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Guide to Japan and Teaching English in Japan

Michael Chan Former ELT News editor Michael Chan wrote this comprehensive guide to teaching English in Japan. It covers just about any question you might have, from the kind of qualifications you need to the differences between the different kinds of schools.

This resource is aimed at those interested in pursuing a teaching career in Japan. We welcome further additions and comments to this page. If there is information you cannot find in this guide - post your query on the Message Board or contact ELT News using our contact form

January 04, 2009

Company Classes

Company lessons are usually provided in two ways. The larger companies have their own in-house teachers. These positions are rarely advertised and are usually filled by personal recommendation. Most companies use outside agencies which procure for company contracts. A lot of these agencies are located in Tokyo and the competition for contracts is high. These agencies are the ones that advertise for teachers (usually as ‘language consultants’), as opposed to the companies themselves.

Teaching business classes is a good way for teachers with free time to earn more money. The paid rate per hour is usually higher than conversation schools.

Each agency will have a few full time teachers or co-ordinators, though teachers are usually hired on a course-by-course basis. An example course could be one 90-minute lesson a week for 10 weeks, or two lessons a week for 6 months. These courses are usually paid by the hour. Many conversation school teachers supplement their regular hours with some evening hours teaching business classes. Unlike conversational schools, agencies do expect some their teachers to have teaching experience or qualifications. These agencies rarely advertise abroad as there is already a large pool of teachers in Japan who want to work more hours.

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