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3 Things to Consider When Teaching University Students in China

3 Things to Consider When Teaching University Students in China | ITTT | TEFL Blog

Teaching English to foreign students can be challenging, yet one of the most rewarding experiences. Providing education on the English language to young, middle-aged, or older individuals can be an eventful experience, shaping an instructor’s portfolio and personal life. In this report, I explore possible advantages and disadvantages of teaching English to university students in China from a prospective instructor’s perspective.

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Dhanisha N. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.

Individual Needs

Teaching, in general, can be an action-packed experience. There are often peaks and valleys. Thus, it is interesting and important to consider what teachers experience in the process of teaching, particularly in a specific population like China, where English is not the predominant language. Teaching English as a Foreign Language, or TEFL, is a certification that is often required for individuals who wish to teach English to foreign speakers in either their native country or abroad. Instructors can expand their toolkit by completing the TEFL certification and obtain exposure to different cultures by teaching ethnically diverse populations. For those who enjoy teaching or gaining further experience teaching, foreign students may likely be an excellent population for which to work. This is particularly true, as foreign students often have different levels of understanding of the English language. Some students may be able to communicate in a few sentences, whereas others may not be able to convey even a few words in English. Thus, the teacher has the unique responsibility to be able to cater to individual student needs and provide lessons using various activities, such as plays, and technology, such as videos, to tailor to individual students. This can be a difficult process, yet also helpful for the instructor in terms of obtaining experience working with different types of students.

Also Read: The Influence of English on Globalization

Working on Personal Qualities

Apart from the mentally stimulating and tremendously inspiring experience working with Chinese students coming from different backgrounds and levels of English proficiency, instructors may also find the job exhausting and frustrating. While out of frustration, an instructor may want to call out a student, due to negligence in properly forming a sentence, or point out a certain flaw in grammar, it is the responsibility of the instructor to practice patience, keep calm and foster a healthy and supportive classroom environment. Good mentorship is often as important as the knowledge required to teach the subject. While this may be easier said than done, it is possible to control one’s temper and be an encouraging leader. It can be a challenging experience for the instructor to repeat information to students several times, if required, or kindly point out a flaw to a student in a respectful and caring fashion, but it is possible and achievable. For instructors, part of working with foreign students may be, learning to mold their own personalities to be a better person, teacher, and mentor.

Also Read: When One Teaches, Two Learn - An English Teacher in Korea Shares Her Story

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Enjoying The Process

Although the process of instructing foreign students may be a roller coaster ride, it can be an intellectually stimulating, motivating, and incredibly rewarding experience. Every job has its advantages and disadvantages, however, having the opportunity to interact with people of a different culture and geographical region and the ability to be able to communicate one’s knowledge to those who are craving to learn something new, is simply satisfying.

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