Articles & blogs with Gold Star TEFL Recruitment

Hand in hand with travel and teaching abroad come eye opening experiences, unexpected adventures, cultural insights and a whole lot of stories worth telling. Here at Gold Star TEFL Recruitment we like to share these experiences and hope you enjoy reading the articles below.

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Good Working Relationships

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Simon Tatler is an English Teacher at English First in Tianjin. This school is holding interviews now, apply today! If teaching is not your first job or you have been in any situation where you need to work with other people, you can probably remember a time when you were in a dysfunctional team. Teams can […]

5 Common English Mistakes to Avoid

Andrew Ho-Lung - Classroom 1

Jordan Conrad is the founder of Learning English can, at times, be a daunting task. Of all the languages in the world, English is not always the most straightforward, and for newcomers not having any immersion in the language, it can be that much more difficult. In this post, I want to highlight five […]

7 Things You Can Do in China You Can’t Do in the West

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Mike Taylor is the Regional Manager at  York School This school is holding interviews now, apply today! 1. Immerse yourself in the Chinese language. Yes, it’s possible to learn Chinese back in the West but only in China will you get daily practice in Mandarin and really hone your skills. Everywhere you go, there’ll be spoken and […]

Giving Instructions for Dummies

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Michael Calvert is an English Teacher at English First in Tianjin. This school is holding interviews now, apply today! We have all experienced that moment whilst teaching students a foreign language. A blank or bewildered look, sometimes causing them to revert to an “I don’t understand” in their mother tongue. This reaction to an attempt of […]

The Charm of Teaching Young Children

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Iain Foreman is the Director of Studies at English First in Shijiazhuang. This school is holding interviews now, apply today! If you ever do teach English in China (or other Asian countries for that matter), it is highly likely that you will be teaching very young children. The following is a short introduction into the joys […]

The Young Learners’ Mom and Dad

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Marco is the Director of Studies at English First in Shijiazhuang. This school is holding interviews now, apply today! Teaching The Family Your ESL career will most likely lead you to be at the front of a classroom full of toddlers. While teaching young learners has its challenges and amazing rewards, if you have a […]

Learning Chinese


Chiyen has certifications in both TCSOL (Teacher of Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages) and TCFL (Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language). For most western people, Chinese is not really an easy language to learn because of its writing system and pronunciation with different tones. However, there are still plenty of people who would like […]

Your Students are Bored of Drilling

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Chris is an English Teacher at English First in Tianjin. This school is holding interviews now, apply today! Your Students Are Bored of Drilling and You Should Be Too How do we make drilling exercises more interesting and engaging for our students? This is a question I have found myself struggling with quite a bit lately. We […]

Trip to Wu Yi Mountain

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Greg is an English Teacher at  York School This school is holding interviews now, apply today! A Perfect Start To The Year After years of various New Year’s Eves, I decided to try something different for the change over between 2013 and 2014 – travelling to Wu Yi Shan (武夷山) for a long weekend. Situated in the […]

The Customer is Always Right

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Greg is an English Teacher at  York School This school is holding interviews now, apply today! It has been a while since I started teaching at York School of Foreign Languages. The “s” has always been at the end of ‘Language’, but to my knowledge, English is the single language that we teach. I’ve had many, […]

5 Questions You Should Ask Your Future Employer

Director of Studies Jobs in China

Marco is the Director of Studies at English First in Shijiazhuang. This school is holding interviews now, apply today! Congratulations! You have taken some very important steps towards starting a very successful career as an ESL teacher in China. You have found the right recruitment agency which will help you find a post with some […]

Relationships with Parents

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Kristen is a Senior Teacher at English First in Tianjin. This school is holding interviews now, apply today! As expats, we quickly become adapted to “zoning out” the world around us. It’s very easy to plug in headphones, walk down the street, and ignore the sounds and actions of those around us. This can also carry […]

Discipline, Responsibility and Classroom Management

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Greg is an English Teacher at  York School This school is holding interviews now, apply today! Being a teacher in a foreign country has certain amounts of allure to it, given the fundamental reasons for people participating in this profession are money and travel, but there is also an aspect of joviality tagged on to it […]

Your First Week in the Middle Kingdom

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Marco is Director of Studies at English First in Shijiazhuang. This school is holding interviews now, apply today! It’s Your First Week in China! Congratulations on becoming one more international talent who will be in charge of an ESL classroom and launching a successful career (if this doesn’t apply to you yet, you are on […]

Teacher, Teacher, Come Here!

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Marco is Director of Studies at English First in Shijiazhuang. This school is holding interviews now, apply today! As teachers, we spend many hours preparing for our lessons, creating handouts and materials. As we go though the creative process, we are thinking: this is so easy; my students will be able to complete this with […]

Lost in Translation – Part 2

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Greg is an English Teacher at  York School This school is holding interviews now, apply today! As previously mentioned in another article about China, there are several differences between living here and where we are used to. There are a few things that you notice straight away and other things that you might only realize once […]

Lost in Translation – Part 1

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Greg is an English Teacher at  York School This school is holding interviews now, apply today! Being in China is quite a strange experience, especially in a big city like Fuzhou. For a start, it would be easy to mistake yourself for being in any major city in the world. The cars are noisy, the swathes […]

Anatomy of a Parent-Teacher Meeting Part 2

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Joshua Pearce is a Senior Teacher at English First in Tianjin. This school is holding interviews now, apply today! In part 1, we looked at an introduction to Parent Teacher Meetings. Let’s continue as we dig deeper into the execution of PTMs. Planning the PTM? There are many ways to plan for a PTM, including arranging […]

Anatomy of a Parent-Teacher Meeting Part 1


Joshua Pearce is a Senior Teacher at English First in Tianjin. This school is holding interviews now, apply today! Educators achieve academic success in a number of ways. We do this by utilizing a number of different methodologies and philosophies, but the common factor in any kind of academic progress is creating cooperation between parents, pupils and practitioners in […]

Reliable Resources and Making Use of What’s Around

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Greg is an English Teacher at  York School This school is holding interviews now, apply today! Reliable Resources and Making Use of What’s Around There are several courses to take when you become a TEFL teacher. You can do one online, over the course of a super intensive weekend, during the practical based month or spread […]

Are you the ‘Dead Poets Society’ or the ‘Disciplinarian’ Type of Teacher?

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Greg is an English Teacher at  York School This school is holding interviews now, apply today! What Kind of Teacher Are You? Back in England, I had the same dilemma as I do now. What kind of teacher would I be? In England, I would have chosen between being a primary school (ages 4 to 10) […]

What would you do if…


Sam is an English Teacher at English First in Tianjin. This school is holding interviews now, apply today! A look at some of the classroom’s worst case scenarios and how to deal with them. As teachers we are blessed with the joyous opportunity of working with young learners. At the best of times they are […]

Using a recruiter to find ESL jobs – good or bad?


Looking for job is stressful. Flying to the other side of the world to start a new job in a new country where you don’t speak the language can be significantly more stressful. The stakes are much higher and you want to get it right, right? These days a significant number of teachers are using […]

iLab – Managing a World of Information


Marco is Director of Studies at English First in Shijiazhuang. This school is holding interviews now, apply today! A few years back to look up a word and have it translated into another language in the blink of an eye seemed impossible. You had to go to your local library and find specialized dictionaries that […]

Classroom Management

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Amy is an English Teacher at English First in Tianjin. This school is holding interviews now, apply today! Classroom Management The definition of classroom management is disputed by academics and teachers throughout the world. However, in general, classroom management can be classified as a method to ensure that time spent teaching and learning in the […]

Keep Moving


I have now been a TEFL teacher with York School for roughly sixteen months, depending on when you are reading this article. In this time I have had nine different classes, ranging from Super Tots (aged four to seven), Hip Hip Hooray (aged 7 to 11) and Smart Choice (aged 12 to 18). It is […]

Chinese Teenagers

Meet John

Marco is Director of Studies at English First in Shijiazhuang. This school is holding interviews now, apply today! Chinese teenagers…why are they amazing students? Unless you come to China to work at a Kindergarten or a Primary School chances are you will be teaching all age groups and that includes: teenagers! Most prospective teachers, during […]

Social Life and Daily Living

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It’s no secret that most people who come to China to teach English are enticed by the thrills of living abroad. It’s a good way to gain not only some valuable work experience, but also experience in life. New opportunities become a part of daily life, and it is this newness that makes life exciting. […]

Working with Teenagers

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Todd is Senior English Teacher at English First in Tianjin. This school is holding interviews now, apply today! Teenagers. We’ve all been one, some of us more recently than others, but no matter what, we can all recall what it was like to be a student. At some point in time, we have all sat […]

Lesson Plans

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Lesson Planning Teaching can be tough. Once you’re past the induction stage and have completed most of the New Teacher section of EOA, classes will be handed to you like presents on Christmas morning. Suddenly you will find that you won’t have 3 full days to plan your one Saturday class, but rather you will […]

Spring in China


Marco is Director of Studies at English First in Shijiazhuang. This school is holding interviews now, apply today! Spring is Here Spring has a great deal of meaning in Chinese culture. Come to experience China and the word ‘Spring’ is a word that you will encounter but best of all, you’ll get to experience it. […]

Don’t Speak Chinese

Andrew Ho-Lung - Classroom 1

Marco is Director of Studies at English First in Shijiazhuang. This school is holding interviews now, apply today! Don’t speak Chinese….but I’m in China? If you are reading this article, you are probably thinking about starting one of the most exciting experiences of your life: living and working abroad. What are the expectations for such […]

Safety in the Classroom


Practice What You’ve Learned During my TEFL course we were educated on how to teach students of all ages about a variety of things. Grammar presentations, listening activities, pair activities, group activities, reading games, lots and lots of things. One thing we didn’t receive much tutelage on was health and safety, or classroom management. I […]

Students: Different Age Groups

Gillian - Teaching Young Learners

As an ESL teacher in China, you will be confronted with the task of teaching English to Chinese students. Yes, I know I just stated the obvious since that is exactly what you signed up for, but what I think many might fail to realize is the actuality that this is in fact a real […]

Setting our Expectations for Young Learners

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Paul is an English teacher at English First in Tianjin. This school is holding interviews now, apply today! In any sphere of education, all teachers have one primary strategy, to teach. It is the fundamental aim that every educator has when he or she approaches any class or course.  The chief tactic that teachers employ […]

Lesson Planning – The Enlightenment


Expansion and Participation I think in the last nineteen months I have probably written over 936 lesson plans. It’s not my position to judge them professionally, that would be my superiors, but I’m honest in my own opinion that there are probably a lot of great plans in there and some absolute stinkers too. As […]

Teaching English in the Kitchen

English First Shijiazhuang ChEF Station

Marco is Director of Studies at English First in Shijiazhuang. This school is holding interviews now, apply today! The Traditional Classroom Setting EF provides students with state of the art classrooms. Comfortable chairs, big windows, heating, air conditioning, interactive whiteboards, cupboards, everything you need to create a fun and relaxing atmosphere for your students to […]

Chinese New Year 2014


Chinese New Year Not long after the start of the new Gregorian year, the Chinese New Year is in hot pursuit. And quite fittingly this year it is the turn of the Horse to do the chasing. You can probably find out for yourself what this will mean for you on many international websites around […]

The Curious Case of “The Invisible Teacher”

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This school is holding interviews now, apply today! Imagine you have just given instructions to your learners, and instead of sticking around to monitor behavior and conduct, you decide to simply leave them to it. What would you imagine to happen? Perhaps a ‘Lord of the Flies-esque’ scenario of anarchy and pandemonium whereby only the […]

Creating a Positive Classroom Atmosphere


Hester is an English teacher at English First in Tianjin. This school is holding interviews now, apply today! Off to a Good Start It’s really important for teachers to create a positive and engaging classroom atmosphere. Research has indicated that if a positive classroom atmosphere is created, students will learn better and engage more which […]

Christmas in China

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I find it amazing that Christmas has already come and gone. When I first arrived in China 11 months ago, I remember having the impression that a year is a really long time and that I would be spending my very first Christmas away from home. But that was in February 2013 and Christmas seemed […]

The Challenges of Learning Mandarin

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Greetings from Hangzhou My name is Gentile and I’m a Mandarin teacher currently living in Hangzhou. My husband is also a teacher and it was out of this passion for languages and education that our love for each other grew. We have been recently married and currently we own and operate a language school in […]

Christmas Away – Round Two


Here We Go Again It’s been almost twenty months since I tasted homemade gravy, a Yorkshire pudding (Google it and try it!), pulled a cracker or caroled merrily down my hometown high street but reluctantly I would be spending another festive period away from home. Last year was a great time and helped me feel […]

Practice Makes Perfect


Every now and then comes a time when you are learning new games week and week out. At other points during your TEFL career you become dry on ideas for games and activities. Not only this, but lo and behold, we are not all grammar encyclopedias when it comes to the ins and outs of […]

New and Old China


Caught between two worlds China features massive amounts of diversity. From the rocky peaks of the Himalayas in the West, to the desert crossings of the Silk Road in the North, to the lush rice and tea fields of the South, China offers distinct landscapes and a rich cultural history that is distinctly its own. […]

Learning From Past Mistakes


The attitude of the TEFL teacher is to always be learning. You need to keep improving and a lot of this comes down to your experience. Things that went badly the first time round can be readily avoided or dealt with differently once you have been in the job for a number of months. New […]

My Mandarin is “booo hao”! Will it ever get better?

Shantz Language Services

My relationship with Mandarin Chinese is similar to a twisted love affair that is often the subject of books and films, and if like me, you’ve also embarked on this sometimes masochistic journey, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. Don’t get me wrong, I love the language because it’s so complex, rich in history […]

Getting Back to Work


It’s been a while since I was in a classroom and since I received my injury I’ve not done a whole lot. Being my dominant right hand I can’t type, write or function anywhere near normal. York School has been hugely supportive of my recovery and we’d spoken of a plan to bring me back […]

Promoting Cognitive Development in ESL Lessons

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Sean Healy is the Director of Studies for English First in Chongqing. He has spent the last three years teaching himself and his teachers to develop the ‘whole child’ in the class and not just a learner’s linguistic capacity. Promoting Cognitive Development (CD) in ESL Lessons Examples from English First in Chongqing Too often we […]

The Training Process

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Induction, EOA, workshops, activity shares, observations – from the moment you arrive at EF you will become a part of a team of trained and experienced teachers whose job it is to guide and mentor you to become the best teacher that you can be. Induction Everyone starts at the beginning, and nobody expects a […]

Hospital Trip

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A Not So Humorous Experience A little over six weeks ago I broke my arm. It wasn’t a pleasant experience and luckily I hit my head at the same time, so I kind of passed out from the pain. I woke up and found myself in hospital – not the ideal place to be on […]

Teaching Phonics

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Teaching phonics in ESL is a step-by-step process that essentially familiarizes students with the sounds needed to produce English in order to develop their reading and writing skills. Rather than teaching the 26 letters of the alphabet, students learn the correct pronunciation of over 40 phonemes of the English language. While phonics can be taught […]

Getting to Know the Locals… Or Not


Coming to China A lot of the foreign friends I know and have met since my time in China have all had varying reasons as to why they had come out in the first place. Some courted adventure, some felt an affinity to the culture, some wanted to learn Mandarin and a few had nothing […]

Travel China

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When I first accepted the job at EF last year, I really wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into. The idea of moving across the world was exciting for sure, but also somewhat terrifying. I had never been to Asia, and although I had taken one course in Chinese politics in university, there was […]

Party time in China

Party Time in China

It is time to party A fair few of my blogs recently have been of the cultural, exploratory nature and I think this paints a rather mature picture of myself. It’d be unfair to assume that I am genuinely this mature. There is nothing like having a massive house party or a big night out, […]



As I’m settling into my first summer in China, I’m starting to learn exactly why this period is usually described as being so ‘intensive.’ And it’s not just about the extra hours spent in the classroom. It’s HOT! Don’t get me wrong, I love summer weather, but coming from a more northern climate I’m far […]

Food Glorious Food


Chinese Food I love food, and China offers plenty of different food to keep anyone’s taste buds satisfied. There are so many different meat, fish, and vegetable dishes to choose from, that it makes sense that the Chinese will often share several dishes together instead of just consuming one on their own. In fact, when […]

Lake Districts


West Meets East – Day trips to Zhejiang’s lake districts Of course, you don’t always need to limit yourself to just a day. We as teachers do get 2-day weekends outside of peak season, so overnights are always an option. But chances are you will want the first day off to rest and to catch […]

Chinese Education


After being in China for half a year now, it is clear that the Chinese student couldn’t be any further apart from the Western student. Leisure is unheard of. Alcohol is something the poor drink to forget and academic failure is synonymous with desolation. When asking a student of mine what will happen if she […]

Accessing Mandarin and its benefits

Chinese App Picture

Chinese language I have written about Chinese culture before and one of the main proponents of Chinese culture is the language. Based on pictures and drawings, many characters are claimed to be based on their likeness to real objects – such as 人, rén, is a biped walking and represents the term ‘person’, whilst this […]

Lesson Plans


Lesson Plans – The Truth The main thing I remember from training was the ‘lesson plan.’ Practiced, perfected, painstaking and of prime importance, we had all done our fair share of (pretend) lesson plans before even getting remotely close to a classroom. It’s understandable. Before actually stepping into a classroom and teaching for that first […]

Becoming a Better Teacher

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Becoming a better teacher For a lot of teachers when they come here they have little to no experience and they are either fresh out of university or on a life changing path to a better future. I would agree that I am one of the latter party. I decided to come to China to […]

Chinese Parents


Parent Pleasing An important thing to consider when teaching kids would be what their parents expect from you. Whilst all parents have different tastes, they all want the best for their child. This is quite apt in China, where so many families have only one child, and the pressure they put on success is possibly […]

Great Wall of China Marathon Run


Gold Star TEFL Recruitment has been assisting teachers secure the very best teaching jobs in China since 2009 and has close connections with China’s leading schools. For details on jobs in Beijing and other jobs have a look through our website and submit an application today. Read interviews with people in China here. Interview with Rob […]

Single Shanghai


Single Shanghai Due to having a girlfriend, this isn’t a subject I have firsthand experience of. But I’ve heard enough stories, and witnessed enough things, to make me think dating here is different to where I’m from, and below are the reasons. Also, this is the view of a male. A female’s view might be […]

All Worth It


Reflections I am approaching the one year mark of teaching abroad and it really seems like a dream. It feels like it was just yesterday that I came off the plane and looked for my name on a sign in Beijing. Things are becoming more beautiful because I am starting to experience many “lasts”. I […]

Behind the Superpower


I initially came to China for all the typical clichéd reasons; escaping shameless consumerism, an unwillingness to become paranoid over social status, and in an attempt to embrace an Eastern culture that would offer me something refreshing. To whether my aims have been achieved I’m not wholly sure.I definitely have been offered something refreshing, and […]

Coming to China

Now What? I finished university about a year ago with an honours bachelor degree in political science and English. Unlike many of my classmates, I knew that I was not ready to go right back to school and pursue a masters or law degree. All I knew was that I wanted to enjoy my 20s, […]

One Year In

The Start of an Adventure For many people the lure of this employment and/or lifestyle choice (depending how you look at it) brings you one of the most affordable ways to travel and see the world. With the abundance of job positions out there to prospective candidates, it is fairly certain that when asked “Where […]

4 Tips for Immersing Yourself in China’s Culture

Going on a trip to China is more than exciting, and you’re probably the envy of quite a number of your friends right now. While you’re there, whether for a week or a year, it would behoove you to immerse yourself into the culture as deeply as possible. Here are four fool-proof ways to do […]

Parent to Teacher Meetings


New Course Maps My school, EF Shijiazhuang, has been implementing a new course layout over the past couple months. On the 18th lesson, a parent to teacher meeting is arranged in order to discuss the students’ progress and goals. These meetings are quite beneficial for both the teachers and the parents because there is direct […]

Coordinating with the Local Teacher


What I thought When I first arrived here in Shijiazhuang the only goal I had was to survive. I needed to learn how to plan lessons efficiently and effectively within the given time parameters. I needed to learn how to stand in front of an audience most of the day and not be so scared […]

Keeping a Captive Audience

In my fledgling TEFL career I have encountered many different classes and juggled a few too many grammar forms to the point that it even becomes confusing to me. So, as a native speaker who might have to take a step back and think about the mechanics behind the sentences I am using, it must […]

Travelling and Working in China

I am fortunate that being a teacher in China allows me spare time, whilst earning money, to also explore the country. We work weekends, so have the start of the week off, which isn’t as bad as it may sound. The weekends are usually extremely busy, with children off from school, parent’s home, and everyone […]

Trip To Xiamen

GuLangYu Island and Xiamen

Time to travel In a previous article I wrote about the great location of Fuzhou in accordance to some rather interesting places to visit. I said I would be visiting Xiamen eventually and luckily last weekend, my friends and I took the trip westwards to this idylic coastal city. Being only between an hour and […]

Chinese New Year Trip to Vietnam and Thailand

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Holiday Prep Work The Chinese New Year crept up on us this year in Shijiazhuang. I was fortunate enough to be able to take my paid holiday at the same time as the national holiday which culminated to a whopping 18 day travel. I decided to travel with one of my friends Amber, since she […]

Summer Course

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The Starting Line From the very first day I arrived at my new job at EF Shijiazhuang I had been hearing of the much dreaded summer course. At first, I heard teachers casually talking about how we had a month to prepare and get ready for the transition but as the time progressed, the casual […]

Exploring Beijing


Easily Accessible Last weekend, I traveled to Beijing with my roommate, Tariq. He had never been to the magnificent city and wanted me to accompany him since I had been there twice. It is quite a luxury to be able to easily access one of the biggest cities in the world. With a simple visit […]

Animals and Pets in China


There are many aspects to living in China. The difference in communication, culture, food, music, fashion, and even animals, and so many more. So I am a keen animal lover, I have dogs, I have had rabbits, cats, goats, hamsters, chickens, and so many other animals. I love animals so much, that I am a […]

Preparation for the Classroom


Planning My Lesson The time leading up to the beginning of class is quite a vital time period. There are many things that go into preparing for the classroom, things that one would not consider never having taught before. I know that I never looked at the tiniest details when I was the student on […]

Happy New Year in China

The Official National Flag and Forbidden City

Welcoming 2013 in China As the new year approached I had decided long ago that I didn’t want to spend Christmas and New Year in the same city. It was definitely a stange experience having Christmas here but the adventurist side of me wanted to celebrate the turn of another annum elsewhere. First Stop – […]

Gordon Ramsay…..these kids may steal your job!


Winter Course Activities So this week saw the start of winter courses for our school. This is one of the busiest times of the year where our current students will come everyday throughout the holidays to attend a special course and fun activities. As my role of Life Club Coordinator it was up to me […]

Jobs for English majors

Jobs for English Majors

Deciding on what to study at university is something you want to get right as it will set the course for the rest of your life. Choosing a subject that truly interests you is vitally important, opportunity follows passion and life is just a lot more enjoyable when you’re doing what you love. At the […]

Developing as a TEFL Teacher

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Knowing Your Strengths and Weaknesses It has been eight months since I arrived in to China to start my teaching job with York school and it has been an interesting and wholly pleasant experience. As you may have read, I started my TEFL training in Prague, teaching some classes and getting to know the basics […]

Chinese New Year in Shanghai

Chinese New Year

Happy Chinese New Year Fireworks exploding 24 hours day, bright blinding lights, streets constantly bursting with people, yep it’s that time of year. Happy New Year! So with that said where best to spend it? In one of the busiest cities in the world? It has to be done, Shanghai here I come. This was […]

My Favourite Classroom Game

Chinese Classroom

Teaching Adults vs Young Learners Doing a CELTA course is excellent preparation for getting in to teaching. They allow you to take your own classes from between six and sixteen people and you teach perhaps a minimum of fourteen hours. In teaching terms this is quite a lot – the downside is that most of the […]

My First Christmas in China

Interview with Matt Fletcher

Christmas Day at School You here all sorts of stories before you come away to China. The variety of conversations about the weird foods that are available, the culture shock, the pollution, the list goes on for some people, for me however when I accepted my teaching job in China It was the lack of […]

Is it really hard to teach teenagers?


So, where I work we are given a strict curriculum to follow for our kindergarten classes, and Hip Hip Hooray classes. We know what vocabulary and what grammar we are expected to teach in that lesson, and all we really have to figure out is how, and the timing for each activity. The homework is […]

Traveling for the Holiday


Making the most of our time off I have had quite a unique experience living and working abroad in China. The celebration of the holidays was nothing short of a “once in a lifetime” experience. It was the first holiday season that I have spent away from my family, friends and America. Leading up to […]

Merry Chinese Christmas

York at the Shangri La

Having Ourselves a Very Merry Chinese Christmas Christmas in China is not a very big deal at all and if it wasn’t for daily updates from friends back home it would be entirely possible to forget it even December. Being on the South East coast too doesn’t allow for a very ‘Christmassey Vibe’ being that […]

Trying to Crack Asia

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My First Taste of Fame Being a foreigner in a densely populated city of Chinese people means, naturally, you are going to get a lot more attention that any normal person walking down the street. Some days you want to blink your eyes and disappear and on others you embrace the novelty of being unique. […]

Giving Teaching Workshops


How It All Fits My work week has a pretty set routine as far as meetings, classes, feedback, and stress goes. Every Wednesday we hear our weekly feedback from the Director of Studies and we either try to do better or keep up the good work. On Thursdays we have our weekly workshop. The workshops […]

Eating in China

Chinese food

China’s Cuisine Food is a major part of any culture. We all use it as a form of socializing, or as a hobby, or a way to relax. However, every country has its own cuisine and its own take on different dishes.  Depending on where you go in China, each province has its own school […]

Travelling Adventures in China

Matsu Island - All Staff

Travelling on a Shoe String Budget China is a wonderful country and there are countless places of natural beauty to visit. There are waterways, metropolises, forests and coasts to explore and as an English teacher, you have countless opportunities to visit all of these sights and you can do it all on a relatively shoe […]

Roles of the Teaching Assistant

Teaching Assistant

Teaching in China When you teach in China, I have already noted that the greatest resource you have available to you are the other teachers in the office. But who is going to be the biggest support, well that is your Teaching Assistant. Each class is assigned a foreign teacher and a Chinese Teaching Assistant […]

The Fears of Being in the Spotlight

Andrew Ho-Lung - Classroom 1

My name is Andrew Ho-Lung I am from Daytona Beach, Fl, USA. After finishing my degrees in International Affairs and Geography from Florida State University, I decided to take a leap of faith and I ended up landing in China to teach English. I used to be (still kind of am) quite the shy person […]

Festivals of China So Far

Dragonboat Festival Bankside

That’s Chinatown, Jack Coming from a city heavily populated with Chinese natives in London everyone is completely nonchalant when meeting someone of oriental descent. On the flip side, being in Fuzhou where there are limited meetings between Chinese nationals and foreign nationals things are not quite the same. Being in England most people were well […]

Happy Halloween at York School

Brycie and students

Halloween at York School Aside from providing private classes for up to sixteen students at a time, York School of Foreign Languages also puts on extra curricular activities for all of the major holidays. Although heavily Americanised – you won’t see a celebration of Guy Fawkes night here; although they seem to have fireworks displays […]

Financial Planning for Your Teaching Job in China


Sue Badsworth is a freelance writer. She is raised by teachers and growing up had experiences of moving to exotic locations as her parents took up overseas teaching assignments in including America, Chile and Japan. Financial Planning for Your Teaching Job in China Teaching English in a foreign country is a hugely enriching and rewarding […]

Travelling and working in China


Decision Time The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, comes once a year sometime in the eight month of the Chinese calendar.  All of the teachers had these days off and were able to travel and do anything and everything they wanted.  Though celebrating the holiday in China would be very nice and […]

The Satisfaction and Joys of Teaching

Crazy Junior Students

Killing Three Birds with One Stone Having come out of University with the same exact idea of what I wanted to do with my life (zero clue) I ambled from inane office job to regrettable pub job and back. Having a degree in European History was fantastic and I wouldn’t swap my decisions for the […]

How Do I Prepare for Teaching English in China?


Sue Badsworth is a freelance writer. She is raised by teachers and growing up had experiences of moving to exotic locations as her parents took up overseas teaching assignments in including America, Chile and Japan. How Do I Prepare for Teaching English in China? Teaching is one of the most rewarding career paths you can […]

Small Stars Graduation

Andrew Ho-Lung - EF Shijiazhuang

Growing Up Teaching at EF is quite exciting and challenging because of the varying levels of English learners we have filtering through.  I have students ranging from four to eighteen years old and everything in between.  Our young learners start as Small Stars students’ and then move up to High Flyers, Trailblazers, Super Blazers, and […]

My visit to a Chinese clinic

Visiting Chinese Clinic

I am sick I struck down, after 6 months living in China. It came on slowly, and then suddenly hit. I thought it was a simple bug, and armed with antibiotics written in Chinese, I headed to the pharmacy and bought myself some medication, thinking that, an early night, and lots of water would see […]

Staff Trip to Taihang Mountains

Staff trip

Thanks Summer course was a feat for us teachers.  We pushed hard to make it through and our bosses knew it.  To thank us for all of our hard work, my boss planned an all inclusive weekend trip for all of the employees of EF Shijiazhuang.  The plan was to head to the train station […]

Learning to Deal with Culture Shock


Sue Badsworth is a freelance writer. She is raised by teachers and growing up had experiences of moving to exotic locations as her parents took up overseas teaching assignments in including America, Chile and Japan. Learning to Deal with Culture Shock When experiencing a new country and a new culture there is a sense of […]

Extra Curricular Activities

Old Street - Fuzhou

Covering Continuous Classes I have been teaching now for about three months and I can only assume everything is going swimmingly. I received my quarterly bonus, haven’t been fired and I have yet to make any of my students cry. Although one student did refuse to enter class for roughly forty five minutes when I […]

Summer in China

Hainan Island

Summer When I thought about Summer in China, two things sprung to mind. The hot weather, and Summer School. I can honestly say whilst I thought of these two aspects of Summer in China, nothing could actually prepare me for the reality of it. Summer School I had heard so many rumours about Summer School […]

Day Trips to the Unknown

Andrew Ho-Lung trips to the unknown

The Test I think it is quite important to constantly test yourself mentally and physically.  When you test yourself, you really feel alive.  Sometimes it is essential to get out and explore while teaching abroad.  You need to take a break from the office and workplace and explore yourself and the world around you.  If […]

Being the Only Lǎo Wài in the Village

Greg Clark - York XiHu Branch near West Lake Park

Getting to Grips with Being a Foreigner China has been on the up and coming world stage now for a couple of decades and has experienced huge economic and domestic growth. Cities have sprung up overnight and the modernity of these have been overhauled quickly. Even so, I really did not expect the situation I […]

My First Haircut in China

Amanda Sinclair - caitlin haridressers

Rumor has it Rumour had it that getting your haircut in China was this huge ordeal, only to be undertaken by those in the most desperate and dire of circumstances. People had horror stories of going to the hairdresser and coming back with a bob instead of the luscious long locks that had asked for. […]

My Top Classroom Games


Classroom Games Every lesson needs to include something fun for the children to do. No one wants to sit through an hour and a half of a language lesson, without being slightly amused or captivated. Games are the best way to captivate the children, and make each lesson more enjoyable, and memorable! My top Games […]

My First Week Teaching in China

Greg Clark - Kinder Class with my TA Vivian

Feeding Me In When I entered the world of TEFL/TESOL/ESL teaching I had heard various stories of what to expect once I finally made the leap in to the unknown and although the internet can be a great wealth of knowledge there is also a lot of objective fear mongering. Naturally I tried to be […]

My Bizarre Chinese Medical Exam

Greg Clarke - Fujian Provincial hospital, Fuzhou

Mixing Leisure with Work I touched down in Fuzhou Airport at roughly 3am and was relieved to have finally made it. It had been a very long trip from Prague, Czech Republic, to my final destination and I felt slightly disorientated. Thankfully one of the Academic Co-ordinators, Tom, had stayed up most of the night […]

My first trip to a Chinese hairdresser

Greg Clark - The Famous iPad

The Longest Journey Starts with One Step Having been in Fuzhou three weeks and becoming more settled with daily life I felt ready to branch out and see some of the sights China has to offer. So I enquired from a couple of friends where the best place to go would be… to get my […]

5 things to check before accepting a teaching job in China

English Teaching Jobs in China

As tempting as it may be to just throw your laptop, flip flops and Chinese phrase book into a bag and hop on a plane it’s probably wiser to make sure that your proverbial ducks are all lined up and you’ve thought things through before accepting a teaching job in China. Teaching in China can […]

Learning Chinese from Scratch

Learning Chinese calligraphy

Having been born and educated in England, most schools taught us French or German, possibly Spanish as our second language. I never even considered trying to learn Chinese. China was so far away, and at the age of 11 I didn’t even dream of going and working in China. 13 years later, and living in […]

My very first class teaching in China

Amanda Sinclair with students in Fuzhou China 3

Amanda Sinclair I’m Amanda Sinclair, a 24 year old born and raised in England. Since finishing my law degree I decided to take a break and teach English in China. I have never taught or travelled to Asia before, and even after reading about China and what to expect, I still felt woefully unprepared. Here […]

My first week in China


Amanda Sinclair I’m Amanda Sinclair, a 24 year old born and raised in England. Since finishing my law degree I decided to take a break and teach English in China. I have never taught or travelled to Asia before, and even after reading about China and what to expect, I still felt woefully unprepared. Here […]

Can I Teach English In China if I Can’t Speak Chinese?

Chinese students

If I can’t speak Chinese and they can’t speak English, then….. It has one of those statements for me, you know, the ones we classify under “If I had a nickel for every time I heard that one, I’d be…”.  The thing is, at one time I was guilty of asking this question myself: I […]

Interview tips for ESL English teacher jobs

Skype video interview

Jim Althans packed up and flew to China to teach English in 2004. He has taught at kindergartens in remote villages, vice presidents in shiny offices and everything in between, enjoying every minute of it. He now works at Gold Star TEFL Recruitment helping teachers find their next job in China. English teacher interview tips […]

Types of teaching jobs in China


If you are considering teaching English in China you certainly won’t be lacking choice when it comes to the types of teaching jobs out there. As China continues to grow the demand for learning English is only getting more popular and there is a huge variety of options to choose from in terms of student […]

Teach English in China for the Summer

Teach English in China summer

For those who don’t fancy teaching in China for a full 12 months the summer time offers a great little bite sized version and allows you to dip your toe into ‘teaching English in China’ without getting too wet. While language schools mostly offer 12 month contracts, over the summer they run shorter courses while […]

Should I teach English to adults or young learners?

Back To School

Indeed an important question to consider – should I teach English to adults or young learners? Both are completely different jobs, requiring very different teaching skills, lesson planning and even personalities. While in some teaching jobs in China you will be teaching both young learners and adults, a lot of language schools specialize in either […]