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September 12, 2002

Got a Big Nose? Teach in China

It seems many Chinese have the same misconceptions as their Japanese neighbors of what constitutes an English teacher. China's rapidly growing interest in English is creating a lucrative market...for just about anyone with white skin and a "big nose". Despite strict regulations on the hiring of foreign teachers in China and requirements including four year's work experience and a TEFL or TESOL certificate, many schools are hiring tourists or students to fill teaching posts. While the official number of licensed schools is around 2,000 it is believed there are a lot more in operation. While many schools seem happy enough to pass off anyone as an English teacher, regardless of their actual ability or the thickness of their accent, a growing number of students are realizing they're being had. It all sounds quite familiar to anyone who's been in Japan since the 1980s.

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