Published on:
June 3, 2015

by: Stephanie

Public Schools vs Private Language Schools – the lowdown!

The difference between public and private schools is distinct. Public schools typically refer to public (government) middle/ high schools and universities, whilst private schools refer to privately run English training centres, sometimes referred to as language schools or language training schools.

All schools are different, however many share similar features, and as with any job there are positive points to all!

1. Different teaching objectives
In public schools teachers are usually given a syllabus and textbook to follow, although many schools may also allow teachers to apply their own way of teaching and assessment. Many children and adults then participate in additional English learning opportunities, and the market of English training outside of school or work continues to grow throughout China. Lessons in private English training schools are usually aimed at enabling students’ to learn more practical elements of the language and to practice listening and speaking. A curriculum and set learning method may be used.

Language schools are ultimately private businesses, so the satisfaction of students is very important. Teachers that are popular with students and achieve good results can be given regular performance bonuses. Teachers at language schools may also be required to be involved with student recruitment via ‘demo’ classes – and may receive a fee for every student which then enrols at the school. On the other hand, public school teachers may receive a bonus for good performance at the end of a term, but involvement with student recruitment is not applicable.

Public schools typically have large class sizes (anywhere from 20 – 35 students), and may only have one or two other foreign teachers working at the same school. On the other hand, some language schools have a large number of foreign teachers working there, and a class may range from 4 to 12 students per class.

Public School

2. Working days and holidays

Public schools’ timetable is in line with national academic terms. So you work from Monday to Friday, and rest on weekends. Every working day, you work 8 hours and normally have 4 lessons per day on average. Some schools require teachers to be on campus for their office hours, others do not. Public schools have many holidays. In addition to the national legal holidays such as the Spring Festival and the National Day Festival, schools have two term vacations, one in July and August and one between January and February.

In a private language schools teachers have two days off per week, typically Monday and Tuesday. Weekends can be the busiest days of the week, and on week days teachers might start work at lunch time and finish at around 8pm. Teachers have public holidays off, and perhaps one or two weeks of extra holiday time.

Private school

3. Salary

Private language schools typically offer much higher basic salaries, usually between RMB7000-10,000 for an inexperienced teacher, and up to RMB17000 for an experienced teacher. As before, bonuses may be available. Public schools are government regulated and as a guide offer a salary of between RMB6000-9000 a month.

Major benefits for both school types include flight reimbursement, free accommodation, and medical insurance- public schools may have their own residences on campus and private schools normally rent an apartment for a teacher near the campus.

Opportunity China are here to support you to find the job you want, in line with your immediate preferences as well as your future career goals.


Comments are closed.

Apply Now