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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in English Conversation Teachers and CIRs in Japan's LiveJournal:

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Monday, September 1st, 2014
4:09 pm

Apologies if this comes off a bit desperate, but...

Long story short, I finally earned a BA in English and Paralegal Studies recently. I had been applying to places like mad. Either they never got back to me, required more experience I didn't have or granted me interviews I didn't pass. I don't understand this last reasoning, because I have tried to research interview questions and answers. Even when I replied with things people who got the job did they basically sent me home, said they'd call me and never did.

So. One of my friends suggested I just teach English in Asia. My majors are very ideal for that kind of thing, and I actually come from an Asian immigrant background as well so it'd be easier. I managed to snag two more interviews. One with Amity and one with AEON.

I've Googled and read as much as I could. I get that I'm supposed to be very attentive, enthusiastic and wear a suit. I have all of these things. I even bought a new notebook I can use for the occasion. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be any recent information. I put together a rudimentary lesson plan. Five minutes is a while, but I'm going to just rehearse and do the best I can. Does anyone have any other advice? Thanks in advance.

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014
4:44 pm
AEON lesson plan

I don't know if anyone checks this anymore. But I was selected for a group interview with AEON in LA. I've printed and filled out the requested forms. They also ask for a lesson plan. I'm confused about how this works.

I was thinking about doing one on how to end conversations. Does anyone have tips? I've never actually done this before.

Thanks in advance!

Monday, May 12th, 2014
2:33 pm
Never thought I'd be this excited over a community!
I am so excited to have stumbled upon this community! I am rarely on LJ anymore, so I found this through a website with information on becoming an ALT in Japan, since this is something I am strongly considering. Perhaps you guys (assuming people still keep an eye on this) can impart your wisdom on me.

To make things easier, I have actually written something about my thoughts regarding ALT stuff over at my blog here. Apologies in advance; it's wordy. Call me crazy or dramatic for some of the things I've mentioned, that's perfectly fine! As I mention in my post, I am sure that all of the bad things you read online are perhaps somewhat legit (or completely legit, in some cases), but also overdramatized by those who are loud with their negative opinions. I want to be cautious and gather as much as information possible!

I've been reading about many different companies (Interact, JoyTalk, etc), and it seems like JoyTalk may be the best to go with, so that may be the route I go with, should I decide that I 100% want to do this!

Help a sista out! What are your experiences with companies and things I've mentioned in the linked post?
Sunday, January 26th, 2014
4:53 pm
Are older teachers hired by AEON/ others?
Can anyone tell me if older (and by older I mean around age 60) teachers are hired to teach English in Japan? Are there many in this age group at the interviews? Most of the photos I've seen are of much younger people so I want to know if I have a reasonable chance --or not. Thanks -- I've enjoyed reading everyone's posts.
Thursday, October 17th, 2013
2:21 am
Amity Rejection Notification?
Hi guys! I've been a lurker in this community for a while but this is my first post.
I interviewed with Amity last weekend (in Boston, if it matters!) and as I wait to hear about the status of my application, I've started wondering about something. Does Amity actually contact you to inform you if they've decided NOT to offer you a job, or do they just not contact you any further? I've tried searching the internet but all I've been able to find is information about how long it took them to get back to successful applicants with a job offer.
Thanks in advance!

Current Mood: Antsy
Monday, July 29th, 2013
10:33 pm
Business/Medical English

I live in Japan, and work for an eikaiwa :)
I have a new student, a doctor, who needs to prepare for a few English-language presentations overseas. His main concerns about these presentations are: understanding accented English (the presentations will be in Austria and Germany), and taking questions afterwards.

Does anyone have any advice on how to teach these things? I have a vague idea for the accent thing; going over the different sounds in accented English, how to recognise them as the sounds he's learned. But as for how to prepare for questions when he doesn't know what the questions will be... I've asked him to come up with as many questions as he can think of, that might be asked, and I will go over them with him, but if he isn't feeling confident about his ability to think on the spot and reply in English NOW, and he only has four months until the presentations... Is it possible to teach that in such a short space of time? Any tips?
Saturday, December 8th, 2012
10:36 pm
Eikaiwa reviews on 学遊空間PHOENIX
Does anyone have any information or reviews on an eikaiwa called 学遊空間PHOENIX? The site is: http://www.g-phoenix.net/main/tour.htm
Monday, October 15th, 2012
2:22 pm
Hi everyone!
HI everyone! I'm new to this community. My name is Jessica, I'm 23 and am trying to find a job teaching English in Japan for next year! I just interviewed for Amity this past weekend, and the recruiter told me that she would be going through my recommendations (I had four letters of recommendations prepared rather than references so I think this cut the time down a bit) and then if she wanted me to proceed to the next step of the process, she would contact me within a month.

That was yesterday... today I received an email saying that she has reviewed my recommendations and would like me to proceed to the next step (the criminal background check). I want to get all excited and start freaking out, because I don't think that they would bring me to this step unless they wanted to offer me a job! But I don't want to get excited for nothing. So, for anyone that has successfully interviewed for Amity (or is working for them now), I ask you - does making it to this step mean that a job offer should be on the way? Or do I need to calm down?
Friday, October 12th, 2012
11:09 am
What would be the best time of the year to look for positions at eikaiwa? I heard that there are two semesters (September and April) so I was wondering when do most eikaiwa start looking for teachers.
Friday, July 6th, 2012
2:00 pm
AEON essay help
Hey guys!

Does anyone have any tips on the essay for the AEON application? The prompt is "why I want to live and work in Japan." That's...kind of the vaguest thing ever, and at 500 words, I'm not really sure what to say that will set me apart from the rest. I imagine AEON gets a lot of the same types of essays with the same info--degree in something Japanese/East Asian, wants to live in Japan because I've always loved it, wants work experience. Even if I'm straightforward and to the point (or even if I tug on the heartstrings like no one has ever tugged before) it still doesn't seem like there's a lot of room for originality. Do I capitalize especially on personal experience re: Japan? Or my future goals? Do I just cry? Does anyone know?

I'm not looking for anyone to give me their essay (I mean if you want to, that's great! Haha), but if anyone has a couple of pointers that would be amazing. Especially if anyone knows what AEON is looking for in these essays--that would be AWESOME.

Or it doesn't have to be for AEON necessarily. If anyone has essay pointers for eikaiwa apps, do let me know. 

Sunday, June 17th, 2012
5:40 pm
Amity Lesson Plan Question
Hey everybody, I'm new to this community, but you all seem to be really helpful when it comes to eikaiwa advice, so I was hoping to get some of my own. Like many who have already posted, I'm interviewing with Amity this coming week and I had a few questions I was hoping someone might be able to answer.

I'm planning on centering my lesson plan around learning the 6 basic color names. In a nutshell, I was planning on showing the students flash cards and saying the names out loud, and then having them repeat after me. Maybe after this I can point to other objects in the room of the same color and have us all repeat it again.

After I introduce them to the names, I thought it might be fun to have a little hands-on activity. I was planning on having the class make bracelets. I would stand at the front of the class, hold up a bead, say the name of the color, put it on a string, and have them repeat. I figured I'd put them on in proper rainbow order and have everyone do the same thing, repeating after me as we put our beads on.

Next I thought I would have them make their own bracelets. During this time I could wander the room, stopping and talking to each student as they make their own personalized bracelet. I could quiz them on the colors they were putting on at the same time.

After everyone is finished, I would run through the cards once more checking their progress.

Will this work? I'd hate for it to be to simple, but I thought it would be a fun way to really get the kids involved. Plus, they can wear their bracelets home. :)

Also, for our 5 minute presentation during the group interview, does it matter what part of our 30-minute lesson plan we demonstrate, or does it have to be from the beginning? If it can be from any point, what part should I include? I was thinking of using the bit where we all make the same rainbow bracelet at once. No good?

Current Mood: worried
Friday, June 15th, 2012
4:41 am
Amity Interview
Hello everyone!

I have an interview with Amity next week and I was wondering if I could get some help from anyone that might have gone through the interview process. I plan on teaching about animals but I'm not sure if my lesson plan is the kind of thing they're expecting. I have absolutely no experience in teaching. If you could help me take a look at my lesson plan and give me tips for the interview, that'd be great.


Lesson Title:                      Animals

Level:                                  Beginners (Ages 7 – 9)

Objectives:                         Students will be able to name animals

                                           Students will know what sounds each animal makes

Teaching Materials:        Animal Chart

                                            Hidden animals chart

                                    Cue cards with animal parts


Introduce material – 5 mins

Point to animal on chart and say their names (10). Students should repeat (Cat, dog, cow, pig, chicken, donkey, lion, duck, sheep and frog)

            “This is a cat. Cat. Can you say cat?”

Teach the sounds that the animals make. Students should repeat animal names and sounds

            “Cats say meow. Can you say meow with me?”


Teach song – 7mins

         The cat goes meow, meow, meow, meow

            The dog goes woof, woof, woof, woof

            The cow goes moo, moo, moo, moo

            These are the sounds that the animals make

All animals and their sounds are mentioned in the four-verse song

Activity 1 (Hide and seek chart) – 5 mins

Present a chart with animals hidden in a playground and have the students find the animals and make the sounds they animals make as quick as possible.

Activity 2 (Matching exercise) – 5mins

Divide students into two groups. Each student in the first group is to be given a different animal name. Each student in the second group is be given a different animal sound. The students in the second group will make their sounds simultaneously (but quietly) while the students in the first group have to find the student that is making the sound the animal name they are given makes. When this is completed, group one will be given the animal sounds while group two will be given the names. Group two will then have to find the person making the sound that corresponds with their animal.

Activity 3 (Identifying Exercise) – 5 mins

Students will receive flashcards depicting parts of different animals and will determine what animal the part belongs to.

Recap – 3mins

Students will name the animal when presented with its picture. The animal song will be sung again.

Assessment/Evaluation: Teacher will be able to assess the children based on their performance in the activities

Current Mood: nervous
Monday, May 7th, 2012
1:08 pm
AEON Questions

I was looking into maybe applying to AEON for a number of reasons, and I was just wondering about people's experiences. The internet seems to have a lot of negative reports, but most of them are super old and also rather untrustworthy. I've lived in Nagoya before, as an exchange student, and my language level is at N3.

The thing that worries me about eikaiwa is that I have essentially 0 experience teaching English. Well, sort of - I worked as a temp for a month in a language school here to Korean adults, but that job threw me a textbook and tossed me into a classroom with absolutely no training. No wonder I floundered. I know AEON trains you, though I found something that described the training process as "cult-like" (which is why I'm taking these reports with a grain of salt; the process sounded like everything else I've heard about training at a Japanese company.)

If you have any suggestions or are willing to talk to me about your experience, please let me know! :)

ETA: Does anyone have any experience with Westgate? If you teach the 3 month portion, how easy is it to get a contract renewal?
E(again)TA: Never mind. Looks like you need teaching experience for Westgate.
Sunday, May 6th, 2012
7:42 pm
Interviewing with AEON - lesson plan help?
Hi everyone!

I finally managed to land an interview with an eikaiwa (AEON in particular) and I now have to write a 30 minute lesson plan, 5 minutes of which will be "taught" to a group of other interviewees acting as students. I'm super nervous about this as I've never written a lesson plan or come up with an activity on my own before, and I was having a REALLY hard time finding actual lesson plan examples for this purpose - I think I found maybe 2? So I'm a little uncertain as to the usual format and voice I should use. But I did find this community when looking around for example lesson plans and group interview tips for AEON. Everyone seems really helpful so I'm hoping I can get some feedback for my own lesson plan.

The lesson plan is under the cut. It's supposed to be for beginning level, is it too difficult?

Lesson PlanCollapse )

For the activity, should I leave off the optional version or keep it in? Which version do you think would be best to present as my 5 minutes?

I will also be preparing the mentioned homework sheet as well as the event cards and verb cards. I figure the more stuff I prepare the better it looks. :) Thanks in advance for any advice!
Tuesday, May 1st, 2012
8:57 pm
Amity Dress Code
Hey everyone! Just last week I was hired by Amity and will be going abroad at the end of June (it's quite the shotgun employment, considering I only interviewed 3 weeks ago). Anyway, I was wondering if anyone here currently works for Amity and could possibly answer some questions for me. I've emailed the recruiters already but I think they're on vacation at the moment and are unable to answer, and I can't really wait too long since I have to get everything in order ASAP (plus, there are so many sales right now. Have to take advantage of it!)

1) For the blazers, does it have to be full-length sleeve or is 3/4 sleeve acceptable?
2) Can we have gray and brown as a suit color option? I already have 2 black suits and I can't really remember whether or not other colors were okay.

Thanks in advance :D
Tuesday, March 13th, 2012
5:23 pm
Beginning AEON contract in the next 4 months
Hello Everyone,

I am new to the community and stumbled upon it while I was looking for information to help prepare for work with the AEON Corporation. I am about to get my degree in East Asian Cultures and Languages, and have a little over a years worth of English teaching and instruction. I'm serious about being a skilled English teacher and want to make sure I do the best job I possibly can, regardless if I stay with AEON for longer than a a year or not.

I was hoping there was someone out there with some experience with AEON that could tell me more about the company and what I can do to better prepare myself for working for them in any way they can. Lesson plans and preparation, things to do and not to do, things to bring and prepare for. Any sort of advise and information would be very helpful.
Saturday, February 25th, 2012
10:52 am
Hello! My contract ended with AEON last March, but I am still in Japan, working as an ALT. I'm trying to do my taxes for 2011, but it's a little difficult because I haven't received my 源泉徴収票/income tax return form from AEON. I'm a little worried that they sent it to my old address, but my school knows that I moved & am still in the country.

I was hoping any current or past employees of AEON here would happen to know the contact info (hopefully email address) for AEON's HR department. I would really appreciate any help!

Thursday, September 8th, 2011
1:13 pm
When in Rome...?
I just moved to Japan a few months back and so far I am loving it (yes I know I am still in the honeymoon stage!). I have been with a Japanese national for 7 years (3 of which we've been married) back in the states. I also have two bachelors degrees relating to Japan, its language and culture, so I i'd like to think I know quite a bit about the subtle nuances of the Japanese culture. However, actually fitting into Japan as a foreigner is new territory for me.

My question for you all is, how do you project yourself as an eikaiwa teacher in your classroom? Do you adhere to the "When in Rome, do as the Romans do," concept? In other words, do you project yourself as that hamburger eatin', coke drinkin' American to your students? Or is your stance completely opposed to that theory? Or is it much more complicated that that?

I have a theory myself, but I would like to hear your input/experiences with this struggle (or not a struggle at all). This post is somewhat in response to the previous posting about "awkward moments" and how some of you responded to some of those awkward moments. My question is more geared at getting to the bottom of why some of you reponded in the way you chose to those awkward moments. Thanks!
Monday, June 27th, 2011
9:03 am
Heading over next month with Amity
And, yes, I am a little concerned about the workload, but I figure it will definitely give me a lot of experience, right?.... Right?

Anyway, for anyone working with Amity, besides pre-school CDs Amity suggests I bring over, what would you recommend in respects to the job? Is there anything I can be doing now to get ready besides the obvious (paperwork, biz clothes shopping...)? I am going from teaching 5 classes a day of eighth grade English to.... A LOT of classes a day!

Starting to rethink that leave of absence I just put in.

Sort of.

Also.... what are some of your favorite conversation-based games and activities? As a teacher in the states, my curriculum was way more reading and writing focused. =)
Wednesday, April 20th, 2011
9:06 pm
Interac or Westgate
Hello my fellow English teachers.  I find myself with a very difficult decision to make and not much time to make it.  I have been offered positions at both Interac and Westgate and must give an answer in about 36hrs from when I am writing this post.  Both jobs are very different and both have some distinct pros as well as some troublesome cons and I am having a very difficult time choosing which might be better for me.  I also have the option of staying where I am, but I really don't want to do that.  So, I am asking anyone out there that has worked for either of these companies what your opinions or experiences have been as any input could be helpful for me at this point.  I would especially like to know about Westgate as I had never heard of them prior to applying.  Thanks in advance for any information you might be able to offer!

Current Mood: distressed
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