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African English teachers in China


Chikko
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thank you guys you have been so helpful,I think the best thing is to give it a try.I am from Zimbabwe and yes GW there is embassy of Zimbabwe in Beijiin,will definitely call them to acquire more information.Got worried when i saw only SA was regarded a native English speaking country.

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I work with someone from Zimbabwe at my school. As above, it’s very possible

you can get a job in China. But it won’t be on a Z working visa / working residence permit. Purely because of the requirements the Chinese government has to get that visa at the moment. 

 

Whatever you decide, good luck! 

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14 minutes ago, Chikko said:

Got worried when i saw only SA was regarded a native English speaking country.

You should be worried. China doesn't care what the official language of your country is, it cares about whether or not it's classed a country as English native-speaking for this specific purpose. I'm not sure even SA qualifies. That's why the list gwr posted is misleading and unhelpful.

 

The simple fact is that China's a lot less welcoming than it used to be, and it has some pretty strict rules on who can come and teach. It's not just nationality, it's a degree and post-degree work experience. With a  B.ed and TESOL qualification you're in a better situation than many, but... And it's not just the official requirements, it's a very real unwillingness from many schools to employ anyone who isn't white.

 

Good luck with the embassy, but I doubt you'll have much joy. The embassy requirements are the easy part, the hard part is getting the invitation from China (again, which is why the list posted by gwr....)

 

Get in touch with some agencies that place English teachers in China. They know what is possible and what isn't. Watch out for people trying to get you to teach illegally on a tourist visa. 

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50 minutes ago, roddy said:

You should be worried. China doesn't care what the official language of your country is, it cares about whether or not it's classed a country as English native-speaking for this specific purpose. I'm not sure even SA qualifies. That's why the list gwr posted is misleading and unhelpful.

 

The simple fact is that China's a lot less welcoming than it used to be, and it has some pretty strict rules on who can come and teach. It's not just nationality, it's a degree and post-degree work experience. With a  B.ed and TESOL qualification you're in a better situation than many, but... And it's not just the official requirements, it's a very real unwillingness from many schools to employ anyone who isn't white.

 

Good luck with the embassy, but I doubt you'll have much joy. The embassy requirements are the easy part, the hard part is getting the invitation from China (again, which is why the list posted by gwr....)

 

 

The information in Roddy's post is a bit disappointing but he is correct. And the reality is there is a prejudice against non white workers. A white person will be favoured over a non-white (however we wish to classify that). I know plenty of people that speak English perfectly such, however but as they are indians or african  nationality chinese employers dare not willing to accept a non British nor American accent.

 

It is my understanding that an SA must have a degree from a native english speaking country. This is from the new visa rules document but I just glanced at it when I renewed mine this year so I may be incorrect

 

China have made it a lot more difficult to achieve a visa for all of us. I was requested to provide  work references going back 10 years as I had to show that I worked in Fortune 500 companies for an extended period of time. However by EU law employment , records are scrapped after 5 years and many companies no longer exists after the economic crash in 2008. I showed them older documents and pension schemes statements but they still were not interested and just keep quoting the rules.

 

Now what I would say is that maybe you can come on a student or tourist visa and you may find a teaching job part-time. It is not uncommon by any means in China (visa or not). Most English teachers I know do not have a Z visa. This is not to encourage you to take this route but purely a statement of information. You should now thought that in the case of getting caught,  it is likely you will be detained, fined, given two weeks to leave and mostly likely have a deported stamp on your passport or at least registered as being deported from China. 

 

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2 hours ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

It is my understanding that an SA must have a degree from a native english speaking country.

 

Our recent hire didn’t have this issue. If SA is considered an English speaking country then it would make sense degrees from there are accepted. 

 

They used to have the rule where any nationalities could technically work in China as an English teacher if they had a degree from one of the English speaking countries. I am fairly sure this is no longer the case. More so, you need to be from one of the listed countries and have a degree from there.

 

Of course, what we are told, even directly by those who work in government departments, and what actually happens in practice is often not the same thing! 

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28 minutes ago, ChTTay said:

Our recent hire didn’t have this issue. If SA is considered an English speaking country then it would make sense degrees from there are accepted. 

 

 

yeah I can't be sure ChTTay, all I am certain about is that its wasn't treated the same as UK / USA. Forgotten the exact reason

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Side note: I know absolutely nothing about teaching English, but Hong Kong has a separate visa system from mainland China. While equally strict, it certainly does not enforce such arbitrary rules. And despite English being an official language, based on my experience with the local school system, there should still be a big need for (qualified, capable) native teachers.

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Dear All,

Many of you seem to  miss the point of the poster.  Yes it may be difficult but not impossible.  She is from Zimbabwe which makes a lot of difference.  The relationship between these two countries are very good and getting better despite the colour of her skin.  The new President is making sure of that.  She can succeed if she gets someone from the Zimbabwe government to reach out to an important person there to recommend her.  The reality is for PRC is changing with PRC's influence in Africa, not the colour of your skin but who you know.   This is reflected in the rules for z visa with recommendations from Chinese entities outside of China.

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@gwr71 What are you basing this on? It really sounds like you’ve got no experience with any of this. 

 

We’ve already established it’s not impossible to work in China as an English teacher (when not from the Chinese govt list of approved “native speaking” countries). We have also established it’s not going to be legally (on a work residence permit) because of current requirements. 

 

Sure, in the future it could change. But as Roddy alluded to, things are getting stricter and less welcoming not more open and inclusive. 

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@gwr71 I also would like to know what you are basing this all on.

 

1 hour ago, gwr71 said:

someone from the Zimbabwe government to reach out to an important person there to recommend her.

 

Not sure this sort of thing really goes on except in a cheesy novel from the 60s.

 

I understand you wish to encourage the OP, but unless you have facts to encourage them with, I think you should confine your words of encouragement to things along the lines of "I hope it goes well for you".

 

@Chikko I do hope things go well but I would suggest having an alternative to fall back on if your plans don't work out

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Everyone tries to be so nice and helpful on this forum, which is a strength, but I feel there is an elephant in the room which is being avoided.

 

There is a reason why English teaching jobs are restricted to native speakers (and I know there's a whole other debate on how not all natives are good teachers of their own languages, and how some non-natives speak English better than natives - but these are the exceptions, not the rule).

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15 minutes ago, anonymoose said:

Everyone tries to be so nice and helpful on this forum, which is a strength, but I feel there is an elephant in the room which is being avoided.

 

There is a reason why English teaching jobs are restricted to native speakers (and I know there's a whole other debate on how not all natives are good teachers of their own languages, and how some non-natives speak English better than natives - but these are the exceptions, not the rule).

 

i think the bigger elephant is how disappointingly racist china and chinese organizations seem to be.

you could be non-white from a native english speaking country and still lose an english teaching job to a german or a fin, simply because they 'look' like an english teacher.

i know a brilliant malaysian girl who was raised in a british-english household but is ethnically han chinese. doesn't speak any language other than posh british-english. she finally got a job working for a british school in nanjing, but was rejected from lots of chinese schools for simply not being caucasian. 

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24 minutes ago, dtcamero said:

non-white from a native english speaking country and still lose an english teaching job to a german or a fin, simply because they 'look' like an english teacher

 

This used to happen a lot more. The pool of teachers is shrinking because of stricter requirements. The Fin and the German can’t get a visa to teach English anymore. 

 

 

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I have dealt with Chinese officials before and the one thing they like is to have  access to powerful persons in different countries.  I have known how communist systems run and the issue is not only race but more of contacts.  The PRC will more respond to a person who is non-white but have political connection in a country that has good relations with it.  I have proven this many times during my career and with other colleagues' reports.  There are a few Chinese Billionaires here in St Kitts and Nevis.  I have dealt with Chinese Agents in China for rich Chinese who want St Kitts and Nevis passports.  

PRC is based on contacts. If your family have connections within the party then whatever you want can be given to you with the right word in the right ear.  This is from Rich Chinese Citizens who travel here.  

 

It is also true that there are always exceptions to the general rule with most policies from the PRC.  The exception focuses on political connections.  A word from a High Government official in Zimbabwe to the PRC ambassador there will lead to a letter sent to the right agency in PRC allowing that person to be chosen for Z visa or scholarships etc..  The Visa application is normally processed at the PRC embassy in Zimbabwe.  

 

This is a fact. maybe persons in this forum don't know that but now they know.  

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"This is a fact. maybe persons in this forum don't know that but now they know."

 

Well, thank you for that bit of wisdom, but I suspect many here are well aware of the importance of 关系. We're just assuming that if the OP's uncle were, say, Minister of Culture, then he wouldn't be posting here for help.

 

And as to that elephant, yes it seems rude to mention it, but on the other hand we're misleading the OP by pretending it's not there.

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Your previous posts do not suggest you have much experience in this area. At least not with jobs for teachers in China... 

 

That’s just how it seems. Maybe you don’t know that but now you do. 

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