Six EFL Teachers Arrested; Lots Of Opinions Aired

Six EFL teachers from a certain chain in Japan were recently arrested on charges of drug possession. Clearly, using illegal drugs is … illegal. It will get you in trouble, especially in a conservative country, which even someone who doesn’t know Japan, like me, knows that Japan is. The TEFL Logue is certainly not here to say “rock on with drug use” or anything.

I don’t know the details of the story, and to be honest, I’m not particularly motivated to find out. What’s interesting to me as a teacher though is the debate that has developed in the comments section of this article, posted on

Lots of harsh feelings seem to have been unearthed in connection to this story, and I think these feelings are about a lot more than drug use. I have my own theories, but no definitive answer; this all just makes me wonder why there seem to be such strong feelings about EFL teachers from other teachers and locals alike (it’s not always clear to me who each comment is from).

I can at the least conclude that there is a lot below the surface.

People I know have more than once said that I may be a bit on the sensitive side…but it’s examples like this that really make me feel there are often quite negative feelings towards EFL teachers as a group. I don’t doubt there are EFL teachers who rag on locals – in fact there have recently been stories about websites where teachers engage in this in addition to other less salubrious activities; I’d just rather not give publicity to and build some link between the TEFL Logue and those sites…but as an (experienced qualified, trained) EFL teacher who takes her work seriously even if it will not be her long-term career, the existence of attitudes like the ones expressed here concern me.

What do you think?