Equipping Yourself For Teaching In China

For general discussion between teachers

Moderator: Joe

User avatar
Posts: 1
Joined: 03 May 2023, 02:37
Status: Teacher

Equipping Yourself For Teaching In China

Unread post by seventyEight »

Hello everyone, is anyone teaching or planning to teach English in China?

I wanted to make a teaching resource note on what I used for a gradebook and two other computer teaching tools while I was there, because it was quite useful and it seemed that no one else was using what I was using.

For grade books, of course there is the good ol' spreadsheet standby, but unless you want to add calculation algorithms to the spreadsheet, then you have to take the time to calculate it all by yourself. If you give lots of assignments, it makes sense to have a computer program that does all the work for you at the press of a button. So that is what I did. There are several options out there, but I used Starfruit Chart by Neon Starfruit Lab for my grade book. The schools were glad that I had the program, because I would use it for the end-of-semester reports, pasting the class performance graphs into the reports so that it was easy for them to see what I was talking about. Students appreciated my having it too during student-teacher meetings were we would discuss their performance. I could easily tell them what type of assignment they needed to do better in most. And, popular with academically competitive Chinese students, it let me tell each student their rank in the class. So I recommend it. It is great for independent, travelling teachers such as ESL teachers usually are.

Less useful to me but more fun for the students was the memory card game, Starfruit Cards. China makes sure its classrooms are well equipped with large touch screen computers at the front of each classroom, even in small cities in the countryside. We would play this game on there, when the class size was small, 10-15 students. I never learned Chinese so I used dict.bing.com as a great resource for finding the Chinese translation of English words to paste into matching cards.

If you teach a speaking class, especially one that uses the iBT testing standard, then the Starfruit Timer can be used to manage classroom practice by projecting it on the front of the classroom screen. iBT speaking test questions are interesting because they specify a preparation time for students to think of their answer in and then a period of time for speaking. The timer wraps that all together and run through it at the press of a button. It gives a better sense of organization in the classroom while practicing speaking.

If you have any questions about teaching in China, you can ask them here, and maybe I can answer. It is always good to be careful but in nine years of teaching there, I had no problems with any major fraud though I thought there were minor quirks here and there from time to time. Also they took good care of foreign teachers during the Corona Virus, perhaps especially so because the foreign teachers come into direct contact with so many of their kids. I was there through two waves of the virus. They provided medical checks for free, disinfectant spray and masks for free and let teachers stay in their apartments with full pay. It was really quite kind of them.
Posts: 4
Joined: 17 May 2023, 17:17
Status: Other

Re: Equipping Yourself For Teaching In China

Unread post by Hanny »

Hey! I'm super excited about the idea of teaching English in China. It's something I've been contemplating for a while now, but I'm stil afraid to take the plunge.
However, your post has motivated me, so I have to thank you and say I WILL TRY!
Post Reply