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Talking To Teachers – Andrew Ho-Lung

Andrew Ho-Lung English First Shijiazhuang 4

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 teaching jobs with English First and other major language schools have a look through our website and submit an application today.
Read more interviews with teachers in China here.

An Interview with Andrew Ho-Lung at English First in China

A review of the day to day life of an English First teacher in China, inside and outside the classroom.

GS: So, can you tell us a bit about how you first got into English teaching?
AH: To be honest, at first, the traveling aspect of teaching English abroad was the main reason I chose to do this. I really wanted to travel after school and teaching was the best way to see the world and make money instead of spending it. During my TEFL certification, I made so many great friends from all over the world. I quickly realized that I really enjoy talking, learning, teaching, and exchanging cultural differences with people from other countries. I began to see that I could have a mutual exchange of knowledge and see the world through teaching.

GS: Could you give some details about your dealings with Gold Star TEFL Recruitment?
AH: Gold Star TEFL Recruitment has been a tremendous help to me. I would not have a job, living the dream, if it weren’t for the help from Aidan and the agency. I came across Gold Star by chance, while searching for jobs online. Aidan collaborated with me to find the right school in the right city with the right requirements.

GS: What advice do you have for people about the recruitment and interview process when looking for jobs teaching in China?
AH: One of the most important things to do is to make sure that you find a place that meets your standards. You want to make sure that you will thrive in the environment that you choose to go to. I chose to come to this city because of its location within China and the surrounding areas. Also, it is vital that you research the company and make sure that both parties’ interests are aligned. As for the interview process, most companies want to know that you are friendly, can do a good job, and can deal with the life changes that come with moving abroad. Be yourself and show that you are willing to do what it takes.Andrew Ho-Lung English First Shijiazhuang 2

GS: You are teaching with English First in Shijiazhuang at the moment, can you tell us about your impressions of the city? What do you like most about living there?
AH: My first impression of Shijiazhuang was general awe. The city is 10 times bigger than any city I’ve ever lived in! The city is very different from where I come from but that is the whole point of seeing the world. To me, Shijiazhuang is the real China. Though the city is big, there are very few foreigners and almost no tourists. What you see in this city is what the everyday Chinese sees. The cost of living is very affordable, especially on English teaching wages. I have the opportunity to experience the city to the fullest and save a little money on the side. I really like the location of Shijiazhuang as well. It is centrally located and close to many big cities like Beijing.Andrew Ho-Lung English First Shijiazhuang 3

GS: What do you like most about teaching English?
AH: The best part about teaching English is the kids. It feels great to have a job that makes me feel like I am making a difference and gives me tangible results. There is nothing more satisfying than teaching kids new material and having them be able to produce it the following weeks. At the end of the day, the kids always seem to make me smile.

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GS: Can you tell us about your favourite class at the moment?
AH: One of my favorite classes is my Saturday morning group of elementary aged kids. The kids in this class are so smart and pleasant to be around. Every week, I walk out of the teacher’s office to find a few of the girls in my class waiting to take all of my materials and walk me to my room. It is a great way to start the morning!Andrew Ho-Lung English First Shijiazhuang 1

GS: Talk us through a typical day teaching English in China.
AH: Wednesday through Friday are pretty relaxed days with only a few hours of teaching in the afternoon. This is great because I can get all of my planning done for the very busy weekends. The weekends are quite hectic with a two hour class in the morning, a lunch break, a two hour class in the afternoon, an afternoon break, and a two hour class at night. Our weekends are on Mondays and Tuesdays and most of the teachers usually hang out and eat or play sports together.

GS: What are the teaching resources like there?
AH: The resources here at EF are superb. All of the teachers have interactive white boards and their own state of the art classrooms. We also have a Life Club Room (used for fun classes), a Demo Room, and a kitchen that we use to make food on our fun days. We have books for most of our classes that help to structure each lesson and guide us through the planning process.

GS: How many teachers are there in your school?
AH: We have nine foreign teachers and two local teachers at our school. In the younger, lower level classes we have teaching assistants to help translate and maintain order in the classroom.

GS: China is full of surprises and unexpected adventures, tell us about one you have had recently.
AH: The other day I was biking to a restaurant to eat some food with a coworker. Out of nowhere, rain began to pour down and soak us. We kept on biking even though it was near impossible to see anything in front of us. We made it to the restaurant and relaxed, hoping that the rain would stop coming down. When we walked out we saw that rivers had replaced the streets. The water was literally higher than the wheels of parked cars! We decided we wanted to have an adventure and try and bike home anyways. I never thought that I would be biking and walking through rivers, but here I was doing it! At one point, the water was up to my waist and all that was above the water were my handle bars! We made it home safely with great stories to tell and memories to cherish.

Andrew Ho-Lung English First Shijiazhuang 5

Read more interviews with teachers in China here.

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 teaching jobs with English First and other major language schools have a look through our website and submit an application today.
Apply now

INTESOL Course

Realise your dreams of living and teaching English worldwide with INTESOL.