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Nov. 28th, 2010 @ 07:44 pm (no subject)
Hey there, So I'm currently applying to teach english in Vietnam and in China (depending on which one i get into and which plane tickets are cheaper...)

Basically I've never taught english before and I really don't know what I'm doing. I know that the CELTA or TEFL programs that I will be doing will definitely help me out a lot, but I'm really looking for techniques, tips, tricks etc that both teachers and students find helpful. Is there anything you wish you knew going into teaching? Is there anything I should know about teaching in a foreign country in general?

What kinds of things should I be aware of?

What kind of flexibility is there in the curriculum and should I take advantage of that?

I want to be a good teacher, and I want to have fun and I'm hoping to find out how to have both....

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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Date:November 29th, 2010 08:13 pm (UTC)
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If you want to teach in China, depending on the school, you can get reimbursed for your airfare THERE and they'll pay for your airfare back (you'll see it posted on a job ad as 'pays for roundtrip airfare' or something like that). I found a job off Angelina's ESL cafe
http://www.anesl.com/schools/index.asp-- this was in 2005, and the site still appears to work hahaa. While there are few cities NAMED on the map, if you put your cursor on one of the provinces, you can click on it, and it will tell you jobs available in the country. I just had a BA in English- no certification. I hear some schools in China are requiring that more and more, but if you teach in a smaller city at a college,i don't think they care. You may get higher pay, that would be the only perk.

Things to be aware of: (many cultural)
-Whether or not you go through an agency (I didn't, but had friends who did), you may not get paid on time, despite what your 'contract' says (I did, my friends who went with agencies didn't)
-some schools, especially in rural areas have a book for you to teach from, and most times that book sUCKS, but most schools are generally open minded with you being flexible with their curriculum, after all, you're the expert- but SOMETIMES schools are a pain in the ass about it (I taught in a college, ditched the book and had a blast with my students and the shcool loved me)
-students, no matter the age, love games- they love love love them. There's a community (that might be dead) caleld ESL-games. They love getting speaking practice, so speaking games = a must. Higher levels of English speakers would need more sophisticated kinds of assignments, though- if you go let me know I'll help you!
-students in china (for the most part)are lazier than you think, so you really need to get them motivated to do work or else they won't do it...
- depending on where you go, and how many foreign teachers they've had in the past, you might be a superstar, and it's not always so fun ahhahaa
- some schools don't have great electricity, so don't get your heart set on multi media lessons!!!! but then again, it depends on where you are- I didn't have any electricity in my classroom, other than the overhead light
-when a job posting describes living accommodations,'stove' just means cookign range- almost nobody has an oven in China
-almost nobody has a dryer in China, so be prepared to dry your clothes on a clothes line unless you want to shell out $$ for dry cleaning (amazing work they do! yes!)
-washing machines are hit or miss- mine sucked- I washed a lot of my clothes by hand
-you MAY or MAY NOT have hot water- some have it all the time in the shower (like if you have a water heater), but no hot water anywhere else, some building managers only turn on the hot water for showers during certain times during the day, and no hot water anywhere else, some have amazing western style faucets with hot water available in the kitchen, the bathroom sink AND the shower any time during the day- it depends on where you live
-you most likely won't have a bath tub, but I've known people who did- depends on where you live
-the food is amazing, even the street food
-bargain bargain bargain at places with no cash registers

china is an amazing place to live/work as well as a very infuriating place to live/work. It's been over 4 years since I've lived there and I have times where I miss it/prefer to be there than here in the US.

Where are you from? Friend me if you want- I have a China tag and you can browse through those entries. IF you want to go to Vietnam, I have no advice, but I did just teach a bunch of students from Vietnam during my tiem teaching at an international language school (I can give you the name through PM if you want it- in case you can't go abroad and there's a language school near you! or maybe you'll prefer teaching at the language school than at a random school...)

Take care and good luck!

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Date:December 2nd, 2010 03:37 pm (UTC)
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Wow, super helpful! I think I'm leaning heavily toward vietnam, but my boyfriend is going to China and I'll definitely pass this info along! It's all so super helpful! I'm going to friend you. Wooo friends and tagging!