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Teach ESL in China

Globalization has invigorated the market value of English language, the chief language of international communication and with it TEFL, an acronym for Teaching English as a Foreign Language, has been witnessing a significant rise. The demand for English as a communicative medium is rising among the non-native speaking countries, so is the vacancy for TEFL trainers and teachers. The vacancy for TEFL jobs in China is by far, the largest in the world. The demand for English teachers is higher, to an extent that schools in China hire throughout the year and interviews for potential teachers are done much in advance over phone or e-mail. In most public schools in China, English training is mandatory from the age of five till the end of secondary school. China is home to the largest number of middle-class households in the world which has an immediate effect on the English learning trend as most parents send their children to private language schools at a staggering rate. The adult learners market is quite huge as well and contributes to the growing market of ESL/EFL teaching in China. Other than that, international business ties, export-import market etc. also faces the requirement to communicate in English and poses as one of the many reasons for the demand of English teachers there.

A bachelor’s degree is not necessary to teach ESL in China although it is preferred in cities like Beijing and Shanghai. However, a proper TEFL certification is a mandatory obligation to work as an English teacher in most of the schools. Top destinations for teaching English in China include Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Hangzhou, and Guangzhou, to name just a few.

China boasts of a strong population of 300 million English students and the world’s fastest growing economy which aids in being one of the most rewarding job markets in the field of EFL/ESL teaching. The types of job (English language instruction) and payment packages differ widely. First time EFL/ESL teachers from the U.S., Canada, the U.K. or other native English-speaking countries earn about 6,000 RMB (USD 1,000) to 16,000 RMB (USD 2,500) per month. Teachers at an international school typically earns up to 30,000 RMB (USD 4,700). It is to be kept in mind that the lower end is generally reserved for minor locations in the heart of the country, which includes the Henan and Sichuan provinces, and the higher salaries are comparative to the higher cost of living in the most populated provinces such as Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangdong.

Of late, China has been making stricter criteria for those applying for ESL/EFL teaching jobs, but still, you can find teaching jobs here for both native and non-native speakers. As quoted by those who already have experience working in China, said working here was the best experience in their work life. The students are quite enthusiastic and engaging in nature. Though the academic year in China starts around September, ESL jobs hiring continues for all the year round. The work hours normally ranges between 15-30 hours per week along with sufficient vacation. You can also go for an internship or home tutoring. In most cases of teaching jobs in China, the teachers get facilities that make their work experience even more rewarding. They get their airfare reimbursed and the schools provide free lodging facilities too.

For those who teach in China, realise that the cost of living is low. The generous salary allows the teachers to maintain a comfortable lifestyle at the same time saving up to 400 USD to 1,000 USD per month, which is normally three times of what it would have been in the USA. Even after all the working hours, English teachers in China get plenty of time to enjoy, travel and explore the nation’s bountiful treasure and beauty.