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Teach English in Japan


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Teaching Effectively in Japan

As already mentioned most Japanese learners of English have already had 6 years plus of English lessons at school. They are not looking for more of the same, so text books - if used at all - should be applied very sparingly. That's not to say you as a teacher shouldn't use text books. You probably should as they're an excellent source of ideas. It's just that if you tell your students to open their books to page 37 they'll probably disappear faster than you can say sayonara. Instead, adapt what you find in text books and present it your own way. It's OK to photocopy bits and pieces now and again because that looks like you've chosen that section especially for the individual.


If you are employed by the JET program or one of the big English school companies they will more than likely arrange accommodation for you. You are of course free to find your own housing if you so wish.

Living in school-found accommodation has the advantage of an English speaking contact to sort out repairs or other problems. The disadvantage is that it's difficult to quit a job that may not be for you while living in their accommodation. I have also heard of at least one school that charges its teachers a significant premium over market rental rates for use of its accommodation - so beware!

There are several English speaking accommodation agencies advertising in the free English language press, and these generally provide decent accommodation, but at a price.

An alternative favored by many single English teachers are the so-called "gaijin houses" (literally foreigner's house). These are basically hostels that rent out basic, but adequately comfortable, rooms mainly to non-Japanese clientele. Usually bathroom, kitchen-room and sometimes communal sitting room are shared. Gaijin house advertisements are to be found in the free English language press.

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