7 Weird Questions Female ALTs Get Asked While Teaching English in Japan

Source: Gaijin Pot

Sometimes working as an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) at a Japanese public school can be incredibly fulfilling. Most days though, it can be downright weird. This is especially true for female ALTs.

Some Japanese students—hell even teachers—see the opportunity to ask a female gaijin (foreigner) outrageous questions too good to pass up. They can range from innocent to totally inappropriate.

Chalk it up to those budding hormones, but many female ALTs said they’ve received melodramatic marriage proposals from male and female students alike.

After sampling a pool of 63 female ALTs across Japan, here are seven of the most common weird questions they’ve been asked on the job.

1. Will you marry me?

This particular question is often asked by middle school and high school students. Chalk it up to those budding hormones, but many female ALTs said they’ve received melodramatic marriage proposals from male and female students alike. One ALT told us that some of her students have used these proposals to get out of boring responsibilities like cleaning time.

Marry me, sensei!

As an ALT, I think teenagers love to make these proposals because they feel comfortable around the foreigner occupying that strange position of being a “teacher” who isn’t really a teacher. If you’ve ever been an ALT in Japan who’s been reduced to a human tape recorder, you know what I mean. This question is usually harmless and just for laughs.

2. Do you have kids?

Several ALTs recounted stories of their elementary school students running up to them, rubbing their tummies and asking, “Akachan iru” which translates to “Is there a baby in there?”

Simply answering no doesn’t let the ALT off the hook either. It instead opens up the floodgates for overly personal follow-up questions to determine why her womb …continue reading