A lot of teachers I’ve met in Japan dream of teaching English at a university. There is a prestige that comes with the job and a lot of perks, though it’s not as cushy as some may think. Unfortunately. Because these jobs are less common than assistant language teacher (ALT) or eikaiwa (English conversation school) positions there is a lot of false information and misconceptions out there, here are just six.
1. You don’t need an MA or Ph.D. to teach at a Japanese university
This is the biggest misconception. You’ll need these qualifications if you want to be a course leader or teach classes in Japanese, but to teach normal English classes at post-secondary institutions, the bar is a lot lower. I became a teacher at two universities in Japan at the age of 22 with only a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE, half of a master’s degree) but I worked with teachers who had never studied at graduate level.
I worked for a dispatch company that sent me out to classes. I didn’t work directly for the universities, but I did teach their courses on campus. These jobs are surprisingly easy to come by, often employing people with no teaching experience and no Japanese language skills. These companies tend to hire applicants around April or September and will put you straight to work teaching university classes if they have them. For some of the fancier clients, the company may want to only send their most experienced teachers but larger universities can be desperate for anybody.
I met English teachers who were directly hired by universities, they held master’s degrees but in a variety of subjects. Some of the older teachers didn’t have a post-graduate degrees, but instead held over 20 years of teaching experience that was considered just as good. Recently, universities have shown a clear preference to applicants with an MA in TESOL or general teaching — but it’s still not mandatory.
Click here to read more.
- External Link