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Thread: Japanese language requirements for elementary school?

  1. #1
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    Default Japanese language requirements for elementary school?

    Hello everyone!
    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

  2. #2
    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese language requirements for elementary school?

    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).
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  3. #3
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese language requirements for elementary school?

    You'll be fine. N4 is enough. Plenty of people go to ES with no Japanese
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

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    Default Re: Japanese language requirements for elementary school?

    Great, thank you both

  5. #5

    Default Re: Japanese language requirements for elementary school?

    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

  6. #6
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese language requirements for elementary school?

    I've seen plenty of filipino ALTs who can barely speak English, let alone Japanese......
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Japanese language requirements for elementary school?

    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.
    車庫 B1F

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    Default Re: Japanese language requirements for elementary school?

    Quote Originally Posted by BifCarbet View Post
    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...)

  9. #9

    Default Re: Japanese language requirements for elementary school?

    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.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Japanese language requirements for elementary school?

    Quote Originally Posted by JET ProgramCoordinator SF View Post
    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.

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    Default Re: Japanese language requirements for elementary school?

    Thanks. Might as well brush up, it can't hurt.

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