Embarking on the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of ESL teaching in China? Congratulations! Teaching English abroad in China after the completion of the TEFL Course in India can be a great way to kick-start a lucrative ESL teaching career. Trust us; your time overseas will be filled with exciting, transformative and life-changing experiences.
Wondering how to prepare yourself ahead of time to ensure you start on the right foot? Relax. All you need to do is learn about the challenges students in China face when learning English.
Be it Asia or America, learning a foreign language is a very demanding task in every part of the world which requires commitment and dedication. However, it can be particularly tricky for Chinese students. From entirely different alphabets to lack of opportunities to practice speaking skills, students in China face several problems when learning English.
Here’re the most common problems for Chinese students learning English.
Few Common Problems Faced By Chinese Students When Learning English
Perhaps, the most noticeable difference between Chinese and English is that both languages use different alphabets. English uses the Roman or Latin alphabet, consisting of only 26 letters. On the other hand, Chinese uses a non-alphabetic script of characters, logograms which represent words. Literally, there are thousands of characters to learn for reading and writing in Chinese. So, when students in China want to learn English, they have to learn a completely new alphabet.
Another major issue which causes too many difficulties for Chinese students of all ages is pronunciation. Neither Mandarin nor the other dialects share sounds which directly correspond to the ones of English like /r/ and /l/. Since learners in China cannot hear the difference between these two sounds, they have trouble differentiating between the two languages in pronunciation.
Use the teaching methodologies you learned when undergoing TEFL Training in India to help your students with their pronunciation. Show them physically how each of the sounds is made and listen to minimal pairs to help them train their ears. You can even start playing games which make use of both the sounds.
English is a stress-timed language where the rhythm depends on the stress of the sentence. Though syllables can last different lengths of time, there is a constant amount of time between the stressed syllables. On the other hand, Mandarin and Cantonese are syllable-timed languages. In these languages, every syllable takes up almost the same amount of time. So, the rhythm of these languages depends on the syllables instead of stress.
- Speaking Skills
Learning English has emerged to be a compulsory course owing to the increasing competition among the Chinese students in the last few years. However, the teaching methodology applied at the local educational institutes remains to be the same.
Owing to a large number of students in a single classroom, limited opportunities exist for plasticising language skills. It is here that the need for qualified ESL teachers who have obtained degrees from a leading TEFL Institute comes to the pictures since skilled educators encourage practical use of language.
Now that you are aware of the most common problems, what are you still thinking of? Time to be the ESL teacher who makes a difference in the classroom!