2 JET programme

Japan Matters public lecture in 2013/14

Tuesday 10 September 2013 from 2.30 pm to 4 pm
‘The Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) programme’
Ms Miki Nemoto, Coordinator for Educational Affairs, Embassy of Japan in the UK
Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow

This Japan Matters public lecture was organised by Japan Desk Scotland, in cooperation with Glasgow Caledonian University, and with grant from the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation.

Teaching English abroad is a popular option for graduates, and doing something meaningful in foreign countries is another. These two popular gap-year attractions are integral parts of the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme. JET is an official Japanese Government scheme launched in 1987 aiming to improve foreign language teaching in schools and to promote international understanding. About 50,000 people have participated in the programme from over 50 countries, including more than 10,000 people from the UK.

The JET programme details, including application form, are available from  the JET Programme UK websitethe official website for UK applicants.  The 2014 JET programme was closed on Friday 29 November 2013.

There are two positions available for UK graduates on the JET Programme: Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) of English and Coordinator for International Relations (CIR) for applicants with a high level of written and spoken Japanese at the time of application. In the summer of 2013, 137 ALTs and 7 CIRs have been sent to Japan from the UK.

The eligibility criteria for the JET programme include, among others, holding a full UK passport (not just permanent resident status), and holding a Bachelor’s degree in any subject by the July before departure.

The main points in Ms Nemoto’s talk:
• Big companies prefer those with international experience, but not many British students are keen to go abroad.  British Council’s recent survey shows that 54% of under 25-Year-Old think that lack of international experience hinders their career prospects.  The JET programme is one of working abroad options.
• The JET participants (ALTs) will work at government schools in Japan, where extra-curricular activities, mostly sports, are popular, and the participants are encouraged to join these or, if they are not sports-orientate person, they can establish English conversation clubs etc.
• The JET participants (ALTs) are expected to mingle with local communities, making themselves available for local people to communicate in English in an informal atmosphere.
• In a class room situation, the JET participants (ALTs) are expected to have ‘creativity’, because their expected role is to attract students who are not interested in learning English at all.