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Help Me Teach English Abroad--Teaching In China

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I'm a new teacher in china and I'm looking for any materials you have available to help me better prepare lessons! I teach beginner english to elementary in preschool students.


teach English abroad in ChinaHi Anthony,

My name is Betsy Bruneau and I am an ESL teacher here at GeoVisions.  I have worked with children of every age and even taught adult education.  It sounds like quite an exciting adventure that you've taken on.  My high school has done exchanges with Chinese high schools.  I'll have to find out where they are and let you know.

Anyway, it sounds like the children you teach are pretty young.  They are probably very sponge like and ready to absorb everything around them.  You are probably a real novelty.  I would begin by introducing yourself completely.  Show them pictures of you, your family, friends, your home town. Pick up postcards of your home state.  Show them what children their age from your home area do for fun.  Show them an elementary school.  Do a really simple comparison chart of the two places.  

I would pursue lessons in literature.  Children that young are not as inhibited as older children and handle it better when they don't pronounce something correctly.  Introduce some of your favorite children's literature.  Create story maps, new endings, prequels, etc.  You can go anywhere with children's literature.  

The other thing I would do with them would be to play games.  This makes the learning fun and anytime you are engaging them and giving directions, you are using and reinforcing good English.  Teach them games like Concentration, Hang Man, Duck Duck Goose, tag, whatever.  Teach them games that you played as a child and have them teach you games.  Have them teach you in English.  

Write me back, Anthony, and tell me what your supervisors are expecting of you.  This can help me direct you with ideas.  Also, can you please be more specific about the ages of the children you are charged with teaching.  These little bits of information will help me to help you a great deal.

I hope I helped a little bit and I look forward to hearing from you.  Have a good couple of days.


a classroom in China teaching English abroadHi, Betsy. I teach in several different schools. The school I spend most of my time at has me teach a variety of different classes in half hour segments. The students in the school are generally between the ages of 3 and 6. There are a few classes where the students are around 8 to 11 years old.  There's no good way to prepare for this style of teaching. My materials are a set a flash cards that I'm given by the other teacher. They inform me what the class is learning today,  and I try to engage the students with the new words and new sentences, or new concepts as is the case with the older students. What I'm looking for is a toolbox that I can use on a moment's notice. Games and activities that are fun for children, and can be used with a wide variety of concepts and vocabulary.


Dear Anthony, 

You have a perfect opportunity to play games and teach your students without them every knowing that they are learning.  Anytime you interact with them you are modeling good English.  So with your littles, play Duck, Duck, Goose and tag and four square.  Sing silly songs and read to them.  I don't know what type of resources you have available, but any children's literature can be helpful, even if it isn't your first choice.  Let me know what you have so that we can plan accordingly.

Are you able to access the flash cards before class or even the day before?  This would allow you a little time to prepare.  YOu can also focus on games with the older kids.  Try to remember songs and games from your childhood and share them with the kids.  

The ESL lounge has this great template that allows you to download games.  The games are not yet created, it is simply a template.  You can go crazy with this.  Either create your own games or have the kids create games in English for each other.  No matter the age, I have found that my students learn the most when they have to create the game or quiz themselves.  Have you checked out the ESL lounge for other resources?  There are some really good ones.

Show the kids pictures and photographs of what children their age are doing from your hometown.  Despite the age, they are interested.  Show them schools, playgrounds, geographic features, your family, etc.  Your older kids can make a t-chart comparing the two areas of the world.  

Let me know if any of this helps, Anthony.  Have fun.


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