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How likely can I find a english teaching job in china?


marysimanli
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Hi, my name is Mary.

I'm thinking of teaching english in china after I graduate, so I want to know what is the job market like (i.e. how easy or hard to find a job), what the general range of pay is and what kind of place is best for me to teach at (i.e. kids/adults, private/public school, freelance?)

I was born in China, move to Canada at 10, went to school in Canada all the way to university. I'm now 24. So my english is at native university level, mandarin is at native speaking level, cantonese at conversational level. I can read Chinese no problem, slow at typing Chinese, but I can some what write. I have Canadian passport and have a ten year Q visa.

The only teaching experience I have is tutoring grade 6 kids on math in high school as a volunteer, and that was 6 years ago.

I have a bachelor in science and soon to be graduated with another bachelor in the applied health science field.

I appreciate any comment for anyone here.

Thank you so much!

 

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Unfortunately, if you're looking at teaching English in China the main problem you likely have to face is discrimination by some potential employers. You should be aware of this before you begin your job search. Students and their parents have an idea of what an English teacher should look like ("foreign looking", blond/brown hair, blue eyes) and are reluctant to accept anything else. This causes recruiters and HR departments of schools to follow their lead. This is the case for most potential teachers from native speaking countries that don't fit the image of a 'foreign teacher' exactly.

 

Your Chinese heritage and language skills aren't likely to help you in your job search. Also, the fact you were lived in China up to 10 years old. To some students and their parents, they would just consider you Chinese and thus, be unhappy about 'paying' 'x' amount for a foreign teacher who is in fact Chinese (in their eyes).

 

On the other hand, non-native speakers and Canadian/American born Chinese can and do find jobs here. I just think it's worth knowing that the attitudes above do exist.

 

As for the job market in general, supply of teachers has never been able to meet the demand. There are always jobs - some good and some less so. In terms of which level you should teach, this depends entirely on what you're more comfortable with. There are jobs at all levels, although private language schools for young students is probably the area with the most growth (and jobs). It would be hard for you to work freelance as you'd need the correct visa to work. You couldn't get this by freelancing as it's tied to a company/employer.

 

The general requirements for teaching are being over 25, having a bachelors degree, being a native speaking, having 2 years work experience. If you meet these requirements then everything should be a lot easier. As for the work experience part, that's usually the most flexible bit.

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You could consider teaching science. Less likely to be discriminated against based on race (but still a possibility) and the pay is likely to be substantially better. Also, the 2-year work experience requirement is quite rigid for any legitimate schools, so you may be better off not disclosing your second degree, and just pretend you've been working since you first graduated.

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I agree with anonymoose. I'd clarify that the 2 year experience thing is 'bendable' for English language teaching jobs and that most schools should have some 'wiggle room' on this. Perhaps a new school with no connections won't. However, for jobs teaching other subjects (not ESL positions) like science, math, etc in either Chinese schools or International schools then the 2 year thing is more rigid.

 

With your language skills, could you not try to find a science related position in China?  I mean not teaching but something else. Perhaps you could find a company back in Canada with ties to China. The job might give you the best of both.

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