The Language of Discrimination

The language of discrimination is very common in job postings. Noticing this language is an important step in the fight for professional equity.

Professional discrimination in TESOL is usually based on the Native Speaker Fallacy or on an idealized understanding of the proficiency and competence of native speakers regardless of their qualifications or experience. Sometimes, however, the language also shows that some native speakers are preferred over others.

To respond to ads that discriminate against professional NESTs and/or NNESTs, you can use and adapt George Braine’s template letter:

Here are some examples of discrimination in job postings and websites for language schools: 

“Yasar University School of Foreign Languages (SoFL) invites applications for the EFL Instructor positions in the English Preparatory Class* for the 2012-13 academic year. SoFL intends to increase the number of native speakers or speakers with native-like abilities for the upcoming academic year to increase the quality and efficiency of language education in the English Preparatory Class.” Copied from a job posting for Yasar University School of Foreign Languages

“We recruit and screen highly qualified, professional teachers for your school. We ensure that your school is staffed with dependable and motivated native English speaking professionals.” Copied from the website for the English Language Institute in San Francisco

“Qualifications: -MA in TESOL or related field, or BA and Cambridge CELTA or TESOL certification. -At least two years of professional experience with adults. -Ability to create dynamic and challenging lessons that focus on student-centered learning. -Strong communication and organizational skills. -Native English speaker.” Copied from a job posting for Converse International School of Languages in San Francisco

“Full-time Business English Trainers Needed in Germany […] The successful candidate will be a native speaker of English and have at least two years of germane experience. Formal EFL certification and German speaking ability are desirable but not essential.” Copied from a job posting from KERN AG IKL in Germany

TOTS els nostres professors, sense cap excepció, són nadius. Per què triar un professor nadiu? Llegeix aquí per informar-te’n.” [ALL our teachers, without exception, are natives. Why choose a native teacher? Read here to find out.] Copied from the website for International House Mataró, Spain

“Male Native USA/Canadian/UK citizen are needed to teach English in Riyadh or Jeddah, Saudi Arabia” Copied from a job posting from ELS Language Center

“Native Speaking Teachers Urgently Needed in Moscow Region, Russia” Copied from a job posting from British Academic Centre

“Teach English–Granada, Spain, ESL/EFL Job […] Qualified native English teacher needed in Armilla for immediate start February 2012.” Copied from a job posting from London Academy

“Disney English Foreign Trainer […] Demonstration of a neutral accent, clear pronunciation, good intonation and English language rhythm.” Copied from a job posting from Disney English for China

“We are interested in recruiting for Sept 2012 and Feb. 2013 well-qualified, committed and experienced teachers of EFL/ESL/EAP for our preparatory year program. The PEP is part of the Preparatory Year Program (PYP), preparing students for English-medium studies leading to a B.S. degree and Diploma in science, engineering or industrial management. […] The PEP currently employs a total faculty of 10 native (first language) speakers of English (USA, UK, Canada, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand) and the ELD has 2 lecturers.” From a job posting for  Hafr Al-Batin Community College (HBCC)

“Qualified English teachers *from the UK, Ireland, USA, Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand (*must be passport holders and have a high level of English proficiency). […] Qualified teachers from other countries are also welcome but are expected to have the above qualifications with native-like fluency and communication abilities and employment is subject to the company’s ability to secure a work visa.” From a job posting for Saudi British Centre


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