Teaching ESL in China: Adults Vs Children

People with little to no expertise in teaching English as a foreign language often apply to teach in China. It might be nerve-wracking to go into a classroom full of 40 students and seem like you know what you're doing. Therefore, most beginners hunt for work coaching older pupils or adults, only to discover there are far less opportunities in this field. But which is superior in the long run? In order to assist you make a well-informed decision, I will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) to adults and children in China.

Why it's a good idea to teach English to Chinese adults

Recent studies reveal that adulthood isn't optimal for brain development. That implies young people, in contrast to most normal adults, are physically unable to see the big picture when it comes to learning and have an innate preference for doing almost anything else. This may make it challenging to instruct children even in countries with a highly competitive educational system, such as China.

Those who are new to teaching English as a second language in China may find it difficult to get employment and struggle to find the administrative and instructional assistance they require. Since most adults, particularly in China, spend a significant amount to attend lessons, this is often not an issue when instructing adults. Because they are concerned about getting their money's worth, they will pay close attention to what you have to say, which will facilitate your teaching.

Making new acquaintances is challenging when relocating to a new country for employment. If, on the other hand, your pupils are all adults, you may be joining an existing social group. Adult learners who want to study English on their own time and (cynically speaking) at no cost will always exist. In return for the favor, they will gladly give you a tour of their city and fill you in on the insider tips and hidden gems that only a native can provide. As a foreigner, you likely don't have the fluency in Chinese or the guanxi to solve some situations, but they can assist you out.

Prospective employers may find value in enrolling adult students. Adult education instructors in China sometimes go on to better institutions or other jobs thanks to their students' encouragement and recommendations. Those with connections and the ability to speak English as an adult have more opportunities in China.

Finally, mature learners can fill in many of the gaps in your knowledge of China. In class, they may provide insight into Chinese culture, history, and their own perspectives on a wide variety of topics that will go well beyond what you would learn from a younger student. To achieve your aim of learning more about China, educating adults is a great way to do it.

Consequences of Adult English Education in China

Employment that pay well teaching English to adults in China are few and often pay less than equivalent jobs teaching English to younger learners. Also, development in adults is slower than in children. As a result, instructors who take joy in watching their pupils grow may have diminished work satisfaction.

The benefits of English instruction for Chinese youth

When compared to teaching children, there are many more chances for employment, more compensation, and a greater feeling of satisfaction in seeing pupils grow as a result of your instruction. Considering the importance that Chinese parents put on their children's education, as well as the country's vast population and intense level of competitiveness, the demand for foreign English instructors in China is huge, and the pay is excellent.

Having additional time off throughout the week is another perk of working with kids. Daytime classes aren't practical for most adult students, so we meet in the evenings and on weekends instead. But since there are so many different age groups to teach, you may choose your own schedule. Would you like a morning shift only schedule? Kindergarten. Do you want to work from eight in the morning until four in the afternoon? Infancy to adolescence. Are you interested in evening shifts? Test-taking guidance or private lessons.

The impact on your own teaching abilities is another, sometimes neglected, perk of teaching English to students in China. If you're serious about passing on your knowledge, teaching children is a great way to hone your skills before moving on to teaching teenagers or adults. Teaching English to children in China can help you hone your abilities in classroom management, creating ICQs and CCQs to gauge student understanding, encouraging student participation, and developing engaging lessons. You can educate anybody if you can teach Chinese children.

Consequences of English Instruction for Chinese Youth

Do you recall our discussion on effective methods of instruction? They may need you to give up some sanity to get. New instructors have a lot to learn about managing a class of twenty to forty students, and they may feel like giving up many times. No matter how well you manage your classroom, there will always be a few of pupils who refuse to follow directions and cause trouble.

This leads us to our next issue: private education in China. Most private schools in China are nothing more than money mills that care only about extracting as much as possible from their parents. If it requires more effort on their part, many people will not support your efforts to manage children or alter the curriculum, instead choosing the simplest (worst) option available.

People who teach English as a second language in China tend to be temporary employees, so if you try to make lasting improvements to the system, the Chinese staff may view you with disdain. A new policy may be approved, but it will certainly fall apart after you depart. Teachers in Chinese schools are also more likely to be subjected to micromanagement and second guessing than their adult counterparts.

To top it all off, the lives of Chinese schoolchildren are rather terrible. Students are subjected to intense academic pressure throughout their whole school careers (from age 2 to 18). Teaching children in China may be challenging over the long-term if you have to see a 14-year-old with grey hair and a stress rash attempting to deal with absurd amounts of work.

Think about what you want to gain from the experience before deciding on the age range of students you will teach in China. If you believe we have missed anything important, as usual, please let us know in the space below.

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