Do you have experience in the working world? Do you have a business-related degree? Then a business English job in Japan might be the ideal vocation for you. Read on to discover how teaching English to professionals can be both different and rewarding.
What is ‘Business English’?
Business English is a form of English especially suited for business environments. It includes professional vocabulary for many industries, such as finance, marketing, accounting and more. Learning Business English helps students communicate effectively in the workplace.
Business English also enables students to use professional, formal grammar structures to communicate politely, for example in meetings and presentations.
Why is Business English important?
As English is the most common international language, it is widely used in companies all over the world. Students can gain a huge advantage in their international companies by speaking Business English.
English is also the most commonly used language on the internet. Many people from different countries will discuss topics in online forums using English. Business English allows professionals to connect from all over the world.
Do Japanese Businessmen Speak English?
Japanese is the only official language of Japan, but English is taught in high schools and junior high schools. Most adult people in Japan have at least a little English education. Teaching English became mandatory in elementary schools in 2020.
However, according to TOIEC, 52% of Japanese business people lack confidence in speaking English. They enjoy talking in English, but feel they lack the fluency and pronunciation skills to communicate effectively.
Can I Teach Business English?
Most Japanese language schools require employees to have a degree to teach business English. Also, a good level of business experience will help applicants. Some schools may overlook a lack of degree of you have many years of using business English in a professional environment.
For some business English jobs in Japan, you will need a TEFL certificate. The good news is that the TEFL course is 100% online and can be completed in just 120 hours of studying. This qualification will certainly help establish your skills and mark you as a quality candidate.
Also, many schools do not require previous teaching experience (but of course this will help!).
Business English Language Goals of Japanese Students
Teaching business English is very different from teaching in a school. For one, your students will be very goal-orientated. Junior High school student’s motivation levels are often mixed. But business English students are more driven and want to see results.
Why Should I Teach Business English in Japan?
Teaching business English has many advantages for some people. For example:
No disciplinary issues
If you have been working as an ALT in schools, teaching adults can be a refreshing change.
Many school students study English with the primary purpose of passing exams. You will also have to teach students with little to no interest in English at all. This leads to stressful management of disruptive and distracting behavior. In contrast, teaching motivated, professional adults can be very rewarding. Whether the need to improve their English for a promotion or to increase their TOIEC score, you can help them achieve their clear set of goals.
There may also be more variation in lesson styles. Some classes may be one-to-one or small groups of 3 – 5. This is a great way to personally connect with your students and provide more tailored methods of teaching.
Your lessons will be scheduled either within work hours, or in the evenings. This gives your working hours a bit more variety and flexibility.
Teach more interesting content
If you dread the idea of asking “What sports do you like?” continuously, switching to business English may be a welcome improvement. By teaching business English, you can introduce more technical vocabulary from different business fields. You may be coaching how to give presentations one day and teaching how to use online platforms or software the next.
Higher hourly rate
Teaching through a private company or being hired directly by a company will pay higher by the hour than your average ALT job. However, be aware that your number of hours per week or month may vary. Take a good look over your contract before you sign.
How Can I Teach Business English in Japan?
Ready to get started or want to learn more? Here are a few of our recommended companies to start your business English teaching career in Japan:
Toraiz are a high-end English language school for professionals. Their centers are located in Tokyo, Osaka, Yokohama and Nagoya. They offer ¥3,020 per 50 minute group lessons and ¥1,510 per 25 minute private lessons. Toraiz provides all online coaching materials for you to use. Plus, your work schedule can be flexible to suit you.
Berlitz is one of the most renown language service firms in the world. Berlitz Japan recruits English instructors all over Japan, including Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Hiroshima. Part-time contracts can vary from ¥125,000 to ¥192,500 per month.
Gaba prides itself in being the no.1 provider of 1-1 English conversation lessons. They have Learning Studios situated across the Kanto, Kansai and Chubu areas. Instructors will start on at ¥1500 yen per 40 minute lesson. However, Gaba gives a clear advancement system, where instructors can earn more per lesson depending on meeting set performance requirements.
Keen to start? Jobs in Japan can help you find the right role for you to start your business English teaching career.
Article Author: Beth Lawson