PDA

View Full Version : Finally (!) looking to apply this coming October



UsagiUK
January 28th, 2016, 00:04
Hi all,
This is part statement of intent and part looking for advice.
I have always wanted to do the JET scheme but, due to circumstance, have never been able to apply but, recently, my circumstances have changed and now allow to to pursue what has been "the dream" for a long time.
I have already done a lot of reading around the application process (hence being led to these here very helpful forums and associated FB groups) and have some awareness of things that might help my application but, as the next submission date isn't until October I feel I have plenty of time to really focus on activities that might help.
Things I do have are:
A long standing interest in Japan. Not just popular entertainment (anime and music) but also culture (Japanese theatre), history(Pre-war era Japan) and tradition.
A history in education. I have worked in Secondary education for 8 years and currently work at a university as a technical instructor.
A ton of hobbies which may be of interest to those outside of my culture.
A true desire to participate in a cultural exchange (I haven't wanted a "holiday" in Japan, I don't see the point as such)
What I don't have is:
Any experience teaching a language (I have taught music... for some reason I think these might be similar!)
Any Japanese speaking reading experience (attempts I have made have come to a crashing halt due to to real reason to learn, I'm hoping to re-find my mojo on this)
Any experience working with Primary age children.

Also, and I am hoping this won't act to much against me, but i hope you might be able to tell me more, is the fact that I am 36, 37 this year. Honestly, I think I come across as a little younger (not soooo much in looks.. stupid entropy).

Anyways. I am hoping by posting up here I will crystallise my efforts for this year to be the one I finally "just do it". I will be following posts and looking for as much advice as possible prior to application times but if you have anything that could help me before then I would love to hear it!

Thanks for all assistance in advance :)

Usagi

P.S. My forum name is just an adaptation from my DJ moniker :)

BabyKing
January 29th, 2016, 11:16
Okay so I hope to be of some help to you.
1) don't mention anime or jpop, gear more towards theatre and history and when you say "pre-war" do you mean pre wwii or some other war? Japan has had plenty of internal strife as well as war with other south east Asian nations. If you are really interested in the history be knowledgeable and specific!
2) Don't mention that you are only doing JET because your current circumstances have turned for the worst, its not necessary to say in your SOP.
3)Mention non Japanese hobbies, always a plus
4) Get experience between now an October with teaching kids, they DO NOT have to be Japanese, but if you have no experience working with young kids how do you know you will like the JET Program?
5) I don't think JET discriminates based on age outside of the fact that the age limit is 40 (regardless of how young one looks). This is due to hiring laws in Japan.
Outside of these points I think that your music background is unique and super cool. Play that up! You have plenty of time between now and October to gain experience so GO FOR IT!!!

Jiggit
January 29th, 2016, 11:27
Okay so I hope to be of some help to you.
1) don't mention anime or jpop, gear more towards theatre and history and when you say "pre-war" do you mean pre wwii or some other war? Japan has had plenty of internal strife as well as war with other south east Asian nations. If you are really interested in the history be knowledgeable and specific!
2) Don't mention that you are only doing JET because your current circumstances have turned for the worst, its not necessary to say in your SOP.
3)Mention non Japanese hobbies, always a plus
4) Get experience between now an October with teaching kids, they DO NOT have to be Japanese, but if you have no experience working with young kids how do you know you will like the JET Program?
5) I don't think JET discriminates based on age outside of the fact that the age limit is 40 (regardless of how young one looks). This is due to hiring laws in Japan.
Outside of these points I think that your music background is unique and super cool. Play that up! You have plenty of time between now and October to gain experience so GO FOR IT!!!

This is all good advice. Remember the JET programme is about getting competent teaching assistants into Japanese classrooms. It's not some kind of award given to people who can prove they love Japan the most.

As for your age, it shouldn't disqualify you, but be prepared to answer the question of why you want to do it at your age. This is a low paying temp job which requires you to move to the other side of the world. It's mostly done by fresh out of college 20somethings looking for a gap year experience.

mrcharisma
January 29th, 2016, 11:40
At 37 your main problem will be how insufferable you find many of the younger Jets. The weak yen has meant that fewer older Jets have been applying since circa 2012, while the 21 year-old fresh candy that has arrived has been even more spoiled and childish than usual.

fryfry
January 29th, 2016, 15:43
This advice is coming from someone who has applied but is still waiting to hear back on whether or not he was accepted.

As someone with a mostly musical background, I can say that there are definitely ways to use that experience in teaching English. Look up jazz chants. They are rhythmic speaking exercises in which you emphasize stress patterns in English speech, and can be focused on grammar as well. Also I've used call-response children's songs in teaching younger ones how to sing. These can be easily adapted into group-speaking activities.

Aside from that, definitely try to build some experience tutoring in English in the coming months. I started out volunteering at a local ESL school as a conversation partner and sitting in on classes.

UsagiUK
January 29th, 2016, 20:53
Hey guys,
Thanks for getting back to me :) I'll try to respond to everything but in the main, cheers for the advice :)
I'll Just respond to Babyking here first :)


Okay so I hope to be of some help to you.
1) don't mention anime or jpop, gear more towards theatre and history and when you say "pre-war" do you mean pre wwii or some other war? Japan has had plenty of internal strife as well as war with other south east Asian nations. If you are really interested in the history be knowledgeable and specific!
Pre World Wars mainly - around the industrial revolution. It comes from on old history teacher of mine talking about the Iwakura (sp?) missions. Theatre wise, I've worked in theatre for a long time and have had the pleasure of working with Kabuki practitioners. It's such a hardcore practise, if you haven't seen any I recommend checking it out!



2) Don't mention that you are only doing JET because your current circumstances have turned for the worst, its not necessary to say in your SOP.

I don't *think* I said for the worst. It's just a change which gives me more freedom. Life goes on, pointless griping, look for the best, that's what I say!




3)Mention non Japanese hobbies, always a plus
4) Get experience between now an October with teaching kids, they DO NOT have to be Japanese, but if you have no experience working with young kids how do you know you will like the JET Program?

Sorry, maybe I wasn't clear, I have worked with 11-18 year olds for about 9 years or so. My father is also a primary school teacher so I have a fair idea of how that works but you are right, I could ask him if i could maybe sit in on some English lessons maybe?




5) I don't think JET discriminates based on age outside of the fact that the age limit is 40 (regardless of how young one looks). This is due to hiring laws in Japan.
Outside of these points I think that your music background is unique and super cool. Play that up! You have plenty of time between now and October to gain experience so GO FOR IT!!!

Grand! Thanks :)



As for your age, it shouldn't disqualify you, but be prepared to answer the question of why you want to do it at your age. This is a low paying temp job which requires you to move to the other side of the world. It's mostly done by fresh out of college 20somethings looking for a gap year experience.

That's good advice. If I am honest I'd probably say that my career in entertainments over here has stalled somewhat. I'm in an OK job but it's not really giving me the challenge that I had hoped. I like to try out new things and I have always enjoyed working with young people, I have excellent instructor and teaching skills and a resilient personality. Also, I'm not really "mid-career" or anything. I think the experience of speaking another language and having to "make it on my own" can only spur me on to greater things. Either over there (if I like it) or back here :)
It's good to be prepared to answer in advance the sort of questions I might get though so cheers me dears!

Lastly JAZZ CHANTS!! Totally never seen them! I could totally turn that into a Dadaist masterpiece!

In term of English tutoring, would a tefl be a good thing to get? I can do quite a cheap correspondence course which, although the overall value of it is probably debatable, just a idea as to the pedagogy of language learning seems like a good idea to me. If nothing else it might help with me learning Japanese :)

Thanks everyone and apologies again for the double post... stupid old man... ;)

fryfry
January 30th, 2016, 02:36
I took an online TEFL course which I recently completed. while I'm not sure having the certificate makes much difference for JET, I feel that taking the course increased my knowledge of TEFL methodologies and techniques IMMENSELY, and I used some of that knowledge during my interview.
that said, there was almost no human interaction whatsoever in my course. if I'd had the money I probably would have purchased the actual classroom version of it. and it's always best to mix these things with your own teaching experience.