Daniel (full-time option)

China Teaching Experience – Teaching English Review

Moving to any new country can be a daunting experience, but moving half way across the world to China is very scary for most people! For me, moving to Shanghai was the exciting part. To be able to experience a totally new culture and have opportunities to travel around the many beautiful countries Asia has to offer. It was the teaching aspect of moving to China that was intimidating.

Like most of you applying for ‘the China teaching experience’ I had just graduated from University, and had absolutely no teaching experience! In fact I didn’t even enjoy public speaking… so going to Shanghai to teach 50 students didn’t really add up. However, I made the move anyway and don’t regret it what so ever, and I can guarantee you wouldn’t either.

The teaching environment is so different from home (for me, England). The students are enthusiastic, really friendly and are just happy to spend time with you. As I said earlier, I mainly moved to China to have the opportunity to travel etc, but the teaching the students is a lot more rewarding than I would have ever thought!

Prior to moving to Shanghai I had to complete a 120 hour online TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) course. This may seem very long, which it is, however its very convenient because you can just complete it at home and it is extremely valuable! Especially if like me, you have no teaching experience. Completing this TEFL course definitely helped me to prepare for teaching in China, and gave me a better idea of what was expected from me.

As part of the Shanghai programme you will be working for an award winning teaching academy. I received a 5 day orientation that involved further teacher training and advice from experienced teachers, lots of information about living in China and Shanghai specifically, and also assistance with setting up bank accounts and finding an apartment. This made the transition very smooth and was a perfect opportunity to meet other teachers who have just moved to Shanghai.

I teach both grade 6 and grade 7 in a middle school. My job as a Foreign, English teacher is to support the Chinese, English teachers with what they are teaching in their lessons. The academy I work for provided me with text books that cover similar topics to what they are learning with their Chinese, English teacher. This allowed me to further develop and review what they have been learning.

The students are very dedicated, and the teaching style in China is very different from home. The students work very hard in their other lessons and are in school very long hours, much longer than I ever was. So in terms of what kind of teaching style I use in the classroom, I like to keep the lessons fun and interesting. They are usually in school from 7:30am-4/5pm (middle school) so I don’t like to bore them by reciting things from a book, I find getting them out of their seat and playing different games is definitely a better approach. Plus you will find it is a lot more fun for you teaching this way. However, everyone has their own teaching style and you will quickly find what works best for yourself and your students.

In addition to the text books I was given from the teaching academy, there are endless amounts of free resources online, and ideas for games etc. So you will never be short on ideas of what to do in your lesson.

You won’t be the only person worried about teaching. It is the same for most people with no teaching experience. However, don’t let this put you off, it is a lot less scary and easier than you think. Like I said, I didn’t even like public speaking, but made the move anyway and it was the best decision I’ve ever made.