Ready to earn a little cash in exchange for your English language skills in beautiful China? You’re wise to consider teaching English in China. Jobs are plentiful—and not just for native English speakers, either!
Read on to learn how YOU can find ESL jobs for non native speakers in China.
4 steps to Finding English teaching jobs for non native speakers in China
1. Fulfil base-line qualifications, including fluency in the English language
You probably already speak English with some fluency—I mean, you are reading this article in the English language, which is already a good sign. Researching opportunities in the target language is indicative of your ability to understand and read English (no easy feat). Good on ya!
Speaking English fluently is only part of the equation. It is essential that you do not have a thick accent when speaking in English. If you’re hard to understand, your students will have to work doubly hard, and most schools prefer that you come ready to command the classroom with a neutral North American or British accent.
Beyond using English comfortably and fluently, you should also have a bachelor’s degree in any subject. Chinese schools and language academies rarely accept foreign TEFL teachers who do not have a college degree. We repeat: You can’t really find legit teaching jobs in China without a degree.
2. Get your TEFL certificate
Speaking English and having a university degree are a great start, but you will improve your job prospects and demonstrate your skills more confidently by having a TEFL certificate under your belt.
Do you need a TEFL certificate to teach in China? Absolutely. Your TEFL certificate course will introduce you to effective teaching methodologies and strategies for introducing students of all levels to new English language concepts. You’ll master how to explain complex grammar rules, learn new lesson planning techniques and strategies, build community with fellow TEFL teachers, and hone-in your teaching skills to become the best TEFL teacher you can be.
You can earn a basic TEFL certificate online in as little as a month, or go for the gold with longer, more advanced options, like the 180 or 240 level courses. You can do blended TEFL courses (both in-person and online training) in exciting destinations like Spain or Romania ?.
There are boatloads of things to think about when choosing the right TEFL course to find teaching jobs in China. Here’s a collection of our best resources for TEFL teachers in China.
3. Start with a TEFL internship
We’re obsessed with encouraging newbie teachers abroad to start their TEFL journey with English teaching internships rather than full-on jobs (you can read more about why here). Internships are the perfect strategy for dipping your toes in the TEFL world and having upfront support to life abroad, equipping you with the skills, independence, and know-how to thrive as a TEFL teacher in the long run.
TEFL internships in China are plenty and can fulfil the goals of multiple types of travellers. Are you a TEFL teacher who dreams of getting to know the Chinese culture intimately? Consider the Chinese homestay option. Are you obsessed with the glitz and glam of Shanghai? There’s a TEFL internship in China for you.
Would you be happy to work just about anywhere in China, so long as there’s a corner dumpling shop within reach? The nationwide China internship TEFL program will get you there.
The TEFL internships are short commitments (often four weeks to a few months), include your TEFL certificate training (#value!), and will make your transition to life abroad a smooth (and fun) one.
4. While completing your internship, seek more English teaching jobs for non native speakers in China
The best strategy for finding English teaching jobs in China for non-native speakers is to look for work while you’re already there for a legit teaching job (via your internship). Having boots on the ground means more opportunities to network, get a feel for legit vs. sketchy opportunities, and to find out which schools commonly work with non native English speakers as TEFL teachers in China.
Starting with an internship gives you a less-risky way to suss out your options for English teaching jobs in China for non-native speakers (another reason why we love it!).
Look for jobs teaching English on digital job boards (The Shanghaiist, The Beijinger, etc.), through your new friends and TEFL community, or with the guidance of your trusty Premier TEFL advisor (they’re always there to assist!).
You can find ESL jobs in China for non-native speakers!
China is one of only a handful of destinations that accepts non native speakers as TEFL teachers abroad. It is a fabulous destination for English teachers, full of adventure, gorgeous sights, hardworking students, and epic cuisine. We believe that non native English teachers are fully capable of rocking the TEFL job scene as well (or better!) than their native-speaking counterparts.
Jiayou (good luck!).
- 8 Companies Hiring Non-Native English Speakers to Teach English Online – Premier TEFL
- 4 Lessons Learned While Teaching Abroad as a Non-Native Speaker – GoAbroad.com
- 5 Countries to Teach Abroad as a Non-Native English Speaker – Premier TEFL
- Why a Non-Native English-Speaking Teacher Can be Better than a Native English Teacher – Premier TEFL