Nicholas currently lives in Ningbo, Zhejiang province, teaching high school students. Originally studying editing and creative writing (before publishing jobs became rarer than hen’s teeth), he worked in various jobs from marketing and public relations, through to being an events supervisor, mental health advocate and professional blogger. One day, when his sanity had completely left him, he decided to become a teacher! He’s been working in that field ever since, first in Australian high schools and English training centres, before heading to China. He enjoys playing video games, reading crime fiction, trying to cook, keeping fit, drinking long hours into the evening, and working on his grand plan to one day marry Fan Bingbing.

How to motivate your students in China

Teaching strategies

Fact: unless we’re inspired to do something, it probably won’t get done. As a TEFL teacher in China, we’re often required to not only bring an enthusiasm for teaching, but to bring enough motivation for all of our students too....

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Cultural misunderstandings I’ve experienced in China

Personal stories

A lot of people talk about culture shock when coming to China. Though yes, the focus is often on us foreigners experiencing the ‘shocks’, that does not mean it doesn’t go both ways. You might be wondering, ‘what does Ni...

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Why is it hard to make Chinese friends?

Opinion

You always hear how friendly Chinese people are. Teachers who worked in China before me praised Chinese people for being so welcoming. While I’ve found this to be true, it doesn’t mean that making friends with Chinese people, and sp...

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Having diarrhea in China (and how you can beat it)

Daily life

Having diarrhea in China is probably the most unusual thing I’ve written about. Before you navigate away from the page, however, let me tell you that this blog may actually help you (and only partly gross you out). By the end, you’l...

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Disastrous dating dilemmas in China (Part 2)

Personal stories

So, you want to date in China? In my last post, I looked at a great social app to meet women online, some advice on work place romance, and a key difference between Western and Chinese relationships. Today I want to discuss some of the problems...

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Disastrous dating dilemmas in China (Part 1)

Personal stories

So, you want a girlfriend in China? You’re single, and ready to mingle, as some might say. Maybe you’re a ‘rice chaser’? Or, to put it another way, perhaps you have ‘yellow fever’? Before beginning to teach i...

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Whoosh away your English classroom problems!

Teaching strategies

Has the title of this article gone ‘whoosh’ right over your head? Don’t worry, the same thing happened to me when I first heard the concept of a ‘Whoosh!’ exercise. Imagine you are teaching students a text, whether...

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How to take the stress out of teaching

Advice

When taught how to become a teacher, you learn many things except how not to let the job get the best of you. A few evenings ago, I was playing Mahjong with my wife. This was our seventh round, and I had won all but one of them. For those of yo...

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Using a Guttman Chart to help your students in China

Teaching strategies

I swear by using a Guttman Chart when teaching large classes. It's a tool designed to ascertain a student’s 'zone of proximal development' (ZPD), otherwise referred to as 'what they are ready to learn next'. There will...

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How to help students with academic difficulties

Teaching strategies

Experiencing difficulty with the content is the main reason behind why students act inappropriately. Fortunately, however, there are some strategies you can use with students experiencing such difficulties.  These strategies may help you...

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