Three Adversary Conditions

A middle-aged Japanese man may face three adversary conditions when he seeks employment. First, he is Japanese, which means he is a nonnative speaker of English: a likely reason to be in the list of unwanted teachers. Second, he is middle aged: a symbol of retired persons who have passed their primes. Third, he is a man: many students prefer women instructors.

One time, I was the program coordinator of an English education school for young children. A mother called the school and I answered the phone. She wanted to know who the teacher was and I said, "He is a bilingual Japanese man." Her reply was, "I won't send my daughter go to your school, because the instructor is a man. He will molest my daughter."

I applied for the position of an English instructor in a Tokyo school. And I was talking to the woman on the phone who was hiring instructors. She realized that I was a Japanese man, and said, "We won't hire you because you are Japanese." My name is deceiving.

A company in Tokyo was recruiting language specialists of English and I applied. The reply was the most vulgar, "Are you kidding me? I thought you were younger." I said to the man that his remarks were highly discriminatory. I have kept his name and the company name in my PC.

English instructors are unstable jobs, particularly for those who are in the industry of English education. I have applied to about 300 plus positions in companies and schools. All have rejected my applications. They never tell their reasons, but I suspect one of them is either my status of nonnative speaker or age or gender.

With an MA in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from a highly reputable graduate school, I am not sure if my condition is better.                     - NS

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