Travel, Teach, Live in China

Re: Harbin China California Sunshine International Language Center
By:ChinaESLa <[email protected]>

Hello Grace,

I saw your post and thought I would give you some ideas. I worked at this school years ago but I got the impression that it stays pretty consistant in it's attitude. It's generally a pretty friendly school with a pretty laid back atmosphere. It runs a TESOL class (Will-Excel) at the school to educate western teachers who will observe your classes. so the training and feedback during that course is really good. once in the classroom though, feedback can be pretty limited. kyle david runs these courses and is one of hte head teachers at sunshine. he is really good. try to be situated at his site if you can. you might find that there are conflicting ideas from management and the chinese teaching assistants there. be careful not to upset the teaching assistants, they're generally more friendly and more forgiving with guys if they make mistakes. Unfortunatly at the school, the attitude is that teachers are pretty dispensible and overall they prefer guy teachers to chicks. the teachers are really dispensible because they can easily take someone from the tesol course that they run there. Be prepared to get quite sick at one stage or another as i witnessed many new teachers feeling ill. I'm quite fond of harbin and it can be a pretty nice place if you know where to go. It used to be owned by the russians so it has a lot of eastern european architecture. if you want to meet other foreigners, check out Russian Size, one of hte local night clubs which gives alcohol free to western visiters.

There are pro's and con's private colleges/ chinese schools.

Private colleges:
Pros:
Small Class size
Chinese assistant (can speak chinese and english)
Can meet local english speakers with more ease
Games, books, and toys are already provided
Accommodation provided
Food provided
Sort out the visa
Western management so you can speak english without things getting lost in translation

Cons:
Male dominated environment
As a chick it can be pretty isolating and lonely most girls who have worked there either get a chinese bf or dog
Chinese assistants are pretty highly strung and wont always be supportive with discipling
Kids tend to be more spoilt because only rich kids can afford it
Lower pay
No holidays for 6x month contracts
If you are sick or can't make a class or want to take holiday. You have to pay extensively another teacher to cover your class or be 'fined' by the school

Chinese School/ University
Pros:
More pay
Less supervision (so if you want to goof off it's not as big of a deal)
More lesson planning preparation and material preparation which will come out your pocket
More holidays (2x months)
language and culture emersion
accommodation
visa (generally)

Cons:
Large large large class sizes. Around 40+ for private schools. 150 for Universities.
At Universities, people can be at very beginner level to very advance. Not easy to cater for all of them
less access to foreigners, so can be very isolating (especially if in a remote village and are the only foreigner)

If your interested in going for the long haul, my advice would be to go with a small private western managed college for 6months - 1 year and then upgrade to a university where you will be prepared with your lesson plans, have better conditions (inc. hols), and lots of friendly university students who will want to make friends with you.

If you want some help with lesson plans, etc or with some ideas. Feel free to let me know and i'll pass them along.


Messages In This Thread

Harbin China California Sunshine International Language Center -- gmoore
Re: Harbin China California Sunshine International Language Center -- Amanda
Re: Harbin China California Sunshine International Language Center -- ChinaESLa
hey grace!!! -- jenn
California Sunshine Language Center -- worltour (Larry)

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