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Old 08-09-2010, 12:40 AM
 
Location: Macao
15,951 posts, read 36,201,625 times
Reputation: 9489

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Quote:
Originally Posted by poxonyou View Post
You're making a lot of assumptions. Japanese isn't a language that a English speaker is going to pick up quickly when they're here working and also enjoying the new country and life. I study quite a bit, and most people I know do as well. I can't disagree that one needs to learn the native language. That was the point I was making. I don't want someone reading these forums to get the impression that many Japanese people speak English. Many newcomers I met here, and myself included, assumed because they had been taught it since at least junior high school, they would have some basic speaking abilities. Not to say that they should accommodate English foreigners and we should be lazy. Rather like the situation in many other developed countries where English is a definite second (or third) language, though foreigners are still expected to learn the native language of course.

It's important to stress this so someone coming here realizes they need to seriously commit to learning the language, and it takes more time if you're here working, if they truly want a chance to fit in here. That's different than making friends. It's easy enough to find friends here, you'll just realize you won't have access to the vast majority of the population at all.
True. Language is key.

Universally so.

I've lived in Europe and South America as well...and same exact thing. If you don't know the local language, you are fairly limited. Not a Japan thing at all, just simply a universal thing.
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Old 08-13-2010, 02:31 PM
 
Location: Columbus, Ohio
1,413 posts, read 3,878,083 times
Reputation: 1425
I was just in Japan last June and look to go back in April. My wife is from there so its fun to see the in-laws. We have already decided if she can not get a job in her field in 5 yrs then we sell the house and move to Japan.

I really love it there, took so many pics from the trip there. Once I get home may post some, as they are all in my facebook currently lol.

Compared to US cities, Tokyo is very clean. While I was there I really saw no trash on streets, no cigarette butts (even though so many people smoke). I was in many parts of the city and stayed in the suburbs with the inlaws. My wifes main complaint with the US cities are they are so filthy compared to Tokyo. She just wish people would quit smoking in public there which they city is starting to show it is against smokers little by little, by not allowing smoking on subway, and many cafes banning smoking or only allowing smoking during certain parts of the day.

For the folks who feel everything is centralized in Japan that is not true. Tokyo while a wonderful city does have a lot to offer, but there are many other wonderful areas. The country side to the north, west and south. Beaches in Okinawa to the south, the cities of Kobe and Osaka if you want to see a different side of Japan city life. I really advise Osaka if humor is your thing.

Last edited by Momotaro; 08-13-2010 at 03:00 PM..
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Old 08-20-2010, 11:49 AM
 
3,884 posts, read 8,971,690 times
Reputation: 1476
My daughter is studying Japanese in hopes of moving to Japan to become an English teacher. Is that something a lot of Americans do for work in Japan? She is getting her degree in English and plains to be as fluent as possible in Japanese by the time she goes to Japan. Any advise for her? Is this a decent job in Japan?
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Old 08-20-2010, 01:16 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,450 times
Reputation: 10
When you are in japan or like japan or whatever reasons, make sure you know some background knowledge about their awful history. Remember, japan was a cruel imperialist country, just like germany, in the first half of 20th centur.all the inhuman things germany was doing in europe, japan was doing it in asia. The worst part is that japan does not admit their guilt, unlike germany.

When you think japan is cool and great and all that, be aware of where that coolness and greatness came from.
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Old 08-20-2010, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Outside of Los Angeles
1,248 posts, read 2,349,333 times
Reputation: 795
Whatever happened in Japan all those years ago that the poster above me mentioned that was the Japanese government and politicians that carried out those acts, not the average Japanese citizen. And for those that don't know, the new Japanese PM recently admitted and acknowledged publicly that whatever happened in the past was tragic and he vowed to make sure nothing like that would happen again.

Japan is a great country and it always will be. It is very much a civilized nation and it is a far better place to live when compared to the US. Statistics will prove this. Just do a search on Nationmaster.com.
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Old 08-21-2010, 06:52 PM
 
Location: US Empire, Pac NW
5,008 posts, read 10,802,610 times
Reputation: 4125
Quote:
Originally Posted by twiggy View Post
My daughter is studying Japanese in hopes of moving to Japan to become an English teacher. Is that something a lot of Americans do for work in Japan? She is getting her degree in English and plains to be as fluent as possible in Japanese by the time she goes to Japan. Any advise for her? Is this a decent job in Japan?
She will be at the lower middle class to middle class, depending on who her employers are and what sort of job she gets. The reason for this is this is something a LOT of Americans do, so there is competition to get in to programs where people teach English to Japanese. Further, a lot of English people go to Japan to teach English because there's as much demand for English-English vs. American-English. Canadians also like going there to teach English.

So yeah. LOTS of English-speakers go to Japan to teach.

She won't have a lot of disposable income. She won't make friends easily. She won't have preference over native Japanese at any other jobs, really. Many Japanese people know English, and since they understand the Japanese culture and manners and ways of doing things, they have preference over foreigners. The Japanese government and private corporations are also keen to give the best jobs teaching English to Japanese citizens for this reason.

And BE WARY over programs like JET who hire tutors then ship them to Japan. A good number of such programs have gone bankrupt, stranding hundreds in other countries, forcing them to pay their own way home, draining many of their savings in the process.

So ... my bottom line is, it would be good for her to have a good plan B. One that doesn't involve moving to Japan.

It can be done, but your chances for success increases only if you have OTHER SKILLS, for example, a star radio DJ who is from America broadcasts through the Hakone valley and is broadcast to other areas in Japan because he has star power and is an excellent DJ, and mixing in English words (followed up with Japanese) is "cool." Another YouTube person I follow who is American and moved to Japan, TokyoCooney, is a comedian. Finally, a martial artist I know who moved to Japan was able to do so to teach English to other martial artists who wanted to move abroad to teach their art, only because he was one of the top rated in the USA.

Bottom line with the above paragraph - unless your daughter is a top-rated genius in a particular field, it is unlikely her move to Japan will be a stress-free one. Stress to her it's NOT a vacation. It's a job. And English tutors in Japan work LONG HOURS, sometimes 14 hours a day. Most English tutors who go to Japan come home within a year in the hole in savings, stressed, and many wish they hadn't done it. The glamor of being in Japan, the East's most advanced economy (debatable), will fade after about a week. She will most likely go to Tokyo, where cost of living is astronomically high, there's crowds EVERYWHERE, like people packed together like sardines (don't believe me? Google "tokyo train rush hour" to see what I mean), the weather can be atrocious, and is totally different from anything in the USA, or Britain, or Canada, wherever you are from.

Go ahead and try it, but go in eyes wide open.
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Old 08-21-2010, 07:14 PM
 
3,884 posts, read 8,971,690 times
Reputation: 1476
Quote:
Originally Posted by eskercurve View Post
She will be at the lower middle class to middle class, depending on who her employers are and what sort of job she gets. The reason for this is this is something a LOT of Americans do, so there is competition to get in to programs where people teach English to Japanese. Further, a lot of English people go to Japan to teach English because there's as much demand for English-English vs. American-English. Canadians also like going there to teach English.

So yeah. LOTS of English-speakers go to Japan to teach.

She won't have a lot of disposable income. She won't make friends easily. She won't have preference over native Japanese at any other jobs, really. Many Japanese people know English, and since they understand the Japanese culture and manners and ways of doing things, they have preference over foreigners. The Japanese government and private corporations are also keen to give the best jobs teaching English to Japanese citizens for this reason.

And BE WARY over programs like JET who hire tutors then ship them to Japan. A good number of such programs have gone bankrupt, stranding hundreds in other countries, forcing them to pay their own way home, draining many of their savings in the process.

So ... my bottom line is, it would be good for her to have a good plan B. One that doesn't involve moving to Japan.

It can be done, but your chances for success increases only if you have OTHER SKILLS, for example, a star radio DJ who is from America broadcasts through the Hakone valley and is broadcast to other areas in Japan because he has star power and is an excellent DJ, and mixing in English words (followed up with Japanese) is "cool." Another YouTube person I follow who is American and moved to Japan, TokyoCooney, is a comedian. Finally, a martial artist I know who moved to Japan was able to do so to teach English to other martial artists who wanted to move abroad to teach their art, only because he was one of the top rated in the USA.

Bottom line with the above paragraph - unless your daughter is a top-rated genius in a particular field, it is unlikely her move to Japan will be a stress-free one. Stress to her it's NOT a vacation. It's a job. And English tutors in Japan work LONG HOURS, sometimes 14 hours a day. Most English tutors who go to Japan come home within a year in the hole in savings, stressed, and many wish they hadn't done it. The glamor of being in Japan, the East's most advanced economy (debatable), will fade after about a week. She will most likely go to Tokyo, where cost of living is astronomically high, there's crowds EVERYWHERE, like people packed together like sardines (don't believe me? Google "tokyo train rush hour" to see what I mean), the weather can be atrocious, and is totally different from anything in the USA, or Britain, or Canada, wherever you are from.

Go ahead and try it, but go in eyes wide open.
Wow, then her plan B would probably be a lot better. She will be studying to be a professor of Asian history so maybe she could just take some vacations there, or study there for a year or two. I don't think she would mind the low pay, she is young, but the hours worry me. She is probably better off teaching in Europe, or USA and taking a sabbaticle in Japan, or another Asian country. Thanks for your help, had no idea. She has talked to several english tutors over there but they have yet to share the horror. lol Glad I asked. They make it sound better if you are fluent in Japanese, but it doesn't sound like it at all.
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Old 08-21-2010, 07:38 PM
 
Location: Mtns of Waynesville,NC & Nokomis, FL
4,245 posts, read 8,096,122 times
Reputation: 5309
twiggy,
eskercurve's opins and advice are right on, imo.

I've been to Nihon 25+ times for biz, have a lot on Nihongi friends there, and a few US citizen
friends, a couple whom "teach" English.

They like it, but even though both have "advanced" to select schools, it's almost a vocation or lifestyle
as opposed to being transferred to Japan for a few years biz stint, by one's company.
GL, mD
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Old 08-21-2010, 07:52 PM
 
242 posts, read 668,907 times
Reputation: 193
Wow. Glad to have someone else offering a critical point of view, but I can't agree entirely with eskercurve. For all the negatives, there are quite a lot of positives living in Japan compared to the US, especially in Tokyo, at least for a few years. The crowded aspects of the country also can be avoided if you don't live in a major city as Tiger Beer mentioned.

Most Japanese can't speak English as at all, but I think it's safe to say they do get preferential treatment for most jobs, the same in many countries. Foreigners can find work in other fields besides English teaching, but it's difficult, especially if you're not fluent in Japanese, or could be worse jobs demanding more hours for lower pay.

If she works for a private language school, there is a risk the company could go bankrupt as happened with Nova and Geos recently. Teachers there also tend to work a bit more hours for lower pay, but I don't think many work more than 40 hours because the companies are trying to avoid paying into the national health and pension fund. If employees exceed a certain number of hours, they have to pay. However, with these companies, many require the teachers to work strange hours, like afternoon and night and all day on the weekends, non-consecutive days off, sometimes split schedules (work in the morning, wait 6 hours, then work at night). These companies are one of the best ways in though for an American since we don't have working holiday visas.

The other option is an Assistant Language Teacher who assists a native Japanese teacher in their English classes. There are quite a few private companies who do this as well as a government program called JET. JET is the safest bet (think eskercurve got this confused with some company), but the application process is insanely long and complicated and you have no choice of placement really. JET mainly covers the rural areas and smaller cities since schools in big cities have opted for private companies that are cheaper. The major private dispatch ALT company is Interact. They're all right. Two of the worst ones I've heard about are Heart and Borderlink. The benefit of ALT work is it's more like real teaching, the schedules are consistent, work in the morning and day time, weekends off, ton of holidays. A negative is the salaries have been sliding downhill as these companies are competing for contracts by undercutting each other. They make up the loss by finding ways to cut money from ALT salaries. Working for JET, she wouldn't have to worry about that, but they may lose contracts to private dispatch at any time.

Negatives about ALT teaching in general are the kids can be quite difficult to teach at many schools. Junior High School kids tend to be the noisiest. An ALT is an ASSISTANT, so these teachers are really at the mercy of the Japanese English teacher. Some of these teachers are nice to work with and want the ALT to help create lessons and teach the class more, others are hostile towards ALTs, may not want any input, may have the ALT stand around doing nothing most of the class.

ALTs also have a better chance of moving up in terms of teaching, but given the amount of competition, it isn't easy. If she wants to make a solid middle class income, she is better off teaching another subject in the US for a couple of years, then aiming for an international school. It's rare for an ALT to go directly into international school teaching unless they had other experience prior to that. If she wants to teach at university, she'll likely need a masters degree in a related field. It may be possible to pick up some part time university work without the advanced degree after you've taught in Japan for a bit, but you really need good connections. They don't tend to advertise these job openings to the public. It's a similar situation for direct hire positions in grade schools.
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Old 08-22-2010, 07:37 AM
 
3,682 posts, read 8,852,627 times
Reputation: 2138
Quote:
Originally Posted by eskercurve View Post
She will be at the lower middle class to middle class, depending on who her employers are and what sort of job she gets. The reason for this is this is something a LOT of Americans do, so there is competition to get in to programs where people teach English to Japanese. Further, a lot of English people go to Japan to teach English because there's as much demand for English-English vs. American-English. Canadians also like going there to teach English.

So yeah. LOTS of English-speakers go to Japan to teach.

She won't have a lot of disposable income. She won't make friends easily. She won't have preference over native Japanese at any other jobs, really. Many Japanese people know English, and since they understand the Japanese culture and manners and ways of doing things, they have preference over foreigners. The Japanese government and private corporations are also keen to give the best jobs teaching English to Japanese citizens for this reason.

And BE WARY over programs like JET who hire tutors then ship them to Japan. A good number of such programs have gone bankrupt, stranding hundreds in other countries, forcing them to pay their own way home, draining many of their savings in the process.

So ... my bottom line is, it would be good for her to have a good plan B. One that doesn't involve moving to Japan.

It can be done, but your chances for success increases only if you have OTHER SKILLS, for example, a star radio DJ who is from America broadcasts through the Hakone valley and is broadcast to other areas in Japan because he has star power and is an excellent DJ, and mixing in English words (followed up with Japanese) is "cool." Another YouTube person I follow who is American and moved to Japan, TokyoCooney, is a comedian. Finally, a martial artist I know who moved to Japan was able to do so to teach English to other martial artists who wanted to move abroad to teach their art, only because he was one of the top rated in the USA.

Bottom line with the above paragraph - unless your daughter is a top-rated genius in a particular field, it is unlikely her move to Japan will be a stress-free one. Stress to her it's NOT a vacation. It's a job. And English tutors in Japan work LONG HOURS, sometimes 14 hours a day. Most English tutors who go to Japan come home within a year in the hole in savings, stressed, and many wish they hadn't done it. The glamor of being in Japan, the East's most advanced economy (debatable), will fade after about a week. She will most likely go to Tokyo, where cost of living is astronomically high, there's crowds EVERYWHERE, like people packed together like sardines (don't believe me? Google "tokyo train rush hour" to see what I mean), the weather can be atrocious, and is totally different from anything in the USA, or Britain, or Canada, wherever you are from.

Go ahead and try it, but go in eyes wide open.
Wow, this most made me appreciate being here with the military. Lately I've been complaining about all the BS I have to put up with and thinking that I should have just been an English teacher.

Weather-wise, I'd say its like the Southeastern U.S., especially right now in August. I'm from Atlanta so its similar to what I grew up with.

I agree with the honeymoon phase (or in Japan's case, feeling like you're living the movie "Lost in Translation") fades after a while. I still love it here though, as its my second home, and I will miss it when I leave next year.
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