There are many ways to get a job teaching English in Japan, but most ESL (English as a Second Language) and EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teachers find employment in one of the following ways:
Japan is home to hundreds, if not thousands, of English schools. Teaching in an English school is absolutely the best option for people who want to teach English in Japan. Teaching in an English school has many advantages:
1. Most English schools hire teachers throughout the year, which means you don’t have to wait for a specific application ‘season’ or organize your schedule around the school.
2. Many English schools help their teachers find accommodation (some even provide it), obtain health insurance, and immerse themselves in Japanese culture. They help ease the transition period.
3. You will receive a lot of on-the-job training when teaching in an English school, which allows you to get a job at a school even if you are not TESL or TEFL certified.
For those interested in national or international English schools, AEON and GEOS are the most popular Japanese English schools. If you want a more independent business, schools like GABA, WinBe, and ECC are smaller and offer more flexibility in programs and courses.
Companies that invest
There are also sites that accept student applications and handle the selection process on behalf of private schools. It saves time both for the person wishing to find a job in Japan and for companies wishing to hire staff. These types of organizations often have a wide variety of high paying jobs to choose from. One of the busiest sites in the industry that also offers a lot of unique tips and perspectives on life in Japan for those who want to teach English in Japan is AACircle.com.au
The JET program
JET is Japan’s exchange and education program. Rather than focusing solely on teaching English as a second or foreign language, the JET program is sponsored by the government. Teachers from all over the world live and interact with local Japanese communities. They serve as teachers of English in the classroom and are given many creative opportunities.
The Jet program specializes in placing English teachers in rural towns and provides full immersion, as the teacher typically works with all-Japanese school staff. While culture shock is to be expected, this is the best way to get the real experience of living and working in Japan.
There are many small English schools, as well as positions available in primary and secondary schools in Japan looking for instructors. In addition to positions in schools, there are also many companies that want to hire English teachers. In order to obtain any of these positions, it is imperative that you obtain your TESL or TEFL certification before starting the application process. These jobs are not interested in locating people who want to immerse themselves in Japanese culture. They want qualified English teachers and the certification gives them an edge over other applicants.
Of course, teaching English part-time in Japan doesn’t have the benefits of the JET program or one of the larger national English schools. You will need to find your own accommodation, insurance, etc.
If you don’t want to be tied to the expectations of a school or program, part-time and/or freelance English teaching positions may be the way to go. Of course, if you are not yet ready to fully immerse yourself in Japanese culture, you may be better suited to one of the national schools or federal programs.