FAQ-4  Who will I teach?

Who will I be teaching in China? 

You will be teaching adults, not children!  Here is some information about the Chinese Teachers you will be teaching, who are responsible for teaching English in their middle and high schools:

There are more women English Teachers than men. Teaching is still considered to be a suitable job for women as it is secure.

They have focussed much of their time on English grammar, reading, writing and some listening but they seldom have the chance to speak in English and they are often reluctant to speak English out of the classroom to each other.

Some have the mistaken idea that the only way that they can improve their oral English is by talking with a native English speaker. “If I only have a foreign Teacher my English will improve so fast!” They need to be encouraged to speak to each other in English. 

They are used to being in and to teaching much larger classes of students than you will have. They will have a class of at least 50- you will have a class of 25.This has implications for the teaching style that they are used to.

Teaching in China is very test oriented. The “best” Teacher is the one whose students get the best results in tests. They would often like to be more creative but they are not encouraged to do so and often they have so little time to do anything extra in their lessons.

SEP students/Teachers are adults and not children. They are mature, intelligent professional Teachers who need support with oral proficiency.

They are concerned not to ‘lose face’ and this has specific implications for how willing or unwilling they may be to speak in English in front of their colleagues in the class group. The factor of age compounds this issue. The older Middle School Teacher will be sensitive to the threat of losing face in front of younger colleagues.

They are reluctant to make mistakes. They need to be reminded that it is OK to make mistakes in order for them to improve their English.

Some Teachers are very shy. The SEP Teacher will need to take the first step and encourage them to take part.

Some Teachers have been selected to teach English in their school regardless of their personal preference or skill in the target language. They may have been asked to attend the course by their Head Teacher.

They lack confidence in their oral English. Encouragement and self-confidence is the best gift that we can give them.

They love to be corrected at once so do not be embarrassed about correcting them. 

They love to ask grammar questions and they will ask about correct pronunciation.

Chinese Teachers put a great deal of value on the personal relationship between themselves and their students. They believe that a good Teacher is one who takes a close personal interest in their students. They take a personal interest in their students outside of the classroom.

They love jokes, riddles, sayings, songs and proverbs.

Visitors to the classroom. They may try to bring their children, students or friends to “listen to your lesson”. Your Leader and Liaison Worker will have agreed on a policy for this situation.

Their politeness may be a little stifling! They consider it their duty to care for you while you are in their country. 

Your Chinese Teachers will have a great deal to teach you.

© Jane Coates 2015