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1. Always rent, never buy. 2. You never know when youre going to die. Do what's fun and the money will follow. 3. ESL teaching can be a gateway to bigger and better things. It is also possible to turn it into a financially rewarding career, if you get the proper qualifications. I see no reason to diss people taking advantage of the opportunity to teach and travel. Also I dont see it closing off any doors assuming you play your cards right.

Nov 11, 2013 18:28 Report Abuse



I dont wanna put anybody down for wanting to teach and travel. And no, teaching esl doesn't mark you with a permanent stigma. But...the time you spend teaching and travelling, while fun, is time you don't spend building to something more long term. Sure take a year after school to travel and decompress, I did, but then start thinking about building up your options for the future. Teaching in china isn’t bad, but if you get a more professional job here, people react very differently to you. Hell I work my butt off but I still have the weekends to enjoy life, I don't feel like i'm really missing out on life because I can't go out during the week. If anything I feel like teaching limits your social life as a young guy, definitely in terms of dating. You can’t really approach any of the hotter European or American girls here and say you’re an ESL teacher and not get an eye roll at least for your lack of originality. Maybe that’s not what you want from dating, but it gives you the OPTION if it is, or at some point in the future you look at that Italian girl here on a modeling contract and think “hey, why not me?” Like I said, the only thing you cant (responsibly) do as a professional is stay out partying all night during the week. Other than that you still get holidays, you still get to travel and you get the confidence which comes from being someone who has a leg up on the pile.

Nov 12, 2013 11:30 Report Abuse



True...but I've also heard stories of young to mid-young expats who worked in ESL in China for a few years and eventually transitioned into a different career path (more relevant to their backgrounds or majors). I don't know how much of a success this would be depending on what factors are at play (guanxi, ethnicity, race, nationality, related work experience or background and interests). Though I'm not entirely refuting your stance, I would have to say that ESL in China still provides the possibility to delving into other fields (eventually)...or maybe quickly...who knows, right? As sam239 puts it: "...Also I dont see it closing off any doors assuming you play your cards right."

May 28, 2014 02:19 Report Abuse



Addtionally, the company I currently work with offers Education Development with a well-reknowned International Business School, given that I work with the company for two or more years. That provides me the opportunity to move into less-teacher involved positions, and more chances to get more involved in Managerial/HR type positions; coupled with the opportunity to attend a sponsored school to obtain an Exuctive MBA or International MBA, and open up many other doors besides ESL... so it's like gaining more non-ESL experience (eventually), while pursuing a higher degree...again, just a thought ;-)

May 28, 2014 02:26 Report Abuse



Well yeah, its not closing doors but it's not necessarily opening them either. No one is going to look at your resume and say "Oh god former ESL teacher this goes right in the trash!" But at the same time it isn't going to excite them either. Lets say you get a business degree and spend 5 years teaching in China...those could be 5 great years, but then you go back home and you don't have the experience for a mid-level position but you're kinda too old for the entry-level ones which are often sourced from college recruiting. You're competing with 22 year olds who just learned the stuff.'s NOT BAD, but spinning the tires ISN'T GOOD either. You have to be proactive to get ahead, its not just going to magically happen.

May 29, 2014 11:19 Report Abuse



I totally respect that view, in many ways. One has to put the extra effort, and multi-task in the right ways to acheive those momentous goals and "get ahead?" or "move to the next phase" in life. Have you read my replies to syoung108 in the following comments page? That'll probably give you a better understanding of my more recent circumstances. I know it's not a perfect explanation or narration of my situation, but it does illustrate (roughly) the frustrations and discouragements I went through when I was back in the States for eight months (shortly after parents and I moved overseas again...long story) Will explain later.

May 30, 2014 13:25 Report Abuse



Having taught a bit of English in China a few years back, I agree with most changes in the way they hire. I remember walking into one teaching company for an interview and being told to watch another teacher perform (as it really is closer to a performance/monologue, than an actual class), during which I realized literally anyone could have gotten the job, as long as they were white. Asking for things like 2 years experience, some certificate, or a degree, are all good things as far as I'm concerned and (hopefully) increase the quality of applicants. I've often found that companies drop a lot of these requirements pretty fast, however, as long as you meet one or two of them, which means it doesn't really matter much in the end. That, and the fact that it seems pretty easy to bullshit your way through an interview, as I can't imagine a lot of these companies actually checking whether or not your résumé is accurate, or even recognizing whether your accent appears to be what you claim it is (as most interviewers I've spoken to spoke horrible English themselves). Though I believe increasing hiring standards is a good thing, I get the feeling that companies don't put a lot of thought in their job offers, but rather look at what a few of the more well-known companies post and copy that. This would be fine if they offered similar benefits to the job applicants that great English teaching employers do, but they generally don't. It hardly seems fair (or effective) to me to raise standards for applicants by expecting them to go through training and obtaining whichever teaching certificate, while not improving the work environment/teaching facilities and expecting any improvements to come from outside the company. There are still way too many (pretty much all, with some larger institutions being the exceptions) teaching companies or even schools that don't supply any teaching materials, text books or training to warrant all the things they're expecting from their applicants. I quite enjoyed the brief period that I taught English, but wouldn't consider working for a company that offers a low-end salary (150/hour-ish), no text books or even some kind of curriculum. Rather than further increasing their hiring requirements, companies around here might want to put some thought into what it takes to attract and retain good teachers, besides the obvious increase in salary.

Nov 07, 2013 13:19 Report Abuse



I completely agree. Company/schools' expectations as to what an English teacher needs to be doing don't seem to match Western ideas on the subject. I once taught in a place where each class I was expected to teach students for 2,5 hours in a row with about 10 minutes break. This was a public college, so I went there assuming (or rather, hoping) that they'd have a proper curriculum and some kind of textbook. They did not. Instead, they told me to prepare classes and come up with reading materials myself (they told me this 20 minutes before the class started - I came there thinking I'd have some kind of an interview and was in no way ready to actually teach), which at that time was impossible. I ended up introducing myself in front of 50 students who couldn't care less and just ad libbing for the remainder of class. I was hoping for some students to raise a hand and somehow give me a topic to discuss, but this was rarely the case, as only about 3-4 students as much as replied or spoke up during those 2,5 hours. After this, I showed up for two more classes, having prepared some texts I thought might interest the students enough for them to at least raise a question or two (I was wrong), and decided to quit and look for something else. I really quite like the idea of my teachers, or me teaching others, having the freedom to just improvise and speak about things we deem interesting or useful, but this only works in a class where students are involved (and awake) enough to actively participate.

Nov 14, 2013 14:42 Report Abuse



Definitely, like with all jobs if you only pay peanuts you'll only hire monkeys. The chinese just don't care.

Nov 07, 2013 12:06 Report Abuse



there were those stories of bad foreigners doing bad things. Mostly non English speakers however but we all look the same... Only a bit racist.

Nov 06, 2013 18:15 Report Abuse



Sexual assault mostly.

Nov 07, 2013 12:08 Report Abuse



The "bar" has not been raised, it has simply become more of a reality. No bad thing in my opinion either as it's perfectly rational to cut out those people who drift into the classroom for reasons other than wanting to be there to do a job. The changing patterns of English assessment at gaokao level aren't evidence of a sea change in the country's attitude towards English either, but are a very positive step towards a more rational situation. The only recent change I have baulked at is Shandong Province's removal of the "listening" section of its English language gaokao, that seems to be a pretty bad idea to me. Shandong has been playing around with its gaokao in recent years though, so I don't think that this will last. Regardless, the prominence of English within business remains a reality within China and that isn't going to change - to service those needs, and others, the real necessity has always been for "better" and not "more" English language teaching and learning.

Nov 06, 2013 15:57 Report Abuse



I wonder if people in China realise that if they pay low, that they get the drifters who care not for what they are doing? or to put another way. They ain't getting shiet.

Nov 06, 2013 18:20 Report Abuse



pay peanuts, you get monkeys. But that's what most schools in China want, a white monkey!

Nov 07, 2013 12:08 Report Abuse



Enjoy the experience of low pay or having to teach a class of up to 50 over worked students.... Pay is lower from the main places and they don't adjust for inflation and all benefits are gone..... I always tell others to not come to China if they want to teach. They should go to other, nicer countries in Asia....

Nov 06, 2013 10:37 Report Abuse



Inflation is taking a big bite out of my paycheck these days. If I live dirt cheap (like some Chinese) I can save a few bucks. But things in Shenzhen are getting crazy expensive. If there's a city where it's cheap to live, the pay is low. If you're willing to live below your means, you can make an ok living, but you won't be buying a BMW in the next 10 years.

Nov 07, 2013 21:07 Report Abuse



I don't agree with any of this.. I only agree with the being legally working here. Everything else is BS.

Nov 06, 2013 08:24 Report Abuse



You either didn't read the article, or can't understand English. This article is makes perfect sense to anyone who's been in the English teaching trenches for more than a few months.

Nov 07, 2013 21:05 Report Abuse