Employment and HR | Students

Effective Tips On How To Start And Survive Teaching An English Class In Japan

teaching English in Japan


Have you ever thought about how it would be to teach English in Japan?

If you are planning to move to Japan and teach English to students, you might be researching the documents required.

But, what happens as you begin teaching the language?

Thus, here are some steps to make you prepare on how to start your new career as an English teacher in Japan.

Show Some Passion and Be Professional

In Japan, teachers are regarded as professionals. They put teachers in the same category as politicians, lawyers, doctors, and authors.

Thus, you must act with the highest professionalism to give honor to this job.

When we talk about how to teach English in Japan, one of the most important things to consider is dressing professionally.

Your behavior reflects the kind of professionalism expected of you.

Moreover, don’t forget to show your students that you are dedicated to teaching them.

Show them that you want to share your knowledge with them and not just to earn your salary and live in Japan.

Encourage and Motivate the Students

If your students are unresponsive at first, you don’t have to worry.

It will take some time before students can adapt to the methods of their English teacher.

In Japan, students might feel uncomfortable to speak English out of fear of making mistakes or getting the wrong answers.

Students might feel unmotivated over time since both languages are different.

Thus, it is your job to show some light and be the encouragement that your students need.

Let them know that it does not matter if they commit mistakes. Continue motivating them to learn more through positive encouragement.

Bring Some Positive Energy

It is okay to feel that the pressure is making you stressed. After all, it is challenging to be an English teacher in Japan.

You will find yourself alone and away from your family in a foreign country.

Also, you will need to prove a lot to people looking up to you at school.

No matter what the situation is, always make sure that you don’t lose hope.

Your lesson will depend on the energy that you radiate in the class.

This is true whether you are teaching kindergarten or high school students. In whatever year they are, you must keep them engaged.

If you are drained and stressed, your students will more likely notice it.

Make Your Students Talk

In some cases, Japanese students complain that their English teacher spends all the class hour talking.

Of course, you don’t want to be that kind of teacher. Thus, you must design your lesson plans with activities that will let your students do the talking.

Some students are taking these classes since they want to be fluent to deal with in the business world.

As such, give them all the chance in the class to talk.

Use Tools that the Students Know

If you teach English in Japan, you will have an opportunity to learn many things. Thus, you can begin by learning what Japanese students like.

If you take some initiative to learn popular characters from movies and TVs, the students can be more responsive during the class.

With this, students can appreciate that you are taking the time to learn what they love.

You can start using these characters in your activities in class.

Respect the Japanese Culture

It is nice to let your students know where you are from and what it is like in your hometown.

Sometimes, you can bring photos or objects to show what you have in your country.

This can be a good topic to talk about which can tickle their curiosity.

However, when you consider how to teach English in Japan, be careful with your words and actions.

Do not undermine the Japanese culture and you must stop complaining in front of your students. See this link for further tips on this.

Japanese people are proud of their rich tradition and culture and you must not disrespect it.

Instead of questioning the kind of community they have, you can ask your students for recommendations for things or places that you must see.

Seek the Help of a Team Teacher

When teaching English in Japan, you will never know what age groups you will have.

If you are dealing with kids, you will need all the help that you can get.

In Japanese public schools, they recognize team teaching.

Most likely, the team teacher is Japanese. His help is important during the first few weeks of your stay in school.

With his aid, you can learn how to discipline your students without harming them.

Determine What Acts are Offensive

When you are in Japan, you will begin to understand that the culture is different.

Start by learning the basic etiquette to prevent offending someone in your class.

In Japan, giving your student thumbs down is considered as offensive.

They understand it as giving students the middle finger sign.

Moreover, do not play the Hangman in the class because the students can find this game inappropriate and disturbing.

Also, do not push too hard on students to give their opinion inside the class.

Trying to engage Japanese students to give their opinion or join the debate is not fine with them.

The majority of students are fearful of getting the wrong answer and this makes them shy inside the class.

Let Students Sleep

In other parts of the world, it is not acceptable to let the students sleep inside the class. But this is not the case in Japan.

Japanese students are active in after-school programs, long school days, and homework.

Even if it annoys you seeing the students sleep in the class, just let them be.

Learn More about the Documentary Requirements of Teaching in Japan

Before you become too excited to come to Japan and teach English, you should learn about their basic requirements.

Begin by validating if your passport is current. If it’s not, renew it. Check to see the other requirements needed like drug screening, college degree, and teaching certification (Click for details).

Figure out the salary offering so you can estimate if you can afford to live in a new environment abroad.

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