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Mentioning being mixed race

 
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TheRedDeluge



Joined: 09 Mar 2012
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:32 am    Post subject: Mentioning being mixed race Reply with quote

Hey everyone, this is my first post here on the boards.

I was wondering if you all think that it is disadvantageous to mention that I have Vietnamese ancestry in my Cover letter? I basically wrote that I have Vietnamese ancestry, but speak no Vietnamese, and so it is one of the reasons I would like to teach in Vietnam.

It is clear from my photograph that I look American. Other than ancestry, I am culturally American. I know that these sort of things might affect hiring are not unheard of and I wanted your honest opinions.

Maybe it is best to leave that out?
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inhanoi



Joined: 22 Oct 2011
Posts: 165

PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd suggest that you leave it out. Do you have a Vietnamese family name? If so, it will be obvious anyway. It's not necessary to include such information in your CV. If you had Italian grandparents you wouldn't make note of it in your cv. It's something you could mention in an interview, as a good explanation of why you are motivated to teach here.

Yes, I realize that you're applying in Vietnam, but if your credentials are good then you will get hired. A few years ago there was more prejudice toward Asian-Americans (or any non-Vietnamese Asians) as English teachers, but people seem to be becoming a bit more sensible these days.
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Rabbit81



Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Posts: 32

PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Mentioning being mixed race Reply with quote

TheRedDeluge wrote:
Hey everyone, this is my first post here on the boards.


Welcome.

Quote:

I was wondering if you all think that it is disadvantageous to mention that I have Vietnamese ancestry in my Cover letter? I basically wrote that I have Vietnamese ancestry, but speak no Vietnamese, and so it is one of the reasons I would like to teach in Vietnam.


As 'inhanoi' stated, it's better to leave it out. Not because of you, but because some schools discriminate on not hiring and/or trying to pay you less. I know an American of Vietnamese descent (he does speak vietnamese) who was born and educated in the mid-western USA, but schools offer him very low pay. Some will not hire him. He does however have a vietnamese last name/family name.

Quote:

It is clear from my photograph that I look American.


Americans come in many shapes and sizes (as you know).

Quote:
Other than ancestry, I am culturally American. I know that these sort of things might affect hiring are not unheard of and I wanted your honest opinions.


The schools cater to the parents who pay the money.

Honestly, white & pale is preferred. These parents really believe that this person is a native speaker.

Schools have been know to hire (and still do hire) non-native speakers who claim their name is "Michael" from "Canada" but their real name is Vaclav from Eastern Europte. Some have accents that are better/worse than other non-native speakers.

Parents see an Asian looking person, and then they get suspicious (often but not all of the time).

Quote:
Maybe it is best to leave that out?


Best to leave it out.

Do you have a Vietnamese family and/or first name?
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TheRedDeluge



Joined: 09 Mar 2012
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really appreciate your responses.

I actually don't have a Vietnamese first or last name. I think I am definitely going to leave that information out. One of the jobs I applied for wanted the reason why you chose Vietnam included, so I did. I know now for the future.

I think unless I mention that I am half, most Americans have no idea. I have black hair, but I am as pale as they come.

I just hope to land a good job somewhere and hope someone recognizes my credentials. I was currently denied by one school and I don't want to weaken my chances.

Thanks.
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I'm With Stupid



Joined: 03 Sep 2010
Posts: 366

PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:01 am    Post subject: Re: Mentioning being mixed race Reply with quote

Rabbit81 wrote:
The schools cater to the parents who pay the money.

Honestly, white & pale is preferred. These parents really believe that this person is a native speaker.

Schools have been know to hire (and still do hire) non-native speakers who claim their name is "Michael" from "Canada" but their real name is Vaclav from Eastern Europte. Some have accents that are better/worse than other non-native speakers.

Parents see an Asian looking person, and then they get suspicious (often but not all of the time).


I'd be interested to know if there are cases of schools passing a Vietnamese (or Filipino) teacher off as a native speaker. It wouldn't surprise me, so it might be the case that parents' fears are well-founded. After all, anyone at least up to intermediate level is going to have a hard time knowing whether someone is native or not, as long as they've got a reasonable level of English and refuse to speak Vietnamese in front of them.

I do know a few (white) non-native teachers who are pretty open about their background with students and have never had any complaints or issues, despite working for schools promising a native teacher. And yet, in the same school, there was one Asian-American who one parent insisted on watching, because she thought he would teach in an "Asian" way and she was paying for a "Western" education. After watching his class, she was satisfied though. But it's stuff like that that might stop you getting into the classroom in the first place. If schools know that hiring Asian teachers is going to be a pain in their arse, they're less likely to do it, or at least always going to hire the white person first.

Interestingly though, before we start feeling too superior, this also happens in the UK.

Quote:
Researchers sent nearly 3,000 job applications under false identities in an attempt to discover if employers were discriminating against jobseekers with foreign names. Using names recognisably from three different communities Nazia Mahmood, Mariam Namagembe and Alison Taylor false identities were created with similar experience and qualifications. Every false applicant had British education and work histories.

They found that an applicant who appeared to be white would send nine applications before receiving a positive response of either an invitation to an interview or an encouraging telephone call. Minority candidates with the same qualifications and experience had to send 16 applications before receiving a similar response.
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Tigerstyleone



Joined: 26 Mar 2010
Posts: 181

PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 2:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to Paradise, Paradise.
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