5 Ways On How to Teach English in Japan

Published September 19th, 2015

Teaching overseas has become very popular in the last decade. It's a great way to see the world while helping people. You become immersed in a local culture and you get to make money while doing it! But with so many ways on how teach English in Japan, it can become confusing to figure out how to get started! So let's go through some of the options you have to become an English Teacher in Japan and soon you'll become a sensei (先生) ! JET is a great program for those wanting to know how teach English in Japan The most popular program you’ve already heard of is JET, the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program. JET is a Japanese government sponsored program. If you are a native English speaker, JET will help you teach English in Japan by placing you in a public school in Japan. While knowing Japanese is a plus, it’s not necessary for placement in the program. If you want to join a program that is very well known, JET is the program for you. GABA is an alternative way to teach English in Japan GABA is a private company that hires teachers that want to be private tutors. It's a great program for people who want to teach English in Japan because of a few reasons.

First, GABA provides training for new teachers. This is great for people new to teaching English in Japan or any other overseas country. Second, GABA can provide visa sponsorship for people. This is helpful if you can not get a special working holiday visa.

Finally, GABA will pay you based on how many lessons you teach each week. You work as an independent contractor which means you can balance work and life. During your spare time you can tour Japan or even find other work opportunities.

But be sure to save your money! You'll need to pay for your own airfare and accommodations. This can make the upfront cost high.

AEON is helpful for newcomers wanting to know how to teach English in Japan If you’ve done any research on teaching English in Japan, you will have come across AEON. AEON tries to improve the English skills students already learn in public school. In public schools in Japan, English lessons focus on reading and writing. In AEON institutions, they focus on improving student's speaking abilities. These "conversation schools" are otherwise known as Eikaiwa-gakko (英会話学校) in Japan.

AEON is great for people new to teaching English in Japan. They even provide an apartment for all new teachers! You don't even need to have previous English teaching experience, but it is a plus if you have it! To be part of AEON, you'll need to agree to work full-time for one year. And they want you to have a bachelor's degree and be a native English speaker.

AEON hires applicants year-round, so go apply today!

Westgate is probably the hardest start to teaching in Japan, but the best quality Westgate is another conversation school in Japan. They offer English classes to young students as well as University students. University level positions can be hard to find, so this is a great opportunity.

We hear their application process is pretty tough! But they is competitive. Westgate will also provide a free apartment and reimburse you for your airfare!

This is one of the more serious schools! Applicants are very competitive. If you have previous teaching experience, Westgate is worth applying for.

ECC is a great and safe way to teach English in Japan ECC is a school not only in Japan. They are also in South Korea as well! It is another conversation school. Like Westgate and AEON, they provide apartments for all their teachers.

ECC wants you to have a bachelor's degree. And you must be a native English speaker. If you have previous teaching experience and also speak Japanese, that's a big plus!

Because ECC is popular and very reputable, you don't have to worry about being in bad conditions. They pay market rate and their apartments are not scary. This makes it great for newcomers traveling to Japan.

ECC hires throughout the year. VISA applications take about three months, so get started soon!

You can start teaching English in Japan on your own!

One of the best (though often tedious) ways to find how to teach English in Japan is to scour the job boards. - There is a good one at GaijinPot

  • DavesESLCafe is usually known for finding jobs in South Korea. But you can find Japanese jobs at their international job board.
  • "How to Teach English in Japan" also offers a list of “green schools.” Their users review these jobs as good places to work. Check it out: here!

Do you have any other great resources for teaching in Japan? Any personal experiences you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments!