So, your dream is to become a Chinese teacher in the US? In order to teach Chinese in public schools in America, teachers need to be certified. America’s economic growth is inextricably tied to the strength of its investment relationships around the world, and to get there, the country needs to prepare its next generation to manage those relationships. One of the best ways to do that is by teaching them the next global language: Mandarin Chinese!
America is opening up more doors than ever before by offering students early education opportunities to learn Mandarin Chinese, but to obtain this goal, they need qualified and experienced Chinese teachers. If you are an ESL teacher looking for teacher jobs in the United States, there has never been a better time to apply!
Naturally, you must be fluent in Mandarin Chinese to teach others the art of speaking, reading, and writing this language, but what other requirements are there, and how can you get your foot in the door? The process is relatively similar across the board. Regardless of whether you want to be a high school Chinese teacher, or elementary level educator, you must get your documents in order. Here’s some handy advice!
Getting In as a Chinese Teacher in the US
Mandarin Chinese teachers working in the US need a bachelor’s degree in Chinese, education, or a related field. Thus, you don’t necessarily need a masters degree. If your goal is to teach at a public school, you will need to earn a teaching certification from the state you’re going to work in, and the requirements for this certification may be dependent on locality.
You’ll also need a thorough understanding of the best teaching strategies for the age and proficiency level of the students you’ll be teaching, along with knowledge of the language acquisition process.
In China, the Ministry of Education regulates teaching certifications. These certifications are recognized nationwide. But in the US, certification procedures vary from one state to another and are regulated by the Department of Education.
Here are the general steps you’ll need to follow in order to start teaching Chinese in America:
#1 – Translate Your Documents
Any documentation issued in a language other than English will need official, certified translations in order to be accepted by the US authorities. These documents include all your teaching certifications and skill enhancement diplomas.
The process of moving to America can feel overwhelming, but your document translation doesn’t have to be! Day Translations specializes in certified translations and offers 100% accurate translations guaranteed to be accepted by the USCIS.
#2 – Get Certified
The minimum requirement for teachers in the US is generally a bachelor’s degree with a major in a certifiable area. Start by applying to a district to become a teacher and then take the required tests.
You should also take the required courses and complete the student teaching program. This may or may not be necessary if you graduated from a related master’s program. After that, you’ll submit your application.
#3 – Take Praxis Tests
A Praxis test is just one example of a series of American teacher certification exams. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) administers all these exams. In most cases, you’ll need to take various Praxis tests before, during, and after completing your teacher training courses in the USA. Most states require teachers to take Praxis tests, and they generally consist of two separate tests. Many states also have alternative teacher certification programs in place that can see you obtaining licensure without taking Praxis tests.
As mentioned, there are two separate parts of a Praxis test. Praxis I (also known as the Pre-Professional Skills Test or PPST) comprises three exams that cover reading, writing, and mathematics. Praxis II covers a variety of subject areas. Depending on which state you want to work in, you’ll need a different combination of Praxis II exams to get certified.
Exploring Chinese Teacher Jobs in America
Mandarin Chinese teachers are responsible for assisting students in learning to speak, read, and write Chinese as a second language. You can teach at various levels of proficiency, all the way from beginner through to advanced fluency. You might also perform translation and interpretation services at the school that employs you.
In general, it’s easier to find Chinese teaching jobs at US elementary schools, but you can hop on over to this link if you’re still not sure where and how to start searching for a job. Be sure to set up job alerts so you’ll know whenever Chinese teacher jobs open up.
Chinese teachers can also work at high schools and colleges as well as testing centers and tutoring agencies. The opportunities are endless, and you’ll also have the option to choose between full-time, part-time, or freelance teaching jobs.
The Future of Teaching Chinese in the US
The future for Chinese teachers in America is bright. It is also on the rise as business ties between China and the US increase. Mandarin is the most widely spoken language on the planet (it has more than a billion native speakers!). This clearly indicates that the need for Chinese speakers will only continue to grow.
As global marketing also becomes more important for businesses expanding their digital sales on a global scale, marketers are looking to hire and train localization experts as well. This means that your career isn’t necessarily capped at teaching either!