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Teaching English in Japan as a Non-Native?

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Teaching English in Japan as a Non-Native? 2013/1/3 05:54
Hi, I'm an 18 year-old Portuguese girl and I'm graduating next year with a degree in Language and Business. I plan on taking a Master's degree either in Translation or Applied Languages and I was wondering if it would be very hard for me to get a job teaching English in Japan, keeping in mind that when I finish both degrees I'll be not also fluent in English(I believe I'm already native-level at English right now, I've been speaking it since I was a little kid) and also Spanish and, of course, my own language, Portuguese(which I hear will have a greater demand in the future than it has now). I am also at conversational level in Japanese, as I have taken an intensive course over the summer, and have been learning it on my own since I was 13.

Given all this info, do you think it will be possible to get a job?

Thank you :)

by SNYuki (guest)  

Re: Teaching English in Japan as a Non-Native? 2013/1/3 14:05
A few other threads on this forum on the same topic - please search the forum with key words like "non-native English teaching" to see more threads like those:

http://www.japan-guide.com/forum/quereadisplay.html?0+62172

http://www.japan-guide.com/forum/quereadisplay.html?0+91596

Even though some of these other threads are old, it is still true that you will be competing for English teaching positions with native speakers of the English languages, some with experience, others without. So it will not be easy.

Another thing: you cannot possibly be finishing up a degree at age 18? Please note that you will need to have a bachelor's degree (or its equivalent) at least.

by AK rate this post as useful

Re: Teaching English in Japan as a Non-Native? 2013/1/4 06:15
I've been searching the forum for those questions as well, and have read quite a lot of them but I was wondering about anyone familiar with my particular situation because I've never heard of someone from my country that went to teach in Japan and would appreciate any advice.

And yes, I'll be finishing up my 3 year course while I'm still 19 years old because I got in at 17(I skipped a year in elementary school), so my master's will probably be finished when I'm 21.

by SNYuki (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Teaching English in Japan as a Non-Native? 2013/1/4 12:35
Well, while it is true I have not read questions by anyone from your country wishing to teach English in Japan, I thought that those threads might be useful; one particular point is that if you are not a native speaker of English, you need to be able to show that you were educated "in" the English language as the media, either for 10 or 12 years, I'm not sure. Was your education so far given in English language? That's an important point that can be a common issue for all non-natives hoping to teach English in Japan, regardless of which country you come from. And another is the issue of competition; the economy is not good, meaning English language schools are not hiring as often/many teachers as they once used to, so you will be competing alongside native speakers of English.
by AK rate this post as useful

Re: Teaching English in Japan as a Non-Native? 2013/1/5 00:23
Yes, I'd heard about needing 12 years of school taught in english and unfortunately that is not my case. I think that at an interview I can show my knowledge of english but other than that I think it's quite impossible.
by SNYuki (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Teaching English in Japan as a Non-Native? 2013/1/5 08:43
Well even if you show off your English in an interview, I am pretty sure you still wouldn't be able to get a working visa. It would probably be much easier for you to try for a job teaching your native language.
by Domain (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Teaching English in Japan as a Non-Native? 2013/1/5 09:02
That was what I had been thinking of, maybe trying to get a job at my own language and after that trying to "weasel" my way into teaching English, but I haven't seen anything related to teaching my language on the internet and since I'm not in Japan, I can't be sure if there will be any opportunities.
by SNYuki (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Teaching English in Japan as a Non-Native? 2013/1/5 11:34
Once you have your qualifications and everything ready, you could go to Japan on a working holiday visa and look for work while there.
by Domain (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Teaching English in Japan as a Non-Native? 2013/1/5 14:36
I'm not sure if Working Holiday Visa arrangement is available to Portuguese nationals.

Since you are thinking of studying translation as well, that's something you could consider for a career... since you know three languages, teaching English in Japan to me sounds like a waste of your talent.

by AK rate this post as useful

Re: Teaching English in Japan as a Non-Native? 2013/1/7 01:17
I think you'll be able to find a job to teach Portuguese.

As for English, I know there are non-native speakers who teach the language in Japan. The Dutch commentator Karel van Wolferen, who is quite well known in Japan, used to be a teacher of English, they say, even though he doesn't speak like a native. I've heard of some other cases, too.

On the website fruitfulenglish.com, there's a Pole who teaches how to write English. His English is obviously not good enough, but he's got a job. Sorry, Jacek!

by Bernay rate this post as useful

Re: Teaching English in Japan as a Non-Native? 2013/7/31 21:57
SNYuki
I really appreciate your life effort to become an English teacher. As an English teacher I have no alternative but encourage you in your search for English teaching job.
In fact, your profile with English, Portuguese, and Japanese constitute efficient means to acquire a job as a language teacher.
However, your choice for Japan can make it a bit difficult due to some factors.
1. In Japan as in the middle eastern countries native teacher are favored.
2. teaching experience is also very important to the Japanese recruiters.
3. Certificates of English teaching; TESOL,TEFL, CELTA etc. are necessary.
There are countries that recruit non native with almost the same wages as Japan such as China, South Korea, and Turkey where I am teaching as a non native speaker at present.
I wish you success in your endeavors

Carle C.

by Carle Castin (guest) rate this post as useful

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