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Ageism and ESL
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btsmrtfan



Joined: 01 Jul 2010
Posts: 193
Location: GPS Not Working

PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 1:20 am    Post subject: Ageism and ESL Reply with quote

As one of the many senior citizens here, I would like to pass on a few thoughts and experiences regarding ageism and ESL.

I have recently gone through a period of being very discouraged by the number of countries, employers and job ads that discriminate on the basis of age. I got very tired of not being considered for positions soley because of my age and, in some cases, receiving emails back saying I was too old because of regulations in effect in a particular nation. On more than a few occasions, I was actually told I was too old for a job during an interview for a teaching position.

Were I not well qualified for the positions for which I applied, I could understand it. This was not the case, though; I was being excluded simply because of my age and nothing more.

I decided to do something about this and what I decided to do was to stop applying for positions in countries that permit discrimination based on age. In my particular case, as a citizen of the U.S., I decided to apply for positions in the U.S. or with U.S. companies overseas.

Why did I decide to do this? In large part, it relates to the fact that there is in the U.S. a Federal law that prohibits age discrimination. It is referred to as "ADEA" or the "Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967" and is described here:

http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/age.html

I also decided to do something else and this was to apply to non-teaching jobs as well as teaching jobs that would be covered by the protections under ADEA. Having had another professional career before entering teaching, I decided to find out if I was still employable in that area as well as other areas. I applied for private and government positions.

An interesting thing happened. I started getting job offers and no one ever brought up the matter of my age. Not once.

I have recently accepted a very good position overseas with a U.S. company. It is not in teaching but it pays considerably more than I would have ever made teaching and provides benefits that still have me shaking my head but with a very large smile on my face.

Did ADEA help me? I believe it did because the doors were not automatically slammed shut in my face when it came to employers considering me for a job.

I would encourage others in my position to consider doing what I did. It may just work out for you as it did for me.

By the way, I never once mentioned ADEA to an employer and didn't have to because I feel I was treated fairly from the outset and have no complaints.

Good luck to all of you in your job search whatever your age may be!
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 9041
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 3:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

that's great to hear. What field are you in now that you've left teaching?
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Luluu



Joined: 05 May 2011
Posts: 10
Location: California

PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 8:00 pm    Post subject: ESL and ageism Reply with quote

I'm a newly CELTA certified teacher of retirement age. I have experience substitute teaching in the public schools, business experience, I was a private ESL tutor to a physician for over a year, I'm a stage-trained actor, healthy, fit and look younger by 10 years than my age. Am I wasting my time trying to get a teaching job overseas?
How did you find your way to a U.S. employer position overseas? I love to teach, but I need a job!
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Glenski



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

PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What countries gave you problems with ageism, and for what type of teaching situations?
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laconic



Joined: 23 May 2005
Posts: 198
Location: "When the Lord made me he made a ramblin man."

PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks like it's a problem in many countries and many teaching situations based on 3 searches I just did here using ageism, ageist and age limits.
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Isla Guapa



Joined: 19 Apr 2010
Posts: 1520
Location: Mexico City o sea La Gran Manzana Mexicana

PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't believe it's usually a problem in Mexico. I advise posting a query on the Mexico forum here at Dave's for more details.
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Luluu



Joined: 05 May 2011
Posts: 10
Location: California

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 1:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have seen an acceptable age range given in job postings that specify no older than 60. I'm not 100% sure, but think they may have been Japan and a Middle Eastern country. So I don't apply. I've seen no older than 55 somewhere, too.
I've sent my passport photo page out (with everything else) to postings for which I felt very well qualified and never heard back, but who knows why. ILA Vietnam wrote back that they had too many responses to "shortlist" me, but I see on the forums that's typical for them. Another ad for teachers was posted a few days later.
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BadBeagleBad



Joined: 23 Aug 2010
Posts: 1186
Location: 24.18105,-103.25185

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Isla Guapa wrote:
I don't believe it's usually a problem in Mexico. I advise posting a query on the Mexico forum here at Dave's for more details.


I agree. I have seen one or two schools ask for female teachers of a certain age, usually under 35, but it isnīt that common. I know for a fact that many of the chain schools actively look for retired or second career teachers. Personally, I do some hiring, and I couldnīt care less how old a person is, and actually prefer to hire people over 40, though I donīt discriminate against younger teachers if they seem to be level headed. I have a friend who is a retired engineer, I am not sure how old she is, but I think she is on the dark side of 50 by a few years, who has always wanted to teach, and is in the process of finishing teacherīs training. She already has a job offer - a good one - without really looking a lot. I think even in places where there are laws in place to protect one from age discrimination, that it still happens, it is just not as out in the open. I recently applied for a job that I was waaaaaayyyy qualified for, it was like the job was designed for someone with my background - and was never even contacted for an interview - and they are still advertising, here and other places - and I canīt help but wonder why. I sent a polite follow up letter, and they never answered. And it was an American company. They did ask for my age on the application, which I understand is not legal. I answered the question because they could figure it out, more or less from my work history.
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Luluu



Joined: 05 May 2011
Posts: 10
Location: California

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, as soon as you send your passport page, it's over in some places, and you're right, it happens here where it isn't legal, too. I've seen it.
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 9041
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Luluu wrote:
Yes, as soon as you send your passport page, it's over in some places, and you're right, it happens here where it isn't legal, too. I've seen it.


You could try blacking out that info and just keeping your name and birth place, and passport issue and expiration dates.
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markcmc



Joined: 18 Jan 2010
Posts: 262
Location: Taiwan

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

naturegirl321 wrote:
Luluu wrote:
Yes, as soon as you send your passport page, it's over in some places, and you're right, it happens here where it isn't legal, too. I've seen it.


You could try blacking out that info and just keeping your name and birth place, and passport issue and expiration dates.


This may just be delaying the rejection, and may cost money if you actually travel to an interview, only to be rejected.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11534
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
You could try blacking out that info and just keeping your name and birth place, and passport issue and expiration dates.



Quote:
This may just be delaying the rejection, and may cost money if you actually travel to an interview, only to be rejected.


Agreed. Additionally, it looks suspicious from the start.
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Scott R



Joined: 21 Jan 2011
Posts: 59
Location: Rangsit Thailand

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had difficulty with recruiters, especially in Korea. In fact they will take you off their spam list if you e-mail and tell them you are interested, of course they will not respond to your e-mail.
If you show up in person to the school you may find that you will get a different response, I did.
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wangdaning



Joined: 22 Jan 2008
Posts: 3154

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really don't want to be rude here, so please don't take my statements as offensive. I wish you all well.

The ADEA regulation is good only to a certain extent. It has caused many high school and university graduates to be unable to find jobs. Mainly in industrial positions (railways, transport, refineries...). This seems to have helped with the breakdown of family. How can a youngster care for his family without employment?

Also, while US companies are tied to these laws, their subsidiaries in other counties are not. They can get a contract with a local company and bypass the law.

If your an older gent/gal, have the quals and everything over everyone then great. You are a good choice, especially for training. This is where I hope the older folks wont get mad at me. The younger generation is coming along and need to be trained in key skills.

If you are a free rider, open road type person I get it. If you are serious about your trade, then it should be thoughtfully passed along.

Best to all
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Luluu



Joined: 05 May 2011
Posts: 10
Location: California

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree that blocking out parts of your passport may be only delaying the inevitable rejection in some cases and look suspicious in others. I have heard (after the fact) that I should block out my passport number. Is that true?
Skill, while important, is only part of being a good teacher. Life experience adds huge amounts - in a life well-lived - of tolerance, patience, wisdom (not to be confused with loads of or access to information) as well as perspective. I will never regret my Liberal Art degree. In fact, I think it is growing in value as we plunge farther and farther into the technological morass.
An older teacher, who hasn't grown stale, has a lot to bring to the students. A sincere teacher values lifelong learning.
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