Foreign Female English Teachers in Japanese Higher Education: Narratives From Our Quarter

Foreign Female English Teachers in Japanese Higher Education: Narratives From Our Quarter
The goal of this book is to provide information, inspiration, and mentorship to teachers (namely foreign women, but not restricted to such) as they navigate the gendered waters of teaching English in Japanese higher education. Such a book is timely because foreign female university teachers are outnumbered by their foreign male colleagues by nearly three to one. This imbalance, however, is likely to change as reforms in hiring policies (which have until recently generally favored male applicants) have been widely implemented to encourage more female teachers and researchers.

The narratives by the contributors to this book offer a kaleidoscope of experiences that transverse several loosely connected and overlapping themes. This book is, in a sense, a “girlfriend’s guide to teaching in a Japanese university” in that it provides much practical information from those who are already in the field. It covers areas such as gaining entry into Japanese higher education teaching, searching for and obtaining tenure, managing a long-term professorial career, and taking on leadership responsibilities. The personal side of teaching is examined, with authors describing how individual interests have shaped their teaching practices. Family matters, such as negotiating maternity leave, reentering the workforce, and difficulties in balancing family and work are discussed by those who have “been there and done that”. The darker issues of the job, such as harassment, racism, and native-speakerism are introduced, and several chapters with practical and legal information about how to combat them are included, as well as a list of valuable resources.

The contributors to this volume have drawn upon their own unique experiences and have situated their stories in areas that are of great personal importance. The individual narratives, when taken together, highlight not only the complexity of the professional identity of EFL teachers but also the myriad of issues that shape the careers of women in Japanese higher education. These issues will resonate with all female EFL faculty, regardless of their geographical location.


Diane Hawley Nagatomo; Kathleen A. Brown; Melodie Lorie Cook


Candlin and Mynard






Social Sciences


Gender and Identity