Learn Chinese in China
steveh

Confucius Institute Masters of Teaching Chinese to Speakers of other Languages

68 posts in this topic

Hello everyone,

There is a lot of resources on CSC scholarships, but little on the Confucius Institute Scholarship, specifically in reference to the Masters program for teaching Chinese. This is pretty surprising since its a 2 year program and already has a few years of establishment.

I am currently studying at one university in China under this scholarship and would like to share what our schools requirements are. I'm also very interested in hearing about other schools programs and requirements as it might also help others who are thinking about applying for this scholarship.

- First, one thing I enjoy about my school is that they allow us to take language classes in the morning for free and then our masters classes in the afternoon. (20 hours a week, 10 and 10). I've heard other schools don't have the opportunity to take language classes?

- Second, the masters classes I take are the following: Chinese Culture; Theory of teaching Chinese to speakers of other languages; 话题; basics of Chinese and how to teach it; and finally an arts class. For an entire semester we have to learn taiqi, another semester other arts like paper cutting, calligraphy, etc. However, we cannot pick these courses ourselves.

- Third, to graduate, one of the requirements is that we pass the HSK with either a 9 (old HSK) or 6 (new).

- Fourth, the school gives us our stipend in the middle of the month. During the holidays we are not allowed to receive our stipend all at once beforehand, only after we have returned (insurance policy that we return?)

- Fifth, our internship is the last semester. We must then come back for our thesis discussion.

- Sixth, as stated in the contract, the school provides double rooms for us.

As for the rest, there is a lot of uncertainty. Many times the school will notify us of requirements at the last minute, a process I'm sure most of you who studied in China are used to.

What about your schools and requirement? :unsure:

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

Hi Steve H, I notice that this is kind of a old post but I'd like to ask you soem questions about your masters.

Actaully some students from our department are doing their MA in CHinese Langauge Teaching in Shanghai University I think. They say they need to spend 4 years there. of course, it is under the scholarship anyway. But 4 years is a really long time. I have the feeling that they need to improve their level fo Chinese for 2 years before they begin their course. So I'd like to know if you had to do the same or what kind of requirements your university made so that you could do that course.

I was looking at a MA in Chinese Teaching from SOAS..but of course, it would not be a Hanban sponsered MA and would be very expensive....but shorter!

Thanks!

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, sorry I didnt see this post earlier turkeylegs.

We signed up and signed a contract for a commitment to study for 2 years followed by teaching chinese for 2 years afterwards. Once graduating we receive our diploma.

However, during the last semester the Confucius Institute changed their policies on us mid way. They "forced" us to now commit to 5 years of teaching chinese after graduation. If we chose not to sign this new contract, they would immediately terminate our scholarship.

On top of that, each Confucius Scholarship institute masters program around the country changed their policy on our scholarships. When signing our contract before starting this program they said we'd have a full scholarship and 1700rmb a month for the entire scholarship. However, when they changed the 2 year commitment to 5 years on us, they also decided to only give 50% of students in each class the full scholarships, 30% only get a half scholarship (no monthly stipend), and 20% of students get nothing at all.

And to even top that, the next incoming class will all get full scholarships (atleast for the first year until they do the same to the next batch of students). So for you and anyone else who is thinking about the Confucius Institute Masters scholarship, be aware and cautious to commit 2 years(7 years) with almost 100% guarantee they will change your agreements mid way through.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jeez....! Crazy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How many students signed up for the new conditions, and how many walked? Or perhaps more realistically, how many signed up and are planning to walk?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And, after you graduate, does the Confucius Institute find you jobs teaching Chinese or do you have to find them yourselves? Do they want the graduates to teach in their home countries or what?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I heard this news from somebody who got Hanban scholarship too. (50% get all -30% get half-20% get nothing!)

The contract changes make many student so crazy and angry about that.

I wish they should re-think about new rules.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't understand ... wasn't the original contract supposed to be legally binding for both parties? If not, why the need for the contract? How could they change the contract unilaterally, or force you to sign a new one, or terminate the old one if you had not done anything wrong? Were there small prints in the contract that gave them the right to terminate it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

skylee raised a very good point. All of you in the Confucius Institute Master degree program - get a lawyer, now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
They "forced" us to now commit to 5 years of teaching chinese after graduation.

How do they force you to teach? I assume you could just leave China and not come back, and there's pretty much nothing they can do to you. But if you don't teach the 5 years, what do they do, black list you from ever being in China again?

[besides the illegality of changing your contract, that seems a surefire way of getting a bunch of pissed, half-hearted teachers.....]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@roddy All the students at my school signed the new agreements since they didnt want to just walk away completely from the masters program. Many students come from countries with lower costs of living and if they quit midway through or tried to revolt, they would lose everything and would have to start from scratch somewhere else.

@meng During our masters program we have to find an internship anywhere in the world. This, along with after graduation jobs are all the responsibility of the individual to find, the schools and Hanban do nothing to assist. And yes, the purpose of the program is that HanBan hopes all students return to their home country (or another country if they'd like) and teach chinese culture and language. (I mean, they are providing the scholarship specifically for this).

@skylee The thing is, there is no such thing as a true contract or terms of conditions when applying. The only thing I signed was the application form when applying for the scholarship. At the end there is an "I hereby affirm" portion with several clauses stated I wont break any laws, I'm in good health, blah blah. Also "如选择汉语国际教育硕士专业,毕业后至少从事2年汉语教学工作。If I choose to study for Master of Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages, I shall be committed to Chinese teaching after graduation for at least 2 years." and "按规定期限离华,不无故在华滞留;I shall return to my home country as soon as I complete my scheduled program in China, and will not extend my stay without valid reasons." Besides this, there was nothing else. The new "contract" was of course our "choice" to sign. If we wanted to give up our scholarships because we dont agree to the new term of teaching chinese for 5 years, we could "choose" to not sign the paper and not continue our scholarships.

If it was the US, a lawyer would probably be very useful. However, many times contracts mean nothing unless YOU violate THEIR terms.

@jbradfor The only thing they could do (atleast that I could reasonably think up) is not issue the masters degree until the 5 year teaching period is over.

The point of all this to anyone who is reading is this:

1. There is virtually NO information about this program online anywhere, so the more people who have questions or thinking about this program, I hope this board can provide some good information.

2. The new class that applied, their "contract" or application states they must teach for 5 years, so if you do decide to apply, this probably wont change.

3. If you do accept their scholarship, be aware that you most likely will also have the yearly review where 50% students get full scholarship, 30% half and 20% nothing. They say they look at grades, attendance and participation to decide who is in what category, so start strong from the beginning.

4. If you want to become a teacher of Chinese, then this program is a good opportunity, jsut be prepared to put up with issues that always arise when working or attending school in China.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never heard of anything like this in my life. What a ghastly program.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
And yes, the purpose of the program is that HanBan hopes all students return to their home country (or another country if they'd like) and teach chinese culture and language. (I mean, they are providing the scholarship specifically for this).

Ah, so you don't have to teach Chinese specifically for them? That's different. If that's the case I think they're probably just trying to make themselves look better. Unless you have some indication otherwise, I reckon you'll graduate and then never hear from them again. Has anyone said you won't get your graduation documents until after completing that requirement (and if that's the case - how would you get work?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@ Roddy Nope, you dont teach for them. They just hope that you teach Chinese anywhere, but you have to "guarantee" its for 5 years after you graduate. My guess is you are correct, they won't ever get in touch with us again after we graduate. The first class that attended this program had no requirements of teaching a certain length after graduating. When they graduated (June 2011), they were given a diploma from our University. So regardless, as long as we finish our program and pass it, our University should give us a degree. Now, whether they get another degree from HanBan to say they satisfied all the requirements? IDK. And no, no one has said that they wouldnt give the documentation until after the 5 years, I was just saying that as a worst case scenario that I could imagine to enforce the 5 years. It really comes down to this, if someone really wanted to become a teacher and had that as a lifegoal, then whether they set 2 years, 5 years, or 20 years doesnt really matter (besides the matter they changed the amount mid way), the fact is, thats what you want to do. For those who plan to not teach afterward, regardless of whether it was 2 years, 5 years, or 10 years, if they did not plan to teach afterward from the start, the time length doesnt really matter.

The point is, changing requirements half way and then revoking students scholarships at EVERY school the program is offered is not the right thing to do. The reason they implemented this cutting down on scholarships was because they said something like at some universities some students were not attending class, so to punish them, they created this 50% 30% 20% scholarship renewal. Now how does that make sense? Because of a few, punish all?

Also, just a little side note, the 20% of students in my class that were part of the receive no tuition or rooming scholarship, our University thought that this was EXTREMELY unfair. So although HanBan would not foot the bill, our Univeristy IS allowing them to continue to study with free tuition and room for the remaining time. I've also heard some other universities doing the same thing.

However, they might only do it this one time since they too were completely shocked by the new rules HanBan gave.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The point is, changing requirements half way and then revoking students scholarships at EVERY school the program is offered is not the right thing to do.

Agreed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It doesn't sound like much of a contract to me. Seeing as the 50/30/20 system and five-year-rule were instituted around the same time, I think roddy's comment makes sense. It's quite hard to track the service obligations of students who share the nationality of the program sponsor---this would be infinitely more difficult for a program or department, like HanBan, that sponsors foreign students who are planning to teach outside of China. You could try to find out if HanBan has any intention to enforce the requirement. Without any such indication, woundn't it be safe to see this as a kind of aspirational goal and "fervent hope" of HanBan? That would, at least, be a rather Confucian approach. The 50/30/20 scheme is a bit more complicated, but you don't seem personally affected by that change. If that is the case, congratulations on your continued satisfactory progress in your degree program!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

anyone have an update on whether they really force you to work for them for the five years?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@paotale Did you read the entire thread? There's no way they can force you to teach for five years and, as @steveh pointed out, you don't actually work for them anyway.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi everyone,

I've read the whole thread about the MTCSOL program I'm planning to apply for, and I understand that very little information is available, but I still want to turn to you hoping that some light will be shed on my questions.

So first of all, about this "written commitment" thing for five years... If I'm awarded, I DO plan to teach Chinese after graduation, but do I have to specify where? Am I obliged to go back to my home country and teach at the same Confucius Institute that recommended me for the scholarship?

When I write this commitment letter, what else am I supposed to include besides that single sencence of "After graduation I promise to teach Chinese for 5 years"? If I don't include any specifics, noone can really "force" me to teach anywhere, can they?

Is there anyone taking this program right now? Do you know of any universities that DID NOT allow Master's students to take Chinese language classes? I'm planning to apply for Dalian University of Foreign Languages and/or Liaoning Normal University, does anybody have any strong reason to advise me against these institutions?

Thank you for any help in advance, I'm willing to be a guinea pig in the process of application and (hopefully) the program itself, promise if I get it, I'll share every bit of information I can.

Cheers!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@paotale- there is no way they can force you to teach for five years, in my opinion. Right now I am getting ready to do my thesis defense and then graduate next month. Upon graduation they will give us our degree, so there should be no issues there (I will edit this post later if there are issues). After graduating, Confucius Institute doesn't really get in touch with us (not like they did while studying anyways). As a side note, I applied for CSC PhD this year and seem like I should be receiving that, further playing into the notion of no real commitment after graduating. (Edit: I did receive the CSC scholarship for a PhD). So dont worry about the "5 year commitment".

@hyangmi17- sorry I didnt get to your post earlier. First, good luck on your application! As for the written commitment for teaching, there is no requirement as to where you teach, they just want you to promote Chinese values and language increasing the soft power of China. In fact, during your studies you should have to do a one semester internship teaching Chinese, this can be done in China, your home country, or really any place in the world that will let you do an internship teaching. I even know students who never actually did an internship but just stamped the paperwork saying they did =/ The internship is secured by you and you alone, neither Confucius Institute nor your University will help you with this.

I heard there are some schools that did not allow Master students to take Chinese classes, maybe because of the time conflict or other issues. However, I cannot give any other information about that. There are probably 100's of students taking this Masters course, but no forum, no communication or anything between such students, so its hard to find out information.

I dont remember having to write a commitment letter, so I'm not sure what you are talking about? We had to write a study plan and a self introduction. Pretty much I wrote that I want to study Chinese and teach people back home of the wonderful culture and language and blah blah blah. But again, they cant force you to teach anywhere. I think maybe the Chinese (nationality) teachers might have no say, but they WORK for Confucius Institute as opposed to just scholarships.

And lastly, I did study at DUFL back in 2007. It was actually the first place I studied in China. I LOVED Dalian as a city. Very clean, not TOOOOOO expensive (when compared to Beijing where I studied secondly), good food, good transportation, and pretty modern. The air is also relatively clean compared to other places and better weather, especially when going to the beaches in the Summer time. In regard to DUFL, I took language classes and had mixed feelings. The teachers really were not the greatest, but that was my class. When you come to China to study you learn quickly that teachers are really different and its a toss up if you get a good one or not, no matter how great the school is. All the classes at that time were in the same building as the dorms, with a pretty lack of new supplies. The dorm rooms were expensive, especially for single rooms with a private bathroom and ac. As a scholarship recipient, you will be given housing for a double room, probably no private bathroom nor ac (unless things have changed within the past 5 years, which is very possible). If that is the case, and you are studying for two years, I recommend living off campus, there are many apartments near the school.

Liaoning Normal university I dont have any information.

If you have any other questions, just ask and I will be sure to check this board more often 8)

Edited by steveh
2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now