Japan’s Booming TEFL Industry

With new CELTA teacher training centres cropping up across huge cities in Japan, like Kobe and Tokyo, we are looking at exactly why the TEFL industry is booming.

Why it a fantastic time to study CELTA and work in vibrant Japan!

Why Japan?

With new CELTA teacher training centres cropping up across huge cities in Japan, like Kobe and Tokyo, we are looking at exactly why the Teaching English as a Foreign Language industry is becoming so popular over there.

We are hearing more and more about the huge demand for English teachers in Japan and as a result, the same goes for English teacher training. The country has announced that they are going to make English language instruction a compulsory subject in primary school and as well as this, millions of Japanese adults are taking English classes every year. Dave Fox, the Head of Teaching Training at the new CELTA centre in Tokyo explained to us, “English will be mandatory in schools from grade 3 onwards in 2020, this is helping to push English education to the front of people’s minds.”

The country of Japan is beautiful, exciting, bright, technological and has a very individual culture, not to mention great food! Known for its stunning cherry blossom and its contrasting futuristic and traditional style, set the backdrop of jaw dropping Mount Fuji, Tokyo is a must-see place for a lot of travellers. Dave Fox, Head of Teacher Training at our new Tokyo centre recently visited the city and called it “mind-bending”. He explained, “It’s so vibrant, so lively but you can find 200-year-old kimono shop next to a high rise!”

For more information on amazing Japan, please see the Lonely Planet Guide.


There is a real push in Japan for English teachers to become properly TEFL qualified with an accredited certificate, such as the CELTA. This is due to the focus on communicative language style of English teaching and the Japanese moving away from the original focus on grammar. Dave Fox explains, “CELTA graduates are in high demand for positions in private schools, high schools, primary schools and universities. The days are gone when you could show up as an English speaker and get a job, employers are demanding quality, and this is driving the industry forward.” So, it is the perfect time to look at taking a CELTA in Japan.

As to be expected, the facilities at the CELTA centre in Kobe are also cutting edge, with projectors and magnetic boards that connect to computers. An exciting experience for anyone looking to take the Cambridge accredited TESOL, the CELTA. Click here to see the dates and fees.

It is beneficial to take the CELTA course in the country you wish to work in, so you can get a feel for the place and also the TEFL jobs market. Head of TT Dave Fox says, “You get an insight into the culture and expectations before you go applying for work. You get used to living there and navigating the city and you also make connections with people on the ground who become your support network as you start your new career and life.”

Working as an EFL Teacher in Japan

There are so many reasons why English teachers are flocking to Japan to work, including generous pay, starting at 250,000 YEN per month, which is equivalent to around £1700 GBP! There is also a good standard of living in Japan, with EFL teachers being shown a huge amount of respect by their students too, Dave Fox told us, “I know one teacher who was the guest of honour at a sumo tournament!” How cool is that? Alongside this, once you have gained employment at a school, they can assist you in finding accommodation, with some even offering the first month as part of your contract.

If you are looking to study the CELTA or to work in Japan, you will need to look into visa requirements. These options vary depending on where you are from. You can find all the information you will need to know using this link here. Once you find EFL work in Japan, your employer will be able to help you sort this out too.

As explained previously, you will need a recognised certificate such as the Cambridge CELTA in order to gain employment in Japan. Head of Teacher Training Dave Fox says, “you need internationally recognised qualifications to climb the ladder”. For more information about CELTA locations in Japan, including Kobe and Tokyo, please click here.

Employers in Japan usually need EFL teachers to start in April or September each year, so the best time to apply for jobs are between April and June and October and January. To look for work in Japan, you can research online, using ESL job-sites such as www.teflwork.com. Once you’ve applied, the school will contact you with further steps.

There you have it – Japan is a great place to work and study CELTA!

So, we seem to have cracked why the TEFL industry is so booming in Japan now. A mixture of primary schools making English mandatory, a rise in adults wanting to speak English, as well as the fantastic working conditions, salary and quality of life for EFL teachers. We can’t recommend studying CELTA and working in Japan enough!

If you have any questions regarding the CELTA in Japan, you can talk to one of our customer service advisors here. To apply for the CELTA, please click here.

For more information on vibrant Japan, you can see their extensive tourism page.