Published: 29 June, 2014  |  Last updated: 30 June, 2014

Teaching English in Chongqing, China


Chongqing, China 

Report submitted on 29 June, 2014 by Clive.

Teaching English in Chongqing, China:

How can teachers find teaching jobs in Chongqing, China?
There are many online agents operating from within China who will help find the right teaching job for your experience and skills.

The main English teaching jobs available are:
Full time English language school positions, agencies (send teachers to different locations), teaching at kindergartens / pre-schools, teaching at state schools, teaching at private international schools, teaching at colleges / universities, private teaching (not through a school, agency, etc.).

What are the minimum teaching requirements?
A Bachelors or Masters degree and two years minimum experience for the higher level universities. The lesser colleges will often hire anyone who speaks native English or German whether they have or haven’t got experience or qualifications.  Also, a TEFL/ESOL or other teaching qualifications which are also desired by Chinese colleges and schools. However, experience is the most important aspect of getting a good job in a good school or college here in China.

What teaching requirements would you recommend?
Experience teaching your desired age group. It is essential to speak English clearly and concisely. Some English and American regional accents are not suitable for teaching children and young adults in China………in my opinion.

What are the levels of payment?
For teaching children: 6,000 – 15,000 RMB (approx. US$950 – US$2,400)
For teaching young adults (18 – 23 years old): 5,000 – 10,000 RMB (approx. US$800 – US$1,600)

The payment for teaching kids is pretty good because there are fewer foreigners who want to teach children here because it is very difficult! The Chinese recognise this and usually pay accordingly. I teach both children and young adults and love both! I also teach a four-year old girl English and her mother pays me a fortune because they think that native English teachers are better than Chinese-English teachers, which in some cases is true.

Most schools/colleges pay monthly but some children’s schools pay per hour. Most schools also pay for flights back to your home country and some others pay bonuses but it depends where you teach. My college also gives free store cards to foreign teachers on festival days.

How many teaching days a week is normal?
5 days per week.

How many face-to-face teaching hours a week is normal?
15-20 hours per week for college students and 6-10 hours for children but this is very variable as different provinces and schools want there foreign teachers to teach a lot.  I teach 9 different classes lasting 1.5 hours each per week. There are other demands on foreign teachers such as English Corner and judging English competitions and shows which the foreigners are usually required to do. You can see we are very busy here!

What is the normal arrangement for holidays?
All public holidays and the usual Summer and Winter end of term holidays.

What advice would you give to someone considering coming to Chongqing, China to teach English?
Teaching in China is the most wonderful experience I have ever had. It is not for everyone because the language is difficult and some customs are unpalatable. Once you get used to or learn these you will have a life-changing experience.

What are the positive aspects of teaching English in Chongqing, China?
I teach English Majors at a level 3 university and the students and teachers are the kindest and sweetest people I have every met.
I also currently teach 3-12 year old kids part-time.
As a foreign teacher I have a lot of independence to design and teach my lesson how I like. I am learning Mandarin and taking an active part in Chinese culture so this makes living here even more enjoyable.
Everyone is kind and polite and incredibly helpful.

What are the negative aspects for teaching English in Chongqing, China?
The language is very difficult to learn but my college provides free Chinese lessons 3 times per week.
The food is not to everyone’s taste.
The students are often lazy, shy and lacking self-confidence in their spoken English abilities.

What are some of the teaching challenges for English teachers teaching the local people in your area?
The students are often lazy, shy and lacking self-confidence in their spoken English abilities.
Sometimes the teaching resources (computers, screens, classroom facilities) are either lacking or break down.


Living in Chongqing, China:

Are there any visa or other legal requirements to live in China?
A permanent residents permit (visa) and work permit are required. The process is so complicated that your prospective employer must do the bulk of this work for you.

What is the cost of living like in China?
Where I am in Hechuan, Chongqing, the cost of living is quite low. Food from street restaurants and market stalls is cheap if rather unhealthy (you get used to it). Accommodation is free and supplied by my college either in a private room or external apartment. Bus and train fares of very cheap but clothes and supermarket food is expensive.

What are the usual accommodation arrangements and how can you find accommodation?
Your employer should help find accommodation either on-site or nearby.

Other than teaching, what positive aspects are there for living in Chongqing, China?
Everyone is kind and polite and incredibly helpful.

Other than teaching, what negative aspects are there for living in Chongqing, China?
The language is very difficult to learn and the food is not to everyone’s taste.

What advice would you give to someone considering coming to Chongqing, China to live?
If you want to teach English to people who are desperate to learn it then China is the place to come!

What things do you miss most (other than family and friends) from your home country?
Peanut butter and television!

What things would you recommend to new teachers in your area to bring with them from their home country (e.g. things that are difficult to get in your location)?
In China, you can get most things but they should bring a laptop and/or tablet, things from their home country like souvenirs for the students and children to use in class and candy/chocolates or other food to give as gifts.

What do you think you will miss most when (or if) you leave Chongqing, China?
My friends and colleagues.


Additional Comments:

I think the language difficulties are the most problematic aspects are living and teaching in China. If you stay here and learn it for at least 2 years and more then these get better and then you can embrace all the wonderful opportunities and experiences this wonderful and enigmatic country has to offer.

It also helps to looks and act a little like Mr Bean here in China, as unfortunately I do but it does help me to connect with the children and older students in ways some other teachers cannot!


About Me and My Work:

My Name: Clive

Nationality: British

Students I’ve taught in China: Pre-school / kindergarten (4-6 years), elementary (6-12 years), junior high school (12-15 years), high school (15-18 years), university, adults.

Where I teach: Chongqing University. Teaching for 2 years.  I also teach adults privately.

How I found my current job: I used an online employment agency for foreign teachers.

My school facilities: Very good – Most facilities are provided but they do not always work!

Teacher support at my school: Lesson observations.


Do you teach English in China?

Tell us about your experiences – click here to submit your report about teaching English in China.

3 comments on “Teaching English in China – Chongqing”

  1. Hi Rainy, Im Emma, what do you think about an offer of 8000 RMB to teach in university, 16hrs a week? I’m thinking it’s kind of low, what are your thoughts please?

  2. hi clive,i am rainy. and i am from indonesia.
    i am an English teacher ina small city in zaoyang hubei province. it is right, and i am agree with you, teaching Chinese students so difficult. i teach grade 1 until grade 4. their age around 7 until 10 yr old.
    they are so active, noisy, and i almost cant control them in my class. specially for grade 1 and 2.
    communication is our most big problem.
    do you have any idea how to make this kids quiet, that’s all.
    mostly i like them , they are so excited learn english

    1. Hi Rainy. Regarding your class management issues, I suggest setting the rules with 3 levels of consequences for breaking them. First offense: name written on the board. Second offense: letter sent home to the parents. Third offense: meeting with student, parents, and principal with dismissal from the school as the last possible option.

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