Source: Gaijin Pot
Just as every school is different, every ALT is different. We all come from different walks of life and we all bring our own attitudes and styles to the table when it comes to teaching.
But after years of teaching English in Japan, I think that I’ve boiled it down to a few different styles that we all seem to fall into, in one way or another. Here are just some of the types that occur in the savage wilds of the English learning environment. Be sure to check out the video above to see the other varieties of ALT!
Rather than a type, I think this is more of a “stage” which we all go through. In your first class—AKA the dreaded “self-introduction” class especially, it’s hard not to be a nervous wreck, the overwhelming terror of 40 kids asking you random questions, shouting words in English, or straight up ignoring you. Don’t worry though, with each class you’ll gain confidence over time and inevitably find yourself taking on one of the other ALT personas. Or not if you just hate teaching. But that’s OK, too.
He’s confident, he’s comfortable, he’s amazing. He’s mastered the show-don’t-tell-technique and is ready for the next step of showing just how much of an assimilating superstar he is. It’s time to start instructing the kids in Japanese. Is it because he wants to connect with the kids on a deeper level? Or because he’s studying for the JLPT N2? Either way, the students are impressed AF.
The Cool ALT
A step beyond the Japanes-er, not only is this ALT really good at speaking Japanese, but she’s also a complete superhero. She’s got inside jokes, nicknames, memes, cultural fidelity, and grace with her students. The kids are so comfortable with her, they’ll be able to …continue reading
The least favourite part of a teaching job interview in Japan is the demo lesson, but it is the best way to show your skills and land the job!
With nearly every teaching position in Japan, it will be required to give a brief demo lesson during the interview. Although this might sound daunting – what with the pressure of trying to get the job and all – here is the chance to wow the people evaluating you. So how do you go about doing an amazing demo lesson? Go simple, and release your inner showman.
Before starting, though, why should you bother listening to what I have to say? I have been teaching English in Japan for the past four years. I have taught students from as young as one-year-old to adults at all stages of their careers, and each one requires a different approach. Therefore, the following pieces of advice are based on my experiences. There’s more to a job interview than this, so check this post about crushing step two of the interview.
With that out of the way, here are five points to help you give an amazing demo lesson.
Students are Non-English Speakers, So Treat Them That Way
Remember that if you get the job, the vast majority of your students cannot speak any English. Although that may sound like a no-brainer, it cannot be stressed enough how critical it is to keep this in mind. You will be surprised by how much slang and cultural vernacular comes out while speaking. Be mindful that Japanese people, not just children, may have no context for what specific phrases or idioms mean. For example, using a term like the already used “no-brainer” would not be doing anyone any favors.
If, during the demo, something more natural slips out, do not worry too …continue reading
Source: Japanese Rule of 7
If you 1) were born in an English-speaking country 2) want to work in Japan, and 3) have absolutely no skills or abilities, then English Teacher’s the job for you. Trust me, I’d know. So recently, a reader asked about a line I’d written before: “Your job is to stand there and look white. Or …
Source: Memoirs of a Gaijin
When you move to a new place it can be hard to find new friends. It’s hard enough when you move across the country, let alone across the world. I’ve been here in Japan for about a year, and in that time I have made many friends and discoveries to enliven my time here.
But with each year comes fresh faces to Gunma, and they do not have those same connections. So last weekend, myself and some other Gunmans carried on a tradition of friendly competition to help everyone get to know each other.
The goal was the Golden Cabbage, but the prize was the friends made along the way. This is the Story of Gunma Games 2019.
Setting the Scene
Gunma Games has been an annual tradition of the Gunma Area JET Organization, or GAJET for brevity’s sake, for seven years now. GAJET is all about bringing people together to make Gunma feel like home, and I joined the 2019 staff to lend a hand in that regard.
It’s not common knowledge outside of Gunma that there exist four different regions:
*Tone & Agatsuma are combined for administrative purposes*
In addition to the executive positions, there also exist representatives for each region. I sit on the committee as Tobu’s representative, and my main purpose is to motivate my fellow Tobu-ites to attend GAJET events.
Talking Up Tobu’s Heart
Petty inter-region rivalries exist, but during Gunma Games they tend to exist at their most volatile. After all, there’s nothing better than a day of competition to stoke the flames of contention. Tobu, as the reigning champions of 2017 and 2018, was the region to beat.
Due to its size, Seibu always has players who are unable to join any games, and it’s common to see their members defect for a better chance to play. 2018’s Gunma Games …continue reading