myTESOL Lounge

  • 1.  Teaching in Asia

    Posted 08-01-2017 10:36 AM

    I am enjoying a new role teaching English, Math, and Social Studies to children in China.  I'd love to expand my work into Adult Education in Asia.  Contact me if you know of opportunities!

    Deborah Smiga
    ESL Instructor
    VIP Kid

  • 2.  RE: Teaching in Asia

    Posted 09-01-2017 01:25 AM

    Hello Deborah,

    There are lots of opportunities depending on where you are in China. Check out:

    - eChinacities
    - Dave's ESL Cafe
    -  The Beijinger
    - The Shanghaiist
    - Serious Teachers

    For available positions. There are lots of training schools that offer classes for adults, so you may want to look specifically at:

    - English First
    - XDF (aka New Oriental)

    Mind you those will most likely be oral English classes.


    Robin Dahling
    University of International Relations - Beijing, PRC

  • 3.  RE: Teaching in Asia

    Posted 10-01-2017 04:12 AM

    Hello Deborah,

    I hope our Chinese children behaved in your class. Like Rob said, there are quite a few websites you could check for teaching opportunities in China. We are a teacher recruitment agency based in Qingdao, a coastal city well known for Tsingtao beer.

    If you are interested in Adult teaching position here, more details will be sent shortly.

    Looking forward to hearing from you!



    Linda Zhang
    First Stop Professionals Education Recruitment Co. ltd

  • 4.  RE: Teaching in Asia

    Posted 10-01-2017 10:21 AM

    I don't recommend working for English First. I never worked for them, but I knew many people who did, and they did not have good experiences. They expect you to work many evenings, weekends, and holidays. 

    I worked for a university in China, and I had a great experience! I found the job through CIEE. I was happy with CIEE's help and support. They charge a large fee ($2,000 as of five years ago), but with that you get job placement, your visa taken care of, and a week of orientation. 

    Perhaps someone else on here can comment on finding a university job without a "middleman" such as CIEE?

    Chantal Ostroske

  • 5.  RE: Teaching in Asia

    Posted 10-01-2017 10:02 PM

    You are right when you talk about the negative reputation of English First - the same can also be said for XDF/New Oriental (or any Training School) if you're just a general teacher (people I know who have worked with XDF would have to travel to locations all over the city, and often the scheduling was a nightmare, with teachers being told to be at one location and then having their classes changed to another location without them being updated).

    As for Universities - it's not hard to find a University placement for September in China; anyone will have their choice of cities and there is no need to pay for a service - in fact, I've never paid for a service. In most cases you can post your CV to any number of EFL teacher websites and you'll receive messages from schools and recruitment agencies that will give you a list of opportunities based on your preferences. That said, one has to be cautious about Universities too - there are issues with those as well if you're not aware of what you need to do.


    Robin Dahling
    University of International Relations - Beijing, PRC

  • 6.  RE: Teaching in Asia

    Posted 11-01-2017 06:26 AM

    Hi Deborah!

    I've been living and teaching in China since 2003 (10 non-consecutive years this year). 

    Definitely stay away from the training schools! They have no regard for education, nor any real knowledge of it. TSs are businesses with the sole purpose of making money off of a Chinese parent's desires. They have very little government oversight, and SAFEA (State Administration of Foreign Expert Affairs, which is a consultative arm of the central government) sides 9/10 with the school in a legal dispute. In addition, you will be working mostly with 20-something backpackers who have never taught a class in anything in their lives. Training schools also work you like a dog over weekends and Chinese holidays, and provide no training for foreign teachers or their Chinese counterparts (who generally also have no background in teaching).  As a professional teacher from the US, the whole situation was a nightmare for me when I first arrived and didn't know any better.  Having said that, TSs are also site-based management, so saying one school is great (or horrible)  does not mean that all schools under that brand are also great (or horrible). 

    If you're looking to teach math or social studies, you probably will find it incredibly difficult if not impossible to find a position unless you have a PhD in the subject. Most schools of any kind are interested in you only for language teaching.

    Moving on, most of the good high schools and universities use recruiters these days to find their teachers, so going with a recruiter isn't a bad idea. The schools pay the service to find and screen candidates (NEVER give anyone money unless you can verify reputation!!). I found a pretty good job that way. is also a good source.  I actually found my present job through, where professionals in the US place their open positions. Many higher caliber educators in China are discovering this little gem now.  I would definitely try there as well. 

    I've probably mouthed more than I should, but if you have any questions, feel free to contact me!

    Susan Eshleman
    Center for Academic English Studies, Surrey University International Institute
    Dongbei University of Finance & Economics
    Dalian, China

  • 7.  RE: Teaching in Asia

    Posted 11-01-2017 03:18 AM

    I agree about the middle-men. You don't need them. Charging $2000 to get you a job, when you are in fact a hot commodity, is very cheeky! (Sorry, Linda!) The agency will also be charging the university a large fee, or a cut of your salary, for "finding" you. The university should give you orientation and take care of your visa. They usually have an office which takes care of visiting teachers.

    Many universities advertise on the websites mentioned or on


  • 8.  RE: Teaching in Asia

    Posted 11-01-2017 04:16 AM

    Hey James,

    Never once had an orientation for a single University I have worked at in China (granted that is only two), and none of my friends who worked at other Unis were blessed with anything resembling an orientation. Yes they would take care of the Visa, Foreign Experts Certificate and Residence Permit, but there wasn't much beyond that.

    The closest thing to an orientation at one of my Unis was run by me to help other Foreign Teachers make the transition, but that was "unofficial".


    Robin Dahling
    University of International Relations - Beijing, PRC

  • 9.  RE: Teaching in Asia

    Posted 31-01-2017 08:56 AM
    If you go to Dave's ESL Cafe and search for a long long thread titled on 'China - Job Related. I recall the actual thread title is: 'Job Offer Checklist'. You'll be able to tap into a accumulated wisdom of many old China hands.
    Suggestions and tips mainly relate to tertiary public sector, which is where most of the jobs are.

    Rob Harris
    New Zealand

  • 10.  RE: Teaching in Asia

    Posted 11-01-2017 05:41 AM

    Hello Deborah:  I recently interviewed Jason Manning.  He has been in China for many years and has developed an interesting website to help job seekers.  One of the things that he does is pay teachers who work in China to write blogs about their experiences as a teacher in China.  Jason Manning - EFL Teacher and Website Designer

    Teacher to Teacherpreneur remove preview
    Jason Manning - EFL Teacher and Website Designer
    Jason Manning's position as a college teacher in China has given him the time and flexibility to pursue other goals outside the classroom. Read how Jason used his self-taught technical skills to build a website and focus on a specific niche in the ELT world.
    View this on Teacher to Teacherpreneur >

    I am currently writing textbooks for the Chinese market with a university professor in China.  I could connect you if you like.  Patrice

    Patrice Palmer, M. Ed., M.A., TESL