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 07, 2009
Why teaching in Japan?
A new culture, a new environment, money, personal development, professional development,
adventure -- these are just some of the reasons why foreigners come to Japan to teach
English. Japan is home to over 120 million inhabitants, and the popularity and necessity
of studying English is met by a multi-billion dollar English-language-teaching industry.
A continuous flux of foreigners entering and leaving the country means that there are
always opportunities for those looking for teaching jobs in Japan. There are four main
types of teaching jobs:
The Conversation School Teacher
English conversation schools (popularly known as eikaiwa
schools) can be located in almost every town and city in Japan. They hire native
English speakers to teach conversational English to children and adults. The size
of these schools range from small office buildings to national chains covering the
whole of Japan.
The Business English Instructor
Some companies require their employees to study English for their
jobs, others may also offer free or subsidized English lessons as a benefit for their
employees. The highest demand for business English instructors is in Tokyo, since this
is where most of the companies are located.
The High School Teacher
English is a part of the high school curriculum in Japan. Although
all high school students study English, the emphasis is on reading and writing. It is
often the case that most Japanese teachers of English can't speak English at all. The
Japanese government-sponsored JET program hires over 2,000 native English speakers every
year to teach in Japanese high schools.
The University Teacher
Many universities hire English teachers for their foreign language
faculties. Working conditions and salaries are comparable to their Western counterparts.
See the Universities page for more information about
working in the Japanese university system.
ELT News is the website for teaching English in Japan and worldwide and for those looking for English teaching jobs. If you're involved in the English Language Teaching (ELT) Industry, then this site is your home. If you're looking for an English teaching job or another English-related job, check out our teaching jobs section.