China’s High Demand for English Teachers
Mao’s former kingdom remains one of the fastest growing economies in the world and English teachers are very much in demand. Often the only requirements are being a native speaker and holding a university degree, though increasingly a certificate in TEFL or CELTA is required. You need look no further than the many job postings in China to discover the variety and quantity of placements available, and once you arrive, they immediately double.
The kids are learning machines and a pleasure to teach once you get the hang of planning for 60. I found it invaluable to adopt ideas from ESL teaching websites listed at the end of this article.
The best time to find teaching work in China is in September, when the schools return, or in February, just after the winter holiday, although there are thousands of short summer school placements from June to September. Arriving in China and landing a job is easy as demand is high and ads are abundant in the local English-language press and their websites. In the big cities—Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou—local and expat websites as well as newspapers not only contain classifieds with offers of jobs and friends, but they may have a list of local and expat hangouts which will no doubt result in more work offers.
If arriving without a job in a very foreign country with no knowledge of the language or customs does not sound appealing, this is where the Internet comes in. Many institutions offer contracts over the web. The following provide services such as a contact who will watch over you, help you with visas, and meet you on arrival:
To work in China you need a Z visa, but many people enter the country on a tourist visa and convert it once they arrive with help from their school. To acquire temporary residency you must undergo a thorough medical. If you are planning on entering or leaving the country with regularity it is best to ask for a multi-entry visa to avoid paying for a new one every time you re-enter. You can get more information from your Chinese Embassy.
For information on traveling in China, visit the following sites:
Some helpful ESL lesson plan websites: