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Expat English Teachers Are Losers ?


Pianote
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@something funny. He's spiteful because he's not American. He's jealous of the opportunities Americans have. Hence, why he's typing all these paragraphs about how lazy Americans are because what's it to him? We English teachers aren't harming anyone-not he, not his family. He doesn't know enough American English teachers to come to the conclusions he has. 

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Always depresses me how those coming off worse in an invidious system blame those who do slightly better out of it through no malice on their part rather than the system itself. Sort of mindset that keeps us all trapped.

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I remember when I met someone once who was quite further on in his study of mandarin than me. When we were in groups he still made conscious effort to speak Chinese as much as possible, it quite annoyed me and I thought I couldn't stand to be with someone like that. All I could see from the outside was his love of speaking mandarin and it rubbed me up the wrong way that I was more inexperienced. Actually at that point all I knew of him was that he enjoyed chinese culture which didn’t give us so much to talk about even if it was a shared interest. It is not enough common ground for friendship.

 

Later we became friends and I found out about his other interests and his general kindness.

 

We talk about English teachers and the inferred lack of interested in Chinese culture as losers. I met people who come to UK to study and the only thing they will share is their love of 'Britishness' and it can be difficult to put a finger on their actual personality or personal preferences and tastes in life outside of study.

 

I think the key is to not be defined in ourselves by only one or two things we pursue or enjoy in free time and also to not let others easily define us in this way. Loser English teachers perhaps are just defined for their drinking in free time, they won't brag about their love of children (they tolerate screaming 10 hours a day in classes), enjoyment of hiking at weekends or their secret guitar skills.

 

What I am trying to say is, just because we don't see depth in someone it doesn't mean that it is not there.

 

The second point I would like to make is much simpler which is this: personality, preferences in life and being a well rounded person can also come down to age. We shouldn't judge someone because they are in the same place we might have been 5 or 10 years ago.

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I dont hate anybody :) 

The topic is a question: Are foreign teachers in the Peoplesrepublic losers? Im saying: foreign teachers are considered losers by lot of Chinese. Of course, they will smile, they will speak highly of our teaching performance, but still having contempt for us. When I ask any Chinese, met randomly, online, anonymously, NOT PARENTS from the school at work at of course, they might say: " 失败者,在自己国家混不下去,就来我们中国当外教" I have not spoken with all the Chinese.

Yes, I am envious (as most of the non-natives teachers) of the way natives (mostly Americans) can get easy money in China. My personal best was 9000 + apartment for 8 months! Of course, small city, clapping, no free weekend, pretending to be British, working on illegal visa, being ready to start running away from police anytime. To be finally kicked out when back home for summer, with my stuff being thrown away, some cash probably kept by the boss.  The school had been looking for Northamericans all the time as I found out later. I had no idea, the school promised to keep me forever. Later I found out I was replaced by some guy from Michigan. Some "Iwaslikeyouknowmovefuckshithellout" guy even without a degree. But the right passport.

 

Chinese are willing to throw away 35 eur for a foreigner clapping with their kid for 45 minutes. It might be crazy, but okay. It is their culture. Anybody has right to prioritize whatever. I dont hate Chinese for throwing money away :) 

Lazy foreigners are trying to capitalize on that priority clapping out easy money. I dont hate that. I also did it.

I dont hate animals. If there were facilities where European kids played with elephants (if every kid attended), I would be happy if my kid could attend such stuff. I would be happy for having such chance. BUT, if those elephants could hypothetically decide by themselves to go to EU, I might think they are losers. It would not mean I hate them :P 

 

If Czech language was somehow the world language number one (every airport, hotel  around the world had signs in Czech), and in Brasil people were willing to give a Czech republic passport holder 2000 eur for clapping with Brasilian kids for 15 hours a week plus apartment, fly ticket once a year, I would be RITE NOW RITE THERE! I would never spend time learning any other language. I would be clapping with kids during the day, spending time with gifted girls by evenings. And would I be a loser? Probably yes. But I would not care. I would go to Brasil! :D 

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56 minutes ago, Ondrejko said:

I would be clapping with kids during the day, spending time with gifted girls by evenings.

While I agree that there are (too) many of such teachers in China, I hope you can agree that there are also many teachers who do take their job seriously and don't just clap, but actually teach the children something. Yes, some foreign teachers in China are losers, only in it for the easy money, but some are not and are in it for the teaching. (And some are both - a friend of mine was very much the 'couln't manage at home, came to Asia, teach by day, drink by night' type , but at the same time when he was teaching, he made a real effort to do it well (and I think he probably did well, he's smart).)

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I taught university students, who only required a relevant topic of interest and an occasional well-timed Chinese, err Austrian German, translation or  nod of agreement for a classmate translating into Chinese for anyone who was lost. I don't recall clapping with them much. Maybe the occasional game.

 

BTW, elephants are one of few animals which have passed the mirror test for self-recognition. Pretty cool stuff.

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We should get this straight: There are teachers and clappers

Teachers are really teaching (university, middle school sometimes even kindergarten) with expected results. If a teacher was not there, the students might not learn the stuff.

Clappers are clowns selling face. Teaching at those "training centers", literally clapping, dancing, smiling. If a clapper was not in the classrom, the kids would learn exactly the same stuff! :D Clappers are usually non-natives. One parents asked me, when I clapped, pretending to be British: "I cant get one thing. You are 30 something, neither fat nor thin, single, handsome guy, not stupid. So tell me, why are you here?! Because, if I were you, I would never come here to bother to dance with spoiled kids. There must be something!" And there was, of course. The Something was My neverexisted British passport!  :) If I really was British, I would probably try for university straight away. Clapping would be the last option.

So, if a native claps, it is likely loser. But that is how I see it. In my eyes is a loser. There is no teaching involved, just clowning, so I think a native foreigner doing it is probably a loser. Since non-natives cant get higher (university) whereas natives can. Just my opinion.

Of course, not all the foreign teachers are clapbydayers-dringbynighters. I have met normal teachers in China. But most of them taught at universities, middle schools. I remember two native clappers (boy, girl), normal smart persons. They understood English, they were able to answer. There might be smart native teachers who decide to clap, though teaching at universities might be not beyond them. 

 

But anyway, this topic was about how do Chinese see foreign teachers, or whether are they losers in Chinese s eyes. And thats how it is. Doesnt matter if there are also serious teachers. In general: "All the teachers in Our China are Americans. All of them are losers back home unable to fit into society home, they come to China to get easy lays." 

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If I could make some decent bank and get a visa for doing nothing, I'd consider that winning. It would make my lord and savior Wally very proud of me.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wally_(Dilbert)

Or to quote the TV Mission Hill.

"I did nothing and here is my check for doing nothing"

I have a dudeist level of ambition.

 

My greatest fear of being an English teach is not the fear of being in front of a class, I am one of those oddballs who don't fear public speaking, it's the fear of not being able to answer questions about English weirdness, and it's English, it's all weirdness. Also my spelling was back back in the 70's to the 90s before I became dependent on a spell checker, not it is absolute garbage to the point of embarrassment. I am good with the mental math though.

 

If I were ever to go to China, I would prefer it to be on an education visa and then segway into a husband Visa. Work, shudder, the rentier life pour moi.

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3 minutes ago, Pianote said:

is it true that the  Chinese treat Americans better than other foreigners?

That's such a big question it's difficult to answer. Americans, being native speakers with a desirable English accent, have an easier time getting good teaching jobs. The American government, being a powerful world player, has an easier time getting to meet with important Chinese government folk. But as a Dutch person in China, I can't say I've ever felt discriminated against or treated worse for not being American. Some Chinese think that Americans are the bee's knees. Other Chinese, knowing that their fellow Chinese feel this way, resent the Americans for being thought of as the bee's knees. Many Chinese can't tell an American from an Ukrainian and don't particularly care. Some Chinese feel they understand America because they watch all the movies and tv shows. That is certainly something that other countries don't have.

 

Is this something you encounter, or think you encounter, in your personal life?

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Americans, being actual native speakers, can more easily find a legal English-teaching job. Ondrejko, being Czech, was (or is) pretending to be a native speaker, which means it must have been almost impossible for him to get a legal job. Being in the country or at the school illegally makes you much more vulnerable to being screwed over (this goes for all types of illegal work all over the world). So it's not so much about someone being American or not, but about native speaker status and thus, whether your employment is legal.

 

That girl who was happy that you are American may have been one of the Chinese people who think Americans are the bee's knees. Or she just liked you personally :-)

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@Lu  That makes me feel so much better. While I was running errands today I was thinking, ' omg. I hope they don't get rid of my stuff while I'm gone this summer.' 

That's why I like asking questions on this site. I always get good answers  :mrgreen:

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In terms of teaching English, USA is the best" Canada still okay (but not the USA). The UK, Australia are still quite passable, but unable to beat the Northamerica. New Zealand? Chinese know there is good milk over there. Without milk that country would not exist. Ireland? Where is it?!?  It is officially recognized as a country with English as official language. But if a school says to parents: "Our teacher is Irish." they might not be happy. So the school might ask the person to pretend to be British. South Africa? Ranked the last! Out of the official English speaking countries recognized by the Peoples Government in terms of granting English teaching visa. There are dark people (almost one half) living in South Africa. And we know parents dont like blacks. 

Nigeria? Sierra Leone? Namibia? Ghana? Liberia? All these countries use English as official language. At any office, school in Liberia we can use English! But? There is no white majority, so holders of passports from those countries can not teach English legally in the Peoplesrepublic. 

 

And if Chinese treat Americans better? I dont think so. I used to pretend to be American before. They didnt like me. Of course, they will smile repeting how they respect American teachers. You can feel it. British is much better. But still, a free society. Chinese really respect Russians, in general citizens from former or contemporary communist countries. They love Czechoslovakia! But of course, as a native English teacher I can not be from there

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@Ondrejko

I'm not sure what the point is. You seen be saying that being American is benefit for teaching English. Sure it probably is, but only in terms of perception. This happens in just about all walks in life. Chinese products  generally get trashed by western countries but they still can make excellent products at far less cost than western competitor's yet people favour German products (which legally just means 50% or so of the product is German or even could be just assembled in Germany)

 

As regards teaching, I'd opt for a mainland Chinese speaker for teaching me Chinese over a HK , Singapore native etc. I'm sure many can teach Chinese perfectly well but people will naturally opt for a safer bet. Many Europeans speak excellent English as do some African countries, Indians etc but one naturally selects a native speaker if a choice available. 

 

Its life, better just accept it rather than getting worked up about it. 

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