Teaching English in China

There are an abundant number of opportunities to teach English in China, including preschool, university, private schools and institutes, companies, and tutoring. Public schools are tightly governed by the provinces and the Department of Education in Beijing, while the private schools have much more freedom to set work schedules, pay, and requirements. The public schools tend to have lower number of hours per week (12 to 18) with low pay while the private schools usually require more than 22 teaching hours a week and may have higher pay. An exception might be the preschool and elementary schools asking the English teacher to do more hours like the Chinese teacher would do.

Most English schools will pay for some of the travel expenses to and from Asia and typically will pay round trip for a one year contract (typically 10 months) and one way for a six month contract. Public schools will usually also pay during the vacations, but not for summer while many private schools have shortened vacation schedules and may pay for whatever short number of days is allowed for vacation. Private schools may also require English teaching on weekends and evenings while public schools seldom do. Both may have classes that are not on campus which require extra time transportation to and from classes. Public schools will provide an apartment with some extras. Some private schools also do this but others do not provide housing. Companies vary a lot depending on the number of employees they want to train and could employ a teacher for one or two classes or a complete set of 14 to 16 hours a week. Tutoring also varies as in some cases a whole family is being trained or just one member.

Some teachers are successful working independently with several contracts for tutoring, individual college classes, and some company work. The majority of teachers accept contracts with the schools. Public school contracts are fairly standard while the private schools set their own requirements. For the most part schools try to hire teachers who are citizens of Anglophone countries, but because of the large numbers of English teachers needed in China, others with good English language skills are able to find positions.

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