Teaching English in Nanjing


Teach English in Historic Nanjing

Nanjing, host of the 2014 Summer Olympics, is the capital of Jiangsu province in Eastern China and with a Olympic Stadiumpopulation of 8+ million is the second largest city in the region (after Shanghai). Nanjing enjoys one of the fifteen city sub-provincial administrative designations in China[1]. Prior to 1982, the city name was spelled as Nanking, but in 1982, with the advent of the Hanyu Pinyin[2], it was revised to Nanjing, which means “Southern Capital”. Nanjing is one of the Four Great Ancient Chinese Capitols and holds a prominent place in Chinese history. As far back as the third century AD, Nanjing has served as the capital of many ancient Chinese dynasties, including the famous Ming Dynasty, the last Han dynasty to rule China.

Nanjing was also the scene of the infamous “Rape of Nanking” by the Japanese Imperial Army during WW II, Perhaps, the single worst atrocity during the World War II, the number of rapes and murders will never be known, but estimates of the number of ethnic Chinese that were slaughtered during the six weeks of carnage range as high as 300,000.

Nanjing presents a number of teaching opportunities in kindergartens, public and private international schools, universities, large institutions and international baccalaureate schools. Teaching in public schools is done from Monday to Friday during standard school hours. There are also English Training Schools that are open outside normal schooling hours.

Generally speaking, working hours are low leaving plenty of time for leisure activity. Many schools offer paid holidays of up to 8 weeks making travel and tourism easy.

Salaries vary greatly depending on the type of school and teacher experience, however, there are many benefits including housing, which makes for very affordable living.

Since the city is frequented by several tourists from all over the globe, the city provides English teachers with an opportunity to interact, create friendships and network with foreigners from different backgrounds and culture. The natives of the city are a benevolent and generous people.

Requirements for Teaching English in Nanjing


  • Be at least 24-55 years old
  • Have a Bachelor’s degree
  • Have a TEFL certificate (120+hr TEFL)
  • A full-time teaching experience of 12 months
  • Posses a work visa
  • Have formal teaching experience of two years

Teaching English in Nanjing to Young Students

Teaching Children in China


English is considered the language of commerce in China. For this reason, most parents are keen on ensuring that their children learn the English language. Learners can be as young as 2 years old. Teachers normally use interactive and play-based instructional methods to teach the children pronunciation, listening and communication skills. Chinese culture emphasizes academic achievement.

Teaching English to Young Adults in Nanjing

Nanjing is a city that is growing economically and young adults see English as a skill essential for career development. Most classes for this category of people are offered during the evenings and weekend. This provides the instructor with ample time for class preparation.

Teaching English Majors at a university may be the most enjoyable experience. With smaller classes and more engaged students (majority female) who really enjoy learning, this can often be the most rewarding experience for a teacher. Most Universities have downtown and (45 min commute) suburban campuses.

Try to avoid IELTS / TOEFL prep class as they are often very large classes (20-100 students) filled with well-to-do students, many of whom are not very invested in learning. While there are few requirement to get results there are many papers to grade and generally much more work.

Also, try to avoid the nightmare of English Corner Classes. These are free form classes of up to 200 people ranging from absolute beginners to advanced and from teenagers to 50+. This makes it impossible to structure sessions that will suit everyone ensuring that some will find it too difficult and others offended by its simplicity. Many participants are attracted by the belief that this is an easy passive way to learn English, which of course, it is not.


Nanjing is one of the most beautiful cities in all of China. Its ancient sites, scenic lakes, green parks, mountains, relics and friendly people make it a popular tourist destination.

Nanjing sits in the Yangtze River Delta surrounded by mountains offering spectacular natural scenery.Yangtze River Bridge Beautiful Xuanwu and Mochou Lakes are located in the city centre and are enjoyed by the public.

Like many cities in China, Nanjing has undergone extraordinary development, particularly since 2005. In addition to the massive investment in residential and commercial real estate development and public transportation, the city government has built four large industrial parks to attract new industries to complement its traditional manufacturing base.

The city’s infrastructure includes a system of river crossings consisting of 5 bridges and two tunnels. While the city has an extensive bus system and taxis are plentiful, getting around the city is best with the metro system to avoid the heavy above-ground traffic congestion. A 17-mile Metro and light-rail system is is currently under construction.

Eastern China has the worst air pollution in the world and Nanjing is no exception. Nanjing has registered Air Quality Index of 498 (out of a pollution scale of 500). It is not uncommon for the city government to close all schools in the city as an emergency measure. Even so, Nanjing is in the middle of the pack of Chinese cities with respect to the degree of air pollution.

Nanjing Business and Industry

Located in the fertile lower Yangtze River Delta, Nanjing is home to one of the world’s largest inland ports. Port of NanjingNanjing is part of the Yangtze River Delta Economic Zone, which accounts for 20 percent of China’s GDP and one third of its imports and exports.

Nanjing is heavily endowed with rich natural resources, including over three dozen minerals, including large deposits of iron and sulfur. Not surprisingly, Nanjing also has abundant water resources, both from the Yangtze River as well as groundwater. Nanjing is noted for its natural hot springs.

Nanjing’s five “pillar industries” include automotive, petrochemical, steel, power and electronics.


Nanjing has a humid subtropical climate and is known for its high temperatures in the summertime. It is known as one of the “Three Furnaces”, a Chinese term that refers to the particularly hot and oppressively humid summer weather in three large cities in the Yangtze River Valley (Nanjing, Wuhan and Chongqing).

Spring is from March to May. The weather warms up, and it is humid, with changing temperatures alternating between a few warm days and then turning cold. Wearing sweaters and coats is the order of the day for this variable season.

Summer is from June to September, with extremely hot and humid weather with temperatures reaching into the 90’s (F). Temperature can reach over 100 (F) in July. Rainfalls concentrates in June and July, making light summer clothes, sun screen and umbrellas required essentials.

Autumn is from October to November. With pleasant cool, dry weather, it is a popular season for traveling in Nanjing. There are sharp and frequent intervals of temperature changes. Shirt, thin sweater and coat are advised.

Winter is from December to February. The weather is cold with heavy humidity and occasional snow. January is the coldest month with the low temperature dropping to -7 °C (19 °F). Down jackets, sweaters and thick pants will be needed to cope with the cold.


The native residents of Nanjing speak the Nanjing dialect or Nanjing Mandarin. Most of the famous universities of Jiangsu province are located in Nanjing and most of the young people are well educated meaning they can also speak English. While they speak Nanjing dialect with their parents and friends they can also switch to Mandarin as soon as they find you are speaking Mandarin.


Nanjing is the transportation hub in Eastern China and the lower Yangtze River area. An important railway hub connected to the national high-speed railway network, Nanjing has several more high-speed rail lines under construction. Nanjing has 17 railway stationsNanjing Rail Station

Nanjing’s airport, Lukou International Airport, serves both national and international flights.

Nanjing is connected to all parts of China with an extensive network of provincial highways, including express highways to Shanghai, Hefei, Hangzhou. 


Nanjing has some of the oldest and finest museums in China, including Nanjing Museum, one of the best Nanjing Librarymuseums in China having 400,000 items in its permanent collection. It is known for its enormous collection of Ming and Qing imperial porcelain. Nanjing also boasts many libraries, theaters, traditional dance troupes and opera.

Nanjing, is a popular tourist destination with many historical attractions including  the  and the government hosts many festivals during the year, including the annual International Plum Blossom Festival boasting the largest plum collection in China, attracting thousands of tourists from around the world.

Nanjing is home to many professional sports teams. Including soccer, basketball and top notch men’s and women’s volleyball,

Expatriate Life

Nanjing has a thriving expat life. The city has a vibrant night life with many foreigner friendly bars, restaurantsfood and theaters. Foreigner ‘square’ situated near two Chinese universities and Johns Hopkins has no shortage of friendly faces in the neighborhood.

The cost of living is cheaper in Nanjing and locals welcoming and patient with foreigners.

A 2004 survey by China Central Television ranked Nanjing 2nd among the top 10 “happiest cities in China”. Another survey measuring the happiness of expats in China, conducted by Nanjing Expat, some 83 percent of respondents described themselves as either happy or very happy with their lives as an expat in Nanjing.

Foreign products are also available but will cost more. Nanjing has several Walmart department stores as well as the popular French chain Carrefou with reportedly cheaper prices.

Given that tourism is a great contributor to the city’s economy, an expatriate can be assured of creating several personal connections.


If you are a nature enthusiast and desire a mix of both country and urban aura, then Hangzhou is the place for you. Teach ESL in Shanghai and be part of a community full of vim and vigor!

[1] The sub-provincial designation provided the city with only slightly less jurisdictional and economic autonomy than that of a province.

[2] Hanyu Pinyin the official Chinese phonetic system for transcribing Mandarin pronunciations of Chinese characters into the Latin alphabet,



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