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15/06/20212021/06/15

Opportunities for bilingual teachers in the post pandemic era后疫情时代中国双语教师的机遇

Opportunities for bilingual teachers in the post pandemic era - New PGCE China Programme helps address career bottleneck

Multiple challenges facing international schools

According to Eurus, schools in China had a turbulent year in 2020 with teacher supply and the repercussions will continue beyond. While there will always be a necessity for international teachers, the pandemic has accelerated the need for schools to look closer to home to build sustainable staffing models. According to the Independent Schools Council's data, by 2023, there will be a shortfall in demand of about 20,000 bilingual teachers in China. The entry of international teachers into China has been hampered by the global pandemic, it is inevitably not enough to rely solely on international teacher recruitment to meet the demand for teacher numbers in schools. The increased demand for bilingual teaching staff in schools will certainly be the trend in the post-pandemic era and become the norm in the future. 

Schools however are facing a series of challenges in the recruitment of bilingual teachers. These challenges include limited high-quality and efficient recruitment channels; the English teaching ability of local teachers needs to be further improved; there are relatively few bilingual teachers with experience in mainstream international curricula such as IB/AP/A Level; the pedagogy skills of candidate needs to be richer and more rigorous in line with the standards expected at an international school; parent expectations for schools to be staffed by international teachers.

 

Curriculum and teaching experience are the career bottleneck 

Bilingual teachers refer to teachers who are able to teach a subject in a foreign language other than Chinese as the main language in the classroom. In the Chinese international education sector, the vast majority of teachers currently use English. This requires teachers to be able to deliver knowledge in correct and fluent English but not to the absolute exclusion of using Chinese so as to avoid the obstacles to students' thinking and understanding due to language lag. In addition to language requirement, schools also have certain requirements for bilingual teachers in terms of their individual character, ideological integrity, professional ethics and pedagogical qualities. In China generally, international schools assess bilingual teacher candidates in terms of educational background, subject specialism, teaching qualifications, years of teaching and curriculum experience. 

Moreover, international schools often prioritise teachers with curriculum and teaching experience. Candidates with experience in the mainstream curriculum are more competitive than fresh graduates and candidates with experience in the non-mainstream curriculum. According to the Eurus' survey, mainstream curriculum such as IB, AP and A-Level in international schools tend to have higher requirements for teachers, the demand for teachers also varies: A Level curriculum teachers account for 37% of demand while IB curriculum teachers account for 29%, and AP curriculum teachers account for 11%. In addition, the demand for teachers in international schools mainly focuses on candidates with adequate teaching experience: 79% of positions require teachers with 2-5 years of teaching experience; 13% require more than 5 years; only about 15% accept fresh graduates. This is a career bottleneck for many bilingual teachers who have little experience or deficient teaching ability to breakthrough. As a result, many bilingual teachers seek career progression by obtaining professional qualifications and participating in teacher training programmes.

 

Leading to increased salaries, British certificate are increasingly popular

As one of the motivations for teachers' self-improvement, whether obtaining professional qualifications and certificates can have a wage hike has become teachers' concern. According to the Eurus report,the percentage of international schools that reflect PGCE/iPGCE certificates on increased salaries was the highest, which is 53%, followed by IB certification at 47%. 

In addition to professional qualifications and certificates, British teacher training programmes are becoming increasingly popular among international schools in China. According to a recent TES report, ‘nearly two-thirds of survey respondents said they had actively worked to support local teachers to gain UK teaching qualifications such as PGCE/IPGCE, or Assessment-Only QTS in the past two years.'    

In the UK, university-led initial teacher training programmes are assessed by the ‘Good Teacher Training Guide’ which has been published every year since 1998 by the University of Buckingham. The Guide evaluates teacher training courses using Government data about employment rates, qualification entry requirements for courses and Ofsted ratings. Even though currently such a guide is not available for the teacher training programmes in China, more and more British universities are providing various school-centred ITT (initial teachers training) and degree courses for both new and experienced teachers. 

 

Combining the best of East and West to address the industry gap

While a minority of schools implement equal pay for equal work, the salary of international teachers is higher than bilingual teachers in most international schools.To narrow this gap, it is necessary not only to train bilingual teachers with targeted abilities and qualifications but also to provide Chinese bilingual teachers with clear career development paths in order to cultivate and retain excellent talents. The senior management at international schools is generally promoted from the teaching position. Other positions seem hard to reach senior management due to a lack of understanding of curriculum teaching. With the rapid development of international schools in China, it is difficult for the cultivation of talents in international schools to keep pace with the growth of international schools. Therefore, more and more industry insiders began to explore the career development path of bilingual teachers.

Practical pedagogy is the essence of teacher training in the United Kingdom. Buckingham International School of Education (BISE) works in partnership with the School of Education, the University of Buckingham in England to provide high-quality teacher training and education programmes for both - new teachers and more seasoned practitioners at all stages of their careers. These programmes seek to combine the best of Eastern and Western teaching and learning and to integrate the development of international teaching skills with the competencies required in the Chinese education system. 

The School offers a wide range of MA degree courses and Postgraduate Certificates in China – including PGCE-China, MA Education, MA Residential Education, MA Education Teaching and Learning, MEd Educational Leadership and Management, as well as a certificate in Special Educational Needs Coordination. The full set of courses will be able to support the theory and practice of building bilingual schools in China.

 

From top UK private schools for Chinese bilingual educators

As a prestigious higher education institution in the UK, the University of Buckingham was established in 1976 and has already got authorisation from the Ministry of Education of China. The School of Education at the University of Buckingham was founded in 2002. With over 1,300 teachers and school leaders studying there in any one year, the School of Education has become one of Britain’s leading providers of teacher training and professional development. The School is led by Professor Barnaby Lenon CBE, also the Chairman of the Independent Schools Council (ISC) who was the headmaster of Harrow School and started two schools in China. Buckingham International School of Education is its only official partnership for the design and promotion of the University's overseas programmes. BISE is headed up by David Mansfield, former Headmaster of Dulwich College Beijing and Executive Headmaster of Y.K. Pao School in Shanghai. 

One of the new flagship course of the University is the practice-based PGCE - China, which supports the development of the skills, knowledge and competencies required by the UK Teaching Standards. The PGCE - China course is shaped around the acclaimed PGCE used by leading independent schools in the UK. It is demanding but has been proven globally to improve the quality of a trainee’s teaching with a full programme of practice, observation, mentoring, reflection and academic study. It is currently available only in English but will be developing a fully bilingual version for Chinese colleagues. PGCE is suitable for new entrants to the profession as well as those seeking to diversify their pedagogical skills. 

The Programme also provides an opportunity to gain the UK’s Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) via an Assessment Only route. This will build seamlessly from the University of Buckingham PGCE course as the next step in the career progression for those candidates who meet the criteria set out by the UK Department for Education. 

The Buckingham International School of Education offers online PGCE China-led teacher training programmes and Masters of Education programmes for educators at all career stages. Why not follow us and learn more about these programmes by visiting the programme page!

国际学校面临多重挑战

根据欧洛斯的报告,2020年是中国国际学校在教师供给方面经历的非常不稳定的一年,且这种情况将会持续更久。学校对国际教师的需求一直在增加,然而全球疫情的影响加速了学校建立可持续员工配置模型的需求。根据英国独立学校委员会预测数据,到2023年,中国将出现2万名左右的双语教师需求缺口。受全球疫情的影响,国际教师进入中国受阻。如果仅依赖国际教师招聘来满足学校对教师数量的需求必然是不够的。学校对双语教学人才需求的增加必将是后疫情时代及未来常态下的趋势。 

然而,在双语教师招聘的过程中学校面临着一系列问题,包括:优质、高效的招聘渠道有限;双语教师候选人的英文授课能力有待进一步提高;具备IB/AP/A Level等主流课程体系经验的双语教师相对较少;候选人的教学方法需要更加丰富和严谨;以及家长期望学校的教师配备以国际教师为主。

 

课程体系和教学经验成为主要瓶颈

双语教师指除汉语外,能够用一门外语作为课堂主要用语进行学科教学的教师,在中国国际教育行业,目前教师绝大部分用英语。这就要求教师能够用正确流利的英语进行知识的讲解,但不绝对排除汉语,以避免由于语言滞后造成学生的思维理解障碍。除语言外,学校对于双语教师的个性化品格、思想品德、职业道德以及教学素养方面也有一定要求。在中国,国际化学校主要从以下几个方面评估双语教师候选人:候选人学历背景,学科专业背景,教师资格证书,工作经验年限以及课程体系经验。 

此外,学校经常会优先那些熟悉国际课程体系和有教学经验的教师,相较于应届毕业生以及有非主流课程体系经验的候选人,具备主流课程体系经验的教师候选人竞争力更大。据欧洛斯调查数据显示,IB、AP及A-Level作为国际化学校主流的课程体系,对其授课教师有更高的要求,对教师的需求也有所不同。例如,A Level课程体系教师需求占比37%,IB课程体系教师的需求占比29%,AP课程体系教师需求占比11%。此外,国际化学校的教师需求主要集中在有教学经验的候选人。其中要求具备2-5年经验的教师占79%,5年以上经验要求的占13%,而接受应届生的岗位只占15%左右。这对于许多经验不足或教学水平不够高的双语教师来说,是很难突破的职业瓶颈。因此,许多双语教师通过获取更多职业资格证书、参加教师培训项目等来完成职业进阶。

 

帮助增加薪资 英式证书渐受欢迎

作为教师个人自我提升的动力之一,获取职业资格与证书是否能提高薪资待遇是教师普遍关心的一个维度。欧洛斯调查数据显示,获取PGCE/iPGCE 证书可增加薪资的国际化学校占比最高,为53%,其次是IB课程认证,占比为47%。

除职业资格与证书外,英式教师培训项目在中国国际化学校中也越来越受欢迎。根据最近的一份泰晤士教育增刊报告,“近三分之二的受访者表示,他们在过去两年里积极支持本地教师获得PGCE/IPGCE等英国教学资格证书,或英国教师资格证(QTS)评估项目等。” 

在英国,由大学主导的新教师培训项目均会由白金汉大学发布的“优秀教师培训指南”进行评估,该“指南”自1998年以来每年发布一次。“指南”通过政府对就业率、课程资格准入要求的数据和英国教育标准局的排名等对教师培训课程进行评估。尽管目前中国的教师培训项目还没有这样的评估标准,但越来越多的英国大学正在为新教师和有经验的教师提供各种以学校为中心的ITT(新教师培训)和学位课程。

 

从东西方博采众长  满足行业人才缺口

在国际学校领域,实施同工同酬的学校占少数,国际教师的薪资高于双语教师占主流。要缩小这一差距,不仅要有针对性地培训双语教师的能力资质,更要为中国双语教师提供清晰的发展路径,才能培养并留住优秀的双语人才。国际学校的教学管理层一般都是从教学岗上升过来的。其他岗位由于对教学和课程的不了解而很难做到高级管理职位。随着国际学校的快速发展,国际学校人才的培养难以跟上国际学校的发展速度。因此,越来越多的业内人士开始探索双语教师职业发展的路径。 

放眼西方的教师培训体系,传授实用的教学方法才是教师培养的主要方向。以英国提供教师培训的领军高校白金汉大学为例,通过与白金汉国际教育学院紧密合作,大学致力于为不同职业阶段的教师和学校领导者提供高质量的教师培训和教育项目。这些课程力求将亚洲和西方教学的精华结合起来,在中国教育体系要求的教师能力基础之上增加国际化教学技能的培养。

白金汉大学提供一系列完整的在线硕士学位课程和研究生证书课程,包括PGCE中国课程,教育硕士(线上授课)、寄宿制教育硕士、教育硕士(教与学)、教育领导力与管理硕士以及英国国家特殊教育协调员认证课程等。全套课程力求为中国双语学校建设提供有效的理论和实践支持。

 

源于英国顶级私校  针对中国双语人才

作为英国老牌学府,白金汉大学成立于1976年,受到了中国教育部批准承认。其教育学院成立于2002年,是英国提供教师培训和专业发展项目的领军机构之一,每年有超过1300名教师和学校领导在此深造。学院现任院长Barnaby Lenon教授是英国独立学校委员会主席,曾任英国哈罗公学校长,并在中国创办了两所哈罗分校。白金汉国际教育学院是其唯一官方合作伙伴,负责大学海外课程的设计和推广,现任院长Davide Mansfield曾任北京德威学校校长和上海包玉刚学校执行校长。                                             

基于教学实践开展的PGCE-China(国际教师资格研究生证书-中国)课程是白金汉大学最新的旗舰项目,该课程围绕着英国教师标准,拓展学员的教学知识、技能与综合能力。课程基于诸多知名私校选用的PGCE教师培训课程,通过一整套实践、观察、指导、反思和学术研究方案来提高学员的教学质量,已在全球范围内得到认可。课程目前以英文授课,但也为中国同仁开发了完整的双语版本。PGCE课程既适合新晋教师,也适合追求教学技能多样化的资深教师。 

课程也提供参加英国教师资格证(QTS)评估项目的机会。对于符合英国教育部要求的学员来说,这一QTS课程将无缝对接白金汉大学的PGCE课程,帮助PGCE课程毕业生实现职业进阶。

白金汉大学国际教育学院针对不同职业阶段的教育工作者,提供以线上PGCE中国为首的教师培训课程以及教育硕士学位课程,不妨访问课程页面了解更多课程信息。

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