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Choosing a Foreign English teacher in China

destinyeric May 02.2015 21:08 Comments (38) + Add your comment
Tags: Teaching & Learning, Expat Rants & Advice Category:My Blogs

We frequently see adverts on the web the prescribed foreigner teacher an institution willing to employ. Most of them requires what they called "Native speakers", and also nationals from some shortlisted countries such as: UK, America, canada, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand. These institutions including the China Education Bureau shortlisted these nationals as eligible or capable to teach the English language well.  Which is ToTALLY WRONG.  They have absolutely negative ideas about the word "TEACHER".

(1) The  China Education Bureau

There's a provision or regulation from the  Education Bureau, especially in the Guangdong province Nationals qualify to be a Foreign English teacher.  They think these above shortlisted nationals are NATIVE SPEAKERS,  or English is their official language, so they can teach the language well..   Expats not from these shortlisted countries are describe as NON- NATIVE SPEAKERS and are disqualified. So in Cities such as: Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Foshan etc.and even across the country, the Education Bureau don't give permit or foreign expat certificate to Nationals described as NON- NATIVE SPEAKERS.  Nowadays,  passport holders of philippine, Italians, Ukriane, Sweden, Germany etc, nationals from the european and American countries are also eligible because they clam their official language is English.  Whiles Expat from African continent are still in the disqualified list.

Question (1): Which nationals are native speaker of English ?

The answer is: British. They are the only nation in the world prescribed as English.

Question (2): Are nationals from America, canada, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand native speaker of English ?

The answer is: NO ! These countries have their own native culture and local languges.   They're non-native speakers of English. Its only that they use English as their offical language

Question (3):  which local languages does  native American, canadaian, Australian, Ireland and New Zealand  speak?  

The answer Is: 

Americans speaks: Dine' Bizaad also know as Navajo, Cherokee, Cree, Ojibwa, Dakota, Apache, Blackfoot and Choctaw.
Australians speaks: french, russian, german, italian, japanese, cambodian, thai  Arabic, Greek, Mandarin, Cantonese and Vietnamese
New Zealand speaks: Maori
Ireland speak: Irish Gaelic
Canadian speaks: french

Question (4) If these nationals qualifies because their official language is English, then are there no nations in Africa that uses English as their official language ?

The answer is: there are !  There are about 18 English speaking countries in Africa : Ghana, kenya, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, Nigeria, cameroon, Botswana, Gambia, Eritrea, Liberia, Malawi, Mauritius, saint Helena, Seychelles, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Question (5) If these countries also use English as official language , why  the China Education Bureau still disqualified them to teach English in China ?

The answer is:    some suggests:  Racist,  color,  nationality,  continent,, Reputation. But  the exact answer still remains unknown !                                             

(2) The institutions 

99% of the school which employ foreign teachers in China are private own institutions.  They prefer employing the white teachers because of advertisement.  Just to showcase that they have white foreign teacher from (this or that country) in their school in the sense of requesting much money from the parents. They think African or black teachers aren't marketable.  These schools don't really focus on the quality of teaching the Children English. Because most of those whites aren't  profesional teachers.  they can't even teach.

Another reason is that, because the Education bureau disqualities profesional African teachers and don't give them expat certificate, the institutions choose to employ  unprofessional teachers from those shortlisted countries.  

But all these opinions are totally wrong ! Because A teacher is a profession. It has absolutely nothing to do with which country or nation the person comes from or which race or ethnicity the person is.  So far us the person is a professional teacher and has teaching skills and qualifications, he/she must be eligible to do the job.  But not in China....  hahahaha

(3) Pronunciation; 

Chinese think people from African have non-standard or bad accent because they compare English to their "chinese ping yin" that  "one word"  has four different vowels and four different meanings.  But hey, that idea is totally Wrong ! English is a neutral language, with different country with different vowels and accent.  In America, two Americans speak two different accents.  those described as native speakers all have defferent accents.  If So, then where is the standard accent here ?

(4) Racism and discrimination

This is one thing I don't think it can be wiped out of this world.  So what we are seeing today started many years back.  Even America that has 14% blacks of the U.S population, racism still persists.  So hey, keep your fingers cross and do your own thing!  

My worst worry is:  the Chinese parents are just paying huge price for no outcome. And also building a wrong education foundation in the next generation.

(5) My advice to the China Education bureau:  

If other countries students can learn and speak English, Chinese students can do too.  But their current option will never help.  The china education bureau should seek advice from professional English teachers, the best and easiest method to learn the English language.  They should encourage their institutions to empoly professional and skillful English teachers,  Employing NATIVE SPEAKER is just a scrap ! 

Thank you !

Destiny Eric.


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38 Comments ( Add your comment )


Do we need to call you a Waaaaaaambulance?

May 03, 2015 18:43

This was an insightful article and well researched. I agree with the points that native Americans are not native English speaking, in fact most Americans speak a strange form of the language that could hardly be described as native English.

May 24, 2015 09:16

Thanks buddy. Those who are insulting up here know the truth very well, They know very well that professional African teachers perform far better than them. But because they benefit from it, they're scared to speak it out.

Jul 08, 2015 23:41

I sure hope you are not a teacher. Your grammar and spelling are horrible. As for England being the only true "native" English speakers...NOT! You point out American Indians in America as disqualifiers. Perhaps you should look into your own history to see where your ancestors came from to populate England. The point that China is making about native speakers is that English is our PRIMARY language in our countries. We are taught English as our first language. Not to mention, Chinese authorities and people are racist against many other Asians and dark skinned people. But, that is a whole different matter to discuss.

May 10, 2015 16:55

@ nashboroguy Man, if you're telling me and the world that Native Americans are English, then you have no truth in you, and have zero knowledge of the history of America ! You said, my grammar and spellings are horrible. First Check your own grammar ( "I sure hope you are not a teacher" "We are taught English as our first language") You've proven you're non-professionalism !!

May 12, 2015 16:40

The problem is that China is not willing to pay as much as neighboring countries (South Korea, Japan, even Vietnam pays more). If they want qualified and experienced ESL teachers they will have to pay for it. No teacher in his right mind will come to a heavily polluted country with censored internet and rampant xenophobia for 10000 or 15000RMB per month, even with free accommodation.

May 12, 2015 13:59

@Guest734326 Man. If you think Americans, British, etc. are here because they want to be here, then you're ignorant of the life and the living condition in such countries.. Those people are there because they can't afford the price tag there. They're ever poorer, homeless and desperate. Every country have poor citizens, World media broadcast only the poor area and bad side of Africa and keep theirs Secret. Africans you see here aren't in poverty. They're rich in their country.

May 12, 2015 16:31

You are painting with a very broard brush here. Yes there are probably people here from America or England (or Australia where I am from) that came to China because it provided more opportunities than were available at home. However to say that everyone is here because of desperation is clearly untrue. Some people are here for adventure, some people are here because they like the lifestyle, some people (like myself came her because this is their partners' home) and there are more possible reasons. But the major problem of your blog is the assertation that many African countries have the same level of native English speaking as America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Let's focus on Australia considering that is where I can speak to the best. White settlers arrived in Australia in 1788 and they all came from England where they and their ancestors spoke English. When they arrived in Australia they continued to speak English until this day where we speak basially British English with some small differences that developed over the last 200 years. As of the last census 81% of Australian's speak only English at home, there is no second language in Australia, the second most popular language spoken at home is Chinese with 1.7%. Many of the African countries that you mentioned have offical and unnoffical second (or even third or fourth) languages and in some cases English might be the offical language of the government but not necessarily of the people. Either way the level of English speaking in African countries is nowhere near the level of which it is in Australia. This does not mean that untrained Australians will automatically make better teachers, they won't necessarily, but you statement of native English and English fluency is just not true. To be perfectly clear, Australian's speak English, for locals or immigrants alike and to say that we have our own native culture and languages is frankly stupid. Of course we have our distinct culture (although one born out of and forever linked to British culture) but our native language is English not "russian, german, italian, japanese, cambodian, thai Arabic, Greek, Mandarin, Cantonese and Vietnamese". Many of those nationalities you mentioned (completely ignoring Australian Aboriginal languages)have very small numbers of immigrants of Australia and the two largest, Greek and Italian, have been in Australia for so long now that English has long become their native language. I went to a school that was about 25% Italian, some of them could not even speak Italian at all and those who could did not speak it at home and their fluency was less than in English. The only reason that Chinese ranks so high in main language spoken at home is because Chinese immigration to Australia is relatively recent and therefore they have not had time to fully assimilate. But once the children of parents moved to Australia start having children of their own the first language will switch from Chinese to English, just like it has done with Italian and Greek. No one is going to disagree with you that appearance is important in China, especially for being an English teacher. It is terrible that a person born and raised in England/America/Australia etc who happens to have brown or black skin would have a much harder time finding a job than a white person, on that there is no debate. And just because someone is a native English speaker does not mean that they will be a good teacher or preferable to a trained teacher from Africa or Asia that does not have the right look. If that had been how far you took this point then there would have been little debate, however other than that point, which everyone in China already knows, the rest of your argument is ridiculous.

May 13, 2015 19:49

@ mhager I guess you misunderstood the word NATIVE SPEAKER OF A LANGUAGE. A native speaker of a language is someone who's mother tongue is the language. french, Russian, German, Italian, Japanese, Cambodian, Thai Arabic, Greek, Mandarin, Cantonese and Vietnamese can never switch to a native speaker of English while they have another language background. They are classified as learners of English, and English is their second language. Touching on Looks or appearance. If China Employ teacher only because of looks appearance. But not because of skills or profession, then China English has no Future. Because you cant employ a street guy and inspect a result.

May 14, 2015 15:04

I think you misread my post, no where did I say that someone changes from a native speaker of one language to a native speaker of another language. I said that immirgrants come to Australia with their native language and then their children speak English and possibly their parents native language also. But then when they get married and have children of their own they lose the language of the grandparents and only speak English. They are native English speakers. Regarding your second point that is exactly what I said so I'm not sure why you are repeapting it back to me. But I would also add if you have a choice between a native English speaker that has a degree in Education a person who has a degree in Education but is from an African country, particulary the African countries you mentioned that were not South Africa, then picking the native English speaker is clearly the best option. So if you really care about China giving students the best results then you should be advising to only hire native English speakers with degrees in Education because their fluency, accent and most importantly cultural understanding will be better than that of an African English teacher.

May 14, 2015 16:02

@ mhager I'm sure you read the news about the expats been arrested in Beijing. They're native English speakers with degrees anyway. Americans and New Zealands. they're fluency, accent and most importantly cultural understanding anyway, Is that the exact cultural understanding you mean ? Chinese deserve these drug addicts to teach their children, because they think only the so-call 'White people' or native speakers are pure and clean, with good moral attitude to teach their kids. Africans are evil. But trust me, you won't hear any professional black, or African teacher dealing with drugs in China.

May 14, 2015 21:13

That's a huge generalization and very wrong. I am here because I choose to, I make more than most people do back in my home country running my business. Many people come here to explore the world and being offered a job and free accommodations that allows you to do so doesn't mean you are "poor, homeless and desperate". You live inside your box if you like, just don't come creeping out with that kind of dribble.

May 15, 2015 14:25

No one deserves to have dug addicts as their teachers that goes without saying (if any of what you said is even true as you provided no links to the story) but that has nothing to do with what we are talking about and for that matter crime is not limited to only white people. There are good and bad people of all races and to use this story as evidence that China should hire African teachers over white teachers is crazy. Even if there were Australian and New Zealand teachers that were also invloved with drugs that does not mean that all foreign white teachers are. At this point it is very clear that you are just pushing an agenda, white bad African good, and while you may actually believe what you are saying it simply is not true.

May 15, 2015 23:13

@ Robk, I answered to a comment from Guest734326. describing Africans in China as Refugees, poor and desperate.. And that white people are here because they wanna be here. The mission of my blog is to tell Chinese and the world the truth. Not to harm anyone.

May 17, 2015 13:27

@ nashboroguy Man, if you're telling me and the world that Native Americans are native, then you have no truth in you and have zero knowledge of the history of America ! You said, my grammar and spellings are horrible. First Check your own grammar ( "I sure hope you are not a teacher" "We are taught English as our first language") You've proven you're non-professionalism !!

May 12, 2015 16:41

Hey Destiny Eric, I had a look through this and looked at this point pretty objectively as possible and you have a valid argument to an extent but for the love of God, what are you doing? Allow me to explain: Your biggest failure throughout is that you lack the ability to articulate concisely what you are trying to convey. You lack clarity with the terms you are trying to put across and use them incorrectly. Trying to comprehend it, I am confident that your objection is that current legislation regarding the overriding criteria for which an ESL language teacher's ability is judged on, is without merit in two/three categories: 1. The classification of the term 'native speaker' 2. The country of origin from which the term 'native speaker' is associated with and who has owernership/validity of this classification of 'native speaker' 3. A native teacher (choose classification - mother tongue or origin) does not merit the term as teacher solely on this classification. Straight off the bat, and without even needing to look at any literature to confirm, you have made an assumption that puts your argument dangerously close to invalid. You are attaching the term 'native' in contexts that are confusing yourself. I'll need to throw in just a little terminology to help clarity. The socio-geographic and political context has been overlapped. Socio - is the social, a society, and 1 classification of a society's identity ( among many others like, laws, custom, tradition, religion etc,) is yep, the mother tongue - language-. Stay with me here. This is different from the geographic term to the word native, which is 'origin of' or something of similar semantic nature, your reference to Native Americans for a quick example are the people who lived (natively, by geogrpahy) on the land before the social and therefore before the influence of the language and 'native tongue) - You still with me? Now look at the spread of the English language - it is the social and geographical becoming amalgamated together as the native social slowly absorb the native geographical. Last little point about it, the social, and geographical become one as the social seeks to outline and border its geographical location - hence countries. Within these countries there are laws that govern the social and in our particular case ESL teachers. So when a country decides to classify a speaker as 'native English, they do so in terms of the socio-geographic and political nature and not the terminology or semantic definition of 'native' Because you have failed to grasp this concept you fly off into wild accusatory assumptions about, eligibility and qualification, moral and ethical as the basis for your argument. You are latching onto this as proof that 'teachers' are determined by their skin color or nationality in recruitment. It is just not. There are other requirements like a degree, TESOL etc which are deemed by the 'laws of the social' as adequate in terms of suitably qualified teachers of ESL. If this is adequate enough, claimed is true or not is for the research. Unfortunately, Chinese law does not put in place legal requirements for personal opinion or choice, therefore decisions bsaed in terms of age, race gender, etc are applied subjectively to businesses within ESL. This choice and personal opinion can stem from many mitigating factors of unfounded or misguided prejudice and you are right to argue some of these, like race, color, culture, pronunciation ( you say they think its not good - its only not good by their perception of good, because of familiarity with your pronunciation, it'd be the same, if the countries were vice versa) of sounds then too i guess if they say that too you. But to broadly sweep and appear to call everyone and living thing in China, racist, xenophobia etc is a stretch. I'm neither agreeing or disagreeing with the notion that everywhere no matter where has some from of it - but man you exhibit a lot of it yourself throughout this paper. A lot of public choice is just purely down to exposure and familiarity. The spread of English was greatly influenced by the likes of entertainment industries, eg, Disney and Hollywood and the spread of 'westernism' in other forms such as music blah blah. This lead to exposure and a sense of familiarity that we unfortunately do not have with other nations in terms of culture and language ( broadly speaking). The only point i will agree with you on is 1 but man it's embedded well in there. The laws of the social and the requirements of a ESL teacher are prohibiting well qualified 'non native speaker' English teachers to China, which deprives China of a skilled workforce, but that is the choice of the social. To try and blame the eligible teachers ( deemed eligible by the social remember) and highlight peas in a pod examples of 'drug dealers' 'Chinese want 'white' etc etc in an attempt to admonish you're own discriminatory viewpoint by appearing 'concerned' and emancipate the ineligible teachers in the hope to influence the social - as you have done throughout this entire pile of tripe is exactly the bias you claim is being served - Racist - just choose your own particular subcategory. Shameful! English classification as an official language by A, B, and C countries. No country is under any obligation to accept another country's standard definition of anything and that includes what a country determines as an official language in name or not. Also, for you to call English a neutral language is unbelievably vague and without question, categorically, in an argument for and against a topic within ESL, among expected readers with expertise in the language, about as useful and welcome as a fart in a spacesuit. You had positives: Sort of managed to be clear that the Chinese are missing good qualified teachers because of poor legislation. Highlighted racial inequalities between non white and white workforce showing favourability examples. Negatives to be worked on: 5 questions - 5 extremely poorly articulated attempts at answers. Sweeping, generalist, derogatory statements throughout vague anecdotes, 'teaching is profession' well done. but if i want a physics teacher i don't ask for a swimming teacher. To be honest mate, the general overview of what you are saying had its points but for goodness sake man. You ranted and raved, called people'homeless' etc and druggies blah blah then attempted redemption by claiming to defend China's poor long suffering parents and the money they spend, for sub par education that will affect their offspring for generations to come. Look at me, i'm sensitive to the need, its those pesky whites you should be worrying about! What the hell man?? Look at your point 'my worst worry'. Just be honest, its not your worst worry, you said 1 sentence about Chinese and money and it was to highlight the effect on you. Your worst worry is your are not being afforded the same chances as others, who may or may not be as qualified as you, and for reasons you cannot change, you are discriminated against - which my friend, is a much more damn plausible worst fear for any one of us!! I'd certainly not be ashamed to write about it and express discontent. Just next time, do it without attack and at the expense of others, here just simply doing something we bloody want to do. Do it with a bit more dignity, class and in depth knowledge of the subject at hand. You are after all, a teacher and you rightly put it 'teaching is a profession'. Goodnight.

May 17, 2015 03:44

aw0101. Man, Before I comment on your crap, I want you to answer only there questions. 1) Which country or origin in this world is the native speaker of English ? 2) What does native speaker , skin color, or race have to do with a profession ? 3) Are you sure there're no professional African or black teachers in the ESL industry ? Honestly answer these questions !!

May 17, 2015 13:17

Wow, Swing and a miss buddy. 1. - the social, as explained about tell you it all. If you cant understand..well... 2 - absolutely nothing. I agreed with you. 3 - I'm sitting next to one right now. A question to you: Does skin color or race have a factor in the 'legal' process in terms of visa acceptance? Does skin color or race have a factor in the individual selection process of candidates? Is nationality ( A social 'construction' from the absorption of geographical and social in to a political - see above) a factor in the visa process? Last question: Do you really have a degree? I cant see how you can fail to comprehend what is being said to you.

May 17, 2015 18:54

@ aw0101 Once you cannot give a valid answer my questions, I have nothing to comment on your scrap. !!

May 17, 2015 21:04

I do agree on one point though: even if one is from America or Uk or whatever, he or she might not be a good teacher for a number of reason. I am no native speaker (French) but I developped my craft in teaching, earned my degrees in teaching, and it pisses me off whenever an old white dude from America goes to my boss angry and all, because the young Frenchy makes more than him... Eventhough I have more qualifications and experience as a teacher. Still, I am white and I have it easy. Honestly, I feel sorry for the black community teaching in China. Most of the time, the parents get used to them and they are popular with students (kids are not scared of black folks! ) but companies' bosses are so uptight... And white colleagues sometimes get upset when they earn the same as blacks. So what to do?

May 17, 2015 23:32

This post simply proves you can't use logic to debate with an idiot. One thing is certain, the OP is definitely not a native English speaker. Period.

May 17, 2015 23:36

Agreed mate!

May 18, 2015 03:10

@ danielwkoh An idiot is someone has no care about others. And being native speaker doesn't make someone sensible. Check your IQ if you're sensible.

May 18, 2015 08:07

Actually, an idiot is someone who doesn't use common sense. You wrote a long winding tirade about how non-native English speakers should have the same teaching opportunities as native speakers. In that sense, I agreed with you. Perhaps you were unfairly treated by a hiring manager sometime in the past. However, the rest of your arguments lack any semblance to logic. As for my IQ… I’ll let other posters be the judge of that. You, on the other hand, seem a bit too emotional and in my honest opinion, are hardly qualified to make that determination.

May 20, 2015 09:52

What I know in this world is, people who benefit from a certain era keep the truth secret. But as humans, we must learn truth. No matter how much insults, I remain on my words ! As a reasonable, responsible and a professional human beings, never think of benefiting from people because they're ignorant. You guys are duping the parents to the fact that, they give you free houses, food and drinks including monthly salary inspection that their kids could speak English. But at the end of the day, their sweat bares no fruit, because they spent on a street guys. Employing non-professional teachers just because of their appearance or origin is wrong in Education. The institutions take advantage just because of appearance to cheat the parents, whiles you guys are duping them because of their ignorance. Having a degree doesn't make you a professional teacher, because Zookeepers and street sweepers can have. The point here is, They employ you guys for a mission, whiles you end up providing nothing.

May 18, 2015 08:24

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