Whether you are a Chinese native, a student in Mandarin, or perfectly bilingual ... You probably all have one thing in common:

  • Your passion for China,
  • Its fascinating story,
  • Its culture,
  • Its (many) language(s) ...

So, you dream to become a Chinese teacher, but you have not followed the necessary studies?

As globalization goes, the Chinese language is becoming the language of the future. Requests for Chinese language courses have been increasing fast in recent years. There are 37,000 secondary and high school students who study Mandarin.

So, if you really want to share your knowledge and passion for China through teaching the Chinese language, do not give up. Several possibilities are available to you, whether in home schooling or within the National Education system.

Superprof unveils some of them ...

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At what age can you give private lessons in Chinese?

Legally, it is possible to give private lessons from the age of 14, provided the parents' permission. Theoretically, it is therefore possible to teach Chinese as a home teacher if you're in secondary school.

In practice, young people who engage in private tutoring usually offer homework classes for a younger learner.

Regarding the teaching of Chinese, before starting, it is necessary to have a good foundation, but also enough maturity to be able to demonstrate pedagogy. You will also need to master your subject to provide a personalized and effective teaching and be mature enough to read your pupils spectific needs.

Chinese is indeed a language totally opposed to ours. Among the difficulties encountered since the first Chinese courses, we find of course:

  • Learning Mandarin characters and Mandarinvocabulary,
  • Calligraphy and Chinese writing,
  • The pronunciation and the different tones because according to the tone, the same sentence will not have the same meaning,
  • The specific grammar and grammatical structure.

So before embarking on giving Mandarin lessons, it is better to have already behind you a few years of learning to acquire a good level and speak fluently Chinese.

If you want to offer Chinese classes at home, as a private teacher, two imperatives must be respected:

  • Validate your level to know exactly what you can bring to your students (Chinese English LEA, Chinese LLCER, HSK test ...),
  • Determine the type of students that you are able to support according to your skills.

Thus, if you are not open to the ideal curriculum of the Chinese teacher, you can always go for the private lessons!

What are the typical profiles of Chinese teachers?

Get Chinese lessons with a native
Sharing the love of their country through Chinese lessons, a real asset for students.

A native Chinese teacher will be able to take you on a journey in class while telling you about life in China.

Who are the teachers of Chinese who practice outside schools?

It is not necessary to have a teacher's certificate to share your passion for Mandarin and transmit your language skills.

Among the many Chinese private teachers (especially those on Superprof ...) you will find several types of profiles:

The natives

There are more than 3,8 million Chinese living in the United States (half of which are in New-York and California). The US is the top destination for Chinese immigrants. So many potential teachers.

Quick step back ... The first Chinese immigrants arrived in 1820, some of the are known to have arrived before the 1849 California Gold Rush, which drew the first significant number of laborers from China who mined for gold and performed menial labor. By 1880, most of the Chinese Americans lived on the West Coast and formed over a tenth of California's population. During and after World War II, severe immigration restrictions were eased as the United States allied with China against Japanese expansionism. Later reforms in the 1960s placed increasing value on family unification, allowing relatives of U.S. citizens to receive preference in immigration.

So yes, the natives (or descendants of the natives) teach (with reason) Chinese. Perfectly mastering their mother tongue (calligraphy, Chinese pronunciation, tones, phonetics, grammatical structure ...) they are best placed to share their culture, traditions, history, and give their tips to gradually become familiar with the subtleties of Mandarin.

If you want to make progress to speak Chinese, your native teacher will help you to work your pronunciation effectively.

Chinese students

It is the largest community of foreign students in the US (engineering schools, business schools, doctorate ...)!

Their numbers have exploded in recent years. Good news for those looking for a private Chinese teacher! This foreigner from overseas learned English as a foreign language, but goes to schools in the US, maybe in an international school.

Like for all students, a Chinese English speaker will benefit from private lessons. They are a way to:

  • Generate a complementary income,
  • Integrate and develop a network,
  • Add a rewarding experience on your resume,
  • Develop teaching skills.

Students in Chinese language

You've learned Chinese, have been in total immersion with extensive classes, a trip abroad in total immersion in mainland China, you're more than fluent and you want to keep going. What's more natural when you study Chinese at university (and that is intended, for example, to the teaching of this language ...) than to be exited at the idea of ​​getting to the heart of the subject?

To want to make your first experiences by giving private lessons in Chinese to secondary or high school students? If you're love for the language and culture, that you know hundreds of Chinese words and that you have fluency when speaking Chinese, go ahead!

With such a profile, Chinese university students will easily find pupils. Indeed, the first years of learning Chinese require a good dose of motivation and perseverance. Students often need to be accompanied to progress. Unlike French or Spanish, for the parents of these students to who this is a new language, Chinese is an impenetrable mystery ... Find some good textbooks to help you out with good exercises ideas, maybe check out the chinese online websites on how to learn the language. You'll find many tips to help you out with beginners.

So, with the growing number of students learning Chinese in secondary or high school, private Chinese lessons have a bright future ahead of them!

Teaching Chinese characters is also part of the role of the Mandarin teacher. Chinese writing requires diligent practice.

Help young students do their chinese homework
The help of a private teacher is often welcome!

English Chinese Bilinguals

Bilinguals, in love with China and everything related to it, also have a lot to share. Former expats, enthusiasts or certified teachers, they have the advantage for learners of fully understanding the difficulties the students face to progress in Chinese. Teaching Chinese is not like teaching English, it requires a completely different method and if you've gone through that effort it will be easier for you to pass on your tricks.

Depending on the needs of the students, these private teachers may be particularly helpful. A former expatriate may well understand an employee who will soon expatriate, and help him not only to perfect his practice of the language, but also to facilitate his future adaptation.

You will understand, each teacher has his qualities, it is up to him to put forward to find the students he will help the best.

One of the first qualities of a Chinese teacher, even if that is his second language, is his involvement and his desire to transmit. As the Chinese proverb says:

Tell me, and I will forget; show me, and I will remember; involve me, and I will understand.

With a pedagogical and empathic teacher, progress is not long in coming.

Become a contractual Chinese teacher

Although you're already providing private lessons, you have a teaching job, and you're still dreaming of facing a Chinese class?

It is indeed a completely different educational approach. We move from a teaching based on individual consideration to interaction with a group of students, not having the same facilities, the same involvement and motivation.

So are you ready to get things going?

Even if you don't have a teacher's certificate from a language school, it is possible to teach Mandarin Chinese in secondary or high school, with teaching positions.

Transmit your passion for China through language courses.

Put luck on your side for you professionnal career
This lucky cat will bring you luck to become a Chinese teacher without a diploma!

What is a contractual Chinese teacher?

National Education recruits many non-certified teachers every year to overcome the empty spots of full-time professors. These teachers in fixed-term contracts are essential.

How are these teachers recruited?

It is the Universities who take care of it. After an application, an interview, if your profile is kept aside and a job is vacant in your area of ​​teaching, you can then start your courses very quickly, especially if there are many students who want to learn Mandarin.

You will need to be motivated because it is not easy to be propelled professor overnight in secondary or high school. Unlike certified teachers who undergo specific training and start practicing as a trainee teacher, contractual workers have to adapt very quickly to their new job.

Once in office, it is possible to prepare the teacher's certification to be tenured. In any case, if you have this opportunity, it will be a very good first experience to know if you are made for this job. Indeed, in real conditions you will be able to apprehend the life of professor and all that it implies daily, with its good sides and its difficulties.

Private institutions can also use contractual teachers. They are then called substitutes. Recruited by heads of institutions, they are also recruited for fixed-term missions.

What level is required to teach the Chinese language?

If the first of the conditions to teach Mandarin Chinese remains to justify a good level of practice, to be an official teacher, it is imperative to have a University ddegree in the field concerned by the post, here, in Chinese language.

The number of students who wish to learn Chinese is increasing sharply.

A Chinese language teacher and his students
Private lessons, one of the possibilities to become a Chinese language teacher.

As a private teacher, no level is required strictly speaking, but it is your potential students who will make their own selection according to their criteria. To enhance your skills, it is important to be able to justify a good level of practice, and highlight your teaching skills.

For this you can include:

  • Mention the studies in Chinese language carried out,
  • Highlight your experiences in China (expatriation, university exchanges),
  • Pass the HSK, the reference Chinese level test, equivalent of the TOEFL for English.

It is also very relevant to present the pedagogical methods you use, the type of course you offer and the profile of the students you are trying to support.


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As an Englishman in Paris, I enjoy growing my knowledge of other languages and cultures. I'm interested in History, Economics, and Sociology and believe in the importance of continuous learning.