The Teaching is going to be an important part of your overall experience! Applicants consequently tend to have lots of questions about the teaching element of the whole thing. In response to such, we have put together the following Q and A section, which deals with the most typically asked ‘teaching related’ questions.
Q: So what will I actually be teaching, and what is that going to be like?
A: Your mail role will be that of an Oral English Teacher. This means that, primarily, you will be concentrating on the oral English development of your students. It’s going to be challenging, fun, interesting and rewarding (words used by previous applicants).
Q: Is there a syllabus to follow?
- In about 75% of placements, there is no real ‘syllabus’ or curriculum to follow. Applicants are instead free to build lessons around topics of their choice. We give all applicants access to our very own LESSON PLAN LIBRARY before heading out to China. This is a compilation of lesson plans, and activities etc, sent to us by the previous years’ applicants. The benefit of the lesson plan library is two-fold: In addition to giving you an idea of what a lesson plan actually looks like, applicants tend to use these plans in their actual classes out in China! The feedback we’ve had on this is that it greatly reduces the amount of time and effort, required by the applicants, for ‘lesson planning’, out in China. You don’t have to use the lesson plan library however. If you prefer to design your own lessons from scratch, that’s absolutely fine! Tips and advice on the construction of a lesson plan will be covered in your TEFL.
- In about 25% of placements, applicants are asked to follow a syllabus. It is however often ‘semi-flexible’. Rather than following the syllabus word for word, applicants instead tend to broadly base their lessons around the topics and activities of the syllabus, while still adding their own style & ideas.
- In about 5-10% of placements (Shanghai Pacican option, and a couple of other schools), applicants are asked to follow a syllabus quite closely. Textbooks and further guidance tend to be provided by such schools.
Q: Will I be teaching anything other than English?
A: In about 5% of placements, applicants are asked to teach subjects other than ‘English’ (in some of their classes). Examples include Science, Maths, History etc. The thing to note here is that you are teaching these subjects THROUGH ENGLISH. The topic therefore simply takes the place of a lesson plan! You are not expected to have any prior knowledge of the subject area, or any experience teaching it! The feedback we’ve had on this has been great, and applicants have had no difficulty whatsoever in delivering such lessons! They have instead found it very interesting!
Q: Will I be teaching one class of students, multiple times per week? Or will I be teaching lots of different classes, each one time per week?
A: Is varies across placements, but in around 90% of cases, it will be the latter (you will be teaching multiple classes, each of them once every week or two).
Q: Will my teaching be monitored by the school?
A: Typically speaking, no. It can however happen from time to time. It would involve a Chinese member of staff sitting in on a couple of your lessons, and providing you with some constructive feedback! Applicants have found it extremely useful in the past. It is also something you may be able to request from your school if you feel it could help you at all in your teaching!
Q: What are the class sizes?
A: Class sizes vary depending on the level that you teach. You can expect to have anywhere between 15 and 80 students in your classes, most typically around 35.