Teaching English in Beijing
Beijing is quite possibly the most well-known English teaching destination for instructors around the world. The city is home to some of China’s most reputed and prestigious schools, training centers, and colleges. These institutes offer the highest salaries and perks to expat English teachers.
Why Would You Want to Teach English in Beijing?
A number of teachers gain TEFL certificates to explicitly teach abroad, and China is their first choice. Not only in terms of teaching, but also in terms of experiencing diverse cultures.
It’s an Extraordinary Career Move
Teaching in Beijing will open up the doors to new opportunities in the future. Not only will you have the chance to work in a diverse environment, but also a chance to gain extensive experience working outside your comfort zone.
Some benefits of teaching English in Beijing are:
- It makes you a better teacher: They say, ‘if you can teach in China, you can teach anywhere.’ Teaching in Beijing will make you learn the communications skills you never thought you needed, along with the ways to be more creative.
- Make friends from all over the world: China is a diverse country, Beijing being the first in the race. You will find people from all over the world living and working in China, and would eventually become friends with them over time.
- Cultural Surprises: China has a rich cultural history. Even those who have spent years living in China would learn something new about local culture every other day. And if you are someone who’s always looking for an adventure, Beijing seldom disappoints.
- Elevated living standard: The best teaching jobs in China pay exceptionally well, with moderate living costs, the living standard of a foreign teacher is elevated more than the local folks. Working in China for a few years might lead to early retirement for a foreign teacher.
Types of English Teaching Jobs in Beijing
Generally, there are several types of teaching jobs in Beijing. Here’s a list to name the few most common ones.
Public School Jobs
Public schools in Beijing mostly hire oral English teachers to improve the English speaking and listening skills of their students. These schools normally have large class sizes, varying from 30 to 50 students depending on their age range. Also, the class you will hold would be infrequent.
International School Jobs
If you are a qualified teacher with years of experience in your home country, an international school is the go-to place for you. Here you can teach any subject you want in English.
These schools mostly are for children of international origin or Chinese students who are planning to go overseas for higher education.
While the qualifications required for such jobs are higher than in the public sector, so are the benefits and salaries.
Training Center Jobs
These training centers are another popular workplace in Beijing, which usually start operating in late afternoons. These centers teach basic oral English, however, there are other positions that might attract you.
You can work as a SAT tutor, teach TOEFL, become a student counselor, speaking coach, etc. These sorts of jobs can be found in public schools, however, they are mainly offered in these training centers with smaller class sizes.
Other Types of Teaching Jobs in Beijing
These types mostly include teaching in universities. The salary might be a bit low as compared to other jobs and so would be the workload.
Then there are private schools. These institutions fall somewhere between public and international schools in terms of standards and requirements. Some might resemble more to public schools, and some might follow international school rules.
Finally, you might come across specialized pre-university schools with students who have already graduated from high school but want to travel overseas for higher education. Here also you can offer services like preparatory training for TOEFL, IELTS, SAT, ACT, and others.
How to Find Teaching Jobs in Beijing?
Since you’ve decided to teach in Beijing, you have to follow certain rules to apply for the jobs.
1. Applying Directly to Teach in China
Like every organization, these job platforms have their own HR departments and teams to list their yearly job in leading news and websites for foreign teachers to access. You can either apply directly through the organization’s website or if you have a friend in China, they might help you get through directly.
2. Applying Via a Recruiter
If you are applying at a public school or training center, chances are you would end up needing a recruiter to help you get through. These recruiters are hired by the schools to find the best fit for their organizations. Because of this, they will be more than happy to assist you in the process of your application. And the best part? You don’t have to pay them!
3. Apply Via Teach Abroad Programs
You may have seen a couple of ‘teach abroad’ or TEFL programs in Beijing on the internet. This is another way to start your journey of teaching in Beijing.
The key difference between applying through a recruiter and a teach abroad program is the application process, branding, and benefits. You apply to the program directly and once you are accepted you will be assigned to a school of their choosing.
The salary range at teach abroad programs tends to be comparatively lower than those applied to with a recruiter. However, these programs often offer benefits like TEFL (if you need one), orientation, intros to the Chinese community, Chinese language lessons and much more. While those hired through, recruiters lack these perks.
What Do You Require for Teaching English in Beijing?
To teach in Beijing, you should fall in the following criteria.
1. Be a native English speaker
If you’re a native of an English-speaking country, you are at the advantage of getting recruited by Chinese education institutions. Of course, you can also be a native English speaker from another country, and if you have at least 2 years of teaching experience in your home country, you might have a chance to succeed. However, you won’t be having any extra advantage over a native speaker.
2. Have a Bachelor’s Degree (in any subject)
Fortunately, you don’t need to have any specific degree to teach in China, as long as you have the TEFL certificate. You should have this certificate attested along with your other documents to apply for the visa.
3. Recognized TEFL certificate
A 120hr-TEFL certificate is sufficient to make you qualified to teach in China or, 2 years of prior teaching experience would do as well. The University of Cambridge’s CELTA course is the most regarded, as well as the most expensive. There are a lot of other options and certificates to replace the two above, the only thing to be mindful of is that the certificates you choose should be accredited and accepted in China.
Beijing is the capital of China, and being an international hub, you’d find English widely spoken in this city. However, it’ll serve you best if you learn Mandarin to overcome the language barrier.
You indeed would feel at ease while conversing with your colleagues at the workplace, but you would have trouble while talking to your local grocer or neighbor without learning the Chinese language. Not only would this save you a lot of trouble but will open new doors of several opportunities.
All in all, teaching English in Beijing is a wonderful working experience that lets you grow as an individual, as a professional and lets you discover one of the most unique cultures in the world.