TEFL Certification for China

When it comes to teaching in China, there is a great deal of misunderstanding, notably about the need of a TEFL certificate.

Do I need a TEFL for China? is one of the most common inquiries for which you may get contradictory responses. Can you provide the bare minimum? Furthermore, what exactly is TEFL certification?

I want to answer these and other concerns today.

In the beginning

TEFL is an abbreviation for "teaching English to speakers of other languages," in case you were wondering. A TEFL certificate is awarded upon successful completion of a TEFL course.

This qualification can help you get a teaching position in China.

Does teaching English as a foreign language in China need a TEFL?

In China, a TEFL certificate is not needed by law.

But unless you have a lot of teaching experience or a degree in education, that's what most institutions want to see.

In reality, the Chinese government mandates a bachelor's degree and at least two years of relevant work experience for all prospective teachers in China.

However, many colleges need a TEFL certificate since few applicants have relevant work experience.

There are very few reputable teaching positions in China that wouldn't need a TEFL certification.

The Pros and Cons of Illegally Employing Chinese Students as Teachers

All of my experience as an English teacher has been in China.

This signifies that an authorized Chinese school processed my papers for a Z visa application in my home country.

The Z visa is recognized as China's official work visa. A notarized copy of your personal documentation is required as part of your Z visa application. Degree and TEFL certification are often required.

Here we enter the shadows.

Illegal job in China is possible. While I wouldn't advise you to break the law yourself, I can assure you that many Chinese schools have undocumented instructors on staff.

This may be accomplished by entering China on a tourist visa and immediately finding gainful employment.

You may either find work before you go or start looking for it as soon as you land.

Whenever the Chinese government decides to clamp down on unauthorized teachers, many of them are forcibly deported.

However, these educators get into difficulties when they try to work without a Z visa, not because they lack a TEFL.

Most of the time, I don't think the Chinese authorities find the foreign instructors who are working there illegally. It's like this because schools need foreign instructors so badly that they'll do anything to get them on staff and keep the managers happy.

Since disclosing the information would be detrimental to many parties involved, the secret is kept mostly intact.

If you want to teach in China, what do you need to know?

More than just a TEFL certificate is required for successful teaching in China.

You'll also need:

Qualifications equivalent to a formal education

Valid passport from one of the following countries: USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, AU, NZ, SA

To be under 55 years old, healthy, and blemish-free.

Some jurisdictions may have stricter minimum ages than others, for example.

If you want to apply for a visa, you'll need to get your paperwork legalized first. In short, you need to get your paperwork notarized by a lawyer or notary public, validated by your country's foreign affairs department, and stamped by the Chinese consulate or visa center.

Usually, your school or recruiting organization will assist you with this.

China's Minimum TEFL Standards

Unlike in certain countries, like as the United States, a TEFL certificate is not required by law in China. Therefore, China's government doesn't set a minimal standard.

Most Chinese universities and employers, however, want at least 120 hours.

While 120 hours may seem like a random minimum, many colleges insist on this quantity before hiring students. In addition, the number of required hours is often included on the TEFL certificate itself.

Can I sign up for a program that lasts longer than 120 hours if I want to? In a word, yes, but it's not required.

In a similar vein, the 120 hours may be completed entirely online, entirely in-person, or any mix of the two.

Which TEFL program is ideal for Chinese teachers?

There is no easy solution, as is the case with many issues in life. Course characteristics, pricing, and quality are all relevant factors.

I can tell you that there are three good TEFL courses available online. All of the courses are 120 hours long, which is long enough to satisfy a potential Chinese employer.

Additionally, they are one of the most reasonably priced TEFL programs out now.

Also related to this problem of expense: stay away from ridiculously low-priced courses offered by places like Groupon. The paper they're printed on isn't even worth throwing away!

Furthermore, they may not pass muster during the approval phase of legalization.

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