Teach in Japan
The Wild and Wolly World of "Eikaiwa" With ECC

Looking to teach in Japan with ECC? Got an interview and want to get ready for it? Then read on… ECC is one of the big 5 with branches throughout Japan. With a fairly notorious grammar test and more rigorous standards than the others...

a bit of prep goes a long way towards surviving the test.


Teach in Japan – Your ECC Interview and How it Goes

First off, get prepared for a fairly long ordeal. The interview will last most of the day. (Unlike other large chain schools where you’ll be done in 3 or 4 hours). It all begins with a Q & A session where you can get answers to questions you can’t find on their website. They’ll collect your applications and let you know what their expectations of you are. You’ll also be given a chance to look over their course materials.

Teach in Japan – ECC and the Mock Lesson

Following the interview, you’ll be treated to giving them a sample of your teaching skill. They’ll give you about 15 to 30 minutes to prepare a lesson based on a theme that you’ll be assigned to teach. Your fellow interviewees will serve as your students. So the next question you probably have is, "What will the theme be?" Fairly basic stuff- actually. It could be animals, fruits, numbers, basic verbs, basic adjectives (like big and small) colors. Or actions like standing, sitting, opening your book etc.

Teach in Japan – ECC and What They’re Looking For

The good news is the lesson is only 10 minutes. With only 10 minutes, there’s no time to develop momentum so you need to come out of the gate smokin’ and smilin’ with a solid plan in sync.

Like most other schools where you may teach in Japan, enthusiasm counts big. Be creative, be enthusiastic and show that you want a position. Easy to follow, simple and interesting short lessons are key. This means you should avoid rote-drilling, reading from books etc. For example if you’ve been given shapes to teach, it’s more interesting to have them find rectangular shapes in the classroom (windows, door etc.) than to simply drill it.

Teach in Japan – ECC and the Written Test

If you browse through the forums on how to interview and teach in Japan with ECC, you’ll see everything from “the test being designed to separate those who speak English from those who understand it.” To “the test is used as an excuse to eliminate those with bad personalities.” The truth is probably somewhere in between and depends on the location and those who give it.

Unlike other school that have fairly simple written tests, ECC’s will contain a whopping 100 questions broken into 5 parts. One thing to note is that they are pretty lenient about the pass/fail line so if you’re weak in grammar (for example) it won’t kill you.

The first part will be to identify the error in the sentence. It may be verb tenses “She drink tea with her meals.” Or spelling problems like “You’re the first to recieve an award for fitness.” or “Their are many men who are not great.”

The second part will be spelling of commonly mistaken words and usages. For example, “Your a friend of Mariko’s aren’t you?”

Next up is identifying parts of speech. So you’ll need to know the underlined part of speech is a preposition, adverb or what have you. There also may be fill-in-the-blanks with a "correct verb tense problems" section where you choose from the list of verbs which best completes the sentence.

One of the last pieces will be on terminology used in teaching. This will cover common stuff like introducing dialogues, role-playing, TPR, chain sentence formation etc.

And Finally ECC and the Interview

By far the easier part of the interview will be the actual interview. Usually less than 10 minutes, the personal interview isn’t as difficult as the rapid-fire psychology based stuff that Nova does in their interviews. It’s pretty much cut and dried with questions about where you’d like to live and teach. So be up-beat, be prepared be enthusiastic and you'll be fine!

Related Pages and Some of the Most Common eikaiwas are:

  • Aeon - A monster of a school. 320 branches all over Japan with around 100,000 students under their belt. They focus on adults.
  • Amity - A spin-off of Aeon. It is their children's division with less than 100 schools throughout Japan teaching from toddlers to teens.
  • ALT - The basics on on being an ESL English teacher in the public sector.
  • The Jet Program - Another ALT program. Participating  countries. do's and don'ts especially considering the application procedure.
  • More on The Jet Program - Working conditions, salary, employment locations, health insurance etc.
  • Nova - The basics on working conditions, accommodations and visas / sponsorship.
  • Salary comparison chart for large English schools in Japan. 

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