Among the millions of people that decide to learn a new language annually, thousands of them choose Chinese as their preferred language of study. That means if you are interested in teaching the Chinese language, you will find many options available, and you can earn a full-time income working as a Chinese tutor anywhere in the world.
The career path for Chinese teachers in Canada is a promising one filled with many growth opportunities. For instance, do you know that Chinese tutors earn an average of $22 per hour? And you can even work from home as a freelance Chinese tutor without the need to commute to school and teach each day—what a vibrant career path for anyone that understands the Chinese language perfectly.
But let’s look beyond the perks. When it comes to teaching Chinese, there is more to it than meets the eye. If you are interested in teaching Chinese, there are certain steps you have to take to kick-start your career as a Chinese tutor. What if you are already a Chinese teacher but seeking ways to optimize your career prospects and earn more?
Read on to discover hidden facts about teaching Chinese Mandarin. This guide addresses pain points such as becoming a Chinese teacher, finding students for Chinese lessons, preparing your lessons and fixing your rate.
How You Can Become a Chinese Tutor
To become a Chinese tutor, the first thing you should care about is the level of education you need or the qualifications needed to teach Chinese. While most Chinese teachers in Canada have a bachelor’s degree, and some even have a master’s degree, no hard and fast rule specify that you must have one. See the significance of preparing your lessons.
Research has shown that you can become a Chinese tutor with a high school certificate or diploma. You don’t have to get a university degree, although having one can give you a better advantage. So what does it take to teach the Chinese language?
You need to be fluent both in speaking and writing Chinese. Most tutors have no degree. They only rely on their vast understanding of the language, and they can teach others too just by getting a teaching license.
If you are a fluent speaker, you can teach Chinese Mandarin. But if you don’t understand the language and you want to pursue a career as a Chinese tutor, there are many ways you can deepen your understanding of the language.
A good option is to take a Chinese language course at the university or college. There are many courses to teach Chinese at all levels. Alternatively, you can travel to China and learn Chinese from the natives. This is a faster route if you are looking at learning the language and understanding the Chinese people’s culture.
Many Chinese language students undergo degree programs and thereafter travel for a one-year course program in China. Upon returning to their country, they obtain a teaching certificate and kickstart their journey as certified language teachers in their state. Find out what it takes to teach Chinese.
Many language schools offer short courses that are sectioned into beginners, intermediate, and advanced lessons. This would e a great option if you are looking to sharpen your language skills or seek opportunities to grow your teaching career.
How to Find Students for Chinese Lessons
Pursuing a career as a Chinese tutor has many challenges. One of them is getting students for Chinese lessons. As a Chinese tutor, you would probably be teaching privately in groups, or organising your classes, whether offline or online. At some point, you would have to plan on how to find students without losing a sweat.
- Word of mouth
Since many students who are interested in Chinese lessons rely on word of mouth, you can get your first student for Chinese tutorials if you make it known to the people closer to you. Inform your friends, family, and associates. Tell them about your skills in Chinese teaching. Don’t also forget to inform them about the level you prefer to teach.
- Classified ads
Classified ads are a good source for finding students for tutoring. It’s common for parents searching for language tutors on classified ads sites nearest to them. And if your ad pop up, you may be lucky to land a new client.
Location is an important criterion when searching for qualified tutors online. Therefore, ensure you update your location in your resume and all online ads after you move to a new location.
- Online job boards
A quick search on Google for ‘online language teachers needed’ will leave you with overwhelming options and thousands of results. This is to say that many job boards post ads on behalf of companies and schools seeking online teachers for various languages, including Chinese.
This is a good source to rely on if you are looking at starting your career as a Chinese tutor and gather some experience. Most of the tutoring jobs posted on these platforms require little or no experience. As long as you have a teaching license and can communicate fluently in Chinese, you are good to go.
- Tutoring platforms
Many tutoring communities like Superprof offer skilled language teachers an opportunity to sell their skills for money. By registering on the platform, you can easily find students to teach Chinese at your level. Therefore, if you understand the Chinese language and can teach others how to read and write in Chinese, the platform welcomes you.
One of the perks of this platform is that they suggest your profile to anyone searching for tutors whose skills set matches yours. Many students search for qualified tutors based on their location. For instance, if you live in Quebec, there are higher chances of attracting students to learn the Chinese language in Quebec.
However, it’s highly recommended to hone your skills and be good at what you do before signing up on tutoring platforms like Superprof. This is because students will have a chance to rate a tutor at the end of their first lesson. And we all know no one wants a bad review attached as a badge to their profile.
How to Prepare For Chinese Lessons
Methodological and organisational skills are a prerequisite for teaching the Chinese language. Remember the needs of your students each time you prepare your Chinese lessons. The average student pays for private tutoring because they need personal attention and someone who would monitor their progress. Thus, helping them to progress easily from one stage to another.
If you want your students to get the best from each lesson and hire you repeatedly for subsequent lessons, you must learn to prepare your lesson in advance. Prepare a teaching schedule and lesson outline. Then, plan on the best way to track progress as you teach.
It will be a shame not to leverage the support available to tutors online in today’s digital age. Many web resources are coherent with the official language curriculum in many schools that offer language courses.
Therefore, it won’t be out of place if you rely on these sources, provided they have good credit and are from verifiable sources. You can also rely on educational materials like Chinese textbooks. It’s easy to organise lessons using the outline in a Chinese textbook, especially if you teach Chinese to kids.
Chinese to English dictionaries are a great way to organize your lessons. If you are taking beginner Chinese language lessons, you can help the student understand the Chinese vocabulary using “words and meaning.”
You can give the student a list of English words to look up their meaning in Chinese using the dictionary. Then, encourage the students to form phrases and sentences using different words in the dictionary.
There are many ways to teach Chinese Mandarin, irrespective of the level of students you are teaching. The goal is to ensure the student gets more value from each lesson and progress in their studies.
Fixing the Best Rate for Your Chinese Lessons
What’s the best rate to fix for your Chinese lessons that would not undervalue your skills or overrate them? Should you bill hourly or monthly? As simple as these may look, it can easily give some tutors sleepless nights. If you have been thinking of how to go about fixing the perfect rate for Chinese private tutoring, you are not without help.
If you join online tutoring platforms like Superprof, you have the flexibility to fix your rates while you consider competitive rates. At the same time, the platform connects you with students who are interested in your lessons.
Most Chinese teachers bill between $20-$30 per hour. However, if you get hired by a company to teach Chinese to its staff members or close a deal with a student to teach Chinese for a couple of months, you would want to fix your rate by considering:
- The level of the student
- Mode of delivery of the lessons (online, at home, in a coffee shop, or a group)
- Frequency of each lesson
- Duration of each lesson
Do not forget to put your qualification and experience level into consideration as well. They all add up to determine what you are bringing to the table as a Chinese tutor.