The increase in Chinese students seeking their education needs online has prompted more teachers to take up the trend and begin teaching online as well. The new trend is turning out to be highly beneficial, particularly for IELTS (International English Language Testing System) teachers.
IELTS is an international standard certifying exam taken by foreign students planning to go abroad to pursue higher education. The exam has become highly pivotal in China, where more and more students have looked to investigate into job opportunities beyond their borders. The increase in demand for passing the exam has called on more teachers to help them get a high score, writes Maan Pamintuan Lamorena of Yibada.
The booming online education wave has been rewarding to IELTS online teachers such as Zheng Reqiang, who has taken advantage of the rising demand to save money. The 32 year old is currently capable of making as much as 10 million yuan ($1.61 million) a year, making him one of China’s highest-earning English teachers, due to the high number of enrollees for the course.
According to Zheng, online classes tend to be more favorable than the traditional classroom setting, particularly by allowing shy students to be more proactive during the online sessions. Online education also allows students to adjust to different teaching techniques or the techniques may be tailored to meet the personalities and strengths of the student, unlike traditional classroom teaching methods which use the same approach with every student.
“By focusing on individual weaknesses, we can help students achieve much stronger scores in a relatively short period of time, rather than having them waste their time being forced to listen to things they’ve already mastered.”
Zheng’s business recently partnered with YY Inc.-owned online educational platform 100.com. The merger has allowed a significant upgrade to the methods the teachers from Zheng’s operation employ to facilitate communication with their students. The company now receives an average of 4,000 students a month.
The market demand for English classes in China continues to be immense, regardless of public schools providing free access to English classes. The market hit a value of over US $3 billion in 2010 and has continued to rise. Test specific classes such as those of IELTS continue to contribute to a major proportion of this market, writes C. Custer of Tech In Asia.
Zheng remains unworried about the large number of traditional education organizations working on expanding their online prowess to succeed in the Internet era.
“They have invested a lot in their offline educational facilities, and that side of their business will inevitably be hurt, the more they have to invest online.”
The importance of English in the early development of modern technology (such as online programming languages) has encouraged the formation of a fertile new market for global companies in China with a higher demand for English speaking individuals. Being the most common language used for communication for diverse and international companies, the importance for speaking English in the workplace has also pushed the number of people aiming to display their English skills for potential employers; writes Bill Fisher of Harvard Business Review.