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>By Frank Doonan

It is true being able to speak English as a native speaker does not mean you know how to teach. Unfortunately getting your degree in teaching or other related fields does not always qulaify either.

It is true that many teachers come to China and do not take teaching seriously, but on the other hand many Chinese don’t take English teachers seriously regardless of their qualifications.

The original goal of Chiese schools was not necessarily geared to having professional teachers teach English. The system mostly developed based on just having native speakers give Chinese the opportunity to practice oral English. The schools still basically depended on Chinese teachers to continue teaching bad English the wrong way.

I found that the ability to teach English in China is basically learned by teaching English in China. The problems and techniques of teaching in China involves not only teaching, but a culture barrier in learning and teaching methods not learned in schools in western cultures. If you survive the ‘Friendship gauntlet’, ‘Culture shock’ and stay long enough to get some practical experience, then you may be qualified as a English teacher in China regardless of your educational or experience background.

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