Site Search:
 
Get TEFL Certified & Start Your Adventure Today!
Teach English Abroad and Get Paid to see the World!
Job Discussion Forums Forum Index Job Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Students and Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

China For Newbies

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Newbie Forum
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
FAQ China



Joined: 31 May 2003
Posts: 53

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2003 3:27 pm    Post subject: China For Newbies Reply with quote

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT TEACHING ENGLISH IN CHINA:

DO I HAVE TO HAVE A BACHELOR DEGREE? Usually.

DO I HAVE TO HAVE TEACHING EXPERIENCE? Not at most schools.

DO I HAVE TO HAVE A MAJOR IN EDUCATION? No.

DO I HAVE TO HAVE A MAJOR IN ENGLISH? No.

DO I HAVE TO HAVE ANY TYPE OF CERTIFICATION? Not at most schools.

IS THERE AN ALTERNATIVE TO A BACHELOR DEGREE? Certification from a reputable ESL school, plus experience, will also suffice.

DOES ENGLISH HAVE TO BE MY NATIVE LANGUAGE? Usually.

DO I HAVE TO BE AN AMERICAN? No. And there are people from all over the English speaking world already teaching in China. The British accent was prevalent for a long time, and is still widespread, but the North American accent is becoming much more popular.

CAN I BRING MY MATE? Certainly. CAN COUPLES WORK AT THE SAME SCHOOL? Depends on the size of the school. CAN COUPLES WORK THE SAME HOURS? Depends on the needs of the school.

CAN SCHOOLS IN CHINA ACCOMMODATE FAMILIES? Some of them can.

WHAT TYPE OF COURSES WILL I BE TEACHING? Mostly conversation, pronunciation, vocabulary, and culture. The Chinese English teachers handle reading, writing, spelling, and grammar. Because China recently joined the World Trade Organization, business English is also in demand. You’ll need to find out which business English a school is offering, decide if it appeals to you, and determine whether you can handle it. There is WTO English, which is specialized English for entrepreneurs, managers, salesmen, and MBA candidates, ie, international commerce, government regulation, contract negotiation, and business operation. And there is English for people who will be company translators, tour guides, travel agents, hotel clerks, taxi drivers, etc, ie, conversational English from a business angle.

HOW MANY HOURS A WEEK WILL I TEACH? 15-25, depending on the pay and the type of assignment.

WHAT AGE GROUP WILL I TEACH? Kindergarten through adult, depending on your preference and suitability. If you’re good with young children, kindergarten is becoming very popular in China, and the government now wants schools to begin English instruction in third grade. If you like college students, try for an academic position, although they generally require more qualifications. If you’re a news buff, you may want to take on adult classes, where discussion is usually the format, a newspaper is often the textbook, and politics and culture are the most popular subjects.

HOW BIG ARE THE CLASSES? At a language institute, there might be as few as 4-6. At a public school, there might be as many as 50. University and private school classes are 30-40. A kindergarten class, 25 or less.

DO THE SCHOOLS PROVIDE TEACHING MATERIAL? Some provide textbooks, others want you to develop your own curriculum. Still others offer you a textbook but give you the option to use you own curriculum. It’s very common for foreign teachers to dispense with the textbook, assess the class, and rely on their knowledge of the language and culture, combined with the skills they acquired from college and the workplace. Chinese teachers take a traditional approach, almost always using the textbook, and emphasizing knowledge over skill. Foreign teachers use a much more creative and interactive approach, focusing on the practical.

DO THE SCHOOLS PROVIDE TRANSLATION IN THE CLASSROOM? Depends on the resources of the school. Also depends on the philosophy of the teachers, principals, and owners. There are 2 camps, English only and translation. English only is gaining ground.

WHAT IS THE CHINESE SCHOOL CALENDER? The first term is from the first of September to the middle of January. The second term is from the first of March to the middle of July. Language schools and kindergartens operate year round.

WHAT DO THEY DO DURING THOSE LONG BREAKS? For teachers, training seminars. For students, English camps. You can teach at these or travel, depending on your resources. Also, many language schools offer special classes between semesters and are willing to take you on during these periods. Kindergartens are reluctant to hire teachers for less than 6 months because of the effect a high turnover of teachers has on younger children.

ARE THERE EXTRA CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES? Yes. In kindergarten and primary schools, there are parents days and various presentations and performances. In middle schools, high schools, and universities, there is English Corner, where students have the opportunity to practice their conversational skills at close quarters with native speakers. At colleges, there are speech contests, radio programs, and so on. You will frequently shop and eat with college students. One Saturday morning a month, a college may arrange for you to lecture and field questions at middle schools or high schools. Most public schools cannot afford fulltime foreign teachers. So you will be either the first foreigner they’ve seen in person or one of the few. After these Saturday morning sessions, you will get an envelope or they will take you out to eat, or both.

ARE EXTRA CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES REQUIRED? Yes and no. English has become important because China is modernizing and opening to the west. Chinese are well aware of how important English is to their future. WTO are 3 letters that are on everyone’s lips. Exposure to foreigners is highly valued. Extra curricular activities are not required but expected. These activities are designed for students to practice their English, and you’re the expert on English. It comes with the territory. You obviously can’t attend every event, but it’s not a good idea to bow out too often. The other side is that you will understand the culture better and increase your skills. You will also make more contacts. Networking is a top priority in Chinese culture, and all the more important because of your situation as a foreigner. Meanwhile, your teenage and adult students will be your guides and translators, and will help you get adjusted.

WHAT’S A GOOD SALARY FOR A FOREIGN ENGLISH TEACHER IN CHINA? A language school in a large city might pay as much as 6,000 Chinese dollars, 8,000-12,000 is not unheard of, but the cost of living will be much higher. A rural school might pay as little as 2,200, but the cost of living will be much lower. Colleges and private schools pay 3000-4500, depending on the economy of their province and the qualifications of the teacher.

WILL I BE ALLOWED TO WORK ON THE SIDE? Usually not a problem, as long as it doesn’t interfere with work at your contract school. Many contracts, and almost all academic contracts, include a clause that forbids you from teaching anywhere else without their permission.

DO SCHOOLS PAY AIRFARE? For a one year assignment, most schools pay roundtrip airfare. For a 6 month assignment, they pay for your ticket home. For less than 6 months, they will pay to your next destination in China, presumably the nearest international airport.

WILL I GET WESTERN HOLIDAYS OFF? Chinese celebrate both the solar and lunar new year. They have their own independence day. They don’t celebrate Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas, but they will probably put American holidays into the contract if you ask. Also ask about weekend makeup days before and after Chinese holidays. If you have to make it up, it’s not a holiday, is it.

WHAT OTHER BENEFITS DO CHINESE SCHOOLS OFFER? Most offer a travel allowance. Most offer a small medical allowance. A few offer a contract completion bonus. In college cafeterias, meals are cheap. At private schools, you eat at the dining hall for free. A few schools will even feed you western style meals. All schools offer free housing. Many offer free Internet in your apartment. Foreign teachers usually have better apartments and more appliances than their Chinese counterparts, and make 2 or 3 times as much. All that having been said, if you are perk oriented rather than adventure oriented, China is not the place.

WHAT IS THE EXCHANGE RATE? 8 to 1. But plan to spend your money here because it won’t amount to much when you go home.

CAN I PAY OFF MY STUDENT LOANS? No. Same for house payments and car payments.

ARE THERE DRESS CODES? No. There are exceptions. If a school with a dress code offers you a position, tell them you’re not interested. Another red flag is large amounts of paperwork and/or large numbers of meetings.

WILL I GET A PRIVATE ROOM? Depends on the resources of the school.

WHAT IS CRAZY ENGLISH?: The most frequent question you’ll hear at English Corner is “How do I improve my English.” You’ll not only hear it at English Corner, you’ll hear it in restaurants, on buses, on the sidewalk, just about anywhere you meet people. The second most frequent question you’ll here is, “What do you think about Crazy English?” Li Yang, “Crazy Lee,” as they call him, was concerned about passing a college graduation exam. So he got alone and started rehearsing his curriculum extremely loud. It worked. Now he published books and tapes, and conducts rallies. Students go behind buildings or on rooftops and use Crazy Lee’s technique. They also go to his rallies and shout together. This helps overcome the cultural shyness - everybody is doing it, so nobody is embarrassed. The students are crazy about it. The deans think it’s crazy. Crazy Lee isn’t too worried about the deans. He’s busy training an army of translators for the 2008 Olympics, and preparing his country for the WTO and the 21st Century. The bookstore managers are obviously not too concerned about academic opinion either. Go to any large bookstore in China and you will find a special table prominently displaying Crazy English material.

WHY IS KINDERGARTEN POPULAR IN CHINA? Kindergarten is popular in China because of the one child policy. Parents don't want their children to be spoiled, so they put them in kindergarten boarding schools Monday through Friday, where they'll be surrounded by dozens of other children 24 hours a day. Another reason kindergartens are popular is that the parents are busy making their fortunes under Deng's economic reforms.

HOW DOES AN ACADEMIC ASSIGNMENT IN CHINA COMPARE WITH AN ACADEMIC ASSIGNMENT IN AMERICA? A good question, since China has drastically increased its allotment of applicants accepted into college. Chinese college students bond more with you and will be much more demanding of your time. An American professor sees his students 3 times a week for one hour sessions, you will see your students once a week for 2 hour sessions. An American professor determines grades. In China, course grades, as well as graduation, are based on examination. College professors in China live in campus apartments. As an American professor, you would have fewer classes and fewer students, and might devote a lot of time to researching and writing. If you are a good mentor, teaching Chinese English majors should be at the top of your list. Many universities are drastically expanding their English program. Especially take a look at teachers colleges and what they call normal universities. They are more likely to take you without experience or an advanced degree, and are more likely to have an easy going administration. For people who want to do volunteer work, these type of schools are the most likely to arrange something. It’s already an important part of their mission, and many graduates teaching at nearby needy schools stay in touch. A teachers college trains primary teachers, a normal university trains secondary teachers. Of course, liberal arts colleges and technical schools also need foreign professors. College students are much freer to help you with translation and so on, since they live around the corner from you and have no family obligations. They are also the most eager on this count. Chinese teachers take their profession seriously, but they have a limited vocabulary, a terrible pronunciation problem, and a severe shortage of good material. Most of them have not had the benefit of extensive training under a teacher with a native tongue. There will always be far more Chinese teachers than foreign teachers. American schools can’t get enough science and math teachers, but English and social studies teachers abound. Here, no standing in line.

WHY ARE THEY WILLING TO HIRE PEOPLE WHO DON’T HAVE TEACHER CERTIFICATION OR TEACHING EXPERIENCE AND DIDN’T MAJOR IN EDUCATION OR ENGLISH? One reason is the great need for English skills. The other reason is that they assume that in the process of getting a liberal arts degree, you accumulated a certain amount of knowledge and acquired certain skills.

WHY DO THEY ALLOW TEACHERS TO WORK ON A TOURIST VISA? Uh, they don’t. But Chinese are consummate pragmatists, and they are headed for “shoukang” (in China, spelled xiaokang - a well off society). Deng told them, “Black cat, white cat, makes no difference. If it can catch a mouse, it’s a good cat.” If you’re in town for a few months “guest lecturing,” well, China needs English skills. Repeat, they are not letting you work on a tourist visa…got it? There is also the local pull factor, pronounced “gwahn$hee” (in China, spelled guanxi.) Mao tried to root it out early in his tenure. One of the first things Hu did when he took the reins was warn those involved that he was serious about it. The people despite it. But it’s been around for long time. Xiaokang and guanxi. You will find these 2 competing value systems in every element of Chinese society.

WILL I BE ABLE TO INSTANT MESSAGE SCHOOLS? Probably not. Even if they are set up for it, you’ll have to allot extra time for the language problem. The same goes if the foreign affairs officer has to consult with a supervisor during negotiation. You also have to content with the time zones. A better strategy is the job offer check list below.

WILL I BE ABLE TO CONTACT FOREIGN TEACHERS AT THE SCHOOL? If they have any. Many schools would give their right arm for you to be the first. WHAT SHOULD I DO IF THEY ARE RELUCTANT TO LET ME CONTACT THE OTHER FOREIGN TEACHERS? Tell them you’re not interested.

WOULD IT BE BETTER TO FLY IN AND LOOK FOR AN ASSIGNMENT THERE? Yes and no. The cost of living is much lower, and the money you bring with you will go a long way. Schools hear from a lot of candidates who are considering coming to China. Being in China means you’re serious about teaching here. And it’s financially conceivable that you can visit several schools before making a decision. But you will have to survive as a stranger. New to the city, new to the country. No knowledge of the language or culture. No foreigners to advise you, no locals to protect you. It’s risky.

SHOULD I TAKE THE BEST OFFER? The best offers are from language institutes. The cost of living will almost certainly be higher, because most language institutes that can afford foreign teachers are in larger cities. Students might be more fickle, the school might be less financially stable, the management might be more difficult to deal with, etc.

SHOULD I USE A RECRUITER? “Maybe…” “Never!” A recruiter has connections. On the other hand, his business, and therefore most likely his loyalty, is with the schools. And once he gets his fee, why should he care how the school treats you? Some recruiters have actually figured out that if they look out for their recruits, they’ll get referrals. Most find it’s easier to prey on the next wave of rookies. Some ESL veterans will tell you it’s not worth the risk. Others will tell you to use the same savvy you use with schools. To be recruited or not to be recruited, that is the question. To join the fray, check Dave’s ESL Café. See the link below.

IS IT POSSIBLE TO TRAVEL, TEACHING A MONTH OR SO IN EACH TOWN. Good possibility, and it’s easier to do this in China than in most other countries. But you won’t make as much money, and many schools are wary of “backpackers.”

WHAT ARE THE BEST WEBSITES FOR FINDING AN ESL JOB IN CHINA? Start with Dave’s ESL Café. It’s the #1 ESL website in the world, and 30% of the jobs are for China. Next, www.TEFL.com. The largest number of jobs on www.tefl.com are in England. China is second. Finally, www.ChinaTEFL.com, with its high volume, unique format, and long term ad placement.

WHAT’S THE BEST CITY IN CHINA FOR FOREIGNERS? No such species. Every person is different, every city is different. If you’re concerned about adjusting as a foreigner, try Shanghai, Chengdu, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Qingdao, Dalian, Hangzhou, Kunming, Xian, and Nanjing, to name a few. But if you chose a city based on lifestyle, you might find yourself in a place with a lot of skyscrapers and no culture. You’ll be comfortable but bored. On the other hand, extra work is easier to find in developed cities. Make sure you can handle the climate. If you’ve lived in Florida all your life, don’t accept an assignment in Liaoning province. If you want to travel Asia, stay near the major airports. But Beijing is under construction in preparation for the 2008 Olympics, and will see a lot of dust fly for the next several years. If you want to get away from it all, if you want help needy schools, if you want to find out how 75% of China lives, if you want to teach in an atmosphere 99.99% free of office politics and micromanagement, teach at a rural school. Only you know why you’re coming to China.

SHOULD I SAY ANYTHING ABOUT MY MEDICAL PROBLEM? If it doesn’t interfere with teaching English as a second language or living abroad, don’t say anything. WHAT SHOULD I DO IF THEY ASK ABOUT MY MEDICAL SITUATION? Tell them you don’t have any medical conditions that prevent you from teaching ESL overseas. WHAT IF THEY PRY? Tell them you’re not interested. WHAT IF MY MEDICAL SITUAION REQUIRES ACCOMMODATION? Depends on the resources of the school.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF A SCHOOL DOESN’T PAY AIRFARE, OR WON’T PAY FOR VISA EXPENSES, OR CAN’T GUARANTEE A QUICK TURNAROUND TIME ON GETTING MY PASSPORT BACK TO ME, ETC? Tell them you’re not interested.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I SHOW UP ONLY TO DISCOVER I’VE BEEN HAD? Smile, tell them how much you like the school, wait for an opportune moment, and jump in the next taxi.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I START HAVING PROBLEMS WITH MY SCHOOL? Determine if it’s a cultural thing or if they just don’t want to behave. “Don’t want to behave” doesn’t mean they don’t get around to repairing problems in your apartment fast enough. It means repeated, inexcusable mistreatment or neglect. If you’re convinced that it isn’t going to work out, leave. If you are operating on a tourist visa, as is the case with many short term assignments, you can simply go to another school. If you are operating on a work visa, as is the case with most long term assignments, you will have to leave the country and get another visa.

WHAT IF I DISCOVER THAT THIS JUST ISN’T FOR ME? Explain the situation to your principal or director. Try to stick it out for 3 months. It might take that long for them to find another teacher.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE WHO IS ON THE FENCE? Unless it will adversely affect your situation at home, go abroad. In addition to personally enriching you, going abroad will increase your perspective on the world like you can only begin to imagine.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE WHO HAS NEVER BEEN ABROAD? Adapt, adapt, adapt. Your school and your Chinese friends will go out of their way to accommodate your lifestyle and customs and help you adjust. But China has been around for 5000 years and has 1.4 billion people. It’s not going to change overnight. Westerners discover when they go abroad that the rest of the world lives a much different existence. Expect an initial shock. The mindset and pace are also different. Don’t fall into the classic trap of becoming so disgusted or frustrated that you don’t gain anything from the experience. Another classic trap is rolling your eyes and bashing the locals or their culture.

WHAT DO I MAKE OF THESE CYNICS ON THE MESSAGE BOARDS? They’ve been around too long. This is a too edged sword. Network with them, don’t adopt their attitude.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE WHO IS THINKING ABOUT DOING THIS FOR SEVERAL YEARS, OR MAYBE EVEN MAKING A CAREER OF IT? Get certified.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO GET CERTIFIED? Plan to spend at least 1200-1500 American dollars. Plan to spend at least 3 weeks training. If you want to go all out, a Master’s and an observed internship. Good online programs are available, but it might be more orientation than training. Beware of diploma mills. If certification is beyond your budget at the moment, buy several professional books rather than spend a few hundred on a quickie online course. A school that requires a certificate will likely consider it important enough to investigate its value. Don’t use fake credentials. Government agencies take fraud seriously. If you get caught, you could be barred from the country for several years.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A RECENT GRADUATE? Start with a short term assignment.

HOW DO I CHECK INTO VOLUNTEER POSITIONS? Peace Corps and Voluntary Service Overseas are the 2 major agencies. Peace Corps is American, VSO is British. You can also ask a school if they are willing to allow you to work half time for them while helping another school.

I HAVE A PASSION FOR TEACHING AND A LOVE FOR CHILDREN. I EVEN HAVE SOME TEACHING EXPERIENCE. BUT I DON’T HAVE A DEGREE OR ANY TYPE OF CERTIFICATION. IS THERE ANY HOPE FOR ME? faqchina@yahoo.com

HOW DO I CUSTOMIZE MY RESUME TO THIS SITUATION? Use a vertical list format and simple vocabulary. Do not include qualifications that do not apply to teaching English in another country. Remember that Chinese use English as a second language. Nor are they familiar with American workplace terminology or campus extra curricular activities. Include high school curriculum if you are a recent graduate. See the examples below.

WHAT SHOULD I AVOID SAYING IN RESUME AND COVER LETTER? “I was promoted to shift manager at McDonald’s,” “When I was a secretary, I dealt with people regularly,” “I like movies and guitar,” “developed, coordinated, facilitated, implemented,” “enclosed herein is my CV for your perusal,” “I am available for employment with you fine institution at your earliest convenience,” “I am a very good teacher,” “I will be a great asset to your school,” “I create a stimulating and supportive classroom environment.” “I am only interested in working for a school that has high standards,” “I am available immediately if my demands are met,” “I am skilled in the methods of pedagogy,” “In the paragraphs below, I have expounded on my educational philosophy,”

WHAT SHOULD I BE SURE TO SAY IN MY COVER LETTER? “I am available on this date.”

SHOULD I SEND A PHOTO? Your qualifications and attitude, your ability and willingness to help your students. These are what count, not your looks. WHAT SHOULD I DO IF A SCHOOL ASKS FOR MY PHOTO? Tell them you’re not interested.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF A SCHOOL ASKS ME TO WRITE AN ESSAY AS PART OF THE APPLICATION PROCESS? Tell them you’re not interested.

WHAT SHOULD I DO WHILE I’M WAITING FOR MY ASSIGNMENT? 1) Spend a lot of time in the bookstore. Start with the recommendations below. 2) Brush up on your vocabulary. 3) Study the International Phonetic Alphabet.

WHERE DO I GET A PASSPORT? http://iafdb.travel.state.gov/

WHAT DOCUMENTS DO I NEED FOR A WORK VISA? Passport, diplomas/certificates, resume, medical report. Bring a few dozen passport size photos to satisfy the bureaucratic appetite. Now for a work visa, later for travel visas to other countries.

SHOULD I FAX, MAIL, OR BRING MY DOCUMENTS? If you process your work visa through a consulate, fax the school. They in turn will fax you the documents you will take to the consulate. If you come in on a tourist visa, bring your originals and the school will process the work visa locally. Never mail your originals. WHAT SHOULD I DO IF A SCHOOL ASKS ME TO MAIL MY ORIGINALS? Tell them you’re not interested. Do not mail your originals overseas under any circumstances.

WILL THERE BE A PHONE INTERVIEW? Depends on the school, but probably not. Application fraud is not that common, and you won’t last long in the classroom if you’re not qualified.

WHEN DO I START? With China’s entrance into the World Trade Organization, its selection as host of the 2008 Olympics, its large population, and its astounding GDP, it cannot get enough qualified English teachers.

HOW DO I GET A VISA? The easiest, fastest, and cheapest way to get a visa and get to China is to go to Hong Kong. You do not need a visa to go to Hong Kong, and tourist visas to China are readily available there. China is just across the border. You can also get your tourist visa or work visa at a consulate. You may want to do this if the consulate is in your city and your assignment is close to Beijing or Shanghai (ie, the major airports). But the nearest consulate may be several hours away and they take 4 or 5 days to process your visa. That means an extra trip to the consulate. The consulate strategy for work visas also risks bureaucratic snags. Your school has more favor with government officials, applications are routine, and offices are across town. You also don’t have the advantage of speaking Chinese. Here you will be surrounded by Chinese English teachers who are much more fluent than consulate staff. Another reason for going the Hong Kong route is the medical exam. The school pays for the exam, it’s much cheaper in China, doctors are familiar with the forms, and the school probably uses the same doctor for every application. A consulate may require that you get the medical exam stateside, and the school may not be willing to reimburse you the difference. Yet another reason is that in Hong Kong, you can get a 3 month tourist visa. Consulates usually issue 1 month tourist visas. Americans are deadline conscience. Chinese operate on a different timetable, and have a habit of procrastinating work visas for their foreign employees. This is nerve racking for Americans, who will get in trouble if they stay in the country after their visa expires. Also, China has fewer but longer holidays than America. If your visa expiration date is during a holiday, your deadline is shortened a week. Leaving the country to get another visa could eat up a month’s salary. In short, tell your travel agent you want to go to Hong Kong.

WHERE IS THE BEST CHEAP ROOM IN HONG KONG? www.rentaroomhk.com. There are many others, and the rates are cheaper. But the owners don’t speak English or aren’t fluent. The owner and staff at Rent A Room speak fluent English. They can not only communication with you about your needs at the hotel, they can tell you anything you need to know about Hong Kong. Rent a Room is also safer. Another factor if you stay in the rooms down the street: you’ll have to dodge street salesmen every 10 yards. “Rolex watch!” “Custom made suit, $100!” It helps if you’ve taken boxing lessons. On the edge of this jungle, about 2 blocks from Rent A Room, is a same day visa service. Get there before noon or you’ll have to pay double for rush processing - or spend a spend a few days in that fascinating city. The express train to the mainland is 3 blocks away. All Rent A Room rooms have a telephone, and the office has Internet. Phones calls are free, Internet is by the minute. Internet at the hotel is ideal for checking your email. For longer Internet time, there is an Internet café across the street. Private booths. Reduced rates during off hours. Comfortable, and only about one American dollar an hour, but usually noisy. Don’t try to get a good teaching position in Hong Kong in one day, or without a lot of qualifications and experience. The ESL industry has been around for a long time. And except for the high cost of living, the city has a lot of appeal.



FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT CHINA:

HOW DO CHINESE VIEW FOREIGNERS? Chinese are very receptive toward foreigners. And with foreign investment and WTO membership, they are eager to meet the world. At the same time, China is a large country with a large population, and only recently opened its doors. So you will also get plenty of curious attention.

WHAT ARE CHINESE STUDENTS LIKE? Behaved, attentive, and enthusiastic. However...Kindergarten and elementary children in China have the same short attention span as children everywhere. Language school students can be difficult to please because they paying a lot of money and want to become conversational fluent with an American accent overnight. The teenagers of rich parents, usually in private schools, are spoiled and apathetic, often unteachable. College students are shy until you convince them that they can’t learn English if they’re shy, then they won’t leave you alone.

HOW IS THE TEACHING PROFESSION TREATED? Teaching is a respected profession.

WHAT ARE THE PEOPLE LIKE? They put westerners to shame when it comes to friendliness and hospitality. They bond quickly, often instantly. They network like no advice column every described. If you’re having trouble finding something, they’ll have it on your doorstep within a few days. They will feast you at expensive restaurants without blinking. (In China, great struggles are fought over who gets to pay the restaurant tab and the taxi fare.) They take relationships seriously. If you need their help, they help you, period. If they need your help, they expect it. In your case, that usually means helping them with their English, explaining western culture, visiting a school where a friend of theirs is a teacher or principal, helping them apply for a visa, helping them find a school in your home country and helping them get admitted to it, or providing a foreign presence at a key event. (Beware of being asked to pretend you’re a businessman during a factory tour, pretending you’re a Canadian when you visit a joint venture school even though you’re Australian, and similar antics.) They are very patriotic, and follow the government’s lead like western politicians only dream. On the other hand, a lot of their behavior westerners find vulgar, uncivilized, and outright appalling. Hoiking and spitting, pushing and shoving to get on the bus or subway, jostling for position instead of standing in line, chattering during lectures, plays, and concerts, crowding around you, grabbing things out of your hand. Whether driving down the road or walking across it, negotiating traffic requires a daredevil routine, something westerners find maddening. Simple matters are frequently accompanied by inordinate discussion and commotion. In many towns, you will find trashy, dirty streets. Shop keepers emptying their slop bucket on the sidewalk. Unkept toilets, with the accompanying permeating odor. Yes, even the classic scene of children relieving themselves in public.

HOW DO I MAKE A GOOD IMPRESSION? 1) take an interest in their culture 2) devote yourself to your students.

IS THERE AGE, GENDER, OR RACIAL DISCRIMINATION? Older teachers are considered a major asset because of their experience and developed skills. Women are respected in the workplace. Racism is not a major problem in this culture.

IS IT SAFE TO TRAVEL? You should watch your back and your wallet in every country, but China is very safe. Strange as it may sound, your bicycle is in much more danger than you or your wallet. Bicycle theft is big in China, far more common than mugging or pick pocketing. One place to be particularly cautious is the train station. Always have a Chinese acquaintance with you at dep
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Roger



Joined: 19 Jan 2003
Posts: 9138

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2003 3:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

a must-read even if a little PC-hypercorrected.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
CyberStylz



Joined: 02 Jul 2003
Posts: 16
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2003 6:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great Post! This has resparked my interest into China.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
Mr. Kalgukshi
Mod Team
Mod Team


Joined: 18 Jan 2003
Posts: 6402
Location: Need to know basis only.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2003 7:25 am    Post subject: Excellent! Reply with quote

Excellent! I'm certain many of us will benefit from your wisdom, information and insight. Thanks.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
MartinK



Joined: 01 Mar 2003
Posts: 344

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2003 8:25 am    Post subject: ... Reply with quote

...

Last edited by MartinK on Tue Nov 18, 2003 3:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Sandgropers



Joined: 05 Jun 2003
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2003 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

FAQ, you certainly seem to have covered most areas of concern in this post. A labour of love, well done. Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
FAQ China



Joined: 31 May 2003
Posts: 53

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2003 1:39 pm    Post subject: updates Reply with quote

I've had suggestions for 3 different locations. The newbie forum seems the best fit. Yes, updates are welcome.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Cincact



Joined: 20 Jul 2004
Posts: 2
Location: Nanaimo, BC Canada

PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2004 5:58 am    Post subject: This would be a great "Sticky" Reply with quote

I'm glad I read through all the posts in this forum and found this one!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
justcolleen



Joined: 07 Jan 2004
Posts: 654
Location: Egypt, baby!

PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2004 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

O' esteemed moderators, can this please be a sticky?

Colleen
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
kimo



Joined: 16 Feb 2003
Posts: 668

PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2004 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Strange as it may sound, your bicycle is in much more danger than you or your wallet.


This is true, but only because of opportunity.

He seems to greatly understate the danger your wallet is in at all times. Guard it bravely deep in your bowels or you will eventually be relieved of it. This also go for your book bag, shopping bags or anything else. People are always on the prowl just waiting for that moment you drop your guard. BEWARE!

As well, do not keep large sums of cash at your home. Many foreigners do this. Word is getting out and thieves already very active, mark you as a target. I know firsh hand and it hurt. USE THE BANK.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Newbie Forum All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2016 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group

Teaching Jobs in China
Teaching Jobs in China