The Kinkaku-ji Temple in Kyoto, Japan ©

Joe deSousa under Flickr Creative Commons

What is it about?

The majority of Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme participants work as Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs), assisting with English teaching in schools across Japan. As an ALT your role will be to assist Japanese Teachers of English rather than lead classes on your own.

Typically, ALTs: 

  • Team-teach, or help with classes taught by Japanese Teachers of English (JTEs).
  • Assist in the preparation of teaching materials.
  • Participate in extra-curricular activities with pupils.
  • Are employed by a school or Board of Education and often visit more than one school in the area to which they are assigned.

English teaching in Japan has traditionally focused more on reading and writing skills than on oral communication. Even at Senior High School level, students’ spoken English is generally quite basic. 

As an ALT, you will play a key role in promoting communicative training in the classroom. Contact with an ALT also provides your students with a valuable chance to become familiar with another culture. 

Contracts last for one year starting from July/August of the year of departure and can be renewed for up to four additional years by mutual consent with the contracting organisation.

For full details of this opportunity, including up-to-date information, you should consult the opportunity provider's website. This link is provided by British Council for your information only and should not be considered a recommendation or an endorsement by us in relation to the opportunity, content and views contained in the linked website. See our Terms of Use for more information.

Am I eligible? 

Candidates wishing to apply to the programme must be:

  • British citizens holding a full UK passport
  • Possess a bachelor’s degree in any subject in July before departure
  • Have not lived in Japan for six years or more in the last ten. For example if you are applying in 2017, you must not have lived in Japan for six or more years in total since 2007
  • You do not have to have prior knowledge of teaching or the Japanese language to apply.

What does it cost?

The annual salary is about ¥3,360,000 in the first year (on average about £22,000 in 2014). This is sufficient for all normal expenses for a single person including rent, compulsory pension contributions and insurance.

Rent varies depending on the participant's contracting organisation and location in Japan, but it typically ranges from ¥30,000 to ¥70,000 per month.

Air travel to and from Japan and work visas are provided, presuming that you fulfil the terms of the contract.

Your employer/contractor will also arrange you with accommodation while in Japan.

Any other questions?

Please see the JET website for further information. 

Other information

The Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme is an official Japanese Government scheme aiming to improve foreign language teaching in schools and to promote international understanding. 

Successful participants are contracted to local or prefectural governmental organisations across Japan to work as Assistant Language Teachers (ALT). 

See also