Teaching English in Japan with TEFL
Ben Wilton

Teaching English in Japan with TEFL: Graduate Feature

March 22, 2018

August 2012 Costa Rica TEFL graduate Ben Wilton has spent the last six years using his TEFL certificate to teach English all over the world. Here’s an update he sent us in 2015:

“After graduating from the Costa Rica TEFL program in August of 2012, I taught English for one year at Idioma Internacional in San José. During that year, I commuted to various businesses around San José to teach English to Costa Rican professionals. I also had the opportunity to teach a weekly high school class at a nearby colegio. During my free time I traveled around Costa Rica, discovering the magnificent beaches and lush rainforests that the country is renowned for.

In February of 2013, I began volunteering for a program called ‘Alpacri.’ This program was started by two Nicaraguan friends of mine. The program gave Nicaraguan immigrants living in San José the chance to get together weekly to learn English, make friends, and celebrate their rich culture through dance, poetry, music, and fellowship. I volunteered to teach them English and lead them in singing English songs.

Teaching English in Costa Rica


Following a wonderful year in Costa Rica, I was offered a position to work for Westgate in Japan, a company that places teachers at universities throughout the greater Tokyo area. To date, I have worked teaching English at four different universities: Toyo, Oberlin, Japan Women’s University, and Tokyo University of Technology. Teaching university students has been a wonderful learning experience and a lot of fun. During my down time, I’ve been able to travel to different parts of Japan, explore Tokyo, and experience the wonders of Japanese culture.

After spending two years in Tokyo, I returned to the United States, where I worked as the Head ESL Coordinator for GPI US in Portland, Oregon. GPI brings high school students from Japan to the US for a homestay program. My job was to plan and teach ESL classes and chaperone the students on field trips.

I decided to return to Japan to work with Westgate again after two years back in the US. During my first term back, I worked as a senior instructor, developing curriculum and substituting for the company when needed. Being a senior instructor was a great experience, but after one semester I decided I wanted to be back in the classroom working regularly with students, so I returned to the Tokyo University of Technology.”

tefl, tesol, tesl, teachingabroad, teachingincostarica

This semester Ben begins teaching his fourth term at Tokyo University of Technology, “a place I’m familiar with and where I enjoy working,” Ben tells us. Having discovered a passion for teaching ESL, he’s now applying for a TESOL graduate program at Portland State University in Oregon. Despite being unsure of where his grad school application will land him, Ben’s excitement about teaching ESL is contagious and inspiring, and we eagerly await another update!

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