Teaching English in Japan

In Japan, the JET Programme employs assistant English language teachers to work in Japanese high schools and elementary schools. Other teachers work in private language schools (eikaiwa). The largest of these chains are Aeon, GEOS, and ECC. The industry is not well regulated; Nova, one of the largest chains with over 900 branches, collapsed in October 2007, an incident that left thousands of foreign teachers without money or a place to live. Other teachers work in universities. Agencies are increasingly used to send English speakers into kindergartens, primary schools, and private companies whose employees need to improve their English. Agencies known in Japan as “hakken” or dispatch companies have recently been competing among themselves to get contracts from various Boards of Education for Elementary, Junior and Senior High Schools, so wages have decreased steadily in the last few years.

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