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Snegurochka
February 13th, 2015, 15:25
Hello everyone! :redface:
I just discovered this website yesterday and decided I'd make an account here.
Anyways, this may sound like a stupid question, but I'd like to know if there are Japanese fluency requirements for teaching at elementary (or even junior high school) level? Ideally I'd like to teach in elementary school, but my Japanese is only at an N4 level. Yes, I do know that you don't need to know any Japanese at all to be accepted into JET. But I'd like to know if it's possible to speak little to no Japanese and teach at elementary level.
Thanks!
Snegurochka

word
February 13th, 2015, 15:33
Yeah; I spoke zero Japanese when I started and I did just fine. MG is still rusty as heck, and she rocks ES. My successor can't speak a lick of J-go and the ES kids can't get enough of him.

ESID, but you probably shouldn't worry about it too much. Speaking a little J-go will help you at ES, but it's certainly not a requirement (again, ESID; if you have a very unhelpful/awful ES homeroom teacher or something, s/he may give you some difficulty).

Ini
February 13th, 2015, 15:34
You'll be fine. N4 is enough. Plenty of people go to ES with no Japanese

Snegurochka
February 13th, 2015, 15:37
Great, thank you both

sourdoughsushi
February 13th, 2015, 16:57
I believe it can be very helpful, but you can certainly survive with no Japanese. It would depend on the home room teacher's English ability in how well they translate what you're saying, though. I find personally that I prefer to speak Japanese when necessary because it saves time not having someone parrot what you say every 10 seconds. But it's possible at any level and you're supposed to speak plainly to children at times, anyway. :P

Ini
February 13th, 2015, 17:00
I've seen plenty of filipino ALTs who can barely speak English, let alone Japanese......

BifCarbet
February 14th, 2015, 00:44
It would be beneficial in your professional and personal life if you try to learn more Japanese. I'd worry more about life outside of school than working in school.

webstaa
February 16th, 2015, 08:16
It would be beneficial in your professional and personal life if you try to learn more Japanese. I'd worry more about life outside of school than working in school.

Especially if you're the kind that doesn't want to drag someone else along with them to try to get otherwise simple shit done. But if you know the basics, at least conversational Japanese should come along pretty easily if you make any effort to talk to people (although your CO will probably want you to talk to everybody in English...)

JET ProgramCoordinator SF
February 19th, 2015, 02:34
I haven't heard of Japanese being a requirement for teaching at ES. I speculate, though, that a lot of ESes request ALTs who have some semi-advanced level of Japanese, which means that as a non-Japanese-speaking ALT requesting an ES placement, you can probably get the ES placement, but your prefecture request might be harder to fulfill.

webstaa
February 19th, 2015, 08:39
I haven't heard of Japanese being a requirement for teaching at ES. I speculate, though, that a lot of ESes request ALTs who have some semi-advanced level of Japanese, which means that as a non-Japanese-speaking ALT requesting an ES placement, you can probably get the ES placement, but your prefecture request might be harder to fulfill.


Probably the most Japanese that will be 'required' is a 'Ohayo gozaimasu' and 'Yoroshiku onegaishimasu' at the morning meeting from a ALT. A lot of Japanese ES (especially in the larger cities like Sendai) recruit Japanese volunteers to do 'English' classes. Others hire non-teacher helpers on a class-by-class basis to do activities - especially where ALTs have a bunch of schools and can't visit every week.

Snegurochka
February 20th, 2015, 03:43
Thanks. Might as well brush up, it can't hurt.