Introduction to Teaching English in Japan

Would you like the chance to spend some time in Japan but feel turned off by whistle-stop package tourist trips? If so, teaching English may be the answer. There is no better way to get to know a country than by living and working there. By teaching English you become a part of Japanese society, rather than just an observer looking in.

Teaching English is big business in Japan. Despite the collapse of the so-called bubble economy Japan remains one of the richest and most sophisticated nations on the planet, and this status is largely due to its success in overseas trade and investment. Thus, to get ahead in Japanese society, proficiency in English is a significant advantage. Add to that the fact that being able to speak English is simply considered cool and the huge demand for English teachers becomes clear.

Don’t Japanese people learn English at school?

Yes they do. Usually for 6 years or more. The problem is that, unlike most of the school curriculum, English isn’t taught particularly well. Japanese schools tend to follow traditional teaching methods in which the teacher stands at the front and lectures the class. Students are expected to absorb rather than question. The method produces excellent results for subjects like history and mathematics, but not for communicative, participative skills like language. School English education is likely to consist of lots of reading and writing, lots of grammar practice, but very little – if any – spoken communication.

Do I need to speak Japanese?

Not at all. Of course, if you can pick up a little nihongo (Japanese) it will make your daily life easier, but it won’t help one bit as a teacher. The reason is that the most effective way of teaching language is to use only the target language. Thus the only language used in English lessons is English.

How do I start?

Well, you could simply buy a ticket to Japan and start looking for work. Unfortunately, without a work permit, that strategy is illegal. Unless you have a Japanese spouse you need to find a job that will sponsor you for a visa. It is possible to travel to Japan as a tourist and approach a few of the numerous schools advertising for teachers asking if they are prepared to sponsor your visa application.

It helps to undergo some TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) training before looking for work. Not only will this give you some basic teaching skills and confidence, but it also shows potential employers you are serious about teaching and not just a backpacker looking for some financial re-fuelling.

TEFL courses are advertised in most English speaking countries. The more useful ones are provided by working English schools and offer face-to-face teaching practice with real learners.

Accommodation

If you are employed by the JET program or one of the big English school companies they will more than likely arrange accommodation for you. You are of course free to find your own housing if you so wish.

Living in school-found accommodation has the advantage of an English speaking contact to sort out repairs or other problems. The disadvantage is that it’s difficult to quit a job that may not be for you while living in their accommodation. I have also heard of at least one school that charges its teachers a significant premium over market rental rates for use of its accommodation – so beware!

There are several English speaking accommodation agencies advertising in the free English language press, and these generally provide decent accommodation, but at a price.

An alternative favored by many single English teachers are the so-called “gaijin houses” (literally foreigner’s house). These are basically hostels that rent out basic, but adequately comfortable, rooms mainly to non-Japanese clientele. Usually bathroom, kitchen and sometimes communal sitting room are shared. Gaijin house advertisements are to be found in the free English language press.

Hip Hop Culture and the Rise of Bling

Hip Hop culture has added a variety of terms, fashion trends, music styles and even personalities to the culture at large. Nothing has captured public interest more than “Bling.” The late 1990′s first saw “Bing” come into the general vocabulary. Bling, originally used in several different rap songs of the time, was coined to describe elaborate jewelry and personal accessories that show that the wearer has taste, talent, and lots of cash.

Hip Hop culture has had a tremendous impact on fashion in general, well beyond the world of Hip Hop. Much of what is “cool” today originally derived from the world of Hip Hop. Jewelry has been particularly impacted by Hip Hop.

Bling is now more commonly used to refer specifically to flashy types of jewelry, including earrings, necklaces, watches, body jewelry, rings and grillz (braces and caps for the teeth). Of course it can also include other accessories such as cell phones or even jeweled glasses or purses. Bling is commonly associated with diamonds and other precious gems, and precious metal such as gold and platinum. This term has become so universally accepted it was actually added to Webster’s Dictionary in 2002.

Hip Hop has made ornate jewelry as prevalent for men as for women. The popularity of Hip Hop culture and bling has drawn a lot more attention to larger pieces of jewelry that are selected to become the center of focus, not to just add to the overall outfit. Hip Hop artists can be seen on music videos sporting huge link chains in gold and platinum with large diamond and gem-encrusted pendants. The designs are specifically designed for men, with heavier weight and larger scale.

Bling is big, bling is flashy, and bling is meant to impress. It is meant to symbolize success. The use of various symbols including dollar signs, ornate crosses and other religious symbols, gambling symbols, and even different breeds of dogs and animals are all popular within the Hip Hop jewelry world.

Bracelets and necklaces tend to be very large link or dog collar-type chains, however solid bracelets are also very popular for both men and women. Rings tend to be chunky, wide, and feature multiple small diamond chips or several larger diamonds, either real diamonds or cubic zirconia, depending on your budget, in elaborate patterns and designs. There is a general sense of more is better with regards to wearing Bling. Rarely will you find any piece being worn alone. More typically, pieces are worn in multiples.

Jewelry designers outside the Hip Hop world have integrated the concepts of large, heavy, and flashy elements into their own jewelry lines. Over the last ten years jewelry styles have definitely been impacted by the Bling style, becoming larger, bulkier, and more ornate. You can now find Bling-style jewelry everywhere from fine jewelry designers to department stores. Available Bling jewelry ranges from the high-end, in gold and platinum with genuine gem,s to the more affordable, in sterling silver with simulated gems. Today, everyone can sport a little Bling.

Learn The Steps To a Successful E-Commerce Business

Have you ever imagined living a life without cars which means trekking long distances, without tractors and the likes which means tilling the soil with hoes, without basically the things that’ll make living easier and enjoyable but all thanks to technology and its inventions we have everything at our finger tips. And yes this has widened our horizon and everyone thinks it’s amazing owning a business cause once technology is involved, it can be swift and interesting.

We have various kind of businesses that have thrived and survived but our focus here is E-commerce and what is entailed setting up such. Its true there are many benefits that come with owning a business like being called a C.E.O or M.D, having that big catchy brand name, great siting of business premises with its frivolities, flamboyance and of course the most sought after which is the ‘steady profit and income’. But many a times, focus is lost as to the issues and difficulties encountered alongside the startup, let’s have a quick overview of e-commerce.

What Is E-commerce?

Have you at one point in time purchased shoes or clothes via the internet, sold your phone or gadget using your laptops or even had one or two bank transactions using the online method? If yes, you’ve taken part in e-commerce, if no then stay tuned as it’s served you now. E-commerce is an abbreviation of electronic commerce which can be defined as a platform, method or business model established for sellers and buyers for the sole purpose of carrying out business transactions of buying and selling through electronic medium. And stores that function by selling their products online are referred to as electronic commerce (e-commerce) stores and we have them around us. This platform allows customers to successfully exchange goods and services without the time or distance barrier coming between the parties involved and this has helped bring about good customer base and fostered unity across the globe.

Starting-up Your Successful E-commerce Business.

Starting up a successful e-commerce has a lot entailed as there are many things to look out for while starting up, you need to get started in the right direction so there won’t be mistakes that could sabotage your idea and pursuits; Let’s have a run through.

a. Have Your Idea Ironed Out and Processed

For you to think of starting out your business you have an idea of what exactly you’re bringing to the world aside the funds or capital to start. Do you intend going into clothes, gadgets, automobiles or what precisely? When this is thought out and processed successfully then you’re on your way to having a successful business.

b. There Are Various Types Of E-commerce

When starting up, you have to understand that there are various types of e-commerce businesses in the world today so this would determine what type your idea falls into. Note the very common types below;

B2B: The b2b model is called the business to business model and this is when a business is selling to other businesses across the globe thus the prices are low and given out at wholesale prices to help the purchasing business encounter some profit too.

B2C: The b2c model is called the business to customer model and this is when businesses open for the sole aim of selling to customers. So if you find yourself opening or starting up your e-commerce or online store then it’s most likely this category it falls into.

C2C: The c2c model is called the consumer to consumer model and this is when consumers are selling to other consumers. This is better known as when average people sell products they own be it second hand or used, whatever way it is it’s a consumer to consumer interaction and thus has its uniqueness as the above mentioned types. Once this is settled and you know the type you intend running or starting up then you have to do what’s next.

c. The Right Domain Name and Web Designer Is Vital

Purchasing a domain name is very important as this is the web address people input to find your website, and finding a good hosting would help promote your business to the level you anticipate it to get to. More so, a good designer who has special experience in e-commerce website building is vital so as to have both a touch of professionalism and good customer interaction arena. Never make the mistake of creating one yourself because this is just the beginning of failure, so never be cheap. Invest and sit while it works wonders.

d. Stay Legit

There is nothing as good as legitimacy when it comes to business startup as this would help avoid many issues that could arise in the future to crumble the business you would say you spent a long time building. Remember the type of legal business entity you’ve settled for would determine the kind of legal involvements and taxes associated and even the insurance that would help yours thrive and survive amongst many that may start up alongside yours. Thus, getting a good attorney does the trick as he helps you with the legal backing and if you have vendors involved in your business, you definitely would need a vendors license from your local state agency. Secure the business in advance and sit back while the initial struggle pays off in the long run.

e. The Best Theme Works

For every good business to flourish online, there has to be a good theme that would get the attention of your visitors and customers which would make them come back again and again. Make them come back? Yes, make them come back and stay. Thus the best theme and layout should work the magic. You don’t know how to go about getting that? Check for good websites that can aid your theme purchase and acquisition as this saves time, money and is stress free. Go for the best.

f. Have Your Customers At Heart

One of the reasons why businesses fail is because there is a wrong focus which is on the profit rather than on the target audience; the customers. Create a good platform for customers to interact on the product of desire before it is purchased. Use quality images to showcase your products with correct details to sell it to them. Patience and understanding I would say is the key to having your customers and keeping them on your site.

g. Never Forget The Payment Access and Input

This is very important as I’m certain you aren’t giving out your services for free. There has to be a secure payment service be it through Pay-pal or any other method of payment but what’s important is that it is secure and working adequately. This may take a while to process as it deals with Privacy Policy, Return Policy and all that determines your shipping and delivery functionalism so be patient so you wouldn’t have to run at loss be it now or later. Nobody wants futile efforts.

h. A Tip Of The Ice Berg Doesn’t Hurt

While at the setup process and all, why not give your visitors and future customers a tip of the ice-berg? A tip or two wouldn’t hurt. Use themes like coming and other related terms to publicize your soon to be e-commerce platform. This helps create awareness in the mind of users and enables them go through what the intended offer would include as this keeps them talking and anticipating the big drop.

i. Go Over The Launch Process Again and Again

Although it is said humans are not perfect but we aim at perfectionism to bring about the best thus testing, testing and testing is very important. It would be disastrous to launch a website and the user interface is non-functional. Go through the site yourself presuming you’re the customer and see how it goes, this would help know the kind of impression your customers would have about the site in progress. We don’t want to stress our customers or frustrate them, therefore test, test and test again.

j. Make Use Of The Right Social Platform

Using the right social platform aids in the successful run of your business as this helps to promote your goods and services aside the use of your website. When these social accounts are properly set up and handled, you’re on the go to giving the best. Therefore never rule out the importance of social media because it helps the world know about you and connections around the world and among individuals is realized.

k. Tracking Is A Necessity

Never forget that helping your customers track their goods is essential because you would be dealing with people outside your locality and even across the globe. These method helps to ensure their goods arrive safe and secure, never forget it’s a necessity.

l. Be Focused And Stay Positive

Having a positive mindset is essential to having a successful business. Stay focused and know their you’re your greatest competitor. Competition and competitors would sprout but never lose focus as you’d excel more than you can imagine. Remember the sky is your starting point and you never rushed up your set up so you’re in for the best. Go commercial already, get started!

Conclusion

The only person who can stop you from actualizing your dreams and maximizing your potentials is you. Never stop believing in your self and the things you can accomplish, trust me it’s never too late to start and you’re never a failure if you fail but you become one if and only if you stop trying. It’s never too late to become that independent person you’ve always wanted to be. Believe in yourself, you can do it.

What Does the Word Website Designer Stand For?

Today anyone seems to call themselves web designer just because the learned to create a web site.

Is it traditional graphic design involved or is it just experts on programs like Flash, Dreamweaver, etc. who call themselves designers?

One guy looking for work told me he had a web design education and when I looked at his work it was like 5 pages crap made in FrontPage!

For me as an art director and graphic designer it all seems a bit strange. I have spent years in art- and advertising classes, over 30 years in the advertising business in Sweden and Spain and I’m still not sure I can use that title. Even if I have designed hundreds of websites last 10 years.

So be aware when you looking for help, with internet anyone seems to be whatever they like and advertise their services, trust them or not. You will never know for sure.

Today I saw the following ad in a local magazine: “We design web sites for 130EUR”. That guy must be something of a superman. Or is the education these days so fantastic that you can learn it all in a few years?

The “Graphic design” education is just a small part in building your web site.

The natural way was (back in the 80:s in Stockholm) that your advertising agency produced your website and designed it so it fit your company’s profile. A few years later a lot of digital production companies started, but still with people educated in the advertising business.

Short after that anyone with money could buy a computer, copy machines and some colour printers and start a Copy shop without any education in advertising. Unfortunately they after a while also offered help in layout and design.

That’s where we are today. Anyone with a computer can offer you anything online.

It’s up to you to find out who they are.