Erica Fairchild

Teaching English to young learners abroad isn't for everyone, but those who do have great fun and enjoy the experience. Before you start a new teaching job though, you may have a few questions about what the students are like, the types of schools that you can teach at, and the teaching materials you can use. To answer these questions, EF recruiters Zach and Heather have put together a short video that will tell you everything you need to know about teaching English to young learners. Make sure you watch and subscribe to the YouTube channel for more videos.

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Hello and welcome back, my name is Zach, and my name is Heather, and we recruit for EF. Today we're talking about teaching English to young learners in China particularly.

What Are The Students Like?

Before people start teaching ESL to young learners in China, the first major question is usually, “what are the students like?” Well, first of all, they are Children, but yes the ages range from 3 all the way up to 17 years old. What age you'll be teaching will depend on the type of school year that you will be teaching at. But really for most of the students, they're very busy. They have their school hours, then after school classes like math and sports. They also have homework before bed and homework after they wake up as well. For a lot of the kids in class, they will be very shy, but you'll find that there will be some kids who are quite energized because of everything going on. However, most of them are looking for a teacher who will help them foster creativity.

What Types OF Schools Are There?

Public Schools

When you're teaching young learners in public schools, you're actually in the public school system. With those classrooms, they are actually quite large with up to 60 kids in class. They're huge, huge classes, but the nice part is that you really get to be immersed in that more cultural side with that experience.

International Schools

If you're teaching English to young learners abroad, you also have international schools which are kind of like western schools that have just been picked up and plopped in China. In these schools, the students speak English all day long, usually maybe, one-half of the day they'll speak English and their native language in the next half.

Private Language Schools

Private language training centres are also a good place to teach English to young learners. So, this is where students come out of their normal schedule and go to learning centres for additional training. EF is a private language training centre. What you can expect with these type of classes at the private language centres, is that they are on the evenings and the weekends because it's outside of the normal school schedule. Also, because the kids are very busy and coming to you outside of their school schedule, we need to be able to make these classes more fun and engaging. We try to have another approach that's a lot more fun.

Teaching Materials

For EF specifically, we have a lot of materials to help teachers teach English to young learners of course and of course to help engage students. There are full lesson plans to go with all the books that we have. The books themselves, there are four age brackets, and within the four age brackets, there are levels based on the student's ability and maturity as well. For example, you can have a three-year-old that is a beginner at English, or a fourteen-year-old that's just starting to learn English and the same can be true for advanced students. There are in class booklets for work to do in class, and there are homework booklets that teachers can then grade. There are online classes just for fun, and there's also puppets and flashcards, videos, audio tracks and songs, so we have a lot of fun materials that go with it.

Lesson Planning

There are lesson plans that you can follow, probably the most exciting part right, they are all pre-planned for you. All you have to do is print those out; you can highlight a few things, take some notes, kind of review and be ready to go. But also, at the same time, if you want to create and design your own, please do, that's one component. You can pull in some outside sources and sometimes you just kind of know your class, like this class, they don't really jive with this stuff too much, and yes you may redesign something for that reason.

Also, it's really nice when you do come up with an activity, and you bring it to the classroom, and you get to see the students really engage and be excited about it. Often, they kind of forget that they're learning English, maybe you'll start debating something and going back and forth; it's just incredible and easier that way. And you'll have fun too! That's true, you just kind of get roped up into it. Also, it's great when you get the kids there to start teaching each other they teach that one student that is just a little bit difficult. Yea or you find a way to kind of appease them and let them help out the teacher in class and all of a sudden you just realise that they wanted to be included in a different way. Just, making those breakthroughs, it's always really worth it and what sells it right there.

All in all, when you're teaching English to young learners abroad, you can have a great time and really enjoy what you're doing. So! If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask us a question by leaving some questions in the comment section on our YouTube video. Or, if you really want to get into it and start teaching English to young learners, you can go right ahead and apply for a position with us at EF.

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