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China looks good...what can I get by with?
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Lack



Joined: 10 Aug 2011
Posts: 252

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:49 am    Post subject: China looks good...what can I get by with? Reply with quote

I've been looking at the job boards and it seems like China jobs always want TESOL certs. Is it absolutely needed or do they ever disregard it?

I know there are cheap ones online and then other things like CELTA or DELTA. I know they're are easy to get, and probably will at some point.

My degree is English/Education, so I would guess plenty of places would disregard the need for it? And also, does anyone know if China requires a background check?

Also, another reason I'm looking at China is because full time is apparently around 25 hours or so a week. And I want to do ESL for a job, but also to see parts of the world and travel. I don't live lavishly. I need enough money to make ends meet and have some left over for travel, etc. I want time to explore. China seems to fit this. Anyone want to contest or affirm that?

Not saying I would want to work in a cram school, but if it gets the job done, I can do anything for a year. And I'm looking to leave in the window of January-March 2013.
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johntpartee



Joined: 02 Mar 2010
Posts: 3258

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never had an employer ask for an ESL certificate. I have one, but when I submitted my info to my current employer, they asked me what it was.

You can probably start in February, many teachers don't return after the Spring Festival.

25 hours? I've NEVER done that many hours, 14 to 16 is usually the max. More than that and the price goes up, but any more than 18 can wear most people out very quickly.

All of this is uni info.
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rioux



Joined: 26 Apr 2012
Posts: 858

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When you say they don't return after the Spring Festival do you mean they cut out early? If so, don't the lose the pay for those two months had they stayed?
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johntpartee



Joined: 02 Mar 2010
Posts: 3258

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
When you say they don't return after the Spring Festival do you mean they cut out early?


Yes.

Quote:
If so, don't the lose the pay for those two months had they stayed?


I'm not sure I understand your question. Which two months?
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Nkengaola



Joined: 28 Nov 2011
Posts: 92
Location: Wanzhou, Chongqing

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been here in China for a bit more than four months. When I applied, there was no background check, a TEFL certificate of some sort was requested (but I doubt they would care in the smaller cities), and my contract is for 25 classes a week (45 minutes each). This is in a private language school. My degree is in English, no Education component.

I got an online TEFL certificate, mainly because I wanted to try out teaching before committing the cash for a CELTA. Most of China doesn't care what kind of certificate you get, but it is a visa requirement, so having one will make that process easier.

You may be able to save money, but it really depends on where you are and how you spend your money. I have a coworker who doesn't save a dime, but he always eats in Western restaurants - spicy food upsets his stomach, and the local cuisine is pretty spicy. I, on the other hand, eat at the local places, and I have saved about $1500 so far. If I hadn't gone to Australia for part of the summer, I would have more. If you are in Shanghai or Beijing (from what I've heard), it may be more difficult to save because the cost of living is much higher.

Time to explore - eh, maybe. You really only get part of the summer and spring festival off - and you only get holiday pay for that time (IF your contract states you do - otherwise you get nothing). If you're lucky enough to get two days off in a row (not very common), you might be able to take some short trips around the immediate area.

That 25 classes a week does NOT include class planning time, extra-curricular activities, travel to other class sites, etc. Right now I have 29 classes a week, and I spend on average about 15 minutes per class planning, plus I travel to five campuses (one high school, one middle school, one primary school, and two college), so I actually work closer to 35 hours a week including travel.

Hope that gives you some perspective.
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Denim-Maniac



Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1238

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some of the better training centre employers want TEFL certification. The university / public school sector doesnt, and that is what is being referred to in the above postings in terms of start dates and hours worked.

You can start pretty much anytime of the year in the private sector and hours / holidays etc might work to a different schedule. With a degree in education and (I assume) teaching licence, you probably wont need a CELTA etc for many jobs. A few may still ask for it though as the methodology is often quite different, but Im sure you can find employment as you are.

Probably a good idea to narrow down what sector you want to work in and apply for jobs that interest you. Hiring employers will be able to tell you if you qualify a lot better than we can.
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choudoufu



Joined: 25 May 2010
Posts: 3325
Location: Mao-berry, PRC

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 2:49 pm    Post subject: Re: China looks good...what can I get by with? Reply with quote

Lack wrote:
I've been looking at the job boards and it seems like China jobs always want TESOL certs. Is it absolutely needed or do they ever disregard it?

intl schools, yes. unis, maybe, in which case you can usually get by with
an online certificate.


I know there are cheap ones online and then other things like CELTA or DELTA. I know they're are easy to get, and probably will at some point.

search recent threads, there's a groupon offer for a $69 online cert.


My degree is English/Education, so I would guess plenty of places would disregard the need for it? And also, does anyone know if China requires a background check?

degree in what? they don't care. a degree in english is the same as
a degree in accounting is the same as a degree in uni studies. i seem
to recall inner mongolia requires a background check. nowhere else.


Also, another reason I'm looking at China is because full time is apparently around 25 hours or so a week. And I want to do ESL for a job, but also to see parts of the world and travel. I don't live lavishly. I need enough money to make ends meet and have some left over for travel, etc. I want time to explore. China seems to fit this. Anyone want to contest or affirm that?

mc-school=25 hours and limited vacation (kids go to cram school
during vacation), uni=15 hours and 3 months vacation.


Not saying I would want to work in a cram school, but if it gets the job done, I can do anything for a year. And I'm looking to leave in the window of January-March 2013.

unis would be hiring now for spring semester positions. classes
would begin around 25 feb.


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MisterButtkins



Joined: 03 Oct 2009
Posts: 1221

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can anyone recommend an online TEFL cert? Looking to save money, so anything exceedingly cheap is good.
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Lack



Joined: 10 Aug 2011
Posts: 252

PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 12:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, university jobs sound incredible. I'm sure they're very difficult to get though. I have a good degree for it obviously, but would it be safe to assume I have a near 0% chance since I have no teaching experience? And time off is one thing I am going for, so uni sounds incredible.

OK, and an international school is basically a private school, right? So is it easier to get a job in a international school or a public school?

And I'm sure I will get some TESL cert at some point. It is still a few months before I'm planning to leave, and I would just want it to have an idea of ways to teach (although I am coming up with plenty of ideas myself) and for the resume and to avoid visa problems.

What is the typical vacation time I can expect during the school year? Would there ever be a point where I would have, say, two consecutive weeks off so I can travel to a surrounding country, etc.?
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johntpartee



Joined: 02 Mar 2010
Posts: 3258

PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I'm sure they're very difficult to get though. I have a good degree for it obviously, but would it be safe to assume I have a near 0% chance since I have no teaching experience?


They are NOT difficult to get. You have a near 100% chance. I shouldn't even qualify it by saying "near".
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Lack



Joined: 10 Aug 2011
Posts: 252

PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 2:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Easy to get a university job? It just sounds too good to be true. 14-18 hours a week at decent pay? There's got to be some catch or China has enough universities that it can't be overly picky about it.
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roadwalker



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 1750
Location: Ch

PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 2:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think a university job is the best fit for your plans, OP. Yes, the standard university requirement is two years' experience teaching. Some will say two years experience in anything, and others will figure out some way to get you on the payroll regardless. Where there are lots of foreigners, you will have a more difficult time finding a university job with no experience, and conversely, in the less attractive-to-foreigners places, it will be easier. China's transportation infrastructure is very convenient, so if you are in a less popular location, you can get away easily for a long weekend, and during the holidays. (Holiday traffic can be horrendous though, when the students and laborers fill the trains and busses- get local advice to avoid the worst times.) Also, this assumes you won't be waaayyy into the hinterlands. Research areas.

Did you have any practical teaching experience as part of your degree? Count that and anything else that involves teaching/training. Let the school decide if it isn't relevant.

If you are interested in university jobs and hope to work in early 2013, start contacting schools this month. Next term should start in late Feb or early March but paperwork should be handled before say, middle of January as the bureaucrats also go on holiday. Wikipedia is a good source, as they often list universities with links, within entries on provinces; Dave's job boards (look for universities advertising directly with no agents); and chinatefl dot com has lists of schools you can contact directly. Also, if you don't have any experience and are not put off by out of the way schools, you might try angelinas esl or whatever they call themselves now. They use questionable tactics (bait and switch) to try to fill university jobs in unpopular areas, but are probably a good resource to find those jobs.
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Lack



Joined: 10 Aug 2011
Posts: 252

PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, I will check out those resources. I did a practicum and student teaching for my degree. Also, until recently I worked as a camp counselor for a year and a half, so I had plenty of experience working with children and even adults, teaching and whatnot. So combine that with my student teaching and practicum, that is two years of teaching experience. Hope that will help me.
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choudoufu



Joined: 25 May 2010
Posts: 3325
Location: Mao-berry, PRC

PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lack wrote:
Wow, university jobs sound incredible. I'm sure they're very difficult to get though. I have a good degree for it obviously, but would it be safe to assume I have a near 0% chance since I have no teaching experience? And time off is one thing I am going for, so uni sounds incredible.

the actual requirement is 2 years experience post-graduation. (and
the requirement is just a suggestion, often not enforced.) doesn't
need to be teaching experience. jinkies, it doesn't even need to be
paid. regardless, your fao will translate (edit) your resume when
applying for the work permit.


What is the typical vacation time I can expect during the school year? Would there ever be a point where I would have, say, two consecutive weeks off so I can travel to a surrounding country, etc.?

spring festival = 5 weeks paid
summer vacation = 2 months (often paid if returning for a 2nd year)




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kungfuman



Joined: 31 May 2012
Posts: 1749
Location: In My Own Private Idaho

PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
China looks good


You need to look closer.

I have only been asked for a certificate once. And I told them I had one but was never asked to produce it. Online certificates mean little. AT BEST they prepare you a little about ESL, but in truth NOTHING prepares you except doing it.

I would suggest NOT waste your money on it as it won't have much effect on your life.

When I moved into my apartment there was a binder of a TESl online course from the guy that lived here last ( he broke a bone after a month and went back to the UK for medical treatment). I read through it. Nothing in the material was really very helpful. I think he paid $1000 for the course.
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