ACTIVE strives to foster a culture of support for its teachers. It is our mission to create a work environment in which teachers can focus the majority of their efforts on their capacity as teachers. Through an abundance of tools and resources, we hope our teachers and students can share in a fulfilling and meaningful experience in the classroom.
Thank you for your interest in Active English School. Please take the time to read the follwoing information and don't hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions.
Active English School
AES is located in Shiojiri city, Nagano prefecture. It is centrally located between Tokyo, Nagoya and Nagano-city with the Japanese Alps in the background.
As the teachers come from different English speaking countries, the students are able to experience a diverse range of English accents, giving them a greater grasp of the English language. Coming from different countries, the teachers bring with them a diversity in teaching techniques, activities and games to add to the ever expanding reserve.
A conversation teacher is responsible for conducting classes for students across a broad age range, from as young as two years old to adults. The majority of our students are children, and we utilize a set curriculum which allows teachers to focus their energy on getting to know students on a personal level to make their classes enjoyable.
Previous teaching experience and Japanese language skills are preferred, but a driver's licence and international driving permit are essential in the position.
Teachers are scheduled to work at AES 8 hour shifts either Monday - Friday or Tuesday - Saturday. (A typical working shift runs from 3:00 pm until 10:00 pm, Saturday shift from 9:30 am until 6:00 pm, including a break.) Each full time teacher works approximately 20-25 teaching hours per week, with each class usually lasting 30-60 minutes. Teachers are also expected to be involved with school events for example by helping decorate and/or organize.
All teachers at Active English School have private, semi-private and group classes. Group classes range from 3 to 10 students.The students range in age from as young as 1 year old to adults, with the majority of the students being children. Teacher will need to drive a company car to get to some classes outside of the conversation school. Most of the locations are close; they're only about a 10-20 minutes drive.
The students bring an amazing energy to the school, and most of them are very motivated towards learning English. Compared to Western culture, Japanese students spend a lot more time at school and studying, and in general they are much more studious.
Holidays follow the Active English School's calendar. (Spring, Golden Week holidays, Summer, and Winter vacations) However, teachers may be required to attend meetings, training or other events on some weekends or holidays.
TERMS OF EMPLOYMENT:
1. Five days a week with 2 consecutive days off and 4 weeks paid vacation per year
2. Salary: 240,000 - 260,000 yen per month
3. One year contract completion bonus: 80,000 yen
Applying for a position
1. Native speaker of English
2. Bachelor's degree
3. Driver's license in home country and International driver's license
4. Valid passport
1. Trustworthy, flexible, and positive
2. Enjoy teaching a wide range of students from preschool to adults
3. TESL/TEFL/CELTA certificate
4. ESL teaching experience
How to apply
Please include the followings in your application package and email them to us.
1. Cover letter
3. A recent photo
4. Active’s application form: Please download and complete our application form (PDF).
(If the above PDF file doesn't show properly, please try this application form (TXT).
Living in Shiojiri
Adjusting to Life in Japan
ACTIVE management will assist new teachers with getting settled in after arrival in Shiojiri. This includes registering at city hall, opening a bank account, and other basic necessities. There will also be a training and orientation period during which a new teacher can become acquainted with the structure of your schedule and the systems our teachers utilize in their everyday work.
Even after a teacher has begun their work and is starting to adjust to life in Japan, we will continue to be a resource, especially with regard to logistical challenges that may arise. Our staff are encouraged to ask questions and communicate with the management team or with their fellow teachers if and when they feel they need assistance with something.
Nagano prefecture is centrally located on the island of Honshu. It is a mountainous prefecture with four distinct seasons. Summer is hot and dry with the occasional thunderstorm. Autumn is a cool relief after the summer heat, and the leaves put on a beautiful display as they change color. Winter is cold and snowy, which affords the winter recreationalist abundant options for skiing and snowboarding in the north and central alps. Spring is warm, and nature comes back to life, with the highlight undoubtedly being the appearance of the beautiful cherry blossoms.
Shiojiri is a small city in a relatively rural location, though Matsumoto City, the second largest in Nagano, is just 20 minutes away by train. The city has all the modern conveniences you might need, including plenty of restaurants, shops, public transit, and even a climbing gym! Shiojiri is surrounded by orchards and vineyards, rice farms and vegetable farms in a wide valley with ample mountain views. Locally grown specialties include apples and grapes, the latter of which is used to make local wine.
Life in Shiojiri is quiet and peaceful, well-suited to the nature lover or anyone interested in having an immersive exposure to Japanese culture. It is also within close proximity to major urban centers like Nagano City, and of course, Tokyo, both of which are easily accessible by train.
Work at AES
|Q: What size is the school?||
AES is a privately owned medium sized school. There are a few English conversation schools in Shiojiri-city and AES is one of the major ones.
|Q: How many students attend your school?||
There are about 140 students in AES. Most of them take classes once a week. The percentage of AES students is the following: pre-school 15%, elementary 60%, Junior high 15%, senior high school and adult 10%.
|Q: How many students are usually in each class?||
About 3 to 10 students for a group class. We also have private and semi-private (2 students) classes.
|Q: What are the working hours?||
Basic contract hours are from 2:00 PM to 10:00 PM. In addition, some classes are held in the morning, which reduces the work hours in the afternoon of those days. There is a 30-minute dinner break on weekdays. Saturday work hours are from 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM (including a one-hour break).
|Q: How many class hours would I teach per day?||
Full-time teachers in AES will teach 4 - 6 class hours.
|Q: What teaching resources does the school have? (Books, computers, internet etc..)||
Teachers use a school curriculum for pre-school classes, which has a variety of monthly activities. Most of elementary to adult classes use a textbook and the teacher will prepare some more sub-materials. A few students prefer not to use any textbooks and the teacher will need to prepare some articles using their own initiative. Computers, the Internet and photo copier are available.
|Q: How many teachers work at the school?||
There are three full-time and a few part-time native speaking conversation teachers, and two Japanese grammar teachers in AES.
|Q: When are the holidays?||
We have Saturdays and Sundays off (or Sundays and Mondays off if you work the Saturday shift) and over 20 days off per year. There may arise the occasional Saturday or Sunday in which the staff member is needed to work due to special weekend events. Please note that taking a leave of absence is difficult with our schedule since we don't have enough substitute teachers. We ask all staff to schedule their vacation within the designated holidays.
|Q: What is the dress code?||
Staff are required to wear collared shirts and socks. Suits are not required, but ties must be worn if you have a beard. Damaged jeans are not allowed.
|Q: What is the length of the contract?||
The contract starts the day after the week-long vacation and the contract finishes the day before the vacation the following year. ex. The contract will usually start from the beginning of April to nearly end of March, or starting from the middle of August to the begining of August the following year.
|Q: Will you assist me in obtaining a Japanese work visa?||
Yes, we provide a work visa status of “Specialist in Humanities/International”.
|Q: What information do I need to provide for the visa application?||
1. Contract with your signature
2. Passport sized color photograph
3. Original University transcripts
4. A copy of your passport photo page
5. A copy of University diploma
6. Official criminal record
7. Resume (CV)
8. Medical record
9. Questionnaire for visa application
|Q: How long does the visa process usually take?||
It takes about 4 to 8 weeks. The busiest time of year is between January and March. We ask all applicants to use Fedex to send any documents to ensure a swift and safe process.
Accommodation and others
|Q: Is housing provided, and if not, is it pre-arranged or would I need to find it on my own?||
The housing semi-furnished is provided by Active. The resident will need to pay a 40,000 JPY deposit, the rent fee, utilities and other living expenses.
|Q: How much for the rent fee and utility fee for each month?||
The rent fee is 51,000 JPY, which includes unlimited Internet connection. The total utility fees, including gas, water and electricity are between 15,000 to 20,000 JPY per month, which depends on how much the resident uses.
|Q: Information about the typical size and layout of the apartment?||
There are two types of apartment. One comes with a big kitchen area and a parking spot. The other comes with smaller in size, which is close to a train station. Both are close from Active, and it takes about 10 to 15 minutes on foot. Unfortunately, staff cannot choose which apartment they are given.
|Q: Can I live in an apartment with my partner?||
Unfortunately not. We provide one room for one member of staff. Sharing a room with other employees is also not allowed.
|Q: Why do we need an international driving permit?||
ALTs need to drive to their schools daily. Conversation teachers need to drive to some classes outside of AES. It is required by Japanese law to have an international driving permit to drive in japan, and all teachers will be expected to drive.
|Q: Can I buy health insurance in Japan?||
“National Health Insurance” for the teachers working at AES. 70% of medical expenses are covered for illness and injuries. You are responsible for the remaining 30%.
|Q: Is the plane ticket included in the salary or is that out of pocket?||
The plane ticket will be paid at your own expense. Instead of offering airfare, we set a contract completion bonus. The bonus will depend on the contract length and your working performance throughout the contract's duration.
|Q: How do I get to Nagano-prefecture?||
It takes about 3 hours to get from Narita to Shiojiri by train. We offer new arrivals the use of a mini bus that takes you directly from Narita to Active English School. (This takes about 5 hours.)
|Q: What is it like to live in Shijori on a day to day basis?||
Living in Shiojiri is very relaxed and laid back. It is in the countryside, but has plenty of amenities in the viccinity. You can find pretty much everything you need around your apartment area, such as convenience stores, restaurants, karaoke rooms and a huge homecenter. There is a larger city called Matsumoto, 15 minutes away by train, and it has night clubs, Uniclo and a big shopping centers.
|Q: Can I extend my contract after one year?||
Yes, the contract can be extended dependant on your initial performance. Contract extensions are desireable and encouranged by the school.