Guides for beginners to teach English in China


There are many foreign teachers coming to teach English in China for the first time. So it’s common that they will encounter different kinds of problems at the beginning. These are no big problems and can be solved as long as you are patient enough and willing to make efforts. In order to have a smooth transition from motherland to China, there are some guides for you.


Learn Some Mandarin

When you travel thousands of miles away and come to a new country, the first thing you need to consider is language. Most people in China don’t speak English.  English was no longer the predominant language. So it’s best that you learn some Mandarin before you come. In addition, learning Mandarin also helps a lot with your teaching in China. You can communicate with the kids in Chinese if they are too young to understand you. If the school you are arriving at doesn’t have a local international airport, then you need to take another flight or train to go there. If you can’t speak a word of Chinese, then you may be in trouble specially your connecting flight is miles away.The magnitude of being in such a situation is incomprehensible until you are actually in it. So learning some Mandarin before you come is necessary. Here is one program I can recommend: Sunrise ESL Mandarin program. You will get the priority to be recommended for ESL jobs there. You can join the skype ID: sunrisechineselearning to get a free offer. For more information, please check


Change Your Perspective

China has a long and profound culture. Chinese culture is the most fascinating. But to a foreigner, it will make your head spin. You need to be ready for the culture shock. It must have a lot of differences from your native culture in food, way of life, etc. When it comes to foreign teachers, the Chinese are well aware of the cultural differences. For the most part, they can be your best friend and/or your worst nightmare. They understand and respect foreigners who are up front with them, so if you have something to say, say it, and get on with it. Any confrontation will usually be brief and life resumes to normal very quickly. Observing situations from a different perspective helps to clarify your view. As North Americans, you are fortunate to have the luxury of recreation time. In China, however, a typical day for children of any age begins very early and ends about ten in the evening, with virtually no weekends off. Do as the Romans do. Changing your way of thinking will make your life in China much easier and enjoyable.


Make Local Friends

It’s necessary to find some local friends when you come to a new city. They can help you with settling in the city and make your life there happier. Especially in a small city of nine million, finding an Internet Café and McDonalds was simple – finding English-speaking people to hang out with was almost impossible. If there are other foreigners in the same city, then it would be great. If not, you can make some Chinese friends. Although they may be not good at English, they can become your voice, yourtraveling companion, and your friends. They can introduce the fascinating Chinese culture and local customs to you.


Earn the Respect of Your Students

After several weeks of teaching, you may find that your students have no interest in learning, especially in public schools.There is little hope of holding their attention. Being resourceful is a definite asset. Life can become so frustrating at times, you want to escape to the nearest airport, jump on a plane and head home. Although an easy way out, the challenge of engaging the students to learn was ultimately more rewarding.The most difficult challenge for many teachers is creating suitable games of interest for each age group; not only to enabling them to learn, but retain what they had learned. While all children pay attention when we make it fun, yet like in any school, there is always one class/group of students you will never reach, no matter what you do.


Do Your Homework Before You Come

A word of advice for those who want to teach english overseas: there are more bad experiences than good ones, so search the message boards for only those teachers who enjoyed’ their teaching experience. Most will gladly help you, even look over your contracts because they have been through the hoops and know the scams. When you have decided to teach English in China, search the information about visa online first to see what kind of visa you are qualified for and what documents are required. Some people just want to come, but don’t know check any information about ESL jobs in China. In the end, they found that they are not qualified to get the work visa. It’s a waste of time. In additon, you should know that schools in China will only reimburse the flight, not buy it before you come. So if you can’t buy the flight yourself, it’s useless to move forward.


For those open to change, teaching and living in foreign countries can be the most rewarding time you will ever have.