Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) Jobs in Japan

What is an ALT?

An ALT or Assistant Language Teacher is a title coined by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT for short). ALT is used to describe native-level English speakers working in Japanese classrooms.  

ALT Responsibilities & Duties


  • ALTs work in a wide range of schools throughout Japan, including elementary, junior and senior high schools
  • They may be expected to lead their own classes, accompanied by a Japanese teacher to help manage students
  • Or, they may be supporting the Japanese teacher, depending on the lesson and the teacher’s teaching style
  • ALTs are more than teaching assistants – they encourage children to develop a more international worldview
  • Outside the classroom, they interact with students at extracurricular events like sports days or festivals 

An ALT’s job combines a language instructor and a cultural ambassador. These aspects of an ALT role are inseparable. After a comprehensive initial training programme, you will become familiar with aspects of assistant language teaching.

ALT Facts

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The largest segments of ALTs are those who originate from North America, followed by Europe, Oceania, Asia.

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Interac ALTs are 55% male and 45% female.

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The average age of our ALTs is 32.9.

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The average length of service is 2.96 years, and our longest serving teacher has been with us for 25 years.

How do ALTs help students in Japan?

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The main duty of an Assistant Language Teacher is to help students communicate better, through fun and engaging lessons. 


Utilising our ALT training programme with level-appropriate teaching techniques, combined with language that motivates and guides your students, ALTs enrich the students’ lessons. ALTs may also participate in extracurricular activities directed by Interac, as well as ongoing training and meetings.

Assistant Language Teachers also serve as ambassadors to promote cultural understanding and international communication. Being an ALT is more than just teaching, you’re a window to the world for your students and community while being friendly and approachable.

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Our Assistant Language Teachers

Interac is Japan’s largest private provider of ALTs. Thousands have chosen Interac throughout the years, including:

  • ALTs who join Interac from outside Japan, often recent university graduates in their twenties
  • ALTs who apply from within Japan, who tend to be slightly later in their career with more teaching experience
No matter what stage of life you’re in, or your background, or your country of origin, our ALTs are flexible, open-minded and always have a sense of adventure. Our ALTs join from all over the world, with years of experience in other positions ranging from law to advertising. We have teachers from over 80 nationalities at Interac.   
Many of our ALTs are assigned to at least two school levels. The most common pairing for an ALT to be teaching is at elementary schools as well as junior schools, with more time given to junior high school teaching throughout their roles.
As an ALT, your employer is Interac. Although your daily work is at a school, you are not a member of that school’s staff, and all employment-related matters (salary, schedule, holidays) are managed through the company. You can reach out to the staff at your Interac branch for support when you need it.

A day in the life of an ALT

An Interac Assistant Language Teacher’s day is scheduled for around 25 classes a week. Classes in Japanese schools are usually around 40-50 minutes long. Teachers in ALT positions typically work between 8am and 5pm.


Weekends, evenings, and public holidays are normally free for our ALTs. Occasionally, there may be special events on weekends or holidays that require attendance, such as being assigned to help out at a school’s special events, such as a Cultural Festival or helping with Sports Day.


How do ALTs help teachers in Japan?

ALTs play a vital role in Japan. They assist Japanese teachers, making English classes fun with songs or games, and giving students a chance to practise English with a native speaker. 


ALTs can’t discipline students, manage a class alone, or mark work at home. However, they can help students develop as individuals and have a more open view of the world around them, while also helping students to prepare for exams, even effectively leading and facilitating classes.


Teachers appreciate the extracurricular support ALTs can provide, such as helping with plays or sports days. ALTs may also help out with other teacher and student tasks, like tidying the school or grading essays – it depends on your placement.


ALT positions we’re hiring for

Backed by the support of one of the best English teaching companies in Japan, ALTs have the confidence to settle into a new local community. Play taiko drums, learn the ancient art of Japanese archery, or participate in the local summer festival! 


Learn new skills and live new experiences that will stay with you forever, long after you end your time being an ALT.


Whether you’re looking to grow as a teacher or for international work experience, we will support your journey, all the way.


Apply and join Interac to enrich the lives of hundreds of school children as an ALT.


As you’d imagine, ALT positions in places like Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka are in high demand. Although we will consider your preference, it’s best to be flexible and open to various locations. Many of our placements are in rural areas of Japan.

Students in Japanese schools range across Elementary (6 to 12 years old), Junior High (12 to 15 years old), and Senior High (15 to 18 years old). With Interac, you’re most likely to teach a mixture of Elementary and Junior High students, with more emphasis on Junior High. Our current exact split is Preschool/Kindergarten 7%, Elementary 46%, Junior High 37% and Senior High 10%.

The average Interac ALT stays with us for around 3 to 4 years. However, our most senior ALT has been with us for over 20 years! Unlike JET and some other companies, there is no “term limit” with Interac, so you may teach English in Japan with us as an ALT for a long time.

Elementary and junior high schools typically have school lunch available for the ALT to enjoy as well. There are some schools and circumstances where an ALT might have to bring their own lunch instead. Additionally, school lunch does not offer any choice for dietary restrictions (e.g. allergies, vegetarian, halal, gluten-free, etc.)., and so if there are foods you’re unable to eat, you will need to bring your own lunch instead (typically something healthy and handmade, as opposed to store-bought).

Helpful articles for ALTs in Japan