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wrong if ESL teacher does not get $2,000usd per month?
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fred13331



Joined: 20 Feb 2012
Posts: 108
Location: Southern China

PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Denim-Maniac wrote:


My personal experience of privates is that during my last two contracts in China, I have never ever been approached, or been offered, any sort of private work of any kind whatsoever. Not once!


You gotta find them - they don't 'approach' you. Stick an ad on echinacities or some such. The best way is by word of mouth, one satisfied student, spreading the word to his or her mates can be golden. I had one girl, started 2 years ago, she has introduced 9 of her friends to me since. Gold, she was
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Denim-Maniac



Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1238

PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I actually dont want to do privates* - Im just trying to say they may be location specific.

When I first worked in China I was offered private work. People did approach me, and my FAO used to try and introduce people to me. Other people I know have been approached, and Ive read about it on this forum too. Where I work now this just doesnt happen as the market for privates is less evident (and I would assume would pay far less too).

*Privates sound like too much work to me. I wouldnt be prepared to do a 'lets just chat and Ill correct you' thing. Lengthy needs analysis things and focused 1-1 lesson prep would just be too much of a headache.
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LarssonCrew



Joined: 06 Jun 2009
Posts: 579

PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fred excellent reply!

Firstly, I realised a long time ago that quantity tends to be worth more than quantity, 3 students paying 100 each for an hour is worth more than 1 student paying 200.

My point about the builder is not their worth to society, but that building work in the UK tends to be expensive. I'm not sure quite how to point out, but, for instance, my mother has been a teacher for 25 years in the UK and was approached to teach GCSE English privately by some rich people, they offered here 35 GBP an hour, which is considered I guess 'ok'. That's 350 rmb an hour, as her son, having taught for three years, it's strange that I could match what she can, albeit it she has achieved far more in her teaching career than me.

Then again, my father was once paid five figures for a 10 minute speech at an oil conference in Brunei, so there it is.

I also suppose that I shouldn't think of the privates as a salaried position. In the UK if you work out that you are being paid 200 RMB an hour, that's 200 RMB for a typical 35 or 40 hour week, normally in one location, with other benefits. In China it's rare you'd get 35-40 hours of consistent work in the same location.

I always think that the Chinese parent's who want their kid to study in the UK or USA [probably upwards of 1,000,000 RMB for a 3-4 year course] sometimes complain at having to pay 200 for a good teacher with a decent record of improving IELTS scores. Oh well.

Also, I think that being in Xi'an limits my legal teaching chances, in BJ, SZ or SH I'm sure I could find some students to teach at an appropriate level.
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Denim-Maniac



Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1238

PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We may have a similar feeling LarssonCrew - in order to feel I offer value-for-money, Id have to really prepare and work closely with my student to acheive their goals. And that is more responsiblity than I want TBH.

I work in Yangshuo, which is famous for having lots of foreign visitors and workers, and people in Yangshuo who just want to speak English have plenty of places where they can go and do just that. They dont need private tutors most of the time. Plenty of places have open English Corners that anyone can attend. Ive also known people that stay in Yangshuo and just hang out as they invariably meet lots of people to just practice English. I think that limits the private market somewhat.
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fred13331



Joined: 20 Feb 2012
Posts: 108
Location: Southern China

PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, I think that being in Xi'an limits my legal teaching chances, in BJ, SZ or SH I'm sure I could find some students to teach at an appropriate level.

I lived in two places prior to GuangZhou. Privates are hard to find outside the bigger, eastern cities. Only here have I managed to get serious hours. I have been to Xian, its big and old, but doesn't seem overly prosperous, where as GZ has plenty of rich folk. I kinda fell into the IELTS thing but it has turned out to be a fortuitous misstep.


I always think that the Chinese parent's who want their kid to study in the UK or USA [probably upwards of 1,000,000 RMB for a 3-4 year course]

Exactly. One of my privates told me that here uncle sold one of his many apartments and gave her the money for her education. If she has a million in her back pocket 1% of that gets her 40 hours of IELTS tutoring. This is exactly what happened, and she got 7.5 in IELTS - everyone was happy. (I fully appreciate not every Chinese citizen has spare apartments at their disposal, before anyone feels the need to point out the obvious).

I usually do two students together - I like the dynamic and interaction, but of course, most importantly, it helps them defray costs. However this girl wanted to do it alone, so we did, and it worked out.
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LarssonCrew



Joined: 06 Jun 2009
Posts: 579

PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's true about Eastern cities, but everywhere has money. Xi'an's province, shaanxi, has 'shan bei', which is populated mostly by coal and oil fields, and hence you see a fleet of expensive cars in Xi'an with that number plate.

Honestly, parent's pushing us to go so cheap, and think they're getting hard done by, but then spending 1000 RMB on dinner with friends. If you could somehow gain a ton of face by improving your IELTS score everyone would be paying through the roof.

I'm starting to think 200 for a private isn't so expensive, after posting that, I remembered back to some of the professions that I inquired about using. NOW, let's look:

Electrician 50 rmb but no formal training or qualifications, just a Chinese buy on a bike with 'dian gong' on the front. Didn't do a good job.
Toilet cleaner - 50 RMB per time, took him 5 minutes and some nifty machine to unblock.
Personal trainer - 150 RMB an hour, same as a white[important to Chinese!], native speaker who has some experience.
Tennis coach - 200 RMB an hour , couldn't believe it. It wasn't even a coach, more of a student studying tennis coaching. He said 200 with a straight face, and said he had 10-15 clients.
Chinese teacher - Someone quoted me 180 for an hour from someone studying to become a 'Chinese as a second language' teacher. That's more than foreigners mostly charge.

One thing to bare in mind though, about the prices, I think Chinese 'group' their expectations. For instance :-

Expensive - bribes to officials, paying anyone linked to government[I saw a historian from Peking university touring in Xi'an charging 8888 for half a day ticket to hear him speak about Confucius, obscene.]
Travel - They expect to travel and buy expensive things
Western - Tennis, gym, these are seen as 'luxuries'. I don't know why we don't fit in here.

Mid range - Normal teachers, some poor replication western food, coffee. Now, because most Chinese teachers charge say 100 for 2 hours, but get the entire class of 50 to go, parent's think 50 an hour is respectable. This may be why the price for foreigner's isn't so high.

Cheap - manual labour. I guess electrician falls into this category because they are just a laborer more than being skilled at anything.
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Javelin of Radiance



Joined: 01 Jul 2009
Posts: 1187
Location: The West

PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LarssonCrew wrote:

Tennis coach - 200 RMB an hour , couldn't believe it. It wasn't even a coach, more of a student studying tennis coaching. He said 200 with a straight face, and said he had 10-15 clients.

Not much different than a foreign english teacher who also has no formal teacher training. I don't see the point of these comparisons really. Different countries, different markets, different values. Yeah everywhere has money, but like anywhere else that wealth is concentrated in few hands. Your average Chinese regardless of where they live aren't going to shell out 250 or more per hour for an english lesson no matter how good the teacher claims to be.
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LarssonCrew



Joined: 06 Jun 2009
Posts: 579

PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Except I/we have formal qualifications, training from a non JOKE university, and have a proven track record of success. How about putting your price based purely upon tennis being an 'expensive sport'?

If I'm teaching someone how to pass the BAR, or who has legal exams, having qualified for these myself I think I'm more qualified than someone who's laughably got a degree from a Chinese university in 'tennis'?
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JZer



Joined: 16 Jan 2005
Posts: 3824
Location: Alaska

PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ecubyrd wrote:
JZer wrote:
ecubyrd wrote:
jibbs wrote:
$2000 USD/month is pretty good in China for a single person, at least. I don't know anyone who is saving $1000 a month easily in Canada. Not one person I can think of does this. They may be making up to $100,000 a year, and even after 10 to 20 years will have maybe 20 grand in the bank. This partly is just what I imagine. I could be wrong.

But that $2000 is not entirely unobtainable in China. And that $1000 per month in the bank can be done. The people making $5000 or more a month in our home countries, somehow they can hardly save anything. So, if ya can, be careful, and stash some cash.


^ this (applied to the States). I'm looking to bank $2000 per month in savings this year. That wasn't a consideration working there even when I worked in management for a Fortune 500 company.

To cut to the chase; build up your credentials/qualifications and you can do well here.



Actually it can be done in the United States. However the social pressure to have a new car with a loan, mortgage, etc. is difficult for a lot of people to break from and save money instead.


Yes, you are right about the possibilities and expenditures there. I make roughly the same here as I did there, yet my savings there was next to nothing when I last lived in the States 8 years ago. It can be done, but it is infinitely easier for me to save in Asia. The wife and I have a 10 year plan from now (sooner if we have a child) to leave her home country and go back to mine. Even with our savings we are going to have to continue to work hard back in my home country until retirement age. That's the nature of things if you aren't a silver spooner, I suppose.



I think this is the mentality of teachers. However I wonder if ex-pat business men who are making 50,000RMB a month save anything?

They may live the same life as back home.
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Javelin of Radiance



Joined: 01 Jul 2009
Posts: 1187
Location: The West

PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LarssonCrew wrote:
Except I/we have formal qualifications, training from a non JOKE university, and have a proven track record of success. How about putting your price based purely upon tennis being an 'expensive sport'?

If I'm teaching someone how to pass the BAR, or who has legal exams, having qualified for these myself I think I'm more qualified than someone who's laughably got a degree from a Chinese university in 'tennis'?

I won't speak to your qualifications because I don't know you, but the degrees many FTs in China possess aren't much to write home about. These "formal qualifications" that many FTs have are from schools that have morphed into degree factories. Quality went out the window when these schools finally figured out they couldn't pay their bills and had to start looking for funds wherever they could get them, "let's lower standards and let anyone in as long as they have cash" is their new mantra. It never used to be that way, but sadly that's the state of things today.
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JZer



Joined: 16 Jan 2005
Posts: 3824
Location: Alaska

PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Javelin of Radiance wrote:
LarssonCrew wrote:
Except I/we have formal qualifications, training from a non JOKE university, and have a proven track record of success. How about putting your price based purely upon tennis being an 'expensive sport'?

If I'm teaching someone how to pass the BAR, or who has legal exams, having qualified for these myself I think I'm more qualified than someone who's laughably got a degree from a Chinese university in 'tennis'?

I won't speak to your qualifications because I don't know you, but the degrees many FTs in China possess aren't much to write home about. These "formal qualifications" that many FTs have are from schools that have morphed into degree factories. Quality went out the window when these schools finally figured out they couldn't pay their bills and had to start looking for funds wherever they could get them, "let's lower standards and let anyone in as long as they have cash" is their new mantra. It never used to be that way, but sadly that's the state of things today.


Well if you are refering to students in the U.S., most of them don't even have the cash. They borrow the money from the banks.

Getting a university degree in the United States is the modern version of becoming an indentured servant.
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LarssonCrew



Joined: 06 Jun 2009
Posts: 579

PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What are you talking about?

Unless the USA is vastly different, it's still incredibly easy to fail a degree if you don't try.

In my university 120 students began the law course, only 55 passed because they didn't achieve the 50% needed.

My cousin went to NYU, she was in an accident and missed three weeks of her schooling, she was going to be thrown off the course if she couldn't prove she'd been hospitalised for those 3 weeks.

But yes, they're now lowering the quality to let in people, such as Chinese students, who will try to replicate their life back home by cheating, trying to bribe, spending the black money their parents are hosing from the public. So yes, if you meant that as a dig at the Chinese students, you're spot on.

I still class a foreigner who's travelled, had exposure to the world, and managed to at least pass a degree as higher than ANY Chinese degree, which is what you would be taught by any Chinese profession.

At least in the west skilled labour has to pass certificates, the bloke who comes round from British Gas to check and install has three years of apprentice training. How about here in China? What a joke the 'skilled' jobs are here.

If it wasn't for blatent nationalism, everyone, including yourself, who is Chinese, would want their house built by a foreign builder, their meals cooked by a world class michelin starred chef, buy their [non tainted] food imported and their kids taught, in Mandarin if needed, by a foreigner. There's no two ways about that.
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fred13331



Joined: 20 Feb 2012
Posts: 108
Location: Southern China

PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not aiming this reply in any one direction, rather, making observations on recent comments on this thread.

One thing I don't like about these forums is the tendency towards sweeping generalizations. Such as 'most foreigners in China have Mickey Mouse degrees''. Where as a lot of people do, I don't, and from this thread it seems LC doesn't either. A good degree in a good subject from a good university, won't always help you in China, but sometimes it will. If you have a Ph.D does it matter? Again, not always, but...

My employer pays 1000 a month more for a masters, 1500 for a Ph.D. My Employer knows that Oxford is better than Taffy's sheep university, That MIT is better that Jeb's Louisiana hooch college, that Queensland outranks Toombawoomboobaba dingo institute. Not every degree from every university is the same. Does China care? Crappy universities in the hinterland don't care, but the top universities in the east do. The universities that pay 10k, 12k 15k, they care. (Though. perversely, the very top universities, Zhejiang, Tsinghua etc, pay foreigners not so well).

I was a scientist before I came here. I actually teach science to some private students, these I charge more. If its just IELTS/TOEFL a little less. However, after 7 years, my IELTS/TOEFL knowledge is worth something, so I charge enough!

Another sweeping generalization is that Chinese parents won't pay 250/300. Again, the vast majority will not / cannot, but I am not teaching the vast majority. At the moment I have 6 private students who are more than able to pay. Most of my new students come as recommendations from older ones - they know the score, they are willing to pay and they do. Its not rocket science.

I know students desperate to clean up their legalese before they go abroad. A good lawyer can help them, and make some money. I am also helping some scientists prepare for an international conference. I am a scientist, they respect that, and pay me well.

Bottom line a good job in a good Chinese university is galaxies away from a lowly red neck university in terms of money, conditions, respect and stability. Working at such places gives you 'face' when you are doing privates. Face is important in China, rightly or wrongly. Because I worked at a top university before, it is easier to get jobs at other top institutions. Parents will pay more for a tutor from PeKing U, than from MISTER Wu's noodle school
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JZer



Joined: 16 Jan 2005
Posts: 3824
Location: Alaska

PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 3:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fred13331 wrote:
Not aiming this reply in any one direction, rather, making observations on recent comments on this thread.

One thing I don't like about these forums is the tendency towards sweeping generalizations. Such as 'most foreigners in China have Mickey Mouse degrees''. Where as a lot of people do, I don't, and from this thread it seems LC doesn't either. A good degree in a good subject from a good university, won't always help you in China, but sometimes it will. If you have a Ph.D does it matter? Again, not always, but...

My employer pays 1000 a month more for a masters, 1500 for a Ph.D. My Employer knows that Oxford is better than Taffy's sheep university, That MIT is better that Jeb's Louisiana hooch college, that Queensland outranks Toombawoomboobaba dingo institute. Not every degree from every university is the same. Does China care? Crappy universities in the hinterland don't care, but the top universities in the east do. The universities that pay 10k, 12k 15k, they care. (Though. perversely, the very top universities, Zhejiang, Tsinghua etc, pay foreigners not so well).

I was a scientist before I came here. I actually teach science to some private students, these I charge more. If its just IELTS/TOEFL a little less. However, after 7 years, my IELTS/TOEFL knowledge is worth something, so I charge enough!

Another sweeping generalization is that Chinese parents won't pay 250/300. Again, the vast majority will not / cannot, but I am not teaching the vast majority. At the moment I have 6 private students who are more than able to pay. Most of my new students come as recommendations from older ones - they know the score, they are willing to pay and they do. Its not rocket science.

I know students desperate to clean up their legalese before they go abroad. A good lawyer can help them, and make some money. I am also helping some scientists prepare for an international conference. I am a scientist, they respect that, and pay me well.

Bottom line a good job in a good Chinese university is galaxies away from a lowly red neck university in terms of money, conditions, respect and stability. Working at such places gives you 'face' when you are doing privates. Face is important in China, rightly or wrongly. Because I worked at a top university before, it is easier to get jobs at other top institutions. Parents will pay more for a tutor from PeKing U, than from MISTER Wu's noodle school


fred13331, nice post.

However, I do have one small thing I disagree with. Some foreigners that are not really that skilled or knowledgeable about the English language are great at marketing themselves. They earn good money because of it.

Some people might call them husslers. Of course these types of people exist in every country in the world.
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fred13331



Joined: 20 Feb 2012
Posts: 108
Location: Southern China

PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JZer wrote:
fred13331 wrote:
Not aiming this reply in any one direction, rather, making observations on recent comments on this thread.

One thing I don't like about these forums is the tendency towards sweeping generalizations. Such as 'most foreigners in China have Mickey Mouse degrees''. Where as a lot of people do, I don't, and from this thread it seems LC doesn't either. A good degree in a good subject from a good university, won't always help you in China, but sometimes it will. If you have a Ph.D does it matter? Again, not always, but...

My employer pays 1000 a month more for a masters, 1500 for a Ph.D. My Employer knows that Oxford is better than Taffy's sheep university, That MIT is better that Jeb's Louisiana hooch college, that Queensland outranks Toombawoomboobaba dingo institute. Not every degree from every university is the same. Does China care? Crappy universities in the hinterland don't care, but the top universities in the east do. The universities that pay 10k, 12k 15k, they care. (Though. perversely, the very top universities, Zhejiang, Tsinghua etc, pay foreigners not so well).

I was a scientist before I came here. I actually teach science to some private students, these I charge more. If its just IELTS/TOEFL a little less. However, after 7 years, my IELTS/TOEFL knowledge is worth something, so I charge enough!

Another sweeping generalization is that Chinese parents won't pay 250/300. Again, the vast majority will not / cannot, but I am not teaching the vast majority. At the moment I have 6 private students who are more than able to pay. Most of my new students come as recommendations from older ones - they know the score, they are willing to pay and they do. Its not rocket science.

I know students desperate to clean up their legalese before they go abroad. A good lawyer can help them, and make some money. I am also helping some scientists prepare for an international conference. I am a scientist, they respect that, and pay me well.

Bottom line a good job in a good Chinese university is galaxies away from a lowly red neck university in terms of money, conditions, respect and stability. Working at such places gives you 'face' when you are doing privates. Face is important in China, rightly or wrongly. Because I worked at a top university before, it is easier to get jobs at other top institutions. Parents will pay more for a tutor from PeKing U, than from MISTER Wu's noodle school


fred13331, nice post.

However, I do have one small thing I disagree with. Some foreigners that are not really that skilled or knowledgeable about the English language are great at marketing themselves. They earn good money because of it.

Some people might call them husslers. Of course these types of people exist in every country in the world.


I don't see that as a disagreement. I am fully aware that there are all kinds out there, good and bad. I know these people you describe exist. My point was we need to avoid the sweeping generalizations common place on such forums.

All Chinese employers are evil
All foreigners are lazy alkies with poor degrees
No-one makes any decent money in China
All universities will accept any white face
etc etc blah blah
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