How to Teach English in China

How to Teach English in China

The Beginning


On Arrival to China Shenzhen,

My first plan was to find employment and the best and obvious target employers were going to be for jobs teaching English in china, after no money no existence here right?  my savings was not going to last if I was to live daily, travel, socialise, and pay rent and other related outgoings.



My first port of call was to connect with local expats and English-speaking Chinese, The obvious paces would be Bar and social hangouts you would think, but it seemed more practical and logical to check out yes wait for it THE LIBRARY


Teacher or Student?

Though the books were sparse at the time, there was always a few , or clever clogs sifting through the shelves.


The chance or connecting with someone actually English spoken I had high hopes.



However the first few I spoke of were either Russian, french who either choose to not speak English well enough or simply didn’t learn any worth holding a conversation with

Finally I decided to sit in a coffee shop just outside and consider what my next plan how to teach English in Shenzhen with no experience

Groups of Chinese students passing by showed some interest in greeting me and leading to some further dialog with me, practising their spoken English it was revealed

Giving me the perfect opportunity in obtaining where international schools were and where they actually were students, schools, English First / Clever-learn / British English / Wall street English, was mentioned.


Fact learning is never ending

Learn Learn and more Learning

Finding Jobs Teaching English in China~Full or Part Time,

I immediately jotted them information down.

On additional advice it was recommended as a must to buy a pay as you go Chinese mobile card.

This was useful and cheap to get from any local shop or news-stand, a surge of hope and freshed inspiration was rising inside and off I went.


Locating the EF [English first] Training Centre, a few hours later and quite tired I approached The receptionist inquiring to see the manager. And some 15 min later came an Irish lady, chirpy and bright who greeted me as a long-lost friend, ushered me to her office and began our discussion on being a teacher


It was a few days later I received a call from the Irish Manager on my newly acquired Chinese mobile ”China uni-com”for your information, apparently there are only two service providers and both are government owed.

Then 2nd being ”China mobile” offering me to return prepared to do a demo, I was given some guidelines and the date was set for the coming Saturday. Happily I was charged up and ready for this opportunity to even get a ‘look in” without the relevant skills.


Saturday it all happened and another applicant of Irish nationality was in the waiting room, we greeted and exchanged pleasantries but clearly were both nervous and unsure of the coming interview session.


Demo time

After what seemed like forever we were guided to the office and faced a group of students ”in fact office staff’ waiting to be taught? my partner in fear now was asked to be the first to participate while I looked on with then manager.


It was not as expected as the students spoke very little English, or pretended not to? I watched my colleague squirmed, stumbled and pressed on to impart simple greetings and daily ritual words and sentences, it was painful at best to see this demonstration, after 10 min it finally came to an abrupt end not actually making much headway with the student.


I was at this time both happy to be on and afraid as to what I need to do different, of course I had the bonus of seeing his mistakes and utilised remembering his pitfalls and strengths.

That too came to a sudden ending, and with relief collapsed thinking well that’s that, we are now crossed off the list of possibles.

Assessment and exchange were passed and we were told that we will be given a week to prepare for a class and that it was unfair that we were appointed students with little English.

however the upshot of this trial was to see how we handled ourselves during the process, this was the purpose of the exercise not strictly then English language.

We both left the centre with high hopes and had a beer in the nearby bar. You could say that we had a fortunate turn of events and opportunity considering I was not experienced and my friend had only 1 month teaching in Korea previously.


Both of us were Accepted by English First school, and now that the Positions were accepted our real work began, offer of accommodation shared apartments and 2 days off per week from teaching

Two Saturdays per month were committed to demos at some local Mall or shopping centre and supported by teachers assistant and an advertising agent, we just performed and created games simulating interests to families.



China New Job – Congratulations Well done!

China New Job - Congratulations Well done!

celebrations were in order!


Work was from then onward easy to find and I was never out of work moving from one to another to find better pay and more personal development opportunities. So attitudes, performance, adapting and being open to what you are faced with is key to Teaching English in China~Full or Part Time.


Bill Ireland, Chris England teachers

Foreigners are still regarded with respect in the teaching industry, however I have heard from colleagues still working in china

Pay has increased considerably and living standards have also improved to attract long term teachers especially with qualifications like TEFL/ CELTA,

These can be taken within the teaching program in some schools as you teach and may be subsidised in part or total.



Would you consider teaching in China or Asia? what would be the most import aspect of taking a teaching post and would you feel comfortable sharing accommodation with another teacher?


Making headway in China teaching fraternity is not a difficult task, if you are Degree qualified in any discipline, have TEFL,CELTA, or other related recognised certification you already have the key to a Job,

Teaching children experience is a added bonus, university establishment experience even better whatever it is though the rules has tightened up considerably in years they resources are low here and the need is very high for such skills,

Are you looking of A challenging job, and want something different it’s right here and what a eye opener it is!.



  • Did it answer Questions or leave you wanting?
  • Would you consider living in Shenzhen?
  • Is China now a more interesting possible destination?




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