Teaching English in China is a Unique Experience

So you want to work as an English teacher in China? Check out life in Nantong as an English teacher.

Are you considering teaching in China?

A simple Google search for ‘TEFL jobs’ turned up advert after advert after ADVERT of TEFL jobs in China, (If you didn’t have a TEFL certificate, but a 120-hour online course crammed into one weekend fixed that), and it was decided: you’d be teaching in China!

What’s it like to work there?

primary motive was the short working hours (approximately 16 hours per week) and high pay (about 1000 GBP per month), as well as the opportunity to live and work in a foreign country. The first Chinese words I learned as I walked into my first kindergarten class were wàiguó rén (foreigner) and losh (teacher), which were yelled at me every day by these lovely little Chinese faces, no matter how many times I told them my name!

I taught four 15-minute lessons in the morning and then another five minutes away in the afternoon at a public kindergarten. The children ranged in age from 2 to 7, and each class included roughly 30 students. The majority of the lesson was spent singing and acting out the songs, with some vocab drill and a lot of props! At all times, I was accompanied by a Chinese teaching assistant who practically translated everything and kept the youngsters in line! I made sure the classes were entertaining, and as a result, things might get out of hand! My teaching assistant did a fantastic job of calming them down.

I taught much smaller classes (4-6 kids) on Saturday and Sunday mornings, but they lasted two hours. We followed a course book and resources provided by the school, but in terms of how I taught, anything goes. Do you want to sing? Is it possible to act out a play? Sure! We usually spent our classes playing games and running around shouting (in English, of course!) because I had a foam carpeted floor.

How does life in China look like?

Wherever you are in the world, life is what you make of it. However, there are numerous advantages to working as an ESL teacher in China.

To begin with, you’ll be treated to some incredible (and unusual) cuisine!

Second, the cost of living is extremely low. Your school will most likely cover your living expenses, leaving you with more money to save or spend on yourself! The work-life balance is fantastic; you’re in a completely different region of the world with plenty of new locations to visit during your free time. During my year there, I travelled to many other Chinese provinces as well as other Asian nations.

Your time in China will be unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before. The primary difference is the language barrier, which may make even the most basic daily tasks challenging, but it’s all the more motivation to learn Chinese! It isn’t as difficult as it appears. Many expats from all over the world will inevitably teach English in your region; all you have to do is go out and locate them at your local international bar! Cheers!

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