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Getting a non-teaching Job in Japan, How difficult is it?

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Glenski

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Quite demanding. You have to jump through so many hoops, and yet the eikaiwa themselves have a pretty bad rep. Especially NOVA. 100 questions shouldn't be that tough, I assume, especially if you'd taken grammar courses in school and had to take the SATs and GREs.
When I took the test for ECC, everyone was in the same room. You'd be surprised at how many groans and moans could be heard. Some even outwardly said, "There's nothing wrong with this sentence!" yet they had to find a mistake. Just goes to show that SATs don't mean one is well-versed in English grammar.

Then again, as a tutor at my institute, I've noticed vast differences in terminology between TEFL textbooks and the classic English Macmillian grammar books I had in school, especially with the tenses. And it is difficult to remember exactly what an adjective clause is, even though we use it constantly.
That's not the terminology I meant. I meant knowing what TEFL terminology was, such as the names of certain teaching strategies like TPR. You won't find those in a grammar book.

It seems to me that it is much better to try to get a teaching job at a smaller English school or a cram school. The Big Four supposedly treat you like a number,
Well, is it any wonder? NOVA has 5000 teachers on staff, for example. What large corporation in general in the world treats its thousands of employees like family? Anyway, another issue lies with the branch you get placed in. Some are better than others.

And, another point is that tons of people (probably the majority of new teachers) come here fresh out of college having never worked a FT job in their lives, or come with outdated secondhand information about living & working here, or come with lots of personal baggage, or have narrow-minded views of a foreign land such that they impose far too much of their own western culture on Japan. The result? Disappointment, hardship, severe culture shock, complaints. Realize, too, that eikaiwas usually don't care what your major in college was; that is part of the problems, too, but it is probably one that is not going to go away, so it is more a matter of screening out people based on their personalities and potential (which is what they do now anyway).

The aim is long-term. If you want a job in Japan, teaching English is a stepping-stone. (snip)
Just make sure you don't get locked into teaching English forever. It is a means to an end.[/QUOTE]
That depends on a person's goals and training. For those who actually study to become teachers, the above remarks do not apply.
 

jmwintenn

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What kids and what class are you talking about? If you helped a few classmates who speak the same language as you to learn biology or social studies or psychology, you are comparing apples to oranges if you think it is comparable to teaching a foreigner how to speak English. Please clarify so I can fully understand.
I've tutored spanish students and students from the balkan states in english and math and science.I also taught a Chinese immigrant on my soccer team basic english during the season so he could catch when the other players were teasing him.




As for "just good control of the language", you are going to be scrutinized during the interview for your English language skills. Most if not all of those eikaiwas you mentioned even have a 100-question exam based on grammar, vocabulary, and knowledge of TEFL terminology to weed out applicants. You will also have to present a demonstration lesson during the interview.
Well,I got a 34 out of 36 on the english portion of the ACT,so I doubt their test would be a nail biter. Lesson shouldn't be a hurdle to plan, though I'd have to look up the TEFL terminology as I don't know any.
 

ET_Fukuoka

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"You'll need a pulse, and a necktie and pleasant disposition also help.

Those plus a degree and you're in like Flynn, friend."



I am far from the smartest guy in the world (C to B average and lazy as hell university student that did the minimum to get through) but I thought it was easy to get a job at Nova. I guess I passed the grammar test and did good enough in the interview. So I always say anyone with a 4 year degree can get a job teaching in Japan. If Nova wont take you someone else probably will (You might have to teach in the sticks though).

PS. "Once....I too had a dream of moving to Tokyo to get a non-teaching job for some international company." I put in for a transfer to Tokyo twice, but for some reason I cancelled both times. I still wonder if it was the right thing to do or not...
 
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When I took the test for ECC, everyone was in the same room.
I assumed you had to take it over in Japan, right? From what I've read, some of these companies don't recruit outside of Japan (or if they do, you have to fly there just to get interviewed).

That's not the terminology I meant. I meant knowing what TEFL terminology was, such as the names of certain teaching strategies like TPR. You won't find those in a grammar book.
Ah. Well, I guess I've got homework to do.

What large corporation in general in the world treats its thousands of employees like family?
Umm, none that I know of.

Anyway, another issue lies with the branch you get placed in. Some are better than others.
Fun, fun, fun. That's just more stuff I have to look into. I'd rather not work for one of the Big Four, but the more research I do, the more it looks like I may have to, at least, for the six-month contract term, while looking for something new.

Then again, I might get lucky and get placed in a good branch where everything is cool.

That depends on a person's goals and training. For those who actually study to become teachers, the above remarks do not apply.
Well, yeah, I kinda thought that was given, but, you're right. I know plenty of people at my job who love to teach English. I, personally, find English infinitely boring, and am much more interested in other languages.

ET_Fukuoka said:
So I always say anyone with a 4 year degree can get a job teaching in Japan. If Nova wont take you someone else probably will (You might have to teach in the sticks though).
Actually, I've been worried that, instead of making me more desirable, my experience and my MA will shaft me into the "overqualified" abyss.
 

zeroyon

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Well I know this thread is old as sin, but thought I would give an update...

I graduated from my engineering program a few years ago and have been working in the US for almost two years. I managed to recently land an engineering-related job in Japan, after almost a year of applying to many, many places.

The job is quite well-paying and I should be able to easily afford to rent a nice condo or house, and have a car. It was definately hard to get an engineering job in Japan, but I somehow finally did it :)

Thanks for all your advice everyone!!
 

Mike Cash

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After years and years of figurative frog kissing we finally found a prince!!!!!
 

Petaris

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Congratulatins zeroyon! :)

Too bad stories like these are so rare, but you obviously put in the effort to make it happen when many don't! :)
 

nice gaijin

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keep us updated on how things go, sir. And congratulations.
 
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From what I can work out, practically impossible unless you speak, read and write Japanese fluently to a native level.

Unlike many Western countries, Japan is still a little xenophobic and doesn't particularly like employing foreigners outside of the EFL sector, so unless you're really good at what you do, and speak fluent Japanese your hopes are slim.

From what I can gather, Japanese employers will not make allowances for you because you're foreign. If you go to the interview and make grammatical mistakes in your Japanese, and generally not speak it to a near perfect level then quite often that alone will be enough of a reason for you not to get the job.

Japan is a country where no concessions are made for foreigners. If you want the job you've got to prove your as worthy as a Japanese candidate, including linguistically.
 
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