Introduction to Teaching English in Japan

Would you like the chance to spend some time in Japan but feel turned off by whistle-stop package tourist trips? If so, teaching English may be the answer. There is no better way to get to know a country than by living and working there. By teaching English you become a part of Japanese society, rather than just an observer looking in.

Teaching English is big business in Japan. Despite the collapse of the so-called bubble economy Japan remains one of the richest and most sophisticated nations on the planet, and this status is largely due to its success in overseas trade and investment. Thus, to get ahead in Japanese society, proficiency in English is a significant advantage. Add to that the fact that being able to speak English is simply considered cool and the huge demand for English teachers becomes clear.

Don’t Japanese people learn English at school?

Yes they do. Usually for 6 years or more. The problem is that, unlike most of the school curriculum, English isn’t taught particularly well. Japanese schools tend to follow traditional teaching methods in which the teacher stands at the front and lectures the class. Students are expected to absorb rather than question. The method produces excellent results for subjects like history and mathematics, but not for communicative, participative skills like language. School English education is likely to consist of lots of reading and writing, lots of grammar practice, but very little – if any – spoken communication.

Do I need to speak Japanese?

Not at all. Of course, if you can pick up a little nihongo (Japanese) it will make your daily life easier, but it won’t help one bit as a teacher. The reason is that the most effective way of teaching language is to use only the target language. Thus the only language used in English lessons is English.

How do I start?

Well, you could simply buy a ticket to Japan and start looking for work. Unfortunately, without a work permit, that strategy is illegal. Unless you have a Japanese spouse you need to find a job that will sponsor you for a visa. It is possible to travel to Japan as a tourist and approach a few of the numerous schools advertising for teachers asking if they are prepared to sponsor your visa application.

It helps to undergo some TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) training before looking for work. Not only will this give you some basic teaching skills and confidence, but it also shows potential employers you are serious about teaching and not just a backpacker looking for some financial re-fuelling.

TEFL courses are advertised in most English speaking countries. The more useful ones are provided by working English schools and offer face-to-face teaching practice with real learners.

Accommodation

If you are employed by the JET program or one of the big English school companies they will more than likely arrange accommodation for you. You are of course free to find your own housing if you so wish.

Living in school-found accommodation has the advantage of an English speaking contact to sort out repairs or other problems. The disadvantage is that it’s difficult to quit a job that may not be for you while living in their accommodation. I have also heard of at least one school that charges its teachers a significant premium over market rental rates for use of its accommodation – so beware!

There are several English speaking accommodation agencies advertising in the free English language press, and these generally provide decent accommodation, but at a price.

An alternative favored by many single English teachers are the so-called “gaijin houses” (literally foreigner’s house). These are basically hostels that rent out basic, but adequately comfortable, rooms mainly to non-Japanese clientele. Usually bathroom, kitchen and sometimes communal sitting room are shared. Gaijin house advertisements are to be found in the free English language press.

SEO 7 Key Steps to Make Money With SEO

Search Engine Optimization has been proven to be one of the best techniques any webmaster can use in order to drive quality organic traffic to his or her site and eventually convert this traffic to instant money. Here are some key steps on how you can do exactly that:

1. Fill your content with relevant keywords. Make your site crawl by using appropriate keywords or keyphrases so search engine can easily find you. Sprinkle these keywords on your articles without sounding too unnatural. Remember you have to make your content both search engine and user-friendly.

2. Build links. To get optimum result, build links to websites which are already indexed by search engines. These websites usually have enormous traffic and good search engine ranking that can drive quality traffic to your webpage.

3. Submit your webpage to SEO directories. This is the best way to create a quality one way link to your site.

4. Write and submit quality articles to ezine sites. Make your website crawl through internet marketing. Write quality articles and distribute them over the internet. Each submission grants you a one way link.

5. Do a keyword research regularly. The needs and wants of your readers dramatically change everyday. Identify the new keywords that they might use in searching for your products and service. Optimize your webpage by using these keywords naturally.

6. Update your webpage regularly. Keep your website active by posting new content, images, reviews or commentaries whenever appropriate to give you readers a reason to check out your site over and over again.

7. Utilize link popularity. This can easily be done by getting at least 2 quality inbound links to your site. This is the most powerful SEO technique there is in the World Wide Web today so learn its ropes and take advantage of it.

Learning To Speak Mandarin – The Road Ahead

When we talk about studying Chinese what we mean by that, in 2010, is really studying Mandarin, also known as standard Mandarin. Compared to Cantonese, which is the second most spoken out of around 50 languages ​​in contemporary China, Mandarin is far larger. Cantonese is pretty much confined to Taiwan and Hong Kong. Mandarin on the other hand is also spoken in both these areas, and the entirety of the rest of the country. This did not come about as an accident. 100 years ago there were more languages ​​and Standard Mandarin was not known as standard. The Mandarin of today is an amalgamation of different dialects but is mostly made up of the old Beijing one. The reason that it is so common today is that it has been artificially promoted by the central government for obvious reasons: one modern nation needs one common mode of communication.

When we talk about Mandarin language studies people often say that they are rather tricky. They are not a walk in the park, but it is my sincere belief that people make it out to be a much more difficult task than it is in reality. The thing we need to remember is that Mandarin is very different from languages ​​that have been derived from Latin or the Germanic branch of European languages. But once those differences have been deal with, learning the rest of the language is much less tricky than it would seem when you are just setting out on that particular journey. These initial bumps in the road can be categorized into two distinct groups; the difficulties of writing Chinese Mandarin and the difficulties of speaking Chinese Mandarin. I write difficulties but in reality it is less about difficulty and more about differences.

The first of these two categories, written Chinese, is mostly hard because there is no alphabet. Instead you need to memorize a great deal of pictures, aka characters. The key to success in this matter lies in not thinking of them as pictures when you try to commit them to memory but rather thinking of them in terms of their underlying structure. The two golden nuggets of information that you need to become familiar with is the building blocks that make up the vast majority of characters, called radical, and the way that these radicals are written, the stroke order. Once you have these two concepts firmly logged in your head you will begin to see the characters as a process of writing and not as a finished product. The picture is complicated but the way that it is formed is as easy as pie. It is a bit like riding a bike really – once you get up and going you will cover a lot of ground very quickly and you will never loose that initial effort you put in while learning the first couple of hundred or so the right way.

The second of the categories, spoken Chinese Mandarin, is mostly different in terms of pronunciation. The grammar really is not that hard. Chinese Mandarin pronunciation, however, is. It is hard because as we know Mandarin lacks an alphabet. Instead of being made up of letters that make a sound when put together we have pictures which give little or no indication regarding how the words sound when spoken. To muddle things up even more the Mandarin language is not only dependent on syllables, it also involves modulation of the pitch. This is what is more commonly known as tones, and it makes Mandarin a tonal language.

However, both the difficulties with getting to grips with Characters and their radicals and stroke order, and the trick to wrapping your tongue around tonal modulation while speaking, can easily be dealt with in a small class size. Learning Mandarin without the individual attention of a teacher is very hard, but once you have someone to correct your pronunciation and show you what you are doing wrong when writing, you are on the home stretch, speeding ahead to proficiency in the language that holds the key to the greatest paradigm shift of our century – the rise of China as economic and political super power.

Connect Mobile Phone Internet to Your Computer or Laptop With The Help of Bluetooth

I am using jazz internet on my mobile and whenever needed I use this net on my laptop. I am going to explain the method in two major parts.

Firstly, we have to make pair between our computer and Bluetooth mobile first as follow:

1. Open control panel. Select “Printer and other Hardware.” Select “Bluetooth Devices.”

2. Find “Add” button in Bluetooth devices window and click on it.

3. Check the button “My device is set up and ready to be found” and click on next.

4. Remember that your mobile Bluetooth should be on.

5. When computer Bluetooth will find your device, select your own device and click on next button.

6. Check the option button “Let me choose my own passkey” and give 1234 or on your own.

7. After computer Bluetooth will start making pair with your mobile, you will receive a message asking for the same passkey that you chosen, type it on your mobile then push on save or OK.

8. Computer Bluetooth will complete making the pair between them.

Secondly, you have to make a dial-up for your mobile internet.

2. Click on start. Select all programs and then accessories. Select communications and then “New Connection Wizard.

3. Click on next button.

4. Check option button “Connect to the internet” and click on next.

5. Check option button “Set up my Connection manually” and next.

6. Check option button “Connect using a dial-up modem” and next.

7. Select only Bluetooth modem and un-select any other modem if selected by default, and click on next.

8. Type the name of your Internet Service Provider. You can give any name.

9. For phone number; give number as *99# and click on next.

10. Give username of your mobile service and password. If you do not know about what is internet password or username you can ask from your phone service or can also find from internet. I’m using jazz phone service in my mobile and I know what its password and username is. If you are using any other mobile service, give its username and password.

9. Click on next and then finish the set-up.

Now after assuring your computer is connected with your mobile via Bluetooth, open that dial-up and give username and password. You are connected to mobile internet on your computer.

IMPORTANT: This method works only those Internet connections which does not require User Name/Password authentication. I hope this information is helpful. Visit my blog for more.

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