There are 2 positions available for UK graduates on the JET Programme: Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) and Coordinator for International Relations (CIR).


The majority of JET Programme participants work as Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs), assisting with English teaching in schools across Japan. As an ALT your role will be to assist Japanese Teachers of English rather than to lead classes on your own.

Duties may include:

However, the exact nature of the ALT position can depend on numerous factors such as the number of schools visited, frequency of visits and the differing approaches of JTEs.

No two situations are the same and therefore a flexible attitude is essential.

Japanese school children begin formally studying English at the age of 10 in their fifth year of Elementary School and continue to do so throughout Junior High School. At 15 years of age, 95% of students progress to Senior High School and the vast majority continue to study English there for another three years.

English teaching in Japan has traditionally focused more on reading and writing skills than on oral communication. Even at Senior High School level, students’ spoken English is generally quite basic.

As an ALT, you will play a key role in promoting communicative training in the classroom. Contact with an ALT also provides your students with a valuable chance to become familiar with another culture.


Applicants with a high level of written and spoken Japanese (at least JLPT level 2/N2 or equivalent*) can apply to work as CIRs, assisting in local government offices with international activities at a local level.

Duties may include:

Japanese interest in international exchange has never been greater. Coordinators for International Relations work with their Japanese colleagues to promote and develop exchange activities at a local level.

This could mean working on projects to bring Japanese into contact with local foreign residents, or developing relations between the contracting town, city or prefecture and the CIR’s home country. Many towns and cities in Japan are linked with a sister city abroad, and a CIR may work to strengthen links with a sister city.

* Please see this link for more information regarding the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT). It is not necessary for CIR applicants to hold the JLPT Level 2/N2 certificate as long as they have the required level of Japanese. CIR interviews are conducted in Japanese and include a thorough evaluation of Japanese language ability. If you are unsure as to whether your level of Japanese is suitable for the CIR position, please telephone the JET Desk and ask to speak to the Programme Coordinator who will be happy to evaluate your Japanese ability.

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