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Can teachers of color get a fair deal anywhere in China?
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Juice



Joined: 09 Jun 2014
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 3:35 am    Post subject: Can teachers of color get a fair deal anywhere in China? Reply with quote

Although I am white native English speaker, my school absolutely refused to hire any Latinos, blacks, or Middle Eastern teachers, no matter how qualified they were (One Indian guy had a BA in Early Education, and a MA in child psychology) and when they saw him walk in for his interview, told him the position was "just filled". This was the only Indian guy I ever met who did not have an Indian accent. Is this racism found all over China or just Beijing and Shanghai?
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Bud Powell



Joined: 11 Jul 2013
Posts: 1280

PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've worked with Cameroonians and Filippinos.

Historical note: The U.S. passed the Chinese Exclusion act in 1882 that was to last ten years. It was extended for another ten years, then made permanent in 1902. In 1964, a total of four Chinese were admitted for immigration.
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Alien abductee



Joined: 08 Jun 2014
Posts: 145

PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like another inflammatory thread. I've worked with a couple of Africans and one dude from the Middle East. It's a well established fact that non-whites can find work here, they just need to look a bit harder and longer.

Another historical note, Mississippi officially abolished slavery just last year.
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Banner41



Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 562
Location: Shanghai

PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I work with many darker skinned individuals in Shanghai. Some make quite a bit more than this pale face.

Next......

Another Historical note: The 100 years war was actually 116 years.....
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golsa



Joined: 20 Nov 2011
Posts: 174

PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've heard it's quite a bit easier for dark skinned people to find EFL work in Beijing and Shanghai than other cities. But I've also had two black friends who had reputable on site TEFL certs and 5+ years experience teaching in Prague and they couldn't find work anywhere in China.

I don't think it's too surprising as the expectations for teachers in China are quite low.

Did this Indian guy have any experience teaching EFL? Despite his desirable education qualification, he is lacking in an EFL qualification. There is quite a bit of difference in methodology between being a L1 homeroom teacher and a young learner EFL teacher. Even his MA in Child Psychology wouldn't make up for not knowing basic EFL methodology. 'course neither of those would explain why he was told the position has already been filled immediately after they saw him.
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Non Sequitur



Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 2425
Location: China

PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you have to break it down into types of employer.
Private language schools make a huge thing of how their FTs are the genuine article and to them (and the parents who pay) that means Caucasian ethnicity.
In public tertiaries I've come across a few non Caucasianss.
The comment about 'not impossible but must try harder' is a good one.
To that I would add 'and smarter'.
If you're a tall, black dude, send a 'lifestyle' pic of yourself in basketball gear when you apply.
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roadwalker



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 1460
Location: Ch

PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Teaching uni in China, I've worked alongside many non-white teachers. I have no real idea if, or how many, non-white teachers were discriminated against, but I never personally noticed it, either in hiring or treatment. The only one I ever noticed being treated with suspicion was an Asian American who in fairness could be pretty rough in his demeanor. I'd suggest if you are eligible for a work visa, keep trying because some school will want you and if you have a professional attitude, a good school will appreciate you, no matter your ethnicity.
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Piper2



Joined: 13 Jun 2014
Posts: 104

PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Non Sequitur wrote:
I think you have to break it down into types of employer.
Private language schools make a huge thing of how their FTs are the genuine article and to them (and the parents who pay) that means Caucasian ethnicity.
In public tertiaries I've come across a few non Caucasianss.


Yes, I think private language schools and maybe kindies focus on what Chinese parents believe are the "teacher" attributes most appropriate for the job, to the point where good teachers have been rejected while inexperienced, unqualified, pretty, young, white things have been welcomed. All due to giving the paying clients what they expect.

In my experience both public and private unis have been open to FTs of all colours, nationalities, ages, etc.

There is another issue though, related to law or regulations about nationality of a foreign English teacher. I have heard that there has always been a law/regulation stipulating (something like) foreign English teachers should be from a country that speaks English as a first language, but that in the past this was often ignored. Apparently, for some reason, now this is being increasingly enforced.

This would, should or could mean that physical attributes will be less important than passports, perhaps somewhat evening the field between white and black, brown etc.

It does however result in qualifications, experience, and being a native English speaker or having a native English speaker level all being ignored if the FT has the "wrong" passport.
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Non Sequitur



Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 2425
Location: China

PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 12:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed.
If you are non-Caucasian and don't have one of the six/seven acceptable passports it will be even harder.
As far as I can recall, the non-C's I taught with were US or UK citizens.
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Janiny



Joined: 31 May 2008
Posts: 121

PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 1:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Kunming I knew a Ghanaian man who had been teaching children in a public school for six years already, had a thriving parcel of private lessons and even a Chinese fiancé (although her parents were less than thrilled with him). Part of the reason he could succeed was that native English speakers are rare in Yunnan, but another part was his enthusiastic, bubbly, charismatic personality. One would have to have been an awful racist curmudgeon not to like this fellow. He was also nearly fluent in Mandarin.

Fact: Many parts of the pine tree are edible.
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Juice



Joined: 09 Jun 2014
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 2:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just read some similar threads at another forum and I am hearing that the further South you go in China, the easier it is for brown/black people to get hired. To be honest I only met two teachers in Beijing that were not white - one was Samoan and the other was from South Africa and both had perfect oral English and education degrees. One worked for EF an dthe other for New Oriental.
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Non Sequitur



Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 2425
Location: China

PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 4:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guangzhou has been a longstanding contact area for Chinese and the outside world.
May explain the tolerance.
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Shanghai Noon



Joined: 18 Aug 2013
Posts: 37
Location: Shanghai, China

PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Racism plays a part, but so does legality and bureaucracy.

In Shanghai, any company with an FEC license can hire a non-native speaker. If you are not from one of the magical seven countries, you simply need more qualifications to be an English teacher. A MA in child psychology should be more than enough if he has a TESOL certificate. However, the process of hiring a non-native speaker is so onerous that most schools are not willing to go to the trouble if they don't have to. Non-natives must go back to their home countries to have their qualifications verified (though whether or not the local Chinese consulates actually do this is another matter). They have to wait months for their FEC, all the while trying to get visas from elsewhere, or existing on temporary stay permits which confer no legal rights. Many schools worry that you will become fed-up and abandon the process entirely (I have seen this happen). Native speakers get the FEC much faster, with much less "verification.". Once they get it, their ass belongs to the school. This is a very important factor, especially if the school is just hiring one or two teachers.

The first questions I am asked at every interview are "What is your visa type?" and "Do you have an FEC?" My advice (if you are not a native-speaker) is to draft a list of cities where you would like to teach, and take the first offer that can and will get you an FEC. Once you have the FEC, you will be much easier for any future school to hire. If you are a person of color from a native speaking country, just put your picture at the top of your resume and let them know in advance that you're not white. You will save yourself a lot of time.
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Piper2



Joined: 13 Jun 2014
Posts: 104

PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shanghai Noon wrote:
In Shanghai, any company with an FEC license can hire a non-native speaker. If you are not from one of the magical seven countries, you simply need more qualifications to be an English teacher.


Not what I have heard

Shanghai Noon wrote:
However, the process of hiring a non-native speaker is so onerous that most schools are not willing to go to the trouble if they don't have to


I have heard the process could be more complex for holders of passports from other countries

Shanghai Noon wrote:
Non-natives must go back to their home countries to have their qualifications verified (though whether or not the local Chinese consulates actually do this is another matter). They have to wait months for their FEC, all the while trying to get visas from elsewhere, or existing on temporary stay permits which confer no legal rights. Many schools worry that you will become fed-up and abandon the process entirely (I have seen this happen).


I have never heard of this

Shanghai Noon wrote:
Native speakers get the FEC much faster, with much less "verification."


From what I have seen, it takes about the same time for anyone. It might be more complex for some though

Shanghai Noon wrote:
The first questions I am asked at every interview are "What is your visa type?" and "Do you have an FEC?"


Because if you have a z-visa (z-type RP) and FEC it is easier and quicker to process your paperwork

You keep mentioning native speakers as if this is the same as being a holder of a passport from a country where English is spoken as a first language. A person with a passport from any country can be a native English speaker. And a holder of e.g. a UK or US passport might not even be able to speak English.
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Alien abductee



Joined: 08 Jun 2014
Posts: 145

PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many FAOs here make the false assumption that if you hold a passport from one of the recognized English speaking countries then you're a native speaker of English. Obviously this isn't always true but it doesn't matter much here. If you've got the right passport and can speak passable English you can find work here. On the other hand you can be white (or black), speak perfect English but hold a Zimbabwean passport and you're SOL.
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