GUEST BLOG: Teaching English as a foreign language

Guest blog written by Evonne Young, Web Education.

Keep your options open, think outside the box and try another way of exploring the other part of the world.

Asia is the oldest continent and China is one the oldest countries in the world. With 5,000 years of history, Chinese culture is never the same with other parts of the world and heavily influences many of the other Asian countries. It is one of the must visit countries and it is definitely one of the safest countries if working/living overseas ever comes across your mind. However, English does not work that well in China, which becomes one of the major concerns that stop western people from exploring.

When ethical travel becomes more and more popular, taking one year teaching job offer will possibly be the safest and the most economical way of exploring the unknown part of the world. It does not have to be life time long, one or two years gives you enough time and money to explore this massive country. Here I’d like to introduce two of my all time favorite foreign teachers, Eric and Kevin. They were school mates knowing each other for years and had just graduated from UCSB. Eric majored in International Development and Kevin was doing Linguistic science, which were both tricky in finding them a suitable job right after graduation. They had no idea what to do for around 8 months until they realized teaching English in China could be fun. At least it gives them a break from panicking about finishing the school and having no job and no money to pay for their students’ loan.

Language is still the major barrier for most of the foreign people in China, but when you become one of the foreign teachers, things will then change completely. Teachers in China tend to have higher social status and receive more respect. When Eric and Kevin started teaching English, they were surrounded with professional bilingual Chinese teachers and students, who are not that easy to find if you are ever trying to communicate with a random person on a Chinese street. With teachers and students’ help, their life in China went incredibly smoothly so that they both extended of their contracts twice until they received a teaching job offer in UCLA. Teaching in China for two and half years, they grew with us together and eventually found out their ideal life path.

Teaching English in another country could be massive fun, let’s not treat it as your life long career, but a preparation before you find your direction. It gives you time to figure out your life path with enough finance support. End of university study is just a brand new start for you to take lessons from your engagement with the society, which wants you to be more practical and sometimes could be a rough start for all the society newbies. Plus, in the 21st century, overseas working experience does make your CV sound a lot fancier. Teaching English in China keeps you pretty much still in your comfort zone while adding tons of value to your CV in all aspects you could possibly imagine.