Talk:Assistant Language Teacher

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Merge with JET Programme?[edit]

This should really be merged and redirected to JET Programme. Exploding Boy 17:13, Apr 26, 2005 (UTC)

  • I would disagree... the JET Programme is starting to slow, and many towns/villages are turning to so-called "Private AETs." Not to mention, many people refer to people who work for NOVA, ECC, etc as AETs. If anything, this article should be made a little less JET-centric. That's my two cents anyhow. Yoroshiku. Jeshii 03:40, May 23, 2005 (UTC)
  • I agree, the article as stands has a significant JET POV. Use of non-JET Programme ALT's is spreading in Japan and I am wondering if the term ALT may be used in other countries as well. The Hokkaido Crow 13:33, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

This article reads more like a list of Union grievances against dispatch companies, and doesn't say much about the ALT system, or the nature of the work. 04:05, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

There are not many JET program ALTs these days. Most ALTs are hired through dispatch companies at much lower pay and fewer benefits now. Ghostofnemo (talk) 13:08, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

Definition of JET/ALT[edit]

A person who usually comes over to Japan and makes an ass out of him or herself by doing gymnastics on the subway or singing and dancing in public while his friends shake their heads in shame and embarassment.

Interac and the LDS church[edit]

I've heard the rumor that Interac is owned and run by the Mormon church, and it may very well be true, but such claims need to be properly sourced. According to Wikipedia:Reliable sources, "Posts to bulletin boards, Usenet, and wikis, or messages left on blogs, should not be used as sources. This is in part because we have no way of knowing who has written or posted them, and in part because there is no editorial oversight or third-party fact-checking." Until reliable sources are supplied, the material should not be added to the article. — BrianSmithson 02:29, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

The same anonymous user added some links that show that Interac is owned or affiliated with a company called Selnate, but none of those links show that Selnate or Interac is owned by the LDS church. This information has thus been removed once again. -- BrianSmithson 01:37, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
Again, we have links showing that Selnate owns Interac and that Selnate recruits through Brigham Young University. None of the links provided shows that Interac or Selnate are owned by the LDS church (and a link to an Amazon book page doesn't cut it). Do you have a quote from this book that says that Interac is owned by the Mormons? If so, then there's no problem. As it is, though, you're making leaps of logic that aren't borne out by the sources you're providing. Per WP:V and WP:RS, this isn't acceptable in the encyclopedia. — BrianSmithson 08:31, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Of course it is hard to prove black on white that Interac is owned by LDS. Interac/Selnate avoids to state that obvious connection because it would obviously be bad PR for them. It might even get them in trouble with their main client. The Japanese government. A religious group not only feeding but almost controling the stream of English teachers for Japanese Schools? This is food for newspapers and substantially dangerous for Interac. Also, which teacher wants to work for the mormons?

However, it is proven that Interac is owned by Selnate who runs Maxceed and Selti. clearly states it. And it is obvious that American Selnate with its headquarters in Mormon capital Provo Utah - incident? No Selnate's offices are at the BYU University - and the mormon University BYU work together.

It is a proven fact that the mormon church engages in the very same business in China. As for the comment about LOTs of rumours. This is clearly an Interac manager trying to protect his company.

Cast accusations against me all you want. Wikipedia's policies are there for a reason, and if you want to take issue with them, this is not the appropriate place to do so. I will continue to remove any rumors added to the article until such a time as a reliable source is found to support those rumors (and one that does not require leaps of logic as the ones you have provided). Now back to the temple to plot the overthrow of the world and laugh evilly. — BrianSmithson 10:57, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
That was not against you, it was against the ALT company manager writing below. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 11:38, 13 January 2007 (UTC).

I think this is proof enough though: Interac is "owned, operated and controlled by a prominent LDS family in Japan".

Sorry, but this is not a reliable source per Wikipedia's guidelines. There is no indication that there is any editorial oversight of this webpage. In fact, the disclaimer implies that there is none: "The information in the Lost Parent Pages has been posted by a left behind parent who claims that it is accurate." I'm fully in favor of including information about LDS owning Interac, but you're going to have to do better than that. — BrianSmithson 11:04, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

How about this: Roice is co-founding manager of Interac-Japan, one of the largest training organizations in Japan. Roice Krueger is an ultra Mormon

That establishes that one of the co-founders of Interact is a Mormon, not that Interac is owned by the LDS church. Someone's religious and business life can be separate; you need to find something that explicitly states that this is not the case with Interac. — BrianSmithson 11:15, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Brian, this is getting kind of ridiculous. A co-founding manager IS an owner. And mormonism is not just some private religious belief. It's a lifestyle. If you've ever been to Utah you know what I mean. Keep in mind that 10 percent of every obedient Mormon's income is given to his church unhesitatingly, because he is confident that he is giving to God. And Roice is not just some member, according to his profile Roice is an "Elder" which is not just an older member or something. Elder is a Mormon euphemism that actually means missionary:

Elder. Definition: The proper title given to holders of the Melchizedek Priesthood. The title is used for members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the First Quorum of the Seventy and for full time missionaries. Pronunciation: [L-dur] • (noun) Also Known As: Missionary. Examples: To serve a mission, a man must become an Elder and receive the Melchizedek Priesthood.

Which underlines one more time what has been stated in an earlier version of the article. Interac was founded by two Elders (=Mormon missionaries) as an covered mission of the LDS church. As it is forbidden to actively recruit church members, Interac started as a phony English for free institution teaching LDS vocabulary as regular English. All sponsored by the LDS church. In the mean time Interac is a mainly a money maker for LDS Japan. However, a great number of LDS teachers come from BYU, which, as you know are 95% mormons.

You've established that Interac is owned by a Mormon with the title of Elder and that it recruits through BYU. If you want to add that information, go ahead. The rest of your conclusions, while defensible, are your own interpretations, and thus are not appropriate for the encyclopedia (per Wikipedia:No original research). — BrianSmithson 09:14, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

The titles are quite important. Elder means missionary. But I've got more for you. Once you start reading the Japanese stuff it gets really good. The current President and other co-founder of Interac is called Yasuo Niiyama. He is another Elder ranked Mormon that goes by the title of "President".

That's also good circumstantial evidence. You should write a book about this. :) But it's still drawing a conclusion, which Wikipedia is not allowed to do. I think we're justified to say that "Interac's founders have ties to the LDS church", but nothing much stronger than that until you find a source that alleges direct ownership of Interact by the LDS church. It's the only way we won't run afoul of WP:NOR policy. — BrianSmithson 22:49, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
It's surprising how hard it can be to get something black on white that is so obvious if you have a little insider knowledge. Now, how would you prove once and for all that Selnate/Interac is owned by the LDS? You need their business registry documents. Yet the business registry documents will not name LDS, they will name Niiyama and Roice (two mormon missionaries). What else do you need? Financial proof. To prove that money goes from Interac to LDS you need to have access to their books or tax declarations. Well, noone can deliver that evidence unless he has access to the accounting. And even then. They will definitely declare their contribution to LDS as a "donation to a religious institution". Which for tax matters is much smarter than just transfering money through ownership. Or how do you think sects and religious groups finance themselves? Maybe I should write that book... Or maybe not. Maybe I should just write a letter to the tax office and the BOE. Or get a journalist on the story. Looking for evidence for the evident I discovered more than I expected... —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 02:55, 16 January 2007 (UTC).

This article has been vandalised by some Interac guy. Please go back to the original version.

      • Ownership of a company by a Mormon, who then takes his/her salary and donates it to a church, does not mean the same thing as a company owned by said church. The LDS Church does not own the entire Marriot chain of hotels, although it is controlled by a prominent Mormon family as well. Same thing for Huntsman_corporation. The Mormon church does own and operate a number of companies outright, and declares themselves to be such owners in articles of incorporation. Interac's founder, owner, and president is a very senior LDS church authority, one of the most senior in Japan. However it goes without saying that almost all Mormon leadership is a "lay ministry," meaning working for the church without compensation while holding a day job. He is actually NOT an Elder but a Seventy. (However such people are typically addressed as "Elder"). You seem to have an axe to grind against Interac for other reasons, and are using this connection to imply that Interac is involved in a sinister plot to brainwash all Japanese children, to make them more susceptible to Mormon missionaries I suppose. You have yet to provide any evidence that their curriculum--all of which is written by non-Mormon staff members or, in most cases, simply adopted from the local BOE's required reading lists--contains any kind of "hidden messages" designed to further Mormon theology. You make these tenuous connections because you are unhappy with Interac for other reasons, and want to somehow make them into something more sinister. They are a company like any other, and not entirely free from making errors of judgement, creating disgruntled employees, or putting other, smaller companies out of business in a free market. That does not make them The Borg. Furthermore, while there are many underground churches operating in China, the LDS Church has absolutely no official policy of subverting official Chinese law with respect to foreign churches. There are LDS branches meeting in the larger cities in China, but attendance at these churches is strictly limited to those holding passports of foreign countries; Chinese nationals are barred from attending (even fully-fledged members who joined the church overseas). There is absolutely no concerted effort to use ESL in China as a back-door attempt to win converts. Can you provide any proof of this at all? ***In the interest of full disclosure, I was never an employee of Interac but I recruited for them for North America from 2004-2006. I did some editing and contributing to the Wikipedia entry on ALTs back in 2006. I also happen to be a Mormon. However, ALL of the management and the overwhelming majority of ALTs employed by Interac are NOT LDS. This is personal information, and thus only belongs on a "talk" page. N8Ma

There is a LOT of rumor taking the place of fact here...[edit]

I work as the manager of a major private ALT providing company in Japan, and a lot of this stuff seems to have been written by ALTs or former ALTs going on common rumor. For example, 250,000 yen a month being an actual minimum wage, etc. I cleaned a bit of it up already.

Also, there is a lot of language seemingly written for the purpose of ALTs instead of the readership at large. Let's make this article more encyclopedic.

I have intimate knowledge on all aspects of this business that a lay ALT typically gets misunderstood, and would be happy to offer any information needed in this article and supply sources to back them up. Please leave a message on my talk page any time. Smoove K 07:31, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

I'm looking at my paycheck right now, for 180,000 yen, and if it weren't irritating (especially since I was told I'd be paid more and signed a contract for more) I'd be laughing at your 250,000 yen assertion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:53, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

It's not rumors, it's facts that you don't like others to hear. Let me guess for which company you work...
I do not work for Interac. I work for their largest competitor in Kanto. I feel that the article does not do justice to Interac's various harms against ALTs and its dishonesty but I also know that it is impossible to prove what is obvious with actual sources. My previous comment was related to certain laws claimed ("minimum monthly salary") and the structure of the company-school board relationship. I ammended both of these as well as a few other minor parts of the article beofre making the comment. Smoove K 05:09, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Hey smoove, which company do you work for? Im trying to think of a large despatch company in Kanto, I can only think of that morally bankrupt company in Mito, that pays some ALTs less than 200k/month, gives them 15yr old broken/dangerous company cars and lies to teachers, telling them they have the contract for certain BOE, so they dont go to another company, when in reality they dont know which contracts they will have for the following school year..

its not that company is it?Sennen goroshi 11:12, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

Company and management issues?[edit]

As much as I think Interac needs to come out for what it is and it is important for people to know the controversies involving the industry, I think the article should be written with only the actual job in mind. I would support a seperate article concerning seperate issues with a short relevent section and link to that article placed in this one. Thoughts? Also, recent edits with potentially provable facts being made without sources should not continue. Smoove K 22:41, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

I don't see a problem with this article covering both the job of being an ALT and the industry behind the job. However, you are right that all edits should be backed up by solid, non-self-published sources. There seems to be a lot of anti-Interac rumors out there that people keep bringing up here over and over. — Brian (talk) 22:37, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

Contractual Term Limits:[edit]

"JET Programme ALTs have a limited number of years to be contracted, while private companies have no such restriction in most cases. BOEs tend to set the terms of the contract and usually limit it to one year. Larger private companies can guarantee employment indefinitely no matter what the BOE chooses to do regarding individual contracts."

This reads as if private ALTs have open-ended or lifelong contracts which is not true at all. In fact, most (or all) private ALTs sign yearly contracts. Yes, it is possible that they could be renewed. They may also not be renewed. (talk) 08:32, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
I've heard if you work for the same school district as a dispatched employee for three years, they have to hire you directly. Can anyone back this up?Ghostofnemo (talk) 02:06, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
Workers in Japan are either under contract or not. Workers not under contract have so-called "lifetime employment." Workers under contract can have a maximum contract length of 1 year under labor laws. Even if an employee is hired by a BOE, the contract still be 1 year. The JET Programme is the same. They don't offer a 3 or 5 year contract, but rather 1 year contracts with options to renew 2-4 times, each time for 1 year. KeroroGunso (talk) 01:53, 24 February 2011 (UTC)
But if you work for the same employer under a contract for a certain length of time, I heard they have to offer you a permanent job or let you go, i.e. they can't keep you on contract indefinitely. True or false? Ghostofnemo (talk) 05:18, 24 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm not aware of an automatic requirement to do that. On the other hand, I have heard that after a certain number of successive contracts, it becomes difficult for the employer to not continue with an employee, even if they are under contract.KeroroGunso (talk) 09:18, 24 February 2011 (UTC)

POV tag in Job Duties Section[edit]

The tag says this is a discussion topic on the talk page, but I don't see anything here. What is being challenged as POV? Ghostofnemo (talk) 13:04, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

I've undone the deletion of the lines about the atomic bombing story. Those lines are referenced to the junior high school textbook where the story appears, and the reference gives the title of the story and the publisher of the textbook. This textbook is VERY widely used in Japan. I had to read this story to some of my classes, and I'm a U.S. citizen. Ghostofnemo (talk) 13:25, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

I've added a wikilink in the reference to the New Horizon textbook article. Ghostofnemo (talk) 13:29, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

I've added a second reference to the atomic bombing story lines, which gives the text of the story and another ALT's similar reaction to it. Ghostofnemo (talk) 13:44, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

Since no one has responded, I'm removing the POV tag. (talk) 02:41, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Looks like someone has replaced the POV tag. What exactly is under dispute? Ghostofnemo (talk) 05:29, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
Once again, in the absence of any articulated reason for the tag, I am removing it. Ghostofnemo (talk) 13:42, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

Deletion of atomic bomb story from Job duties section[edit]

It's a fact that ALTs in some schools are required to read heart breaking stories about atomic bomb victims. This is not a normal job duty (to ask teachers to read stories aloud about war crimes their countries have committed), and the stories do not even mention the war, which makes it seem incomprehensible to the students. It would be highly irregular, not to mention cruel, to ask a Japanese person to read a story about the horrible deaths of prisoners or massacre victims in China or about Pearl Harbor victims aloud to a class of students. Also, this line is sourced with references. It doesn't seem arguable that this material is irrelevant to the topic of the article. Ghostofnemo (talk) 10:15, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

Due to the lack of a response, I've restored this line. Ghostofnemo (talk) 00:09, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

As an ALT I do many activities I would not do back in my own country, but most of these are not necessary for this article. This paragraph does nothing to improve the quality of information available here. It displays an experience had by only a very small number of English speaking teachers here, and is written in a fashion that feels very out of place on a Wiki article. Furthermore not all ALTs are Americans. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:28, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

Although I see the comment has been improved to read more in the style of Wiki, the rest of my comment still stands. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:30, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

But it does occur (I'm from the U.S., and I was personally threatened with being fired when I complained, and was forced to do it several more times!). It's notable because it is highly irregular to make someone read stories aloud to classes about crimes committed by their countries. And it's sourced. It's factual, notable, and relevant to the article. Ghostofnemo (talk) 02:53, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

The story "A Mothers Lullaby" is NOT a dictation of war crimes. In fact, America is not even mentioned at all. The story simply states that "A big bomb fell on the city of Hiroshima." It's about a tree who watches a girl and her brother die. The purpose of the story is to make the students think about how terrible war is and to promote peace. You can find many examples of peace promotion in Japanese education. There is really nothing irregular about reading stories with historical references in them. The above commenters are right that it doesn't do anything for this article. It seems more like you using this article as a way to personally "get revenge" on your school... (talk) 07:18, 10 June 2014 (UTC)

This story appears in a textbook used in many Japanese junior high schools, and ALTs are asked to read this story aloud to classes, even if they are from the U.S. These are not isolated incidents perpetrated by rogue Japanese teachers. The only possible interpretation of this story is that it is about the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, and it is notable because it is HIGHLY irregular to ask teachers to read aloud stories about war crimes committed by their countries to students. Can you imagine a Japanese teacher in China being asked/required to read a story that begins, "First the bombs and shells fell, and then the soldiers came. Our country had been invaded and gangs of soldiers roamed our town after it fell, killing many people. My younger brother had been hacked with a sword, and I held him beneath an old tree and sang a lullabye to him until he stopped breathing." Please note that this information is referenced. Ghostofnemo (talk) 06:33, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

Since it is about a bombing in world war 2 how is it not mentioning world war 2? (talk) 10:28, 13 December 2015 (UTC)

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