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Thread: Teaching ESL in China vs. Japan?

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  1. #1

    Default Teaching ESL in China vs. Japan?

    Has anyone taught ESL in both Japan and China, and can compare/contrast?

    I did JET for 2 years, LOVED it. Totally thrived in a setting abroad. But I had studied Japanese; I don't know Chinese. And, as I heard all the time, China "is not Japan." Can anyone expound on that from personal experience?
    Last edited by byakko; May 19th, 2016 at 01:37.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Teaching ESL in China vs. Japan?

    Quote Originally Posted by byakko View Post
    Has anyone taught ESL in both Japan and China, and can compare/contrast?

    I did JET for 2 years, LOVED it. Totally thrived in a setting abroad. But I had studied Japanese; I don't know Chinese. And, as I heard all the time, China "is not Japan." Can anyone expound on that from personal experience?
    Good
    - the food is more interesting
    - the country is less homogenous than Japan
    - money likely better nowadays
    - the "rude" stereotype of Chinese people is grossly exaggerated.

    Bad
    - taking a shit in the middle of a busy street isn't considered unusual (possibly good?)
    - second-born babies are ritually slaughtered
    - tonal language much more difficult to pick up
    -more corruption

    Didn't experience the corruption myself as I've only travelled there, not worked, but it's a fairly regular gripe from those that join the Red Army.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Teaching ESL in China vs. Japan?

    I studied China as an Asian Studies major, and know the impressions of China that foreign visitors typically report (as above). But what is it like to live there every day, teaching high school ESL?

    (I am being headhunted by the director of a collective of international schools in China; the gig looks good and my initial screening interview is tomorrow.)
    Last edited by byakko; May 19th, 2016 at 21:19.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Teaching ESL in China vs. Japan?

    Quote Originally Posted by byakko View Post
    But what is it like to live there every day, teaching high school ESL?
    A mystery and irrelevance to the posters on a Japan-based forum I imagine.

    Would you turn up on a German messageboard asking people about the day-to-day of chomping Chorizo in Spain?
    Last edited by mrcharisma; May 19th, 2016 at 22:40.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Teaching ESL in China vs. Japan?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrcharisma View Post
    A mystery and irrelevance to the posters on a Japan-based forum I imagine.

    Would you turn up on a German messageboard asking people about the day-to-day of chomping Chorizo in Spain?
    Some of my ALT friends taught ESL in Korea before getting accepted to JET. Has no one done both JET & ESL in China?

  6. #6
    Senior Member mothy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Teaching ESL in China vs. Japan?

    Quote Originally Posted by byakko View Post
    Some of my ALT friends taught ESL in Korea before getting accepted to JET. Has no one done both JET & ESL in China?
    I think mteacher might have... He's very rarely on here anymore though. Plus I'm not sure if his time in China was teaching or study abroad. Plus so many years ago, his experience may no longer be valid.

  7. #7
    Looking for some chaw acpc2203's Avatar
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    Default Re: Teaching ESL in China vs. Japan?

    I would feel like getting an idea of teaching in China would be hard because it is huge and rapidly changing, even JET varies greatly and that is in a much smaller country.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Teaching ESL in China vs. Japan?

    OK, y'all! I've signed a contract for a 2-year gig, as a lead teacher of English and Communication (high school & uni level). The students are hardcore advanced Chinese high schoolers preparing to enter American top-tier universities. I'll be in a pod of 5 American teachers in a shiny new school in a big city south of Shanghai.

    I'm getting good info on the work situation itself, but I would still love to know more about what it's like to live in China today. I haven't found an ithinkimlost dopelganger site for China. (Due to internet monitoring?)

  9. #9

    Default Re: Teaching ESL in China vs. Japan?

    Quote Originally Posted by byakko View Post
    OK, y'all! I've signed a contract for a 2-year gig, as a lead teacher of English and Communication (high school & uni level). The students are hardcore advanced Chinese high schoolers preparing to enter American top-tier universities. I'll be in a pod of 5 American teachers in a shiny new school in a big city south of Shanghai.

    I'm getting good info on the work situation itself, but I would still love to know more about what it's like to live in China today. I haven't found an ithinkimlost dopelganger site for China. (Due to internet monitoring?)
    So OP, I am wondering also what it is like to teach ESL in China, and, as it has been months since the original post, I was wondering if you can share your experiences at your school?

    Although maybe OP won't come back... this thread wasn't helpful for him/her.

  10. #10
    disobedient avocado Lianwen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Teaching ESL in China vs. Japan?

    Quote Originally Posted by lovelierlex View Post
    So OP, I am wondering also what it is like to teach ESL in China, and, as it has been months since the original post, I was wondering if you can share your experiences at your school?

    Although maybe OP won't come back... this thread wasn't helpful for him/her.
    I didn't see this when it was originally posted, but I thought I'd share my friend's experience, who taught as an ALT in Japan and then in China in some backwater town. He said both experiences were rather similar, but he had more difficulties setting up in China than he did in Japan He also said he had to more strictly follow the curriculum than when he taught in Japan. He said the money is ridiculously good though in China and he averages like 2k in USD to send home every month and still drinks himself stupid and lives in a pretty modern place.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lianwen View Post
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    how many more threads in which BJ declares his love for lianwen do we need?

  11. #11
    Senior Member mothy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Teaching ESL in China vs. Japan?

    Dave's ESL cafe has a China forum. Don't know how active it is. Not that we don't want you around here, but you're probably more likely to get pertinent information there.

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