English will require that you prove 12 years of your education was taught entirely in English.

                          Since you are too old for a working holiday visa (where such a requirement is not needed), I'd suggest looking for work in your field instead.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Well, for where I am, I know of English teachers who are from non-English countries, the Philippines mostly, but my replacement at my former job is from Turkey. So if you are still interested in the English teaching route, hopefully you'll land something.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Is your girlfriend Japanese? I don't really understand why you want to work in Japan with your qualifications. Surely you can forge a better career in Europe and/or better salary. Plus being in Europe being a Polish speaker may be an advantage. Also, in Europe as a native German speaker you have Germany, Liechtenstein, Austria, Luxembourg and Switzerland whereas in Japan I don't really know what chances there are for German speakers? Maybe I'm wrong?

                              Why don't you stick to your field? I say this not to be patronising, but feel in the long-term you will have a better career than getting a poor low level job in Japan teaching English. And, like someone said then you can go to Japan on holidays.

                              Comment

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