The Greenlist of English Schools in Japan

Thoughts and Opinions on Teaching English in Japan, plus many lists of good schools in Japan at our homepage. You can post your resume or job for free too. Check out the homepage!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

JET Program - Experience Japan and Earn an Income

JET Program - Experience Japan and Earn an Income
By Kevin R Burns

The JET Program is an ideal way for young people to get to know Japan, whilst
earning an income at the same time. But, what exactly is JET, how does it differ
from other English-teaching jobs in Japan, who can apply, and what
qualifications do you need?

What is JET?

The Program was first introduced in 1987, and is run by Japan's Ministry of
Foreign Affairs and Public Management and Education.

Under it, each year, between 2,500 and 3,000 people are employed from a variety
of different countries to assist and teach in junior and senior high schools
throughout Japan's 47 prefectures. The aim is not purely for the students to
learn English though. An equally important emphasis is placed on promoting
cultural exchange and internationalization.

Although three positions are available under the Program, only two can actually
be applied for. These posts are Assistant Language Teacher or ALT, which is
fairly self-explanatory; and, Coordinator for International Relations (CIR),
which involves organizing cultural activities.

Although you won't necessarily need a knowledge of Japanese for the post of ALT,
it is useful for the job of CIR. Also, you can't apply for more than one


First of all, you should be young! Applications are accepted from people between
the ages of 20 to 40, but it's a well-known fact that recent university
graduates are favored.

You'll also need to be enthusiastic and motivated, with a keen interest in
Japan, and a desire to work with young people.

As far as academic qualifications go, you should have a university degree,
preferably being qualified to teach in primary/elementary schools.

How To Apply.

You should apply between September and January. Interviews will take place at
your country's embassy or consulate around March/April. Then, if you're
successful, you'll be notified from May onwards, actually leaving for Japan in


Unfortunately, you have to go to the area of Japan the Program picks for you, so
conditions vary tremendously. You could be placed in a large city... or in a
small, country village.

Pay is better than many English-teaching jobs in Japan, with a salary of 300,000
yen a month. For this, you'll be expected to work 35 hours a week.

The initial contract is for one year, though this can sometimes be renewed. As
long as you complete your 12-month contract, your flights will be paid there and
back. However, health insurance is not included, and you'll be expected to pay
40,000 yen a month for this.

It's undeniable that competition is extremely fierce for acceptance but, if
you're lucky enough to be one of the successful candidates, the JET Program can
be a truly rewarding way of getting to know Japan.

Kevin Burns is creator of
where you'll discover interesting information about the popular
[]JET Program.

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Teaching English in Japan - 7 Frequently Asked Questions

Teaching English in Japan - 7 Frequently Asked Questions
By Kevin R Burns

Does the idea of teaching English in Japan appeal to you? Although there's plenty of work available, you'll need to prepare yourself well in advance. So, check out the answers to these seven frequently asked questions. They'll help you secure a suitable job, avoid major pitfalls, enabling you to get the best out of your teaching stay in this wonderful country.

1. Which Town Or City? First of all, you'll need to decide whereabouts in Japan you'd like to work. Take into account that there tends to be lots of competition for teaching posts in major cities such as Tokyo and Osaka. Also, rents are higher, but salaries not necessarily much greater than smaller cities and towns. On the other hand, if you don't know any Japanese, and the idea of being surrounded by mainly Japanese culture doesn't appeal, the larger cities may suit you better.

2. Find The Job Before You Go Or When You Get There? Are you planning to fly to Japan and then seek work? In that case, you'll need to go on a 3-month travel visa and then, once you find your job, you should temporarily leave Japan to apply for a working visa. Really, it's best to secure a job from your home country. Your employer will see to most of the paperwork necessary for a working visa.

3. Which Qualifications? What qualifications will you need to secure a job in Japan teaching English? Generally speaking, the ideal is to possess a university degree and a TEFL or similar teaching certificate. A little knowledge of Japanese won't go amiss, either. Having said that, the larger chains of English-learning schools don't always require a teaching certificate, unlike the smaller schools, which tend to want more experienced teachers.

4. How Do You Find The Job? If you're applying to larger schools, such as Geos, ECC, Berlitz, Aeon, and Gaba, you'll need to apply round about March/April. Other ways of securing your teaching job include looking for work and posting your CV online, applying to individual smaller schools, and using a TEFL placement agency.

5. How Much Will You Earn? Although salaries vary, you can expect to earn around 250,000 yen a month. More often than not, the school will provide you with an apartment, although you will have to pay for this.

6. Will The School Pay My Flight? Generally speaking, you will be responsible for the cost of your flight. One exception to this is the Jet Program, although this tends to be more difficult to get into.

7. How About Health Insurance? You'll need to check whether your contract includes health insurance. Usually it does but, with some schools, you'll need to take this out and pay for it yourself.

Now you have the main facts, with a little persistence and perseverance, you're sure to find a job teaching English in Japan. Have a wonderful time!

Kevin Burns is creator of [] where you'll discover interesting information about []teaching English in Japan.

JINES Newsletter

Editors Notes

Another blow to our Industry in Japan

Regrettably last week another Study Abroad office, Sakushiio (, went bankrupt and in the process took millions of Yen away from ordinary students wishing to further their studies.

This is not the first study abroad company in Japan to go into liquidation with the well-publicised Gateway 21 also closing its doors earlier this year and placing thousands of students into trouble. But what is most troubling is that one of the executives of Sakushiio was also involved with Gateway 21 and to add insult to injury, most of the Sakushiio management have gone on to form Homestay in Japan, another company involved with education in Japan.

All of you know well that Jines is involved with Study Abroad. I have personally been in the business of international education for over 25-years having worked both sides of the fence, as an education agent, as well as a teacher and manager in Language Schools and Universities in Australia where we received the students. As such I have seen the industry in Japan change dramatically over this period, but I confess that I was still surprised by this news.

All of this information is easily searchable on the Internet and is not hidden from the public view. But overall it is disturbing to know that people who have been involved in two education companies filing for bankruptcy have now moved on and are promoting themselves, once again, as reputable education agents.

So all of this was one of the driving forces in the establishment Jines.

Events like this not only hurt international education but also local independent schools, all of us, here in Japan. Students not only lose money which they may have used in taking a few English classes before their departure but it also robs them of confidence in the whole sector. Students, quite naturally, are hesitant to spend money, often big sums of money too, in the fear that they may lose it to some less than honorable organisation only looking out for themselves with no empathy or compassion towards their situation.

With potential study abroad students using our services Jines insist they enroll in a locally listed school first and to ask for real, genuine advice and guidence from their teachers before moving to the next step and enrolling overseas. In addition we never ask the students for their international education tuition fees. Rather, we ask all students to pay their tuition fees directly to the international provider to ensure trust and transparency in the process.

In this way we hope to:

-1- Gain the trust of the student which is essential,

-2- recruit more students to the Jines member schools and

-3- directly pay our member schools by distributing the commission fees to the school that lost the student in the short or long term.

Ultimately we hope to show a potential study abroad student that some of us do care about their studies, goals and ambitions and that we will help them, where we can, to achieve their dreams.

Lets all hope that this is the last in a growing list bankruptcies in our industry.

Peter Carter

Network Administrator

Jines Jump Start

Now that Princess Mako, the eldest daughter of Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko, has started her English study in Dublin for this summer, it is appropriate to remind people that Ireland is a unique and interesting destination for Japanese students wishing to improve their English.

Jines has a very good relationship with the Centre for English Studies in Dublin and it provides all students with over 30 years experience, students from over 55 countries worldwide, modern bright classrooms and experienced teaching staff.

In addition CES is an Award Winning school - Language Travel Magazine Star School of Europe and is accredited in accordance with the Ireland and English governing bodies for foreign students.

However if you are going to travel all that way from Japan to Ireland why don’t you see some of England too? CES has a unique program designed particularly for the Japanese student.

CES Multi Destination Course
This course gives you the opportunity of living and learning more about the culture and social life of both England and Ireland. You can divide your stay as you wish and you can start your course in either England or Ireland - we leave the choice to you.

Summer Short Courses - Worldwide
Jines is now promoting a range of short study courses from Canada, Australia, Ireland, England and the United States. The length of these courses can be from 1-week and for any English language proficiency level.

Sports Study Abroad (for Juniors)
Jines is currently in negotiation with a number of international sporting institutions around the world to provide younger students the opportunity to live, study and practice their preferred sport in a country famous for its prowess in the area.

In all cases the Japanese student will be required to attend a local Junior or Senior High school in addition to enrolling into their sport of choice. Currently we are in negotiations with sports such as Soccer, Tennis, Rugby, Golf, Baseball and Equestrian events.

So as these agreements are finalized and arrangements made we will be announcing the details accordingly. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, for any further information on Study Abroad courses and the discounts associated with these courses (only available to Jines members) you can contact me directly, Taeko Kashiwagi via email (in English or Japanese) at Jines.

Happy Studying!

Ms. Taeko Kashiwagi
Study Abroad Administrator

Taeko Kashiwagi comes to Jines with a solid background in ESL education. Starting out as a receptionist with Nova Corp., she became an English language student in Sydney, Australia. After completing her language studies as well as additional vocational studies with Southbank Institute of TAFE she then worked in the study tour section of Queensland College of English. After a number of years in the travel industry Taeko returned to education where she took up the position of Centre Administrator for the IELTS test centre at Griffith University, Australia before returning to Japan.

Education News On Japan

Panel calls for smaller class sizes
Jul 15
A committee of the education ministry's Central Council for Education has proposed reducing the maximum number of students per class at public primary and middle schools from 40 to 35. The council's Elementary and Lower Secondary Education Committee also proposed raising the portion of state funding for teacher salaries from the current one-third to one-half. The committee does not specify an exact maximum number of students per class in the proposal, but sources said it would be 35 for primary and middle schools and 30 for the early grades of primary school. (Yomiuri)

Hurdles for young English learners
Jul 15
Regarding L. Zoller's July 11th letter, "Strange texts for learning English": I fully agree with the comments made about the textbooks approved for Japan's elementary schools. I am a voluntary English teacher for the sixth grade and I read the same textbooks. I was horrified at the standards of the book, which contain many errors as well as a strange way of speaking English. Perhaps a robot wrote the book. How could the government have approved these pathetic books? They will not help students achieve any level of proficiency. Luckily, as a volunteer teacher, I am not bound by the rules, and I choose not to use these books in my classrooms. (Japan Times)

English courses fuel company drive
Jul 14
Founded in 1957, Koyama Driving School, Inc. (KDS) is one of Japan's leading driving schools and a pioneer in providing driver's license courses in English. "Until we started our courses, it was almost impossible for people without Japanese-language skills to obtain a driver's license in Japan," said KDS President Jinichi Koyama. For non-Japanese speakers, the only way to get a license was by passing the difficult written exam and driving test without any training in Japan, at a test site run by each prefecture's Public Safety Commission. (Japan Times)

English instruction has withered
Jul 8
In Takahiro Fukada's June 29 article, "Elementary schools to get English," one thought comes readily to mind: too little too late. I have lived and worked in Japan for 26 years with my wife, who is Japanese. We have raised four children, all of whom have gone through the public school system, so I know what I'm talking about when I say that the government is once again trying to make it look like it is doing something when, in fact, its efforts will amount to nothing. (Japan Times)

Japanese Study English By…Tweeting?
Jul 6
Twitter followers in Japan have demonstrated their fervor for the social networking tool, setting a world record in generating “tweets per second� after a recent World Cup game. Now, creative merchants are coming up with books and blogs that connect Twitter with another national infatuation: Learning English. The Japanese have long been known for their voracious attempts in mastering the English language. Teenagers watched “Sesame Street� to brush up their listening skills. President Barack Obama’s inauguration speech got turned into books, CDs and a one-hour workshop in which students recited the entire speech, line by line. (Wall Street Journal)

Joining Jines
It's free for independent school owners to list their schools in the Jines Directory.

Follow the link below to register and enter your school details into the database.

At any time you will be able to modify or delete your entry.

Join / Login here!

Jines charges no service fee for the schools to join, nor does it charge the Japanese student to access the information contained within this website.

The purpose of Jines is to provide a gateway for Japanese students to locate a suitable school in addition to providing a forum for school owners to share ideas on improving English language services in Japan.

For more information, contact:

Peter Carter
Japan's Independent Network of English Schools
3-22 Kanda-cho
Higashi Osaka-shi
Osaka 579-8058
Tel: +81 72 981 8806

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ESL Teaching - A Wonderful way to see the World

ESL Teaching - A Wonderful Way to See the World
Kevin R Burns

Keen to visit varied lands and be paid for doing so? Then why not consider ESL
teaching? You don't necessarily need to have a university degree, although a
good educational background is desirable and, of course, you'll need to be a
native English speaker, or with a really good knowledge of the language.

You'll discover many affordable courses to help open doors to the multitude of
jobs teaching English which exist Worldwide. Never before have there been so
many people eager to learn English, so let's have a look at the various types of
course available.


First of all what, exactly, is ESL? The initials stand for "English as a Second
Language". Strictly speaking, ESL applies to teaching non-English speaking
students in an English-speaking country. Whereas EFL - or English as a Foreign
Language - refers to the teaching of non-English speaking students in a
non-English speaking country.

There is also another term - ESOL. This stands for English for Speakers of Other
Languages, and encompasses both ESL and EFL.


Are you a native English speaker, or perhaps you have an excellent knowledge of
English - both written and spoken? Then why not make the most of this ability?
Take one of the numerous TESL or TEFL courses and start teaching!

Courses for Teaching English as a Second Language, or Teaching English as a
Foreign Language can be found both online and offline.

Online courses tend to be cheaper, costing from as little as $150. The drawback
to these is that they don't normally include any teaching practice, so they're
more suited to people with teaching experience. However, some do arrange
teaching practice at local schools and academies... and there's nothing to stop
you offering your services for free in order to gain experience!

A full-time offline course normally lasts around 4 weeks and, although more
expensive, should include a supervised practical teaching component.

CELTA Courses

Whereas TESL/TEFL are certificate courses offered by various institutions, CELTA
is an English Language Training Certificate validated by Cambridge University,
and is available in some 50 countries Worldwide.

Although the abbreviation stands for Certificate in English Language Teaching to
Adults, it does also prepare you for teaching children. Teaching practice is not
only a requirement on the course, but also very much emphasised.

The drawback to CELTA is its price, which can be as much as $2,000 for a 4-week
full-time course. And, the sad fact is that potential employers do not always
fully understand the differences between the various courses, with the
presumable superiority of the CELTA course being lost on them.

Whichever course you finally plump for, it will surely open up a new World for
you, be it in your home country, overseas, or even online. So, do check out EFL
and ESL teaching possibilities. You won't regret it!

Kevin Burns is creator of
where you also find interesting information about
[]ESL teaching.

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