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Keeping politics out of the EFL classroom is not as straightforward as it may seem. Even the most politically correct of EFL teachers can unwittingly reinforce or challenge stereotypes and power structures in subtle ways. This can be done through their choice of course materials, language exercises, role-play activities, seating arrangements or just in the way they communicate with their students. In some cases, these factors will be determined largely by their employer and will have different implications depending on the teaching context...
A new piece of proposed legislation submitted for public review by the Chinese Ministry of Education has recently been making the rounds among China’s sizeable community of foreign teachers. In addition to new provisions regulating part-time work by teachers outside of their main place of employment, the most discussed issue was the proposed introduction of a disciplinary credit system for assessing the professional conduct of teachers working in the country’s many language schools and training centres. This new system would punish teachers for violations of employment regulations and academic misconduct, with more extreme cases such as sexual assault or abuse of minors even resulting in a complete prohibition of employment. While the changes suggested in the draft are rather standard and were largely welcomed, one long-standing issue obviously remains unaddressed – namely, that of discriminatory requirements for legal employment and eligibility criteria for work visas.
Everybody has heard of or even experienced some form of discrimination in their life be it racial, gender, age, sexual orientation, or any other type of discrimination. The world has been fighting discrimination for centuries, but despite the struggle for equal rights in our day and age, we still come across instances of discrimination.
In the TEFL industry, one possible reason for discrimination is the native language and the nationality of a teacher. If you were lucky enough to have been born in an English-speaking country, it seems all doors are wide open to you as an English teacher. You can get any job you like anywhere in the world and sometimes...
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