Frequently Asked Questions To Help You
Eligibility to teach in China
You are not expected to know how to teach on arrival in China, you will receive training in your first week. We will also always be available via WeChat and WhatsApp if you need any help.
There are numerous online 120h TEFL courses available. You can do our affordable 120h online TEFL course or search for the most affordable course online. Just make sure the website is not a scam and that the TEFL course is internationally recognised.
Please note, you don’t need a TEFL course higher than 120 hours. This certificate is just used to obtain a visa for China, schools don’t care.
Also, don’t do expensive face-to-face TEFL courses. They are unnecessary because the way they teach you is not how you would perform in an actual class and you will be trained at the school you signed a contract with.
CELTA stands for Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults. It’s an internationally recognized teaching qualification. It takes about a month to complete full-time, making it more comprehensive than a TEFL or TESOL course. While it’s a great certificate to have under your belt, you don’t need it for China. TEFL or TESOL are both sufficient and cost a lot less too.
What it's like in China
To summarize this in short China is:
Safe – no guns and surveillance is everywhere.
Convenient – anything can be bought online and delivered to your door.
Easy to get around – trains, bike taxi’s, car taxi’s and bicycles are all affordable.
Nightlife – clubs and bars can be found everywhere.
Surveillance is everywhere and as such crime is at a minimum. The general public is also not allowed to own guns in China and as such violent crime almost doesn’t exist.
Go have a look at this BBC video and you will see that there are security cameras EVERYWHERE in China. The chances of something happening to you are almost zero.
Yes, China is extremely convenient. We use our phones to do everything here. We don’t need cars, and if we really need to talk to a local, we use a translating app on our phones. Here are a few more links to show you how technologically advanced this country is:
Teacher housing in China is comfortable and has everything you need: bed, table, chairs or couch, TV, fridge, toasting oven, shower and washing machine. Apartments are either one or two bedrooms, and in most cases you’ll live on your own.
Chinese food is delicious! Each region of China is famous for its own special dishes. The food is quite different to the Hong Kong-style Chinese food you might be used to in your own country.
Local food is cheap! If you choose to shop at a western-style supermarket, like Carrefour or Walmart. Alternatively, you may opt to pick up your groceries at a local market. Most teachers opt for the convenience of stopping at the myriad of cheap Chinese restaurants available in every direction you care to go. For the less adventurous: there is an over-abundance of KFC, Starbucks, Burger King and McDonalds in every city.
Chinese students are enthusiastic and eager to do well. Young students can be very excitable and one of your biggest challenges will be taking control of the classroom and managing their behaviour. You’ll have the opposite challenge with older students and adults – the challenge will be getting them to speak!
If you need any additional help after you finished training at your school you are welcome to contact us. It’s easy to teach students in China if you are open minded and remember to enjoy yourself in class.
The options are kindergarten, primary school, middle school, high school, university and private/training center. If you’re a qualified teacher in your own country, there will be more opportunities and you could even work in an international school.
Absolutely! In fact, schools prefer you not knowing any Mandarin as they want you to speak English 100% of the time.
New vocabulary is taught with the aid of flashcards and basic grammar is taught through drills, games, rhymes and songs.
You will also have a Mandarin-speaking assistant present and she will translate if it is really needed.
There’s an estimated 400 million people learning English in China at any one time. At important locations like an airport the staff can speak English. When you are in a situation where the person doesn’t understand English you can just use a translating app like Dear Translate.
Accommodation and internet are included in your contract, your only expenses will be the electric bill, food, public transport and your phone plan which is ridiculously affordable. If you eat the local food you will have a lot of money left over.
Your teaching contract in China
Preparing for China
Your career in China
Once you arrive in China, you will receive basic training on things like where classrooms and various facilities are located, and how to operate any equipment in the classroom. Training is more thorough in private/training centers because people with no teaching experience and a degree not in education will always be placed in these schools.
Promotion opportunities are mostly available in the private school system. If you perform well and wish to stay for more than a year, you could be promoted to a role such as senior teacher, assistant director of studies or director of studies.
On the job in China
Each school’s equipment varies. In the public school system, a chalkboard and TV may be the only equipment available. You’ll therefore need to improvise and create fun and engaging lessons with lots of games and activities. In the private school system, equipment is usually a lot better. You may have an interactive whiteboard, iPad and other multimedia devices.
In the public school system, you will have to prepare your own lesson plans. In the private school system, schools have set lessons for the whole year.
This depends on the level you wish to teach. You can teach kindergarten-age students right up to adults.
For people without any teaching experience we will always recommend you to teach at a private/training center where the age of the students are 4-12 years and where the class size varies between 4-10 students.
Your support network in China
Yes, other teachers in your school will always help because they were also new. You can also contact your consultant who helped you come to China as we offer lifetime support.
The application and recruitment process to teach in China
It depends on the kind of experience you’re looking for. Schools on the east coast generally have the best conditions and salaries, though the cost of living is higher. If you’re looking for a more relaxed experience in China, consider a smaller city or less densely populated province.
We always ask a teacher what is most important for them e.g. salary, type of school, working hours or social activities. Based on these answers we will steer them to suitable cities.
Our recruitment process is straightforward. If you meet the requirements to teach in China, you can submit an application. You’ll have a video chat with us over WhatsApp. Once we have your documents, self-introduction video and asked you a few questions we will send you to the right recruiter based on your needs e.g. salary, school type and location.
Our partner will then arrange an interview with a school and once you passed the interview the school will send you a contract. If you are happy with the contract you will sign it and send it back.
After that our partner will make sure your documents are ready for your Visa and you can check our to-do list to make sure all your affairs are in order.
Other frequently asked questions
Some foreign apps like Google and Facebook are blocked in China. You and the person you want to talk to must install the following free apps, WeChat and/or DingTalk. Then you will be able to send them messages and do voice-and-video calls.
Without a VPN WhatsApp messages go through 80% of the time and if you have the best VPN (Astrill) then calls will still be laggy.
Here at Teach And TEFL we pride ourselves on being honest and open and therefore we have the following policies in place in order to ensure that our teachers are safe.
a. We never ask you for one single cent or take a cut from your salary at any point.
b. Our company is also registered in SA (Enterprise Number: 2020/468584/07).
c. You sign a contract directly with your employer and not with us.
d. Your employer pays your salary.
e. We will not let you be employed in China without having the correct Z (work) visa.
If you have more questions, please ask one of our consultants in the video call arranged after you applied.