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My Expectations and Hopes for Teaching at a University in China

My Expectations and Hopes for Teaching at a University in China | ITTT | TEFL Blog

I took this top-up course to have a stronger background for teaching English as a foreign language in preparation for teaching at a university in China. I have already been in contact with the university and have “passed” the initial interview. I have done a lot of unpaid volunteer teaching, tutoring, and mentoring some of which have included English language learning. I have mostly worked with young children or adults. This time around I will be working with young adults. I am nervous but also very excited for the experience. I am looking forward to the chance to test the knowledge I have learned in this course and develop my skills specifically as an English teacher.

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

Curiosity and Motivation

I expect the first few days in the classroom with be getting to know each other. The students will surely be curious about me, what they can learn from me, and how many tests I will give. I will be looking to get to know them on an individual level, not just their grasp on the English language, but who they are as well. From what I have been told, Chinese students are typically very well behaved and very motivated learners. I look forward to having a classroom full of ambitious learners!

Also Read: Job interview tips for teaching English abroad?

Learning Style

I have also heard that they are typically accustomed to rote memorization styles of learning mainly in preparation for exams. They are typically not open to freely expressing their ideas or critically thinking of new ideas of their own. I see this as a great opportunity. The English language is full of ideas, is always changing, and breaks even its own rules! It may be a challenge at first to get them to engage during that phase of the lesson or activate it at the end. I think the study phase may be the part they are most accustomed to. But it should be exciting to see them grow as they explore the English language.

chinese students

Speaking Practice

Pronunciation, I believe, will be very important to my students. They will be very interested in how I speak like a native English speaker. They will also want to figure out how the tones of their Mandarin language are similar or dissimilar to those in English. I think the mouth diagrams in the unit lessons will be a great teaching aid. The phonemic symbols chart is also very useful, although I have to admit that I need to continue to brush up on that a bit before heading to the classroom with it.

Also Read: What is the Central European Teaching Program CETP for teaching English in Hungary?

Reading Activities

I am told my students will be very interested in being able to read and write in English. I have always loved to read. While not a published author, I have written many short stories, speeches, presentations, and letters over the years dating back to when I was in fifth and sixth grade! One thing that we used to do to learn grammar was sentence diagrams. I am very excited to teach these and use these visuals to help my students think about the sentences they form. Teaching nouns, pronouns, subjects, verbs, objects, prepositions, adverbs, and then the most complex: verb tenses. I found the units on verb tenses to be very informative. They helped bring back some of my past education and put it into a new light. I have to know this information well to be able to teach it to my students effectively.

I know this will truly be a great experience for me and I will grow. I hope that my students will grow as well and feel confident in their English language abilities after leaving my class. I also hope that we form a friendship of sorts and can have some fun in class. Maybe we can even write a play using what they learn about active and passive voice and direct and reported speech!

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