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How Foreigners Can Work as English Teachers in Japan

Teaching English as a job

There are numerous English conversation schools in Japan, and English is also taught in educational institutions such as elementary schools, junior high schools, high schools, and universities.

The number of foreigners working as English teachers has also increased considerably from a decade ago.

However, it is not as simple as “I can become a teacher because I speak English.

There are several points to keep in mind when a foreigner works as an English teacher in Japan.

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In this article, we would like to explain how foreigners can work as English teachers in Japan.

The market size of English language classes is very large.

In today’s global society, English language skills are becoming increasingly important in Japan.

Until a decade ago, English proficiency was only necessary when actually meeting foreigners, but today, many companies have adopted online, so there are more and more opportunities to talk with foreigners at work.

As this situation continues, the market for English language classes is inevitably expanding.

It is said that the English industry market is already worth 800 billion yen.

Furthermore, since there are so many people who feel the need for English but have not yet started studying (so-called “latent needs”), the market size should continue to grow.

English teacher

Conditions for foreigners to work as English teachers in Japan

The importance of English in Japan is increasing, and the number of English classes run by public schools and companies is on the rise.

Therefore, it is true that the possibility for foreigners to become English teachers in Japan is increasing.

However, as mentioned at the beginning of this article, English proficiency alone is not enough to become an English teacher.

To work as an English teacher, the following are required

Obtaining a visa

To work as an English teacher in Japan, you will naturally need a “work visa.

If you work at a public educational institution such as an elementary school, junior high school, high school, or university, you will need an “Education Visa,” and if you work at an English language school run by a company, you will need a “Technical, Humanities, or International Services Visa.

In the case of an Education Visa, the applicant must have graduated from a university or have at least 12 years of education in the language.

In some cases, English language teachers operated by a company do not need to have graduated from a university.

If you are able to pass the requirements for graduation from a vocational school (education-related major), it is possible to obtain a visa.

However, if your major is not education-related, you must have at least three years of work experience as a language teacher.

Native English speaker

Although most people think of English as being spoken by Americans and British, in reality, English can be spoken by people of other nationalities as well.

Many people in the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, and South Korea speak English fluently.

However, this is not easy to achieve, as many English language schools and public educational institutions require teachers to have native-level English proficiency.

English teachers job

How to find a job as an English teacher in Japan

If you meet the aforementioned requirements, you can work as an English teacher in Japan.

Specifically, you can look for work in the following ways

  • Use job sites and recruitment agents

In most cases, you will use “job sites” or “recruitment agents” when looking for a job in Japan.

  • Recruit Direct Scout
  • EikaiwaTutor.com
  • Indeed
  • Job Box
  • Rikunabi NEXT
  • Riku Navi NEXT
  • Town Work

By using these systems, you should be able to find an English teacher job that meets your needs.

  • Apply for jobs listed on the company’s website.

Most companies that operate English conversation schools have an official website.

In some cases, “English teacher jobs” are listed on their websites.

By applying directly from the company’s website, you should be able to go through the “application screening → interview” process.

Learning simple Japanese will make it easier to teach

In the English teacher industry, nativeness is very important, and foreigners who do not know Japanese tend to be hired more easily.

This is because “not knowing Japanese = being a native speaker” can be proven, but it can also be said that the employer wants to avoid the risk of using Japanese in the classroom.

In reality, however, knowing a certain amount of Japanese will make classes run more smoothly.

If you are teaching people whose English level is intermediate or above, you should proceed with the class without using Japanese at all, but for beginners who have just started studying English, many people feel uneasy about teaching in English only.

However, many beginners who have just begun to study English may feel uneasy about teaching in English only. It is better to learn a certain amount of vocabulary and commonly used Japanese words to facilitate the class.

English teacher as job


In this article, we have explained how foreigners can work as English teachers in Japan.

To work as an English teacher in Japan, it is important to obtain a visa and be a native English speaker.

In addition, there are several ways to look for a job, such as job sites, recruitment agents, or applying directly from a company’s HO.

If you are interested in working as an English teacher in Japan, why not give it a try?

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