Thursday, February 19, 2015

Happy New Year To Our Members, Volunteer Staff, & Teacher Colleagues Around The World!

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It's that time of year again when we want to say "XIE XIE" to all of our members, staff, volunteers, and teaching colleagues in 27 Provinces of China for your loyal support, ideas, and criticisms. (we call them "suggestions") because we knew that if you really didn't care there would just be silence. As you will see in our 2014 Annual Report, we have made great progress not only in reducing the number of teacher complaints, but getting much greater cooperation from SAFEA and the school system. Our White List has grown to 1,039 schools and we hope by this time next year to double this number, and get every China foreign teacher a free (or dirt cheap) TEFL training program and 16 hours of Chinese Lessons as a Welcome gift to China. We of course want to pursue our goal of a standard wage scale as we discussed previously but our collective level of training needs to improve before such a wage can be justified. Please see all of our 2015 New Year's Resolutions in your newsletter and enjoy your Spring Festival vacation!


For a copy of the 2016 update please send us an email at admin@chinaforeignteachersuniopn.org or click here:
http://www.chinaforeignteachersunion.org

Copyright 2010-2016 By CFTU - All Rights Reserved

Monday, February 9, 2015

Beware of China Visa Agents That Target Expat Foreign Teachers For Identity Theft Scam

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If you travel to China today you may find the police on your doorstep in six months to arrest you for IRS tax refunds fraud, credit card fraud, mortgage fraud, immigration fraud, automobile finance fraud, or check fraud. At first you will laugh. Then you will cry and call a lawyer. Three months and $10,000 later you will finally clear your name and get your good credit back. Then you too will start warning your friends.

Over a million visitors visit China every day for business or pleasure. China has become the number two tourist destination in the world. In addition, 800 young uni grads come to China to become foreign teachers every month. But just traveling to China more than doubles your risk of identity theft. Why? Because three or four different Chinese "agents" will ask for copies of your passports

1. Travel Agents

2. Visa Agents

3. Job Agents & Recruiters

4. Hotel Front Desk Agents


Interpol confirms that more than 60% of the world's identity theft victims originate through a China-based scam involving one of the above professions. All of them will say they need a copy of your passport. This is not true. What they really need to know in an email from you is the following:

a) Country that issued your passport

b) Your passport number

c) The date your passport expires
 



To be fair however, half of all these agents are honest employees who only want to do their jobs and provide professional service to you. But the other half like to earn extra money on the side. Chinese have always been very good at hustling in the gray and black markets of Beijing, Shanghai, and 30 other large cities across China.

               

This creates a "Good News - Bad News" dilemma for all of us travelers. First the bad news: 90% of all China job recruiters and visa agents are "black operators" - not registered with the government and without a business license that would provide some accountability. By using disposable mobile phone numbers and free emails like hotmail.com, gmail.com, 163.com, sina.com .etc and fabricated "Chinglish" names like "Tommy Chen" or "Debbie Zhang" they can virtually disappear without a trace the moment someone links them to a ID Theft and files a report with the police or a claim with the court.

Visa agents are not policed nor regulated in China as a profession. China has no BBB or FTC to protect consumers. So how do you protect yourself from the swindlers?  In fact, your only defense is knowledge before you embark on your China adventure. At present China Scam Patrol has three suspect visa unlicensed agents under investigation that you may want to avoid:


Beijing Service Center Visa Service


Panda Visa Service


Golden Bridge Visa Service


The good news is that you can make yourself about 99% scam-proof in China with 30 minutes of reading and following these six simple tips:

1. Avoid Chinese agents of all kinds and handle your own visa application directly with the Chinese embassy or consulate for free just by following the step by step instructions on their website in English and four other languages..

2  Never let your passport out of your sight and allow nobody but an official law enforcement officer "hold" your passport and never allow third parties other than direct employers to make a copy.

3. If you are going to work in China visit and read http://ChinaScamWatch.org

4. If you plan to visit China for any purpose visit and read: http://antifraudintl.org/threads/beware-id-theft-scam-via-china-golden-bridge-panda-beijing-service-center-visa-services.93252/#post-255604

5. If you will go to teach in China as a foreign teacher, visit and read: http://open.salon.com/blog/china_business_central/2013/03/13/phony_china_recruiters_now_target_5000_expats_monthly_1


6. While in China install a boot lock software program on your mobile devices and avoid doing any banking or stock trading transactions by Wi-Fi connections.

Thus concludes our crash course on China Visa Agent Dangers. If nothing, more you have been warned. Safe travels and prepare yourself for the world's largest variety of tasty foods and amazing historical sites! We hope all your China memories are pleasant ones!

For a copy of the 2016 update please send us an email at admin@chinaforeignteachersuniopn.org or click here:
http://www.chinaforeignteachersunion.org
Copyright 2010-2016 By CFTU - All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

CFTU Asks All Foreign China Expat Teachers To Obtain TEFL, TESOL, or CELTA Training ASAP

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After reviewing the compilation of data received from the 2014 annual teacher survey it was learned that only 8% of expat teachers now working in China actually hold a teaching certificate and 69% of those surveyed admitted that they never taught any subject before arriving in China. This combination is not only embarrassing but deprives their students of a quality education. More training and higher recruiting standards are the only solutions.
We therefore urge every teacher to seek more training but to ensure quality training we urge you to seek only classroom training that allows you to have a realistic teaching environment with a live interactive "classroom" dialogue and role play, followed by peer review and critiques. Online and software-based TEFL, TESOL, and CELTA training cannot fill this need.  Anything less than a 120 hour course, in our opinion is probably not worth taking. Pilots and Surgeons do not take "crash courses" in their professions, and teachers also need to have thorough and comprehensive training.
  
 

Instructors should also be independently certified to internationally-recognized standards and not just hold certificates issued by their own company. And last but not least, certificates issued must truly be globally recognized and accepted.  On this note you may want to read these comments about accreditations:
We are always in favor of more training for China foreign teachers. It gives us leverage to lobby for standard minimum wages of 250-300 yuan per hour for qualified teachers. Teaching certificates should be mandatory for any expat China teacher who never taught before landing in China. We believe those with no prior teaching experience should also serve a 6 month internship under the guidance and supervision of a veteran ESL/TEFL certified teacher.

We will soon be meeting with SAFEA and MoE reps to establish some local China standards and perhaps an assessment or test in order to have a benchmark. Please remember this... Be a native English is an advantage for sure, but that does not automatically make you a teacher. Now put yourself in the shoes of a parent and see what education YOU would want for YOUR child?

For a copy of the 2016 update please send us an email at admin@chinaforeignteachersuniopn.org or click here:
http://www.chinaforeignteachersunion.org
Copyright 2010-2016 By CFTU - All Rights Reserved