Recent Posts

April 17, 2018

A New Challenge: Changes to Elementary School English in Japan for 2020

With the Olympics drawing closer, the government is finally getting serious about English in elementary schools.

March 19, 2018

Stopping Suicide: Japan’s Darkest Demon

Don’t seek a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Help is at hand.

Junior high school students solving English problems.
March 13, 2018

STEP up to Help Students Pass the Eiken English Proficiency Test

What is the Eiken test and why is it so important to your students?

March 6, 2018

Starting at a New School: 4 Day One Dos and Don’ts for ALTs

Many ALTs across Japan will soon face a new beginning at a new school. Here are four ways to make the most of it.

February 27, 2018

The Art of the Deal: 4 Strategies for Getting Better Teacher Contracts

There are ways to piece together a superior deal for yourself than what’s on offer when discussing salary and benefits with schools or hiring boards — under certain circumstances.

February 20, 2018

Easy Come, Easy Go: 4 Things to Consider if You’re Thinking About a Life in Japan

What is it about Japan that makes some of us want to settle down and others head for the hills?

February 13, 2018

Awkward English Teacher Interviews in Japan

Some of the questions future ALTs were expected to answer range from the unconventional to the downright bizarre!

February 6, 2018

Cold Comforts: From OTC Japanese Drugs to Home Remedies for Flu Season

Over the years in Japan, I have discovered a range of both folk and modern remedies here to keep colds in check.

Shibuya Crossing
January 23, 2018

Location Situation: Can an English Teacher Afford to Live in Tokyo?

There is a continual debate over what locations in Japan offer English teachers the best earnings versus savings potential so we break down some facts and figures to come up with our No. 1 choice.

January 17, 2018

The Smartest Answer Isn’t Always the Best One: 5 Tips for ALT Interviews

It’s that time again for English teachers in Japan: meeting with new companies, schools and boards of education to secure a new contract. These five tips can help.

December 21, 2017

A Foreigner’s Guide to Marriage in Japan

So, you’ve met the man or woman of your dreams and the two finally decided to make it official. Here’s a quick how-to for the paperwork and procedures needed to ensure love will indeed prevail in Japan.

December 13, 2017

Decoding the Kanji of the Year: What it Is, What it Represents

One of the truly beautiful of Japanese lies in its use of — and societal connection to — the written word.

December 5, 2017

Namahage: Japan’s Baby-Scaring, Woman-Stealing Holiday Tradition

He and his fellow oni (demons) visit the homes of children across the city every New Year’s Eve, warning children of the dangers of behaving badly or disobeying their parents.

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