Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Tokyo How To's #8: Start Teaching English(Earn far more than Money than Minimum Wage!)

This entry is not how to get into a English teaching program like JET. This is for individuals already in Japan who want to some pocket money.

There are two ways:

1. Get a work permit and work for a company

  • PRO: legitimate, back to back students, set schedule, and company provides materials
  • CON: Pay is less, hours aren't flexible, and teaching method is restricted
2. Find your own students through networking websites

  • PRO: flexible schedule, casual, over coffee or food, and much better pay
  • CON: Higher chance of encountering "creepies", commute time is costly, and inconsistent

Getting a Permit and work for a company

From what I know, you can get this only as a student. With the school, you can apply for up to 28 hours part-time. After you attain the permit, you can apply to various English teaching schools. Large companies like Gaba are very popular. However, one should only expect to see only a little over 1000yen ($10)

Finding your own student through networking websites

There are many websites that can be found for this specific purpose. I used both findateacher.net and findstudent.net. I personally liked findateacher.net more, simply because I got better responses.

There are some necessary notes that need to be taken when making a profile:
  • blood type O is best (its like horoscopes in Japan)
  • Scorpios have a bad image
  • You will get much better responses if you are a girl
  • If you are a girl, be sure to use really cute pictures of yourself
  • The first lesson should never be free(fishes out the wierdos, and covers train cost)
  • Always meet in public areas (like Cafe's, there are LOTS)
  • Students that want to meet you outside of lessons should be immediately dropped
  • Prepare a inquiry response. This was mine (in Romaji):
"Watashi wa Claudia Desu.Eigo o benkyoushitai desune. itsu ni aimashouka? doko de iideshouka? watashi no keitai meiru wa *******@ezweb.ne.jp. henji suru toki ni kono meiru tsukatte kudasai. yoroshiku -Claudia"


It depends on your Japanese skill level, and if you are male or female. I started off with a sample lesson of 500yen($5) and regular lesson of 2500yen($25). After a few month, I had regular students at 3500yen($35) an hour. I wasn't strict on overtime, because I was receiving a good amount of money. I also often time received meals,too. Many of my student could only have the lessons after work on weekdays.

How to teach

You definitely need to get some learning material. Do not bother explaining to them grammar. Just start practicing how to say things. Try to teach 6 year old and above, and individually.(Otherwise, they go nuts)

Adults: I tailored my lesson to each student. The first lesson is getting to know them, their level, and what they would like to achieve. I emphasized conversational ability and pronunciation. A useful learning material was the free magazine Metropolis. You can get it in any Tower records. They had interesting summarized news. That would be discussion topic. Very easy, light hearted, and just all around good time. Many of them have studied English before, they just are not confident with it.


How to get rid of creepos?
It's easy! just say " I am sorry, but I have to go back to my country. Best of Luck"

It is kind of bad, but it is the best way.

You can make a lot of money, and learn quite a lot about Japanese culture. Be safe and Good luck!