Working For A Chain: Westgate In Japan
If you’re considering working for a chain, particularly in Japan, Westgate may offer an interesting opportunity to check out the EFL scene in Japan with a less-than-twelve-month commitment.
In the University Program, which operates on forty campuses, instructors are hired for three month periods (from late September to mid-December or May to late July). The teaching hours include nine to twelve periods a day, with a maximum of seven of those periods teaching (and some will be repeats, so only one to three lesson plans will be necessary); Westgate provides a binder for each course from which teachers plan the lesson. Insurance coverage and housing – which is furnished but which may be either shared or single – are included. Job duties may include participation in other events, and a substantial commute from the accommodation to the school is possible. The website stresses that there is a dress code for teachers and it also cites the importance of adhering to cultural norms and rules (on 40 campuses). Salaries start from 260,000 – 280,000 Yen/month.
There is also a Young Learners program which runs from May 1, 2007 to March 2008 or, for the spring term only, from May – July 20, 2007. Teachers work in private elementary or primary school. Like with the University Program, nine consecutive hours a day should be spent on the premises, and the maximum number of lessons per day is seven, requiring one to four lesson plans. Teachers in the Young Learners program will sometimes need to participate in weekend events, and the salary starts at 285,000 Yen/month.
Westgate reimburses ticket costs up to $1000 for both programs, but you have to buy through their travel agent. The requirements for teachers appear to vary depending on the program; the best bet is to check with Westgate directly. You can apply online by filling out a rather extensive application form and then do a phone interview.
If you’d like to check out some other chains or larger organizations offering EFL jobs, read the TEFL Logue profiles of International House, Berlitz, English First, VSO or the Peace Corps for international opportunities, and for Japan, read AEON, NOVA, and the Jet Program.