Every unmarried female ESL teacher who’s under 50 and teachers adults has been asked out by a student at least once. It’s inevitable.
It’s always awkward when this happens because due to the cultural and language barriers you’re never entirely sure how to interpret it.
Does “Do you want to go out for a drink with me?” mean…?
A. I want you to be my token (insert name of English speaking country) friend
B. I want to practice my English but don’t have the money for private lessons
C. I want to date you, you hot thing you
D. All of the above
I’ve always assumed that other teachers thought as I did, that it was unprofessional (adult students or not) to see a student outside of class, even if just on a ‘just friends’ basis.
But then I moved to Japanland, a country where “ESL class” appears to be synonymous with “Match-making Service” because I’ve met quite a few ESL teachers who’ve dated a student. One of my friends even married one!
And the same goes for Japanese language teachers as well.
Last week, during one of my Japanese lessons, the other student in my class casually asked my Japanese teacher out.
The dude had been heavily coming on to her, touching her hand and inquiring as to whether she was married or had a boyfriend. At one point, he even winked at her. But it still came as a surprise when he (in the middle of the class!) asked her to ‘go out to dinner’ with him. I just stared down at my text book in uncomfortable silence, feeling embarrassed for them both and wondering how’d she go about turning him down gently.
But then she smiled and gave him this wide-eyed look and said yes! I about fell off my chair.
Is it really that easy? Is this the latest in dating trends and I’ve been missing out?
It’ll be interesting to see what transpires. Next thing I know, they’ll probably be married and pregnant and I’ll have to find a new teacher.