If you are going to teach ESL abroad, you can consider Xi’an (Shaanxi province, China) as a good city for doing this.
There are a lot of schools and kinder-gardens that are waiting for you here, especially if you are a native speaker.
This article is about one of such schools were we worked as ESL teachers.
The Jingfa school looks like it was built just a couple of years ago. It is located on north of the city in
newly built and still developing area. There are still a lot of construction going on around the school.
I was told that there are 3000 students in the school. It is divided to primary and middle school.
In primary school, which I was teaching in, there are 4 grades with 6 classes in each grade. In every class there are around 50 students. I taught the 2nd and the 4th grade. Sometimes it was difficult to hold the attention of 50 students, especially when they are tired or busy with other classes that they had before.
But most of the time it was fun. The key here was to find a good and engaging activity, which will
make the whole class participate.
Jingfa school gate
The classrooms are equipped with a computer , good speakers, projector and the screen. If I wanted to use some multimedia material during the lesson, all I had to do is to bring my USB flash drive with me.
Besides that, you have a computer in the teachers office which you can use to prepare for the classes or to print some material if you need.
In the classroom, there were always one or two chinese english teachers. If kids got too noisy and started to misbehave, those teachers helped me to restore the order. Also if I needed help in explaining rules of some new and complex activity, they always helped me with this.
The kids are just fantastic. In both the 2nd and 4th grade it took time for them to get used to my presence and to remember my name. But once they got used to me, we had a great time. It was important for me to become their friend and not to be perceived by them as serious and boring teacher. We even played games during the breaks. Some children suddenly could come to me and hug me without any warning
4th grade kids
However, kids are just kids, and sometimes they just couldn’t hold their attention anymore on what I was trying to teach them. In this case I’ve used the multimedia. A short animation in english or interesting documentary easily brought their attention back.
4th grade singing the Christmas song
The apartment is actually located in the hotel, so don’t expect to have constant neighbors. The complex of buildings, where hotel is located, is called “Park Living”. And it is not an occasion. Across the road you can find the big and beautiful Xi’an Sport Park.
On our 5th floor of the hotel ,where we (me and my wife) live, are also some offices and hotel rooms. But in general it is very quite place in quite neighborhood. The apartment has a bedroom and one big living room, with small kitchen aside. It is fully equipped with washing machine, refrigerator, TV, DVD player, heater and electric water cooler/heater. We’ve added the small oven to its equipment and now we can even to bake bread. In general we feel very lucky to live in this part of the city, because it is not so crowded and noisy as other parts can be.
Park Living Area
Not many people know this, but Xi’an was the capital of the Chinese empire from 6th to 9th century.
This is a city with rich culture and history and you can feel it when walking on the city walls or looking at the Big Wild Goose Pagoda.
One more interesting attraction inXi’anis the Muslim market near the Bell Tour. The Market has a great popularity among the tourists. But not only because of silk and sweets that you can buy there, but also because of its atmosphere. The buildings in Muslim quarters seams to remain untouched since the times of the Tang dynasty.
Big Wild Goose Pagoda
Xi’an is a big city with population of 8.5 million. And of course you can find everything in it. From new and shiny streets full of lights with KFC, McDonalds and Starbucks , to old and dirty streets which are not so attractive for the tourists eyes. So if you are looking for the diversity, and many activities besides just teaching in school, this city is for you.
Also it is worth to mention that in Xi’an surroundings in radius of 100 km, you will find Terracotta Warriors,Huashan Mountains, CuiHuashan GeoPark and much more sites, that you would love to visit.
We had a great time teaching ESL and living in this city and we hope you will enjoy it too.
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We are Gadi and Tun - the midlife runaways. We regard our selves as a “world citizens” and currently we live and explore in China. We've decided to start this blog to share our awe and adventures with friends, family and all the people who love to travel. Feel free to comment and to join. And most important, don’t forget the state of “Being in Awe” with the world.
Hi there! We are a couple, and we like to travel. We regard our selves as a “world citizens” and currently we live and explore in China. We’ve decided to start this blog to share our awe and adventures with friends, family and all the people who love to travel. Feel free to comment and to join. And most important, don’t forget the state of “Being in Awe”.