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Penguee
November 6th, 2014, 14:52
Hey guys (and gals, I think?),

I'm Pen.

I know that the majority of job openings and such are ALTs, but are there other people who are on the forum who are applying to be CIRs? I know that last year America accepted about 40ish people for the CIR position. Let's talk with each other and get to know each other. I figure that most people who are actively posting on the forum are ALT applicants.

Uhm, to make this post more interesting, let's post a weird mistake in Japanese that you made at one point in time. I once was talking about Green Tea's power to help your brain and because I'd said, '緑茶” so many times with the 'ryoku', I ended up saying ' 尿力', piss power instead of ’能力’. Not to mention that this was for a presentation....anyway, my host mother started cackling with laughter. She said, "well, I guess green tea does help your piss power...but that isn't something you want to tell your class is it?" It was pretty hilarious. ...maybe you just had to be there?

Anyway, if there are any other CIR applicants, another question. Did you check the box 'yes' or 'no' to be considered for an ALT position? I chose no. If I don't get CIR, I don't want to roll the dice for a crappy school/co-worker position when I'm happy enough at the English School I'm at now. Besides, I'm actually teaching now, and I could...like, not....if I got a crappy placement.

Anyway, yoroshiku and all that!

Ini
November 6th, 2014, 14:59
Unless you get one of the very few CIR placements that are in offices full time you will probably end up teaching in a crappy placement anyway.

Penguee
November 6th, 2014, 15:03
That's what I figured, especially since I have teaching background. I'll probably get one of those hybrid roles if I get it at all. But better to only have if half of the time instead of all.
I'm on my magical 5th Year in Japan I only have one shot for applying, so might as well try to get the job I wanted. Who knows? I could get lucky?

sharpinthefang
November 6th, 2014, 18:03
Also, a side note. When typing in Japanese it gets looked down on on these forums as there are tons of newbies who can't read any Japanese and get freaked out. We do have a section of a forum for Japanese typing/learning.

Gizmotech
November 6th, 2014, 19:24
This is an appropriate thread to use Japanese in. Keep it up. That being said, I don't think there are many cir applicants.

Penguee
November 6th, 2014, 20:52
Also, a side note. When typing in Japanese it gets looked down on on these forums as there are tons of newbies who can't read any Japanese and get freaked out. We do have a section of a forum for Japanese typing/learning.

I was thinking that people who are applying to be a CIR should have to have a bit of a handle on Japanese to apply for said job. If someone is getting freaked out by a little Japanese then they certainly should be thinking about applying for CIR. I guess it takes all kinds, though. There must be people who misjudge their ability all the time, otherwise they wouldn't have the 'bump down' to ALT option.


This is an appropriate thread to use Japanese in. Keep it up. That being said, I don't think there are many cir applicants.

Yeah, I'm not really thinking there are that many. There are only a few slots for the job, too. Oh well, worth looking for others, at least.

Ini
November 6th, 2014, 20:58
If you have been in japan 5 years why the hell are you applying for JET? You've spent 5 years in education and you haven't made any contacts with anyone on a local/prefectural government level that could recommend you for a CIR type position?

Penguee
November 6th, 2014, 21:04
If you have been in japan 5 years why the hell are you applying for JET? You've spent 5 years in education and you haven't made any contacts with anyone on a local/prefectural government level that could recommend you for a CIR type position?

Pssh. If I'd done that then I wouldn't need JET. Nope, I studied abroad for three years and now I've worked here for two, so that's my magic 5. I'm helping out at my City Hall, but they don't have the money for a full-time CIR even though they kind of need one, so it's volunteer for experience kinda thing. *shrug*

Ini
November 6th, 2014, 21:08
studying doesn't count towards the year limit on JET does it?

Penguee
November 6th, 2014, 21:15
I assumed it did as I was living here and studying at the same time. It said years in Japan...and that would count for some of my years in Japan, right?

Ini
November 6th, 2014, 21:20
studying doesnt really count as living in japan. If it did nobody would ever be a 5th year JET

Penguee
November 6th, 2014, 21:40
Hahaha! Oh okay, I see what you did there.

Gizmotech
November 6th, 2014, 21:45
Studying does count unfortunately, it's how long you've been in Japan

JET ProgramCoordinator SF
November 7th, 2014, 06:32
First of all, living in Japan in any capacity, be it studying or working, counts to the "Must not have lived in Japan for 6 or more of the last 10 years" requirement set in place for applying candidates. Once you are accepted onto the JET Program, your ability to recontract is no affected by how many years you lived in Japan prior to acceptance onto the JET Program. That requirement only affects those that are applying to the JET Program, not recontracting.

Secondly, school visits and adult English classes should be considered as part of the "Jack of all Trades" package that is the CIR position. A CIR position is not for someone who does not want to interact with other people. Whether you are leading a community cooking class or teaching about American food in a junior high class, you are essentially doing the same thing; you are sharing and teaching English and American / foreign culture.

In the past there were certainly CIR positions who ended up in a position almost exclusively like an ALT. This happened for a variety of reasons; sometimes a rural BOE did not have enough money for both a CIR and an ALT but had tasks for both positions. They would request a CIR from CLAIR and then have that CIR primarily teach with the occasional stereotypical CIR office work. CLAIR has been aware of positions that are like this and have been working over the past years to reduce this. I know one of my close friends was a CIR for two years from around 2007 - 2009 and this was his experience, so it may be only within the past few years that CLAIR has been actively working to reduce this issue, but rest assured that they are most certainly aware of it. It's difficult because it's not like CLAIR has much legal authority over Contracting Organizations. They do their best to make the best JET experience possible for all 4,500+ people, but when you're dealing with nearly every city, town, and village in an entire country, there will be a lot of ESID. Point is, you should apply to the CIR position without worrying that you will essentially become an ALT, but should also go in with the understanding that two days of school visits out of the week could be considered standard for many CIR positions. Then again another one of my co-workers was a CIR for 5 years in Chiba and never once stepped foot in a classroom. ESID.

Ini
November 7th, 2014, 07:09
nearly every city, town and village in the country? thats a bit of a stretch dont you think?

JET ProgramCoordinator SF
November 7th, 2014, 09:40
With a couple of exceptions like Yokohama and Nagoya, JETs are pretty damn well represented. We're even on islands that you have to zoom in pretty far on Google Maps just to see! Add to that the 2000+ increase over the next 5 years (bringing us back to 2006-era JET numbers) and the fact that a lot of smaller Japanese municipals are still combining as a way to keep their infrastructure intact as they face a declining population and I think our coverage is fairly well represented across a country smaller than California.

It's the Japanese government's goal to put an ALT in every school across Japan. When you combine JETs with private teachers their goal is to have a 20,000-strong ALT force. Although we don't have the exact numbers because we don't track JETs after they leave the program, CLAIR has good reason to believe that a large portion of private ALTs are former JETs who have renegotiated their contract with their original BoE or have gone off to a different school as a private ALT. If you think about the coverage that the alumni network has built over the past 30 years in Japan I wouldn't be surprised if there's a JET alumnus every X kilometers.

Daily Yomiuri: Japanese government announces increase for JET Programme | JETwit.com (http://jetwit.com/wordpress/2014/09/22/daily-yomiuri-japanese-government-announces-increase-for-jet-programme/)

Penguee
November 7th, 2014, 12:43
Secondly, school visits and adult English classes should be considered as part of the "Jack of all Trades" package that is the CIR position. A CIR position is not for someone who does not want to interact with other people. Whether you are leading a community cooking class or teaching about American food in a junior high class, you are essentially doing the same thing; you are sharing and teaching English and American / foreign culture.

Point is, you should apply to the CIR position without worrying that you will essentially become an ALT, but should also go in with the understanding that two days of school visits out of the week could be considered standard for many CIR positions. Then again another one of my co-workers was a CIR for 5 years in Chiba and never once stepped foot in a classroom. ESID.

I figured that school visits, English lessons in the BOE, general sharing of the culture would be in the norm. I just heard about those essentially ALT CIR jobs and kind of got worried, but I figured I'd throw my hat in the ring, anyway. I wouldn't mind the teaching that would come with it, but if it was all teaching, then there is really no reason to leave my current job. I'd like more of the International Exchange element as well as all the other stuff.

But yes, thanks for reconfirming about the year requirements. I was right about that.

Ini
November 7th, 2014, 13:19
Jet isn't the marines. It's not for life. If there are just over 4100 ALTs and over 3000 local governments + designated cities + prefectural board of educations it's impossible for JETs to be in "nearly every city, town and village". The majority of ALTs may be JET but let's not get carried away.

sharpinthefang
November 7th, 2014, 13:29
Jet isn't the marines. It's not for life. If there are just over 4100 ALTs and over 3000 local governments + designated cities + prefectural board of educations it's impossible for JETs to be in "nearly every city, town and village". The majority of ALTs may be JET but let's not get carried away.
For example, down here in Kitakyushu, Interac far outnumbers JETS. (There is one more company that also outnumbers Interac but i can't remember their name

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
November 7th, 2014, 17:32
... CIA?

therealwindycity
November 7th, 2014, 19:50
... CIA?

Whooaa flashback Friday gaizzz!

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
November 7th, 2014, 20:37
So good they named it twice.

AyaReiko
November 12th, 2014, 12:20
Hey guys (and gals, I think?),

I'm Pen.

I know that the majority of job openings and such are ALTs, but are there other people who are on the forum who are applying to be CIRs? I know that last year America accepted about 40ish people for the CIR position. Let's talk with each other and get to know each other. I figure that most people who are actively posting on the forum are ALT applicants.

Uhm, to make this post more interesting, let's post a weird mistake in Japanese that you made at one point in time. I once was talking about Green Tea's power to help your brain and because I'd said, '緑茶” so many times with the 'ryoku', I ended up saying ' 尿力', piss power instead of ’能力’. Not to mention that this was for a presentation....anyway, my host mother started cackling with laughter. She said, "well, I guess green tea does help your piss power...but that isn't something you want to tell your class is it?" It was pretty hilarious. ...maybe you just had to be there?

Anyway, if there are any other CIR applicants, another question. Did you check the box 'yes' or 'no' to be considered for an ALT position? I chose no. If I don't get CIR, I don't want to roll the dice for a crappy school/co-worker position when I'm happy enough at the English School I'm at now. Besides, I'm actually teaching now, and I could...like, not....if I got a crappy placement.

Anyway, yoroshiku and all that!

This is unrelated to pretty much everything that happened since your first message, but I'm also applying for CIR. This is my second year applying and I've marked down "yes" for ALT this time... for now. I'm not too sure about it since I have no formal teaching experience.

As for a strange mistake... For some reason, I kept saying がんしゃ instead of かんじゃ for 患者. Even after a whole lesson about it I kept making the same mistake. It doesn't even make sense! I guess it's not super funny, though, haha.

Penguee
January 13th, 2015, 11:55
Hey! Sorry I never replied! Guess I overlooked it!

Did you get an interview? I did! :)

AyaReiko
January 13th, 2015, 14:24
No worries!

Canadians will only know about interviews at the beginning of next week, so I don't know yet. I got one last year, though, so I'd be pretty 悔しい if I didn't get one again hahaha.

Great news though! Good luck!

Penguee
January 14th, 2015, 12:37
Good luck to you, too! Where are you (potentially) interviewing?
The wait has been hard for me, but being asleep
during US business hours has actually helped a lot! Lol

AyaReiko
January 15th, 2015, 11:01
I'd be interviewing out of Ottawa, actually.
Haha, lucky you being asleep! But then every morning you can wake up hopeful and there's no email, haha.

Penguee
January 15th, 2015, 12:52
Yep! Hopeful and then the crush of the 'no new email' message.

AyaReiko
January 15th, 2015, 15:03
It's for sure better than the crush of the rejection email, though. I read mine during a break in school last year and left class early. 今年こそ!!! I hope...

Penguee
January 15th, 2015, 18:39
そのようにも祈っています!
Do you happen to know how many CIRs were accepted Canadians last year?

Jiggit
January 15th, 2015, 18:50
It's for sure better than the crush of the rejection email, though. I read mine during a break in school last year and left class early. 今年こそ!!! I hope...


そのようにも祈っています!
Do you happen to know how many CIRs were accepted Canadians last year?

Just an fyi, we try to discourage people from posting in Japanese outside of the Japanese study board.

Penguee
January 15th, 2015, 23:54
Also, a side note. When typing in Japanese it gets looked down on on these forums as there are tons of newbies who can't read any Japanese and get freaked out. We do have a section of a forum for Japanese typing/learning.

This is an appropriate thread to use Japanese in. Keep it up. That being said, I don't think there are many cir applicants.

Getting mixed messages, guys. The thread is kind of old. I guess we could move the post to the Japanese section or just remember to forever not use Japanese I guess. But since it's just me and AyaReiko, and the whole CIR thing....
So should we not use any Japanese here anymore?

Zolrak 22
January 15th, 2015, 23:57
Oh I'm just glad I can still understand most of that sentence.

(Despite the fact that I haven't studied in forever)

Japanese is discouraged, but I can see why you'd wanna use it in a CIR thread.

Penguee
January 16th, 2015, 00:04
Was just told before it was okay and I honestly forgot again since it was weeks ago. But eh, ***~~YOLO~~***
Wish I had some kind of Myspace glitter for that.

sharpinthefang
January 16th, 2015, 00:13
Getting mixed messages, guys. The thread is kind of old. I guess we could move the post to the Japanese section or just remember to forever not use Japanese I guess. But since it's just me and AyaReiko, and the whole CIR thing....
So should we not use any Japanese here anymore?
Valid point, we will think on it and let you know.

Penguee
January 16th, 2015, 00:16
Valid point, we will think on it and let you know.

Thanks for being awesome, though. I know it's your job, Sharp! To be sharp and catch lots of stuff.

sharpinthefang
January 16th, 2015, 00:16
Thanks for being awesome, though. I know it's your job, Sharp! To be sharp and catch lots of stuff.
Eh... ok.

Penguee
January 16th, 2015, 00:21
Eh... ok.

I just re-read. I meant it as a compliment. And perhaps a joke. (A weird and strange 'dad joke' is all I can really fathom at this point.)
Sorry. I am running on three hours of sleep from last night.

sharpinthefang
January 16th, 2015, 00:24
I just re-read. I meant it as a compliment. And perhaps a joke. (A weird and strange 'dad joke' is all I can really fathom at this point.)
Sorry. I am running on three hours of sleep from last night.
Then sleep boy! I know I'm turning in in a min.

mothy
January 16th, 2015, 01:47
At least it's complete sentences in japanese, not that throwing japanese words randomly into english sentences bullshit.

Zolrak 22
January 16th, 2015, 01:50
not that throwing japanese words randomly into english sentences bullshit.

But it's so 難しい!

mothy
January 16th, 2015, 01:53
Ban the fucker.

Zolrak 22
January 16th, 2015, 02:00
Ban the fucker.
Love you too, love you too. [emoji6]

Jiggit
January 16th, 2015, 08:58
Getting mixed messages, guys. The thread is kind of old. I guess we could move the post to the Japanese section or just remember to forever not use Japanese I guess. But since it's just me and AyaReiko, and the whole CIR thing....
So should we not use any Japanese here anymore?

That's my bad, I didn't realise this was the CIR thread. There's no rule against using Japanese. You're not going to get infracted for it, don't worry. I was just trying to give a bit of advice and didn't realise it had already been discussed in the thread.

On the other hand, I'd say in the first example it's fine because you're discussing Japanese language study. But when you just insert Japanese into your otherwise English language conversation it can be bad for two reasons;

1. It's alienating/intimidating to those who don't understand it.

2. It can look like you're trying to show off. If you're talking with other native English speakers and there's no specific reason to use Japanese then it can appear as if you're trying to either flaunt your Japanese language skills or your "Japaneseness".

Anyway, it's just a bit of friendly advice. IMO: discussing Japanese or Japanese study - use as much Japanese as you like. Inserting unnecessary Japanese vocab into otherwise English sentences - might be worth avoiding.

AyaReiko
January 16th, 2015, 10:17
Yeah, sorry! I think we were told before that it was okay in this thread so I just went ahead and did it (in the worse way possible too, since I totally did just put in one word...)
I work in a bilingual environment so I'm constantly talking in more than one language in a sentence, hahaha.

In other news, what do you guys think is the best translation for "kuyashii"? There are a few words like that that I always say in Japanese because I can't think of the English or the French... (Others being "mendokusai", "mabushii" and "natukashii"... also "tako".)

Gizmotech
January 16th, 2015, 10:54
You are totally okay doing it in this thread. Jiggit was just in auto pilot god mode.

Jiggit
January 16th, 2015, 14:06
Just to reiterate, anyone is free to write as much Japanese as they like in any thread!

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
January 16th, 2015, 15:00
Just to reiterate, anyone is free to write as much Japanese as they like in any thread!

... but we will perhaps think less of them.

azguitarist
January 16th, 2015, 15:14

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
January 16th, 2015, 15:28


4998

Carry on CIRing, people.

itsabird
January 16th, 2015, 15:38
... but we will perhaps think less of them.
Your importance on this site will shrink

Moso
January 19th, 2015, 14:24
Hi!
I'm a current first year CIR! If there's anything you want to know, just ask! :) Good luck with your application!

By the way I'm not really sure where the claim that very few CIR placements are based in offices comes from. I don't know a single CIR who isn't based in an office.

The term 'ESID' is extremely relevant to CIR placements; 2 CIRs could be doing 2 wildly different jobs. However, a common thing is being expected to be a jack of all trades, haha. In my case, my job is basically to be someone from a country other than Japan who can speak Japanese and English and do all the things in my area demanded from someone like that. So it varies from the likes of translation/interpreting to holding community events to some more random things. And yeah, I do teach English classes once a week in a community center. Most CIRs I know do teach their native language at least every now and then! However I've met a lot of CIRs and none have had English teaching as their main job role.

AyaReiko
January 19th, 2015, 15:09
Oh yay, thanks for joining us! How do you like being a CIR so far? Did you recontract?

I actually thought all CIR placements were in offices until I heard some people say they weren't. One of my friends got a position last year and she's office only, I think.

How important do you think it is to be a quick learner to be a CIR? For example, how much experience did you have in all the things you had to do before going to Japan?
Do you know of CIRs who teach languages other than English?

I don't want to inundate you with questions, haha. Of course, feel free to ask me anything too!

Moso
January 19th, 2015, 15:30
Oh yay, thanks for joining us! How do you like being a CIR so far? Did you recontract?

I actually thought all CIR placements were in offices until I heard some people say they weren't. One of my friends got a position last year and she's office only, I think.

How important do you think it is to be a quick learner to be a CIR? For example, how much experience did you have in all the things you had to do before going to Japan?
Do you know of CIRs who teach languages other than English?

I don't want to inundate you with questions, haha. Of course, feel free to ask me anything too!

I mean yeah I also thought all CIRs were based in offices! As far as I know most CIRs are based in Prefectural offices (県庁), City halls (市役所), and international associations (国際交流協会).

Overall I do like being a CIR. There are also things I don't like, but yeah all in all it's good and I made the decision last week to recontract!

Hmmm about being a quick learner I think that depends on your coworkers tbh. Mine are very understanding, so they're definitely not the type to throw me in the deep end. There are also two senpai CIRs in my office, and we often do assignments together, so it was easy to learn from them. I had translation experience beforehand, which I guess helped, and experience doing presentations, which definitely helped. I have to do a lot of presentations, so having done countless presentations over the course of my university life helped a lot! But honestly I don't think I had to be a quick learner for my position. They were very nice. Some of my other friends offices seem more stressful. Luck of the draw I guess.

Yeah there are plenty of CIRs who teach languages other than English. I work with a Chinese CIR and a Korean CIR, and they do Chinese and Korean classes. If you speak a language other than English to a high level (that Japanese people would be interested in learning), you may have the opportunity to teach that too I suppose!

AyaReiko
January 21st, 2015, 08:20
Cool, congratulations on recontracting then! I suppose there are no perfect jobs, but as long as there's more good than bad, then that's super. I'm glad to hear your sempai and coworkers are nice, too.

Oh, you're in a big office then! Or do many CIRs work with others? (I know, I know, ESID, but I'm thinking averages here!)

And what kind of presentations do you do? For whom? Surely they can't all be about your country... can they?
Have you ever had to organize events?

Oh yeah, English isn't my first language, so I was wondering about that...

Moso
January 21st, 2015, 10:39
Cool, congratulations on recontracting then! I suppose there are no perfect jobs, but as long as there's more good than bad, then that's super. I'm glad to hear your sempai and coworkers are nice, too.

Oh, you're in a big office then! Or do many CIRs work with others? (I know, I know, ESID, but I'm thinking averages here!)

And what kind of presentations do you do? For whom? Surely they can't all be about your country... can they?
Have you ever had to organize events?

Oh yeah, English isn't my first language, so I was wondering about that...

Hmmm, I think I'm in an average/small sized city hall! In most prefectures a city of my size probably wouldn't be very significant but I'm in Shimane prefecture (the height of rural) so this is a major city here. Also we have the most CIRs of any prefecture. I was surprised in the mid-year conference to find out most prefectures only have like 5 CIRs as opposed to 20! You're more likely to have coworkers in a prefectural office (県庁) position than city hall.

Erm honestly the presentations I've done are mostly about my country LOL. For a variety of people really, but most commonly community centers and schools/kindergartens/daycare centres are the ones who request I come in to do a talk. So the listeners tend to be either really old or really young. Sometimes they're general presentations, but sometimes they want to know about a specific thing like food or like, Christmas etc.

Yes, I've organised events. I've organised mainly cooking classes and Christmas and Halloween events this far.

Ahhh right, well depending on your native language you may be asked to give language lessons. Not all CIRs give language lessons anyway, but it's quite a common thing.

Penguee
January 21st, 2015, 15:10
Thanks for all the info! I'm also applying to be a CIR and have my interview in February.
Are there any interview tips you could think to give us? I've been reading Japanese newspapers and watching NHK, but I'm not sure what else I should do to prepare.

Moso
January 21st, 2015, 16:44
Thanks for all the info! I'm also applying to be a CIR and have my interview in February.
Are there any interview tips you could think to give us? I've been reading Japanese newspapers and watching NHK, but I'm not sure what else I should do to prepare.

Well I think while it's good to be up to date on current Japanese news make sure you're also aware of what's going in your country. Also think about how you can be an ambassador for and represent your country. They may ask you stuff a long the lines of if you had to take one item/food/movie/etcetc. to represent your country, what would it be? And what would Japanese people be interested in from your culture?

They will probably ask about cross-cultural stuff, especially if you have experience living in Japan (seems like you do?). They also want to see how well you'd fit in at a Japanese workplace so they may ask you a lot of stuff in regards to that.

As a UK candidate, I knew in advance that most if not all of the interview would be in Japanese so I thought up some potential questions and tried to come up with answers to them in Japanese. I'm not saying memorise a whole bunch of potential answers because it will be obvious and awkward, but having got a solid idea of the kind of things I wanted to say in Japanese really helped. If you're a US candidate, I think a lot less of the interview is actually in Japanese(??).

P.S. If you checked the box that said you'd also like to be considered for an ALT position, make sure you're prepared to answer questions about it! I ticked that box, and I just presumed that they would probably only ask very basic questions "would you really be okay with an ALT position?"
But they asked detailed questions about how I'd deal with ALT life, specific classroom situations etc.

Ercasse
January 23rd, 2015, 04:22
Cool, congratulations on recontracting then! I suppose there are no perfect jobs, but as long as there's more good than bad, then that's super. I'm glad to hear your sempai and coworkers are nice, too.

Oh, you're in a big office then! Or do many CIRs work with others? (I know, I know, ESID, but I'm thinking averages here!)

And what kind of presentations do you do? For whom? Surely they can't all be about your country... can they?
Have you ever had to organize events?

Oh yeah, English isn't my first language, so I was wondering about that...

I was a 県庁 CIR for 2 years, gots to establish the cred)

In terms of who you work with, unless you work for a large city or in a prefecture that really needs it you will probably be the only "English" CIR in your division. As well, say for example you work for a 県庁 and there is a 国際交流会 or whatever in the city they might have their own English-speaking CIR as well. In this case the CO would probably be the same (you both work for the city) but your workplace is different. If you do have CIR colleagues they will probably have a language designation other than English. I worked with a Korean and a Chinese CIR and it was a total blast - we got to work on fun projects together, I learned a little Chinese and Korean, and it was just lovely to have other foreign types around :)

I think presentations will vary on what is asked of you. I used to present a lot to cultural organisations or business groups in addition to school visits. Sometimes I would also make internal presentations to the government about specific cultural things if we had guests coming or people were going abroad. Usually it will be about your country, but you might be asked to speak about topics like "western education practices" or something more broadly. If you make friends in the community, it's pretty easy to get them to request a speech from you on whatever topic you mutually decide is good. Same kind of thing goes for events; a lot of places probably will have established events but unless your CO is particularly draconian if you can find a way to do something for cheap/free it will probably go over well. BUT all this depends on what your office has you doing/what kind of people you work with.

And don't worry so much about the English, my successor's first language was not English. They did their High School and their Uni in an English speaking school and that was more than enough!

AyaReiko
January 23rd, 2015, 14:25
Penguee, just so you have another idea about the Japanese part of the interview, last year i had to read a text out loud and then answer two comprehension question and at least one open ended question. The rest of the interview was in English. In fact, one of the panellists did not speak Japanese. Don't forget to look at them too if the same thing happens to you!

Ercasse, cool, thanks for coming out of the shadows and sharing your experience! It's really interesting that you both have Chinese and Korean colleagues! I don't know why, but I love when the common language is Japanese.
So I guess you also have to do a lot of presentations? Do you usually do them alone? How about you, Moso?

Oh yeah, and I'm not too worried about the "not native anglophone" thing, since a) I won't necessarily be teaching it,; and b) even if I did have to, I learned it as a second language, so I guess it even gives me an edge!

Penguee
January 23rd, 2015, 23:58
Well I think while it's good to be up to date on current Japanese news make sure you're also aware of what's going in your country. Also think about how you can be an ambassador for and represent your country. They may ask you stuff a long the lines of if you had to take one item/food/movie/etcetc. to represent your country, what would it be? And what would Japanese people be interested in from your culture?

They will probably ask about cross-cultural stuff, especially if you have experience living in Japan (seems like you do?). They also want to see how well you'd fit in at a Japanese workplace so they may ask you a lot of stuff in regards to that.
Thanks for the info! I'll try to keep some of that in mind as I prepare. I'm taking mock interviews with my friends next week so I'll ask them to ask me those kinds of questions in Japanese and English.

Penguee
January 24th, 2015, 00:03
Penguee, just so you have another idea about the Japanese part of the interview, last year i had to read a text out loud and then answer two comprehension question and at least one open ended question. The rest of the interview was in English. In fact, one of the panellists did not speak Japanese. Don't forget to look at them too if the same thing happens to you!
I was trying to prepare for both of those situations. I feel like I would be okay if part of it were in English, but it is the Japanese portion that worries me the most. Was the article you read hard to understand? I passed N1 and I have a pretty good reading comprehension level, but while I remember the kanji meanings, I am kind of bad at remembering the readings.

Ercasse
January 24th, 2015, 01:50
Penguee: If you're worried about reading aloud then the best thing you could do is read a few articles aloud from NHK news online just to get the feel of it. News articles all have similar vocab too which should come in handy. Usually the articles are from news sources and topical, so it's worthwhile practise. Honestly, if you can hold a conversation on a newsworthy topic and can understand the content of the article well enough to have a good discussion about it, flubbing some of the reading shouldn't matter too much. The interviewers are of course looking to test the depth of your Japanese knowledge but they also want to see how you handle yourself under trying circumstances as well, you're not expected to be perfect but I think they would expect you to recover well from anything you mess up on a bit. If it makes you feel any better, I was a CIR for two years and was always too lazy to take my N1! You'll be fine :)

AyaReiko: Yeah, I love it too when Japanese is the lingua franca; I think it's neat because it puts everyone on even footing language wise which often doesn't happen if you're aboard as a native English speaker. We definitely learned a lot from each other! As to presentations, I did them regularly but not enough to call them "a lot". Maybe once a month, or more when I was more requested. I always liked them though, and yeah you often do them by yourself just because of the nature of the topic. BUT there is no reason you couldn't do a joint-venture with other CIRs if you wanted to!

AyaReiko
January 24th, 2015, 10:01
I was trying to prepare for both of those situations. I feel like I would be okay if part of it were in English, but it is the Japanese portion that worries me the most. Was the article you read hard to understand? I passed N1 and I have a pretty good reading comprehension level, but while I remember the kanji meanings, I am kind of bad at remembering the readings.

I agree with the others: if you practice reading regular news items out loud, you should be fine. Many of the kanji will actually have furigana! You may want to be able to speak about a variety of themes (the economy, Internet privacy, places to visit in Japan, the 阪神大震災, etc.)


AyaReiko: Yeah, I love it too when Japanese is the lingua franca; I think it's neat because it puts everyone on even footing language wise which often doesn't happen if you're aboard as a native English speaker. We definitely learned a lot from each other! As to presentations, I did them regularly but not enough to call them "a lot". Maybe once a month, or more when I was more requested. I always liked them though, and yeah you often do them by yourself just because of the nature of the topic. BUT there is no reason you couldn't do a joint-venture with other CIRs if you wanted to!

Oh, I see. Good to know. Have you had to organize events?


Also, to everyone: what would you say is the most important thing to show in your interview that is CIR specific. I mean, obviously, every candidate has to smile and show they can be flexible and all, but what should a CIR show that an ALT wouldn't necessarily have to (and so, that you won't find in tip pages)?

BifCarbet
February 4th, 2015, 10:24
Hi, y'all. It appears as if this thread is pretty current, so I thought I'd join. I just had my CIR interview today, and I was an ALT for 3 years. The reading part was only one article, and it wasn't news-related. I was also asked just two comprehension questions. I answered the first one very simply, as the answer was right there in the text. The second one was sort of a "Why?" question, but the answer was also in the text. I elaborated and added some opinion. After that, they asked me about how I felt about it, and a relevant discussion question.

It was not as hard as I was expecting, so I walked out thinking, "Did they just cut me off because I failed?" I'm a little nervous. I feel like maybe they stopped me after the easy one and didn't show me the hard one. I read the words and answered the questions, though. I guess I'll find out eventually.

AyaReiko
February 4th, 2015, 13:41
It was not as hard as I was expecting, so I walked out thinking, "Did they just cut me off because I failed?" I'm a little nervous. I feel like maybe they stopped me after the easy one and didn't show me the hard one. I read the words and answered the questions, though. I guess I'll find out eventually.

Don't worry. What you're describing sounds exactly like what I had last year during my interview. You have to think that, as a CIR, your level is already high (or it should be?), so maybe something that looks simple to you is really hard for someone else!

Ercasse
February 5th, 2015, 15:36
Oh, I see. Good to know. Have you had to organize events?

Yup, all the time! Some little, a lot of big ones including all the JET conferences because I was at the prefectural government offices.



Also, to everyone: what would you say is the most important thing to show in your interview that is CIR specific. I mean, obviously, every candidate has to smile and show they can be flexible and all, but what should a CIR show that an ALT wouldn't necessarily have to (and so, that you won't find in tip pages)?

Er, I'm not really sure if there is much that is CIR specific beyond the Japanese requirement, ALTs and CIRs are both still JETs and I think interviewers are really looking to see if you will thrive in Japan and thrive in the role. I was hired as an in-prefecture ALT --> CIR transfer and I saw my interview scoring (I had to write a JLPT-like test in addition to a regular interview) after I'd had the job for a year or so. I did just as well as the other candidates on the written test but it literally said on the scoring sheet that I was hired because of my personality and my involvement in the JET community, not just for my Japanese level. I imagine the consulate interviews are similar, they already know you have the skills they just want to know who you are.

If I had to pick concrete CIR specific advice I'd say make sure that you sound eloquent and confident when you're answering questions in Japanese and make sure your personality and interest/passion comes through in both languages. Personality can really change when you speak another language so keep that mind. Show that you are comfortable switching back and forth and comfortable using both. I actually evaluated the English level of a lot internal prefectural hires as a CIR (I even interviewed my own boss before he transferred to my division!) and that's what always stood out positively to me, that ability and comfort with the language showed me they were pretty flexible and could deal/enjoy working in both. I'm not sure that there is any tip that will make or break it for you as a CIR, but that's mine!

AyaReiko
February 6th, 2015, 13:02
Oh great, thanks for all the advice!

Penguee
February 6th, 2015, 22:29
Yes! Thanks for all the advice.
My interview was today and I think I was worry too much about the reading, but I seemed to do fine. Thanks again for the info everyone! :)

BifCarbet
February 7th, 2015, 01:13
worry too much about the reading, but I seemed to do fine.

One reading? Two?

Penguee
February 7th, 2015, 07:54
There was only one reading and it seemed like there was never meant to be two in my interview. I was given the usual praise about being good at Japanese the first bit, and the third or second time I began to believe them. My topic was totally different than yours and had to do with city life.

AyaReiko
February 10th, 2015, 09:59
For some reason, they had me do both the ALT and the CIR Japanese tests... I read the same article on newspapers for the CIR part! The whole thing was very different from last year.

BifCarbet
February 10th, 2015, 10:06
Interesting. I am VERY relieved to know that they didn't just give up on me.

Penguee
February 10th, 2015, 22:33
For some reason, they had me do both the ALT and the CIR Japanese tests... I read the same article on newspapers for the CIR part! The whole thing was very different from last year.
Perhaps you checked that you wouldn't mind being an ALT so that is why they gave you that test, too?

BifCarbet
February 11th, 2015, 00:14
They asked me a couple questions about being an ALT, but didn't give me any mock lesson or ALT reading test.

AyaReiko
February 11th, 2015, 10:31
I had to do both thing, haha! But they didn,t really ask me any questions about being an ALT. They told me that as much as 50% of a CIR's job may be teaching and asked me what I felt about that, though.

Penguee
February 11th, 2015, 21:57
I said that I didn't want to be an ALT so I didn't get any questions about being one. I had a really good interview and the people were super nice. I had a really good rapport with the interviewers I felt. I guess those results will all come out in April, right?

AyaReiko
February 12th, 2015, 11:48
Yes. The wait will be killing me, hahaha.

Penguee
February 12th, 2015, 12:00
Yep! We'll just have to try our best to entertain ourselves in the interim! Hopefully we'll all end up with good news!

In the mean time, what are you doing to keep up your Japanese? I'm still trying to watch the news when I come home. I may still try to read the newspapers that I've accumulated for more practice, too.

My friend says I should read novels, but since my electronic dictionary kicked the bucket, it's kind of hard to look up kanji without it.

AyaReiko
February 12th, 2015, 12:20
I sometimes use online dictionaries to find kanji that aren't in my dictionaries. Some are not too bad. If you have a phone, the Imi Wa? app isn't too bad either.

At home, I read the news through Twitter as well and reading manga (I unfortunately sold many of my novels...). I watched videos online (e.g. the most popular in Japan feed on YouTube) and sometimes movies or TV series I have on DVD. Where do you watch the news? On TV? I also go to a Japanese school in my city.

Penguee
February 12th, 2015, 12:26
I have Imi wa? and I use it a lot. I am just too lazy to look up the kanji by radicals on that. I want to be able to write it. Otherwise I get frustrated and give up quickly.

I live in Japan so I can just watch the news. I use subtitles on everything I watch so I can read and listen at the same time. I also try to read newspapers, like I said. I used to read lots of manga, but now with my move, I need to watch what I buy. :/

AyaReiko
February 12th, 2015, 12:56
Haha, I see. I don't have an e-dictionary, so it's either that or look in my paper dictionaries. Then I write them down in a notebook so I can remember them easier (works more or less well...)

Yeah, ok, that's what I thought! I don't have access to Japanese TV where I live, so I have to go through the Internet. I've never found good news (but I haven't been looking super well, either). It's so much harder than just watching entertainment shows, where they basically subtitle all the jokes already!

Oh yeah, I understand. I have so much manga and I dread having to box all of them up if I go to Japan this summer...

uthinkimlost?
February 12th, 2015, 13:10
Haha, I see. I don't have an e-dictionary, so it's either that or look in my paper dictionaries.

Are you a time traveler from the 1990s?


Yeah, ok, that's what I thought! I don't have access to Japanese TV where I live, so I have to go through the Internet. I've never found good news (but I haven't been looking super well, either). It's so much harder than just watching entertainment shows, where they basically subtitle all the jokes already!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KeyHoleTV

Zolrak 22
February 12th, 2015, 13:21
Smartphones and computers are too mainstream.

AyaReiko
February 12th, 2015, 13:23
Augh, my cover's been blown!

And cool, thanks!

BifCarbet
February 12th, 2015, 16:03
jisho.org is really good.

AyaReiko
February 13th, 2015, 14:05
Yeah! I love anything that allows you to search by radical, basically...

Penguee
February 13th, 2015, 22:41
I hate searching by the radical. I prefer just writing it and having it pop up.

So let's talk a bit of CIR stuff now. If you are in an area where you can plan events for your area, what kinds of things do you have in mind?

I'd like to do a cooking class with American food. It would also be fun to do a class for kids where we play American games.

BifCarbet
February 14th, 2015, 01:07
That's a good question. I'd like to have a regular culture class where I just demonstrate different aspects of American or other foreign cultures. I've always envisioned a food/service/garment fair on a Sunday, where people can buy, and sell cool foreign stuff. If I got a Kencho, I could make this work, but in a small town, probably not.

Ercasse
February 14th, 2015, 07:09
That's a good question. I'd like to have a regular culture class where I just demonstrate different aspects of American or other foreign cultures. I've always envisioned a food/service/garment fair on a Sunday, where people can buy, and sell cool foreign stuff. If I got a Kencho, I could make this work, but in a small town, probably not.

Naw man, you'd have a way easier time with that in a small town!

Penguee
February 14th, 2015, 09:09
That's a good question. I'd like to have a regular culture class where I just demonstrate different aspects of American or other foreign cultures. I've always envisioned a food/service/garment fair on a Sunday, where people can buy, and sell cool foreign stuff. If I got a Kencho, I could make this work, but in a small town, probably not.

Where did you ask to be placed, by the way?

But that sounds like fun. I think that you might get more freedom in a small town, since people don't really care so much?

I'd also like to do language classes and maybe do an Arts and Crafts thing with Valentines or Christmas Cards or something.

BifCarbet
February 14th, 2015, 10:41
Sorry, I didn't mean freedom, I meant getting merchants, shoppers, and other folks to participate. Permission is one thing, but a successful event would probably be easier with a bigger, denser population.
I requested places north of Tokyo. I'll be more specific in a few months.

AyaReiko
February 14th, 2015, 22:56
I was thinking of organizing one of those human library events. You get foreigners and interesting people from the community and they can be "rented" by the hour for a conversation. Seems like a good way to learn to know about someone.

I'd also want stalls at the festivals. My idea is to insert Canada into Japanese activities, while also having Canadian activities of sorts.

Penguee
February 16th, 2015, 22:39
I requested places north of Tokyo. I'll be more specific in a few months.

I hope you didn't request the same places I did. Otherwise it will be a throw-down! lol

AyaReiko
February 17th, 2015, 12:17
Or maybe you'll end up together!
I requested Kansai, so I won't have to fight with you.

Penguee
February 17th, 2015, 13:05
The town I want I already know there is only one for, so I hope that it won't be a throw-down! (Of course it doesn't have any connection with us, since Tokyo does everything.)

I'll have to visit you in Kansai, maybe. Or Shimane, I heard there are 20 CIRs there.

Moso
February 17th, 2015, 13:18
All the CIRs I know who put placement requests had their requests basically ignored #justsayin

Though I mostly know UK CIRs and I guess there's less placements for us in the first place? Anyway don't be surprised if you end up somewhere totally random you've never heard of :P

Penguee
February 17th, 2015, 23:35
All the CIRs I know who put placement requests had their requests basically ignored #justsayin

Though I mostly know UK CIRs and I guess there's less placements for us in the first place? Anyway don't be surprised if you end up somewhere totally random you've never heard of :P

How incredibly unhelpful. Obviously, since there are a very few number of positions open, we're aware that we don't get placed where we want, and it is the other way around.
Although I happen to know that the city I wanted is opening up for a CIR slot, so why not put it down as an option?
Regardless, we'll all get placed in random places that are open due to the way the game is for CIRs. I don't really know of any places that are any more inaka than Shimane would be that has CIRs, though.

uthinkimlost?
February 17th, 2015, 23:58
I don't really know of any places that are any more inaka than Shimane would be that has CIRs, though.

They exist, I assure you.

Moso
February 18th, 2015, 00:23
How incredibly unhelpful. Obviously, since there are a very few number of positions open, we're aware that we don't get placed where we want, and it is the other way around.
Although I happen to know that the city I wanted is opening up for a CIR slot, so why not put it down as an option?
Regardless, we'll all get placed in random places that are open due to the way the game is for CIRs. I don't really know of any places that are any more inaka than Shimane would be that has CIRs, though.

Yoo it was a lighthearted comment?

Btw if you are posting such a response because you think I'm personally bitter I didn't put a placement request and am perfectly happy having been placed in Shimane lmao and I'm not that inaka.

Anyways I don't think its bad advice not to pin your hopes on getting placed wherever. You may get your dream placement! You may get somewhere you've never heard of. And yeah, there are plenty of very rural placements outside of Shimane too. Good luck :)

Penguee
February 18th, 2015, 12:34
Yoo it was a lighthearted comment?

Btw if you are posting such a response because you think I'm personally bitter I didn't put a placement request and am perfectly happy having been placed in Shimane lmao and I'm not that inaka.

Anyways I don't think its bad advice not to pin your hopes on getting placed wherever. You may get your dream placement! You may get somewhere you've never heard of. And yeah, there are plenty of very rural placements outside of Shimane too. Good luck :)

I'm really sorry. I taught 7 hours yesterday (Eikaiwa, oh yeah) and my brain was fried. I didn't mean to say that and be a total jerk.

I actually love Shimane, lol, I've been there before. It was great. I know there are lots of rural placements, and we really don't get much of a choice in the end, because it really isn't us who makes the choice. And you're only saying that. I'm from the countryside in America, and I did a homestay in a no-traffic light town in Hokkaido, so I know (a small slice of) what to expect with rural Japan.
So, I apologize again. And please send me Shimaneko goodz. Haha. You wouldn't want my character goods. Not as scary at Tottori's, but equally bizarre.

AyaReiko
February 18th, 2015, 13:45
I'd kind of like to be in inaka, except for the fact that I hate driving. I'm aiming for a nice semi-urban area, haha.

Gizmotech
February 18th, 2015, 13:54
I like my inaka area.

I don't have to drive, though everyone else in my greater area does, and if I did want to drive it's a reallynice place to do it.

BifCarbet
March 31st, 2015, 06:21
I'm in as a CIR. Short list. Los Angeles e-mailed me about 10 minutes ago.

Penguee
March 31st, 2015, 08:29
I'm in as a CIR. Short list. Los Angeles e-mailed me about 10 minutes ago.
Congrats again! Let's hope we can fist bump at orientation!

onigiri1994
March 31st, 2015, 10:39
Hi everyone,

I also received my notification this evening around dinnertime. Shortlist from Boston! I am new to this forum and I am so excited to start talking to all of you about the CIR position and all things Japan!

Yoroshiku onegaishimasu.

AyaReiko
March 31st, 2015, 13:01
Awesome, congrats!

I hope we all know by the end of the week!

RainKing
April 1st, 2015, 10:10
Any other UK JETs who applied for CIR? When I signed in at the embassy I saw barely any people there for it, so I wonder if there were just fewer applicants this year or what. One of my friends forgot to bring his passport and got turned away, which, while awful for him, actually improves my chances...

Penguee
April 1st, 2015, 10:48
Yay! Let's hope everyone gets their notifications soon! :)

BifCarbet
April 1st, 2015, 11:52
Good luck, everyone!
I hope you all get in, and I look forward to some good forum talk.

shanshan310
August 30th, 2015, 22:39
Hi everyone,

I guess this is a massive bump but I wasn't sure where else to post for questions about becoming a CIR. I'm really interested in applying for 2016!

I'm a little worried though, because although I have improved a lot this year and studied hard, I did fail JLPT N2 last year (I think I got like 88/180, it was very depressing ><) and I'm not sure if that will be looked upon unfavorably on my application. I also won't be around to take it this december either. I'm hoping I'll be able to prove my worth in the interview, if I can get that far. Will it matter that much?

Other than that, I'm pretty interested in working in a small town or rural area. I've lived in Tokyo and Kobe, and would like to try something different. Also seems like a CIR could do some really fun and worthwhile work out there. Does anyone have any positive/ negative experiences?

BifCarbet
August 30th, 2015, 23:02
I am a current CIR and I had lunch at a beer factory with my hancho on Friday between visiting a JAXA facility and a park. It can be pretty fun.

I don't think you'll get an interview without being N2 level. If you passed N3, I'd not mention it. Just proceed as if you've never taken the test. You should try to take it in December, at all cost. If you were to get an interview, you'd want to have the certificate then, but it might not arrive by interview time. I'd work on finding another way to prove your ability. Get a certificate of some kind, if you can, or have one of your letters be from a Japanese teacher (if you haven't taken classes, seek out an actual teacher and pay them for some lessons, then have them testify).

I think if you can find a way to prove your Japanese ability, you might have a shot without a JLPT result. You should focus on getting something tangible. N2 score is the best way to do that. If you really want to be a CIR, you need to take that test in December and submit your test enrollment receipt with your application.

shanshan310
August 30th, 2015, 23:13
I am a current first-year CIR and I had lunch at a beer factory with my hancho on Friday between visiting a JAXA facility and a park. It can be pretty fun.

I don't think you'll get an interview without being N2 level. If you passed N3, I'd not mention it. Just proceed as if you've never taken the test. You should try to take it in December, at all cost. If you were to get an interview, you'd want to have the certificate then, but it might not arrive by interview time. I'd work on finding another way to prove your ability. Get a certificate of some kind, if you can, or have one of your letters be from a Japanese teacher (if you haven't taken classes, seek out an actual teacher and pay them for some lessons, then have them testify).

I think if you can find a way to prove your Japanese ability, you might have a shot without a JLPT result. You should focus on getting something tangible. N2 score is the best way to do that. If you really want to be a CIR, you need to take that test in December and submit your test enrollment receipt with your application.

Hmm, well that's sobering but not totally disheartening. I'm doing a Japanese honours thesis at the moment so I should be able to get my supervisor to write me a recommendation. That doesn't really show exactly what level I'm at though.

I'm visiting friends overseas while JLPT is happening this December, so it might be awkward logistically which is why I was hoping that I could avoid it. I'll try looking into it though if it's that important.

Thanks for your advice :)

AyaReiko
September 1st, 2015, 11:04
I've applied twice in a row: one year I had my N2 certificate in hand, but not the first. I still got an interview and got on the alternate list both times.
They did test my Japanese ability by phone, though (both times).

I suppose you could always try to take the exam where your friend lives, if that's possible.

GodInStrafeMode
September 2nd, 2015, 10:33
Hi everyone,
Will it matter that much?


To be fair there's people out there with N1 that absolutely suck at communicating and then there's people with N2 that can actually hold good conversation.
At the end of the day it's going to come down to how you come across in the interview so try to focus on your speaking/ listening. Yes, you will need the reading skills for the comprehension portion, but all the kanji in the world isn't going to help you if you can't express yourself and/ or answer basic questions. If you did fail N2 and can't take it this time round take some time in the interview to explain what you HAVE been doing to improve your Japanese. Put a positive spin on it.

Generally speaking I think rural CIR placements are often good at giving you a broad range of skills. Sure, you might want that 県庁 position, but I know lots of 県庁 peeps that do nothing but translation. Fine if you want to be a translator post-JET I guess, but jack-off-all-trades type positions open up more job options down the track. The ability to live in rural Japan for an extended period also shows future empolyees that you are flexible and able to adapt to different environments with ease.

Moso
September 11th, 2015, 12:45
You don't need JLPT to apply for a CIR position. Having that concrete proof of level would be helpful but they will be able to gauge your level during interview. However I absolutely would not mention the fact you failed it. It could hurt your application for sure.

But since you did fail it you may want to look at improving your Japanese in general if you want to be at the level required for CIR.. (though JLPT isn't the most accurate reflection of someone's ability)

Moso
September 11th, 2015, 12:48
But yeah if you want to work in rural Japan then put that on your application, there are plenty of CIR placements in rural areas!

naginataonthebrain
September 16th, 2015, 16:09
Yeah, the CIR in the city below mine has not taken the JLPT but damn, he's pretty good. He had other things to prove his language skills, such as taking classes conducted fully in Japanese at Nanzan, business internships, etc. So don't lose hope just yet.

shanshan310
September 19th, 2015, 14:22
Thanks for the advice everyone!
My undergrad major was Japanese and I've been studying hard to get my language skills up to scratch so hopefully that will be enough to prove my fluency and succeed as a CIR :)