Experiences of an English Language Teacher

Why No Asian Face?

No Asian Face

You would think in this day and age with technology, the internet and people travelling around the world more than ever before that people would be more exposed to those from a range of different backgrounds, colours and creeds. Unfortunately, from a recent job advertisement on Ajarn Recruit, it is not the case. There is currently a job advert seeking an English teacher, but their main require: “no Asian face“!

We want you to be part of our teaching TEAM. We treat all team members with care and respect and want this to be a rewarding experience for all who join us, even if only for a year.

It is appalling that the recruitment website hasn’t taken the advert down and that the organisation seeking a teacher, which prides itself on treating “all team members with care and respect“, is willing to assess an applicant based upon their ethnicity rather than their suitability or experience to do the job.

China is currently a wonderful country to teach in and as more and more organisations and schools in this fantastic country seek English speaking teachers, it shouldn’t lose the fact that English teachers can be from different countries whose first language is not English but can also be different ethnicities. Not all English speakers are white. In the UK, there are indeed a huge Asian community. Is this school really seeking to isolate itself against one ethnicity? Do they really think that if they employ an English teacher who is Asian that it would have a negative impact on the school? If the answer is yes, then I would not be willing (if I was looking for employment) to work with them. There are plenty organisations in China which employ English speaking teachers from a range of European and Asian countries. These are the organisations which will thrive in the years ahead while those organisations that decide to focus on their image will not evolve or change with the times and will eventually find themselves extinct.

I think it would be wise to assess current recruitment practices with your current or potential school. You could ask the school whether they recruit teachers whereby English could be their second language. At my current school, I am proud that we recruit teachers from European countries. It is empowering to see that there are professional organisations out there, not just in the UK but also abroad. Also, with the job board on this website developing, jobs which are submitted are then reviewed before being posted. I hope that jobs which are submitted are inclusive and supportive for professional English teachers, whether English is their first or second language. I believe it is the responsibility of any recruitment website to educate schools on their employment practises and the term “no Asian face” is offensive to not just Asians but to all professional English teachers.

So, where does this leave the “no Asian face” job post? Hopefully without professional applicants.


  1. Miguel

    I personally see no difference between that and the very common “only native speakers” offer.

    Discrimination because of your looks and because of where you were brought up, but still discrimination.

    • Kim

      Strictly speaking, you don’t have to be white to be a native English speaker. A native English speaker is simply anyone who has spoken English since birth and they come in all shapes, sizes and colours. I have seen comments made by NNSs on LinkedIn and their grammar is terrible. It only becomes discriminatory when people start assuming that only Caucasian people can be regarded as native English speakers.

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