Information on teaching English in China?

Discussion about jobs in Asia inc. Middle East

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Information on teaching English in China?

Unread postby terenkleo » 20 Feb 2012, 00:01

Hey everyone,
I'm about to get certified in International TEFL so I can teach English abroad. I'm trying to decide if it would be better for me to pay less and take the online TEFL 11-week program here in the States or go abroad to Italy for the more expensive 4-week program?
I really am dead set on the program in Italy for many reasons, like real-life practice, a teacher there to help me, and face-to-face advice on getting hired in Asia.

But I want to know how Chinese schools would hire. I'm a high school graduate currently taking online classes for my Bachelor's degree and I'd be living in China my first 2 years of college. What kind of experience/certification/skills do they usually look for in somewhere like Southern China?

And are there any websites that just list job availabilities from Chinese schools?
xia xia, grazie, and thanks:)

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Re: Information on teaching English in China?

Unread postby RobertD » 15 Jul 2012, 18:13

It's best to do the 4 week course, most schools don't recognize the on-line certificate. many provinces expect that you'll have 2 years previous experience as well as your degree and TEFL certificates. Overall, China is a good place to work, but do remember that it is a very different culture and attitudes towards foreigners change from day-to-day and the way the political wind is blowing. Try Dave's ESL Cafe for the China Board, but beware that Dave's forum is heavily censored as he panders to his Chinese advertisers nowadays.

Southern China is a big place - specify which province you're interested in and you might get specific answers. Guangdong is good as it is near Hong Kong and Macao where you can escape to when things get a bit too much, if you like returning to the "real" world for a spell of sanity.

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Re: Information on teaching English in China?

Unread postby Elissa » 30 Jul 2012, 06:52

I'd agree that the 4 week on-site course is far more beneficial than the online course, but for teaching in China it's not necessary to get a job there. I've been teaching in China for 3 years and I see completely unqualified teachers arrive every month. One school I was at even faked a degree for one guy who had barely graduated high school, let alone university! China are always desperate for teachers as the retention rate for good teachers is quite low in most schools.

A good TEFL will help you enormously in the classroom, though, so they're worth it for that alone.

Be aware that the south of China is extremely humid from May-September. I only managed a year down south before I fled to the (slightly) dryer climate of the north!

Working in China is a mine-field. Most private schools put profit above education and treat FT's as a money-making resource rather than a teacher. Good schools do exist, but they are in the minority, I'm afraid. Do your own research about the school you're going to; I'd ignore places like Dave's (pro-China) and ESLTeacherboard (anti-China) as the reviews on those places are heavily biased one way or another. Best thing to do would be to ask to speak with a selection of current staff at the school you're going to in order to get an idea of what it's currently like to work there.

A good person to help you with getting started in Asia would be a recruitment consultant, I've always used gold star when I've wanted a change of scenery, email jim.althens[@] and he'll be happy to help you. Do your best to avoid Disney as it's being pushed a lot here at the moment; a friend of mine (and a very good teacher) walked out after a month because he spent more time singing than he did teaching!

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