The South African folks who teach in Taiwan can be classified into two groups:
English native speakers
Afrikaans native speakers
Schools in South Africa, at least when I was in high school, were arranged like this:
If, like me, your native language is English-both parents are of British descent-then you were placed in the system with English as your first language and Afrikaans as your second.
If, your native language is Afrikaans-your parents are of Dutch or French ancestry-then you were placed in the system with Afrikaans as your first language and English as your second.
Both languages were given equal importance. One could not graduate without passing both.
Both languages were compulsory for white and colored South Africans during Apartheid. Of the 7 million or so South Africans whose mothers first spoke to them in either of these languages, the majority are Afrikaners.
Most Afrikaners attend university at one of South Africa’s Afrikaans universities–Stellenbosch, Rand Afrikaans University, etc.
Many South Africans here in Taiwan are then graduates of Afrikaans universities, yet they speak English fluently. I’m South African, but having studied in the States and having lived in the UK for a few years, I too find their accents a little hard on the ear.
But hey, if little Jimmy can understand Pietie from Potgietersrus, then by god, he will be able to understand anyone’s English.
Give these guys a break. The Taiwanese government does not understand, and, as long as they don’t, any South African passport holder with a degree has every legal right to be here teaching English. Besides, “times are tough” in South Africa. Taiwan is a fascinating country and an economic opportunity for them, as it is for me and some of you.
Yes, I am not happy that although I am a native speaker and speak clearer than many Americans, Canadians, Englishmen, Australians, New Zealanders (the order of preference among hirers), I am still, because of my SA passport, ranked with Afrikaners in the job hunting game.
Thank god, however, I am out of that racket.
So Bassman, I am sure you by bringing this up must have some opinion contrary to mine. Where is your Christian goodwill? Or are you having trouble finding a job?
Many Afrikaners teach in Chiayi or some other god-forsaken small town? Would you like to?