I’ve been teaching English in Japan for three years with the JET Programme, and I love every minute of it! Teaching abroad comes with challenges, so I will use this blog to review my experience with the JET Programme as well as share some TEFL activities that have worked well with my students and give you tips to work better with your Japanese co-teacher. Enjoy!
English Conversation is a big TEFL market in Japan, so the question that people who want to teach English in Japan ask themselves is what to expect as a conversational teacher. In this article I will give you a run-down of a typical day as a conversational teacher.
My time spent teaching at three elementary schools has taught me that there are huge differences between class atmosphere and the way students respond to you. I have gathered a few simple teaching tips that can be applied to all lessons, and are good to remember while teaching or lesson planning for an elementary class.
-Sarah is Teaching English in Japan
If there is one thing I have learned from my time teaching English in Japan as an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT), it is how to be flexible. I teach with twelve homeroom teachers from three elementary schools and none of them have been specifically trained to teach English. This has provided both fascinating and difficult situations, and there are many challenges an ALT could face while co-teaching. Part of the battle is identifying the problem and dealing with it. I would like to point out three different types of teaching styles you may encounter while teaching in Japan, and provide some input on how you might be able to improve your co-teaching relationships with them.
Teaching English Conversation classes in Japan can be challenging because discussions don’t spark very naturally. Japanese people are very social and friendly in their personal affairs, but in the classroom they do not speak until asked to speak by the teacher. This cultural behaviour can make an English Conversation class slow and boring. In this article, I will show you how the TESOL certification course I completed with OnTESOL helped my lessons become more engaging.
Many of my ESL students here in Japan are older adults in small group or private lessons. Many have studied English during their junior high and high school years and were taught English with the Grammar Translation Method and the Direct Method. They have not had much experience actually using the language, so I find that many students are very shy and are afraid of making mistakes when speaking English, which holds them back from trying to improve their conversation skills.
Japan is a very active market to teach English in. It is also a culturally rich, clean and safe place to live, but it will take preparation as well as an open mind and sensitivity to the Japanese culture to live here. If you think Japan might be the place for you, and you would like to spend some time teaching English here; here are some considerations to take concerning getting a TESOL job in Japan.
Other then the obvious language difference, there is a lot more to being a foreigner in Japan. Culture shock may or may not happen to you. It really depends on how open your personality might be or just how prepared and knowledgeable you might be of Japan. Below are a few important facts about Japanese culture: