ESL Teaching

On Blacklists of Universities & English Schools in Japan

Teach in Japan - Introductory Questions

ESL Teaching - Just how do you teach in Japan? Where do you begin with your students? Some teachers who have never taught abroad assume you have to speak Japanese. Here is some advice about teaching your students introductory questions. Introductory questions activity for your ESL students

Teach English in Japan:

The Negativity about Teaching English in Japan & Mother Theresa

According to reports, Mother Theresa once said that she would never join an anti-war protest. But if there ever was a pro-peace protest, she would be all for that. That echoes my feelings on a lot of the negativity you see on the internet in general.

(ESL Teaching -- Pictured: Enoshima by Richard Baladad)

Had Joseph McCarthy been an English teacher in Japan, undoubtedly he Would have had an ESL Teaching Blacklist

"Joseph Raymond McCarthy (November 14, 1908 – May 2, 1957) served as a Republican U.S. Senator from the state of Wisconsin from 1947 until his death in 1957. Beginning in 1950, McCarthy became the most visible public face of a period of extreme anti-communist suspicion inspired by the tensions of the Cold War.[1] He was noted for making claims that there were large numbers of Communists and Soviet spies and sympathizers inside the federal government and elsewhere. Ultimately, McCarthy's tactics and his inability to substantiate his claims led to his being discredited and censured by the United States Senate. The term "McCarthyism," coined in 1950 in reference to McCarthy's practices, was soon applied to similar anti-communist pursuits. Today the term is used more generally to describe demagogic, reckless, and unsubstantiated accusations, as well as public attacks on the character or patriotism of political opponents."

(ESL Teaching -- Pictured: Kamakura a very interesting city, by Richard Baladad)

American Senator Macarthy showed clearly the danger of blacklists. They are subject to abuse.

ESL Teaching at Universities

A friend of mine worked for a university in Western Japan that is blacklisted. He and the other teachers felt it was a great place to work. They were angry when they found it on this blacklist. Despite repeated protests to the author, it was still blacklisted.

Apparently the author`s criteria for a good university differed from the people who actually worked there.

Who would you trust?

The people who work there, or a person with a blacklist?

Blacklists are frequently sited in posts on the internet forums as good sources of information about jobs in Japan.


Senator Joseph McCarthy also had a list of criteria that made one a Communist in his eyes. He destroyed many lives in the process. In some cases, he drove people to commit suicide.

We know well the danger of blacklists.

The internet has given many people power. The power to dispense information. & the power to help others.

But it can be abused.

ESL Teaching -- The Positives

I am in favour of lists that highlight the positive things in life. So I think a list of good schools to work for in Japan, like this one, is a great service to many people.

If you search the internet, you will be able to find blacklists of English schools.

How many opinions are these blacklists based on?

What is the criteria?

Have any precautions been taken to ensure the accuracy of what former employees have stated about the school?

... or are they just being vindictive?

Do the posters substantiate their claims by using their real names?

Or do they hide behind a pseudonym?

(ESL Teaching -- Pictured: Meguro, Tokyo by Richard Baladad)

"McCarthy's biographers are agreed that he was a changed man after the censure; declining both physically and emotionally, he became a "pale ghost of his former self" in the words of Fred J. Cook.[92] It was reported that McCarthy suffered from cirrhosis of the liver and was frequently hospitalized for alcoholism.[7] Numerous eyewitnesses, including Senate aide George Reedy and journalist Tom Wicker, have reported finding him alarmingly drunk in the Senate."

Joseph McCarthy died before his 50th birthday!

Clearly negativity takes its` toll.

"Don`t give in to the darkside."

--from the Star Wars Movies

EFL/ESL Teaching Japan -- More Troubles with Blacklists

ESL Teaching: "Setting the Record Straight"

by James Brown

ESL Teaching -- "Bogus blacklist"

The blacklisting of Japanese colleges and universities is an accusation of illegal activity. Pretty strong stuff. The managers of the blacklist have a profound obligation to make sure that their accusations are accurate before going public with them, but although they claim to make "every effort" to be sure of their position, the reality is quite the opposite. The fact is, at least in the case of Keiwa College, they make no effort at all and actually refuse to hear evidence to the contrary.

Let me set the record straight.

1. Keiwa College hires full-time, tenured, foreign faculty members in the same way and under the same conditions as Japanese faculty. I am one of four such faculty members. We are given committee chair and other important responsibilities and have to perform all of the same duties as our Japanese colleagues. Our salaries are based on the same scale as Japanese faculty and we teach the same class load and same types of classes as Japanese faculty. No discrimination here.

2. The Visiting Instructor positions (as shown in the JALT ad) are also not discriminatory in any way. Keiwa College also hires Japanese-nationality Visiting Instructors for the Japanese-language program under the same conditions as Foreign Visiting Instructors are hired for the English-language program. These positions are not advertised in JALT, so they don't appear with the recruitment ad for the foreign Visiting Instructors. As both Japanese and foreigners are hired for these positions they share the same salary, contract limitations and workload.

The Visiting Instructor position is not a tenure-track position at Keiwa College, just as professorial positions in the US are not all tenure-track positions. There is no restriction, however, on a Visiting Instructor of any nationality to apply for a full-time, tenured position if one becomes available.

There is nothing discriminatory going on at Keiwa College. It is simply good morals to check information very carefully before putting it on something so provocative as an Internet blacklist for all the world to see, as irreparable harm can be done to a school's image and ability to recruit new staff. For the same reason, it is also an obligation to make corrections as speedily as possible to avoid further damage.

My guess is that if one blacklisting is inaccurate and unverified, the whole blacklist (sounds like McCarthyism, doesn't it?) should be taken with a grain of salt.

James Brown,

Keiwa College

The James Brown articles was originally posted here.

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