ESL and Literature Instructors, China University of Geosciences Beijing

China University of Geosciences, Beijing

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Job Description

The CHINA UNIVERSITY OF GEOSCIENCES (BEIJING) is looking for three new instructors for the 2022-23 academic year, to fill positions in its Department (officially: School) of Foreign Languages:

(1) A literature instructor (with suitable MA or MFA) also able to handle EFL duties

(2) Two EFL instructors also interested in teaching culture-oriented courses

We are looking for responsible, well-educated and resourceful native speakers of English. Given current work permit rules in Beijing, they should hold a passport from the UK, US, Canada, Ireland, Australia or New Zealand.

Candidates need, at a minimum, solid undergraduate training. In the case of the instructor for courses in English literature at the BA and MA levels, appropriate postgraduate training is necessary, or equivalent experience. Some experience of teaching, tutoring or training is also desirable.

The EFL instructors we hire should hold a good BA in English literature or related field in the humanities or in the social sciences (eg creative writing, classics, history, anthropology, linguistics, sociology, political economy, communication, area studies with literary content).  

Important: CELTA or reputable TEFL certification (120 hours) is needed to obtain a Chinese work permit unless the candidate has three years of teaching experience.  An MA is helpful but definitely not required for the EFL posts.



The base salary for teachers is currently 7500 yuan per month. Staff will receive 8000 yuan per month if they have a relevant master’s degree. Teachers who stay on after the first year receive a 10% hike in salary for the first four renewals, using the newest base salary.



All foreign instructors are housed in individual furnished flats on campus, provided without charge by the university; utilities are also covered.  Walking time to all classrooms is 10-15 minutes. We have no off-campus operations.



The teaching load for foreign instructors is 14 classroom hours or less per week, in keeping with guidelines issued by the Beijing Foreign Experts Bureau. It is very rare for any instructor to be asked to take additional hours.



The EFL teaching program emphasizes educated colloquial English, academic English, and Western culture; in certain EFL courses attention is paid to the English of scientific discussion, though not of a highly technical sort. Our literature courses are lecture-based at the undergraduate level, but at the MA level these give way, where possible, to seminars emphasizing close reading and active student participation.

Interested candidates should read this job announcement carefully and submit a CV and appropriate letter to Prof. WD White at . It seems likely that the pandemic will continue to impact international recruitment, so we are interested above all in applicants who are already inside the PRC or in East Asia.  But we will certainly consider strong applicants from outside the area.

For 40 years we have had a very strong foreign staff: intellectually committed teachers who enjoy the challenges of teaching in China. We want teachers who take their students seriously and regard the classroom as an observatory for exploring contemporary Chinese culture and society.

Historically we have a high staff retention rate, with many teachers staying for two to five years.



The CHINA UNIVERSITY OF GEOSCIENCES, BEIJING (中国地质大学北京Zhongguo Dizhi Daxue Beijing or Dida) is a medium-sized government university located on a quiet, leafy, pleasant campus in Beijing’s Haidian district, the university and electronics quarter in the northwestern part of the city. Foreign instructors live and teach on campus. Also in the neighborhood are Beijing University, Qinghua University, many divisions of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and a score of other institutions of higher education, plus the Summer Palace and the Yuanmingyuan (the park containing the ruins of the old summer palace destroyed in 1860). Just to the west of us is the lively Wudaokou neighborhood (also Wudaokou Station on Metro Line 13); five kilometers to the east is the main site of the 2008 Olympics, with the “Bird’s Nest” stadium. Just to the southeast is Zhongguancun, the main electronics and computer tech centre in North China. 
The university, a “key” state institution, was the flagship school of the Ministry of Geology before the latter was absorbed into the new Ministry of Natural Resources; it is generally regarded as one of the top five academic centres of geological research in China.  Don’t confuse us with our sister university in Wuhan!



We teach

  • Undergraduates in a 4-year BA program in English
  • MA candidates in English literature
  • MA candidates in translation & interpretation or applied linguistics
  • BSc candidates in an honors program (the earth sciences)
  • First-year MSc candidates in the earth sciences or environmental sciences
  • First-year PhD candidates in the earth or environmental sciences

An attempt is made to keep BA, BSc, MSc classes to a manageable size by Chinese standards, i.e. 20-35 students, and some MA courses are seminars with 8-18 students.

PhD classes are bigger, usually around 40 students these days. For their one-term oral English classes, the doctoral candidates are sorted into levels on the basis of their English ability. Such a procedure, though normal elsewhere in the world, is unusual for China and helps us to get better results from limited contact.



Many of the courses foreigners teach here focus on the oral and written English of everyday life or of a professional field. However, the undergraduate program puts some emphasis on literature and culture. One or two instructors with the proper background are chosen to lead a third-year course on British (autumn term) and American (spring term) literature. Also in the curriculum are undergraduate reading/lecture courses in foundational Greek and Hebrew literature and the cultural history of the West. In addition, we do a survey of British and American society, team-taught when staffing allows: A Briton lectures on aspects of the UK for 8 weeks while an American lectures on the US to another class; at mid-term they switch groups and repeat their module.



The core of instruction for MA candidates in English literature is a block of five required one-term courses (History of English Literature, The 19th-Century British Novel, The 19th-Century American Novel, The 20th-Century British Novel, The 20th-Century American Novel). In the novel courses the instructor leads students through a close reading of two to three works that he or she has chosen, sorting out language problems, eliciting genuine student response and inviting students to think of works of literature in terms of choices made by authors. Participants are also introduced to critical perspectives on the works under consideration.



Since the spring term of 2015 we have been tasked with designing and teaching three 32-hour electives in the humanities at the introductory level for our MSc candidates.  Courses taught at one time or another have included introductions to the world of dance, the visual/plastic arts, British film, music appreciation, 20th-century US music, philosophical thinking, ancient Greek cultural history, science fiction, sci fi film, and the basics of debate, plus a regular elective in the English of the earth sciences.



The China University of Geosciences is officially designated a “key” university, and, in rankings of Beijing campuses based on state-set exams, our student body as a whole typically falls in the second quartile from the top. Our learners have the usual mix of abilities found among university students in Beijing, from happily interactive near-fluency in English to the still far more common intense passivity and scant spoken English. Writing skills are a big problem, as everywhere in the PRC. The vast majority of Dida students are from outside Beijing; we have few Beijingers in our classes, but we deal with young people from everywhere else in the nation.



We offer the standard one-year contract for foreign teachers in government educational institutions

The base salary for teachers is 7500 yuan per month, 8000 for MA holders. The normal teaching is capped at 14 classroom hours per week, in keeping with the guidelines issued by the State Foreign Experts Bureau. (Anything beyond 14 hours has been very rare in recent years.)

This salary is sufficient to get one comfortably through the month, with enough left over, for example, to pay for Chinese classes. Food in our neighborhood is varied, tasty and relatively inexpensive. For teachers who need extra income (usually this seems to mean money for ambitious travel plans or to pay off educational debt), there are abundant opportunities for part-time tutoring or off-campus employment. 

Instructors who remain on the staff beyond the initial one-year contract receive a 10% increase in salary (reckoned from the evolving base salary) for each additional year, up to a maximum of four years beyond the first. Thereafter the salary is stable unless the base salary happens to be raised.

Teachers are paid for the full academic year, from September through July, including 4-5 weeks of holiday around the Spring Festival (January-February).

Arrangements for early departure (late June – early July) for summer vacation can usually be worked out.

Upon completion of a year of service, the university will pay for a plane ticket back to the instructor’s home of record.  Please note that the arrangement is one one-way passage per year of service. (The university does not pay for instructors to travel to China to begin work.)

Healthcare for problems that arise during service is covered by medical insurance purchased by the university.  We use the small campus clinic or Beiyi 3-Yuan, the well-known hospital nearby that forms the heart of Beijing University Medical School.



Teachers are housed rent-free in comfortable two-room furnished flats (bedroom, sitting room, kitchen, two enclosed balconies, hot water, refrigerator, washing machine, air conditioning, TV set, broadband internet access) in a building completed in 2000. Though foreign instructors are grouped together in one of the building’s six entryways, they are in no sense segregated from their Chinese neighbors: there are Chinese postgrads and postdocs living in the same entryway. The living quarters are apartments for independent professionals; there is nothing dorm-like about them. This is a good campus for independent, inquiring people seeking serious exposure to Chinese life without an abundance of bureaucratic hassles.

Note: The cost of housing in this part of Beijing continues to climb, more or less independently of other living expenses, which remain modest. We estimate that the flats provided by the university would now rent at over 6000 yuan per month.

As a community of readers, the foreign staff have amassed a considerable number of shared books (classical and literary fiction, ESL guides, key literary reference works, books on China from various learned angles, travel accounts, dictionaries); the collection is dispersed among the teachers’ flats. In the foreign staff room of the Dept of Foreign Languages (strictly speaking we are designated as a 学院, a college or school) there is a collection of over 2000 DVDs of Western feature films and documentaries.



One of the attractions of this campus is the long history of cordial relations between the foreign staff and the university administration. The people in both the International Cooperation & Exchange Office and the Dept of Foreign Languages are genuinely friendly, reasonable and easy to deal with.



We are looking for English instructors who, no matter what field their education has been in, take a professional attitude in the classroom and strive to excel as instructors. Our program gives teachers a good deal of independence; the subject, instructional goals and timetable are set, but we generally leave the choice of approach, methods and teaching material to the instructor. We want staff who will use that latitude ambitiously and wisely, in the best interests of the students. We have a 40-year record of dedicated, often superb, teaching by foreigners on this campus; we are committed to maintaining that record in the years to come.

Any of the following makes a job applicant of greater interest to us:

  • A solid undergraduate or postgraduate record in any field
  • Teaching or training experience
  • A record of success in learning foreign languages
  • A keen and informed interest in China, from whatever perspective
  • Some knowledge of Mandarin
  • Life experience likely to enhance the value and interest of classroom instruction



Anyone coming to China to teach in a university under the supervision of the Ministry of Education must have a work permit and a Z visa (the visa type given to foreign teachers and foreign experts).  Our administrators obtain the work permit, which is required of anyone applying for a Z visa. Needless to say, we are obliged to bear in mind the demands of the Beijing work permit authorities when we attempt to hire new staff.  In Beijing and Shanghai – but not necessarily elsewhere in the country, as we understand – the work permit people increasingly insist that would-be university instructors from the West be under 60 when a first contract is signed, have ostensibly “relevant” academic degrees and previous teaching experience (two years is the figure most often cited).  In cases where a potential hire has a BA/BSc and no clear, fairly substantial teaching or training experience, they now expect to see 120 hours of certified CELTA or other TEFL training; this enables them to tick the right boxes.



Submit the following documents through CUJ online application (recommended). You can also send them by email to Prof. William D. White at*

  • a CV/résumé and
  • a no-nonsense letter outlining your reasons for wanting to teach in China, or to teach in Beijing if you are already in the PRC

* Please mention you saw the advertised position on Use CUJ online application to prevent emails from going to recipient’s Spam folder. To receive job updates, please follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and/or WeChat.

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  • Total Jobs 1 Jobs
  • Location Beijing
  • Full Address No.29, Xueyuan Road, Haidian District, Beijing, P.R. China
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