Navigating Eikaiwas: A Comprehensive Guide to Teaching at Language Schools in Japan

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Japan’s language schools, or Eikaiwas, offer a unique opportunity for Western teachers to share their linguistic skills with a wide range of Japanese students. Whether you’re a seasoned teacher looking for an international experience or a recent graduate seeking a cultural immersion, Eikaiwas can be an exciting and rewarding journey. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about teaching at an Eikaiwa.

Understanding the Eikaiwa Landscape

Eikaiwas are English conversation schools that cater to a diverse array of students – from children and teens to adults and business professionals. Classes are usually small, allowing for personalized attention and focused instruction. Some of the largest Eikaiwas in Japan include AEON, ECC, and NOVA, but there are also many smaller, local schools.

What Are the Requirements?

While specifics may vary, most Eikaiwas typically require:

  1. Bachelor’s Degree: An undergraduate degree in any field is a common requirement.
  2. Native English Proficiency: Eikaiwas generally prefer native English speakers or those with an equivalent level of fluency.
  3. TEFL Certification: Not always required, but having a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification can enhance your job prospects.
  4. Sponsored Visa: You’ll need a work visa to teach in Japan, which most schools will assist you with once you’ve accepted a job offer.

The Application and Hiring Process

The application process for Eikaiwas typically involves:

  1. Online Application: Most Eikaiwas have an online application system. You’ll need to submit a resume and cover letter, and sometimes a recent photo.
  2. Interview: If your application is shortlisted, you’ll be invited for an interview. This can either be in-person if the company is conducting interviews in your country, or via Skype.
  3. Demo Lesson: Some Eikaiwas may ask you to present a demo lesson. This is your chance to showcase your teaching style and skills.

Life as an Eikaiwa Teacher

Eikaiwa teachers often work unconventional hours because classes may be scheduled during evenings and weekends when students are free. Expect to teach a variety of classes, from kids to adults, and from basic English to business English.

Despite the busy schedule, teaching at an Eikaiwa can be highly rewarding. You’ll have the opportunity to form close relationships with your students and witness their progress firsthand. Plus, living in Japan allows you to explore a rich and vibrant culture.


Teaching at an Eikaiwa in Japan can be an enriching experience, filled with opportunities for professional growth and cultural exploration. With the right preparation and mindset, you can make the most of this unique teaching opportunity.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is an Eikaiwa?

A: An Eikaiwa is an English conversation school in Japan, offering English language instruction to various age groups and proficiency levels.

Q: What are the requirements to teach at an Eikaiwa?

A: Most Eikaiwas require a bachelor’s degree, native English proficiency, a work visa, and often prefer a TEFL certification.

Q: How can I apply to teach at an Eikaiwa?

A: You typically apply online, participate in an interview, and may be asked to give a demo lesson.

Q: What is it like to teach at an Eikaiwa?

A: Eikaiwa teachers often work in the afternoons and evenings, teaching diverse classes. It can be a rewarding experience as teachers can closely witness student progress and immerse themselves in Japanese culture.

Elise is an enthusiastic and passionate Australian teacher who is on a mission to inspire and support fellow educators. With over a decade of experience in the classroom, Elise leverages her expertise and creativity to provide valuable insights and resources through her blog. Whether you're looking for innovative lesson ideas, effective teaching strategies, or just a dose of inspiration, Elise has got you covered.

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