Teach English in Zhuli Zhen - Zhumadian Shi

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Teaching at a university in China This essay will focus on my experience of teaching at a University in China and how it is different from teaching in western countries i.e. UK. I have said UK as I have taught previously in there. This will provide a benchmark to compare my experience. In my experience, teaching at a university in China is very different from teaching in the UK. I have found that where in the UK, students take responsibility of their own learning especially at the University level; this is not in the case of China. Students even at the University level do not take responsibility and focus is more on the teacher in the classroom. This is especially true in case of foreign language as it is one of the biggest barriers faced by them. However, once they establish a friendly relationship with the teacher, most of the students do participate in the classroom. The other difference I found between teachings at university in China is the contact point between teachers and the students. Students often contact their Chinese class assistance if they have to ask any questions from the teacher. In the similar manner, if teacher has to pass a message it has to be through the Chinese class assistant. This reduces the student teacher contact time. I have found that popular medium of contact is Wechat rather than email which is common in the UK. I have found that the teacher needs to be fairly active in order to enhance the motivation of the students in the classroom. Due to language barriers, it often happens that students lose concentration in the classrooms or if they find activity to be too hard they often will not do it or won’t ask questions. Thus, there is always a need of extra preparation or extra activity in case students find others less stimulating. This also means that as a teacher you cannot just give work to students during study time and expect it to be done, but go around, keep on checking and asking again and again if they understood it. Furthermore, even at the university level, students often do not answer the open questions. Thus, hand gestures or knowing their names helps them to give an answer to the question. This is very important that I understood after taking 3-4 lessons in Chinese university. There is one important thing that I discovered, even though the class participation will be less, students are often well-behaved. They finish the homework and submit the homework on time. This can be attributed to the Chinese culture where they are taught to respect their teachers. They often do not answer back in the classroom or once ground rules are established they will follow it till the end of the semester. In addition, they all believe on the concept of losing face where students won’t give a wrong answer as they do not want to lose face in front of their peers. This again leads back to using the technique of closed questions or giving ground work rather than students taking initiatives. It is a nice experience teaching at a university in China and it is quite different from the western world but it is very interesting. I enjoyed my time teaching in china.