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Work in Japan: Teaching at an Eikaiwa for Foreigners

Are you wondering what it might be like to work at an Eikaiwa in Japan? Look no further! We have prepared a brief look into your potential life as a foreigner in Japan, as well as a list of established language schools you might consider working with. With Japan making moves toward globalization, larger cities are actively hiring native English-speaking foreigners to increase the English language proficiency of its people. This is your chance to experience Japan firsthand!

Think of Eikaiwa as laid-back cram schools for Japanese students. Japanese people willingly find time to fit conversation school classes into their schedules. These schools are convenient ways for them to learn English from a native speaker, so you’re good to go as long as you can command the English language!

Work in Japan: Teaching at an Eikaiwa

Photo by Micah Sittig on Flickr

Teaching at an Eikaiwa is one of the most accessible jobs for foreigners looking to get employed in Japan. With a working knowledge of the English language and a bachelor’s degree in any field, you can land a job at an Eikaiwa. That’s right, you don’t need to have majored in education to teach in Japan!

Eikaiwa also focus on teaching English as a practical conversation tool instead of dwelling too much on the rules of grammar. Of course, your company will provide textbooks to complement the overall curriculum, but students would want to know how to apply these lessons in real life. So leave your worries about the nitty-gritty English rules, and rest assured that your classes will be relatively easy.

If you believe you have what it takes to utilize your English skills for teaching, consider a career in teaching English as a second language to Japanese students! Here are some established English conversation institutions in Japan just waiting for your application:

ECC Foreign Language Institute

If you want to work with one of the most established English conversation schools in Japan, apply for a job at ECC! This foreign language institute started as a small club in Osaka in 1962 and has grown into an organization of over 180 Eikaiwa nationwide. Currently, they employ at least 400 native English speakers. If you meet the basic ECC requirements, you could join their talented team!

Just like any typical Eikaiwa, ECC will require you to present a bachelor’s degree in any field. You must also have proof of being a native speaker of English. Simply present documents verifying your completion of elementary and high school in an institution that uses English as the medium of instruction. You will also have to attend a recruiting session that ECC will hold within a day. For more information on your potential schedule and contract of employment, check out the official ECC application page.


Photo by AEON on AEON

Another option among the pioneer institutions of language instruction in Japan is the AEON Corporation. AEON was founded in 1973 and has continually innovated its English education services. For decades, they have offered top-quality opportunities in classrooms and through the Internet. They currently serve over 80,000 students across more than 250 schools in every corner of Japan! If you come from an English-speaking nation, you have the best chances to become an AEON educator.

As an AEON teacher, you will mainly focus on improving the conversational English skills of Japanese students. Eikaiwa patrons are generally anyone between toddlers and elders. Parents usually enroll their children in conversation schools to reinforce their foundation of English language skills. Meanwhile, adults may register themselves to improve their business English knowledge. You might even get senior citizen students who simply want to experience speaking with English natives. With a variety of students waiting for your instruction, you’ll find yourself switching up your teaching method! Learn more about AEON opportunities.


Photo by Gaba on Gaba

As we’ve mentioned, a college degree is the most basic requirement to get into an Eikaiwa. Most institutions are even lenient with teaching experience. Of course, you have better chances if you have the necessary instructional skills under your belt! If you want to go to Japan and expand your teaching skills, you’re a perfect candidate for Gaba.

Gaba is another leading provider of English language classes in Japan. Through various global recruitment events, Gaba prefers hiring enthusiastic English language teachers who have secured TEFL or TESOL certification. If you’re already familiar with a corporate working environment and prefer a flexible teaching schedule, consider taking the path of a Gaba instructor. Visit the official Gaba website for more details on scheduling, incentives, current openings, and recruitment events.


Utilize your bachelor’s degree and build a career out of speaking English in Japan! Working at an Eikaiwa is probably your easiest way to start a life in Japan as a foreigner. Add to the fact that foreign English language tutors are in great demand following the country’s initiatives toward globalization, especially now that the 2020 Olympics are just around the corner.

Finally, Eikaiwa are mainly businesses. You might have to look at your job from a sales aspect, where you encourage more students to apply. But your experience as an Eikaiwa teacher will be what you make of it! Depending on your company, you could be handling 7 classes a day, provided with lesson plans. With your great people skills, you can easily build a rapport with your students and make work more fulfilling. Pair your English language knowledge with your passion for Japan, and your career as an Eikaiwa teacher will flourish!

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