TADIT brochure

It’s clear that a real movement has been started with TADIT and one that seems to have been long overdue!

Looking at the issue of discrimination purely from an economic stance, it is safe to say that the schools that do discriminate, do so because they believe they can maximize profits by giving customers what they want – white teachers – and therefore signing up more students.

So looking at the problem that way, what can we do to change things for the better? Well, as Annie and others have already demonstrated, we can report these cases to the authorities which, with some patience, can lead to a hefty 100,000 NT fine for the school. The school is definitely going to think twice before discriminating again and for other schools, just having the threat of this will be a powerful financial disincentive.

Of course, there is much more to the issues TADIT address than just economics and money. Ethics, equality, morality – the important things in life – play a huge role. Changing the mindset of the students’ parents regarding the effectiveness of non white native English speaking teachers is what will really change things for good. Having effective ways to demonstrate to parents that non white English teachers from native English speaking countries do in fact have fluent English and do come from where they say they do is key to building trust between parent and school and promoting equality.

Working with schools, not against them, and helping them to educate parents is surely a priority. It’s the schools that ultimately have contact with their customers. With this in mind we have developed a brochure which can act as a starting point for a dialogue between TADIT and schools that can help to start to put the shift in mindset in place.

Thanks goes to Jolyn Peng (http://www.jolynpeng.com/), an incredibly talented Taipei based designer for putting this together!

TADIT letter

Below is a copy of the letter that has been emailed to a number of offices and organizations including the Ministry of Education and the Executive Yuan. Much thanks to certain members of TADIT including Ellery Hamann and David Ting for your help and contributions. We have already received a couple of responses and will report on them shortly. If you have suggestions of a group or organization to whom a copy of this letter should be sent, please let us know.

TADIT letter

“I ♥ My E.T.”

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For more pictures, please click on memes.

After clearing the idea behind this picture with the parents and the school, I wanted to actually explain to my student, Bean, what we were doing and why he was helping me with my “homework”. I wasn’t really sure how to do it so I wanted to share how I did it in case anyone was in the same position.

I started by asking him if he thought all English teachers looked like me. After his initial confusion as to what the hell I was talking about, and whether there would be a test about it later, he decided that, no, they didn’t. They might be female, older, younger, taller or shorter. When I said, “OK, can an English teacher look like you or your mum and dad?” he immediately smelled a trick question. “No” was his confident reply. I said, “Actually, they can”. I explained that some people are born in Taiwan or China or Japan etc. or have Taiwanese / Chinese / Japanese parents but grow up in America, Canada, UK etc. and speak English as their first language so they can be English teachers just like me.

He seemed satisfied, so then I asked, “What about if people have darker skin than you and I, can they teach English too?” This time I think he had clocked on to my message; that skin colour and appearance don’t make a difference to whether someone can teach English or not. He quickly said “Yes” and looked satisfied with himself. He was really happy to help out and I was pleased to put this issue into his thoughts, even for just 5 minutes.

Stories

Hi all,

This space is not only about bringing awareness to the discrimination that non-Caucasians have faced during their job search in Taiwan, but also a space where you can have the chance to let your own personal story be heard. TADIT is a group that whole-heartedly offers support to victims of discrimination in Taiwan, and it is here that you can share your story. We believe that in writing down your story, allowing the internal feelings of victimization to seep out onto a blank canvas, you’re one step closer to not having to suffer alone. It always helps to tell someone, and so it is here that we welcome you to speak up and not suffer in silence.

You can contact us at tadit.taiwan@gmail.com if you’d like to share your story. We have a talented bunch of translators at the ready who will help translate your story for free and then we will publish your story here on TADIT. If you’d like to remain anonymous, we will totally respect your wishes.

As well as sending your stories in to us, we also really encourage you to read through the stories sent in by others. You can find them in the archives on the right column of our blog.

The more stories we share, the better our chances of helping Taiwan shift its outlook on what, right now is a completely unequal society.

謝謝

TADIT