Dos and Don’ts while teaching english in China


Teaching english in China remains an incredibly popular destination for ESL teachers. However, working as an ESL teacher in China means taking on more responsibilities than you might as a backpacker or tourist. No matter which country you travel to, there are things you should learn and remember about the culture so as not to offend the locals. And as a teacher, you also need to think about how to make your lessons effective and efficient so that the students can benefit a lot.Here are some basic rules to follow.


Don’t be sensitive to the cultural differences.

Like in every country, there are cultural practices in China that adhered to by the Chinese nationals.Though some of these practices might be insignificant to you, you are supposed to respect them and possibly adhere to them too. One of the reasons that you’re teaching English abroad is to embrace other cultures, so it’s nice to embrace other cultures especially when you are residing within the community. Don’t be too sensitive about the unexpected differences. Try to understand those things as culture.


Don’t discuss your salary with workmates.

Every boss doesn’t like their teachers to discuss the salary after work with colleagues. The salary can vary from person to person. Some teachers may come to the boss and ask for higher salary after hearing that his salary is lower,otherwise they will leave. This is the thing that the boss definitely don’t want to see. It’s not good to management. And even though your salary in China isn’t as high as it is your home country, it’s likely much more than the local teachers earn.It’s already assumed that foreigners are “rich”,  so don’t make matters worse by insulting someone by talking about your “tiny paycheck”, when it’s much larger than their own.


Don’t speak too fast.

And if the students don’t understand you well, you need to explain it in another way. Don’t repeat the same thing again and again, louder and louder. Some Chinese students are shy and they are afraid of making mistakes before so many students. By doing this, they can be encouraged to speak out what they don’t understand and make this lesson more beneficial to them.


Don’t stand in front of the class.

If you are teaching english esl in a public school, there is usually a desk in front of the class. Some teachers like to stand in front of it and teach. Actually, it’s not good. You need to walk around the class and make the students concentrated on what you are teaching. You can walk back and forth and call someone to answer your questions from time to time. You can also play a little “tricks” on students to make the whole class vibrant.


Do Be Punctual

Punctuality is a virtue in China. Keeping time shows that you have respect for others. It is a common habit for Chinese people to show up a while before the set time as a sign of earnestness. Being on time for your classes shows you respect your students, work, and education and this will go down well with both your employer and the students.



Do Hang Out With the Locals.

One reason that you are going to China is to experience a new culture. Therefore, spending time with the local friends, not just foreigners is a good way to experience and live their culture. Chinese people are known to spend their holidays and special occasions sharing a large meal with family. You will quickly feel at home when invited to such gatherings if you have been mingling with the locals. Chinese people are loving, and you won’t regret breaking from your cohort of foreigners as the community will absorb you and treat you like their own.


Do use some body languages, cards and games.

This is very helpful for teaching english esl to little kids. They are too young to understand what you say or write. So gestures and body languages are very necessary. And you need always prepare some cards and games for kids to get involved in the class well. For their age, game is a beter way to learn things. They will feel it easy and interesting to learn new things. If you are talking all the time, no matter how well you say, they will feel bored and lose interested in learning gradually.


Do check the feedbacks of students.

You need to check regularly whether the students understand your lessons well. You can say “It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand the lesson well or there is still something unsure, just let me know.” Students may be afraid to ask questions, so you need to encourage them and let them try to be honest with you. By checking their understanding, you can know what else you need to do to make your classes better and this can also help the students to be aware of monitoring their own understanding. It’s a very good study skill.


These are just a few tips for teaching english esl, not a complete guide. You can find your own ways through teaching.