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(People's Daily Online) A recent survey found most foreign teachers working at English training institutions in China do not have the required qualification certificates, the Beijing News reported on Nov. 22.
The market size of China’s English training industry was 104.2 billion yuan in 2015 and is projected to exceed 220 billion yuan by 2020, according to a report published by the Beijing-based market consultancy Bosi Data Research Center.
Most parents want to send their children to English-training institutions with foreign teachers, claiming that foreign teachers from English-speaking countries have purer accents than those from home and other countries.
The huge market and prevailing attitude of the parents boost the demand for foreign teachers at the training institutions, despite the fact that most of them do not possess the necessary qualifications.
Most institutions refuse to show their foreign teachers’ qualification certificates, because they probably do not have them. Some even advertise their foreign teachers as educational experts to attract students, an insider noted.
China’s State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs said that foreigners who work at English training institutes in China must have a work permit and must be from English-speaking countries.
Apart from this, foreign teachers must have a bachelor’s degree or above with at least two years of teaching experience, unless they have teacher qualifications or other international certificates, such as TEFL and TESOL, according to the administration.
“Neither teaching quality nor students’ personal security can be guaranteed if foreign teachers don’t have the proper qualifications,” the insider noted.
Some foreign teachers only have a study or tourist visa rather than a work visa, which is likely to cause high staff turnover at the training institution. This makes it harder for students to learn much from the courses.
Moreover, there are potential safety issues. For example, Neil Robinson, who was wanted by police in the UK for sexual offenses and possession of indecent images of children worked as a foreign teacher at a Beijing-based training institution for several years.
According to the insider, although the English training market in China is gradually becoming standardized, the supervision of training institutions should still be tightened regarding foreign teachers’ qualifications.