Living (& working) in China!

269 posts in this topic

Will add some more to this ESL Teaching and Living in China Thread, if anyone is interested?


Yes, please do, David.


All in all, are you personally enjoying teaching there?

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Hi David.


I am also living and working in China. In regards to the food at your school having orange oil and being very greasy

you might want to read this:


"Sewage oil“, also known as “gutter oil” or “drainage oil”, is the leftover and discarded oil collected from the drains and gutters near restaurants that has been “refined” to be reused and resold as cheap cooking oil. “Slop oil” or “swill oil” is the oil that can also be processed from thrown away food garbage that normally would be fed to pigs. Many street vendors throughout China who cook snacks (especially fried foods) may use “sewage oil” or “slop oil” to save money and keep their costs low."


I know it mentions street vendors in the above quote, but many school cafeterias and nicer restaurants

have been caught using the drainage oil also. Chinese locals will tell you that they know drainage oil has been

used when the food is spicier than normal, and when the food has an odd flavor.


More info here, including pics:



"The above Chinese news report says a third-year student said an unknown student on December 14th discovered a container of drainage oil in the school’s cafeteria. Around 8pm on December 15th, fliers appeared on campus spreading the news that the school was using drainage oil. That night around 10:50pm, angry students condemning this gathered a crowd of 300 student onlookers. Some more excitable students smashed trashed the cafeteria’s glass windows, doors, tables, and chairs and demanded that the school give everyone an explanation."



Edited by donb2222
rep1, KID and Paul like this

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I have been here since 29th August, and will traveling to Hong Kong on Thursday evening.

Then catching the Cebu Pacific flight back to Cebu early on Sunday morning.


This just an extended holiday, as have Contract to the end of their School Year. I will be returning to this School, to recommence teaching at start of next semester on Friday 28th February.


As I mentioned, priority goes to those aged 25-35, with Teaching experience (ideally >2 years China Teaching), a Bachelors Hon Degree, and a CELTA Teaching Certificate (followed by TESOL, then TEFL).


NB: They prefer TEFL with actual Classroom Training and actual assessed Teaching of Students, as opposed to purely on-line obtained TEFL Certificate. Such on-line certification is 2nd from the bottom (no Cerificate at all being the bottom level of the selection pile).


I am 57 years old, with 25+ tears experience, but in Engineering not Teaching (but have given Product Training to Technicians, with English as a Second Language, in Saudi Arabia, North Yemen, China, Indonesia, Thailand, S. Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines). Only 6 weeks ESL Teaching experience prior to this job.


I have the equivalent of a Bachelors Hon Degree (that was accepted by Engineering Council to award me the Professional Title 'Incorporated Engineer' David R. Whittall I,Eng MIET).


CELTA is rather expensive and is 'Level 5' certification. This might be needed if doing a Teaching Management role perhaps? I would suggest anyone considering ESL Teaching, to go on a TESOL Course.


Next best is 4 week classroom based TEFL Course.


TESOL/TEFL CERTIFICATE COURSE | Harvest Christian School ...


www.hcsinternational.org/link/tesol.html -

HCSI is the leading internationally recognized TESOL/TEFL certificate provider in the Asia-Pacific Region with real physical campus in Cebu City, Philippines.


Next best is combined on-Line, followed by Class Room for hands on assessment and coaching. This cuts down on cost and time spent on the Course in the Classroom


Tesol/Tefl Admission Requirements, Procedures and Course Fees




FOR NATIVE ENGLISH SPEAKERS (Students from USA, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand)


1. Must be a graduate of High School or Level 12 or International Baccalaureate Degree evidenced by a High School or IB diploma and/or transcript of records (scanned copy of the original).

2. 2X2 coloured ID picture

3. Fill up Enrollment Form Online thru the website or at the school.



1. Must be a college graduate of any Four-Year Bachelors Degree Course evidenced by a Transcript of Records (scanned copy of the original).

Must be proficient in the English language, both oral and written (diagnostic tests to be made if the admission officer feels it is necessary)

2. 2X2 coloured ID picture3. Fill up Enrollment Form Online thru the website or at the school





HCSI has three (3) types of TESOL/TEFL Certificate training. They are:


1. Onsite/In-campus training - This is a TESOL/TEFL training course done in the physical campus of Harvest Christian School International (HCSI) in Mabolo, Cebu City, Philippines. The course is taught by experienced and licensed English teachers/trainors of HCSI. Holding of the Onsite/In-campus training would depend on the achievement of ten (10) minimum number of participants.


2. Online/Distance Course Training - This training is done at home or workplace of the student at his/her own pace through the internet. This type of course training is offered because of the difficulty of some participants to attend and complete the course in an onsite environment for reason of time and distance as most of them are working professionals. The online/distance training maybe finished within two (2) weeks or less, one (1) month or two (2) months if the student chooses to. The pace is up to the student. However, students are required to complete the course within six (6) months from receipt of the first batch of modules otherwise the fee will be forfeited and he/she will re-enroll again and pay the same amount if ever he/she will continue it after six (6) months. Enrollment on this type of TESOL/TEFL training is anytime during the year.


3. Tesol/Tefl - Combo Training - This type of training is a combination of Online/Distance Course Training plus actual teaching hands-on/practice in the physical campus of HCSI or HCSI accredited educational institutions. Actual teaching hands-on/practice is thirty six (36) hours to include teaching observation, lesson preparation/planning, actual teaching and teaching demonstrahttp://www.livingincebuforums.com/ipb/index.php?tion before a panel.

I was accepted by HCSI and was considering their Combo Training


However I like the looks of i-to-e TEFL:-


Mike Cummings

Tefl Expert / Course Account Manager

T +44 (0)113 205 4567

E michael.cummings@i-to-i.com

W www.onlinetefl.com


i-to-i TEFL | Woodside House | 261 Low Lane | Horsforth | Leeds | LS18 5NY | UK


i-to-i UK Ltd, registered office: TUI Travel House, Crawley Business Quarter, Fleming Way, Crawley, West Sussex, RH10 9QL - Registered in England, number 4539983






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We endeavor to make sure that we offer the best quality courses which are externally approved by the ODLQC and the SQMS. We're sure that you'll agree that the courses we offer are of the highest standard. However if you disagree, rather than shutting the door on you, we will be happy to discuss any doubts you may have.

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The broader promise...


Everything we do has to be of the highest quality and we enforce this by hiring only the best TEFL tutors, who have at least three years experience teaching overseas and possess a CELTA qualification.

We're always on the look-out for new methods to improve our courses to ensure that you are better prepared when you come to teach English overseas. To ensure we offer the best product at all times, we encourage feedback from your course with us at: info@onlinetefl.com.



Why i-to-i?

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What I like about i-to-i is rhat it is modular.

One could enrol in on-line Course and add extra modules and Speciallist Certifications


For example there is usually a shortage of Teachers willing and trained for younger Children and Kindergarten (because it is damn hard work, with noisy, naughty and hyperactive young children, who dont know a lot of English)..

The good news being there is usually one (or more) Chinese Teachers/Assistants to help you (depending on the School and Childrens ages?). You have to really love young children to cope and get the most out of such teaching.


I have met some delightful 5 year old Chinese children (who can speak netter English than many 12 year olds).


Teaching English to Young Learners Specialist Training Course

Aimed at those TEFL students who are planning to teach children between the ages of six and twelve, this 10 hour course will teach you key skills like how to give someone their very f

irst English lesson and how to motivate younger students More Info


Also having experienced teaching here in China, I would like to consider these 'modules':-

Then if I visit the UK later this year, I might consider their Weekend TESOL Course (or book as 'Combined' Course to save money?).



Here is another offering TEFL/TESOL Courses in Cebu:-





Courses Take a TEFL course at your own pace in the comfort of your home or office.

from$150 / £98 Apply Now!



Courses 4-week TEFL courses at one of our many training centres worldwide.

from $1390 / £905 Apply Now!




Courses Best of both worlds. Online course combined with 2 weeks practical training.

from $1400 / £911 Apply Now!



Discussion Topic on Dave's ESL Cafe


TEFL/TESOL/CELTA Courses in the Philippines


For those married to a Filipina who is college graduate of any Four-Year Bachelors Degree Course, and speaks English well, and would also like to Teach abroad, I would strongly suggest getting her TEFOL/TESOL Certified.


Many Schools like to hire married couples. (Some will hire couples, who are not married, but can share the apartment). You may well have the whole apartment to yourselves not sharing with other Teacher(s).


You are likely to be happier and more stable together, and will be earing double income possibly (depending on school and experience/capability).


Sha-Sha could come and live with me, here in the apartment at this school (now she has a new Passport), but it is unlikely she will get hired and be given an Employment Permit as she was High School Graduate, She does not have any Four-Year Bachelors Degree Course, so would not be able to get a TEFL Course (unless she passed an English Assesment Test).


But there was talk of Ana Katrina returning to work in Hong Kong, so who would look after Anzhelica? There is also a Court Hearing on the 8th March she has to attend, so I dont think she will be joining me, when I return, towards the end of February. it's only another 4 month 'stint' from then to the wnd of June anyway.


I may howver make inquiries at the Chinese Consulate in Cebu, showing them my Chinese Foreigner Resident Permit and asking if she could/would be granted a Family or Z Visa as accompanying Spouce, to join me for the last 2 months May/June, perhaps?


We could then see some of China together, before going back to live in Cebu, as my Residence Permit is valid until the end of August 2013.

Edited by David_LivinginTalisay
MrSuave and Thelandofku-an! like this

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For example there is usually a shortage of Teachers willing and trained for younger Children and Kindergarten (because it is damn hard work, with noisy, naughty and hyperactive young children, who dont know a lot of English)..

The good news being there is usually one (or more) Chinese Teachers/Assistants to help you (depending on the School and Childrens ages?). You have to really love young children to cope and get the most out of such teaching.



Yes, there is a shortage of teachers willing to teach younger children, but typically the pay is much higher

for the many hours that you are required to work

Kindergartens usually pay 10,000 to 14,000RMB a month.


I was earning 9,000 a month, with a free private apartment, teaching 14 one hour classes a week in a high school.


Universities typically pay only 5,000 a month.

In China it is typical that the older the students, the lower the pay.


Even the very famous universities such as Tsinghua and Peking University pay their foreign teachers

only 5,000 a month.


After 4 years in China, I am now teaching at a university. Only 5,000 a month, but with a free apartment.

More mature students, and only 14 classes a week.


In Anhui and Jiangsu provinces I have been able to earn between 200 and 250RMB an hour tutoring on the weekends for small classes of 4 or 5 students.

100 RMB an hour is what is offered the inexperienced backpackers . I am not saying that you are an inexperienced backpacker. But, with your qualifications, I do think that you should be asking a lot more money for your weekend tutoring.

Edited by donb2222

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Yes, please do, David.All in all, are you personally enjoying teaching there?
Paul,I enjoy the School, the provided accommodation (Would be nicer if they built them with INSULATION! Can't see the point in having nice uPVC windows, with double glazed glass panels, when the concrete walls, and floors, ceilings, are all cold surfaces. It takes a long time getting a room comfortable from 0 Deg C, and uses a lot of energy as those cols concrete surfaces fighting back - CNY100/week Electric Power use!).The students are nice and friendly and all from the youngsters of 4 years old can say in English.
  • Hi, my name is xxxxx, what's your name?
  • How are you?
  • I'm fine thank you, how are you
  • Where are you from?
  • How old are you?
  • Do you like China?

Out of the 24 x Junior 2 Classes (Grade 8 - 12-14 year olds), there are some 12 x Chinese English Teachers! Only 4 or 5 of these, stay in the Class, for my lessons (they are all supposed to), and offer feedback, translation, to Chinese, and give suggestions)


OK, so here are some of the things I am not altogether happy about :-

  1. Large Classes of 40 to 60 Students!
  2. Only 1 x 40 min/Class per week!
  3. Classes cancelled due Sports, Exams, or whatever, and not informing us!
    You show up at the Class and no students in the Class and don't arrive.
    Or they Students doing an Exam in the Class for the Period you are supposed to teach them.
  4. They can take my Oral English Class for other Exams, but I can't have one of their Classes in return, to give the Students their Oral English Test (as I missed, due to submitting Resident Permit at PSB).
  5. Did not bother informing us when we need to be back for next semester start.
    (Found out from Student it is Friday 28th February).

I can live/cope with all of these, no big deal.


It is the way the Chinese are - not bothering to tell you things, because they did not consider it important. They don't think from the other persons view point/perspective it seems?


Here is an example:-


This fellow Brit, Paul, (who is also from same home town of Bournemouth, and shares this large apartment with me on-campus) has a Chinese wife.


He told me, that she flew back to UK, and then complained why he had not met her at the Airport! He said it might have helped, had she mentioned she was coming back to the UK!


She had not told him - didn't register with her, that she ought to tell her husband (especially if she wanted meeting at the Airport?).


So it looks like, that is the way the Chinese are, don't think through what needs to be done, or something?


Another Example:-


We are asked to give this Oral English Test. Not directly, but a mentioned word to Paul in the Canteen, and a note on the white board in Foreign Affairs Office "You will start to do a Test next week".


Why not issue each of us a Note, with Guidelines on how to do the Test. Notes on how to Grade the Student to get uniformity. Provide us with Forms, for all our individual Classes, listing all the Students Names in their Student No, Order, Space for them to give English Name, Oral English Grade, and perhaps adding a 'Comment'.


By Contrast Aston English asked me to give Students at the weekend, a EnglishTest.


Test Paper with Pictures,

Notes as to what to do and say,

Score Sheet with Comments section

Notes on how to award Marks 1 to 5, for each of 4 sections.


We also had to write in the Students Passbook.


Clearly one can put the effort into doing that sort of Test, when the Class is 1 hour, and only 7 students in the Class.


You just learn to go with the flow, don't worry, be happy and smile!


It is easy work, and the pay is better than I was getting in Hong Kong for more hours.


Although the pay is considerably less (than what I was earning as Engineering Manager - Asia Pacific, when working in Hong Kong), I am not paying US$1,200pm for a small 2 bedroom apartment (that was about 1/4 the size of this one and is is free!). We each get Y300 towards Gas, Electricity and Water. We have a free Internet connection and free drinking water,


In other words I can save 90% of this pay (if my Nokia N95 Screen had not died, meaning I needed a new phone. If I had warms clothes to bring, so I did not have to buy some).


If I stayed here for 2 months instead of flying back to the Philippines, I could save more also.


Hoping I might find work at ESL Winter Camp in Cebu?





Edited by David_LivinginTalisay
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