Will teaching English give me enough free time to study Chinese?


I’ve been studying Chinese in Taiwan for a year now at a university language center and hope to find a job so as to keep improving my skills through self study or failing that, picking up classes again. I want to speak perfect Chinese a year from now.

I’ve applied to the big chain schools and I’m checking out smaller buxibans, but reading through the posts here I’m getting a bit anxious just because of how mixed opinions appear to be.

Should I expect to be doing comfortable 25 hour weeks with plenty of time to work on my language skills? Or 12 hour days making my goals totally unachievable? Is there some secret question that I can ask hiring managers to get an idea of what to expect?


If I can juggle teaching English, learning Chinese, AND raising a newborn baby, then you can comfortably manage 2 out of 3.


Depends on how many hours and if they expect you to do unpaid hours after and before. I know some teachers who work 25 hour weeks but add up close to 35-40 with unpaid hours of grading and stuff.


I would be far more concerned about your expectation that you will speak perfect Chinese in a year than about having a little free time to study.


@IronLady: I have just finished learning for a year. I think my skills are pretty good already so I think another year will suffice.

@andrew: How can I tell which places will force lots of unpaid hours on me? Is this just limited to big chain schools?

@DrewCutz: That’s good to hear. I hope I am as lucky as you are.


It’s not about being lucky. It’s just about having a strong work ethic. Don’t worry about whether you can do something. Just do it.


Be sure and let me know how one can make one’s Chinese perfect in two years. Clearly I’ve wasted nearly 30 so far. LOL


got to tag correctly, usually big chain makes you do lots of unpaid hours. But the best way to know is to ask. Will I have to work unpaid hours? Of course preparing for the class is unavoidable, but that’s expected. However some make you stay and do lots of paper work stuff.


Big chains expect a lot of unpaid hours so initially the answer is no. However with experience those hours can be drastically reduced. It really depends on whether your manager is chill or not. The petty ones like to create unpaid tasks and can be a pain to deal with.