Teaching Japanese can make for a highly rewarding career. Seeing your students go from barely being able to speak a word of your language to being able to converse fluently is something quite special.
You could teach Japanese in a classroom setting, for example in a school, in a university, or in an evening school for adults. Other Japanese teachers prefer teaching 1-on-1, either face-to-face or online.
The path towards becoming a Japanese teacher varies widely depending on the specific setting you wish to teach in. Your pathway will also vary based on where you wish to teach. For example, teaching in a school in the UK will likely require different qualifications to teaching in a primary school in Australia.
Almost always, you will need to speak Japanese to a native level. If you aren’t a native speaker, you may find yourself at a disadvantage when competing for positions and students. But this isn’t always the case. You may even be able to turn it into a strength if you can demonstrate that learning Japanese has given you a greater insight into how to teach the language.
If you wish to teach Japanese in a formal classroom setting, you will typically require a Bachelors degree in Japanese or Education. Some countries may also require a Masters degree.
Aside from qualifications, to give yourself a strong change of success, you should consider how you can demonstrate the following skills:
- Fluency in the language of your students (this is often English).
- Interpersonal and communication skills.
- Organisational skills.
- Basic computer skills.
Of course, you can also teach Japanese 1-on-1 as a freelancer. This way, you just need to be able to persuade students to give you a chance. The competition among freelance Japanese teachers varies a lot depending on location and whether the lessons are online or face-to-face.
You’ll typically still need to demonstrate all of the skills above, but you may be able to get away with not having a degree. Sometimes, a good halfway house can be to take a shorter course in teaching Japanese as a Foreign language. Just bear in mind that having some qualifications will give you a better chance of earning a decent hourly rate. Freelance teaching is highly competitive.
If you’re looking to become an online Japanese teacher, you can find out more on our website (via the footer).