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.

5 Deadly Financial Mistakes You Should Avoid Now To Keep Out Of Debt Later!

Every year more families are going to the brink of financial ruin because they never properly considered their financial future. For some, it's just to stressful or emotionally uncomfortable to think about and important financial decisions get put off indefinitely. For many, they do not know and were never taught some basic financial planning tips to keep them out of debt in the future. Here are five financial mistakes you should avoid now to keep your financial future bright:

5 Financial Mistakes To Avoid:

1. Buying on credit: Today's interest rates are fairly low, but this does not mean you should buy excessively on credit! Carrying a large balance on credit cards month to month is a recipe for disaster. Finance charges alone can slowly eat you up. Buying a car on credit ties up even more of your future earnings for debt repayment.

Just a few decades ago buying so much on credit was unheard of. Children were taught early on what a huge mistake this was. We all need to relearn this lesson and eliminate buying on credit to keep ourselves out of debt

2. Making financial decision based on emotion: When you are going through great stress or emotional turmoil you are most vulnerable to making disastrous financial financial decisions. It is when you are feeling some king of pressure that you are most likely to make silly decisions that get you into trouble later. Do not make a big money decision when you are emotionally vulnerable.

3. Not adequately insuring against catastrophic risk: Every year families are financially devastated because they are not protected against disaster. Loss of home and assets to fire and flood are very common events that a surprising number of people do not protect against with insurance. You should also protect against disaster common to your area. Earthquakes and tornadoes for example. Just as important is some kind of life insurance to protect your loved ones in case of death.

4. Falling for the slick salesmen pitch: They say a sucker is born every minute. And you can be sure there is a slick salesmen waiting to take advantage of every one of them! You should never enter into any financial decision based on salesmen pressure tactics or one-time offers. Great deals that can not wait for you to think on it or obtain a second opinion are often financial disasters waiting to happen.

5. Not planning out your financial future: For many people it is so much easier to put off the tough financial planning right now and get to it someday in the future. Well we know how that story goes. Years into the future many families are neck deep in debt with no relief in sight. And it could of all been avoided with some sensible planning. Talk to a financial planner today so you can be debt free tomorrow!

There you have it. Five important financial mistakes to avoid so you can be both debt and worry free in your future. No matter where you are at right now financially, it's not to late to get started. Make an appointment with a financial planner today and get your financial future properly planned out. It's one of the most important things you can do for your family and for yourself.

Examples Of Spyware And What They Are

Spyware is a general term used to describe software that performs certain behaviors such as advertising, collecting personal information, or changing the configuration of your computer, generally without appropriately obtaining your consent first.

Spyware is often associated with software that displays advertisements (called adware) or software that tracks personal or sensitive information.

That does not mean all software that provides ads or tracks your online activities is bad. For example, you might sign up for a free music service, but you “pay” for the service by agreeing to receive targeted ads. If you understand the terms and agree to them, you may have decided that it is a fair tradeoff. You might also agree to let the company track your online activities to determine which ads to show you.

Other kinds of Spyware make changes to your computer that can be annoying and can cause your computer slow down or crash.

These programs can change your Web browsers home page or search page, or add additional components to your browser you don’t need or want. These programs also make it very difficult for you to change your settings back to the way you originally had them.

The key in all cases is whether or not you (or someone who uses your computer) understand what the software will do and have agreed to install the software on your computer.

There are a number of ways Spyware or other unwanted software can get on your computer. A common trick is to covertly install the software during the installation of other software you want such as a music or video file sharing program.

Any software that covertly gathers user information through the user’s Internet connection without his or her knowledge, usually for advertising purposes. Spyware applications are typically bundled as a hidden component of freeware or shareware programs that can be downloaded from the Internet; however, it should be noted that the majority of shareware and freeware applications do not come with SpyWare. Once installed, the Spyware monitors user activity on the Internet and transmits that information in the background to someone else. Spyware can also gather information about e-mail addresses and even passwords and credit card numbers

Aside from the questions of ethics and privacy, SpyWare steals from the user by using the computer’s memory resources and also by eating bandwidth as it sends information back to the spy ware’s home base via the user’s Internet connection. Because SpyWare is using memory and system resources, the applications running in the background can lead to system crashes or general system instability.

Because SpyWare exists as independent executable programs, they have the ability to monitor keystrokes, scan files on the hard drive, snoop other applications, such as chat programs or word processors, install other SpyWare programs, read cookies, change the default home page on the Web browser, consistently relaying this information back to the SpyWare author who will either use it for advertising/marketing purposes or sell the information to another party.

Licensing agreements that accompany software downloads sometimes warn the user that a SpyWare program will be installed along with the requested software, but the licensing agreements may not always be read completely because the notice of a SpyWare installation is often couched in obtuse, hard-to-read legal disclaimers.

Examples of SpyWare

These common SpyWare programs illustrate the diversity of behaviors found in these attacks. Note that as with computer viruses, researchers give names to SpyWare programs which may not be used by their creators. Programs may be grouped into “families” based not on shared program code, but on common behaviors, or by “following the money” of apparent financial or business connections. For instance, a number of the SpyWare programs distributed by Claria are collectively known as “Gator”. Likewise, programs which are frequently installed together may be described as parts of the same SpyWare package, even if they function separately.

o CoolWebSearch, a group of programs, takes advantage of Internet Explorer vulnerabilities. The package directs traffic to advertisements on Web sites including coolwebsearch.com. It displays pop-up ads, rewrites search engine results, and alters the infected computer’s hosts file to direct DNS lookups to these sites.

o Internet Optimizer, also known as DyFuCa, redirects Internet Explorer error pages to advertising. When users follow a broken link or enter an erroneous URL, they see a page of advertisements. However, because password-protected Web sites (HTTP Basic authentication) use the same mechanism as HTTP errors, Internet Optimizer makes it impossible for the user to access password-protected sites.

o Zango (formerly 180 Solutions) transmits detailed information to advertisers about the Web sites which users visit. It also alters HTTP requests for affiliate advertisements linked from a Web site, so that the advertisements make unearned profit for the 180 Solutions Company. It opens pop-up ads that cover over the Web sites of competing companies.

o HuntBar, aka WinTools or Adware,WebSearch was installed by an ActiveX drive-by download at affiliate Web sites, or by advertisements displayed by other SpyWare programs-an example of how SpyWare can install more SpyWare. These programs add toolbars to IE, track aggregate browsing behavior, redirect affiliate references, and display advertisements.

oZlob Trojan or just Zlob, Downloads itself to your computer via ActiveX codec and reports information back to Control Server. Some information can be as your search history, the Websites you visited, and even Key Strokes.

Contemporary Kitchen Furniture – Points to Remember

When picking out contemporary kitchen furniture there are one or two things everyone should remember to avoid mistakes and an uneven finish to their new kitchen.

Firstly, do not assume you know exactly what contemporary means in relation to kitchen furniture. Do your homework and look at what's out there in terms of modern designs and ideas. You might be surprised at what constituents contemporary furniture and determined that it is not for you after all.

Always think about your kitchen when you're looking around showrooms. It's very easy to let a salesman tell you that particular furniture will look great in your contemporary kitchen, but if he has not seen your kitchen, how does he know? All kitchens are different in terms of light and space and will need different shapes and sizes of furniture to work effectively. Contemporary kitchen furniture is never one size fits all.

Sometimes the most important advice when it comes to picking out furniture for your kitchen is to remain consistent. If you go around picking out different bits and pieces without thinking about how they will go together, you can end up with a very disjointed and awkward looking kitchen.

Contemporary kitchen furniture needs to give off the impression of seamlessness and have clean lines in order to be authentic. This is not to say that your kitchen has a cold and sterile place to work in. You can add warmth and color to your kitchen by using the right materials and accessories.

These are just a few useful tips to help you ensure you get the contemporary kitchen that suits your needs.