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How viable of a candidate am I for a teaching position?


maj0915
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Hi everyone, I found this forum and was wondering if anyone could evaluate my prospects of finding a decent teaching position in China. I'm an American who just recently graduated from college in December with a degree in English and a very high GPA; while I was in school I spent a semester tutoring a non-native speaker (which lasted about four months.) In January, I began working as a volunteer ESL teacher at a non-profit which will give me an additional four months of teaching experience. In March, I will start another volunteer teaching position with children in an elementary school which should last for a month or two. I'm also planning on taking an online TEFL certification course, possibly through ITTT; the CELTA course nearest to my house is very expensive, and I'm not sure how many years I'm hoping to teach ESL, so I don't think I can justify the expense at this point; besides, from what I've read it doesn't seem like Chinese employers are particularly concerned about that sort of thing. I already have my Bachelor's in English, so with my current amount of teaching experience and assuming I am able to complete the certification course, will I be able to find a decent job in China? I'm concerned because I've read in a few places that two years of experience are preferred, but I will only have eight months or so between my tutoring, the volunteer ESL teacher position, and the volunteer teaching position at a local elementary school. I would prefer a "Tier 1" or "Tier 2" school with a decent salary.

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I should probably also mention that I will only be 22 or 23 years old when I am ready to begin teaching overseas. Also, I will likely not be able to travel to China until this summer at the earliest. From what I've heard, it appears that the primary hiring seasons for the Fall are in April or May, but can anyone confirm/deny this?

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  • 3 months later...
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Your chances vary according to your experience and certificates, but also according to the city in which you are. I've heard it's very difficult to find a teaching job in Shanghai, for example. But in the city where I live, Chengdu, you can get a very decent sakary (10 000 RMB per month). And life expenses are lower!

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You may look into teaching in Taiwan instead of China. To legally teach at one of the big chain schools here all you need is to be a native speaker with a passport from a native-English-speaking country, a BA, and no criminal record. You can make good money at some of those schools, and if you learn Chinese while you're at it you can eventually work at one of the so-called "hardcore" cram schools. The pay at those places is much better, but you need experience at a normal cram school and the ability to control a class in Chinese.

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>>>The pay at those places is much better, but you need experience at a normal cram school and the ability to control a class in Chinese.>>>

Martial arts training necessary? How exactly out of control will they get?

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At most schools that's the case. That doesn't mean it's the case at all schools.

Here's an article from a few years ago about them.

I know the owner of one of these schools personally (not one listed in the article, but a similar concept). He pays 1000NT per hour, when the starting rate at a big chain like Hess is around 600. He expects his teachers to be able to explain things in Chinese, including some pretty technical phonetic description, and he requires his students to learn IPA. The material they use is all bilingual, and the teachers are encouraged to use it in the opposite direction to improve their Chinese. From what I've been able to tell, his school blows the regular buxibans out of the water. But then the barrier to entry is much higher.

And yeah, I should have said "run" a class. "Control" sounds a bit much. :mrgreen:

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You might encounter a ton of legal difficulties and paperwork, not to mention chinese politics and your personal life is jeopardized as well. The best asian country to teach in is Japan. And if you want to learn Chinese without writing, it is impossible because mandarin or cantonese dont use a phonetic system, so you can learn writing on your own you'll pick it up faster than native chinese speakers. I myself being an chinese native speaker(born in Canada) learned chinese writing and reading on my own while I taught english in Japan and South Korea. Trust me I've tried to go down that road of teaching English in China, its as complicated as working in Nasa, just to be free of the society, school and government's policies.

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You will definitely be able to find a job as a teacher in China. I studied Chinese in Nanjing for a year and I have literally seen 100's of foreign students being English teachers. Some of them did something like V.I.P teaching (teaching just one or two children) and they got a very decent salary. Even non-native speakers of English got English teaching jobs on a regular basis there. One question remains: what is a decent salary for you ? :=)

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