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    Teaching English to University Students in China

    Before I entered my first class of Chinese university students, I had no clue what to anticipate from them. Despite the fact that this was not my first experience teaching English as a foreign language, I was aware that things would be different in China. It needed to be unique to me.

    I was met up at the airport by a junior university student. She was wearing a skirt that barely covered her behind and three-inch heels as she stood there clutching my photograph (which had been shot in Bangkok only months before). She had a lovely and innocent appearance, yet she was also flirty and bashful. Janice, on the other hand, was anything but reserved with me. It was nice to see you again, she said. "I'm sorry, but you're not familiar to me. The image you posted makes you seem much larger."

    "Hello, how are you?" I couldn't help but grin. My jet-lagged head was taken aback by this unvarnished response, which is typical across Asia. "Do I seem to be overweight?" That's what I wanted to know.

    "As in. Please don't do it. You've changed your appearance, and it's much better. She took a step back in response to his remark. "However, you seem much larger in the picture." I chuckled and got into the cab with her. At my new school, I would learn much more about my pupils' cultural differences than I would have learned from their direct honesty, we raced away. You should know the following if you're planning to teach in a university in China.

    For many students, college is their first experience of true independence.

    In high school, Chinese students are prohibited from dating or participating in any sports or social activities that aren't guaranteed to boost their chances of getting into a good university. This is regarded as a waste of time since it takes students' attention away from studying for a crucial test that will have a significant impact on their future.

    The test, known as the gaokao, has the power to make or break a child's future in China, and the study habits developed in preparation for the fierce competition that comes with living in the world's most populous country - cram, remember, and forget – are unlikely to evaporate or alter anytime soon.

    It's critical for ESL teachers to know why their pupils take notes, require study materials, and inquire about forthcoming exams. While this is essential, it's also vital to inspire students to go outside the box while creating lesson ideas. Students are not encouraged to debate or raise questions in typical Chinese courses, which are mostly lecture-based. It's our duty to encourage students to talk in an oral English class, even if that involves asking them direct questions, which is a teaching style they aren't accustomed to. ESL instructors can plan to spend a lot of time outlining the rules and expectations before getting started on role-plays and other group exercises. Students should appreciate the freedom they have in oral English class and look forward to returning.

    They're stuck in their ways of thinking.

    The Chinese educational system is similar to that of the United States in that it emphasizes preparation for a test. The Chinese educational system relies heavily on cramming and memorization techniques, which discourages pupils from thinking for themselves. This is one of the numerous contrasts between the two allegedly faulty systems.

    Individualism in China used to be severely penalized only a few decades ago. With the rise of the new power structure, elders have emphasized the value of tradition and want their children to continue on the same road as them. We can't teach creativity in the classroom or in the real world. To put it another way, it's like a seed that's inside of each of us, and if we don't take care of and nourish it, we may never see full blossom.

    Introducing students to creative thinking is a unique opportunity we have as ESL instructors. This creative pushing isn't something kids are used to, and it pays off fast, whether it's via group projects that require them to design a product and then come up with a marketing strategy for it (all in English, of course) before attempting to sell it to their peers.

    Even timid pupils began to speak out more in class after only a few months, while others who had been cautious with their views gradually became more open. Their grievances with their families and the Chinese government started to leak into the discussions as they became more at ease with me. They will certainly gain from this skill long after class has ended just by being encouraged to ponder.