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  1. Newbie
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      • English
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      • England
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    Teaching English in Shanghai help needed

    Hello everyone.

    Iím looking for some help and advice about teaching English in Shanghai. Having graduated university (with little chance of a town planning job) Iím currently studying on a 150hour online Tesol course and learning Mandarin in my spare time. My reasons for choosing China is that it seams to pay very well (in terms of the quality of life one would be able to afford) compared to with teaching other countries. I also have a couple friends who had a great year teaching in China.

    Iím just wondering if anyone can recommend some schools/universities in Shanghai as from reading various forums there seams to be a number of unscrupulous employers out there. Iíve been searching around on the internet and Iím just a bit overwhelmed by all the schools/agencies. Iím looking for a Ďrelaxedí working environment where I wont be worked into the ground and receive a fair pay. To speed the process up I was hoping to apply for jobs before completing my course having heard it takes around a month to sort out all the details like visas etc.

    It would also be nice to hear of peoples experiences of working in China and any advice that they would like to give.


  2. Newbie
    Student or Learner
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      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
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      • China
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      • China

    • Join Date: Jan 2011
    • Posts: 14

    Re: Teaching English in Shanghai help needed

    I once had a foreign English teacher from US, who was not satisfied with the classes our school board arrenged, after talking to the dean and other principles in vain, he was disappointed and finally went to Hangzhou to teach in a high school.We heard he was doing fine there. The choice of school is definitely crucial.

    Not a teacher

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    Retired English Teacher
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      • England
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    • Join Date: Oct 2010
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    Re: Teaching English in Shanghai help needed

    Quote Originally Posted by 1867_owl View Post
    It would also be nice to hear of people's experiences of working in China and any advice that they would like to give.
    You've asked, so I'll answer, but I must stress that this is a personal response. Other people's experiences might be very different. Also, I worked there in 2002, and things might be different now.

    I found it a fascinating experience, but would not say that I had a 'relaxed' working environment.

    I had been told that I would be teaching 'some' children's classes. 90% of the classes were children's classes, and some of the children were very young indeed. The chain that ran my school prescribed a minimum age of seven, but many of my learners were much younger. The reception staff at the school colluded with parents in signing on three-year old children, and smugly produced borrowed identity cards to justify their actions.

    Neither many years of teaching in British secondary schools and of TEFL in England, Germany and Turkey nor a Trinity Diploma in TESOL were any preparation for teaching classes of three- and four-year-old Chinese children

    Many parents were very keen for their children to be the best in the class, with the result that children who could hardly say or write a word in class managed somehow to produce faultless written homework. The school was keen to show that it produced results, so that learners were automatically promoted to higher level classes at the end of a course, regardless of their actual level. When I insisted on placement tests, the reception staff obtained copies of my tests and gave them to the learners a day or two before the tests were to take place.

    Young Chinese people have a very different cultural background from their British and American counterparts, and the British and American teaching materials used in my school were inappropriate.

    I couldn't complain to the Director of Studies, because I was the DoS. I was unable to change things.

    All this sounds very negative, but it is honest.

    On the positive side, nearly all the Chinese people I met were immensely friendly, polite, generous and helpful; the food was out of this world; the country was beautiful. The free accommodation provided was very good, and I was able to live well and save money - something that doesn't often happen in this line of work. The whole experience was unforgettable, and I have no regrets at all about having gone there.

    If you are thinking of long-term teaching career in Europe or North or South America, I would not recommend China for your first job. In China you will probably have to forget what you learnt on your Certificate course, and then re-learn it when you go elsewhere.

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