Published on:
August 25, 2015

by: Guest

Classroom Chinese

In a recent blog I wrote about how to make a great impression in the classroom in China as soon as you arrive, and one of the key points was to start using some of the language in the classroom as soon as you can, to make an immediate impact and impress the children and your colleagues. But what phrases that we commonly use in the classroom in England correctly translate over into Chinese? And indeed is the etiquette with instruction and discipline in the classroom similar in China to what we are used to in the UK?

Opportunity China, working in conjunction with Daniel Humphrey, an experienced classroom teacher in China, have prepared some new resources to help and support teachers to make that great impression from day 1. When preparing for a teaching job in China with us, as well as our comprehensive pre-departure guidance we will be including information on “Classroom Chinese”, key words, phrases and sentences that you can use to effectively manage your class and help to build an initial rapport with your students.

Here are some samples from our new resource and how best to use them in context:

Much like registration at the beginning of the lesson in an English classroom, beginning in an orderly fashion is expected in China. So greet your students as they enter, and seamlessly order the beginning of the lesson by waiting for the students to stand behind their chairs and wait to hear:

“Bào gào 报告” before they are seated – (reporting for duty)

Students should say this as they arrive in the classroom and wait to be seated.

When coming to the key part of the lesson, when you are introducing the learning objective, or setting the main task, commonly our tone of voice changes, we speak slower, and repeat this to ensure students are carefully engaged with what you are saying. Therefore, you might like to immediately preface the learning objectives of your first lesson with:

“tīng hǎo 听好” (listen carefully)

Finally, at the end of your lesson it is a good opportunity to report back to your manager and also build some relationships with other teachers at the school by discussing and reflecting on your lessons. The start of this process is always commenting on how the class behaved and reacted to your lesson, so you can say:

“Biǎo xiàn 表现…” – (class conduct…)

This will then be followed by positive or negative vocabulary describing how the class were in the lesson, essential to communicate well with other staff in your department and ensure you are always reflecting on your teaching!

“Classroom Chinese” – The full resource is made available along with other useful guides in a pre-departure pack that Opportunity China provides to all its teachers embarking on the start of their career in teaching in China. Opportunity China prides itself in offering a service to all teachers that includes advice and guidance, and doesn’t just stop when the teaching job in China is started – there is also the Ambassador Scheme where you are paired up with teachers already in China to find out the insider information on life in your chosen city/area. Find out more at, view our current job vacancies, and make an application.


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