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ESL Industry in China
Teaching in China is like traveling to the American West. Parents in China's new generation are driven by a desire to provide their children with the finest education possible, thanks to a burgeoning ESL industry, an English fixation, and a developing economy. Students from Chinese high schools who want to study abroad will benefit from native-speaking English teachers beginning in preschool and continuing on to TEFL and SAT tutors in college. China's ESL employment has risen dramatically in the past few years and is expected to continue doing so in the future.
China's ESL market is becoming ever more regulated, which means more employees are becoming available for those with lower qualifications. High-paying employment, free accommodation, and worry-free contracts go to individuals with experience and credentials; people new to China or lacking in desired skills may nevertheless obtain positions for up to $30 USD an hour.
But this isn't how things have always been. With these fast shifts from year to year, it's easy to see how the Chinese ESL industry has evolved significantly in the past decade in that country. As a result of working in China for the last four years, I've seen personally how recruiting processes and roles available have changed. However, how is China's ESL market changing? This has implications for educators.
A Market That Is Constantly Growing
One-fifth of China's enormous population was learning English ten years ago. Approximately a fifth of all books sold in China was in English, according to the Economist, who noted that China was already the world's biggest market for English language study by 2006.
TOEFL language placement exam was created by the same firm that produced Mari Pearlaman's estimate of China's private language schools in 2005, which ranged from tiny family-run companies to big chains like New Oriental and had a student population of 2.5 million at the time.
There were over 300,000 English students in China by 2013, making about one-third of the mainland's population (around the size of the US). According to some estimates, China's English-training industry is currently worth $4.5 billion USD and will expand at a pace of 12-15 percent over the next several years.
The fact that Wall Street English, one of China's largest private language schools, is currently undergoing a $15.6 million USD renovation plan and opening eight new centers in cities like Chongqing, Chengdu, and Wuhan the following year is proof of this growth in the Chinese language education sector. With 66,000 students, Wall Street English is now 30 percent of its worldwide business.
According to research, China is presently in need of at least 100,000 English instructors, and that figure is expected to rise somewhat over the next several years. China's schools have started to boost wages, provide more perks, and abide by government rules in an effort to get more instructors to leave for more lucrative locales such as Japan and South Korea. Thousands of teachers have quit their professions in these nations in recent years to go to China to teach English.
Increase in the Age of College Students
Every year, the average age of Chinese ESL students drops. Disney English, for example, is geared at Chinese-speaking youngsters. Public schools now begin teaching English at the age of nine instead of the traditional twelve. Some schools in China's bigger cities even begin teaching English at the age of six.
Many businesses in the private sector provide toddlers with English language instruction. Native English speakers frequently act as babysitters, singing songs and playing games with the kids as they are taught English.
While English as a Second Language (ESL) schools were first created to teach English to adults, in the past decade the demand has moved to parents who are prepared to pay up to half of their family income on their children's language lessons. This shift is being noticed by several private academies, who are responding by providing more specialized courses for youngsters. The English First Shenzhen school, for example, formerly had a majority of adults as pupils, but now days the majority of the students are youngsters.
Classes for toddlers and preschoolers are growing rapidly, according to Disney English, which just found this. For parents who want to shop while their children are in English language instruction classes, shopping malls provide whole floors devoted to these facilities.
Having a foreign instructor with a high profile may be more essential than actually learning the language. Many parents want their five-year-old daughter to be fluent in English by the time she graduates from high school. Foreign faces are more desired in China, and parents are prepared to pay two times as much for a foreign face as competent Chinese locals can do these English teaching positions without training.
Jobs for Test Takers, College Counselors, and Others
Tutors for the SAT, ACT and TOEFL exams, college counselors and admissions advisors are in demand in China as more students choose to pursue their higher education in countries other than their own country.
According to Samantha Ayton, the British Embassy's first secretary for culture and education, the number of students taking the IELTS test, which is required to study in the UK, has increased dramatically. Between 2011 and 2014, the number of Chinese students in British universities grew by 13% yearly, while mainland students increased by 29%!
Students from China aren't only flocking to the United Kingdom for higher education. More over a third of all foreign students are Chinese, with a total enrollment of over 250,000. the prior year's growth was 17 percent, according to BBC, and these rates are only expected to rise in the future. The number of public school foreign programs providing English-language AP, IB, and A-Level courses for Chinese students desiring to study abroad has increased in China, as well.