Teaching in China

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Teaching in China

I completed my 120-hour TEFL course last October. I was a teacher before in Guangxi Providence, China with no teaching background or certifications. In fact, before I had just graduated college with a degree in theatre.

The course with TEFL Academy gave me a great foundation to build from.

Teaching had always been an interest of mine and I wanted to take this opportunity in China. I fell in love with the work.

After my contract expired, I went back home to work on becoming a teacher and getting certified. Almost out of the blue I got a great opportunity to teach in Hangzhou, China with the global education company EF Education First.

The course with The TEFL Academy gave me a great foundation to build from. I was vaguely familiar with some TEFL teaching methodology; namely present, practice, produce. I was not as familiar with the nuts and bolts of writing a TEFL lesson plan or how to grade material and instruction for TEFL learners. At my old job in Guangxi I was told by my boss to: “Teach them about something, get them to talk, and ask them some questions.” Thanks to my TEFL training I am more aware that learners may not understand me if I don’t grade my language appropriately. Also, The TEFL Academy taught me the importance of making sure that students talk more and the teacher talks less.

The TEFL Academy also provided me with great activities to try in class, greater understanding of the four major skills and how to help develop them, and better understanding of what problems non-native speakers have when learning a new language.

I currently work with EF Education First in Hangzhou, China. It is a vastly different work environment than my previous job. In Guangxi, I was the first foreign teacher at a newly built college with no teaching materials. The schedule was a bit relaxed, but planning was a bit of a nightmare. I had to research everything and try to figure out how to make it interesting and teachable. Also, none of the classes were graded by ability; students of various levels were simply thrown in together.

Now, at EF everything is opposite. First of all it is a private teaching company. I have more teaching materials and resources than I can count, classes are graded by the student’s ability, and the schedule is packed with teaching hours. The time I spend planning lessons is a bit long now, but I know it will get better as I get used to the environment. Nonetheless, I am very thankful to be here.

For future plans I will be in Hangzhou teaching for about the next 14 months. I want to gain as much experience as possible and learn from people who have been doing this a lot longer than I have. There’s a possibility of renewing my contract for two years instead of 14-months. But, I would like to go back to the US or Europe to get a master’s in TEFL and teach full-time.

The course with TEFL Academy gave me a great foundation to build from.

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