A black man can become president of the largest English speaking country in the world,
But he has greater chances of winning in the Miss World beauty pageant than getting a job interview in the Thai ESL market.
A native speaker is not defined by race or geography... Its not even accent, because there is no such thing as wrong accent. Its just different!
I just wonder who is perpetuating this colonial era mentality? I have no problem if they have a preference for blonde caucasians. But have the balls to say it bluntly. What irritates me is how they flaunt their ignorance of the term native speaker. It basically means that English is your 1ST language.
Fact is, these so called native speakers are very insecure so they perpetuate this illusion that the market prefers white teachers and that the language belongs to a few countries only (US, UK, NZ, CANADA). The guiness book of world records listed the PHIL as the third largest English speaking country in the world. Ignorance is not bliss.
I am not nationalistic or something. I am just disgusted as an Orientalist, that a city as modern as Bangkok is assumed to be a farang loving market no different from the rural Chinese that are mesmerized by the sight of peace corp volunteers. Caucasians in Bangkok are as local as Durian in the South. Do Thai people take photos of backpackers like they do in most Chinese cities? Hell no!
Thailand is a rice eating country and the locals don't really care if their teachers are not potatoes (caucasians).
I was head teacher in an all white language school that have a collection of NAZI literature. I kept my job because the Chinese didn't care if I am not blonde. But the white management of another school fired me for being brown. Atleast they have the balls to admit that they are insecure. I just took it as a compliment.
Schools are bussiness establishments and they respond to the assumed demands of their target market. So they assume that ASIANS won't like teachers of color or those with a nuetral accent? I was Vice Principal once, so I am not going to be a hypocrite. I like white slaves, I mean colleagues.
Did the British Council, in their centuries of selling CELTA certificates to people from countries with strong currencies, ever bothered to make a survey about the accent preference of the Asian student? Who wants to speak English with the British accent? I will bet my life, not one Asian in a language center finds it cool to sound like Elton John. I've met a lot of arrogant brits and aussies, who were dealing with on the premise that I am American. They always say that "English comes from a country called England". Uhm, the fact is, the entire continent prefers the American accent, especially the males. THE POINT IS THEY SHOULD NOT DISCRIMINATE APPLICANTS ON THE BASIS OF ACCENT.
They hire cowboys from Alabama and Kansas, alcoholic scottish teenagers, French from Quebec, and EASTERN Europeans... but they will not hire Tyra Banks, a Filipino call center agent who makes 100,000 baht a month through a telemarketing jobs in some island in the Philippines.
I am glad I am not an Education or English major... Asia is not a place to be an English Teacher for life.