City of Edmonds seeking assistant language teacher for two-year term in Japan


The Edmonds Sister City Commission is accepting applications for an assistant language teacher (ALT) in Hekinan, Japan for a two-year term starting Sept.1, 2019 and ending Aug. 31, 2021.

The deadline for applications is March 29, 2019.

Applications can be obtained by visiting the Commission’s webpage at, under Assistant Language Teacher; or by email or phone request to [email protected] or 425-771-0247; or by visiting Edmonds City Hall at 121 5thAve. N., Edmonds.

The assistant language teacher must be an Edmonds’ or neighboring city resident and either a certified teacher or be able to demonstrate English language and communications skills that will be effective in a middle school classroom. He or she should be an outgoing person who interacts well with middle school students, is interested in Japanese culture, and is eager to teach American cultural aspects along with English language skills.

A bachelor of arts degree is required for a Japanese work visa, and background and security checks are necessary. The assistant language teacher should also be willing and available to communicate with the Edmonds Sister City contacts during his or her tenure in Japan. The successful candidate become an employee of the City of Hekinan and final approval of the candidate will come from them.

“Assistant” English teacher means that the Japanese teacher of the class provides curriculum and lesson plans, and the American teacher supplements this with speaking practice and skills as well as class presentations as requested.

The City of Edmonds has had a 31-year relationship with its Sister City of Hekinan, Japan. According to the city, the ongoing presence of an assistant language teacher selected by the Edmonds Sister City Commission and hired by Hekinan is a very important element of this relationship. This position assists Japanese language teachers in the Hekinan middle schools and in many ways is Edmonds’ unofficial “ambassador” to Hekinan.

Michelle Rockstead is the current assistant language teacher in Hekinan, Japan. With seven months left on her contract, she reflects on this enriching program. “The connection between Edmonds and Hekinan is invaluable to many people, especially in Hekinan,” she said. “I’ve met so many people who continue to talk about how wonderful their visit to Edmonds was, five, 10 or even 20 years later. One of my coworkers told me that he and his wife even had their honeymoon in Edmonds!

“Part of my job as the Edmonds ALT is to help continue to strengthen this sister city connection,” she continued. “Whether it’s telling my middle school students about the yearly exchange programs, or swapping stories with friends and volunteers, the sister city relationship is a near-daily topic of conversation.”


2 Replies to “City of Edmonds seeking assistant language teacher for two-year term in Japan”

  1. The Assistant Language Teacher is employed and paid by the Hekinan, Japan Board of Education. The Edmonds Sister City Commission, a non-paid volunteer group, recruits and recommends a candidate.


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