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Moving to Japan...

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RE: Moving to Japan...

Postby battousai » Tue 08.08.2006 11:04 am

Correct me if I'm wrong(which I obviously will be), but don't you have to have a visa in the field you wish to work in? Like you have to have a "teaching" visa to be employed in that field? Or is this an under the table type of school for other visas?

As for the comment on the infamous "English bubble" most get sucked into, I would have to say I've been a victim of that myself while studying over there. Go out in huge herds of foreigners and be oblivious to the Japanese environment except when you need a soda from the Seibu at 4 in the morning. That's just personal choice though..some like you and I are interested in mastering another language while some see the opportunity strictly in financial/entertainment terms. But of course we're in the minority and get the bad light cast on us too.

As to two-heads, I understand what you're saying..but then isn't that same school of hard knocks' classes in life, experience, etc. also teaching the language you speak? You don't have a special piece of paper that says "I speak English" fluently, yet you are still able to teach from your experiences in speaking English. If your qualm is the difference between the ESL teacher who teaches "Yo", "what's up" and "word" and the teacher who teaches gerunds, prepositions, and tenses..that's just a preference for which version you believe is better. The truth is both have their uses and valid merits depending on what a student wants to know.
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RE: Moving to Japan...

Postby keatonatron » Tue 08.08.2006 11:43 am

battousai wrote:
Correct me if I'm wrong(which I obviously will be), but don't you have to have a visa in the field you wish to work in? Like you have to have a "teaching" visa to be employed in that field? Or is this an under the table type of school for other visas?


I think you've got it backwards.

If you want a work visa, the visa has to match the type of work, and your qualifications have to match the Visa. Therefore, if your only reason for staying in Japan is to teach English, then you are limited to applying for an English teacher's visa (or equivalent) which requires a college degree and/or other things.

The people at my school already have visas for other reasons, like being married to a Japanese person, being in the military, or attending school (all of which come with visas that allow you to work). Therefore, people don't have to fulfill the teacher requirements, they just have to fulfill the requirements for their respective visas.

I wouldn't be surprised if the teachers at my school are shadier than most. There is a screening process, but... maybe they were desperate for teachers.
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RE: Moving to Japan...

Postby Justin » Tue 08.08.2006 12:00 pm

keatonatron wrote:
I wouldn't be surprised if the teachers at my school are shadier than most. There is a screening process, but... maybe they were desperate for teachers.

Like this guy here...

The coolest guy in Japan

I ran into way too many people like the guy above during my time in Osaka. The sad thing was, they all happened to be from my same language school, so I'd see them pretty much everyday. :@
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RE: Moving to Japan...

Postby two_heads_talking » Tue 08.08.2006 12:14 pm

battousai wrote:

As to two-heads, I understand what you're saying..but then isn't that same school of hard knocks' classes in life, experience, etc. also teaching the language you speak? You don't have a special piece of paper that says "I speak English" fluently, yet you are still able to teach from your experiences in speaking English. If your qualm is the difference between the ESL teacher who teaches "Yo", "what's up" and "word" and the teacher who teaches gerunds, prepositions, and tenses..that's just a preference for which version you believe is better. The truth is both have their uses and valid merits depending on what a student wants to know.


a good certified teacher can teach slang.. a good slang teacher is not able to teach gerunds, preps and the like.. but again, i see a big difference.. i would personally not want to learn japanese from some asobimono that just wanted to teach me "the terms of the day" but i would want to learn from an accredited japanese instructor, preferably one who knows both japanese and english and also preferably japanese, so i wouldn't learn japanglish..
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RE: Moving to Japan...

Postby battousai » Tue 08.08.2006 12:29 pm


a good certified teacher can teach slang.. a good slang teacher is not able to teach gerunds, preps and the like.. but again, i see a big difference.. i would personally not want to learn japanese from some asobimono that just wanted to teach me "the terms of the day" but i would want to learn from an accredited japanese instructor, preferably one who knows both japanese and english and also preferably japanese, so i wouldn't learn japanglish..


Right, agreed, and so would I. But there are others with different interests or needs and there also exist those that can suffice them. I might not agree or want the same thing, but I wouldn't look down on them either. Anyway, we're only talking about a general opinion here..of course there are exceptions everywhere.

And I see, keaton. That cleared it up. But is it true then if you have a visa say for teaching in English, you can't be employed anywhere else? Or as long as you are employed as an English teacher you can also accept other jobs?
Last edited by battousai on Tue 08.08.2006 12:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Moving to Japan...

Postby keatonatron » Tue 08.08.2006 1:40 pm



That's horrifying :@

battousai wrote:
But is it true then if you have a visa say for teaching in English, you can't be employed anywhere else?


As long as you have a visa permitting work, you can seek part-time employment anywhere.
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RE: Moving to Japan...

Postby Shinjitsu » Fri 08.18.2006 10:26 pm

Maybe its nearly imposible to move to japan, but its true that living in japan is very expensive? I've heard that from japanes people.
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RE: Moving to Japan...

Postby keatonatron » Sat 08.19.2006 5:43 am

Depends on where you go. Tokyo is freakishly expensive. The countryside is a lot cheaper, but at the same time it's a lot harder to find work there.
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RE: Moving to Japan...

Postby lomagu » Mon 08.21.2006 9:27 am

This is a little off topic, but I've been wondering.. do the people who are living and teaching English in Japan now (or who have before) live in big cities or small cities? Do you work at big or small institutions, are there many other teachers around? I'm just curious.

See, I work in a really small town and it seems that most experiences I read about people teaching in Japan are from bigger cities, so I have nothing to compare to. I also see more and more posts about people wanting to move to and live in Japan (forever). It's like they think it's some sort of magical happy land here. Meanwhile I feel like I'm going crazier by the day. Don't get me wrong, I do like Japan and I always have... maybe I just need a break :|
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RE: Moving to Japan...

Postby Infidel » Mon 08.21.2006 9:43 am

I read a blog and a skimmed a book by a couple of guys that taught in small villages. But it's only natural that most of the teachers would be from the big cities. That is where most of the jobs are after all.
なるほど。
さっぱりわからん。
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RE: Moving to Japan...

Postby Harisenbon » Mon 08.21.2006 8:25 pm

do the people who are living and teaching English in Japan now (or who have before) live in big cities or small cities? Do you work at big or small institutions, are there many other teachers around? I'm just curious.


I live out in Gifu (超田舎)and tought at Elem and JrHigh schools in Sekigahara (pop 6000) for 3 years. No matter how inaka you get, there are going to be foreigners around you. I have friends who work in one school of 10 students (I'm not kidding) and still have foreigner friends from the next town over.

In inaka, the bredth of foreigners is different from a big city, I think. In inaka, most of the foreigners are going to be English teachers (because all schools require one) or factory workers. There are very few international companies in inaka, and thus there's not as much of a need for English-speaking workers. In my case, I had to go to Nagoya to find a job where my English was an asset and not a hinderance.
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RE: Moving to Japan...

Postby clay » Mon 08.21.2006 9:16 pm

I have friends who work in one school of 10 students (I'm not kidding)


I actually had a mountain elementary school with only 6 (or 7) students. There were more adults than children. Something like 2 first graders, 1 third grader...

It was a very interesting experience. During the winter, the main access to the school was blocked by snow. The principal picked me up and drove up the winding, one lane two-way road.
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RE: Moving to Japan...

Postby lomagu » Thu 08.24.2006 5:33 am

Harisenbon wrote:
I live out in Gifu (超田舎)and tought at Elem and JrHigh schools in Sekigahara (pop 6000) for 3 years.


wow, that is inaka. And I thought where I am was bad. I actually live in a thriving metropolis of 80000 people. Occassionally I see a JET or GEOS teacher from a nearby town, but not too often.

At first I thought it would be good to live in an inaka area because I'd have more chances to practice my Japanese. Surprisingly enough though, I don't seem to talk to many people. Well, after 2 years in the inaka, I think I'm ready to move on. I guess I'm just not an inaka person.
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RE: Moving to Japan...

Postby Mike Cash » Thu 08.24.2006 6:57 am

Harisenbon wrote:

I live out in Gifu (超田舎)and tought at Elem and JrHigh schools in Sekigahara (pop 6000) for 3 years. No matter how inaka you get, there are going to be foreigners around you. I have friends who work in one school of 10 students (I'm not kidding) and still have foreigner friends from the next town over.


I live in a city of somewhere around 120,000 and have not one single foreign friend. I only very, very rarely even catch sight of another foreigner here.

Would you believe there are days when I drive all the way across Tokyo and back again without seeing any foreign pedestrians?

We're not as common as we like to think we are.

In my case, I had to go to Nagoya to find a job where my English was an asset and not a hinderance.


Out of curiosity, did you seek any employment where English was a hindrance, and if so, what was it?
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RE: Moving to Japan...

Postby two_heads_talking » Thu 08.24.2006 8:45 am

Mike Cash wrote:

In my case, I had to go to Nagoya to find a job where my English was an asset and not a hinderance.


Out of curiosity, did you seek any employment where English was a hindrance, and if so, what was it?


i think he meant knowing english and not japanese was the hindrance.. but i think you knew that already :o
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