As China continues to grow, its demand for English teachers continues to grow. If you are considering taking up a teaching job there, you probably won’t be lacking in choice since there are various teaching jobs in China open for foreigners. The jobs vary greatly regarding student ages, locations, teaching schedules, experience and qualifications required and the remuneration package offered.
When choosing a job, it is prudent to consider your preferences and capability. It goes without saying that teaching a class of six-year-olds is extremely different from teaching a board room full of company executives. Nevertheless, teaching in China is run professionally; teaching resources there are plentiful. The work environment is positive and very enabling for teachers. Remuneration is satisfactory and always on time. All in all, anyone would enjoy teaching here.
The major locations for most teaching jobs in China include:
Colleges and Universities
The demand for learning English in China has been rising steadily as evidenced by the numerous language schools that have mushroomed in the country in the recent years. The schools teach both young learners and adults, but most usually specialize in teaching a specific age group. The schools are not part of the regular education system: students attend them when they are not in their regular schools or workplaces.
Language school primarily focus on communicative teaching aimed at developing proper pronunciation and speech. Learning activities, therefore, include role playing, group work, English-based games, drama and songs among other things. The classes are small-sized and often have a definite course book to follow.
Public education offers diverse teaching jobs in China for foreigners. The teaching here is purposed to develop a student’s speech, listening, and pronunciation. A strict curriculum is set with a lot of emphasis being placed on testing the learners. Learning is through writing, speaking as well as a variety of games and activities.
Public school teaching is part of the regular school program. Therefore, work hours are usually on the weekdays between 9 am and 4 pm with regular breaks in between classes. The classes are usually large with students of mixed learning abilities.
Private schools are principally found in the major metropolitan cities of China. The students in these classes comprise of the children of the most elite members of the society. Unlike in most societies however private schools do not enjoy exclusive prestige. This is because it is the rich kids who fail to get into good public schools that pay their way into these private institutions. All the same, private schools look for very experienced teachers. Before you can teach in such institutions, you ought to be certified as a teacher in your home country and Chinese public schools.
Colleges and Universities
Most institutions of higher learning in China now hire foreign teachers with the aim of developing the students’ listening and speaking skills. Most students here are young adults aged between 18 and 22 years. Teaching here is very vibrant with styles and resources that are designed to keep the motivation of students high. Classes range from mid-sized to large-sized classes with many students. The teaching resources here are excellent. Generally, university teaching jobs in China are held in very high regards. Typical teaching hours are between 15 and 20 hours a week.
Teaching business English doesn’t constitute a large portion of the teaching jobs in China. Nevertheless, it is a very good opportunity. Corporations in China have a high demand for executives who can write and speak in English. Therefore, more and more middle and upper management personnel are signing up for business English classes. Some companies even employ an in-house English teacher. The lessons in such classes emphasize only on those skills that a particular company needs. This means that most lessons are tailor-made for a particular group of learners. Common lessons teach about meetings, presentations, negotiating, reporting and many other business-oriented aspects. The remunerations here are of course quite generous.
This is a form of VIP tutoring structured to particular students’ need. The lessons can occur anywhere that is convenient for both the teacher and student. Popular classes are paid for by parents who want the teacher to help their kid prepare for exams. The remuneration varies, but it is generally a good way to supplement a teacher’s income in addition to teaching in other places.
Summer teaching jobs in China are recommended for anyone who only wishes to teach for a short while in the country. The jobs are short-lived, lasting anything from a few weeks to a few months. The payment package here is good with various additional benefits such as flight allowances, visa, insurance and free accommodation.
Finally, as you make you decision, find institutions that are well-run with good resources. It’s also wise to go to a place that issues legal work visa for foreign employees.