Top Teaching Strategies for Those Planning to Teach in China
You have thought about teaching in China for a while and now you are researching about the subject or you’ve made up your mind. Working in China has its own advantages and disadvantages. Adequate preparation is necessary to ensure that you start off well in your new destination. It’s important for you to know a little bit about China and the Chinese people.
China is an active and dynamic country. It is one of the most popular countries in the world with over half its population being children and teenagers. Due to this fact, the country has a huge burden on education, housing and labor.
The Chinese people are polite and relaxed people. In most instances, relationships take time to build. Although the strict traditional rules that governed people are slowly fading away, they still exist.
China is the third world’s largest country. It has several time zones and a varied climate. With more people around the world migrating to China every year, its economy has grown rapidly. Economists predict that China will have the largest economy in the world in a few years to come.
The Chinese people are governed by Confucianismwhich is an ethic of relationships and social behavior. They do all they can to avoid shame and embarrassment. They value their dignity more than anything else.
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Before relocating to China, you should know which part of China you’d love to work in. Research on the schools and discover which type of school you want to work for. Again, you won’t be working for free. Know your salary expectations and the working conditions you expect. Mapping out everything clearly will help you know what you want clearly and go after it.
In general, China’s cost of living is cheaper than most countries across the world. Compare and contrast the cost of living between your favorite cities and choose the one that suits you best. If you are a trained teacher in another country and you want to relocate to China to teach, you might be wondering how you are going to teach successfully.
In this article, we will discuss in detail the top teaching strategies for those planning to teach in China. Let’s get started!
1. Independent Learning
There are several effective teaching strategies that you can use to teach students without straining or getting stressed.
Let’s face it. Teaching can be frustrating and overwhelming. Sometimes, you just want to relax and have the students learn independently. The first teaching strategy we will discuss is called the independent learning strategy. Just as its name implies, it involves having students learn without totally depending on you. You can make use of this strategy by showing them a video, taking them to the library to read story books or giving the homework.
The independent learning strategy works best when you want the fast finishers to work on something independently. In every class, there will be those students who tend to complete work faster than others. You can give them something to work on independently as others continue working on the task.
You can think of giving revision material to those students who complete tasks faster than others so that they can master what they’ve been learning in the past.
This strategy gives you an opportunity to visit every student and know how they are progressing. Similar to a professional essay writer, connecting with your students will build trust and great relationships that will not only make your lessons fun and engaging but will also improve the students’ performance.
It also works if you do not know how to communicate or teach in Chinese language. You can prepare the independent tasks before the lesson to reduce stress and improve the students’ performance.
If you are sick or tired and you need a break to rest, this strategy works well. Do not strain to teach if you are not capable of doing so at the moment. You might end up confusing your students or even creating more health problems for yourself. Always be your best before attending lessons.
2. Sustained silent reading
With this approach, the teacher gives the students material to read. The material should be easier to read and understand than the materials they use in class.
The goal of this approach is to make the student associate reading with pleasure. The student increases his or her reading speed and gets comfortable reading different Chinese characters and maybe learns some new words.
When using this approach, ensure that your students are as comfortable as possible. They should not need a dictionary to understand what they are reading. Published material is ideal for this type of reading. You can have students read old chapters in a book or retell stories. If the school has computers and internet, you can use online learning material.
As the students are reading, the teacher can also look for a similar material and read the Chinese material himself or herself. By doing this, the teacher will understand what the students are reading and if they are enjoying the material. Making sustained silent reading a part of your teaching routine will help your students enjoy reading and learn more.
3. Fluency Writing
Fluency writing involves timing your students to write something that is on their mind. They do not copy words or spend a lot of time thinking how they should say something. If they get stuck somewhere, they need to change what they were writing about and stay within their current level.
This type of writing is usually unedited therefore, it would be best not to grade it. There are some teachers who keep records of how their students are progressing with regard to how many words they can write within a set timeframe. Noting how your students are progressing is important.
Fluency writing can help teachers discover what their students are passionate about. You can edit their writing and have them read in class later. Students are normally interested to hear what their colleagues wrote.
4. Summarizing summaries
Summarizing summaries is a fun and challenging activity for most students. It basically involves creating summaries in a progressive manner for a particular reading.
Let’s say the students read a paragraph that has fifteen to twenty sentences. The students should reduce the number of sentences to ten by combining the details of each sentence.
Taking the ten sentences, they should combine them and create five sentences and then progress to three sentences and ultimately to one sentence.
Summarizing summarieshelps students to grasp the big ideas in a specific reading. The students should edit their sentences and ensure they are comprehendible. The teacher can then share and review the readings during the next session.
5. Black marker poetry
The black marker poetry is a teaching strategy that most students enjoy. It entails reading a printed material and then using a black marker to do away with unwanted words. After this exercise, the student creates a poem with the words that have been left behind.
After creating the poems, the students can exchange and read each other’s poems. Most students learn fast through other students. Before the students exchange the poems, ensure that the final work is perfect.
This strategy is not labor intensive. It is ideal for the teacher who is sick or tired. The students get to learn effectively while you rest.
The teaching strategies discussed above are easy to implement and fun for most students. Most students hate lectures. At times, they prefer to read on their own. Planning your lesson’s activities and objectives is of utmost importance. As the popular saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail.
Since you’ll be teaching in a foreign country, it would be best if you knew the culture and customs to avoid awkward incidences. Sometimes, most of us irritate local residents without knowing. We might end up doing something that could make us look disrespectful just because we do not know the culture. Before relocating, take your time to learn the Chinese culture.
The Chinese people are extremely hardworking. You might find yourself working extra hours with no flexibility. Chinese students can be a pain in the ass. That’s why you should use the strategies discussed above to avoid burnout and fatigue. Also remember to participate in other stress relieving activities such as meditation, cardio exercises and yoga.
Every school will have different tools and facilities. Use them to your advantage. For example, if your school has computers and an internet connection, use it during your lessons to make your work easier. Use free online tools instead of carrying books around.
Being a teacher, you will spend a lot of time in school helping your students to excel in their studies. While this is a great thing to do, do not forget that you have a life to live. Make time for fun activities such as travelling, hiking, camping and shopping. The more you enjoy being alive, the better you’ll teach. Once your students fall in love with you, they won’t help passing exams.
I’d like to thank Eugene for providing a great piece of content that will help others to decided if teaching in China is for them.
Eugene Eaton is a british blogger for Essay Writing Land, who is into stand-up comedy. His favorite comedians are Louis CK and George Carlin. A good morning laugh is what keeps Eugene upbeat and motivated through the harsh day.