Adilah – teaching practicum in Chengde

Adilah, studying English Literature and History at the University of Sheffield, spent summer 2019 volunteering to teach English in Chengde as part of the 150 hour TEFL qualification. She has since returned to the UK and works as a classroom English teacher.

How was your experience on your teaching placement?

The program was phenomenal! There were various different aspects that I enjoyed – from teaching the kids and playing with them to really getting to grips with the outside areas such as Luanping and Chengde. 

It was absolutely fantastic and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Why did you apply for this teaching practicum?

I really wanted to immerse myself in Chinese culture and really understand what it is like to teach in China.

How has it helped your future career/ studies?

It really inspired me to think about a career in teaching English abroad. It’s something that seems an absolutely amazing, phenomenal opportunity and I’m really inspired to do that.

The TEFL course is something you can take with you wherever you go!

It was my first time teaching a group of students within a classroom setting. I really believe that this opportunity helped me to develop skills ready for my PGCE (teaching training) year in the UK. 

What else have you learnt from your teaching practicum?

I’ve learnt about Chinese etiquette, Chinese manners, Chinese food, some Chinese language… I basically taught animals to the kids, and in return they taught me what the Chinese word was for those animals!

There were also many different skills I developed during this time which included leadership, communication and time management skills. 

What was your favourite / most memorable moment?

On campus, it was with the kids – doing sports day and having a water fight was actually really fun! 

In terms of with the people that I was with, it was the evenings we spent. We did loads of things together, it was really nice. We went to KTV, which is like karaoke, and that was really cool.

How have you found the experience of living and volunteering in China?

I think living, volunteering and travelling in China has been different to my other experiences in South East Asia in terms of the food, the culture and everything else. 

Before the camp, I went to Beijing for a few days. I went to the Great Wall of China and went tobogganing down it!

Would you recommend the program to a friend and why?

I 100% would – I think it’s an amazing opportunity to really get to grips with teaching English as a foreign language. These students aren’t from privileged backgrounds, some come from deprived backgrounds who really need that exposure. We are probably the first and maybe last people they might be exposed to for English. It’s something that’s really inspiring for them and can really help them develop. 

Friends, and anyone who’s interested in applying – it’s a fantastic opportunity and I really think it will help you grow in many ways.

 

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