Feb 9, 2019
Several of my students have asked me to write a column about my experience as a NOVA English language teacher in Japan. Well, here it is!
I taught English in Japan for two years during the 1990s. For me, it was an amazing opportunity as I had always wanted to visit Japan, having read about the culture, country and customs as well as speaking to Japanese people in the UK. I was hired by NOVA and given a job as an English language teacher in Tokyo. Off I set on my big adventure!
On arrival in Tokyo, I was ushered into what was known as a 'Gaijin House' where I was given a futon and small tatami mat room to live in until I found somewhere better. It was quite an experience! There were lots of other teachers living in the house. I made alot of friends, especially a fellow British girl called Emily who I ended up sharing an apartment with about six months later. I also bought a bicycle and loved cycling to and from the school where I taught, especially when it was warm and sunny.
My first year was spent teaching at a big NOVA school in Kawasaki. It was great fun and the students ranged from age five to over ninety! My students were very friendly and generous, often showing me the best places to eat yakitori and ramen! I really enjoyed it.
After my first year teaching in Japan, the company promoted me to Assistant Trainer which meant that I could help train new teachers and monitor their progress. I was also offered a position at NOVA Ebisu - a smaller school and much more in the centre of Tokyo. I jumped at the chance!
Ebisu was a lovely school to work at - smaller with a high proportion of 'salary man' to teach! I taught alot of business as well as general English classes and often giggled on my way back home after work on seeing a 'salary man' who had been drinking stumble and fall down the steps at the station before picking himself up, brushing himself down, laughing and getting on the train! I often wondered if they got on the right train!
I thoroughly enjoyed my experience as a NOVA teacher and loved living in Japan and getting to know the people and culture. It was fascinating and I only hope I can return to Japan and see more of the country and its traditions very soon.
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