Wonders Of Yunnan Travel


Discrimination in ESL

tigertiger - moderator (5085 posts) • 0

I have worked in a place where parents have threatened to take their kids out, because the teacher was black. You hear excuses like, "they have an accent", etc. Parents also don't like ABCs BTW.
There is a deep rooted color prejudice in many Asian countries, even concerning their own nationals. If you are Chinese in China, and your skin is too dark, you won't get a job in many banks, or be fully accepted in polite society. It is just a bad, maybe worse, in India. I knew a guy who was going through the arranged marriage phase. Prospective brides were rejected for being 'too dark'.

With regards to ESL teachers in China, what I can't understand is this. If the prevailing culture is local, the laws and regulations regarding qualifications are local. They are not the product of 'whitey'. In fact I don't really think the decision makers really care what 'whitey' thinks. Then why all the vitriol poured out over the native speaking teachers by some others.
If the native population of China cannot effect change, without some severe consequences for even trying, what makes some people think 'whitey' can change anything (even if we do think there is needless gross discrimination).

Alexez (347 posts) • 0

Well, I also prefer learn Chinese from native speaker rather then from Vietnamiese with HSK6 and some CN teaching cert.

Same is for Chinese kids learning English. They have grammar from local teachers and native Eng.speaker is here to help with proper pronunciation I guess?
So I kinda understand they dont want a teacher with French, Spanish, Italian, German etc. accent.
Speak of black/white...its a other story.

The Dudeson's (1106 posts) • 0

The only problem is that (kids) don't learn that way.
My little angel learns perfect Chinese and my mediocre, to bad -Chinese, is not troubling her grammar or pronunciation.

Kids don't learn mistakes, they just use and figure out what works.

For the record, the best Chinese teacher I have met, was a Korean lady. The best English teacher was Belgian bloke.

It depends on what and in what timeframe you need to learn what.

The arguments, that Native speakers teach better (or more effecient), is in the field of linguistics, - long proven to be false. Unless the non native teacher hasn't mastered the language. But let's be honest, English isn't the hardest language to master.

Napoleon (1183 posts) • 0


The arguments, that Native speakers teach better (or more effecient), is in the field of linguistics, - long proven to be false.

So in that case it's that Native speakers are worse?

I think the views on this matter all depend which side of the Native/Non Native argument your passport falls.

The Dudeson's (1106 posts) • 0

No, that's not what I ment and I think you know that.
It depends on what you want and in what time, you want it.

So, if non Native speakers are better or more efficient [better pronunciation etc.], then the results should be very far apart, right? I mean native versus non.
But usually they are not. Language is a communication tool, the more you use it the better you'll get, disregarding your mother tongue.
And I mean that through all levels from kindy to College. How you teach it, is techniques and skills, right? Everything else is just mastery level in the language. And the motivation to teach it, helps a lot.

Alexez (347 posts) • 0

well, my point was pronunciation and accent. Im not sure about Korean Chinese teachers, coz Koreans we have in school ...no body can understand them when they speak Chinese. Of course if u r in basic level, you hardly distinguish the difference. I guess same with English here, like some non-native speakers can get away with lie being from US etc., with strong Russian, Italian or other accent.

In my opinion, kids actually very quickly pick up your pronanciation and accent, and the grammar is the last think they r bothered about. As u said "they just use and figure out what works". I was talking to my teacher's kid one day ( 8y old ). She spoke to me with Australian accent, then Ive learned she had an Aus. teacher for couple of months. So as I sad, I understand Chinese parents dont want their kid to pick up Eng. with some Italian or French accent.

Napoleon (1183 posts) • 0

I can't see that some of the best teachers don't have a degree.

Can't abide by that.

If they don't have a degree how are they going to advise students going on to University. How are they going to advise on academic writing? How are they going to shed light on university life?

If you haven't driven a car how are you going to teach me to drive?

I'm all for that there are people out there who despite not having been born in an English speaking country, can hold their own in the classroom and out teach many of the weaker teachers who are native speakers. I think that phenomenon is less than some here are making out, but it exists.

I can't see teachers who have never attended a university being much kop, not unless they have the DELTA.

It's of no use people on here shouting the exceptions. Perhaps China should let anyone in a classroom? At the moment that seems to be the basis of the counter argument.

It would be great if China could ensure every teacher hired was capable, knowing their work ethic, language skills, classroom manner, teaching ability, just by glancing them up and down but there's no way of doing that. So why not apply conventional standards that take the best and most efficient steps towards that goal? I have no doubt that some idiots slip the net and some brilliant teachers are excluded. When was life last fair?

Login to post Register to post