Dream University Job? What Are the Details?

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Ivyman

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Dream University Job? What Are the Details?
« on: December 19, 2021, 07:41:58 PM »
Hi Everyone,

I am getting burnt out working so much, at my high school and training center roles over the past five years.

1.  I am thinking university teaching jobs might be best.  Among the conditions I like would be:

a.  Work at any university in China, teaching English literature.

b.  Ideally, this would be a low density job, such as 10-20 hours a week.  Most professors I know, around the world, teach only about 7-10 hours a week.

c.  I am willing to work for low pay, such as 7000 RMB a month.  Yet, I would want access to a cheap/free apartment or dorm.

2.  Ideally, I would also be teaching English literature like in a Western country.

a.  All students read about a book a week, before class, maybe of well-known novels like "Tom Sawyer" or British literature.

b.  We would have discussions about this during the week.  This develops listening, and speaking skills.

c.  At the end of each week, a short essay paper would be due.  This develops planning and writing skills.

3.  Can anyone tell me how to do this?

a.  My guess is just speak to many university programs in China, and ask for details?

b.  I have no bachelor's in English, only history.  I may get one soon, as second/additional bachelor's take less than one year.

c.  I do have a CELTA.  Any bachelor's + CELTA may be the best.

4.  Thanks for the advice.

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Re: Dream University Job? What Are the Details?
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2021, 04:30:31 PM »
University jobs should all be 20 hours or less in the classroom per week.

Never let any potential employer know your bottom salary demand.  They may have been planning to offer more.

Contacting universities directly is your best approach.

The lack of a degree in the subject doesn't help, but already being in China helps a lot.  Getting paperwork for bring new people in can be a pain for the University, which can make someone already in China a bit more desirable.  Some potential external candidates won't apply since they don't want to sit through quarantine.  Others may have completely given up on dreams of international employment until this global plague finally passes.
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Re: Dream University Job? What Are the Details?
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2021, 09:13:03 PM »
2.  Ideally, I would also be teaching English literature like in a Western country.

a.  All students read about a book a week, before class, maybe of well-known novels like "Tom Sawyer" or British literature.

b.  We would have discussions about this during the week.  This develops listening, and speaking skills.

c.  At the end of each week, a short essay paper would be due.  This develops planning and writing skills.

You're wildly overestimating the basic ability of the average Chinese tertiary student.

Chinese college students do not typically expect to have opinions of their own. Even where they do have opinions of their own, their style of expression will tend to not to reflect critical appraisal of any type you're familiar with.

That, more than anything, is why Chinese use so little English. English language contexts typically do not support Chinese style expression, and Chinese students of English typically are unable to manage styles of expression more familiar on western campuses.

And to be reading a book a week... it literally will not happen.



What you can do though is try and identify why "English literature" is a course at all. Why study it? (Appreciation of beauty, development of the soul, some good laughs at history, who knows?) If you can express the purpose, and point to how that purpose exists in each new lesson, then you have a chance of teaching something. You'll know you have taught something when the students begin identifying the purpose of each new lesson before you do.

And be aware that Chinese students will expect "English Literature" to be a review class. They want you to tell them the highlights, and they will memorise them for tests. If you want them to learn how to appraise literature... it can happen... but you have to tell them in advance and provide for lots and lots of baby steps (that they will resist).

It can be done.


As for getting a position... in the old days I would have said just hire on at some school and tell them you'll do English literature. These days.... I don't know anymore.

Re: Dream University Job? What Are the Details?
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2021, 09:23:02 PM »
Pro tip: US or British high school textbooks. Anything that reflects a (Uk or US) national curriculum. You may be teaching in university, but the students by and large haven't encountered that type of learning before.

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Ivyman

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Re: Dream University Job? What Are the Details?
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2021, 02:52:19 AM »
I appreciate what you guys are saying.

1.  As for degree that works to teach university, would a bachelor's in English do?

At UNISA (in South Africa), I could study 100% online for 1500 USD a year.

Other schools, in the US, have said that after about one year of online study, and about 10,000 USD in fees, they will give me a bachelor's in English, or a liberal arts degree?

2.  I do have a CELTA.  Even though I am not a natural at ESL the way the CELTA does, it usually is enough for university level teaching jobs in Saudi, etc.

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Re: Dream University Job? What Are the Details?
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2021, 04:36:08 PM »
I haven't been teaching for a very long time, so I'm not sure what items are currently:
Absolutely required
Kind of required, but exceptions can be made
Nice to have
WOW, you'll get 10 schools in a bidding war for you if you've got that!

If you can find up to date lists of available university teaching positions, looking over what they require vs what they say are big pluses should help give at least some idea of what's important vs what just makes a candidate more desirable.  Even then, it's worth contacting the schools if your qualifications are close - Required in an advertisement may mean there's no way to hire a candidate who doesn't have it it, or we'll have to do some paperwork to get an exemption, or we were sort of hoping for it but can live without it.
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Re: Dream University Job? What Are the Details?
« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2021, 12:45:59 AM »
Bachelor degree - any specialty
TEFL certification (for eg CELTA)
Criminal background check from your country
2 years teaching experience

These are I believe the current 2022 requirements for any English teaching position in China.


There may be job ads that distinguish between language teacher and literature teacher. But applying for a language teacher job and asking if you can teach literature instead might be easier. Schools will have Languages departments that do distinguish between language and literature, but often it's the foreign affairs office that posts the job ads, and they just ask for what they usually ask for. If you do find a school that you seem to like, and they do agree to have you teach literature, make sure you speak with whoever is the contact in the Languages department. Just to make sure.

Good luck.


Oh and 16 periods per week has been the norm for tertiary teaching for a long time. Some places may ask for up to 20, but they're pushing their luck. As for salary... who knows these days. 5k is ridiculous, 7k is probably a steal for them. Maybe shoot for 10-12k per month. But I honestly don't know any more.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2021, 12:56:17 AM by Calach Pfeffer »