Welcome to the Teach English in China blog!

Here you’ll find real stories, practical advice and opinion pieces about teaching English in China – all written by past or present teachers.

Want to to contribute to the blog? Just contact us and we'll be in touch.

So, make yourself a cup of coffee, sit back and enjoy reading. You may even decide to teach in China!


Lessons I learned in my first year of teaching in China

Personal stories

I can remember when I first made the decision to move into the challenging world of teaching. I didn’t know what to expect but could foresee the promise of travel and absorption into another culture. I was sold! I gained so much from my...

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Should I stay or should I go? What to consider at the end of your teaching contract in China

Advice

If you plan on teaching English in China for more than a year, you will need to decide whether to renew your contract and stay at the same school or move to a new school. In this article, I highlight some important factors that you should consider...

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20 basic Mandarin phrases to help you survive in China

Daily life

When I first thought about writing a blog on the most useful, basic Chinese phrases for a foreigner in China, I didn’t know where to start. I’ll be honest – if you never eat out, don’t travel anywhere, don’t go to bar...

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What is the best way to learn Chinese?

Advice

Chinese, or Mandarin, is the world’s most spoken language and there are many ways you can learn it. But what is the best way to learn Chinese? Well, in my experience the best way doesn’t necessarily mean the quickest. Rather, the best...

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What is it really like to live and teach in China?

Opinion

In August 2013, I left for China to start my first overseas teaching post. I am now partway through my fifth year here. I thought it would be a good idea to write this article so that prospective teachers can find out what it is really like to liv...

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From classroom to kitchen: how a Beijing expat turbocharged his career in China

Food

Preston Thomas has been teaching English in China since 2011. In a bold career move, this entrepreneurial expat has just opened up a new restaurant in Beijing called The View 4109. I had a chat with Preston to find out about his time teaching in C...

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7 weird things in China that gave me culture shock

Daily life

As a foreigner in China, I initially experienced a lot of culture shock. Several things that I saw here frustrated and angered me. Nobody ever thought to brief me on what to expect or to explain why these things were happening. Eventually, h...

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Teaching English in Jining, Shandong province – Q&A with Teacher Dan

Interview

Canadian Dan Meikle has been teaching English in China for the past three years. He’s currently teaching English in Jining, Shandong province. I interviewed him to find out about his experience teaching in this relatively small city in easte...

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The cross-dressing teacher in China

Interview

A new book called China In Drag, by BBC editor Michael Bristow, provides an insightful glimpse into China’s colourful history and current way of life, woven together by the adventures he shared with his cross-dressing Chinese teacher. I inte...

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How to set exams in China

Teaching strategies

China’s education system is exam-focused and even foreign teachers can’t escape having to set exams. Yet, no TEFL course to my knowledge teaches their trainees how to set and grade exams. There are many ways to set exams and hopeful...

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