Queena Long

Teach Enrich Empower

Hello to Ni Hao!

My name is Queena and I am 23. I started teaching in Shanghai in September 2015 after completing my TEFL Academy course in July 2015.

After teaching for a whole academic year, I have decided to teach again in the same city in the same school! Before teaching English as a foreign language, I worked full-time as a barista at Costa Coffee as a way to save up for travelling Asia after graduating. I knew that I was not ready to start a career or pursue further education at that time. Also, I have always wanted to teach English to young kids in Asia, and hence decided to do TEFL in order to travel and teach English at the same time, killing two birds with one stone!

Currently I teach English at a local primary school in Shanghai, Jiading District. My grades are 1-3 (7-10 year olds) with classes of around 40 students each. My students are very enthusiastic and keen to practise their speaking skills and always wave and say ‘hello’ when we pass each other in the corridors. They thoroughly enjoy PowerPoint games and practising conversational structures with one another in the classroom. It is always a pleasure to teach them.

The TEFL course has helped me be aware of different learning styles each individual student may have, and has also given me ideas on how to classroom manage. During my TEFL class, I remember being thrown into a Spanish simulation class; remembering the worries I had when learning the language and answering questions given by the teacher, reminds me of how my students might feel in my English class. In addition, I am also taking Mandarin classes and my struggles in these classes again remind me of the difficulties my students may be facing in my class!

“The TEFL course has helped me be aware of different learning styles”

Shanghai is a fantastic place to teach English and there is a huge community for foreign English teachers. What’s more, Shanghai is a very international city and if you are missing home, there are a lot of western shops/ restaurants to get your western fix! The living cost in Shanghai is actually low compared to where I am from (England); transport is around 40p per metro ride, and 10p per bus ride! Doing things like eating dinner with friends is also cheaper. If you eat local Chinese food in a family-sharing style restaurant, each person will end up paying around £3-4, and if you eat out in a nice western restaurant, you would pay around £8/9 for your food and drink.

I am going to teach another year in Shanghai before potentially teaching English in Seoul, or coming back to England to pursue a masters in China and Globalisation in London. Whatever your reasons are to want to teach English abroad, I strongly encourage you to do so, as the experience is next to nothing you can find back in England.

In Shanghai, I get paid doing a rewarding job as I help enrich the lives of my students with a foreign language, I get to learn the language of Mandarin whilst in the country, and I also get to save and travel around Asia in the major 6 weeks’ holiday breaks. In 6 weeks in January 2015 I did Seoul, a tour of Japan, Taipei, Hong Kong, and Guangzhou. TEFL truly does open up so many doors of opportunities, so what are you waiting for?

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