How to Teach English in Xinjiang, China | The Ultimate Guide

How to Teach English in Xinjiang, China (Updated 2018)

December 10 | 96 Comments

Is it possible to teach English in Xinjiang, China? I spent almost 4 years teaching English out here and I’d love to share my experience. However, I’d also like to share how things have changed.

How to teach English in Xinjiang, China

UPDATE 2018: This article was originally written in 2015 and a lot has changed since then. Xinjiang officials have successfully kicked out most foreigners living in the region in an effort to keep them from seeing all the gross human rights violations they’re committing.

Because of this, getting a teaching job in Xinjiang, China has become almost impossible for the time being. I’m going to keep this article active for reference, but if you’re truly interested in a teaching job I recommend you look elsewhere in China (or other parts of Asia which pay a lot better).


Two weeks ago I received an urgent text from a good friend here in Uruqmi. “Please call me” he said. Come to find out one of his old college friends now works at a primary school an hour outside of Urumqi and they are desperate to find a foreign English teacher.

A month ago I received a message via WeChat with a similar request, this time from another foreigner here in the Xinjiang capital of Urumqi whose friend had asked him to help find available foreigners.

Happy New Adventure

Last week I met with a representative from a school in downtown Urumqi that begged me to refer some friends to teach for them.

The funny thing is that despite all of these job openings it is actually quite difficult for people outside the province to find a job in Xinjiang.

The prevailing wisdom a few years ago was to just travel out here on a tourist visa, find a good school and then get hired. Not only does that take a lot of guts, it’s also a risk of both your finances and the kind of school you find. And it often doesn’t work anymore.

So how do you find a good teaching job in Xinjiang?

In this article I want to describe to you the process of finding a good job here with the help of Jan Abbey, an anthropologist and (now-former) teacher here in the province.

How to Teach English in Xinjiang

Let’s start with a basic question: how did you find your teaching job here in Xinjiang?

Jan: My current job came through a relationship that I’ve had through QQ with the principal at the Karamay High School. He initiated my current job offer. I believe XJ jobs are more often found this way rather than through recruiters.

Josh: My prior teaching job came through a relationship a friend back in Louisiana had with a principal at the school here in Xinjiang. It wasn’t an advertised position but it turned out to be 3 years of fun teaching!

Conclusion: Most jobs in Xinjiang come through relationships with people or outside organization who already have a presence in Xinjiang. Rarely are good jobs found on an internet job board.

What pay should be expected for a teacher in Xinjiang?

Jan: XJ pay is very low compared to the east. 4000 RMB is not bad pay. This is one of the reasons XJ schools can’t find enough teachers. (Editor’s note: Jan teaches in a smaller city where salaries aren’t as high as in Urumqi, the capital)

Josh: My pay starting back in 2006 was 4,500 RMB, but that was on top of a furnished apartment that was provided for my wife and I and paid flights. At the time it was enough to live on because the cost of living was so low, but I don’t think that would be the case today.

Conclusion: Nowadays it’s not uncommon for schools to offer salaries upwards of 7,000-8,000 RMB per month for full-time work in order to attract more interest. Each school is different, but some offer housing stipends, bonuses, travel incentives, etc. Pay can also be dependent upon education (bachelors degree? TEFL certification?).

What advice would you give to someone who wants to teach English in Xinjiang?

Jan: For god’s sake, be a serious teacher! It’s an important job, you will have a big effect on many student’s lives. They really want to learn English, not listen to you play the guitar everyday or just play games (rant over!). Han students are easy to teach, though hard to engage, minority students are hard to teach but easy to engage. Most western teachers gravitate toward the more outgoing minorities but if you are a real teacher, you must treat all the students the same. The Han students are well aware of this distinction and are very resentful of it.

Josh: Be an active negotiator. Schools may say that they “require” a certification or that you be from a certain country, but the fact is that here in Xinjiang these schools realize that they can’t be too selective. Don’t accept lower pay just because you don’t have 2 years of experience. Negotiate.

Conclusion: Teaching English in Xinjiang is in some ways different than the rest of China, but there are some ways in which it is the same. Like the rest of China, not all schools in Xinjiang make great working environments. Taking a random job is a risk without somebody to vouch for the quality of school.

I Want a Job…What Should I Do?

It is the goal of this website to promote a better understanding of Xinjiang to the rest of the world and I’ve been thinking to myself: what better way than to help people move out here and live?

After almost 10 years of building relationships here in Urumqi and throughout the province, I feel like I’m finally at a place where I could help somebody find a job that is interested to move out here to Xinjiang.

  • What’s in it for me, a potential teacher? For you, you get up-to-date job openings as well as personal help from me. I can help you choose the best city, location and school for your needs. In addition, you get the comfort of knowing that each school has been vetted as a legitimate school with the ability to provide a work visa.
  • What’s in it for you, Josh? For me, I’ll be helping out some friends in the education department or building guanxi with others. Some schools offer me a “finders fee” while others do not.

So if you’re interested in teaching here in Xinjiang – and that could just mean that you’re interested sometime over the next year or two – then there are a few things you’re going to want to do.

#1 Add Your Name to the Xinjiang Jobs Alerts List

I’ve established this list for the sole purpose of alerting people of new job openings – it doesn’t matter if you already live here in Xinjiang, in China or anywhere else in the world. The only emails that will be sent will be related to new jobs and will not be more frequent that once every couple weeks.

Add your email – and unsubscribe at any time – to make sure you get the latest list of job openings!

XINJIANG JOB ALERT LIST

UPDATE 2018: For the time being, I have removed sign up for this job alert list because no jobs are being offered. Sorry for the inconvenience!

For more help finding a teaching job in China, check out these 5 steps to finding a good English teaching job in China from our sister site TravelChinaCheaper.

#2 Get Your TEFL Certification

While not absolutely necessary in order to teach in China (at least here in Xinjiang), having a TEFL certification not only better prepares you to teach, it also means you’ll get a higher monthly salary (up to 1,000 RMB more each month).

Think about it this way: let’s say you pay about $250 to get a TEFL certification. Over the course of a 1-year contract you will make an additional US$1,750 in salary. Unless you’re in some sort of rush, taking the course is a no-brainer.

If you don’t know where to start, I recommend this affordable online course. They offer a variety of different courses at various price points to fit your needs and budget.

 #3 Start Researching What You Want

By my own estimation, there are at least 9 different cities in Xinjiang that allow foreign teachers to be issued work visas. Start thinking about where you would want to go, what sacrifices you’re willing to make and what your ultimate goal is (i.e. travel, making money, etc.).

Teaching English isn’t for everybody (it’s not for me!) but it is certainly one of the best ways to get a full experience of Xinjiang and all it has to offer.

Final Thoughts | Teaching in Xinjiang

Although I’m glad to not be teaching English anymore, I truly enjoyed my time doing so in Xinjiang. It’s a unique place that may not pay as much in salary, but offers significant other benefits.

Remember, at this moment it’s extremely difficult to find a job because China is slowly closing the Xinjiang border, but hopefully that will change in the future. When/if it does, I’ll update this article.

Is there anybody reading this who has taught English in Xinjiang and could add some other helpful tips?

About Josh Summers

Josh is a writer, musician and entrepreneur who currently resides in Urumqi, capital of China's western province of Xinjiang. He has been traveling and writing about this region since 2006 and has no plans to stop in the near future.

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  1. I do not think Jan’s sweeping generalisations about ethnic Hans and ethnic minorities are either accurate, helpful or fair, and I would think a teacher ought to know better. Not all ethnic Hans are the same. They do not all have the same personality in the classroom. To say that they are easy to teach but difficult to engage says more about the person making the comment than it does about the students. Likewise, not all ethnic minorities have the same personality. And not all Americans, or Australians or English are the same. As a teacher and as a human, sweeping generalisations and stereotypes ought to be avoided.

    [Reply]

    Josh on February 25th, 2014 at 8:02 am

    Helen, thanks so much for your comment! You make an excellent point and although I can’t speak for Jan I can say from meeting her that she really does care for her students despite how that answer might come across.

    [Reply]

  2. One problem neither teacher mentioned was age. After 8 years teaching in Urumqi I had to return to my country due to the new law in China that foreigners over 60 are no longer allowed to teach there. My high-school teaching colleagues thought I was crazy, during the best earning years as a high-school teacher in my 50’s, to go to China to teach on the same salary as Jan has mentioned. It meant I had no savings when I returned home. As well, I had to go through the culture shock of learning to live in my own country again after all those years in China. I had become a “haidai” or sea-turtle as it is described in China; a person who has spent several years abroad, but is totally out of touch, and unemployed, when they return to their original country. I would advise a year at most teaching in a remote place, in a challenging culture, and on very low wages for a professional like me. Having said that though, I would do it all over again as I had such a lot of fun and made many local friends who I’m still in touch with by QQ.

    [Reply]

    Ray on March 14th, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    Carl, You mentioned a new law where those over 60 can’t teach in China. While your post is dated May 2014… when did such a law start? I was in China as a teacher during 2010 and there were teachers over 60… Thanks. Ray

    [Reply]

    Josh Summers on March 16th, 2015 at 4:16 am

    Hey Ray, great question. The law has been around for a while but as with most laws in China, it all depends on when they start enforcing it.

    These past few years have seen the authorities tighten up on this rule, making it hard for somebody over 60 to teach here. Of course, if a school wants somebody bad enough and has the right connections they can still get somebody hired. Generally speaking, though, it’s getting less and less common.

  3. Useful info presented in a lively, readable way. Thx, Josh. I see that Jan has been taken to task for “generalizing” about Han and Uighur students but those kind of generalizations – as offensive as they may be to some liberal consciences! – can be quite useful. Jan’s comments about the importance of being a good teacher are absolutely smack on the button!

    [Reply]

    Josh Summers on July 9th, 2014 at 12:21 am

    Thanks for the comment, Daniel! Glad it was useful for you.

    [Reply]

  4. I came across this website during my research (again) about this fascinating place. I worked in XNU 13 years ago and had a wonderful time. I think you must go there with an open mind and plenty of diplomacy due to the situation. I was treated extremely well by all students and colleagues. I regret returning to the UK. I wished I had stayed there and now I am thinking of returning.

    [Reply]

    Jenny Ekberg on September 15th, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    Colin, how did you do it? I am trying to do something similar I think (see my above comment). Thank you!!
    Jenny

    [Reply]

    colin on September 28th, 2014 at 7:29 am

    Hi Jenny,
    Last time it was through the auspices of VSO as I lost my job in the UK and I applied through this organisation.
    Unfortunately, I have contact my old employer but no reply. So I am just as lost as you at the moment. There are whole plethora of websites out there and I have nearly secured (still researching the insitution) a post in Korla. I am looking forward to returning there. Not sure if this helps you much though. Good luck

  5. Hi there, I’m a senior university lecturer in physiology at QUT, Brisbane, Australia. We have the opportunity to do work overseas as part of our professional development program. I really, really want to go to XUAR, but when I email people at Xinjiang medical university, for example, I get no response. What can I do? Any ideas? I am trying to learn basic Uyghur and hopefully also some Mandarin. Thank you! Jenny

    [Reply]

    colin on October 11th, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    Hi Jenny, I assume you have tried to contact them directly. It seems as though the email system goes through tefl.net. Having said that I have still had no reply. As for your basic Uyghur and Mandarin (putonghua), these are not too difficult to learn although I would say that Mandarin is probably more important as it is the link language. Using Uyghur, of course, is very important to respect the people in this region, not only the Uygurs, but the Kazakh, Uzbek et al.

    [Reply]

    Ken on December 12th, 2014 at 9:01 am

    I don’t think other minorities speak the Uyghur language. The Tajik, Kazakh etc each has their own language. Hence Putonghua or Mandarin would still be the “link” language for all ethnicities, esp the young ones, not so much the elderly ones.

  6. Jan and Josh, thank you so much for this site. I’m trying to use the connections I have for teaching in Xinjiang, but I haven’t had much luck thus far. The honest information and links to jobs have been incredibly useful.

    [Reply]

    Josh Summers on December 18th, 2014 at 10:36 pm

    My pleasure, Ryan. If you’re stuck and interested to get out here soon, shoot me an email and I might be able to connect you with some other schools here.

    [Reply]

  7. Thank you for an article.i was in Urumqi in 2003. I studied Chinese there!
    I want to go back to Ururmqi again.My English proficiency is ok but unfortunately I speak with Indian accent because I studied in India for several years.

    Sincerely,

    Kyrgyz Man,
    Bishkek,Kyrgyzstan

    [Reply]

    Josh Summers on January 30th, 2015 at 8:09 am

    Thanks for the comment! I hope you have the opportunity to come back soon. :)

    [Reply]

  8. Is CELTA certification useful in Xinjiang?
    By the way, I am from Morocco and English is not my mother tongue :/

    [Reply]

    Josh Summers on February 10th, 2015 at 2:09 am

    Any certification is useful but not absolutely necessary.

    Schools are usually looking for native speakers but I know plenty of non-native speakers who work here so don’t let that discourage you!

    [Reply]

  9. Dear Josh or should I rather write Mr Summers,

    I am a Polish/British journalist, writer and teacher. Have some experience in teaching (- 2 years school – 8 years private tutor) -and above all love it (unless it is teaching to very small kids). I am quite disappointed with air quality and hectic life of East China – I just visited for the first time. Would love to teach in the West – it would be an adventure if not a mission and I would be be allowed to breath more or less clean air…I have all the documents ready – CELTA, English Proficiency Exam (A note) Spent 11 years in London,worked for BBC World radio. I have dual Polish English citizenships.I am interested in all kinds of teaching jobs with the only limitation – not kindergarden and children under 11. Is there still demand for English teachers? Could you give me a hand? Yours, Marek

    [Reply]

  10. Josh, I want to buy your book in appreciation of your wonderful informanton which keeps the memory of trip alive. Are you still offering those incentives from the first weekend?

    [Reply]

    Josh Summers on May 7th, 2015 at 2:43 am

    Thank you, Ida! Technically no, but shoot me an email and I’ll work something out for you :)

    [Reply]

  11. Hi there, I was looking into getting an ESL job in Kashgar. I’ve done a bit of brief searching but haven’t found much. Do you know anything about the institutions there? any tips? I’ve got my Masters in Education-TESOL.

    [Reply]

    Josh Summers on June 12th, 2015 at 5:14 am

    Hi Rose! Kashgar currently doesn’t give visas to foreign teachers, unfortunately. That’s probably why you haven’t found anything…there’s nothing to be had no matter how qualified you are.

    [Reply]

    rose Whitfeld on June 12th, 2015 at 6:38 am

    What a bummer!
    Thanks for the info Josh.

  12. Woah, way to make it sound way harder than it is. Just sign up with one of the few private schools in Urumqi (Web and EF). They are decent enough to work for and pay alright (10,000 RMB per month full time at web as of 2014).

    But yeah, take it seriously because the people in this city are awesome and don’t deserve to have their time wasted by self-absorbed, guitar-playing hippies.

    [Reply]

    Josh Summers on June 15th, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    Thanks for the comment! Certainly not trying to make it sound harder than it is, but the fact is that most people I know are trying to get *away from* the private language schools since they require so many “office hours” and very little vacation time. Also, working at EF and Web guarantees you interact with almost 0% of the ethnic population here in Xinjiang.

    [Reply]

    Ryne Alexander on October 12th, 2015 at 12:22 am

    “Working at EF and Web guarantees you interact with almost 0% of the ethnic population here in Xinjiang”. Yea that’s not true at all coming from a teacher at one of these schools

    Josh Summers on October 12th, 2015 at 10:29 am

    Fair enough, Ryne. That was an overstatement. You have to agree, however, that the majority of students you teach – and the neighborhoods where EF and Web are located – are over 90% Han Chinese.

  13. Dear Josh: I am a Pakistani who lived in Chicago all my life and finally settled back here back in Pakistan. I have been working a Head of English department in a non-profit for the last three years. I teach the Cambridge ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) – so here are my questions?
    1. How much would it cost for a family of 4 in living expenses.
    2. Would my kids 6 and 4 get a reasonable schooling there?
    3. Very important. How is the weather? year round>

    Thank you so very much

    [Reply]

  14. Hi , i read your post and i think u can help me , I’m a graduate from Xinjiang medical university free at the moment want to teach kids english can u recommend me ? as u said online searching calling them is useless … better chances if someone is there who can introduce u ….

    [Reply]

    Josh Summers on December 16th, 2015 at 2:18 am

    Feel free to email me your CV. I can’t promise anything, though.

    [Reply]

  15. Hi Josh, I’m curious when you’ll be sending out another email regarding jobs in Xinjiang? I’m prsently living in Kunming and looking at other options.

    [Reply]

  16. Josh, I taught English to middle school students as a summer program in Karmay with my college after I graduated, and at the end of that summer, I was offered a one-year job teaching… It wasn’t the right time for me, but I feel certain had I taken that opportunity it probably would have been pretty open-ended. My college had a partnership with the school there, so there was a good bit of guangxi… do you feel that this is still the way a lot of job opportunities come about- through relationship and “who you know”?

    [Reply]

    Josh Summers on May 25th, 2016 at 12:07 am

    Hey Shannon, there’s definitely a lot of guanxi that’s involved – particularly if there’s competition for the job – but for the most part here in Xinjiang they’re still open to any qualified applicant.

    [Reply]

  17. At the beginning of the article we are told that personal contacts are the best way to get a job in Urumqi. The jobs I got during several years in Urumqi came from two recruiting websites: http://www.anesl.com and http://www.eslcafe.com. Those were for state schools. During my last year there I got a job at a private school but that was through being headhunted by the boss. Jan also says “be a good teacher”. People are not born good teachers. They have to be trained first. They also need to have a good education before they start their teacher training. If you have the time and money find a college which offers one year full-time teacher training. Then you will be properly trained to teach.

    [Reply]

  18. Hi Josh! I’m really interested to teach in Xinjiang but since I’m still a student I was wondering if it is possible to find a summer teaching job? Thanks :)

    [Reply]

  19. Xinjiang is always in my mind that one day I must be there to explore more besides knowing the place but also the culture and people there.

    I hope my dream will come true one day.

    [Reply]

  20. Josh, hope to talk to you while you are in the USA for the coming birth. I guess you are going to “avoid” the cold winter there this year.
    I worked for XDF (New Oriental) in Wulumuqi, they are the largest private school system in China. They have 7 or 8 campuses now in Wulumuqi spread around the city, 6 campuses while I worked there (2013 and 2014).. I worked there close to 2 years. They treated me very well, minimal office hours free housing and good pay. Do a good job, be reasonably flexible and they will appreciate the efforts. I am still close with them (teachers and management) on Wechat so I can help open any doors. At XDF I made friends primarily with locals, I spent very little time with other foreigners, EFG and Web are a totally different environment, so glad I accepted the offer at XDF and not offers from EF or Web.
    Dan

    [Reply]

  21. Josh,
    A quick question, do you think there is a possibility to set an international Language center/ Franchisee in Urumqi? I am planning to fly over there in the very near future and stop by some language schools.
    I understand, there are number of english language schools in Urumqi, but I’ve yet found a good one; however, i am not sure if it is possible to establish it up there?

    [Reply]

  22. I’d like to teach in Urumqi or other place in Xinjiang. I have both BA and TEFL, also IELTS. Although I’m not a native speaker and I don’t have teaching experience. I would take even not serious teaching positions that would pay me for accomodation, daily life expenses because I need a visa so I could stay longer and make videos for my YouTube channel.

    [Reply]

    Josh Summers on April 13th, 2017 at 11:51 am

    I would connect with EF (English First) and see what they have available.

    [Reply]

  23. Dawid, I worked for XDF (new Oriental) I believe they would be a better choice for you, they are more flexible then EF and more friendly as well. I worked there in Urumqi for almost 2 years. They pay better than EF as well. They are the largest in China and their stock is traded on the NYSE. I can help you make contact there.
    Free apartment etc. is include. Where are you from ?

    [Reply]

  24. Meeseeks are you Dawid also (comment above yours) ? You are going to XinJiang and or Wulumuqi (Urumqi) ?? Let me know a way to contact you,

    [Reply]

  25. dear josh, can I teach english in urumqi if i am currently a university student but havent finished my bachelors?

    [Reply]

    Josh Summers on May 28th, 2017 at 4:50 am

    You can get a side job while at university, but it’s technically frowned upon. It all depends upon the school and the demand for teachers at the time you start looking around.

    [Reply]

  26. Are you gonna meet with Trevor “The Food Ranger” while he is in XinJiang ? Maybe he is coming up to Wulumuqi, before he returns to Chengdu ? Maybe he is only touring southern XinJiang ?

    [Reply]

    Josh Summers on May 31st, 2017 at 4:38 am

    I did get to meet with him! I’ll be publishing a video with him soon.

    [Reply]

  27. VW has a car factory in Wulumuqi, a new factory about 3 years ago. There is a school there for children of the German management. I suspect the foreign teachers are arranged through some offices of VW in Germany, since they are employed by VW or a contractor to VW.

    There is also a Private international school in Wulumuqi, It is “attached” to a public high school, it is a separate department of the school the international private department of Bayi High School.. One of my students at XDF went to school there before going to Canada.
    It must not be so well known, since you were not aware of it.

    [Reply]

  28. Hi Josh.Thanks for this. The articles you wrote really helped me a lot. I was doing some cross references and ended up here which I glad I did. Btw, can a non-native speaker teach in Xinjiang? I’m from Malaysia.

    [Reply]

    Josh Summers on July 31st, 2017 at 10:18 pm

    It’s possible but not easy. The best thing you can do is come here and do face-to-face interviews. That gives the school a bit of confidence that your English level is good enough and that you’re a reliable person. Does that make sense?

    [Reply]

  29. Hi Josh, thanks for all the amazing information about Xinjiang you’ve been writing about- it’s difficult to find easy to access information like yours!

    I have a few questions about teaching ESL in Urumqi
    1. How is the safety and ability for young women to navigate the streets, city and province by themselves during reasonable hours?
    2. I know there are stricter internet controls – would I be able to access internet, youtube, and social media through a VPN or proxy?
    3. Are there any good providers of cell phone service you can recommend?
    4. What are activities that ESL teachers, foreigners and expats can get involved in (with limited local dialect and Mandarin)? Are there sports facilities, clubs, places for hobbies or other things?

    Thank you!

    [Reply]

  30. Hi Josh, I have been fascinated by Xinjiang for some time for many reasons, I am currently teaching English privately in Taiwan and I’m quite comfortable. I wanted to know what the visa requirements would be for an Englishman living in Taiwan on a spouse visa.

    [Reply]

    Josh Summers on April 11th, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    Hey Sam, at the moment it’s not possible to move to Xinjiang to teach. They’ve frozen all visas, including business and work visas. Under normal circumstances, you can’t work in China on a spouse visa, you would need to apply for your own work visa.

    [Reply]

  31. Josh,
    Can you give more detail on the “frozen” Visas for business and Tourists.
    I already have a Business visa for China, can I even go to XinJiang currently (fly or train?) ?
    What are the schools doing for English teachers currently? such as English First, Web Int. etc. ??

    [Reply]

    Josh Summers on April 14th, 2018 at 2:38 am

    Xinjiang is still open for travel. What is frozen are resident’s permits. Schools are losing teachings (once their current visas and permits run out) and haven’t been able to hire for the past 6 months at least.

    [Reply]

  32. I work at a school in another province, and they are planning to send their foreign teachers to Urumqi without a proper Z visa.

    Aside from being illegal, how immoral is this? Is it a guarantee that the foreign teachers would get in trouble with the authorities there?

    Is it even a question of “if” they get in trouble?

    [Reply]

    Josh Summers on May 4th, 2018 at 9:42 am

    Right now, in Xinjiang, it’s a definite one-way ticket to getting kicked out. I would run far away from that school.

    [Reply]

  33. I have a work visa in another province, and my school wants me to go there for 2 weeks. Is that legal? They say business trips are legal..

    [Reply]

    Josh Summers on June 1st, 2018 at 9:30 am

    I think two weeks could easily be considered a “business trip”. Once you reach a month, though, I think you’re pushing it. That’s just me, though – who knows what the local authorities think!

    [Reply]

  34. Emsworth, the risk is all on you, not the school. There is a reason they want foreigners out. We aren’t sure why that is (at the moment) but it is a fact.
    You would stick out like a sore thumb being there, now that there are almost no foreigners left there. You risked being thrown out of China, when they see who you work for, they will know the truth of why you are there. You are not on a business VISA you have a work VISA, you are not legally authorized to work anywhere else. You work for EF or WEB Intl ? You could be on a holiday thats the only possible excuse to be there. You will likely get caught and be questioned, they are using you as a “guinea pig”.They wont “have your back” if anything happens, they will lie.

    [Reply]

  35. V nice you have given v important information about teaching English in Xinjiang I’m Gohar Ali from Pakistan master degree in chemistry .Teaching here chemistry in a private college but I’m interested to teach here chemistry or English if chemistry job is not a available I am strong in English writing speaking and teaching pl tell me can I get English teaching job here without a degree tanx

    [Reply]

  36. Hi Josh, Do you have any updates on the frozen residence permits for foreigners in Xinjiang? Is this still ongoing and applicable to all employers (schools, etc?) Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Josh Summers on June 18th, 2018 at 4:39 pm

    Hey Matt, I have no update other than “everything is still frozen”. I don’t know of a single new or renewed visa in the past 10 months. It’s quite sad.

    [Reply]

  37. V nice josh your effort and instructions for new teachers is v useful .as already sent a massage you that I’m interested too much to teach here in Xinjiang my master subject is chemistry but I can teach English as well it well not be a problem for me so pl update and help me finding a teaching job thanks

    [Reply]

  38. I really want to teach, I’ve been in central Asia for very long and has a passion for the Uyghur people. I speak their language, understand their culture, helped with the translation of the the Mukaddes Kitap – Injil.

    [Reply]

  39. ” I am in Thailand, currently wrapping up what amounts to four years attempting to save money while teaching ESL and sciences. I’m a native New Englander, used to snow, needing snow and cold, and was a ski patrol and instructor before coming to the tropics.
    I’m done with the hustle, the mono-climate and the pollution of tropical SE Asia….I need out. The Xinjiang area strikes me as THE place to come and get restored , while doing some ESL and maybe even sciences, too. Naturally, skiing and climbing MUST occur…..”

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  40. Rod Rodin:: The current work “climate” is not looking very good. Look at all comments above from 2018 You can likely forget working in XinJiang for the time being, they are not currently renewing work permits for almost a year now as well as no new ones. There are strict controls on travel as well with checkpoints in and out of every city. I would suggest you look at Kazakhstan (Almaty) instead. You will likely find far more freedom of movement there. The best skiing in Xinjiang is in the far north Alti mountains. I lived in Urumqi (Wulumuqi) myself for 2 winters. I also was a PSIA certified ski instructor from Utah, USA teaching ESL. The skiing in that area is not great only tolerable (2 resorts worth trying (Silk Road at south mountain (Nan Shan) and the other near Heavenly lake (TianChi)) Josh may get back to you soon but his long term status in Xinjiang may be in question at the moment too.

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  41. I am Gohar Ali from Pakistan I am master in chemistry and teaching chimistry in a college but I intend to join teaching english abroad specially in Xinjiang China pl help me in this connection

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  42. Gohar, If you are Muslim you can pretty much forget getting a visa to work in XinJiang under the current circumstances. Sorry to say it, but I have to believe its true. They want to keep a tight lid on the situation there right now, no changes to that are in sight.
    Maybe some years later, things will change.

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  43. Its interesting that this topic is still going 5 years after it started. I read some of it again, and it sounds like not much has changed in the English-teaching world of Xinjiang. Also it sounds like it is even harder now for schools both government and private to get foreign English teachers. Before I went to live and teach in China I hardly ever used that word “foreign” but learned to use it in China where the idea of “us” and “them” is firmly entrenched. English teaching is a very specific job requiring specific skills and training, so rather than “foreign” the correct word should be “native-speaking”. I think the only way to change things for schools, teachers and student outcomes is to get up to play with the rest of the world. For a start, proper university education and thorough teacher training should be a basic requirement for any English teacher whether they be a native-speaker or not. The fact that any white face is acceptable is a recipe for low quality, idiosyncratic results guaranteed to produce poor outcomes for learners trying to learn a foreign language. Would you be happy with someone with a first aid certificate doing surgery on you at a hospital? And with a teacher who was paid the equivalent of what a low level office worker is paid? The only way for English teaching to improve in Xinjiang is to apply the same professional standards to foreign languages teaching there as exist in most other countries of the world. Xinjiang is not a backward place in many respects, so there is no reason why foreign-languages teaching cannot improve there.

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    Josh Summers on November 26th, 2018 at 10:52 am

    Hey Carl, thanks for you input here. I agree that “native-speaking” is a better term. I might consider making a change.

    What I don’t agree with is that a degree and certificate are a must. For high school and university education? Sure. For kindergarten and elementary? Why can’t a well-qualified, energetic native English speaker work in this situation?

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The 2015 Xinjiang travel guide is here!