Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Teaching English In China

I used to wonder why Americans would go to "enemy" countries and teach people to speak our language--so they can spy on us later! I now see that conversational English in China probably isn't enough to significantly harm the Western world, and there's something positive to be said about cultural contacts with actual humans.

I've never really had an interesting in visiting the Far East, except perhaps for Ulan Bator, Mongolia. I don't know why I've always wanted to go to Ulan Bator, except perhaps because the name is cool. But anyway, now I think that China, in its vastness, might be an interesting place to visit. The band from the school at which I teach went on a junket (junket! get it??) to China this summer and was not only well received, but apparently they had a great time. So I've considered teaching English in China for a summer.

The internet search engines will return thousands upon thousands of hits for something like "teach English China". I read dozens of sites. I quickly determined that most places want you to teach for a year, but there are a few that will do a summer. I'm not sure how far I'm going to take this, but it's an interesting thing to consider. I'd like to do a teacher exchange to Britain in a couple years, too--we'll see what happens.

This week's Carnival of Education referred me to this blog post about teaching English in China. Organized, practical, and an easy read. If the topic interests you, start there.

1 comment:

Robert said...

My wife and I spent 10 days in China -- three in Beijing and seven in Guangzhou -- in 2004 when we went to adopt our daughter. There number of Americans and Canadians over there teaching ESL was astounding. I spent a lot of time in internet cafes posting photos and keeping in touch with family, and every time I'd go into one there would be at least 3-4 westerner ESL instructors doing the same thing! There's lots of blogs being written by westerners teaching English in China (most of whom seem to be stationed in Shanghai for some reason), so you could do a blog search for some of those and follow along/comment and see how these people got hooked up with their jobs, then follow suit.

We loved China and are looking forward to going back next year to adopt our second. The Chinese people are warm and very generous, and lots of very cool and exciting things are happening over there. (The Communist government can't hold out much longer -- there are too many new entrepeneurs!) If I were in your shoes, I'd go for it.