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Thread: Teaching languages apart from English on JET

  1. #1

    Default Teaching languages apart from English on JET

    Hi guys,

    I am looking to possibly apply to the JET programme for next year’s intake. I have a little experience teaching English and have just become a licensed secondary school Spanish and French teacher.

    Although I’m mainly looking to teach EFL abroad, I would like to be able to offer schools extra languages and would be interested in teaching either French or Spanish (or both!) on the JET programme as a side thing.

    I mention this as I imagine some Canadians on the programme might teach a bit of French too. Of course I’m not a native Spanish/French speaker but would be able to teach them no problems.

    I guess if none of this is possible at the very least I could set up an extra-curricular class, like at lunchtime or after school for beginner’s Spanish/French on an informal basis, though if I'm spread across 7 schools that might be a bit problematic.


  2. #2
    Senior Member Fantasylife's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Happily a former JET

    Default Re: Teaching languages apart from English on JET

    Sounds a bit ambitious tbh. Maybe if you were placed in a high academic school it could work, but from my experience on JET most students weren't even interested in learning English. I can't imagine how interested they would be in learning Spanish and French. Also, most of the English education in Japan is not only a mess, but a bit strict. The teachers like to follow things by the book. You may get a teaching situation where you have to teach directly from a textbook or a situation where you're allowed to teach what you want as long as it's English material.

    Finally, the extra-curricular plan will likely fall flat considering that many Japanese students are already swamped with extra-curricular activities. My students were frequently at school late and on the weekends for sports or music or other club activities. The rest went home because they were not interested in doing anything extra outside scheduled class time. And if you did do something after school, the school will likely require it to be an English club or something English related. From my experience on JET, I personally don't see average Japanese students wanting to squeeze in an extra after school class in their already over scheduled lives to learn languages that won't help them in their everyday lives.

    This is all ESID of course, but I'm willing to bet money that you will A) not be allowed to hold an extra class that is not English related, since the purpose of the JET program is to teach English and/or B) not find m(any) kids interested in learning any other languages from their ALT other than English since English is considered "cool" by students and that is what they will be interested in learning from you and practicing with you.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Teaching languages apart from English on JET

    Thanks for your feedback Fantasylife.

    I was just an idea, but way too ambitious I guess! Someone on another thread from Canada mentioned teaching some French as well as English and I heard some CIRs have taught their native language, maybe a Brazilian if I recall correctly, so that's why I thought of it (but maybe they are just rare taster lessons). So, I guess if they're even half way interested in English that will be an achievement!

    Regarding extra-curricular activities my thinking initially had been, say kids doing French/Spanish club instead of another activity, but like you say that would probably be met with resistance.

  4. #4
    Senior Member mothy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    On a happy rainbow

    Default Re: Teaching languages apart from English on JET

    Basically what FanofseaLife said, but for an example of how it might work with luck: One school I taught at had a once a week elective german class for 3rd year students that the other ALT who spoke german would help out with from time to time. So teaching another language could happen. It's just not something you should expect.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Teaching languages apart from English on JET

    Thanks Mothy. I guess the thinking should be: don't expect it, but that through some luck/circumstances it could be a possibility.

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