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Teaching English in Hong Kong


Hong Kong has about 6000 to 10,000 expatriate English teachers engaged in teaching Profession, mainly from countries like the UK, New Zealand, Australia, & North America. However since the handover in 1997 there has been a huge surge for propagating and promoting Putonghua /Mandarin teaching. English language proficiency has still retained its past glory and plays a very important role in the daily life of people in Hong Kong, as it empowers them to make them self understood well and do roaring business.

Since the standards and levels of English have been below par, the Government has taken an initiative in last few years to improve and enhance the skills of English language in schools, the workplace and corporate world. The work culture in Hong Kong seems to be biased, as seen in majority of the cases, where people who possess English language skills, are paid much better salaries than their other counterparts and enjoy lucrative career prospects and this factor has acted as an incentive for many local to learn English.

Essential Qualifications

It has been proved time and again that the demand for English teachers exceeds supply in Asian continent at any given point of time and this has made easy for unqualified and untrained teachers to get jobs in private language schools in Hong Kong, however these teachers are underpaid.

To qualify for a full time primary & secondary teaching position it is imperative to hold a degree plus PGCE, or education degree & some experience of teaching English. Masters in Applied Linguistics/TESOL is highly recommended in case you opt for tertiary full time teaching. In case of part time teaching you may need a degree, TEFL certificate along with some teaching experience. It must be noted that the academic year runs from the month of September to June every year, hence full time recruitment opens between February & April every year.

Remuneration and Work Visas

Majority of the English teachers are more inclined to work in tertiary institutions as the working conditions are ideal and salaries are much more attractive than the private language schools. Tertiary language centers have a process to employ a mix of full and part time teachers.

In most of the cases, full time tertiary English teachers are sponsored by some institution, which undertakes to make all their  work permit arrangements and the teachers are eligible for basic health insurance, generous period of leave and perks like a bonus of 10 to 15%, which is payable on the expiry of the contract. The full time salaries differ, but are normally in the range of HK$ 28,000 to HK$ 50,000 per month.

Part–time teachers are eligible and entitled to register as a business and can apply for an investment visa or work permit, if they arrange to find a sponsoring institution who agrees to employ the applicant for sufficient hours in order to fulfill the qualification criteria. First time visa applicants are normally granted a single year visa, which on renewal can be extended for a period of one ,two or three years.

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