Teach Adult Students

Adult students often have much higher motivation to learn English than young learners, whether they are learning to improve their career options or as a hobby, they are paying for the course themselves and have expectations for improvement. This means that classroom management is not an issue for teachers as all the students want to be there and to learn.

You will be teaching adults all abilities from complete beginners to advanced levels. Each level comes with unique challenges and requires a very different teaching style. Lower levels will require more patience but will improve at greater speeds. Higher levels will be able to engage in advanced discussions, debates, and language analysis but will require a much higher level of input from the teacher.

Course Material

Course books with clearly laid out target language and activities are available for all levels, from beginner to advanced as well as supplementary material such as speaking games, role plays, stories and other materials related to the lesson being taught. Often schools will have PowerPoint slides and interactive white boards in the classroom with digital material to be used in class. It is common for adult students to have an online component to their course, which they study on their own and then practice what they have learnt in class.

Class size

Class sizes for teaching adults are generally smaller than young learner classes with 1 to 4 students per class. This allows much higher student talk time and for the teacher to really get to know the students’ learning styles. Students will be placement tested when they first enter the school to ensure they are placed in an appropriate level.

Often schools will have supplementary classes, in addition to core classes, which will have larger group sizes of maybe 12 to 20 students and have a more informal setting for practicing speaking.

Featured Adult Jobs in China

With over 10 years experience in the ESL industry in China, we put teachers in contact with the very best public and private schools across China.

Wall Street English China

Teach Adult Students Communicative English

Adult teaching jobs in major Chinese cities

Adult teaching jobs in Jiaxing, China

ESL Job Board

Hundreds of teaching jobs in China, fully screened, updated daily.


Is an ESL job teaching adults right for you?

Adult students are motivated to learn English and often have clear goals, so having to motivate them and manage the class is not usually a problem. At higher levels lessons can be very interesting for the teacher as you can get into deeper topics, debates, storytelling and language analysis. As a teacher you have to choose interesting and relevant topics that are going to keep you students engaged, which can be more challenging than teaching young learners which involves a lot more games and songs. There will also be more of a focus on teaching grammar than with young learners.

Lessons are usually held during weekday evenings and on weekends, when students are not at work, so this is something to consider when deciding whether or not you want to teach adult students.

Teach in Beijing
adult students

Robin Watts – Shanghai, China

“It is rewarding in any teaching job when your students show improvement, but what I love about English is that this improvement reveals more and more about the character of the person. I was teaching adults in my position at Wall Street English and have become friends with a number of the students now. There are times where you are talking with a friend, thinking I cannot believe I am getting paid for this!”


Salary & Benefits for teaching adults in China

  • Excellent salary: 11,000 – 22,000 RMB (1,600 – 3,200 USD) per month
  • Accommodation provided: Western style, furnished, on campus
  • Flight allowance
  • Performance based bonuses
  • Legal ‘Z’ work visa and residence permits provided
  • 11 days national Chinese public holidays plus 10 days personal holiday
  • Health insurance
  • TEFL course provided (if you don’t have one)
  • Weekly Mandarin Chinese lessons
  • Airport pickup and welcome pack
  • On-going training and academic support
  • Promotion opportunities

This is an example of a typical salary package for jobs teaching adult students ESL in China. We will provide you with specific package information for a selection of suitable schools once we receive your application.

Requirements for ESL jobs teaching adult students in China

  • Native English speaker or non-native with fluent English and a clear accent
  • Bachelor’s degree in any subject
  • TEFL certificate preferred (No TEFL? We recommend INTESOL)
  • New or experienced teachers welcome (full training provided)
  • Between 22 and 55 years old

A Typical Week Teaching English to Adult Students

The typical week teaching adult students is quite different from regular schools as classes are held when students aren’t working and so classes take place during weekday evenings and on weekends. The teacher will usually have Monday and Tuesday as days off and will come to the school at around 3pm on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to plan lessons and get materials ready. Classes during the week start at 5pm and run for 1 hour. There will then be a 15 minute break before another 1 hour class. Weekends are the busiest times of the week with classes running from 9am to 6pm with breaks between classes and for lunch. There will usually be a weekly teachers meeting and teacher training session.

During the class, the teacher will introduce new language in a controlled setting, giving examples, drilling and eliciting suitable alternatives. Students will then practice with some activities in the course book and then in small groups, with the teacher monitoring and correcting. Once the students have a good grasp of the target language they will be expected to produce the language in a less restricted setting, with maybe a short presentation, discussion or role play.

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Hundreds of teaching jobs in China, fully screened, updated daily.



There are no costs at all for you. The entire recruitment process is free of charge.
Students expect to get immersed in English during class and so speaking Chinese is actually discouraged in class. So not speaking Chinese is not a problem regarding the job.
Your school will organise all the necessary papers needed to obtain a legal 1 year work (Z) visa for you. This process can take between 4 to 8 weeks and the school will help you through the process.
Your initial contract is 12 months. Many teachers choose to stay for one or more years.
The school provides comprehensive medical insurance coverage for you. It will cover you in event of sickness and injury.
Salary is paid on a monthly basis, paid in local currency, Chinese RMB.
Yes. It is possible to exchange and transfer money to bank accounts around the world. Check with your bank to find out what their policies are regarding international transfers and fees. Many people find Western Union or PayPal to be the easiest way to send money.
Average class sizes will be 10 students per class with a maximum of 16 students.

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