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November 06, 2006

Q & A- Will I have to face discrimination issues?

Hello Readers,

As we are becoming more and more of a global community, cities are increasingly becoming more international, with people from different countries, speaking different languages, and honoring different traditions. Along with this trend, it would seem to make sense that people are becoming less discriminatory and more tolerant of differences. But is that the case?

This week, we'll take a look at a question from Ty, an Apache and Comanche American who grew up in Asia and would like to go back there to teach. What kind of discrimination will he face? For the full question and answer, continue reading...

... and then share your comments about this issue based on your experiences in the countries you've lived in.

Question:

Hello,

I was born in Austin Texas but raised all over Asia untill the age of 20yrs. old. At which time my Mother and I moved back to the US (Texas). Now that I'm older I still love to travel and teach. I'm currently a H.O.D. of a private Chinese School in Medan, Indonesia. I'm the department head of the playgroup, kindergaten and Primary 1,2 & 3 (one building). The children here are great but as with any place in the world that is cut off from the world, there exists racsim at different levels that can and does affect your pleasant stay in that particular country. I have three years experience in teaching overseas and five years
teaching ESL in Texas to Spanish speaking students. I try not to let any of the negativity bring me down. I have lived with this all my life so I have learned to tolerate the ignorance of people in these matters.

So my main concern is that I want to go back to Shanghai where I first lived when I was young. I have been planning to move to Shanghai and teach there. I also plan on making my home there. I will still visit my family in the US but I really fell in love with China when I was small. Besides, with everything that is happening right now in China, I would like to see and be a part of it. I truely love change, especially for the better. Please let me know what I'm in for in Shanghai as far as racsim is concerned in the schools there. Just to let you know, for me there's no place that I know of where this does not exsist so I'm aware of this fact. I just need to know how much and how bad is it in the city that I would like to live and work in. For me as long as I know what I'm getting into I can't complain, plus I like challenges in life. I'm not scared of over-coming adversity.

Thank you for taking the time to read my e-mail.

Sincerely, Ty (Apache and Comanche nation)

Answer:

You've asked me a very difficult question, in that in order to answer, I
have to generalize about a situation that I haven't had to experience
first-hand. I've heard from friends who were part Indian, Native
American, Malaysian, or Asian, that they did indeed experience racism in
China. However, it seemed that for the most part, once their employers
and students go to know them, they forgot about the color of their skin.

I recommend that you go to www.thatsbj.com or www.thatsbeijing.com and ask
this same question on a forum to see if you can get some feedback from
people who are in China now. The links I gave you are both links for
English-speaking people in China (the first of which is in Beijing, but
the situation will be similar to that of Shanghai).

If you are teacher-trained, that will also be a plus. If you don't
already have a TEFL or CELTA, you might want to think about getting that
before you go or while you are there before you start teaching. (The
CELTA course in Beijing is good and not as expensive, especially when you
think of the cost of room and board, as it would be in most other
countries).

Good luck!

If you have any questions, that you'd like answered on this blog, send me an email at crueckert@eslemployment.com

Carol Rueckert
Writer, ESL Lesson Plan
E-mail: crueckert@eslemployment.com
Blog: www.esl-lesson-plan.com

"I hear, and I forget. I see, and I remember. I do, and I understand." - Chinese Proverb

*To read more ESL Questions and Answers, please click HERE!

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About the author of this entry:
Carol, a native English-speaker who hails from the small town of St. Joseph in Minnesota, USA, and lived and worked in China for more than 7 years. During that time, she worked with students that range in age from three to more than sixty years old. She worked in universities, private language schools, grade schools, international schools, as well as private tutoring. Besides teaching, she also worked as a head teacher, an education manager, and a material development manager. In addition to working on this newsletter, she currently writes a monthly column for Time Out Beijing. Carol is also currently working on her MA in TESOL at the Oxford Brookes University in England. Look for her posts on the ESL-Jobs-Forum discussion boards!

Posted by crueckert at November 6, 2006 06:09 AM

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