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China is home to scores of foreigners who provisionally call China Home. Ex pats working for global corporations, business people scouting export opportunities, Christian missionaries spreading the Gospel and swags who make a living teaching English. Government statistics have 300 million Chinese as either learning or having previously studied English in China.
An earnest American woman teaching English in Kunming reveals.
“Oh my male colleagues are a pitiful lot. They have no passion or aptitude for teaching. They’re predominantly alcoholics and drug addicts attracted by the low cost of living in Yunnan.
And they abuse their positions by having sex with their female students.”
Having completed their ESL- English as a Second Language crash courses slacker White Guys are equipped and qualified to teach English. And their services are in demand, irrespective of how good their English skills are. As long as they look ‘European’, they’ll find a job.
The absurdity was highlighted when I accompanied my Mandarin teacher who runs Learn Chinese in Dali to meet the owner of a private school who was looking for an English teacher.
My teacher is a fluent English speaker with a very good grasp of the workings of English grammar,an understanding that would confound most native English speakers. But the owner of the school wasn’t interested in hiring her because she was Chinese. However he offered her Polish girlfriend a job instead.
He could justify his tuition fees to parents by showing a blonde European on his staff payroll, irrespective of their ability to teach English effectively. The Polish woman looked the part, whereas my friend looked well…. Chinese.
Educated Singaporeans have an excellent command of English and many are truly bi lingual, English- Mandarin . They’d be perfect candidates to teach English to mainland Chinese. But with the mentality which prevails, an Albino looking Finnish Backpacker invariably gets the nod over an ethnic Chinese in the employment stakes because they’re white. I’ve been told that some private schools overlook American- Chinese college graduates in favour of slacker white guys. Appearance sells, and Chinese parents are under the delusion that their children will benefit by being tutored by Caucasians.
I’ve met a few ‘English Teachers’ who’ve been let loose in private colleges conducting classes in their thick Yorkshire, Glasgow and Liverpool accents. David Beckham speaks Etonian English compared to these guys.
Heaven help these Chinese students learning English from Lager Louts.