EF Education First Teachers

You are set for the adventure of a lifetime as an English teacher in China. It is an exciting time and also a time when you start to ask questions. What is teaching students in China like? Will my
approach work? Will my students learn? All important questions.

Of course students are students all over the world so basic theories about how students learn effectively have just as much relevance in China as in North America, Europe or Australia. If you have taught
school before there are differences in how Chinese students perceive their role in the classroom and how parents perceive that their children learn. Teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) versus teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL) will produce a new set of challenges. If you are moving into a different teaching environment, your opinions on how students and especially children learn may be challenged.

While EF has a syllabus and curriculum a successful teacher must develop different elements into their approach such as:

  • Incorporating the need for students to develop people skills such as cooperation, fairness and consideration for others.
  • Creating an environment where the teacher acts as a facilitator who can stand back and encourage students to learn.
  • Aiming for a student/child centered lesson where the students are thinking about what they are doing rather than relying on rote.

The real skill is making sure your approach adapts to the new teaching environment and curriculum, as well as the expectations of the Director of Studies (DOS), Center Manager (CM), parents and children.

The extent to which we know the students may ultimately determine how much of a role we play in helping them to learn, on a basic level this includes knowing and using their names, finding out what gets them involved in lessons and creating trust to enable students to learn.

In future topics we will explore concepts and techniques that will give you the foundation to beginning exploring the world of EFL teaching at EF and point you in the right direction so that you get the most out of the experience.

What are some of the challenges and rewards you are expecting while teaching for EF in China? How do you think teaching Chinese students may be different to your previous experiences?

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