Assistant Language Teacher Program
The Tyler-Yachiyo Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) Program has been a strong educational exchange between the two cities since 1991. The ALT Program, which was piloted one year before the official twining ceremonies occurred between the two cities, has been extremely successful. To date, 49 Texas teachers have lived in Yachiyo and taught in junior high schools located throughout Yachiyo City. Thousands of Japanese students (over 1,000 students each year in ALT classrooms to date) and more than 280 Japanese teachers hosting ALTs in their classrooms, have benefited from the Tyler Yachiyo ALT Program.
Tyler ALT teachers also serve as coaches for the Yachiyo annual Recitation and Speech Contest. ALT teachers work side-by-side the regular classroom English teachers, assisting with lesson planning, and serving as important language role models in Yachiyo classrooms. ALT teachers participate in Japanese lessons one afternoon each week through programming provided by the Yachiyo Board of Education.
The ALT Program provides native English speakers in these classrooms, sharing not only language, but also cultural connections to the United States. Many others have benefited from the program (community members, additional students and teachers participating in the required junior high annual Recitation and Speech Contest, etc.).
The Program has provided wonderful opportunities for teachers from East Texas, as well as teachers from neighboring communities in Texas, reaching both north and west of Tyler. Over the course of their annual teaching appointment, ALT teachers work at three (3) different schools.
ALT teachers can renew their annual teaching contract to stay multiple years in their ALT teaching positions, however they must return to Texas after a maximum 5-year period. 71% of the Texas teachers participating in the ALT Program (35 of out 49 teachers) have stayed beyond their one-year contract. Upon their return to the U.S., Texas ALT teachers have reported benefits such as increasing their understanding of the Japanese language and culture, increasing their ability to teach English to second language learners, gaining an understanding of the Japanese educational system, and having a greater understanding of how to build international collaborations as a result of their participation in the program.
Tyler Sister Cities provides information to our community about the City of Yachiyo’s Assistant Language Teacher opportunity. The employer for the teaching positions is the Yachiyo Education Board and therefore the program is organized and run by the city leadership of Yachiyo, who has established all employment criteria and makes all final decisions about the hiring of Assistant Language Teachers.
The Yachiyo City Assistant Language Teacher program is open only to female college graduates (since teaching includes working in girl’s schools) from Texas.
Yachiyo City places a priority on graduates with degrees in education, English, Asian studies or other relevant areas. ALT’s teach English to students at various grade levels and schools throughout Yachiyo, Japan.
Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs) receive:
• Health Insurance
• Paid Vacation Time
• Subsidized Apartment
• Round-trip Airfare to Japan (reimbursed)
• Bicycle for Local Transportation
Past ALTs have successfully extended their yearlong contracts for up to four (4) years in order to continue teaching and experiencing the culture of Yachiyo and the surrounding area.