Category Archives: EDUCATION

The Smart Guide to Teaching English in Japan

The Roadmap to Level Up your Teaching Career in Japan

You’ve seen all the comments on Facebook, reddit and forums – people who came here during the English teaching bubble telling you that you’ll never have it as good as they did in the ‘90s. They were raking in ¥400,000 and had a subsidised apartment and a free car. They had it made.

People who came here after the bubble burst might tell you now that there’s no chance to get higher paying jobs or a better life in Japan, but they are wrong. Many people will come and go in Japan and never make more than the modern average eikaiwa salary of ¥250k, but for those who learn the lay of the land and build up the qualifications and the career capital, there are more opportunities now than there have ever been.

Some people will never see those opportunities, because the fact is that Japan is a very different jobs market from the West. That’s where the Smart Guide to Teaching English in Japan comes in. Charlie and Martin from Live Work Play Japan have spent years in Japan finding out what works right now, and how to make yourself ready to get hired for the top-paying teaching jobs here. The book talks about the kinds of teaching jobs there are, what you need to get them, how to craft your resume narrative to be a no-brainer candidate, and the strategies they have used to successfully find jobs with top hourly rates. This has worked for Charlie, who is now teaching a few part-time jobs per week but making considerably more money than he was at his full-time job that finished in April 2016.

The Bark is Worse than the Bite

Many of us know that the voice of fear is loud. For people …continue reading


Learning Japanese when you don't feel like you need to...

Back when I was in high school, we were offered a choice of two languages to study (it was compulsory to do at least one for a couple of years). My school had the choice of German or Japanese – and I ended up choosing Japanese. Quite frankly though, as a stubborn teenager I never saw the importance or value of learning a language. As sad as it is to admit now, the train of thought that I had as a 14 or 15 year old was”pssssh…when am I ever going to need to speak or write Japanese?” Fast forward to now, as a 30-something who moved here a few years ago because of my husband’s work. Oh, how part of me wishes that I could jump back in time and pay more attention in those “lazy classes” as I saw them back then. I remembered little more than broken sentences (and the occasional familiar looking hiragana) from those days. In the four years that I’ve spent living in Tokyo, 12 months of that was in the inner city while my husband completed a fellowship program, and the next three were at a US military base – and again, my laziness seemed to take hold. Perhaps laziness is the wrong word, the path of least resistance is probably a better way of phrasing it. Living on a military base here was easy, because everyone around me spoke English. Sure, when I would go off base and need to mail something I would wish for a better grasp on the language – or when I saw another mom in an elevator at the mall with similar aged kids, and all I could muster was a “kawaii!” in reference to her children – but for the most part it was just too …continue reading


5 ways to study Japanese

Studing a language is a big challenge for everyone, especially if you are not a language genius it can be very tough. Also Japanese is a totally different language comparing to western languages like English, German or Spanish. If you can speak Chinese it might not be so difficult, because Japanese and Chinese has many things in common like the writing system. I already tried out many ways to study Japanese. Here is my list of 5 ways to study a language and also my experience:• Language schoolLanguages schools offer different classes to study Japanese. In my home country those classes were hold mostly 1-2 times a week in small groups. It takes very long time to get a good knowledge of the language. Language schools in Japan are a little bit different. Often you can choose between different kind of courses. For example the 1-2 years intensive course where you really study every day very intensive Japanese (listing, writing, speaking). It is very similar to a normal school. The chance that you are fluent in Japanese after that time is very high, but all depends on your effort.If you can speak already Japanese you can also join a university preparation class or a JLPT preparation class.If you want to focus more on your conversations skills, you can visit a conversation class. Usually those classes are for a few hours every afternoon and really focus only on speaking.I joined a normal Japanese course in my home country and a conversation course in Japan for a half year. For me a language course at a school was very good for learning the basics of the language especially for the right pronunciation.• Language exchangeA language exchange is a good opportunity to work on your language skills. Usually you will meet with a …continue reading


Stand and Deliver: 6 Tips for Creating ALT Lesson Plans

Source: Gaijin Pot
Stand and Deliver: 6 Tips for Creating ALT Lesson Plans

The introductions and your first few lessons are over, so now is the time as an ALT in Japan when you should be getting the hang of things. However, sometimes ALTs aren’t really prepared to create a basic lesson structure. That’s where this A Little Training for ALTs post comes in.

Today, we’ll go over a typical lesson plan and break down what should be included in each part. This structure can be adapted for any class and any level. So, if you’re in doubt or curious about what an actual ALT’s class entails, then please this article is for you.

Keeping the same structure when you come up with your lessons will not only make them easier to create, but it will make it easier for your students to understand what you are teaching. For example, they will expect you to greet them at the beginning of each lesson as you have done so far while teaching them. So, when you arrive, they will be ready and have their minds set to “greeting mode.”

The same will go for the other part of the lesson. So, let’s begin.

1. Greetings

You always want to start the class with some form of greeting. The students — depending on the period in which they have English — may have other classes or school events on their mind. This will pull their focus to English mode and have them ready to speak in another language. You can keep it simple with the first and second graders just by saying “Hello” and “How are you?” Just keep adding more greetings as they improve or as you teach the higher grades. For example for the fifth- and sixth-year students, questions like, “How is the weather” or “What day is it?” are par for the course

2. Warm …continue reading