Teach English in Donggou Zhen - Ezhou Shi

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The process of learning English is considered difficult for a majority of foreign language speakers. Although the transition between Chinese and English may be one of the hardest. This is due to vast differences in pronunciation, little to no shared vocabulary, and unrelated rules for grammar. While it’s one of the most difficult changes, it’s not impossible. With the correct guidance, and extreme focus a Chinese speaking student can become fluent in English. Pronunciation is the most difficult aspect of learning. When comparing the sounds of vowels between Chinese and English these two phonological systems contrast greatly. The vowel sounds of English are broken into multiple categories. The long sound of a, e, i, o, and u. As well as the short sound of a, e, i, o, and u. Chinese however contains a variety of different sounds for the vowels. These vowels include a as in star, o as in law, e as in stir, i as in bit, and u as in food. It’s easy to see these vowel sounds match up different to the vowel sounds in English. When teaching the English vowel sounds it’s important to distinguish that long and short doesn’t refer to the length of the sound. Rather long and short refers to how a vowel is paired. Short sounds will usually stand alone, and long sounds will be paired with other letters. This however is not a strict rule and has certain exceptions. Large amounts of students time should be spent on learning the difference in vowel pronunciation. Consonant sounds offer a different challenge for Chinese students. This is because certain English consonants do not exist in the Chinese language. An example of this would be the v sound in vine, this is often mispronounced as wine. Another example is the th sound in think, instead students may pronounce this word as sink. The th sound in this will usually be pronounced as dis. A good teacher must be able to notice a students difficulties with specific vowel or consonant sounds, and guide them to the correct diction. While languages like French and Spanish will find multiple shared words in English. This is not the case for Chinese and English. There are very few English words with Chinese origin and vice versa. While the list is small some examples of shared words include: jítā or in English guitar, Yōumò or in English humor, kāfēi or in English coffee, and a few more. Because there isn’t many loaned words, it’s rare for a student to see a word and immediately know the translation. Part of the challenge will be to implement an entirely new set of vocabulary. Chinese and English have an alternate set of rules the grammar must follow. A major difference of this would be how the passage of time is handled. When using English time can be shown in a sentence by speaking in past, present or future tense. This is not the case for Chinese, and the use of time related tenses is a new concept for any student. English also carries its information through the use of auxiliaries to support sentences. Chinese generates meaning in a sentence with sentence order, adverbials, or a shared understanding of the context. Chinese students may forget to include the supporting structures like: are, am, is, and was. Students must focus on learning were supporting words must be added, and the correct verb tense. Learning a language is dependent on a few different factors. The students purpose, the students age, and the students talent will determine how quickly English will be picked up. A Chinese student will only be able to learn if they can understand English grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation. While the transition is deemed very challenging, many Chinese students have become fluent speakers of English!