RACE DISCRIMINATION FOR TEACHING JOBS IN ASIA

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RACE DISCRIMINATION FOR TEACHING JOBS IN ASIA

Unread postby absolutely » 03 Feb 2014, 16:40

Hi all,

Needs everyones opinion on this :)

Do you feel it is more difficult for a black person to get a teaching job in somewhere like Asia (inc. Korea+china)?

Would you say it is *significantly* more difficult to land a job?

Lastly, assuming that it is more difficult, what sort of things could be done to pursuade recruiters that you are perfect for the position? Anything besides the obvious: getting a good grade in the CELTA.

My thanks to all,

P
absolutely
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Re: RACE DISCRIMINATION FOR TEACHING JOBS IN ASIA

Unread postby doomer » 04 Feb 2014, 14:21

I live in Taiwan, but I imagine China & SK are similar.

Racial discrimination in EFL Asia is common. Non-whites (including NES Asians like me) will have a much harder time getting jobs. This isn't mainly due to employer discrimination, but customers who associate English with white. They'll complain, and employers will yield rather than risk losing business (in which case, non-whites won't have a job anyway).

That said, larger chain schools with higher teacher turnover, tend to accept non-whites. (But they will still have a quota per branch, so you'll never see an all non-white teaching staff.) You'll have to endure many more rejections & wait a longer time to get offers. Don't take rejection personally.

Make sure your resume & photo are well-done. Be personable & positive.

CELTA isn't a major hiring criteria (if at all) for China, SK, Japan, or TW. Most employers will want you to do things their way.

When you do get a job, improve towards effectiveness as quickly as possible (which may mean not doing things the school's way or your cert's way). Non-whites have less margin for error, need to work harder just to be par & keep their jobs, and have less freedom to quit & job-hop... as I'm sure you know.

If you do become effective (not easy), then race won't be a factor. If your kids significantly improve in speaking, writing, & reading, nobody wants their own kid to look "stupid" in comparison. Parents & students will gravitate towards results.

They first gravitate towards race because all teachers, white & non-white, teach equally poorly in the beginning - not equally well. So pursue results at all costs.

Stay strong. Best wishes.
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Re: RACE DISCRIMINATION FOR TEACHING JOBS IN ASIA

Unread postby absolutely » 04 Feb 2014, 15:49

Fantastic - thanks for the response.

As a teacher yourself, would you say that it is what you expected?

All this talk of a free fully furnished apartment, and payment of flights does seem very attractive. PLUS the fact that you are doing something new, fun, and exciting - in a new country!

This does all sound wonderful, but are there any downsides to teaching english abroad?

Thanks
absolutely
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Re: RACE DISCRIMINATION FOR TEACHING JOBS IN ASIA

Unread postby doomer » 04 Feb 2014, 20:29

You're welcome.

I wasn't expecting any problems due to race because I started teaching 13 years ago. A lot less TEFL info on the net back then.

For me, living abroad is an incomparable, educational, mind-altering experience. But not everyone experiences that.

Have low expectations. The TEFL aspect will likely disappoint most individuals. Employers may try to overwork you - the free apt & airfare aren't really free. Know the contract terms for max working hours/days (Sat?) & unpaid work (weekly reports, school performances, etc). Even then, there's no guarantee; they can still initially withhold info or lie.

Larger chains that offer apt & airfare tend to have more online commentary. Google, or search the country-specific forums on dave's esl cafe. Others have gone before you.

I didn't arrive via recruiter, but as a non-white, I still ended up working for a larger chain. Mediocre, neither great nor terrible. I tried teaching "their way" for 1.5yrs before I started innovating under the table. Your supervisor/branch director will have the largest impact on your TEFL experience, but there's little info online for specific branches. It's a lottery. (I had a nice one.)

So prepare to derive positivity from other aspects of life abroad - especially from yourself. (You do sound gifted in that area.) Unlike in the West, most locals rarely see blacks, even in metro areas. Be prepared to be gawked at everywhere out of curiosity, so try not to take it personally. Probably something like an Asian going to Africa to TEFL.

The major downside of TEFL is it's a field with limited career advancement. In TEFL, you have to create your own career (not easy). I advise not staying in TEFL too long unless either teaching or living abroad is "in your blood", and you're willing to sacrifice money, career, status, etc. Most who come to TW (white, black, or Asian) experience diminishing returns over the years. Forumosa.com (the main website for expats in TW) is filled with such stories. It's easy to get stuck abroad because it's a rather low stress life; but stress may come years later as one realizes there is no advancement or security. One has to provide & prepare for oneself.

Don't get me wrong; living abroad is positive enough that many do get stuck at all.

Do your research, be prepared, have low expectations, and you'll be fine.
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Re: RACE DISCRIMINATION FOR TEACHING JOBS IN ASIA

Unread postby absolutely » 05 Feb 2014, 16:50

Right right - some brilliant points! :)

The whole idea seems very appealing because I want to earn a little bit of money, short term. Definately wont be out there for years.

Its comforting to know that you've been doing it for more than 10 years.

I'm also up for the challenge of securing a teaching position in Asia. Challenges are quite common even in places like London, England.

Thanks for the responses. I am truly grateful. I hope to message you directly on here ( if you dont mind ) - but doubt this website has that capability.

All the best,

P
absolutely
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Re: RACE DISCRIMINATION FOR TEACHING JOBS IN ASIA

Unread postby doomer » 06 Feb 2014, 23:17

Just trying to be a little helpful & pass a bit on for the next generation.

For short-termers (1-3yrs), money largely depends on country wages & living costs (factoring in urban vs rural), and then on personal discipline & budgeting. The 1st year may also entail higher "start-up costs" (transportation, furniture, socializing, etc). But in general, most TEFLers I've seen in TW don't save too much for various reasons.

Jobs with apt/airfare are obviously helpful for $, but may come with strings attached.

Sure, you can message me. Should be a "PM" button to the right, under "Status". I didn't see one earlier, either. But it's there now on mine.

Take care!
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