the nikku

reflecting on ESL/EFL and its relation to faith

Friday, January 29, 2010

That's what Mr J says

So, I haven't posted here for a long time.  Just before Christmas, I got a car which then enabled me to get a job.  I've been working at a tutoring center all this month.  There my name is Mr. B.  Apparently I bear a resemblance to my predecessor Mr. J. That's what almost all the students tell me.

While I was working with some second graders, we were taking turns going around and checking our answers to a worksheet together.  There was a sidebar, and then some confusion as to whose turn it was next.  Although I'm fairly certain we picked up where we left off, some students were not happy. 

One student said, "The first will be last, and the last will be first." 

I said, "Right, that's what the Bible says."

She said, "No, that's what Mr. J always says."

"And it's in the Bible too."


I let it go at that, and we started checking our answers again.  But I thought, that's the kind of person I want to be!  I want to be a person whose conversation comes from an informed filling of the Word. 

That was already one of my New Year's resolutions, but it looks like I'm going to have to redouble my efforts.  It was a good reminder.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

How to get a job in Japan

I just got asked this question again.  Someday when I'm not busy being a grad student, I'll start a blog all about how to get a job in Japan.  For now, here's an email I just sent out to someone, again, asking how to get a job in Japan:

I'm assuming you have a BA in something unrelated to English teaching like everyone else who wants to teach in Japan.  Like any job search, I'd recommend applying more than one place.

Your options are:
1) the JET program

Everyone applies for this government program.  It's dual purposes of English teaching and Japanese culture appreciation means that they get crap "teachers" fresh out of college who know nothing and mostly just want to party and travel. 

Because of this, no major city in Japan (i.e. Tokyo, Osaka, Sapporo) uses the JET program.  A bit of advice, if you want to work in a major city, don't apply to the JET program.  They all use go between head-hunters organizations like:




Beware, #2, 3 and 4 actually hire people whom they consider qualified to teach English at the elementary, junior high or high school levels. 

Next, there are plenty of schools where working people and children go to learn English after school and on weekends.  They are called "eikaiwa".

5) for more info see here:

The big ones listed in the article are GEOS, Aeon, ECC and Berlitz.  Follow the links in the wikipedia article, and you can find their websites.

5) job listings: also has a great page about this:

Just for fun.  How to get a job in Japan:

Hope this helps.