Non whites been discriminated against as native speakers

Hi please I am trying to get a discussion and eventually changes here. Often when there are advertisement for native English speakers its restricted to 5 countries namely USA , UK, Australia New Zealand and these days South Africa. I often wondered why and only found out why when I started a teacher recruitment agency. What the difference between recruiting teachers from South Africa and Ghana white teachers can be fielded from S.Africa. What the difference between the English dialect spoken in New Zealand and Jamaica? Chances are the teacher from New Zealand is white!!!

i have had schools in Asian countries including S,Korea tells me upfront only whites need apply. I have had school in china tell me if I can source them white teachers who speak god English I am in business. 

Chikdren are colourblind and when these children grow up they will do so in a diverse world if they move outside of Korea. Schools and government needs to stop racial profiling and recruit teachers base of qualifications and not skin colour. Personally I know teachers who are 35 masters degree in education focus on English language American educated taught in the USA but get turned down by Korean school because she is black. This said teacher has 10 years classroom experience taught also in France and in Japan jet program's. 

the future does not look so bright if teaching english in Asian remains a all white club because the likes if middle eastern and European countries will just attract the best native teachers since often these schools in Europe and Middle East hire based on qualification and race is not a factor. 

Just had to get this off my chest after been told that parents prefer white teachers so many times. Xenophobia is wrong and everyone can do something about it. 

Re: Non whites been discriminated against as native speakers

I agree with you 100%, and good for you for getting it off your chest. Like you said, children don't see color, but parents do, and it's the parents who pay the bill. But having said that, I have seen some black teachers in Korea. In fact, I know a black guy who teaches at a university. It's not only blacks, I've seen ads where the school is asking for only female teachers. I'm 57 years old, but don't look a day over 35, and I've had a very difficult time finding a teaching job. Most schools want young women. They seem to care more about that than if the person can teach. I'm a qualified teacher, not just some college graduate who doesn't know the first thing about teaching. I know people with color have it harder than whites, and it's not fair, but I learned a long time ago that life isn't fair. Black just have to keep fighting for their rights. Just keep knocking on doors, and sooner or later someone will let you in.

Re: Non whites been discriminated against as native speakers

I think a good teacher is not based on color , age , looks ,nationality ,  or gender . Its based on teaching skill and dealing with students and parents . As far as I know teachers for E series  visas   must be from USA , Can , UK , Aus , NZ , Ire  and SA .   However Hogwons ( Institutes ) are a business so owners can and do hire who they think is best for them and their students , Mom and pop schools profit margins is not much ,   So they worry about many things like what parents ( customers ) think , Teachers not hired based on age , color ,gender  or looks are more likely to be hired by a large chain schools . Keep trying  and even go door to door  with a resume , A person is not just a piece of paper or an attachment to an email . When going to a school directly you cant be deleted in a press of a button ,     

Re: Non whites been discriminated against as native speakers

I also concur with you. Unfortunately you have arrived in a monocultural society that is bound by Confucian and sexist ethics plus a drive to wealth as status.  Unlike other Asian cultures, Korea has never had much contact with Westerners (it was known as the Hermit Kingdom because it closed its borders to foreigners) especially in terms of Europeans seeing the country as a tourism destination. Most of their European contact has been with Americans mainly the military and teachers. Thus when they think of native English speakers, the absolute ideal teacher for most schools and hagwons is a fresh faced female new graduate from the US, preferably early 20's, attractive, blond and blue-eyed and teaching experience is the least important trait.

I am a fully qualified teacher from New Zealand with years of experience both in teaching, training and facilitation. I also have years of experience working in corporate industry. However, two main things counted against me when I was applying for jobs in Korea. One was age (experience, maturity and wisdom is not valued by most hagwons) and the other was my ethnic origin. Unfortunately, as I'm of Asian descent I look like a Korean. Hence I experienced a kind of reverse racism.

However, there are small pockets of people like myself, you and African Americans who buck the trend. I know that once I start teaching the prejudice against me as a non-white native English teacher falls away. Unfortunately, for people like you and I it's a case of getting a foot in the door, and that's the hardest part! Once you are in front of your Korean students it's at this coalface that you can start breaking down the stereotypes and making inroads to the racism that's unconsciously demonstrated. Also, I know that the media esp The Korea Times is making an effort to educate the general Korean public about multi-culturalism and racism.

Yes, xenophobia is wrong, but every country experiences this when certain sections of the community feel threatened. For any change, in terms of this issue, to happen in Korea it would require some enlightened beings making decisions at hagwon-owner level or at a ministerial level and that's not likely to happen very soon, if at all. However, with globalisation and young Koreans travelling and studying abroad, as well as native English teachers coming here to teach, change will happen, albeit slowly.

Re: Non whites been discriminated against as native speakers

Sorry to say, but Hagwons don't care about your skills or background. All they care about is what you look like.

I am a handsome (by Korean standards) white American and because of this, administrators have twice admitted to me that they don't care about what your resume says...only the picture on it. The only reason they hire people with degrees is because the MOE says they have to. 

The first boss I had that admitted this was an afterschool program recruiter...
she said that foreigners are only for image and parents have no idea what they can do and they will believe whatever they tell them.

The second boss that admitted this to me was the owner of a prestigous kindergarten in Centum City. He said at a dinner party--a little sojued up--that he only hires pretty people. He said that he could care less what qualifications someone has...

"I only want to make mommies happy. Happy mommies=money".

This same school also has an attractive white female South African teacher...but on their website and to parents, they say she's from the UK. This is because they don't want parents to know she's from Africa, either because it's too difficult to explain that white people live in Africa too or because ignorant people think Africa = AIDS.

In another instance, when I first came to Korea 5 years ago, a very close friend of mine from back home was interested in joining me. I spoke to my recruiter about him and she said that it would be too difficult to find him a school because he is black. She told me, and I quote, "schools pay less for black or fat people".


The only way to change this is to refuse to work for these schools. Spread the word to your Korean commitee, not just Koreabridge. When one or a few people speak out it's pessimism...when everyone's a revolution.

Re: Non whites been discriminated against as native speakers

It's good to see there are people that see what is going on is wrong, but I'm affraid they are far and few between. A person's color, race, and age are the first things you see. Hogwons are a business, and it's so true that it's the parents who have to be kept happy. Almost all hogwons I've taught at are a joke anyways. The way they teach, and what they teach isn't the best way to teach English. People of color, people who are over weight , and older people no doubt have it harder finding a job. But there are jobs out there. At an interview, you have to do your best to sell yourself, sell your strong points. Every now and then you'll run into a presdident who cares about the teaching side, and can see your strong points as a teacher. Last month I was hired by a presdient who said my age(57)was a plus. He sees me as having life experiences which younger people don't have yet. Of course there will be school presidents who don't give a stuff about you as a teacher, only how you look. Whenever there is a job advertised for 'female only', I always write and say, why female only? What about hiring the best teacher regardless of sex. I rarely hear back. But I'm affraid it's a fact of life. First impressions are of age, color, and sex. It's not fair, but life isn't fair. We have to do what we can to try and change even one person's thinking, and to not judge a book by its cover.