Interac teachers enrich the lives of hundreds of thousands of school children every year by delivering interactive and exciting English lessons. Commonly known as ALTs, which stands for assistant language teacher, Interac’s teachers, working in the Japanese school system, enrich children’s lives by sharing their knowledge of English and communication skills and giving insights into other cultures.
Founded in 1972, Interac is Japan’s largest private provider of professional foreign teachers to the Japanese government through its ALT program. Interac is also a significant player in providing professional teachers for commercial and government organizations.
Interac is one of the largest non-government employers of foreign nationals in Japan. It employs nearly 3,000 staff in Japan across a network of 13 offices. Around 2,750 of these employees are non-Japanese.
Interac started in September of 1972 in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district, and over the years, the company grew as a provider of educational services to commercial organizations. In the mid-nineties, that field grew, and Interac started to provide ALTs and other education services to public Boards of Education and schools all over Japan.
About Working as an ALT with Interac
As an ALT at Interac, you will work in elementary, junior high, and high schools throughout Japan. These are our clients. Your job is two-fold: language instructor and cultural ambassador. These two aspects are inseparable, and you, as a successful Interac ALT, will become an expert in both.
You can expect to teach classes on your own, with a Japanese teacher present to help manage the classroom. Although there are three types of Japanese schools, you can reasonably expect to teach in at least two. The most common situation is as an ALT in elementary and junior high schools, with a majority of your time teaching spent at the junior high school level.
“ALT” is a title coined by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) to describe native-level speakers of English working in Japanese classrooms. With rare exception, as an Interac ALT, you are not a member of the schools' staff but an employee of Interac, and therefore, you work under the guidance of Interac.
Why work in Japan?
Your experience in Japan will set you apart from your peers. When you teach in Japan, you will find that there is much more to be gained than a regular paycheck. In fact, your experience will shape your future by providing you valuable career experience, experience living in a different culture, and the lifestyle of freedom and growth you have been waiting for.
Develop people skills – working in education is a great place to develop people skills, which are invaluable for any job you choose in the future.
Learn and master a new language – living and working in Japan is a great chance to learn a new language. Not only can you learn the language, you can actually use it!
Kick-start your career in education – teaching in Japan is a great opportunity if you wish to begin a career in the education sector. If you studied education at university or you have some teaching experience already, you will find that the unique experiences you have in Japan will compliment your current knowledge and skills.
Actually teach in a real classroom – unlike other teaching jobs in Asia, Interac ALTs teach in actual school classrooms. You can expect to teach class on your own with a Japanese teacher assisting you to manage the classroom.
Move smoothly into a career in Asia – teaching is a great start to a longer career in Asia. It’s easier to secure new opportunities in the future if you have experience in the region. In the past, teachers in Japan have progressed into various industries, including finance, human resources, higher education, information technology, and media.
Secure your finances – teaching in Japan gets you a reasonable salary and generous vacation time that makes the difference between getting ahead and just getting by. Depending on your circumstances, teaching in Japan is a great chance to save money or pay down student loan debt.
Make friends for life – you will start to meet and form close bonds with other teachers and people in your new community right from your initial orientation and training. You will constantly meet many new and interesting people from around the world.
What Kind of Person is Interac Looking for?
As well as having the mental aptitude and a desire for the challenge of living and working overseas, before submitting an application to become an Interac ALT, you must:
- Be a native-level speaker of English.
- Have acquired an education delivered in English for at least 12 years.
- Have graduated or be about to graduate from a university with at least a bachelor’s degree (in any subject).
- Be professional in all aspects of behavior, a team-player, flexible, cheerful, and energetic.
While not required, it helps your chances if you:
- Hold a driver’s license.
- Have teaching experience.
- Have a teaching qualification, e.g., CELTA, DELTA, and TEFL.
- Have the experience of studying a second language at school or university.
- Can speak some basic Japanese.
Thousands of professional men and woman like you have taken up the opportunity to be an Interac ALT. Interac ALTs are flexible, open-minded, and have an incredible sense of adventure. Make and application and start your journey to Japan today!
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