Culture Question:

I want to know about Teaching Chinese in Canada

(posted: Dec. 1, 2010)

The full question I got from a student was: “I really want to go aboard to teach foreigners Chinese, however, I heard that there are too many Chinese teacher but not that much foreign students. Is that so? Could you tell me something in Canada about the real situation?”

Well first, once you are in Canada you would not call Canadians foreigners. Canadians are foreigners when they are in China, but you will be the foreigner if you go to Canada.

I did not know the situation regarding teaching Chinese in Canada so I sent a few emails to people in organizations associated with teaching Chinese in Canada. I received a response from Billie Ng of the Canadian TCSL (Teaching Chinese as a Second Language) Association. He had this to say:

To teach in Canadian high schools, one has to obtain a teaching license/certificate from the province (that he/she intends to teach).   Requirements for the certificate/license differ from province to province.  In BC (British Columbia) province, it is a BA in a high school subject (e.g. Geography) and a year of teacher training diploma.

The minimum qualification for teaching Chinese in colleges and universities is a MA in related fields, plus foreign language teaching experience.

Canadians or landed immigrants have priority to these teaching positions.  To hire from overseas, the employer MUST prove that such specialists are not available in Canada.  There are many native speaker Mandarin teachers in Canada at the moment; so it is unlikely that the employer can hire someone from overseas.

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Further Reading:

Canadian TCSL Association website