Ever Thought of Teaching English as Foreign Language
We Speak to graduate Dylan Blyth who has been Teaching in China
Have you ever thought of teaching English as a foreign language .Here we touch base with Dylan Blyth who has just done that in China .
Was it always your ambition to teach?
Teaching has always been in the back of my mind. When I was younger, I wanted to be a High School English teacher. That was part of the reason I took this job. There’s more to it than that though. This was a chance to find my passion; to experience a new country and culture; to meet people I would never have been exposed to. It’s a chance to develop my own skills and experiences. Looking into my future, this will be very valuable.
Where are you teaching?
I am teaching at a University in Baoding, China. The city itself has about 10 million citizens (double the population of Scotland!). Even though it’s big, it’s not very Westernised. There are only a handful of English-speakers here (compared with Beijing or Shanghai, where they are everywhere).
What subjects are you teaching?
I teach five classes 2-hour classes per week: Spoken English for Freshmen (x2), Spoken English for Sophomores, Optional Spoken English for All Years, and English Listening & Speaking. My main focus is on each student’s ability to communicate; to understand English on its most basic levels (conversation). Within these classes, I am given the freedom to teach anything I want. So far, I have presented modules on employment, debate, British politics, family life, and storytelling. The content is not important: what’s important is that the students are talking.
What qualifications did you require for entry?
There was no specific qualification required for entry. Any University degree would have done the job. Of course, I have an advantage in having studied English. What they really need though are native English speakers: people who just have a natural understanding of language.
Is it essential to speak Chinese?
It’s not essential, but it is very useful, especially in Baoding. I don’t know any Chinese (I just started learning), so communicating with the people here is almost impossible. Still, Google Translate, Charades and pointing can get you pretty much anything.
Are you looking to teach abroad for a duration, or return back to the UK?
I’m coming back to the UK in early 2019. Teaching here has been amazing, and I’d never rule out teaching again, but I want to concentrate on preparations for my Master’s.