Is it your dream to teach English in Japan?

About Me


(You might be wondering)

Who are you anyway?

The day I moved to Japan, it was still dark out as I rode the bus to the airport, then it started snowing – in March. This is unusual for Portland, Oregon and was the first snow that winter.

I wasn’t freaking out yet, but about a week later, I corrected a new friend. He said, “You sure don’t look like you’re freaking out.” I told him, “I’m like an m&m: solid on the outside but all melty on the inside.”

It’s not for everyone, but I had a life changing experience my first year teaching English in Japan, despite freaking out temporarily while things were in transition.

I will teach you how to get a job teaching English in Japan and answer the top questions you have about if it’s the job for you.

I want to help people to make the right decision about coming to Japan (or not). Please comment with questions if you don’t find what you’re looking for in The Searcher.

I’d love to hear why you’re interested in teaching ESL, why you want to live in Japan, and your questions about teaching English in Asia.

I wrote a Kindle ebook  (PDF version) during the first year I worked in Japan, made up of sent emails describing what was going on in my new living abroad life.

My Experience

I’ve taught English as a Second Language at public junior high and elementary schools (ALT), preschools, conversation schools (eikaiwa), freelance private and small group lessons, plus at camp in Japan. I’ve taught at two camps in S. Korea and at private ESL schools and ESL camps in the United States. (I’ve also taught zine workshops and tutored English in Hong Kong.)

Japan is my favorite, so after almost three years in America, I came back to work in public schools again. I’m currently in Kyushu, near Fukuoka city. After a short time working at a junior high school again as well as four elementary schools, I was ready for something new. Working at five schools is a little crazy! Freelance teaching and part time ALT work is a good fit for me right now.

I offer a discount for the 150 hour online TESOL Certificate I got through Midwest Education Group. If you register for their course, mention you heard about it from “hello alissa” and use the code “Tesol@Chicago” for $20 off. (Be sure you read my article about TESL certificates first.)

Thank you for reading and say hi sometime!


3 comments on “About Me

  1. Masaki Suzuki
    December 16, 2015

    HI there! I’m glad you are having a good time there in Japan! I was born and raised in Japan but I moved to the US, and it’s been about 4 years since I came over here.

    I’m an English major and looking to become a translator/interpreter. I’m also interested in teaching Japanese. I know this is sort of a vague question, but what is it like to teach your mother tongue in a foreign country? What obstacles have you gone through so far? I’m sure teaching Japanese in the US is not going to be the same experience but I’d like to know! Looking forward to hearing from ya!


    • helloalissa
      January 4, 2016

      Sorry for the delay in replying and thank you for the comment.
      I think it depends on the situation and the person, but I really enjoy helping students learn English. It feels natural because I’m using English and also feels like meaningful work. It’s sometimes surreal that I can earn a good salary just because English is my native language, without much teaching skill.
      The obstacles are the different education system in Japan compared with teaching practices at more conversation focused private schools I taught at in America. It can sometimes be challenging if I try to do things my own way.
      When I was in the US, I was tutored by a Japanese university student practicing to become a teacher. She loved explaining Japanese grammar and drilling me to get the pronunciation and verb changes correct. I’m really thankful there are people like you interested to teach others Japanese or do translations. It takes a lot of patience and hard work!


  2. Pingback: Hello again! | helloalissa

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This entry was posted on December 15, 2015 by in Living in Japan, Teaching English and tagged , , , , , , , .

My ebook, No Time For Love

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