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Peasant

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Q: Are we non-native teachers worthy of this much disrespect?

How long are we, the non-native teachers in this Forum supposed to digest the Traveler's accusation that we are illegals, cheaters, scammers and perpetrating criminal activities in China? How would you call the accusations of a user who keeps repeating on every post that we are scammers based on the fact that we are not native English teachers? If this isn't harassment, bullying or something like it then what is it?

 

I would like to hear from all of you if possible. I am getting really tired of this "Hero without cause" who keeps pretending that as long as we are no native English teachers we are anything but honest and good people. I point this issue out as I would like to hear also from the admin and see that there is a way to put an end to this campaign that it's being flagged on this Forum against the non-native English teachers for long too much. 

 

Somebody on this Forum asked a question and he proved humble enough saying: "I know I am not native". Then he asked for an answer that would help him to understand something about a breach in his contract. Out of all the answers he's got, only 2 or 3 proved a certain level of respect and one actually being a real good advise.

 

See here:  

http://answers.echinacities.com/question/are-not-native-english-teachers...

 

Isn't this Forum the place to  ask for help and advice? Why should we be this much disrespected only because we are not Native teachers?  Is this Forum only for people with original English background or  great writing skills?  

 

To be very clear about my background: I am a BA in Sciences of Education and I can ad much more about my skills but as to what legally allows me to work  in this Country as an English teacher, that should be enough. 

 

Thanks for taking time to reading my post and writing a helpful answer. 

 

Traveler, this time you are not invited at this party. 

 

6 years 34 weeks ago in  Teaching & Learning - China

 
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I'm a little hesitant to weigh in, as this does seem to be a bit of a minefield, but I've been guilty of snark in the past against whingey non-native teachers, so I probably should.

 

I 100% agree with traveler's demands for teachers to be, well, teachers. And good teachers. I hated the attitude in China that any old white guy is good enough. HATED it.

 

Well, then, what makes a good teacher? Lots of different factors, but essentially it comes down to two things: knowing the subject you're teaching, and knowing how to teach.

 

Qualifications for knowing how to teach is a relatively straightforward matter. A degree/masters of education/PGCE is ideal for kids. Ideally a relevent masters (linguistics, TESOL) or a CELTA/Trinity with observed TP is good for adults.

 

But knowing the subject matter? Now, that's a different story. Does this mean a theoretical understanding through university study, or does it mean actually being able to use the language?

 

I've seen many suggestions that ONLY English majors should be allowed to teach in China. Oh, really? What about my native speaking colleague with a Master of TESOL? She doesn't meet that standard! What about if I had a Masters in Linguistics and CELTA/DELTA? I don't meet that standard, should I be denied a Z-visa?

 

In real life, I hold a degree in communications with a strong writing/verbal communication focus. In fact, both pronunciation and grammatical studies were included in my degree. I have a CELTA and nearly four years teaching experience. Anyone who wants to suggest that I'm unqualified because the word English is not on my degree certificate can bite me (actually, they can do something else, but I suspect I'd be modded if I wrote what I really think).

 

And then we come to non-natives. I don't have any problems with non-natives, I work with great non-native teachers. But I think that non-native teachers should have native-level English, and this includes their pronunciation and, for teachers of adults, a complete grasp of idiomatic expressions.

 

Like hugh, I'd set the bar at IELTS 8 (across all four skills). Because, and here's the crucial point: if you can't properly use English, you are damn well NOT qualified to teach it.

 

In the time I've been posting on this forum (too long) I've seen more non-native speakers post whiney questions about why native speakers are preferred than I care to count. At one point, a new repeat of that question was popping up every 2-3 days. And for most of them, the answer is embedded in the question itself: their writing is simply not up to the task. If you're a person with iffy English, trying to claim you're as good as a native speaker and should be paid/treated as if you're native-level, you are undermining and dragging down the rest of us.

 

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6 years 34 weeks ago
 
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Governor

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 You hit the nail on the head.  Jumping to conclusions as for one's  qualification as an English teacher, without any info on the person's education & language proficiency, is at least rude & not professional.

  I'm kind of disappointed in native speakers: Americans don't understand British expressions (my Canadian colleague couldn't explain what "Bob is your uncle" means), British folks are lost when you say elevator instead of lift or fries instead of chips.  When we discussed airing underwear in public on this site, a native speaker commented, "What's knickers?"  I understand what knickers are as well as what underpants, shorts & boxers mean. 

 Traveler, you promised to find mistakes in my posts. I'm still anticipating.

 Cheers.

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6 years 34 weeks ago
 
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Nicely done! And good for you for standing up for what you believe is right! I applaud your bravery! wink

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6 years 34 weeks ago

There are cookies, bookies and too many rookies for me to sit here trying to be a hooky! Looky Looky don't call me a wooky. Touchy Touchy Feely Feely Spicy Spicy Nicey Nicey & that's what the doctor Ordered!!

 
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Governor

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I have no problem with non-native English people teaching in China whatsoever. The school/ business should have that freedom.

Remember that there are plenty of native English speakers teaching illegally  who do not have degrees, or are teaching on tourist or F visas. The worst foreigners that I have met in China are westerners, a few drunks who drank on the job daily between classes, and one guy who had sex with early teens. He was in his 40's, and he's lucky I only found out about it after he was gone.

That being said, I have worked with a non native English speaker, and her English was slightly worse than some of the advanced students.

If English is not your mother tongue, then just remember that and teach people who are under your level, and don't be ignorant of the fact the you do probably make a lot of mistakes without realizing it, after all, who is there to correct or teach you? Especially when it comes to slang, and pronunciation.

If the students and the school are aware that English is not your native tongue, then who cares.

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6 years 34 weeks ago
 
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oops, double post.

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6 years 34 weeks ago
 
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I wrote a nice reply earlier, but unfortunately the Internet gods conspired against me and the reply didn't go through.  So, I will attempt to recreate my opus.

 

It is very common for one group to complain about another group when they feel their territory is being encroached on.

 

They see the outsiders as a threat to their once safe and secure positions.  Instead, they should see it as an opportunity to excel and stand out from the crowd.  They can use their skills and experience to become the standard to which all others are compared. 

 

But... they will cower in their holes and rage against the dying light.  They will allow the masses to swallow them whole, rather than become better and rise above them and train the less experienced in how to improve the industry as a whole.  They see the challenge as a step back rather than a leap forward.

 

It is best not to acknowledge the impotent shouts from the shadows, response only feeds their need for recognition.

 

The global marketplace, regardless of the industry, is an adapt or die world.  If you waste your time and energy complaining about it, you will get run over by the oncoming bus of inevitability.

 

Despite the claims of people, the Chinese people are not stupid.  They understand the phrase, "You get what you pay for."  The unqualified teachers will fall by the wayside as the market sees their flaws.

 

The qualified teachers, regardless of their native language will shine and be able to attract quality positions that demand the highest level of quality, education and true fluency.

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6 years 34 weeks ago
 
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i got one of those group private messages from admin and i dont think they are going to do anything about it, anyways just look at it this, its pretty easy for a native speaker to get a job as a teacher for having the right passport regardless of whether they are a qualified teacher or not, However, ive seen plenty of  non-native speakers  that work in universities because of their qualification and abilty so my point is if you do get a job it will be because of your ability not  because of your passport and nobody can take that away from you, so  infact it should be this  guy you are complaining about who should be ashamed because he is offered jobs  based on his race rather than his ability hes just mad  because non-native speakers and illegals are taking his jobs lol

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6 years 34 weeks ago
 
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being sensitive is not my strong suit, so i constantly never capitalize, dont use ' on contractions because im a lazy person after work and correcting english all day  and dont care what people think about it, letting peoples enunciation cause your day to go bad is because you acquiesced to their self serving diatribes.

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6 years 34 weeks ago
 
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Despite Traveler's rantings, not all non-natives are here illegally. There are laws in place to take people from other countries if the school is unable to find teachers from the "big five." This means they can hire non-native English teachers, which frequently come from Europe since most places do not want anyone from Africa.

 

However, I have a friend from Africa who has a legal Z visa in this country. He has a master's degree and the required work experience. Although I don't think his pronunciation was very good (his accent was really thick), he knows the written language better than most High Schoolers in my country. He makes fewer mistakes than some of the natives on this forum. He's also a great guy.

 

But you have to realize something: the demand for native teachers far outweighs the supply. To make matters worse, the demand for any kind of non-Chinese English teacher far outweighs the supply. In most cases, people are happy to get "second best," because it's better than "nothing at all."

 

I know you like to rag on non-native teachers, and in many cases I'd probably agree with you, but most people in China don't have the luxury of getting a native speaker. The best they can do is find an English speaker who will obviously speak much, much better than 99.9% of Chinese English learners.

 

Take my school for example. They've been unable to get any kind of foreign English teacher for a long time, but they finally got someone from Africa (the last teacher) who was actually a good teacher. Yeah, he was good at his job but they couldn't get him a visa because he was from Africa. The next school, however, got him the required visa since they were having so much trouble finding a teacher.

 

Some cities just aren't attractive to others, but this is the best city I've ever been to in China. I'm actually happy here, and can't complain about the place. There's basically no pollution, so I see the sun every day, and the stars at night. My wife is happy, and so am I.

 

/endrant.

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6 years 34 weeks ago
 
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I don't think employing a non native speaker is illegal so I'm not sure where that argument's come from.  The only point I do agree with is that a large number of the non native speakers that I've seen on this forum don't have a good enough level of English to teach.  I'm not saying all of them, but a large number of them.  And when they post questions with ridiculously terrible English saying things like: "Why no me find English teach job?"  they are bound to be attacked by the native English speakers on here.  They shouldn't be defended either, they're setting themselves up for it.  

I certainly wouldn't want to learn a foreign language from someone who can't phrase basic questions. 

Just to clarify, I'm not a teacher. I have two good friends here, both non native speakers, who I reckon are good enough to teach English.  I mean, their English is spot on.  One is from Poland, the other is from Iran.  They hardly ever make mistakes.  

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6 years 34 weeks ago
 
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I'll make my position clear and then leave this thread alone as I think it's starting to deteriorate into a slanging match.

 

I think all posters should be treated equally regardless of nationality or language abilities.

 

I also think everyone in China should obey the laws of the land and as far as possible treat the nation, it's populace and customs with respect.

 

That, to me, is the essence of equality. However, if you seek equality on terms of ability then it is quite acceptable for us, and an employer, to be discriminatory on that ability. A football (soccer) manager isn't going to be forced to select me over Wayne Rooney because we are both 'equal' human beings, similarly, if you seek equality in the English teaching fraternity you must display equal ability.

 

I have said elsewhere that I think the Chinese requirements for English teachers are seriously wrong, they require a degree (in anything) and that the teacher is a native speaker. I think the requirements should be an English qualification at a level above that which you teach, a college level teaching qualification and IELTS 8 if you aren't a native speaker. However, that isn't the law and so we have to work with the law as it stands, although in China obeying the law seems to be somewhat selective.

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6 years 34 weeks ago
 
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All this for little old me? I'm humbled... wink ... Shift+R improves the quality of this image. Shift+A improves the quality of all images on this page.

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6 years 34 weeks ago
 
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Wow! this was quite a heavy "question", I have always found this forum to be a very helpful and informative read, I know I am only a newbie here of 4 months but I get the distinct feeling here that this is an out and out attack on Traveller.  Now I know some off you will say that I dont know him, and yes I dont, but this "question" sounds like it is inviting people to personally verbally abuse him.  I am a British qualified teacher with the right visa etc and I think it is right that that to teach english here people need to be fluent and be a native speaker, its a great responsibility teaching children, at least it should be, thats why its important to have teachers that have been trained to teach. How many of you would pay for an unqualified electrician to come and fix the wiring in your appartment if you were paying him.  Sorry if this upsets some people but this "Question" quite upset me.

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6 years 34 weeks ago
 
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I'm a qualified native speaking non-teacher and I have no problem with Traveller. He even understands my jokes.

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6 years 34 weeks ago
 
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I am starting to smell a rat here.

 

Jean, the.epicurean, do you by any chance having any connection with the CFTU?

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6 years 34 weeks ago
 
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jeanie you are picking the wrong fight. the poster you are defending gives non native english speakers a bad rep. you seem to be very good with english (mistakes aside , because i don't check my internet postings for mistakes and i have seen the same mistakes in the postings of many americans)

 

back to my point. the poster you are defending seems to be purposefully trying to make nonnative speakers look bad. 

from his post he is clearly unqualified to teach english. look at your postings and look at his.

look at postings of native english speakers who did not have degrees or the right visas, if they complained about being cheated they were also attacked.  

trav is wrong in one regard, non natives who do not speak english are not necessarily working illegally. 

jeanie defending that poster is picking the wrong fight. you are tarnishing your rep by standing with him. 

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6 years 34 weeks ago
 
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It could actually be worse. For instance, If you were a 'Native English speaker' who happens to look Asian, then it wouldn't even matter if you went to a teaching interview, the reaction will always be similar.

 

I reckon most non-native speakers who have teaching jobs shouldn't complain, they have the upper advantage when it comes to finding work. I have a lot of mates who aren't from native English countries that teach, and do a relatively good job at it. That being said, not all non-natives deserve to teach English just because of their skin colour.

 

I was once told during a job interview that I wasn't Australian and that my passport wouldn't be needed for proof of identification. Doesn't get more awkward than that! haha

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6 years 34 weeks ago
 
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Hey, guys, let's drop it, it's getting boring. When it comes to qualification, only education /English majors should be allowed to teach in China, but you see "any major" is OK. So if you're not education/ English major + have 2 years of experience, don't judge others. Chinese decide whom they want & whom they don't want. This is their country, we're guests & should abide by their rules of the game.  Besides, there's a market factor, If there's a demand, there will be supply. I'm here because somebody is willing to pay me for my skills & qualification, like or lump it. Period.

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6 years 34 weeks ago
 
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I'm a little hesitant to weigh in, as this does seem to be a bit of a minefield, but I've been guilty of snark in the past against whingey non-native teachers, so I probably should.

 

I 100% agree with traveler's demands for teachers to be, well, teachers. And good teachers. I hated the attitude in China that any old white guy is good enough. HATED it.

 

Well, then, what makes a good teacher? Lots of different factors, but essentially it comes down to two things: knowing the subject you're teaching, and knowing how to teach.

 

Qualifications for knowing how to teach is a relatively straightforward matter. A degree/masters of education/PGCE is ideal for kids. Ideally a relevent masters (linguistics, TESOL) or a CELTA/Trinity with observed TP is good for adults.

 

But knowing the subject matter? Now, that's a different story. Does this mean a theoretical understanding through university study, or does it mean actually being able to use the language?

 

I've seen many suggestions that ONLY English majors should be allowed to teach in China. Oh, really? What about my native speaking colleague with a Master of TESOL? She doesn't meet that standard! What about if I had a Masters in Linguistics and CELTA/DELTA? I don't meet that standard, should I be denied a Z-visa?

 

In real life, I hold a degree in communications with a strong writing/verbal communication focus. In fact, both pronunciation and grammatical studies were included in my degree. I have a CELTA and nearly four years teaching experience. Anyone who wants to suggest that I'm unqualified because the word English is not on my degree certificate can bite me (actually, they can do something else, but I suspect I'd be modded if I wrote what I really think).

 

And then we come to non-natives. I don't have any problems with non-natives, I work with great non-native teachers. But I think that non-native teachers should have native-level English, and this includes their pronunciation and, for teachers of adults, a complete grasp of idiomatic expressions.

 

Like hugh, I'd set the bar at IELTS 8 (across all four skills). Because, and here's the crucial point: if you can't properly use English, you are damn well NOT qualified to teach it.

 

In the time I've been posting on this forum (too long) I've seen more non-native speakers post whiney questions about why native speakers are preferred than I care to count. At one point, a new repeat of that question was popping up every 2-3 days. And for most of them, the answer is embedded in the question itself: their writing is simply not up to the task. If you're a person with iffy English, trying to claim you're as good as a native speaker and should be paid/treated as if you're native-level, you are undermining and dragging down the rest of us.

 

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6 years 34 weeks ago
 
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Having a passport from one of the big five English-speaking countries doesn't automatically entitle you the right or ability to teach English... or anything.

Regardless of your nationality, if you aren't properly trained to teach whatever subject you were hired to lecture, you are a scam.

That being said, I would rather have a non-native teacher with the right academic background than someone with the right passport.

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6 years 34 weeks ago
 
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