Teach English Online to Japanese: The Ultimate Guide
Do you want to know more about how to teach English online to Japanese?
According to the Japanese Times, the Japanese have trouble learning English. This stems from many reasons such as:
- too much classroom emphasis on grammar with very little time devoted to actual conversational practice
- a focus on learning English to pass exams which means students copy out what is written on the blackboard and memorize it in preparation for tests
- the Japanese ‘shame culture’ where Japanese people have an intense fear of making mistakes or being embarrassed in public, so they don’t speak up in class when they don’t understand
As a result, many Japanese students who want to study or work abroad need additional training to get their English language skills up to scratch.
This means that there is a HUGE demand for teachers to teach English online to Japanese students.
Over my time as an online English teacher, I have taught quite a few Japanese students and can confirm that they are a great joy to teach!
Japanese students are hardworking polite, attentive and they place a high level of respect for their teachers.
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Benefits of Teaching English Online to Japanese Students
- You can teach in various parts of the world your laptop
- The pay can be decent, I earned more than $20 an hour
- The Japanese culture is colorful and steeped in a rich history
- Japanese students are polite, attentive, respectful and humble
- Japanese students are conscientious, so they always pay on time (well mine did anyway)
- I worked flexible hours according to my schedule
How do I get started if I want to teach English online to Japanese students?
- Have a 120 hour Teaching English as a Foreign Language ‘TEFL’ certificate
- A good internet connection
- Have a headset* and a laptop
- At least a good proficiency with the English language.
*Nice to have, but I just used my Apple earphones
2- A ‘TEFL – ‘Teaching English as a Foreign Language certificate
This is MANDATORY. If you want to teach English online to Japanese students, the ONLY way an online school in Japan or abroad is is going to hire you is if you have some form of teaching certificate/ qualification.
Nevertheless, you can get one online for a reasonable price.
There is a 120-hour online course ran by Let’s TEFL which trains you to teach English as a foreign language but it also has specific training on online teaching/
The great thing about this TEFL compared to other providers:
- It also prepares you to teach English as a second language.
- It also prepares you to teach English online.
As far as I’m aware, Let’s TEFL is the only course available online now which comes with a whole extra video module with specific training for teaching online – presented by an actual teacher.
Note- I have taken the course myself.
The Best Online-Platforms to Teach English to Japanese Students
Café Talk pays between $10 to $25 (you set your own rates and there is a minimum and maximum you can charge). If the students like your profile they will book a lesson with you.
A majority of the students are adults who want to learn Business English and you need to have a Bachelor’s degree to get started.
2. English Everywhere
English Everywhere allows you to set your own availability and hours. You are paid around $7 per 30-minute class, but this increases to once you have completed 10 classes.
You need some teaching experience and a TEFL to get started.
Eigox pays around $10 an hours but it’s easy to join. They have three types of lessons: free talk, textbook-based learning, and online material-based lessons, but most of the students are looking for conversational English classes.
4. E Communication
E-Communication is a platform that offers online teaching jobs in Japan. It pays around $20 an hour but you need to commit to at least 20 teaching hours a week.
Their requirements to join are quite high, you need to have teaching experience, native English proficiency, business experience, and an ability to speak Japanese.
5. Mainichi Eikaiwa
Mainichi Eikaiwa pays around $14 per 50-minute lesson. They only hire native speakers with teaching experience and a degree. They also ask you to commit to at least 5 hours a day, 3 hours a week.
6. English Hunt
English Hunt pay up to $14 per hour and teachers must have a degree and either four years’ experience or a teaching certificate.
7. Eigo power
Eigo Power doesn’t pay very well ( $5 – $12 per hour), but they have low barriers to entry. They also accept non-native speakers who have good proficiency in English.
With italki you can set your own rates and hours. It is harder to join, but there are more students on there so you will get more bookings if they accept you.
I really like Preply and I use them myself. I have found plenty of Japanese students looking to learn English on there. I set my own rates and hours and had no shortage of students.
Note– Preply will take a commission of 33% for the first few classes which reduce to 15% as you teach more
Verbling is similar to Preply, where you set your own hours and rates. They also take less of a commission. They provide a teaching platform for you to teach on.
Lyngo is one of the many online English schools in Japan. They pay around $10 and preference will be given to candidates who can teach between 8:00 pm and midnight Japanese Standard Time(JST) and the weekends. They hire both native and non-native teachers with no experience
12. Best Teacher
Best Teacher doesn’t pay well ($5-$6 per hour) but they hire non-natives and the barriers to entry are low. You can also get paid to reply to message and edit conversations.
Eigoru hires both Filipino and native English speakers with or without experience. The pay is low ($3- $10 per hour) but you can teach anytime between 9 am to 9 pm Japanese Standard Time.
S-Lessons allow you to decide on your pay but they take 30% and you need at least 1-year teaching experience. Each lesson is 22 minutes long.
15. English Tutor Online
English Tutor Online hire native English teachers from North America and the UK. You need to have a degree and at least five years of teaching experience. They pay between $12-$18 an hour.
16. Rare Job
Rare Job mainly hires ESL teachers from the Philippines. They pay $3 to $5/hour. And you must be living in the Philippines. If you want to teach English online to Japanese from the Philippines, this is perfect for you.
17. Cena Academy
Cena Academy only hires native speakers from the USA. They prefer that you have a Bachelor’s Degree, a TESOL/TESL, and prior experience teaching English. They pay $9 per 25 minutes and $18 for 50 minutes.
Note- don’t be afraid to find your own private students using FB ads or by posting your services on Facebook groups. That way, when people search for ‘ Online English tutor for Japanese’ your name will come up.
Note 2 – A really good resource to find jobs to teach English to Japanese students is here.
Teach English Online to Japanese- Common Language Problems Faced
From my personal experience teaching students from all over the world, it is clear that students from different countries face different language challenges.
If you are looking to teach online English lessons in Japan, it’s important to be aware of these.
My Japanese students faced a few of the English language challenges below:
- A lack of conversational skills
The education system in Japan places a huge emphasis on preparing Japanese students to pass exams. This means when they learn English, they focus on exam questions, grammar, and textbook knowledge and but have little to no conversational skills.
The best thing you can do when you teach English online to Japanese students is to focus on conversational English.
My Japanese students often had difficulties with making a distinction between l and r.
So they would sometimes mix up the letters in a word. So remove would become ‘lemove’, report would become ‘leport’.
To fix this, I normally showed them how my mouth moved and where my tongue was placed in my mouth when I pronounced this word.
My Japanese students faced problems with English grammar. The reason for this is English grammar is entirely different from the Japanese one.
In the Japanese language, the consonant sounds come at the beginning of their syllables with a vowel after. So every sound ends in a vowel, except for the one- ‘n’ sound.
This makes it difficult for them to learn a language that has consonants at the end of words. So for example, my Japanese students would say ‘longo’ instead of ‘long’ and ‘coldo’ instead of cold.
These can be improved by first making the student aware that the vowel needs to be dropped and then practice words and sentences a few times with them dropping the vowels
- Speaking opening and directly
My Japanese students are really shy and at the beginning, they don’t speak much in class. This is because the Japanese culture focuses on avoiding any embarrassment that comes with making a mistake, so they don’t speak at all.
But if you don’t make mistakes you don’t learn!
Make sure you also check their understanding of a topic because its normal for a Japanese student to say yes, to avoid confrontation or so they aren’t seen as being rude or disruptive.
Also, they won’t tell you if they are uncomfortable about a topic, so you need to observe their body language closely. If they are smiling and open, they are ok, but if you notice them looking down, check if the topic makes them feel uncomfortable
I made the mistake of talking about love and affection in one of my classes and my student looked extremely uncomfortable, so I moved on to talk about art and tey opened up immediately.
- Watch your thumbs
In japan, pointing your thumbs down means “go to hell”, so please don’t use this! But thumbs up is fine.
Home Based Online English Tutor for Japanese- How to Increase Your Rate
A really great way of increasing your rate if you are looking for private students is to :
Offer to teach English ALONG WITH A SKILL.
For example, I niched down to become an English IELTS Specialist and Business English Tutor
Because when you teach English with a skill, you are essentially fixing a specific problem for the student using the English language, so the student pays you more for the privilege of learning how to fix it.
Think about it like a doctor and a surgeon. You go to a doctor to fix a general issue but a surgeon to fix a specialized issue, which you pay more for.
You could also offer to teach:
- English + Pronunciation specific lessons on accent modification
- English + TEOFL/SATS/ TOEIC /IELTS
- English + Presentation skills
- English vocabulary + conversation skills
- English + Business skills
I actually know a teacher who taught English + dating skills and does very very well as his students want to learn how to communicate with the opposite gender in English when they travel abroad.
Those are just a few ideas if you are interested to teach English online to Korean students
How to become an IELTS Specialist:
If you want to become an IELTS Teacher, take the Teaching IELTS 30 Hour Online course. It trains you on how to become an online IELTS teacher, so you can charge a higher rate.
How to become a Business English Teacher
The Teaching Business English 30 Hour Online Course will train you to become a Business English teacher.
Also, use any work experience you have working for a company to help you with lesson plans and to give you ideas of practical examples for your Japanese students.
Once I up-skilled and became an IELTS specialist and Business English, my rate went from $15 per hour to about $40-$65 per hour.
Earning more meant I could work less and adventure on my motorbike around the world.
Ps; If you like adventure travel, let’s connect on Instagram! I want to see your pictures 🙂
Teach English Online to Japanese- Are You Still Unsure?
From time to time I receive messages from teachers who prefer a bit more training or have specific areas they need training so they can increase their rate quickly.
If you need specific training to find private students and increase your rate and, get in touch.
Note- try the free option first and read the free articles on my blog to save money
Teaching English to Japanese Students- Some tips on How to Succeed
- Learn about the Japanese culture
- Focus on their career
- Prepare your classes
- Focus on conversational skills
- Learn about the Japanese culture
When you are on your journey to discover how to teach English online to Japanese students, learning about the Japanese culture will help you so much!
The Japanese are proud of their rich culture and history. It is a great conversation topic which the student will feel comfortable speaking about.
- Focus on their career
Most of my Japanese students study English to improve their career prospects or to study or work abroad. They are extremely career-driven.
Before you begin a class with a new student, check their current job, aspirations and the work they intend to secure, and tailor your class accordingly.
- Prepare your classes
Japanese students are hardworking, diligent, and will expect to get real value from their lessons. They are also perfectionists.
So, make sure you take the time to prepare some topics beforehand and plan a good lesson.
- Focus on conversational skills
As mentioned above, Japanese students don’t really get the chance to practice their conversational skills in school as its exam and grammar-focused.
So, prepare English conversation topics like family, sports, travel, and food, and you will dramatically enhance their language skills
I really enjoy being an English tutor for Japanese students. It gave me the freedom to explore the world while working from my laptop and teach students who value me as a teacher.
If you know where to look. There are plenty of home based English online tutor for Japanese jobs available. Japanese students are a pleasure to teach and the pay is decent.
Related posts on teaching English online :
- How to Teach English Online in One Week
- How to Become An Online English Teacher
- 8 QKids Requirements for Teachers in 2021
- How to Teach English Online with No Degree
- How to Teach English Online with No Experience
- 31 Best Online Teaching Jobs
- Teach English Online : South Africa Edition