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Requirements for English teaching jobs?

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Dec 12, 2013
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Taking into consideration the possibility of one day starting to teach at Universities or other "high-end" places, of course, what are some of the must-have things for someone to start teaching in Japan, and, of course, progress his/her career? Obviously, fluency in the English language is a must, but do I have to be as fluent in Japanese? Or maybe just basic Japanse? Also, what about degrees? Anything specific?

Last but not least, how viable is English teaching as a life-long career choice?

Thanks, guys :D
 

Mike Cash

骨も命も皆此の土地に埋めよう
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The reason you haven't gotten any replies after several hours is probably because there are already many threads which discuss this and provide the answers and everybody else is hanging back and waiting for somebody else to be the one to come across as rude and unwelcoming by pointing that out.

A quick google search on "requirements teaching english in japan" yielded several very promising results.

We're very happy to have you with us and to help you in any way we can, but people aren't terribly eager to type up this commonly sought information anew each and every time somebody asks first instead of searching first.
 
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Hi Crystaline

Welcome, though I hardly have enough posts to be a greeter. ;)

To get a job you need to have a degree. As far as high end jobs, I suppose it depends on how you want to define high end and how many "low end" (whatever that means in your mind) people you want turn off with your first post.

Teaching English in Japan is very much any other profession in that your academic qualifications will to some extent determine what Jobs you might get. But also like any other profession your other qualifications: experience, networking, Japanese language ability, and so one will play a role.

The good and bad thing about teaching overseas in general is that entry in to the profession can be quite easy, which means that perhaps there are some people that are not best suited to the profession, teaching, and on the other hand, people can get an opportunity to teach in a variety of situations and develop their teaching skills.
 
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Thanks for replying, tomoni.
I've heard about something called a "teacher's license". How's the process to obtain one like?
 
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Thanks for replying, tomoni.
I've heard about something called a "teacher's license". How's the process to obtain one like?
In short, it would depend on whether you meant one from Japan or from another country. Again, in short/in practice to get a teacher's license in Japan you would need to graduate from a J Uni in education. From a foreign country (presumably your own) it would depend on your country. Again depending on your country, it could be helpful if you wanted to work at an international school.
 
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The requirements differ based on which sort of teaching job you want and which work visa you get.

entry level (eikaiwa or ALT): bachelor's degree in any subject, but in your case (native of Portugal) if you want to teach English, you'll need to show that your education has been all in English.
eikaiwa require a mere Specialist in Humanities/International Relations visa.
The applicant must fulfill all of the following requirements; provided, however, that this shall not apply to cases where the applicant intends to engage in duties related to representation associated with the proceedings in an international arbitration case as provided in Article 58-2 of the Special Measures Act on the Handling of Legal Business by Foreign Lawyers (Act No. 66 of 1986).
(i) In cases where the applicant intends to engage in duties that require knowledge in the humanities, he/she must have graduated from university or acquired an education equivalent thereto, and majored in a subject pertaining to the knowledge necessary for performing the duties in which he/she intends to engage, or must have at least 10 years' experience (including the period of time spent majoring in the subject related to such knowledge at a university, college of technology (koto senmon gakko), senior high school, during a course of study in the latter part of secondary school (chuto kyoiku gakko), or during a specialized course of study at a vocational school (senshu gakko)).
(ii) In cases where the applicant intends to engage in duties that require ways of thinking or sensibilities that have their foundations in a foreign culture, he/she must fulfill all of the following requirements.
(a) The applicant must engage in translation, interpretation, language instruction, public relations, overseas transactions, fashion or interior design, product development, or other, similar duties.
(b) The applicant must have at least 3 years' experience in the relevant duties; provided, however, that this shall not apply to cases where the applicant who has graduated from university is to engage in translation, interpretation, or language instruction.
ALTs require what is called an Instructor work visa:
(i) In cases where the applicant is to engage in instruction at a miscellaneous educational institution (kakushu gakko) or an educational institution equivalent thereto in facilities and curriculum, or in cases where the applicant is to engage in instruction at a school other than these in a capacity other than that of a teacher, the applicant must fulfill all of the following requirements. In cases where the applicant is to engage in instruction at a miscellaneous educational institution or an educational institution equivalent thereto in facilities and curriculum which has been established to provide primary or secondary education in a foreign language to children who attend such schools and who have the status of residence of "Diplomat" or "Official" as listed in Appended Table I (1) of the Immigration Control Act or "Dependent" as listed in Appended Table I (4) of the Immigration Control Act, the applicant need only fulfill requirement (a).
(a) The applicant must have graduated from university or acquired an education equivalent thereto, or must hold a license to teach the subject that he/she intends to teach.
(b) When the applicant intends to teach a foreign language, he/she must have acquired an education in said language for at least 12 years. When the applicant is to teach any other subject, he/she must have at least 5 years' teaching experience in that subject.

international school: college degree again but this time in a relevant field, plus 2 years of work experience with a teaching license from your home country.
university job: minimum of a master's degree (usually in a relevant field), publications, some Japanese fluency, some experience.

What education and experience do you have at the moment? How old are you? Is your nationality Portuguese?
 
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What education and experience do you have at the moment? How old are you? Is your nationality Portuguese?
Thank you for your in-depth response, Glenski. Really appreciate it.

I'm Portuguese, yes, but I'm fully fluent in the English language, both verbally and written-wise. Essentially, I've been exposed to so much content throughout my life that I've even gotten the accents and mannerisms down, so I'm pretty much indistinguishable at this point, haha. Some users did mention that, because I'm from a different nationality, I'd have to somehow "prove" I know the language well enough?

Anyways, I'm 24 and almost done with my current university degree, which happens to be translation, but truth be told, I'm not sure if I'm gonna end up switching to something different entirely. As far as learning Japanese goes, I'm gonna do as many levels as possible in a language school, and hopefully be able to get the N3 level done in the JLPT over here. Further fluency can only be acquired in the country itself, imo, so I might continue my studies there in another language school. Might actually get a master's degree or some sort of specialization there, too, but we'll see.
 
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Some users did mention that, because I'm from a different nationality, I'd have to somehow "prove" I know the language well enough?
It doesn't matter that you may feel or be so very fluent (and I would hope that you don't use "gonna" in your translations or job applications ;) ). English is a second or foreign language to you, so you're probably (as I wrote earlier) going to have to prove you have 12 years of education all in English in order to teach it. See point (i) (b) above for instructor visa. If you were to come here on the JET Programme and be an ALT that way, you'd have to get the Instructor work visa, but it may not require that proof. I'd confirm at an embassy if I were you.
 
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