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Thread: How important is teaching knowledge? (i.e. TEFL courses, etc.)

  1. #1

    Default How important is teaching knowledge? (i.e. TEFL courses, etc.)

    I'm a freshman in university majoring in economics and international studies (with a concentration in South East Asia) and a minor in Japanese. I don't have time to get certified via my university's TESOL courses, but I was hoping my double major and minor would make up for that? I'm also going to study abroad at Sophia University my junior year for 1-2 semesters. Will I be okay without prior teaching knowledge? Thanks!

    Also, are there any non-demanding ways to get involved with teaching/tutoring that would help with my application?
    Last edited by purple jellyfish; March 1st, 2016 at 08:57.

  2. #2
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: How important is teaching knowledge? (i.e. TEFL courses, etc.)

    No teaching background is required.

    A decent application that makes you sound like a well rounded individual will get you an interview.

    Not coming across as a lunatic/social outcast/lazy/arrogant in the interview will get you the job.

    It doesn't matter if you are a lunatic/social outcast/lazy/arrogant (most JETs are), just dont show it in the interview.
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

  3. #3

    Default Re: How important is teaching knowledge? (i.e. TEFL courses, etc.)

    I'm not completely familiar with each component of the essay... Is there an essay portion of some sort, or do you just list what you have done during college?

  4. #4

    Default Re: How important is teaching knowledge? (i.e. TEFL courses, etc.)

    Ya, what Ini said.

    I had zero teaching experience before JET. I applied two years--the first year, I just had a little volunteer thing that made it look like I had teaching experience (we went to elementary schools and talked about Japan to the students). I was an alternate that year. The next year I did everything the same but added a stupid online 'course' about teaching ESL. I was an alternate again but I got upgraded after a week. I don't know if the ESL thing helped but maybe? Maybe my interview was better? Maybe the planets aligned and a butterfly died. Who knows with JET.

    Anyway my point is that it probably doesn't matter. And it's been said many times before here but it's super early for you to be worrying about this. You don't have to tailor your college life for the application. I know a guy here who also had zero teaching experience and majored in computer science. Actually, everyone knows a guy like that. So yeah, don't worry.

  5. #5

    Default Re: How important is teaching knowledge? (i.e. TEFL courses, etc.)

    Thanks! Also, what does it mean to be an alternate? Is it like being deferred when applying to a university?

  6. #6

    Default Re: How important is teaching knowledge? (i.e. TEFL courses, etc.)

    I know a lot of JETs who have no teaching experience whatsoever. Just stop worrying and do your best. If it makes you feel any better, I know even more awful JETs who got shortlisted just fine.

    I felt so proud when I got the acceptance letter, and then I went to Tokyo Orientation and it soon changed. When you see the type of people who can successfully get on the programme, you'll wonder why you wasted to much time worrying about the application.
    Quote Originally Posted by mothy View Post
    It could happen. 1/100.

  7. #7
    Senior Member mothy's Avatar
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    Default Re: How important is teaching knowledge? (i.e. TEFL courses, etc.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post

    It doesn't matter if you are a lunatic/social outcast/lazy/arrogant (most JETs are), just dont show it in the interview.
    I'm all 4. Do I win a prize?

  8. #8

    Default Re: How important is teaching knowledge? (i.e. TEFL courses, etc.)

    If you don't have any proper training then you might avoid some small portion of the agony of observing English education in Japan.

  9. #9
    Senior Member fryfry's Avatar
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    Default Re: How important is teaching knowledge? (i.e. TEFL courses, etc.)

    Quote Originally Posted by purple jellyfish View Post
    I don't have time to get certified via my university's TESOL courses,

    Also, are there any non-demanding ways to get involved with teaching/tutoring that would help with my application?
    That you're taking courses at all is a positive in your application. I recently received my certification, but all I could put in the app was that I was taking a course and would be certified come January.

    What others have said. Just apply; If you don't get in, nobody's going to come to your house and taze you. Just make sure it's what you wanna do beforehand.
    Last edited by Frap; Today at 18:46. Reason: sucker

  10. #10

    Default Re: How important is teaching knowledge? (i.e. TEFL courses, etc.)

    TESOL/certifications is a small plus in terms of hiring - it won't guarantee you the job, but it makes you more attractive, especially to schools/BoEs looking for reasonably qualified individuals. If you want to continue in ESL in Japan, it'll be a big plus moving forward from JET to private hire.

    TESOL might net you some extra pay, although that depends on the organization you get placed with. Some offer a small bonus to ALTs who get certified - if you go in with one, you get it from the start.

  11. #11
    Looking for some chaw acpc2203's Avatar
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    Default Re: How important is teaching knowledge? (i.e. TEFL courses, etc.)

    Quote Originally Posted by mothy View Post
    I'm all 4. Do I win a prize?
    yes, a lifetime of suffering in japan

  12. #12
    Senior Member GodInStrafeMode's Avatar
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    Default Re: How important is teaching knowledge? (i.e. TEFL courses, etc.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    No teaching background is required.

    A decent application that makes you sound like a well rounded individual will get you an interview.

    Not coming across as a lunatic/social outcast/lazy/arrogant in the interview will get you the job.

    It doesn't matter if you are a lunatic/social outcast/lazy/arrogant (most JETs are), just dont show it in the interview.
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