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Teaching on a Jamaican/English-Speaking Caribbean Passport
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bellanelli



Joined: 29 Jun 2011
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 6:34 am    Post subject: Teaching on a Jamaican/English-Speaking Caribbean Passport Reply with quote

Any success stories/words of encouragement? I've been trying to get a job in China but hardly anyone realizes that Jamaica's official language is English. I've given up on that for now. I have a B.Sc. in Management and I have taught in Honduras. I hope to get a CELTA/M.A. in TESOL soon to improve my chances. I'm now applying for positions in Japan.

Please share success stories of persons teaching ESL with a Jamaican/Caribbean passport. PMs are welcome as well as advice.
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tttompatz



Joined: 06 Mar 2010
Posts: 1951
Location: Talibon, Bohol, Philippines

PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 7:18 am    Post subject: Re: Teaching on a Jamaican/English-Speaking Caribbean Passpo Reply with quote

bellanelli wrote:
Any success stories/words of encouragement? I've been trying to get a job in China but hardly anyone realizes that Jamaica's official language is English. I've given up on that for now. I have a B.Sc. in Management and I have taught in Honduras. I hope to get a CELTA/M.A. in TESOL soon to improve my chances. I'm now applying for positions in Japan.

Please share success stories of persons teaching ESL with a Jamaican/Caribbean passport. PMs are welcome as well as advice.


Sorry to sound negative but most positions in Asia (as a whole) will ignore you because:

i) you are not from one of the predominant anglophone countries (UK, USA, Canada, Aus, NZ); often (but not always) a visa requirement.
ii) you are not white (they discriminate against Asians even more).
iii) depending on your accent (if it is typical of most islanders) even if you could land an interview you would not get hired in Asia.

Options:
i) KEEP TRYING. You will need the perseverance of JOB to be successful.
ii) try closer to home (the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America).
iii) try EAST Europe. (I have no experience there so I can't offer any practical advice for that region.

.
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your chances in Japan are not zero, but if you are applying from abroad, they are very low. Competition is steep here with many people looking for work. Unfortunately, your nationality doesn't help much, but as tttompatz wrote, keep trying. You might get lucky. A few rare employers will be willing to take the risk of hiring you on a Skype interview. Then, the bigger hurdle will be to convince immigration to give you a work visa.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9494
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Central/Eastern Europe can also be difficult on a couple of levels.

Firstly, there is the finding-a-job-from-a-distance issue. It's not really done here - you need to be here with your CELTA in hand, interviewing in person. This obviously implies up-front costs. The job market here is quite competitive, and most applicants for jobs are from major Anglophone countries, so you'd need to be ready to demonstrate more-than-average professionalism and etc to make yourself equal in the job market.


Secondly, while I realise it's not nice or right, and I do not condone racism, to be realistic is quite important when considering a move abroad. Some things will depend upon your physical appearance. In some areas, such as the Czech Republic and surrounding areas, if one looks in any way like a Roma, this can be problematic. I have known of teachers from India and Pakistan who had difficulties getting hired and getting around safely. In this region, black teachers DON'T usually have such problems - they are fairly well-accepted. This is not true in the farther East, such as Russia, I believe, but the Russia experts can give more info on that.

You mention both CELTA and an MA. These are very different - a CELTA is a 30-day entry level programme, while an MA is a full postgraduate degree usually begun after a candidate has a couple of years of teaching experience already. What qualifications do you have/are you pursuing?
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bellanelli



Joined: 29 Jun 2011
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all your replies.

I haven't made up my mind on what qualification to pursue as yet. I know the CELTA is the faster route to teaching ESL. I already have a B.SC. in Management. I was thinking of doing an advanced track masters in education with teacher licensure. I want to ensure that I can teach in international schools as well as private schools and I see that many require a state/gov't teaching license. What is hindering me right now is the cost of these programs so I am focused on teaching.

I recently got a job offer from the Heart Corporation in Japan but based on all the negative reviews I'm not so sure about it. I'll keep trying as you all suggest.
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bellanelli wrote:
Thanks for all your replies.

I haven't made up my mind on what qualification to pursue as yet. I know the CELTA is the faster route to teaching ESL.
Depends on what type of teaching you want to do, and where you go. Japan knows hardly anything about certification.

And yes, avoid Heart.


Quote:
I already have a B.SC. in Management. I was thinking of doing an advanced track masters in education with teacher licensure. I want to ensure that I can teach in international schools as well as private schools and I see that many require a state/gov't teaching license.
By "private schools" to you mean conversation schools or private mainstream schools? Neither requires a teaching license. If you want to work in an international school, you'll need more than the degree and license, too, usually 2 years of work experience in your home country with that license.
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 8998
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 1:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you tried putting "native English speaker" on your CV? Or saying that your education was completed in Engilsh? that might help

Unfortunately tttompatz is right, the less "American" you look, they harder it is to get a job. I've seen a Israeli born Russian blonde hair blue eyes with horrible English get a job over a black Canadian simply becuase the israeli Russian looked more American, never mind he couldn't speak English.
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MotherF



Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 1133
Location: 1748'N 9746'W

PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I work with a Jamaican in Mexico. He has a Grad dip in Linguistics from a British University. He's never had any problems here in Mexico (he's been here for more than 10 years now.)
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bellanelli



Joined: 29 Jun 2011
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi all,

Just wanted to update this post if anyone was interested. After teaching for a year in Honduras, I am now teaching at a kindergarten in Hong Kong. It is possible for persons from the English speaking Caribbean to find a worthwhile job in Asia. It helped that my accent is American (I lived there for quite some time.)

As ttompatz noted the most important thing is to KEEP TRYING. I spent countless hours researching. It would be much easier to find a job if you have a teaching qualification/CELTA or a recognized TEFL certificate along with a bachelor's degree. I hold a bachelor's degree but no teaching qualification or TEFL certificate. I'm now saving for a M.A. in TESOL.

If you have any questions feel free to send me a PM.
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1837

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 4:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Russia got a mention earlier. Yes, a lot of them can be terribly racist but I wouldn't over-generalise. Black people do hold down positions at universities and elsewhere. Use your management qualification as well as your native speaker status. Maybe approach private companies.
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redcard23



Joined: 15 Feb 2013
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know this thread ended many moons ago but I am in a similar position to the OP. I am Jamaican with a CELTA and taught in japan for 5 years. Im now trying to find another teaching position but find that my passport is a hindrance. If in Europe, no one is willing to sponsor a work permit and other countries such as China and the ME just out rightly declare that due to visa restrictions they cannot accept ppl from nationalities outside of usa, uk, Can, NZ, Aus, SA, etc.....If anyone or the OP has any suggestions, please Help!
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1837

PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

EU countries are rather unlikely. Americans, Australians etc have trouble there because of the need for visas; employers find it easier to employ native speakers from within the EU (UK and Irish citizens, basically).

I think the previous posts on this thread give you all the useful suggestions you are likely to get.
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MsBlackcurrant



Joined: 22 Aug 2012
Posts: 51

PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

redcard23 wrote:
I know this thread ended many moons ago but I am in a similar position to the OP. I am Jamaican with a CELTA and taught in japan for 5 years. Im now trying to find another teaching position but find that my passport is a hindrance. If in Europe, no one is willing to sponsor a work permit and other countries such as China and the ME just out rightly declare that due to visa restrictions they cannot accept ppl from nationalities outside of usa, uk, Can, NZ, Aus, SA, etc.....If anyone or the OP has any suggestions, please Help!


Maybe you could try one of the placement agencies. You usually have to pay them a fee (which most people on this forum would disapprove of), but at least they would be able to advise you - and potentially find you a job. There's a well-known one that offers jobs in Chile, and another that works throughout Latin America. (Both advertise on Dave's). Such agencies usually only take on 'native speakers', but I don't know if this indicates a requirement for specific nationalities, or something broader. You'd have to email them and ask.
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bellanelli



Joined: 29 Jun 2011
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

redcard23 wrote:
I know this thread ended many moons ago but I am in a similar position to the OP. I am Jamaican with a CELTA and taught in japan for 5 years. Im now trying to find another teaching position but find that my passport is a hindrance. If in Europe, no one is willing to sponsor a work permit and other countries such as China and the ME just out rightly declare that due to visa restrictions they cannot accept ppl from nationalities outside of usa, uk, Can, NZ, Aus, SA, etc.....If anyone or the OP has any suggestions, please Help!


Hi redcard23....I sent you a pm.

For anyone in a similar situation, I've started a blog that has work and study abroad opportunities. Most of the positions listed are open to persons who are not from the major Anglophone countries. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to post the link so send me a pm if you're interested.
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tttompatz



Joined: 06 Mar 2010
Posts: 1951
Location: Talibon, Bohol, Philippines

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, a large part of the planet is a no-go because of your passport.

Your race and gender are issues. Male and black are not in your favor and racism does exit to a large degree in Asia (as you should be aware of from 5 years in Japan).

Thailand is an option BUT...

Degree needed (you didn't mention one).
TOEIC score over 600 needed (since your passport is not from one of the "5".

You also need to be "on-the-ground" to get hired. There are lots of eager back-packing tourists who would love to extend their stay in the tropics who are here and ready to work for next to nothing so employers have a ready supply of "sub-par wage" acceptors and usually won't import teachers of any flavor.

.
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