Friday, March 23, 2018

Annual ALT transition period

The academic year transition in Japan

Financial dry season

As academic calendar transitions schools go into spring break, graduation ceremonies are held.
For ALTs (Assistant Language Teachers/ a common job for foreigners in Japan) this means the dispatch companies will enter a new round of competitive bidding to get contracts to provide services for the boards of education. There is also a break in employment for those teachers.
During this break time many people are looking for new employment and facing an uncertain future.

Below is a chart featuring 6-years of data (starting May of 2012) provided by a [foreign/non-Japanese] English teacher showing the fluctuating monthly income that goes with the job in Japan. Note the different colors that each represent a different employer and the cyclical nature of income which has major valleys around this spring break. Also note the various bar segments that indicate unequal levels of pay from primary employers which lead to more diversified multi-employer situations.

Job hunting season

Now is the time when people search for new jobs. For most people this means searching the internet for jobs that employers advertise on the public market. But the best jobs are filled by word-of-mouth among acquaintances, which means that socializing among colleagues is an important part of surviving in Japan. The low tier jobs have a constant stream of people passing out of the revolving door.

With this period of free time, there is an opportunity to pursue as many possible venues of employment as possible to find the best available offers.
Interviewing for a number of jobs, you are bound to find some interesting interview questions. You can also collect some interesting information from interviewers.

Below are some examples questions and tests that are given to English teacher applicants:

Grammar Tests

This test involved correcting a series of sentences. Red letters are added here as a hint.

  1. Bob went to the supermarket to by some grapes, but there wasn't none.
  2. The President would like all foreigners to go to the asembly at three o'clock.
  3. There are many deers in the forest and they all like to eat green grass.
  4. Peter is do really well in class and he make the learning environment fun for the rest of the class.

Filling in the blank with the best word

1. Bob bought some (         ) shoes, and now he is lacking in funds.
a) cheap
b) expensive
c) fancy
d) dirty

2. Terry is a (      ) person, and he is never late.
a) puncture
b) punctual
c) personable
d) punishing

3. Dinosaurs became (       ) millions of years ago.
a) examined
b) engraved
c) extinct
d) enjoyed

4. The (        ) mind was lucid during the evaluation.
a) patient
b) patient's
c) patients'
d) patients

Filling in the black with the best expression

1. I'm so tired I ________  for a week.
a)  can sleep
b) could sleep
c) could have slept
d) can't sleep

2. Why did you stay at a hotel when you were in Paris? You ____ with me.
a) could stay
b) can stay
c) could have stayed
d) should stay

3. What was the problem? Why __ leave early?
a) had you to
b) did you have to
c) must you
d) you had to

Draw a tree

[For this test you can imagine varying levels of artistic skill being demonstrated but I suspect that the purpose of this test may be to see how efficiently a person can manage their time. Or perhaps there is some sort of psychological classification system for people who choose certain elements. ???]

Comparative and Superlative FORMS

Write the comparative and superlative form for each of these adjectives.
  1. good         better                     best
  2. beautiful   more beautiful      most beautiful 
  3. big            
  4. bad

Past tense and past participle

  1. do             did                      done
  2. find          found                  found
  3. cut
  4. run
  5. say

Japanese Work Culture Test

Which of these are inappropriate ways to spend free time at school?
  1. drink coffee or tea
  2. read a book
  3. play games on your smart phone
  4. listen to music
  5. study Japanese for the JLPT test.
  6. take a quick nap
  7. watch Youtube or use SMS
  8. plan your upcoming lessons
  9. talk on the phone
You forgot to bring your own lunch today. What do you do?
  1. On my free time, I will go out to eat at a restaurant nearby school without permission.
  2. Ask the vice principal for permission to go out for lunch.
  3. Call the office to get permission.
  • You receive a name card from someone, you have to (stand / sit) first, receive the card with (one hand / both hands)...

You feel sick at school and you want to leave school to see a doctor. What do you do?
  1. Ask an English teacher and get permission to leave school early.
  2. Ask the vice-principal and get permission to leave school early.
  3. Ask both the vice-principal and the company and get permission to leave school early.
You have difficulties with one teacher at school. What do you do?
  1. Just endure it.
  2. Report to the principal of the school
  3. Get advice from the company or the person in charge.
Suddenly the HRT left the classroom due to an emergency situation. You are the only teacher in the classroom. What do you do?
  1. Continue the lesson.
  2. Wait for the teacher to come back.
  3. Get another teacher yourself.
  4. Let students call another teacher.
The HRT has a request for the next lesson, however you think it is too easy or not fun for students. What do you do?
  1. Tell your opinion to the HRT and do your own lesson
  2. Follow what the HRT requested.
  3. Suggest your ideas but follow the HRT's request.
A student touches you in an inappropriate manner, or says something inappropriate. Which of the following would be INCORRECT?
  1. Report it to the vice-principal or the company.
  2. Ignore it.
  3. Scold the student.