CONNECT. MOTIVATE. INSPIRE.
WHAT’S AN ALT?
ALTs are Assistant Language Teachers and by their very name, assist the
Japanese teachers of English (JTEs) in the classroom.
ALTs play an important role in English education in Japan. Not only do ALTs teach English, but also act as a cultural ambassador, and role model for students.
Often being the only foreign teacher in the school, ALTs become somewhat of a celebrity with the kids.
A bunch of high-fives while you walk in the school gates in the morning is not uncommon. How many jobs have you had like that?
TEACHING AS A JOB
TEACHERS IN JAPAN ARE HEROES
TO THE KIDS!
ARE YOU SEARCHING FOR MEANING IN YOUR WORK?
Ever felt like you want your job to mean something?
Do you want to feel like you’re making a real difference in the lives of others? So many of us get caught up in the everyday routine of going to work, meeting job deadlines, getting paid, paying bills, and looking forward to the weekend to feed some of that emptiness that sits within us. Then Monday rolls around, and it’s time to do it all over!
Sure, making money is great. Getting bonuses for hitting budgets is nice. Buying something shiny, or splurging at a restaurant after is great too. But does it really satisfy you, long term?
Teaching is not just a job. It’s an opportunity to make a profound impact on kids. You’ll be in a position to influence their views and understanding, for their lives. Here’s some of the benefits of being a teacher:
- No two days are the same
- You’re contributing to the development of the next generation
- You can be creative in your teaching methods
- Teaching jobs are always in demand
- Teachers are essential people in the community, and are highly respected
- Teachers work daytime hours, and have generous vacations
- You’ll always be learning and refining your skills
- You’ll be a role model
- Laughing and having fun in lessons is recommended!
- You’ll receive many praising compliments from your students and
BUT I DON’T HAVE A TEACHING DEGREE!
Not to worry! To teach English in Japan, you don’t need to be a licensed
teacher. You’ll just need a bachelor degree in any field, and a positive,
Teaching English in Japan will give you valuable teaching experience, and who knows, you may decide to pursue your teacher’s license as a result.
If not, you’ll gain valuable job skills that are transferable into any industry!
PUBLIC TEACHING IN
OK, SO WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS FOR TEACHING ENGLISH IN JAPAN?
Teaching English in Japan follows two distinct pathways. Private education
largely refers to English conversation schools, or Eikaiwas. Public education
refers to government funded public schools.
At RCS, our ALTs work in public elementary and junior high schools, as well as some kindergartens.
HOW IS BEING AN ALT DIFFERENT TO BEING AN EIKAIWA INSTRUCTOR?
While both private and public education fall under the same umbrella (education), they are vastly different. For starters, your interaction with the kids. Here’s how:
|You’ll only teach kids who like English||You’ll have broader scope to positively influence more kids to take an interest in foreign cultures, and in English!|
|You’ll see your students once or twice a week||You’ll see your students every day, and can watch them grow|
|You’ll interact with your
students only during lesson time
|You can interact with your students outside of the classroom, and build better relationships|
In terms of the job outline itself, certain differences need to be highlighted. Here’s a summary of the various benefits of teaching in an Eikaiwa, and being an ALT.
|Eikaiwa V’s ALT comparative chart||English
|Prospective student interviews|
|Opportunities to learn Japanese|
WHY BE AN ALT?
Whilst Eikaiwas pay reasonable salaries, being privately funded, they have a
large emphasis on sales and budgets. They also require evening and weekend
work, as well as forbid the use of Japanese (especially in front of students).
As an ALT, you’ll have regular daytime working hours, and no sales pressure. You’ll also have your weekends to yourself, and longer vacation times. There’s plenty of opportunity to practice your Japanese as well. The teaching staff will want to get to know you, so you’ll find yourself picking up Japanese conversation skills. Not only this, but being an ALT gives you a work/life balance that is hard to match, especially in a country known for its rigorous work ethic!
If it’s a real culturally immersive experience of Japan that you want, we believe the ALT route is the way to go!
WHAT SKILLS WILL I LEARN AS AN ALT?
Whether you stay in Japan for a year, or forever, being an ALT with RCS will
equip you with many personal and professional skills. It’s a valuable
experience you’ll always remember fondly, and any future employer will look
Forging your own life in a foreign country is tremendous for your personal growth. You’ll develop a sense of independence and robustness. It’ll give you the confidence to know that you can stand on your own two feet, and count on yourself when you need to throughout your life.
On a professional level, you’ll see first-hand how Japanese work culture operates. It’s an eye-opening experience, and you’ll be able to incorporate elements that you like into your own professional ethos. You’ll also gain a better understanding of how to communicate with people in general. What’s more, you’ll develop excellent presentation skills, and valuable international work experience.