Assistant Language Teaching (ALT) in Japan

Course Code: ALT101
Day: Sat Time: 9:00-10:50 Hours: 42 Sessions: 12 Semester: Spring Medium of Instruction: English Location: Online

Registration Will Reopen Soon - Add to Wishlist

Course Description

Temple University, Japan Campus (TUJ) is one of the most respected providers of graduate education for English language instruction in Japan. Together with RCS, Japan’s oldest ALT dispatch company, TUJ has developed this course specifically for current and aspiring Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs) to better understand and work within the Japanese educational context. There is both strong demand for ALTs in Japan as well as competition for the most desirable programs and locations. Set yourself apart by demonstrating your preparedness to succeed in Japanese schools. 

The course will help students to function and communicate effectively as an ALT in a variety of settings including elementary, junior and senior high school. To facilitate these objectives, topics covered in this course include modeling, lesson planning, intercultural communication, classroom management, and supporting students with various needs. 

The course is not designed as an introduction to teaching English as a second language (TESOL), but rather to prepare participants for successful and rewarding working experiences within schools in Japan. It may serve as an effective complement to any TESOL related training or certification. The course aims to help you to be proactive with the Japanese school context and have a more meaningful and enjoyable teaching experience. Trained ALTs make a valuable contribution to their schools and students, and tend to have more teaching freedom, make more money, and be more valued/respected at their schools.  

This course includes asynchronous components during the week and synchronous online class meetings on Saturday mornings (JST). The asynchronous components provide background information in the form of readings, videos, and discussion board interactions to help prepare students for discussions and practical application of the information in the weekly class meetings. 

Learning Objectives

1. Communicate an understanding of the primary roles and functions of a successful ALT in Japan through modeling, lesson planning, classroom management, and strategies in meeting the needs of diverse learners.
2. Illustrate the skills needed to navigate the Japanese educational context in which they work/will work.
3. Demonstrate the practices of effective foreign language team- teaching/assistant teaching through assignments, intercultural communication practices, and familiarity with teaching and assessment tools that may be useful in their roles as ALTs.

Who should take this course

Individuals that are interested in working as an assistant language teacher (ALT) in Japanese elementary, junior-senior high schools, or other educational settings. By completing this course, you demonstrate a strong commitment to the field, an understanding of the nature of the work and context, and your preparedness to be successful in the role. Such demonstration will be highly sought after by both schools and ALT dispatch companies.


Richard Derrah

Instructor Biography

Originally from the United States, Rick Derrah has an M.Ed. from Boston College focused on secondary-level education, an M.A. from Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and a Ph.D. in Education from Temple University. His dissertation investigated challenges facing high school teachers in Japan. In the United States, he held a high school teaching certification and taught in a public high school. In Japan, he worked as an ALT and took teacher education classes at Kwansei Gakuin University. After receiving his junior and senior high school license he worked as a fully licensed teacher in a private junior and senior high school for eight years in the Kansai area of Japan. Currently he is an associate professor at a university in Osaka.

This course is developed and delivered in partnership with RCS.

Established in 1989, RCS was the first company to dispatch ALTs to public schools in Japan. Pioneering the industry, the RCS founders shared their insights to grow the industry into what is now an integral part of Japan’s education system. RCS ALTs are mainly placed in public schools throughout the Kanto region of Japan. Their motto, ‘Connect, Motivate, Inspire,’ reflects the company’s ongoing pursuit of transforming the kids in Japan of today, into the leaders of the future.