The Quick Guide to Teaching English in China

Not everyone can handle the challenges of becoming a teacher in China. Cities with a population of over 10 million, a culture far different from that of the "West," and one of the world's most difficult languages for native English speakers to master all add up to an experience that can only be characterized as an epic journey.

Is There a Reason You Should Teach in China?

If you're looking to teach English as a second language, China is a great option since it pays well and has a rich history to explore.

Those with years of expertise teaching English to speakers of other languages may earn upwards of $3,000 monthly. Companies offering English as a Second Language in China sometimes cover travel and visa fees for their employees.

Jobseekers at foreign institutions will be subjected to stricter standards and more in-depth interviews than those at domestic institutions.

Prerequisites for Chinese Language Teaching

A Bachelor's degree and a TEFL certification are often necessary to teach in China. Having prior experience dealing with children is preferable, although a degree in a relevant field is not required. When applying for positions, you'll need to send scanned copies of your diploma and ESL certification (CELTA, TEFL, Trinity), so have them ready in advance.

There is a strict requirement that applicants be native English speakers in order to be eligible for acting jobs in China. Unofficially, I've met ESL instructors from the Ukraine, Slovakia, and Brazil whose English was only a second (or third) language when they were interviewed and hired.

The Chinese visa application procedure is the most challenging aspect of teaching in China. In addition to being costly and time-consuming, it is also boring and tiresome. Before submitting documentation to your Embassy, make sure every I is dotted and t is crossed. One piece of advise I can provide is to invest in a visa service.

This will get rid of the majority of your problems really quickly. Before settling on a processor, it's a good idea to phone a trustworthy organization and have a representative guide you through the steps. Keep all of your visa-related receipts so that your firm may reimburse you when you've settled in China.


Places of Instruction

In China, most of the available teaching jobs are at various training institutions. The primary purpose of teacher training institutions is, predictably, to prepare future educators. When people say "train," they usually think that you'll be spending your days teaching and arranging lessons for a variety of students at different skill levels. English-speaking Chinese instructors collaborate with their foreign counterparts who are native speakers of English.

At various training facilities, the workload is divided in different ways. Certain schools have the Chinese instructor teach half the class and the foreign teacher teach the other half; others have one teacher teach on some days and the other on others. All of this depends on the business you end up partnering with.

Strange working hours are a major challenge for foreign teachers at China's training institutions. The hours at a private school are often longer, extending into the nights and over the weekends. Under these circumstances, you will be given a two-day break in the middle of the week. The days might follow one another or be completely random (i.e. Tuesday and Friday).

There is a wide gap in skill level between three-year-olds and college freshmen. Teachers are also honed by being exposed to a broad range of ages and stages of development within a single classroom. As a rule, courses have predetermined syllabi and sets of required reading and other curricular resources. With this information, making preparations is a breeze. Younger students, especially those with a significant language barrier to overcome, sometimes have a Chinese assistant instructor in the classroom.

Schools throughout the world

You can teach at an international school if you have a teaching credential from your native country and at least a year of classroom experience. You will be working with students from international backgrounds if you decide to teach at an international school. They are often the offspring of high-ranking government officials, business leaders, or foreign diplomats. Occasionally, you aren't even supposed to be teaching English. Teachers in every discipline (math, physics, history, etc.) are needed in foreign schools. Although there is a lot of competition for these jobs throughout the world, there are a lot of them in China and the compensation is quite high in relation to the cost of living.

The working hours at an international school are more consistent than those at a training facility (think 8AM -3PM, Monday through Friday). One other perk is sharing the vacation with the kids. In other words, unless you sign up for a summer camp (for which you will be paid more), you won't be working all through the year.

It will be up to you and the school to decide what level of kids you can handle.

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