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Teach Japanese English online: ESL Companies in Japan!

Are you looking to teach Japanese students English online? Here you’ll find the best ESL companies in Japan to teach Japanese students English!

One of the best parts about teaching English online is the ability to be able to connect with students from different countries and cultures! Whilst many online ESL companies such as Magic Ears are based in China and only have Chinese students, there are plenty ESL companies around the world that have students from different countries. For example, Japan and Korea both have several online ESL companies. Whilst these companies are a lot smaller and less well known than the big Chinese ESL companies, and the pay is not quite as good, it can definitely be a good direction to move in, especially seeing as many of the big Chinese ESL companies are closing due to the new Chinese regulations and banning ESL teachers who live outside of China from teaching Chinese students.

In addition, if you want to teach a wide variety of students from different cultures and not just students from one country, or perhaps you’re just looking for secondary source of online income during your free time, Cambly is a great teaching platform to expand your student repertoire. You’ll find many students from The Middle East, South America and Europe. You can teach at any time of the day, your schedule is completely flexible, and lessons are based on informal conversations as opposed to structured curriculum set lessons. CLICK HERE TO START TEACHING WITH CAMBLY!


Best Japanese Teaching English Online ESL Companies:

  • English Everywhere
  • English Hut
  • S-Lessons
  • Cafe Talk
  • E-Communication
  • Cena English
  • Eigox
  • Maininchi Eikaiwa

English Everywhere

English Everywhere is an online ESL company based in Japan. Teaching requirements include having a TEFL/TESOL Certificate, as well as experience teaching children as you will be teaching school-aged children.

Teachers plan their own lessons, which are taught over Skype and last 30 minutes. You are paid via Paypal – with a salary of 800 Yen (around $7.50-$8) per 30 minute lesson. Once you have taught 10 classes you are then paid 900 Yen per 30 minute class – so you can earn around $17 for an hour’s teaching. You don’t need to have a Degree to teach at English Everywhere, so this could be the perfect Japanese ESL company for you if you haven’t got a Degree.

What’s also great about English Everywhere is that not only can native speakers from UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and South Africa apply, but you can also apply if you are a non native speaker with a very neutral accent.

English Hunt

English Hunt is a good teaching English online company in Japan where you can teach adults and children. With English Hunt, the pay is $14.50 per hour directly into your bank. This cuts out the middleman of Payoneer and other money transfer companies which many other ESL companies use, making it simpler for you as you avoid paying any transfer fees. English Hunt do however, only hire native American teachers and only pay into US bank accounts.

Whilst having a Degree is not required to teach for English Hunt, you must have a TEFL/TESOL Certificate or a Teaching Degree. Teachers must commit to a minimum of 10 teaching hours per week.


S-Lessons is another Japanese online ESL company where you teach Japanese children over Skype. Lessons last 25 minutes and you can either do the ‘Regular Course’ which is structured lessons where the teaching material is provided, or the ‘Leave it to Teacher’ lessons where teachers are responsible for creating the teaching material.

Applicants will need to have at least one years’ teaching experience, and teachers set their own rates of pay.

Cafe Talk

Cafe Talk has predominantly Japanese adults as the majority of their students. Most of them will be wanting to improve their communication and business English speaking skills.

Cafe Talk works like a marketplace, so teachers are able to charge what rates they want, as well as set their own schedule. To teach English to Japanese students on Cafe Talk you will need to be a native English speaker and teaching experience is preferable. No Degree is required.


Like Cafe Talk, the Japanese students at E-Communication are often adults who are wanting to improve their Business English skills. You will however, need at least 2 years teaching experience, as well as two years experience teaching Business English. Pay is between $16-20 per hour, paid via Paypal.

Cena English

Like English Everywhere, Cena English teachers teach English online to professional Japanese adults over Skype. Lessons are 25 minutes long and are more conversation based. The pay for Cena English is $9 per 25 minute class, or $18 for 50 minutes teaching. Note that teachers will need to commit to 20 hours teaching per week, so take this into account if you only want to teach English as a side hustle.

Like English Hunt though, Cena English only accepts native US teachers. A Bachelor’s Degree is preferred (but not essential), however a TESOL/TEFL Certificate and experience teaching English is necessary.


Eigox is another online ESL company where you can teach English to Japanese students over Skype. Teachers from UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia can apply and the rate is $5 for a 25 minute lesson, which is a fair bit lower than the other Japanese online teaching ESL companies mentioned above. Teachers from The Philippines can also apply, however they receive a much lower rate of pay at $1.50 per 25 minute session (the logic being that The Philippines is much cheaper to live in than the other countries).

What’s slightly different about Eigox is that teachers are responsible for providing teaching materials. A class can involve free-talking (conversation classes), or a more structured lesson, depending on the student’s preferences. A minimum of 10 hours a week teaching is required to teach at Eigox.

Maininchi Eikaiwa

Another Japanese online ESL company is Maininchi Eikaiwa. Maininchi Eikaiwa hires native English speaking teachers from the USA, UK, Canada, Australia and South Africa. Teachers are required to have a Degree as well as at least 6 months teaching experience. A TEFL/TESOL/CELTA is also preferred but not essential to get hired with Maininchi Eikaiwa.

Pay is between $10-18 per hour, and payment transfers are done monthly via Paypal. To work with Maininchi Eikaiwa you will need to be available for 3 consecutive hours for 5 days a week. Lessons last for 50 minutes ($14 for 50 minutes pay) and are taught over Skype. Like Eigox, teachers at Maininchi Eikaiwa will need to be planned by the teacher.

Tips To Help You Teach English Online To Japanese Students

In the Japanese culture, students are taught to be extremely respectful and polite to their teachers. Japanese students generally tend to be more reserved or shy than Western students for example, and in Japan it is seen as an embarrassment if you make a mistake (much more so than in Western Society). Therefore Japanese students are often extremely nervous about making mistakes when they are speaking English. Japanese people are typically not comfortable making errors, so you will need to reassure them it is okay to make mistakes in your lessons, and create a nurturing environment for them to learn to the best of their ability. Some Japanese students may even act like they don’t something, as they think they know the answer but they aren’t sure, and don’t want to look silly making a mistake. Learning a foreign language can be extremely daunting after all.

As Japanese people typically really want to avoid making mistakes, they may even just sometimes tell you they understand what you are talking about, when in reality they don’t. Therefore it is always a good idea to ask questions to check their understanding.

When teaching different nationalities, you will soon start to realise that certain nationalities struggle with certain sounds when they are learning English. For example when speaking English, many native Spanish speakers always seem to place an ‘e’ before words starting with ‘s’. For Japanese speakers, they often have a hard time distinguishing between the ‘r’ and the ‘l’ sound in English, and often pronounce them the same. Knowing these types of errors of certain nationalities helps you to address and correct certain common pronunciation errors quickly.


What You Need To Do Before You Can Start To Teach English To Japanese Students Online:

Before you apply to Japanese online ESL English Teaching companies, there are a few things you must do:

  1. Get your TEFL/TESOL Certificate

Most, if not all ESL Teaching Online companies in Japan require that you have at least a basic TEFL certificate. So before you apply to teach English with any ESL companies in Japan, make sure you have your TEFL/TESOL certificate. You can find accredited TESOL courses online for as low as $19 with International Open Academy – and they can be completed over a weekend! Of course these are the most basic TEFL Certificates you can get, and you can do more comprehensive TEFL/TESOL courses that are more expensive and more time consuming, but they cover a lot more information and are regarded much higher by the ESL companies. If you plan to teach in a bricks and mortar English language school overseas, you will need to have one of these more in-depth courses under your belt. If however, you only want to teach online, the cheaper TEFL courses are substantial enough. Make sure though that you select an accredited TEFL/TESOL course – if you pick a poor quality course this may go against you in your application. It can be quite overwhelming to decide which course to pick, but I can recommend I-to-i TEFL, Bridge Partner TELF and International Open Academy for their TEFL courses.

2. Learn basic skills of Online ESL Teaching

Teaching ESL online, and especially to children, can be a lot different to teaching in a physical classroom. There are several things you will need to demonstrate in your mock class to pass. For example, TPR (Total Physical Response) is huge in the online ESL world when teaching children. If you fail to do any TPR in your mock class you probably won’t make it through to the next stage. Total Physical Response is basically using actions and gestures to describe what you are talking about – for example making the gestures ‘short’ or ‘long’ with your hands. TPR is done to help the student understand learn new words and sentences. Other examples of Total Physical Response include doing a thumbs up when you are happy, pointing to your mouth when you want the students to listen to what you are saying, and cupping your hand to your ear when you want the student to talk or repeat what you have just said.

Other things such as positively correcting errors, modelling and scaffolding and extension are also important to learn before you apply to teach English online. And of course don’t forget that you need to bring lots of energy to the class!

3. Computer with a webcam and headphones with a microphone

4. Fast and reliable internet

Often during your interview a test will be done to check the speed of your internet to ensure it won’t cause problems and lags during your lessons.

5. Often you will need a Degree and previous online teaching experience.

Most online ESL companies (not just in Japan) will require you to have a Degree. It doesn’t matter what the Degree is in – it doesn’t have to be in teaching, just so long as you have a Degree. Don’t despair if you don’t have one though – there are still some online ESL companies that hire teachers without a Degree – for example English Everywhere.

Peak Teaching Hours for ESL Teaching English Online in Japan

Another really important factor to consider is the difference between your time zone and the time in Japan. The peak teaching hours for Japanese students are during their evenings and weekends (basically when they are not at school/work). Therefore teachers working with Japanese ESL online teaching English companies need to be available during these times. If you are based in Asia or Australia, the time zone will be very similar to that of Japan (which is GMT+8). However, if you are on the West Coast of the United States, there could be so much as a 16 hour difference between you and Japan, which would mean you would be required to teach lessons VERY early in the morning! Be prepared for this!

Other Things To Know Before You Teach English Online

Online ESL Teaching Companies can sometimes periodically pause accepting applications depending on the teacher/student demand and ratio. This doesn’t mean that they won’t be hiring again though so definitely don’t feel discouraged if you find this is the case – just check back again in a couple of months to see if they have started rehiring.

Why was my ESL Teaching English Online application rejected?

Many successful online ESL teachers had their applications rejected the first time round, so don’t feel bad if this happens to you. The most common reasons why you won’t have been successful will have been because your interview/mock class/application wasn’t professional and prepared enough, you have a low quality TEFL certificate (or none at all), you have no Degree (if this is a requirement for the company – not all ESL companies require teachers to have a Degree!), or perhaps because you don’t have any prior teaching experience.

If there is one online ESL company you really have your heart on, but they require you to have prior teaching experience, you can always apply to one of the companies that don’t require prior teaching experience, stay with them for a few months and then apply to your dream company when you have got some teaching experience under your belt.

Mount Fuji Japan bucket list Asia Japanese English

Visiting Japan

Of course, Japan is an incredible country, and I hope that you’ll not only be able to teach Japanese students online, but that one day you’ll be able to visit Japan. It is an incredibly beautiful country and one of my favourites in the world (I have visited 75 countries as I was an International Flight Attendant before I got into Online English Teaching!) and I visited it many times – with Mount Fuji (see the above picture!) and Tokyo being my absolute favourite places there! If you are heading to Japan, be sure to read up about the etiquette before you visit – here are 10 things you should know before you visit Japan!


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