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Teach English in China – FAQ

Gold Star TEFL Recruitment has been assisting teachers secure the very best jobs to teach English in China since 2009 and has close connections with China’s leading schools. For details on teaching jobs with Disney English, Wall Street English, English First and other major language schools have a look through our website and submit an application today.

 

Your questions answered

If you are thinking about teaching English in China you no doubt you have all kinds of questions about life in China and we’re here to answer them. We can give you expert advice on living in China, the culture, the politics, teaching, qualifications, housing, the recruitment process, learning Chinese and anything else you need to know.

Have a look through our FAQ or send us an email to questions@GoldStarTeachers.com with any questions on living and teaching English in China.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the costs of the recruitment process for me?

There are no costs at all for you. The entire recruitment process is free of charge from start to finish.

Living in China

I can’t speak Chinese. Is that a problem?

You can teach English in China without knowing how to speak Chinese. Students expect to get immersed in English during class and so speaking Chinese is actually discouraged in class. Often there is the option of having a Chinese teaching assistant to help with giving instructions and translating if need be, especially for young learner classes.

Some schools provide Mandarin Chinese lessons and plenty of support for new arrivals. It is relatively easy to set up extra Chinese lessons and there are a plenty of resources available for self study, if you wish to.

Will I have enough money to support myself?

Schools offer a competitive salary that provides a good standard of living in China. Teachers generally find that their salary gives them a purchasing power in China that is much stronger than in their home country. It’s possible to live comfortably and save up to half your salary. For more details see our information on cost of living in China.

How will I live?

Schools will provide you with free accommodation, within a short walk from the school. All accommodation is fully furnished and to a Western standard. Alternatively, you have the option of finding your own housing and the school will provide a housing allowance.

How will I get my visa?

Your school will organise all the necessary papers needed to obtain a legal 1 year work (Z) visa for you. This process can take up to 5 weeks. The papers will then be sent to you. You have to take these papers, along with your passport, application form and any other documents needed (varies from country to country, please check with your nearest Chinese embassy) to the Chinese embassy, where they will issue you with the visa within 1 week. Once it is stamped in to your passport you can enter China.

Who pays for my flight?

Most schools offer a flight allowance, reimbursing your flight costs up to an agreed amount over a period of time. Usually half the flight allowance is paid after 6months of work and the other half after 12 months although some schools will pay for your flight ticket up front. Please check with individual schools for specific information.

What happens if I get sick?

Schools provide comprehensive health insurance coverage for you. It will cover you in event of sickness and injury.

Will I need to get any vaccinations before coming to China?

There are no mandatory vaccinations, as all schools are based in large cities. It may be a good idea to get a shot for Hepatitis A & B and discuss other suggestions with your local doctor.

Will there be anyone to meet me at the airport?

Of course. There will be a member of staff to meet you at the airport, take you to your apartment and help you to settle in.

Teach English in China – At the school

How long is my contract?

Your initial contract to teach English in China is 12 months. Many teachers choose to stay for one or more years, either in China or in another country. There are excellent opportunities for promotions to more senior academic positions. Sometimes teaching jobs for the summer are also offered which generally run from late June to late August.

What are my working hours?

Teachers teach a maximum of 20 hours a week during off peak times and 26 hours a week during peak times. Peak times are January, February, June, July and August. Time is also spent lesson planning and doing other administration duties.

What are some of the administration duties?

Non-teaching duties can include lesson planning, parent-teacher meetings, workshops and marketing activities.

How much holiday do I get?

You will get 12 days paid holiday during your 12 month contract as well as public holidays which are usually another 2 weeks a year.

How often will I get paid?

Salary is paid on a monthly basis, paid in local currency, Chinese RMB.

Is it possible to send money home?

Yes. Money can be easily exchanged and transferred to bank accounts around the world. There will be someone at school who can help you do this. There is also the option of using Western Union.

How old are the students?

Students are catergorised into various age groups: 4-6 yrs, 7-10yrs, 14-18yrs, adult students, business English students and one-on-one classes. Most schools teach to a variety of age groups, with the focus on young learners (4-14yrs). Please check with individual schools for more details.

How big are the classes I will be teaching?

Class sizes range from one-on-one private lessons to a maximum of 16 students. Average class sizes are 8-12 students. Offsite classes can have larger group sizes.

What resources are available to me?

Schools have an excellent range of course books for all age ranges. They can be supplemented with flashcards, posters, handouts, listening CD’s, songs, project work and videos.

Is there a dress code?

There is a professional dress code that teachers are expected to comply with.

Are there any opportunities for promotion?

Yes, promotions to senior teachers and Director of Studies are possible.

What will my accommodation be like?

Accommodation is provided for you free of charge. Schools sign the contract and pay the deposit. Teachers are responsible for monthly utilities, which is usually 200 RMB (20 pounds). All accommodation is fully furnished and within a short walk from the school.

Teach English in China – Send us your questions

If you are looking to teach English in China and have any questions about any part of the recruitment process send us an email to: questions@GoldStarTeachers.com
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