Aspiring Teachers! 日本語教師の志望者の方

Are you interested in becoming an instructor of Japanese? Perhaps you are a bit interested, but would like more information, but unsure where to go. “What kind of qualifications would I need before I apply?”


We at CAJLT, hope that this page can serve as a good resource to jump-start your career as an instructor of Japanese! Due to detailed differences by school types (i.e. public, private, or charter), there may inevitably be some differences in the qualifications required and desired by each institution. This page will try to focus on the main areas that are typically desired by most institutions.

Japan Foundation also has an amazing page for more information regarding how to become a teacher. Please also check them out:


School Types

Elementary/Bilingual Immersion Schools

Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential

Middle & High Schools

Single Subject Teaching Credential (in Japanese)

In some cases, a Multiple Subjects credential may be desired at the middle school level.

Post-secondary education (Colleges, Universities, etc.)

Master’s degree in Japanese, education, etc.

PhD is often times preferred, especially at the university level.

Gakuen/Saturday Schools

Depending on the school, in some cases a teaching credential may not be required. Please call the gakuen directly and inquire for their desired qualifications.


Taking and passing the necessary tests to get into a Teaching Credential program

In order to get a teaching credential, you would typically need to enroll in a Teaching Credential program. For most programs in California, you are likely expected to have taken and passed both the CBEST and CSET tests, prior to entering the institution’s teaching credential program. This following section will cover some information regarding both the CBEST and CSET tests.

CBEST – California Basic Educational Skills Test

The CBEST consists of 3 sections (basic reading, math, writing), and can be taken on a computer or by hand at the site you register at. Each test is scored out of 80 points (240 maximum points total). A total score of at least 123 is required for passing. Also important to note, is that you must score at least a 37 (out of 80) on each of the subtests in order to pass. For example, if you score a 30 for reading, 50 for math, and 50 for writing, even though you would have a total passing score of 130, you would not pass the test due to your reading score not meeting the minimum required 37 points.

You can apply for the CBEST here

CSET (Single Subject) – California Subject Examinations for Teachers

Most applicants will need to take and pass Subtests 1, 2, and 3. Each test costs $99, and is only offered during limited windows in a year. Planning far ahead of time in registering for these tests is highly advised. Please click on the following links for sample tests for each subtest.

Subtest 1: General Linguistics; Linguistics of the Target Language

Subtest 2: Literary and Cultural Texts and Traditions; Cultural Analysis and Comparisons

Subtest 3: Language and Communication: Listening Comprehension; Language and Communication: Reading Comprehension; Language and Communication: Written Expression; Language and Communication: Oral Expression

You can apply for the single subject CSET for Japanese here

More information regarding the CSET in Japanese can be found here

CSET (Multiple Subjects)

Elementary school teachers can be typically tasked with teaching a number of subjects, and as such would appropriately require a CSET in Multiple Subjects.

You can apply for the multiple subject CSET (typically required for elementary school teachers) here


Applying for Teaching Credential Programs

Once you have successfully passed your CBEST and CSET tests, you are ready to apply and enroll in a teaching credential program. While many colleges and online institutions in California offer teaching credential progams, only a smaller handful of these programs offer teaching Japanese as an option. While the following is only a small list of programs, we hope you are able to refer to these websites as a starting point in searching for the teaching credential program that might fit you best location-wise:

CSU Long Beach:

CSU Monterey Bay: