Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

View topic - About the JET Programme

About the JET Programme

Post questions and answers about living or visiting Japan or the culture

About the JET Programme

Postby michigan5691 » Fri 10.05.2007 12:57 am

If you apply for the program and meet all the requirements, what are the chances that you will actually be selected to go?
michigan5691
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu 10.04.2007 10:57 pm

RE: About the JET Programme

Postby dmizer » Fri 10.05.2007 2:16 am

I think that would largely depend on which position you would be applying for. However, the general impression I'm getting from my English teaching friends here is that competition for the entry level positions is fairly fierce. Interest in the English language is on the decline in Japan, and many foreigners who have been teaching here for decades are finding themselves in tight spots. At the same time, foreign interest in Japan is on the incline so more and more foreigners are desiring to live and work in Japan.

I strongly urge you to avoid expecting anything glamorous with JET. You'll most likely be assigned to a very rural district, and be required to travel between several schools. Your coworkers will be all Japanese, and they don't tend to be very welcoming. New JET teachers come every year so it's not worth the social investment for them to get to know you.
dmizer
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed 09.26.2007 7:27 am

RE: About the JET Programme

Postby Harisenbon » Fri 10.05.2007 2:32 am

dmizer wrote:
I strongly urge you to avoid expecting anything glamorous with JET. You'll most likely be assigned to a very rural district, and be required to travel between several schools. Your coworkers will be all Japanese, and they don't tend to be very welcoming. New JET teachers come every year so it's not worth the social investment for them to get to know you.


That's a rather damming view of JET. I for one was placed out in the wild wilderness, had 7 schools and had a great time. My co-workers were welcoming, wonderful, and I still have fruitful relationships with them and the students, even after I left JET to pursue other interests.
Want to learn Japanese the right way? How about for free?
Ippatsu // Japanesetesting.com
User avatar
Harisenbon
 
Posts: 2964
Joined: Tue 06.14.2005 3:24 am
Location: Gifu, Japan
Native language: (poor) English

RE: About the JET Programme

Postby pubju » Fri 10.05.2007 6:51 am

How easy is it to get a job through other methods / agencies or directly from schools? I know JET isn't the only way to get a job there, but I dont know what other methods there are
User avatar
pubju
 
Posts: 68
Joined: Sun 08.19.2007 6:10 pm

RE: About the JET Programme

Postby AJBryant » Fri 10.05.2007 6:21 pm

Keith, do you still hear from any of the erstwhile students? I used to hear of a couple of JETs who years after returning to the States were still "penpalling" with some of their former charges.


Tony
User avatar
AJBryant
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5313
Joined: Sun 10.09.2005 11:29 am
Location: Indiana
Native language: English
Gender: Male

RE: About the JET Programme

Postby Dehitay » Fri 10.05.2007 9:26 pm

7 schools? That's something about the JET program I didn't hear about. I assumed they just jammed you into one school and cycled you around a bunch of different classes. When you say 7 schools, in what time period is that? Do you go to 7 schools a year? a month? a week? or more impossibly a day?
www.bananamonkeyninja.com
The only webcomic endorsed by Banana Monkey Ninja
User avatar
Dehitay
 
Posts: 1010
Joined: Fri 09.08.2006 8:36 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas, USA
Native language: English
Gender: Male

RE: About the JET Programme

Postby Igirisu_gaz » Fri 10.05.2007 10:12 pm

The vast majority of JETs visit a number of different schools. This is because you'll probably be out in the sticks where the Eikaiwa companies don't operate. As such it would be a waste of resources to have you stay at one school all the time. However, some JETs do, but they are in the minority.

I have 4 schools (2 junior high and 2 Elementary). The Junior Highs I visit 2 days each a week (Mon,Tues and Thurs,Fri) my Elementary schools alternate Wednesdays.

7 schools a day won't happen. But the constantly repeated motto of the JET scheme "everyones situation is different" applies here. Without knowing your placement you can''t guess at what your schedule will be.

The worst schedule I came across was one of my friends who visits about 20 schools a year, speding 2 weeks at each one and then returning again the following year. That would irritate me as you get no sense of belonging.

Anyway, back on to the chances. Competition is getting fiercer, the JET programme is well reputed and increasingly well known so a lot of people try out if only to spend a year in Japan. It seems that particularly high school ALT positions are being doled out more to the despatch companies who undercut the JET scheme, and more importantly take the responsibility of the ALT away from the Board of Education. But don't let that discourage you, there are still a huge number of ALTs out here and the solution to getting on is just present yourself better than the others, take the interview very seriously and study for it, be it Japanese language, culture and English (After all yo uare their to teach it, it should be your bread and butter). You have a very real chance of getting in if you prepare.

Again I agree with Harisenbon, I have had a fantastic experiences on the JET scheme, my co-workers are friendly and always invite me to staff events and chat to me and help with Japanese. As always YMMV.
Igirisu_gaz
 
Posts: 76
Joined: Sun 09.03.2006 8:26 pm

RE: About the JET Programme

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Fri 10.05.2007 10:51 pm

When I was there, I had 7 schools -- I visited each one for either 1 or 2 weeks depending on the size of the school, and it went on a cycle, although the 2 middle schools were given a little more weight than the 5 elementary schools so I ended up visiting them more often.

Some people only have 1 school. I heard anecdotal evidence of as many as 30 schools -- this applied to people who visited elementary schools for 1 day at a time every few months.
-Chris Kern
User avatar
Yudan Taiteki
 
Posts: 5609
Joined: Wed 11.01.2006 11:32 pm
Native language: English

RE: About the JET Programme

Postby dmizer » Sat 10.06.2007 5:07 am

Harisenbon wrote:That's a rather damming view of JET. I for one was placed out in the wild wilderness, had 7 schools and had a great time. My co-workers were welcoming, wonderful, and I still have fruitful relationships with them and the students, even after I left JET to pursue other interests.


I didn't say it was hell to work at JET. My intention was merely to give strong caution not to expect a glamorous position. It's hard work, and JET's usually are not placed in a city center, and are often only given a limited amount of support.

This does not mean you can't have an enjoyable and rewarding experience working at JET. But I have also seen JET absolutely crush people.
dmizer
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed 09.26.2007 7:27 am

RE: About the JET Programme

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sat 10.06.2007 8:53 am

Whether or not it's hard work depends on your placement. For me, when I was in the middle schools, I basically did no work. The teachers didn't know how to use me, and when I tried to come up with suggestions or do more in class, the response was that the students needed to learn for the exams and that there was no time to do anything else. So I sat in the teacher's room for literally 6-7 hours each day.

(Elementary school, on the other hand, was quite busy.)
-Chris Kern
User avatar
Yudan Taiteki
 
Posts: 5609
Joined: Wed 11.01.2006 11:32 pm
Native language: English

RE: About the JET Programme

Postby Igirisu_gaz » Sat 10.06.2007 9:50 am

Yudan Taiteki wrote:
Whether or not it's hard work depends on your placement. For me, when I was in the middle schools, I basically did no work. The teachers didn't know how to use me,


Agreed.

There is a massive difference between teachers who know how to effectively use an ALT and those who don't. Last year I was in the same situation as YT with one school. Frequently I would just greet the students and read from the textbook when required. On days when they wanted to review older work the teacher in question would simply tell me she wanted to go to class alone. In contrast, I have another teacher who basis his lessons around me whenever I come and allows me to deviate of topic greatly as well as gives me his selection classes to do alone allowing me to do anything at all with the students. So I basically spent 2 days a week with my thumbs up my ass and 2 days rushed off my feet, the latter was better.

At Elementary schools you will (probably) be quite busy as it's all on you (in my experience) as there is no standard English syllabus or requirement to teach it.
何でやねん?
Igirisu_gaz
 
Posts: 76
Joined: Sun 09.03.2006 8:26 pm

RE: About the JET Programme

Postby weirdo36 » Sat 10.06.2007 7:16 pm

Say just a quick question but at the requirements they state that you must:

have excellent skills in the designated language (both written and spoken). (For English-speaking countries this is English, and for non-English speaking countries it is the principal language);

So now my question is does this mean this teaching program is not only made for english speakers? It seemed to me that this entire program was mostly about english speaking young people that wanted to learn somethin about japan and in return would teach something about english.

So could I say that they are also looking for people that are not native english speakers?
I am interested in this because I am a native speaker of dutch myzelf. Although NL is inluded in the list of participating countries I never heared about anything like this so I figured I might have misunderstood.
weirdo36
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun 09.17.2006 3:59 pm
Location: Okazaki Japan

RE: About the JET Programme

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sat 10.06.2007 7:19 pm

There are a very small number of schools in Japan that offer a language other than English, and so it is theoretically possible to be an ALT for that language. I do not know the details, though; I wouldn't bet on getting that sort of job.
-Chris Kern
User avatar
Yudan Taiteki
 
Posts: 5609
Joined: Wed 11.01.2006 11:32 pm
Native language: English

RE: About the JET Programme

Postby Harisenbon » Sat 10.06.2007 8:33 pm

AJBryant wrote:
Keith, do you still hear from any of the erstwhile students? I used to hear of a couple of JETs who years after returning to the States were still "penpalling" with some of their former charges.


Well, I live all of 20 minutes from Sekigahara now, so I see the kids at the trainstation as they go to HighSchool quite a bit. I also still have ties to Sekigahara, so I'm down there occasionally, and run into them. I have some friends as well who do the long distance pen-paling thing, but I'm very "out of sight out of mind" and doubt I could keep that up. I do get keitai mails from students once every few weeks though.

And as for the 7 schools things, I was spread out between elem, jr high and kindergarden, with a schedule that looked like this:
Mon: JrHigh1 3 classes, JrHigh2 1 class
Tue; JrHigh2 1 Class, Elem1 1 class, Kind1 1 class
Wed: JrHigh2 3-6 classes
Thu: JrHigh2 1-4 classes, Elem2 2classes Kind2 1 class
Fri: JrHigh1 3 classes, Elem3 2 classes

Those 7 class Thursdays were a killer sometimes though. ;)
Want to learn Japanese the right way? How about for free?
Ippatsu // Japanesetesting.com
User avatar
Harisenbon
 
Posts: 2964
Joined: Tue 06.14.2005 3:24 am
Location: Gifu, Japan
Native language: (poor) English

RE: About the JET Programme

Postby Igirisu_gaz » Sat 10.06.2007 9:03 pm

weirdo36 wrote:

I am interested in this because I am a native speaker of dutch myzelf. Although NL is inluded in the list of participating countries I never heared about anything like this so I figured I might have misunderstood.



Interesting question. the JET information page wasn't particularly helpful, all it had was:

2.3

Q: My country is not traditionally an English speaking country but I
majored in English and have teaching experience, can I apply to be
an ALT?

A: It may be possible to participate as an ALT. Please contact the Japanese Embassy in your country of citizenship.


So my advice would be, just contact the Japanese Embassy directly :)
何でやねん?
Igirisu_gaz
 
Posts: 76
Joined: Sun 09.03.2006 8:26 pm

Next

Return to Culture and Info about living in Japan

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 5 guests