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Jamaicans Teaching in Singapore,Japan or South Korea?

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Joined: 29 Mar 2008
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 4:27 am    Post subject: Jamaicans Teaching in Singapore,Japan or South Korea? Reply with quote


I'm new to the site, but I'm trying to gather information on teaching possibilities in Asia, specifically Singapore, South Korea and Japan.

My boyfriend and I are on the cusp of completing our MAs and we're itching to get out, and try teaching English.

We both have about 2 years TA experience (teaching ages groups 18-50), plus 2 years of teaching in a remedial/volunteer setting (age groups 5-15).

Our main concern is the fact that he is a Canadian citizen, and I am not. I'm a Canadian permanent resident, and my passport isn't from the popular 7 (UK, CDN,USA,NZ,AUS,Irish,South Africia).

Is there any hope for us? We have additional certifications in University Teaching, but we just don't know. In the spring we are going to be taking TESOL (TEFL & ESL). We'd like to travel together, and we have heard that they are open to couples, but all our research on whether they'll even accept my application(passport) has led nowhere.

Any advice? It really is a huge blow to be so incredibly close to something and be denied. I would really appreciate some advice and help. I keep thinking there must must be options, because I've heard of Jamaicans teaching in China and Japan before.

It really is at the point, where I feel as if I should let our dreams go, and convince him to go without me. Better one of us, than none of us. Crying or Very sad

So...Help Question

ETA - English is my mother tongue. I spoke to a friend recently who said that it should be fairly easy to get work, especially since my accent sounds British. *sigh*
trichomes pictures

Last edited by Smartie on Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Joined: 06 May 2008
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2008 12:37 pm    Post subject: South Korea for Jamaicans Reply with quote

Dear Smartie

I have been living and teaching in South Korea for 3 years but never taught in Singapore or Japan so I can only speak for South Korea.

Unfortunately an E-2 teaching visa is ONLY offered to nationals of USA, Canada, UK, Southern Ireland, South Africa, NZ and Canada. There is no other visa available for teaching. If you are teaching without this visa you are breaking the law.

South Korea is in many ways a narrow-minded country (due just coming out of a war and not being in the international community for long). They cannot imagine English coming from the mouth of anyone who is not white. Because Jamaicans are mostly black, they do not regard Jamaica being home to native English-speakers. Even if it was legally possible for you to get a visa, (I don't know your ethnic background but) not many employers will be willing to hire a person who isn't white. If the employer isn't racist, then the mother's of the children you would be teaching certainly will be.

Anyway because there isn't a market for Jamaican teachers (and perhaps because of false preconceptions of the Korean government???), an E-2 visa will be not be issued to people coming from Jamaica.

As for China, Chinese people are more racist than Koreans. If you get the opportunity to work there, be prepared to suffer (assuming that you are from a non-white ethnic background).
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Joined: 08 May 2008
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 10:03 am    Post subject: Discrimination Issues in ESL...Non-white english speaker Reply with quote

As for China, Chinese people are more racist than Koreans. If you get the opportunity to work there, be prepared to suffer (assuming that you are from a non-white ethnic background).

OMG! I've been applying for TEFL jobs in China and your statement makes me wonder if I'll ever get a job...anywhere!

I'm a 27 year old black South African and have just finished a hectic 3-month long TEFL course. I've been noticing the adverts looking for "native speakers", which I feel I cannot apply for because, although I come from SA and have 1st language speaker proficiency, I am black and brown-eyed.

I must admit, before registering for the TEFL course I didn't do my research as well as I should have. I assumed that the TEFL/ESL employment environment would work just like any other corporate recruitment environment!

I was wrong!

I have a Diploma in Marketing, a 3-year qualification, which I completed with the University of Johannesburg. A Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Commerce degree with the same institution also takes 3 year to complete.
The difference is that Diplomas are less theory based and actually require that you get about 3 months work experience before your graduate.
I am currently studying for a BA Communication Science degree part-time.
I have been working in the financial services/investments industry doing PR/Marketing/Corporate Affairs since I was 20 years old, with some of the most reputable institutions in SA. When I was 19 I tutored first year students
for 6 months in Business Communication English.

I thought my track record would count for something but it counts for nothing!! Again I blame my lack of research.

When I started appyling for TEFL jobs I got the shock of my life when I realised that my diploma, current studies, work experience and the TELF certificate mean nothing. I was even more shocked to realise that most jobs don't even require any form of TEFL training - you qualify just for being a "native speaker" (and in most cases white) and for having a piece of paper that says "degree"... in any discipline.

I decided to go the TEFL route because I need a break from the corporate world and also because I want to do a bit of travelling. The fact that I'll be taking a huge pay-cut (earn about a third of what I currently earn in the corporate world) doesn't bother me. My student loans are long paid off!
All I want is to experience new things/cultures, be challenged and see the world. TEFL is the obvious means of doing this because I actually enjoyed the 6 months of tutoring that I did many years ago.

These forums have surely opened my eyes to the world of ESL/TEFL. I'm a bit disappointed but I'm sure I'll find something.

I'd appreciate feedback from other black/African/African American/non-white people who have ESL/TEFL experience.
Of course I'd also appreciate feedback from the native speakers/white people:-)

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Joined: 06 May 2008
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PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 11:54 am    Post subject: Hello again Reply with quote

Hello again,

I think even if a South Korean employer wants to hire you, they are not legally allowed to do so, because of your nationality. Rolling Eyes You should try checking the immigration office website.

If you are really not sure you can try contacting them, their English is quite good.

Again, I can only speak for Korea.

I think if you apply for jobs in Europe you will find them far more open-minded and realistic. Very Happy If you do decide to change your mind and head for Europe I think that you should check the immigration policies in those countries too, to see who they are able to give teaching visas to. Oh and you should check who China and Japan offer teaching visas to, before your hopes are completely dashed!

Always go down the legal route, even if you are only staying for a few months. Any employer who hires you without a visa is seedy and should ring alarm bells if you come across one.

It's really not fair and it disgusts me, and I am sure that it is even more upsetting for you, especially as you seem like the perfect candidate.

I agree that it is ridiculous that you only need to be a native speaker from the popular 7 countries (which doesn't include Jamaica), white, have a bachelor's degree, and a pulse in order to become an English teacher. Confused However don't be disheartened because in Europe they have higher standards and most places will demand more suitable qualifications. Also if you get a job offer in Asia you may be able to demand a higher salary because you do have TEFL and you are female (the perception is that females are better teachers than men, especially as you are less likely to be a paedophile).

I think the standards are lower in Asia because it is more difficult for them to get teachers and they are more obsessed with learning English compared with Europe-demand far exceeds supply.

Good luck in your search and let me know how you get on, Louise ( a 27 year old whitey).
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Joined: 20 May 2008
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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 4:19 pm    Post subject: racism in ESL Reply with quote

I cannot speak firsthand for Asia, I have corporate, freelance and ESL school experience as a white person in Latin America. Here I am the recipient on the positive side of racism - white people are revered and we get 50 points before even opening the mouth. Black or brown are scorned, untrusted, harrassed as teachers, however the guys are highly prized by the girls in the class as dating fodder - which is strange and can produce paranoia. You get remarks like "wow you look like Michael Jordan". I met a beautiful young black woman very professional from San Francisco who could not even find an apartment where they would let her take out the trash in one country capital here. Realize that you are coming from societies in Canada and SA even that have changed drastically in the past 50 yrs in this front, the rest of the world buys skin bleach.

Why not try Europe?

I recommend, unless you are doing some kind of anthropological racism study or are extremely immune to insults to your self and credibility, that you advanced degree people work in some other less visible, more specialized post in the corporate world or in some other field in order to travel abroad. For instance the SA guy, why donīt you do something in communications that is less corporate - teaching puts you at the mercy of less qualified school owners, ignorant stereotype-full parents as well as pays poorly for someone of your skill level. If you really really want to teach try to do so in a specialized high end corporate environment - like biz english for engineers - where people are less hung up.

In entertainment, places more innovative like tech or some marketing with lots of young innovators its much more open and you will be welcomed with naive curiosity... best wishes!
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Joined: 29 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 12:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just wanted to thank everyone who responded. Your honesty and candor is much appreciated. It really is a bitter pill to swallow but at the end of the day I really have to soul search and find out if I am willing to subject myself to ignorance and racism.

I really wanted to teach in Asia because it's fairly central and some of the salaries are really decent. Singapore would be my best bet with Hong Kong following close behind and with Malaysia, and Macao bringing up the rear. Everything I've read suggests that Singapore, Malaysia and Macao are open, multi cultural etc. It's just finding the job, that's hard.

Someone mentioned Europe. I've heard horror stories about the level of racism in Europe. Where in Europe would you suggest?

I would love to teach pre-university/college/university; i.e. 1st-2nd year courses in my field of expertise. I'd even love to teach 'A' levels/IB curriculum etc. I just need somewhere that is going utilize what I have to offer and pay me well (because I have a lot of student debt). Plus teaching would have given me enough time off to travel etc.

Anyways, I'd like to keep this thread going. If you guys have anymore ideas etc please keep posting and/or PM me. I think if anything else we need to keep this a resource for people of colour who want to participate in the ESL job market. This kind of resource would be an asset.

Thanks again:)

P.S. So now I'm thinking Malaysia and Europe. Is the ESL market in Ireland good? They seem to have a phenomenal amount of language schools.
Honda CX500C

Last edited by Smartie on Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Joined: 24 Aug 2008
Posts: 2
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 2:26 pm    Post subject: Teaching TESL in Britain Reply with quote

I'm not speaking from experience here, but don't overlook Britain as a place to teach English. There are many language schools, especially summer schools ,where Central and Eastern Europe kids go to improve their English. British employment laws would make it very difficult to discriminate on grounds of skin colour, and racism is much less entrenched than in Central and Eastern Europe.

The main problem would be the cost of living in Britain, ditto Ireland. I don't know what they pay TESL teachers there, but living costs are high. Then again, while living costs are low (in the Czech Republic at least) the salaries are also very low.
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Joined: 22 Mar 2010
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:38 am    Post subject: Where is the original poster? Reply with quote

This thread is now over 3 years old, just curious where the original poster ended up.
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Joined: 18 Oct 2017
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:24 pm    Post subject: DELETED Reply with quote

post deleted: advertising is not allowed on the forum UJ
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