What to Look for in an ESL School in China Like Birmy English
The global market for ESL teachers around the world has expanded tremendously, particularly since China opened itself to the international market. Right now, the Chinese government is doing everything it can to make sure its people are proficient and competent in the English language. As such, there are thousands of ESL schools Like Birmy English in China that are in need of foreign teachers. But with so many options around, how are you supposed to choose a reliable language school?
Here’ what you should look for in a Chinese ESL school:
a. A good offer
Whatever the school offers you, make sure that it is appropriate for the city you are going to work in. A 7,000 RMB a month wage in a second tier city won’t be bad, but this salary won’t be enough if you are to live in Beijing or Shanghai. It’s important that you do your research, and you have to ask about the bonuses or extras, too. Ask about housing allowances, flight allowances, end of contract bonuses, performance bonuses, and so on. At Birmy English, teachers’ housing and plane tickets are paid for by the company, and teachers are given bonuses based on their performance.
b. Working hours
Another important thing you should find out before signing any contract with any ESL school in China is the exact number of hours you will be teaching per week. 30 hours a week may not seem that much, but can you just imagine being in the classroom 30 hours a week? You may not be aware of it yet, but it could be stressful, too. You also want classes with no more than 20 students at a time.
c. Working visa
This one is a big deal. You have to make sure that the school you are likely to work for will arrange a working visa for you. There is no way you can legally live and work in China without one. You will be considered as an illegal immigrant and may be subject to deportation if you are caught without the correct documentation. This is actually one of the first things I inquired about when I applied at Birmy English. The good thing is that they make all the necessary arrangements for their foreign teachers’ working visas.
d. Training for teachers
It’s good that you have a TEFL qualification before you start teaching in China, but along the way, you will still need support and guidance from the institution. At Birmy English School, teachers are given proper training to become effective ESL teachers. I personally like how their staff prepared orientations for their new teachers, and there are regular Chinese classes for them as well.