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Teaching English as an ABC

Moderator: Tempo Gain

Teaching English as an ABC

Postby mainstflushing » 23 May 2016, 02:03

Hello everyone,

I am new to this forum. I have been looking into teaching English abroad, mainly in Taiwan and Hong Kong, for a while now. I have a Bachelor's degree in business and am looking towards to getting my TESOL/TEFL certification (via https://www.oxfordseminars.com/). However, as an American-born Chinese, I've read that it is difficult to land a job in this industry if you don't have the "Western" look. Is there anyone here who is or has met an Asian English teacher? And, is it really that difficult landing an English teaching job here if you are an ABC's?

Just for some additional info: I can actually speak and understand Mandarin and Cantonese. Do employers look at these as pluses or minuses?

Thanks!
mainstflushing
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Re: Teaching English as an ABC

Postby Charlie Jack » 28 May 2016, 12:32

Hi mainstflushing, and welcome to the board.

I can't speak from experience, because I'm white, and because I haven't been in the job market in a long time.

On this board, opinions and experiences seem to vary about issues of pay and hiring discrimination against ABCs:

From April of 2014, from a thread entitled "Taiwanese nationals teaching English" (the original poster had dual Taiwanese and South African citizenship):

You will still get a job but your pay, hours and extra responsibilities will be that of a local Taiwanese teacher. that means lower pay/hr, fewer paid hours and more grading.

Typically that is.


http://www.forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopi ... 4#p1593454

From the same thread as the 2014 quote above, and partially in response to that post:

. . . that is not always the case, nor should the O[riginal][]P[oster] accept it as such.

It's perfectly possible to get a job, but your choices will not be as varied as a non-Asian foreigner.


http://www.forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopi ... 2#p1593472

From the same thread as the two 2014 quotes above:

My wife (Taiwanese) has never had a problem getting a teaching job with the same pay and work conditions as foreign teachers. I don't think it's ever taken her longer than a week or two to find one.


http://www.forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopi ... 4#p1593594

From August of 2011, from the first post in a thread entitled "Hot Diggity Dog: ABC Files Discrimination Charge Against Kindy":

From Google Translation with some editing (actually, massive):

American-born Chinese Mr. Zhang, according to the (New Taipei City council committee's) employment discrimination complaint, said he applied for a new foreign language teaching position in one of New Taipei's private kindergartens. However, the kindergarten (rep) told him that parents like White foreign teachers and will not welcome Yellow foreign teachers. He was (thus) refused (by the kindy for) an interview. He believes he was "racial(ly discriminated)".

New Taipei City council committee, (after investigating the employment discrimination complaint, determined that the practice is questionable and fined the kindergarten 300,000 NT as of yesterday. This is the first case of employment discrimination in New Taipei City because of "race" factor in employment).


viewtopic.php?p=1334958#p1334958

From March of 2010:

It should also be noted that there is indeed a bias on the part of some parents and indeed adult teachers that having a white face teach English is the best deal, regardless of teaching ability. Some folks feel they're not getting their money's worth if they learn from an ABC or CBC, even if the quality of teaching is better. . . .


viewtopic.php?p=1118069#p1118069

From October of 2009:

today in particular, i called 4 schools inquiring about their open job listings. I had an interview/demo scheduled for all of them, only to conclude the conversations with something along the lines of, "by the way, I'm ABC does that matter?" and having them politely saying they won't hire me. so i guess it turns out that it does matter. i even had one tell me that they only hire "foreigners", like i wasn't a foreigner. i can't even read a menu if it is written in chinese.


viewtopic.php?p=1057965#p1057965

From March of 2008:

I came to Taiwan without securing a job and just searched the internet and canvased around. I only got call backs from the ads I applied via the internet. I also got a lot of "we only hire foriegners".

This being said I got a job within a week with a franchised chain school at competitive pay. Personally, I think being an ABC is a challenge, but you'll get work, just hang in there.


viewtopic.php?p=832744#p832744

From July of 2007:

My wife was born in Taiwan but raised in the US (since 3 years of age). Her primary language is English. She got a job teaching English when we were in Taiwan but was fired because too many parents complained that a "Chinese person" was teaching their children English. Nevermind that my wife speaks English with a North American accent, speaks only basic Mandarin, knows very little about Chinese culture, and considers herself American. The ignorant parents wanted a white face, and she didn't fit the mold.


viewtopic.php?p=750527#p750527

From the same thread as the one above, posted in August of 2007:

Hey, I'm CBC and I was able to find work within a week of looking. I did expereince a few schools who wouldn't even accept my resume. But who wants to work for a racist school anyways? If you give a good demo, and have a four year degree, good schools will not care. In general, being CBC is not a bonus, but there's enough opportunity so you'll find a good job. Just hang in there, and don't settle.


viewtopic.php?p=762495#p762495
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Re: Teaching English as an ABC

Postby kaikai34 » 28 May 2016, 19:35

My sister got shut down when she tried a few years before me, but I've never had a problem. It could be good luck or because I don't physically look completely Chinese.
User avatar
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Re: Teaching English as an ABC

Postby mainstflushing » 28 May 2016, 23:51

Charlie Jack wrote:Hi mainstflushing, and welcome to the board.

I can't speak from experience, because I'm white, and because I haven't been in the job market in a long time.

On this board, opinions and experiences seem to vary about issues of pay and hiring discrimination against ABCs:

From April of 2014, from a thread entitled "Taiwanese nationals teaching English" (the original poster had dual Taiwanese and South African citizenship):

You will still get a job but your pay, hours and extra responsibilities will be that of a local Taiwanese teacher. that means lower pay/hr, fewer paid hours and more grading.

Typically that is.


http://www.forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopi ... 4#p1593454

From the same thread as the 2014 quote above, and partially in response to that post:

. . . that is not always the case, nor should the O[riginal][]P[oster] accept it as such.

It's perfectly possible to get a job, but your choices will not be as varied as a non-Asian foreigner.


http://www.forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopi ... 2#p1593472

From the same thread as the two 2014 quotes above:

My wife (Taiwanese) has never had a problem getting a teaching job with the same pay and work conditions as foreign teachers. I don't think it's ever taken her longer than a week or two to find one.


http://www.forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopi ... 4#p1593594

From August of 2011, from the first post in a thread entitled "Hot Diggity Dog: ABC Files Discrimination Charge Against Kindy":

From Google Translation with some editing (actually, massive):

American-born Chinese Mr. Zhang, according to the (New Taipei City council committee's) employment discrimination complaint, said he applied for a new foreign language teaching position in one of New Taipei's private kindergartens. However, the kindergarten (rep) told him that parents like White foreign teachers and will not welcome Yellow foreign teachers. He was (thus) refused (by the kindy for) an interview. He believes he was "racial(ly discriminated)".

New Taipei City council committee, (after investigating the employment discrimination complaint, determined that the practice is questionable and fined the kindergarten 300,000 NT as of yesterday. This is the first case of employment discrimination in New Taipei City because of "race" factor in employment).


viewtopic.php?p=1334958#p1334958

From March of 2010:

It should also be noted that there is indeed a bias on the part of some parents and indeed adult teachers that having a white face teach English is the best deal, regardless of teaching ability. Some folks feel they're not getting their money's worth if they learn from an ABC or CBC, even if the quality of teaching is better. . . .


viewtopic.php?p=1118069#p1118069

From October of 2009:

today in particular, i called 4 schools inquiring about their open job listings. I had an interview/demo scheduled for all of them, only to conclude the conversations with something along the lines of, "by the way, I'm ABC does that matter?" and having them politely saying they won't hire me. so i guess it turns out that it does matter. i even had one tell me that they only hire "foreigners", like i wasn't a foreigner. i can't even read a menu if it is written in chinese.


viewtopic.php?p=1057965#p1057965

From March of 2008:

I came to Taiwan without securing a job and just searched the internet and canvased around. I only got call backs from the ads I applied via the internet. I also got a lot of "we only hire foriegners".

This being said I got a job within a week with a franchised chain school at competitive pay. Personally, I think being an ABC is a challenge, but you'll get work, just hang in there.


viewtopic.php?p=832744#p832744

From July of 2007:

My wife was born in Taiwan but raised in the US (since 3 years of age). Her primary language is English. She got a job teaching English when we were in Taiwan but was fired because too many parents complained that a "Chinese person" was teaching their children English. Nevermind that my wife speaks English with a North American accent, speaks only basic Mandarin, knows very little about Chinese culture, and considers herself American. The ignorant parents wanted a white face, and she didn't fit the mold.


viewtopic.php?p=750527#p750527

From the same thread as the one above, posted in August of 2007:

Hey, I'm CBC and I was able to find work within a week of looking. I did expereince a few schools who wouldn't even accept my resume. But who wants to work for a racist school anyways? If you give a good demo, and have a four year degree, good schools will not care. In general, being CBC is not a bonus, but there's enough opportunity so you'll find a good job. Just hang in there, and don't settle.


viewtopic.php?p=762495#p762495


Wow, this is beyond helpful! Thanks!!!
mainstflushing
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Re: Teaching English as an ABC

Postby Charlie Jack » 29 May 2016, 00:09

mainstflushing wrote:Thanks!


You're welcome, and I hope it helps!

There are other posts on the board along those lines--good and bad, good and bad, etc. It's hard to figure out how the scales finally tip, especially if one considers that there are probably a lot of people who don't post their experiences.

But in any case, I hope that you enjoy good success if you come here.

--Charlie
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Re: Teaching English as an ABC

Postby Charlie Jack » 29 May 2016, 00:10

kaikai34 wrote:My sister got shut down when she tried a few years before me, but I've never had a problem. It could be good luck or because I don't physically look completely Chinese.


Thanks for posting that, kaikai34.
Charlie Jack
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Re: Teaching English as an ABC

Postby WanderingGator » 30 May 2016, 21:49

Hi mainstflushing!

I'm in a similar situation as you are, and I actually just landed a position at Hess (whether that is a good thing or not, I'm sure there are plenty of opinions here on that!). I do have previous experience teaching English (in Japan) though, plus a TEFL, so that may have helped me. On the minus side, I'm technically on the 'older' age range (over-35), but no one asked me about that during the interview.

I got the feeling that HR doesn't necessarily discriminate according to age/race at big chain schools... they basically just let natural selection do its job. Which means I anticipate having a fairly hard time once I'm posted. Bummer.

For the record, I also tried applying to jobs in HK. I got very few responses though (even though I already hold a HKID), and the ones I did wanted me to be on-site for interviewing (as in, no Skype interviews). Not sure what your experience has been. I think being there and just pounding the pavement would yield much better results.

(Also, your username brings back good memories. I love Flushing!)
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