Are you considering teaching Chinese in Canada? You are also probably struggling to decipher what requirements are necessary before you can teach Chinese. Do you want to know which skills are the most suitable? Probably, you have asked yourself “what do I need to get a job as a Chinese teacher in Canada?”
If you wish to find a job as a Chinese teacher in Canada and work legally, then you must know what is expected of you as a teacher. If you want to kick-off your teaching career, Canada may just be the best place with lots of opportunities.
Do You Need A Diploma To Teach Chinese?
You may not need a teacher’s certificate or a diploma to teach Chinese. Your passion for the language might be the only requirement that you need to transmit your skills using the language.
It is possible to teach Chinese in a secondary school or a high school even though you do not possess a teacher’s certificate or a diploma from a language school but if you do have a diploma then you would have better chances of being hired where there is competition.
Chinese Mandarin is becoming increasingly important in the world as there is a high demand for people with the language skills. Most students and hiring managers will not worry whether you have a diploma or not as long as you can teach this language of the future.
How Long Should You Live in China to Study Chinese?
Some people learn Mandarin Chinese (the traditional Chinese language) after living in China for some time. The time frame is not definite and the reason is because you do not learn Chinese just by living in China. It is not an automatic process. Some people can live in China for a very long time without studying the language and they still struggle to communicate in Mandarin. On the other hand, there are others that have studied and learned the language in the shortest time possible.
The truth is that the intensity that must be exceeded for an English speaking native to learn basic Chinese is high so it might take extra time and effort for anyone to study and learn Chinese Mandarin. So without a set amount of time, anyone can study and learn Chinese Mandarin in China or from any other place in the world if they have good access to a language tutor with the best skills.
The point is that speaking fluent Chinese Mandarin is not always the consequence of living in China. Fluency in Chinese Mandarin happens when there is a deliberate attempt and effort to learn. The dedication to study the language regardless of where you are pays off more than just living in China. You can learn anything even a language quickly by just being talented and working hard.
A person living in China with strong intentions and effort to learn Chinese Mandarin will enjoy the ease of learning from social situations. They would be more prone to practice but they must still work considerably hard. Summarily, you can learn Chinese Mandarin from anywhere not just by living in China. Even if you live in China, you might still need to put in the work if you must learn the language quickly.
How You Can Become an International Chinese Teacher
To become an international Chinese teacher, you have to become fluent in Mandarin Chinese no matter the level you want to teach. A bachelor or master’s degree in Mandarin Chinese, education, and any other related field is also recommended.
According to a recent survey, at least 37.4% of international Chinese teachers have a bachelor’s degree, while at least 50.2% of them have a master’s degree. Most of these Chinese teachers have only a college degree, while with just a GED or high school degree, you can also teach Chinese.
Being experienced in other works of life can also be beneficial if you want to teach Chinese internationally. In fact, here in Canada, a lot of Chinese teaching jobs require a certain level of experience in other careers.
If you are going to teach in a public school, you must get a teaching certification from that state. The requirements for this certification would depend on your locality. You must also understand the best strategies for the proficiency and age levels of the students you would be teaching. Lastly, you should know and understand the language acquisition process. See what rate to charge as a private tutor.
What Skills Does a Chinese Teacher Need to Possess?
To become a Chinese teacher, the skills section on your resume would almost be as important as the experience section. You definitely want this section to accurately portray what you can do. Thankfully, we know the skills required to be a Chinese teacher, so even if you do not possess them yet, you know the areas you need to work on. See tips for finding students to teach Chinese.
Of all the resumes we have gone through, at least 18% of Chinese teachers possess traditional Chinese culture on their resume. However, soft skills like physical stamina and speaking skills are essential too.
The basic skills required include:
- Classroom management
- Lesson planning
- Experience in teaching mandarin
- Professional development
- Public schools
- Diverse backgrounds
- Learning activities
- Individual needs
- Language learning
- Student learning
- Instructional materials
What Does a Chinese Teacher Do?
Now that you know the qualifications and requirements needed to become a Chinese teacher, let us look at the basic responsibilities and duties you are likely to perform as a teacher. This varies by school and grade level.
You may be required to:
- Coach students in Chinese language proficiency test HSK.
- Partake in workshops dedicated to professional development so as to better understand the k-12 system.
- Organize and coordinate intensive communication and examination courses from advanced to beginner levels.
- Make provisions for Chinese remedial instructions in Gr.12 or Pre-K, while managing in-class learning activities, and assessing the performance of your students.
- Assist meetings with ESL teachers, other classroom teachers, and principals to help students who come from different backgrounds with second language acquisition.
- Join in weekly meetings to discuss effective resolutions, classroom challenges, and efficient teaching methods.
- Establish a safe learning/play environment while teaching.
- Help resolve problematic circumstances in Chinese learning through conflict resolution and rapport establishment.
- Produce learning instructions for Chinese levels 1 through 5, plus on ESL level 1 as well.
- Establish and encourage speaking-listening activities to improve learners’ vocabulary and incorporate phonics teaching to all levels including adult beginners.
Where Can Chinese Teachers Work?
There are a lot of options available to Chinese teachers. The most popular options are schools; from colleges to high schools, or from secondary schools to primary schools. There are also tutoring agencies and testing centers where a Chinese teacher can work full-time.
Some experts choose to offer their own freelance tutoring service the moment they have a strong client base. Organisations, firms, and businesses that want a smooth entry into the Chinese market also hire Chinese language experts to teach their employees to become fluent in Chinese.
- Preparing Your Chinese Classes
Possessing the skills, getting the degree, and finding the best places to teach Chinese can only get you so far. To become a renowned Chinese teacher, you need to know how to prepare high-quality Chinese lessons for your students.
Below are four tips that can help:
- Get your course organised
You need to be methodological and well organised to teach Chinese properly. Your students are bound to have different expectations. Organising each lesson in a well structured manner will help you meet these expectations.
You have to identify your students’ needs, prepare your exercises in advance, explain the progress of every session to your students, teach them to always practice, and plan assessments necessary for tracking progress.
- Your educational materials should be diversified
You should use everything you can lay your hands on, from learning applications to web resources, and textbooks. You should also diversify your educational supports as you deem fit, including support that make your lessons more original and playful.
- Give your lessons a particular shape
Be it via a webcam or from home, your lessons should have a form and shape. Remember that in today’s digital world, webcam classes have resolved the issues of distant learning, allowing for more lessons.
- Personalize your classes
To help your students learn Chinese faster and better, you may need to personalize their support system. You can organise summer trips to China, have them learn Chinese writing, or teach them the history and culture of China.
What Does The Future Look Like for Chinese Teachers?
Teaching the Chinese language in Canada or anywhere is a vibrant career path for anyone. Therefore, we can rightly say that the future for Chinese teachers is bright, especially if you consider the improving business relationship between China and Canada. It is an established fact that Chinese is the most spoken language on the planet, with at least a billion speakers, so the need for Chinese teachers grows continually.
Global marketing is also becoming essential for organisations increasing their digital sales across the globe, so marketers are constantly looking to hire and train experts as well. So forget about your fear and embrace your passion. Nothing should stop you now!
Learn how to prepare for your Chinese lessons.
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