Abroad ESL Teacher for JET Program USA
Summary(Review): The JET is a popular English teaching program for Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs). They typically receives 4,000-5,000 applications each year from U.S. applicants but only 1,000-1,100 will be selected for participation on the JET Program.
Job Overview for Abroad ESL Teacher:
Salary Per Month:
Late Afternoon (3pm-6pm)
Elementary & Junior (age 5-15)
High School & College Prep (age 15-18)
Job Details for Abroad ESL Teacher
Bachelor or above
Native North American
Min Hours Per Week:
Abroad ESL Teacher Job Description
ASSISTANT LANGUAGE TEACHER (ALT)
ALTs are engaged in language instruction and make up over 90% of all JET Program participants. They are mainly assigned to local boards of education or elementary, junior high or senior high schools and carry out their duties under the guidance of language teachers’ consultants or Japanese teachers of English (JTEs) as specified by the supervisor and/or principal of the board of education and/or school.
Duties may include:
- Assisting Japanese teachers in foreign language classes taught in elementary, junior and/or senior high schools.
- Supervising foreign language activities, during or after school in elementary schools, junior and/or senior high schools.
- Preparation of class materials for teaching a foreign language.
- Providing information on language and other related subjects for people such as teachers’ consultants and foreign language teachers (e.g. word usage, pronunciation, etc.)
- Helping out in extracurricular activities and club activities (e.g. class activities, homeroom activities, student council activities, club activities, school events.)
- Assistance in foreign language speech contests.
- Engagement in local international exchange activities.
- Other duties as specified by the contracting organization.
COORDINATOR FOR INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS (CIR)
CIRs are engaged in internationalization activities and translation/interpretation, and are placed in administrative offices of local authorities or related organizations. This position requires a high-degree of fluency and positions are less than 10% of all JET Program participants. Their duties are carried out as specified by the supervisor at individual contracting organizations.
Duties may include:
- Assistance in projects related to international activities carried out by the contracting organization. Such activities may include: editing, translating and compiling publications into a foreign language; assisting in planning, designing and implementing international exchange programs including international economic exchange programs; assisting in hosting official guests from abroad and interpreting at events for overseas visitors or for local foreign residents in the community.
- Offering language instruction of contracting organization employees and local residents. Language instruction of local residents refers to foreign language lessons and foreign culture classes for local resident children and/or adults.
- Working with and participating in activities of local private groups or organizations engaging in international exchange.
- Participating in exchange activities (including school visits) related to local residents’ cross-cultural awareness and understanding as well as in supporting activities for foreign residents in Japan.
- CIRs are required to have semi-advanced to advance Japanese language ability.
- Other duties as specified by the contracting organization.
After being selected as a “short-list candidate,” CLAIR begins the process of matching new JETs with a contracting organization in Japan. Contracting organizations (COs) are the entities which employ JETs (rather than the JET Program itself). For ALTs, the CO is usually a school or local/prefecture board of education. For CIRs, the CO is usually a local or municipal government office.|
Participants must sign terms and conditions with the CO assigned by CLAIR. The terms and conditions of service will be determined by the CO which employs the participant. The following is a general outline of the terms and conditions, though they may vary from one CO to another.
LENGTH OF CONTRACT AND RE-CONTRACTING
The JET contract is for one year and commences on the day after the designated arrival date. For this year’s departure/arrival dates, please see the Application Timeline.
The contracting organization may reappoint the JET participant for an additional one-year contract, with a maximum of five years total.
Participants are expected to be at work approximately thirty-five hours a week, excluding lunch breaks. It is likely that participants will be required to work during normal Japanese office and/or general school hours, which are from approximately 8:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m., Monday through Friday. Generally, Saturdays, Sundays and Japanese national holidays are days off. However, there are cases in which extra hours are required before/after usual office and/or school hours, or where participants are required to work on Saturdays, Sundays and Japanese national holidays. The amount of paid leave per year differs among contracting organizations, but all participants are guaranteed to have at least ten days.
OUTSIDE WORK PROHIBITION
Participants are prohibited from taking on any work other than that of this Program for the duration of their appointment.
Participants with a driver’s license may be required to operate a motor vehicle as a part of their work duties.
NOTIFICATION OF PLACEMENT
The placement process is managed by the Council for Local Authorities in International Relations (CLAIR) and the boards of education or local government offices in Japan. Applicants are notified of program selection in April, and after confirming their intent to become a JET, they will receive notification of their placement in May/June. This decision is final and changing locations is not an option. If a JET participant is unhappy with his/her placement, the only recourse is to withdraw from participation on the JET Program for that year. Please note that this also renders the individual ineligible to reapply the following year. Assigning placements is a time-consuming and intensive process and withdrawal is strongly discouraged as it hampers the functioning of the JET Program for the following year.
JET applicants may indicate up to three placement preferences, however final placements depend on position availability in each prefecture.
In principle, the contracting organizing assists the JET Program participant in making arrangements for housing. However, all costs are the responsibility of the applicant. JET Program participants are paid a salary and must pay any costs of living, including rent, out of this salary. JET participants typically live in apartment-style housing, though this may vary by location.
Abroad ESL Teacher Job Requirements
- Be interested in Japan and be willing to deepen their knowledge and appreciation of Japan after their arrival; be motivated to participate in and initiate international exchange activities in the local community; make effort to study or continue studying the Japanese language prior to and after arriving in Japan.
- Be both mentally and physically healthy.
- Be a citizen of the United States by the application deadline. If you are a permanent resident of the U.S. (living in the U.S. but not a U.S. citizen) you are not eligible to apply for the JET Program in the United States. Please contact the Embassy of Japan in your home country for information. Those who possess dual citizenship with Japan and the U.S. must renounce their Japanese citizenship before accepting a position on the JET Program and submitting the Reply Form. Applicants who have dual citizenship in two countries (other than Japan) may only apply in one of those countries.
- Hold at least a Bachelor’s degree or obtain such qualifications by the designated date prior to departure.
- Have the ability to adapt to living and working conditions in Japan, which could be significantly different from those experienced in the applicant’s home country, and be able to responsibly complete the term of appointment.
- Have excellent standard pronunciation, rhythm, intonation in the English language and possess excellent language ability that can be applied accurately and appropriately; have voice projection skills and public speaking skills; have other standard language skills, including strong writing skills and correct grammar usage.
- Have not previously participated in the JET Program for three (3) years as of the year of departure, or have participated on the program for more than five (5) years in total.
- Have not declined a position with the JET Program in the last program year after receiving notification of placement.
- Not have lived in Japan for a total of six (6) or more years in the past ten (10) years prior to the year of departure.
- Have an interest maintaining some type of relations with Japan, even after completion of the Program.
- Agree to reside in Japan under the status of residence stipulated in Article 2-2 of the Immigration Control and Refugee Act when entering Japan for the purpose of JET Program participation (this applies primarily to military personnel or their dependents in Japan).
- Obey all Japanese laws.
- Have finished any periods of legal probation and/or paid any fines by the application deadline if a jail term was suspended.
In addition to 1 through 13 above, ALT applicants must:
- Be interested in working with students Pre-K through 12th grade;
- Be strongly motivated to learn about the teaching of English as a foreign language. To that end, possessing teaching qualifications will be a benefit on your application, although it is not required.
- Be interested in the Japanese education system and particularly English as a foreign language instruction in Japan;
In addition to 1 through 13 above, CIR applicants must:
- Have a strong, functional command of the Japanese language (ability equivalent to the Japanese Language Proficiency Test Level N1 or N2 is desirable). It is strongly recommended that prospective CIR applicants take a moment to review the Japanese Language Proficiency Test guidelines and sample questions as means of determining ability level. CIR applicants are not required to have passed the actual JLPT N1 or N2 level exam, but should have language ability sufficient to do so.
Abroad ESL Teacher Salary and Compensation
The JET participant’s salary is determined by the number of years of participation on the JET Program. As employment through the JET Program as an ALT or CIR is a full-time paid position, JET participants receive a monthly salary from their contracting organizations. Yearly salary before tax is:
- ¥3,360,000 a year for first year JET participants
- ¥3,600,000 a year for second year JET participants
- ¥3,900,000 a year for third year JET participants
- ¥3,960,000 a year for fourth and fifth year JET participants
In Japan, joining the national social (health) insurance, contributing to the pension fund program and paying employment insurance are mandatory. A part of these costs are borne by the participant and deducted from the monthly post-tax remuneration each month on payday.
JET PROGRAM VISA
The JET Program Office will provide the necessary work visa for candidates who are selected to participate on the 2018 JET Program. Detailed instructions will be provided after notification of selection.
Dependents of JET Program participants (spouse or children) are also eligible for dependent visas. Please note that only legal spouses as recognized by Japanese law and children under the age of 18 are eligible for a dependent’s visa. A fiancé(e), common-law spouse, etc. is not eligible.
How to Apply to Abroad ESL Teacher?
Company Information for JET Program USA
The JET Program is a competitive employment opportunity that allows young professionals to live and work in cities, towns, and villages throughout Japan. Being a JET is an opportunity to work and to represent the United States as cultural ambassadors to Japan. Most participants serve as Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs) and work in public and private schools throughout Japan; some work as Coordinators for International Relations (CIRs) as interpreters/translators.
The JET Program seeks participants who are adaptable, outgoing, and who have a deep interest in Japan. Only the best candidates are chosen to represent America. The JET Program typically receives 4,000-5,000 applications each year from U.S. applicants. Of these, 1,000-1,100 will be selected for participation on the JET Program.
Each fall, applications are reviewed to ensure that all required documents have been submitted. Applicants who pass the initial screening are invited to interview. Selected candidates will be offered a position with the JET Program and then matched with a contracting organization. Sign up here to be notified when the next application cycle opens.
The JET Program is implemented by contracting organizations of Japan in cooperation with the Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC). More information about each of the ministries and their relation to the JET Program can be found on the CLAIR website.