How to Overcome Language Barriers While Teaching English in China?

November 29, 2016 | Teach English in China

In China, there is an insignificant part of the population that speaks English. However, the country is fast gearing up to learn the language in order to do business with European and American countries that are primarily English-speaking nations. This is the reason why China is drawing the attention of English language teachers from different parts of the world. However, it’s a fact that one is going to come across several types of barriers while teaching English in China, such as cultural disconnect, poor English vocabulary, inadequate grasping power of students, and so on.

Here the ways you can overcome these barriers:

1. Your Patience is the Key: Remember you are in a foreign country and Chinese people don’t speak English. Your students could be slow learners and you need to be patient with them. Go slow, very slow, so that they can learn English at their own pace without any difficulty.

2. Emotional Connect: You need to present yourself as one of them, but not as a foreigner. If you could develop your own Chinese language vocabulary to communicate better with them. Of course, you are there to teach English, but not to learn Chinese, but this is the way you can establish a connection with local Chinese students to teach them.

3. No Anger Please! You could be a little fed up if your class is not picking up the speed with which you wish to teach them. But there is no place for anger, all you can handle with patience and love. If you shout at them and show your frustration, it may go a wrong signal among students and they could be more distracted from learning.

4. Control Your Native Slangs: They are not natives and thus can’t understand your native slangs. It could be more appropriate for you to use formal English and teach them using the vocabulary they are more comfortable with.

5. Use Creativity: Besides creating a formal teaching environment, you may also prefer to communicate with your students in an informal manner. This could be more encouraging for your students. At the same time, you can choose creative ideas, such as storytelling to help students develop a natural interest in the English language. You can also plan activities, such as a crossword for your students to build their vocabulary.

English Language Teachers

6. Are You Tech Savvy? Technology can always help you to teach English to Chinese students, as the majority of students owns smartphones, tablets and other modern devices. There are several language learning apps, vocabulary building apps, online activities available on the internet that you can take help to teach English to this tech savvy population. If you can use the technology you can better teach them in a more creative and friendly manner. is one of the best places to apply for ESL/TEFL jobs in China. Apply for:

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