What do you need to be a Japanese teacher?

The requirements for becoming a Japanese teacher vary significantly depending on the exact position you wish to obtain.

Want to teach in a school or a university? For this you’ll typically require a Bachelors degree in Japanese Language or Education. Certain countries may also require a Masters degree.

Keen to teach adults, for example during evening classes? Here the requirements will depend on the individual organisation you’re applying to. Smaller, less competitive organisations will tend to have lower demands. You may require a full university degree, or you may be able to get by with having a qualification from a shorter, more intensive teaching course. Many Japanese tutors take these courses online and they can often be completed within a few months.

Or perhaps you wish to work as a freelance Japanese tutor. In which case, you simply 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 need to be able to demonstrate all of the key skills, but you may be able to get away with not having a degree. A good halfway house can be to take a shorter course in teaching Japanese as a Foreign Language.

Wherever you wish to teach, you will generally need to be able to demonstrate the same skills:

Almost always, you will need to have a native level in Japanese (C2). If you aren’t a native speaker, you might find yourself at a disadvantage. But this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, teachers are able to turn it into a strength by demonstrating that learning Japanese has given them a greater insight into how to teach the language.

You should also be able to demonstrate the following:

  • Fluency in the language of your students (this is often English).
  • Interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Organisational skills.

In this post, we've done our best to answer the question: what do you need to be a Japanese teacher? If you are looking to become a 1-on-1 Japanese teacher online, check out our site for more information.

Related pages: