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【EduCareer No.4】 Language Barriers with Coworkers


   My interview with Gary a couple of weeks ago confirmed my thoughts about the language barrier in his school when he told me that the simple act of trying to communicate
with the other teachers is the key to feeling a part of your school.
   For the new arrivals among us of course this can be very difficult (and nerve racking!) but a simple greeting, thank you or how are you can go a long way in breaking the ice with the teachers around you and once this ice has been broken it can open up all kinds of doors. The best thing about trying to do this is that it can not only show the school that you are really making an effort but also give you an opportunity to improve your language skills.

   If your Japanese is of a higher level you will be able to participate in school and department meetings, of course this will allow you to understand the workings of the department in more detail and even participate in decisions regarding the structure and development of the English course. Another teacher, Mike, said that this was one of the biggest advantages of speaking Japanese in his school.

Remember: Fight the nerves and stay positive in communicating with those around you!

There have been times where I felt that coworkers were curt or unhappy to speak with me. While I grant that is a possibility, in the past I was usually a bit disturbed and upset. But I've come to realize that it usually means that they are just busy, or having a rough time that I am unaware of. Try not to let it get you down, you might see them the next day with a big smile for you. Unless of course, you give them reasons to avoid you. :^)

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Thank you for reading and I hope you will tune in next time for the topic of language barriers in the classroom setting.

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