Explore Opportunity: Teach English in China
The People’s Republic of China is on the cusp of making history as the largest economy on the planet. In just under 50 years, China has grown from a nondescript ancient civilization to become the center of the world in matters finance,culture and even politics. With exponential growth comes an abundance of opportunities.
China has opened her doors to the world and if you desire to immerse yourself in the rich culture of this ancient civilization,then this article is just for you. “English Fever” is blazing across the largest country in the world and if you are welcome to teach English to the peoples of this great civilization.
Before going into the details of the minimum threshold that you must attain to undertake this noble task of teaching it is important to put into perspective why the teaching profession seems to be booming in so far as the labor market is concerned. The best reference would come from an article authored by Richard Javad Heydarian on Al Jazeera’s online platform( http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2015/12/china-global-financial-giant-151202091823742.html ).
In a nutshell , Richard, an expert on Asian geopolitical and political affairs, argues that by virtue of the fact that China has reset the world’s economic pecking order, it is only natural that there is a boom in all sectors of the Chinese economy. Many top tier manufacturing entities across the globe have set up shop in China and because the global language of speech is English,it is only natural that the Chinese adjust themselves to this tangent. Logically, this would explain why there is a gravitation towards learning the English language. To put it mildly, the world is at China’s doorstep and the Chinese have to understand a global language to interact with the rest of the world.
The teaching requirements that you as an individual must meet are laid down by the Chinese State Administration for Foreign Expert Affairs. Potential teachers must meet the following threshold:
*All applicants must have a Bachelors Degree
*Applicants must have at least two years of post-graduate work experience
* Applicants must have the Teaching English as A First Language( TEFL) certification with at least 100 hours of training.
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It is important to note that some first tier cities like Beijing will require that potential job applicants have at least 120 hours of TEFL training that combines both classroom experience as well as the theoretical aspects of the study.
Once you have been screened by a job agency and have successfully met the above metrics, you will then proceed to the interview stage. The agency will set up an interview between you and the prospective employer. Interviews are conducted via Skype at an agreed date and time. Typically, the entire interview should last between 45 minutes and 1 hour. On passing your interview you proceed to the documentation phase, the logistics of this process are explained below.
The documents that you require so as to operate in the Chinese labor market are listed below:
* A valid passport that has more than 12 months to run prior to expiry
* A formal invitation letter that is officially known as a Foreign Expert Invitation letter. This document originates from the respective state’s labor bureau and typically will take anywhere between two weeks to six weeks to process
*A work visa that is obtained from the nearest Chinese consulate in your area. It goes without saying that this visa is only granted to you if you have obtained the invitation letter
*A foreign expert/professional identity card that is issued by the school that contracts your services
Keep in mind that once you are in China you will be required to have a full medical test and to register your details with the nearest police station in your respective domicile.
Once you have passed your interview and gone through all the formal process you require to qualify as a teacher in China, you are now free to teach. This is where the rubber meets the road. Your typical duties as an English language teacher are listed below:
* You will have a maximum of 25 hours of class teaching weekly
*You will have a maximum of 15 hours of office hours that are basically spent on preparing for lessons
*Depending on your professional background you might be subjected to varying degrees of teacher training
The beauty of your duties as a teacher are that you get to interact with the next generation of China’s future: Children from preparatory school, high school, and even tertiary institutions. It is an enriching experience and this is just the intrinsic value you obtain from this calling. The benefits that accrue to you from holding a teaching job in China are listed below.
The following are some of the benefits that accrue to you as an English language teacher in China:
* A monthly salary of between 8,000 to 22,000 Chinese Yuan
* A free air ticket to your destination as well as free airport pickups
*Free housing by your host( the school) or in the absence of this a housing allowance
*Health insurance coverage
* A bonus settlement at the completion of your term
China has a population of 1.3 Billion people, 300 million( almost the entire population of the US) have taken to study English. For these students there are some 30,000 expatriate English language teachers in China; the nation needs some 100,000 more English teachers( http://www.gooverseas.com/blog/how-the-esl-industry-in-china-is-changing) with this number(s) set to increase in coming years.Overall, the nation receives thousands of English language teachers annually. According to the research cited in the link,this industry is estimated to be valued in excess of $ 4.5 Billion Dollars and with an annual growth rate that is between 12-15% annually, this is a sector that has outpaced all other sectors in the Chinese economy. To get an idea of this exponential growth, put into perspective that the overall Chinese economy grew by just above 7% ( http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.KD.ZG ) last year.