China is a fast developing country and there are more and more people coming to China to teach and experience the Chinese Culture. Whatever your reasons are for coming to China, you will probably encounter problems you are unable to solve by yourself. This is where the TEFL 369 office can be of great service. We will work with you in finding solutions to any problems you encounter. We will not stop in our efforts until you are satisfied that the problem has been resolved.
Be prepared. Think in advance what grades you would like to teach. There are ESL positions at Kindergarten, Primary School, Middle School, High School and College / University levels. Learn effective ways to communicate with your Chinese students. Develop a good rapport' with your English speaking classroom assistant as they are there to help you and are invaluable in making your teaching successful.
Expanding your own Chinese knowledge would be very helpful. Learn about the Chinese culture and the Chinese Education system. Some schools have last minute changes so try to be as flexible as possible with your teaching. Do not be concerned that some of your students are silent in class. They may respond more as they get to know you. Have a variety of activities in your lesson to make the lesson more interesting. Lastly, do not be surprised by some students' lack of response to your questions and other attempts to "reach" them. As with students in any country, there are some who do not like school or would rather be somewhere else. It is up to you to rekindle their interest in learning. You will not always succeed but when you do, it is a great accomplishment and will give you a wonderful feeling. Some students may be frightened of you. Remember: you are different. Don't give up trying to win them over. Again, your Chinese assistant can be of great help to you in these cases. Share your concerns and together attempt to find solutions.
Try to make your teaching as flexible as possible, as teaching in a Primary school in Shanghai would be different from teaching in a Primary School in Qingdao. All schools have their own policies and procedures especially where the Foreign Teacher is concerned. Try to find a good way to communicate with your students, whether it be with flashcards, sign language, body language etc.
Keep a friendly, helpful attitude in class and don’t be disappointed if the students seem to lose passion in your class.If that happens it is probably to do with the communication or that the students can’t understand you that is normal when you first start to teach. Don't show disappointment if students show less enthusiasm than you anticipated. This may indicate a communication problem. Use flash cards, sign language, pantomime or any other means you can think of to get past the language barrier. A good teacher is also a good entertainer. Think of ways to keep your audience's attention.
Sharing is very important. When you are in the class, tell your students where you are from. Show them on a map or globe. Share your stories with your students. Students want to know you as a person; not just a teacher. The better the students get to know you, the better they will trust, respect, and respond to you. Most students have never been abroad and are naturally curious to learn about the foreign country you come from. Answer the students questions about your home country as this is a topic sure to interest them all. This will help build an excellent student / teacher relationship.
Try to learn some Chinese. Your students will appreciate your effort and it will give you a feeling of accomplishment. This may be difficult for you but, then, learning English is difficult for your students. They will be delighted to help you with vocabulary and pronunciation.
What ever happens in China don’t give up on your dream to teach and live in China. Most problems can be resolved very easily and we are just a phone call away any time you need help or advice. The team here at TEFL369 are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week. So come and join us! Let us help you enjoy your adventure of a lifetime. We look forward to welcoming you as a part of our family here in China.