How I survived as an overseas teacher of Japanese in Australia
journal contributionposted on 03.05.2017, 01:46 by Nakahara, Masumi, Black, Paul
Languages education, or what has been called the study of languages other than English (LOTE), seems to involve a paradox in Australia. It is supposed to promote cultural enrichment and intercultural understanding, and yet the process of becoming a qualified language teacher tends to be intolerant of the cultural differences of overseas born and educated speakers of these languages. This is clear from an increasing body of literature on the difficulties experienced by overseas educated language teachers, which we review in the first half of this paper. Since this raises questions on how such teachers survive in Australia, we then present an introspective study of the experiences of the first author, including the circumstances that brought her to Australia, the difficulties she faced in teacher training and as a newly employed teacher, and the factors that enabled her to cope and eventually succeed. Her experiences highlight the particular importance of supportive supervisors and colleagues, thus suggesting a valuable role for mentoring. Copyright 2007 Masumi Nakahara and Paul Black. No part of this article may be reproduced by any means without the written consent of the publisher.