Chinese Language Professor Job Description

What is a Chinese Language Professor?

A Chinese Language Professor is a person who has attained an advanced level of proficiency in the Mandarin dialect of Chinese. They are usually fluent in speaking, reading, and writing. It is common for many students to study Mandarin as a foreign language during high school. Some countries even introduce classes taught in Mandarin as early as elementary school.

What does it take to be a Chinese Language Professor? What do they need to know?

There are several things that one must know and learn before they can become an advanced level speaker of the language:

  • Time spent studying: Just like any other language or dialect; you must spend time learning the language and practicing every day (at least 30 minutes). There isn't really a set amount of time you must commit because everyone has different schedules and circumstances. The important thing is that you make a conscious effort to learn and practice regularly.
  • Exposure to different varieties: To be a proficient Chinese speaker, it's important that you are familiar with the different dialects spoken throughout China. There are many variations of the language due to its large geographical area.
  • Pronunciation: Mandarin is considered a tonal language, which means the pitch of your voice can affect the meaning of words. Chinese Language Professors must be able to pronounce each word correctly in order to effectively communicate with others.
  • Grammar: The grammar structure of Mandarin can be difficult for some learners. There are many rules that must be followed when speaking and writing the language. A good professor will be able to teach the language in a simple and understandable way.
  • Vocabulary: There are many words and phrases that one cannot simply look up in a dictionary or translator, including common sayings like "马上" (mǎshàng). It takes time to build your vocabulary, but it is an essential part of learning the language. If you don't know what someone is saying, then you may not get what they mean. The best Chinese Language Professors will be able to explain difficult concepts using everyday conversations. They would have at least a strong working vocabulary with about 2,500 characters or more.  

What Does A Chinese Language Professor Do?

A Chinese Language Professor's job is to teach people how to speak, read, and write Mandarin. They can do this in a variety of ways, such as through private tutoring, group classes, or online lessons. They may also be responsible for creating instructional materials or exams. It is important for Professors to be able to adapt their teaching methods to fit the needs of their students.

In addition to teaching, a good Chinese Language Professor will also be familiar with the culture and customs of China. They can offer insight into traditional values and practices that are unique to China. As the world becomes more interconnected, it is becoming increasingly important for people to learn about other cultures and languages. Mandarin has become one of the most spoken languages in the world, and China has become an economic superpower. The Chinese Language Professor holds an important role in sharing these concepts with students worldwide.

Chinese Language Professor Duties and Responsibilities

A Chinese Language Professor's main responsibility is to teach students how to read, write, and speak Mandarin. They are also responsible for creating teaching materials or exams. A good Chinese Language Professor will be familiar with the culture and customs of China. They can offer insight into traditional values and practices that are unique to China.

  • Teaching students in group and private settings
  • Plans curriculum based on student's needs and skill level
  • Create original lesson plans, exams, and other educational materials to use for teaching
  • Establish rapport with students while maintaining discipline
  • Adapts lessons to fit different learning styles (e.g., visual, auditory)
  • Commitment to ongoing professional development or continuing education programs
  • Maintain accurate records of student progress
  • Continually assess the progress of current students as well as alumni for recommendations of future developments in program offerings (such as additional classes, new sequence start dates etc.)
  • Chinese Language Professor Education Requirements and Degrees
  • In order to become a Chinese Language Professor, you will need extensive knowledge of Mandarin and its culture. There are different degree paths available for aspiring Chinese Language Professors: 
  • Bachelor's degree: Bachelor's degrees in Asian languages or applied linguistics, such as in teaching English as a second language (TESOL). These programs help students develop both the skills needed for language instruction and cultural insight.
  • Master's degree: Master of Arts (MA) in Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages (TCSOL) or Master of Education (MEd) with TESOL concentration.
  • Doctorate: PhD in Applied Linguistics with TESOL emphasis. While Ph.D.'s do not typically focus on language teaching, having this degree opens up more opportunities in academia and research.

A Chinese Language Professor typically has a minimum of a Bachelor's degree in Asian languages or applied linguistics. However, there are many pathways to becoming a Professor. It is important to have a strong working vocabulary with about 2500 characters or more.

What Should I Major in to Become a Chinese Language Professor?

There is no one major that will guarantee you a career as a Chinese Language Professor. However, if you are interested in teaching Chinese to speakers of other languages, you should consider pursuing a Bachelor's degree in:

  • Asian languages
  • Applied linguistics
  • TESOL (teaching English as a second language)

These degrees will help you develop the skills needed for language instruction and cultural insight. If you are interested in pursuing a higher level of education, you may want to consider getting your Master's or Doctorate degree in Applied Linguistics with TESOL emphasis. With this degree, you will be qualified to teach at the university level and conduct research in the field of applied linguistics. No matter what degree level you go for, a Bachelor's degree is the minimum education requirement to become a Chinese Language Professor.

Most Common Colleges for Chinese Language Professor Programs:

  • Boston University
  • Columbia University
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • Yale University
  • The Ohio State University
  • University of Texas at Austin
  • Purdue University

If you're unsure about what major to choose, or if you want to explore other options, consider talking to a college advisor. They can help you find the program that's right for you and give you more information about specific colleges and their programs. They can also help connect you with alumni and professionals working in your desired career field.

The Pros and Cons of Becoming a Chinese Language Professor

If you're considering becoming a Chinese Language Professor, here are some things to consider:

PROS

  • Enjoy working with people and sharing knowledge
  • You get to work in an area of study that interests you (e.g., Asian languages)
  • The job market for Chinese Language Professors is expected to grow by 15% through 2024 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

CONS:

The job market for Chinese Language Professors is highly competitive and requires extensive education and experience. Not everyone who wants to become a Chinese Language Professor will be able to find a job in the field; especially if they don't have extensive experience or an advanced degree. However, individuals who possess the qualifications and desire will typically have no trouble finding a position at a university or other educational institution.

So, if you're looking for a career that involves teaching people about the Chinese language and culture, becoming a Chinese Language Professor may be the perfect option for you! This job requires a passion for both teaching and China, as well as excellent communication and organizational skills. If you have what it takes, don't hesitate to explore this fulfilling career path.

Essential Chinese Language Professor Skills for Your Resume and Career

If you're looking to become a Chinese Language Professor, it's important to highlight the skills you have that will make you successful in this career. Here are some essential skills for your resume and career:

  • Strong communication and public speaking skills: As a Chinese Language Professor, you will be teaching students of all ages and backgrounds. You need to be able to communicate effectively with them in order to help them learn the language and understand the culture.
  • Passion for teaching: Chinese Language Professors must have a passion for teaching and helping students learn. This is essential for creating a positive learning environment and fostering student success.
  • Knowledge of Chinese language and culture: A good Chinese Language Professor should have a deep understanding of both the language and culture. They need to be able to share this knowledge with their students and help them connect with China's rich history and culture.
  • Strong writing skills: As a Chinese Language Professor, you may also be called upon to write academic papers or contribute to scholarly journals. You need to have strong writing skills in order to do this effectively.
  • Organizational skills: Chinese Language Professors need to be able to manage their time effectively and keep track of many different tasks and deadlines simultaneously.
  • Computer literacy: In order to stay current with technology, Chinese Language Professors must be proficient in using computers and other digital tools.
  • Interpersonal skills: Chinese Language Professors work closely with their students, so they need to have strong interpersonal skills in order to effectively communicate with them.

If you have these essential skills, make sure to highlight them on your resume and in your job interviews. Doing so will demonstrate that you are a qualified candidate for the position and have what it takes to be successful as a Chinese Language Professor.

Making the Transition from Student to Professor

Now that you know what it takes to become a Chinese Language Professor, you need to know how to make the transition from student to professor. Here are some guidelines that will help you get ahead in your pursuit of this distinguished profession:

  • Take advantage of opportunities for professional development. Working with an expert mentor or hiring a career coach can be extremely beneficial during the transition process. They can offer valuable advice and insight into becoming a Chinese Language Professor.
  • Network with other professionals in your desired field. This is another great way to learn about what it takes to become a Chinese Language Professor, network with important contacts, and expand your professional circle.
  • Seek out any life experience that will allow you to develop relevant skills that are essential for being successful in this profession. For example, if you are passionate about learning about other cultures, consider spending some time abroad or working with international organizations or businesses.
  • Get your degree or certification in language teaching. This will allow you to gain the skills and knowledge that are essential for becoming a Chinese Language Professor.
  • Complete an internship program at a business, school, organization, etc. related to this profession.

These guidelines can help you make the transition from student to professor and set yourself up for success! Luckily, there are many different ways to become a Chinese Language Professor and we suggest exploring them all; however we recognize that due to time constraints many of these suggestions may not be possible.

Is Being a Chinese Language Professor Right For You?

If you're interested in becoming a Chinese Language Professor but aren't sure if this is the right career path for you, consider these final questions:

  • Do you enjoy teaching?
  • Are you passionate about learning new languages and sharing your knowledge with others?
  • Do you want to work in a field that requires strong interpersonal skills and effective communication skills?

If you answered "yes" to all of these questions, then becoming a Chinese Language Professor may be the right choice for you!

How Much Do Chinese Language Professors Earn?

The median annual salary for a Chinese Language Professor is $72,390 per year or $34.17 per hour. The lowest-paid Chinese Language Professors earn less than $33,360 per year and the highest paid earn over $112,930 per year. On average you can expect to make somewhere between $52,210 and $92,310 as a Chinese Language Professor. As you can see, there is quite a range of salaries for this profession and many factors will determine how much you earn. For example, where you work and what type of employer you work for will play a huge role in how much you get paid.

In order to increase your chances of being employed and earning a higher salary, make sure to highlight your skills and qualifications in your resume and job interviews. Doing so will show that you are a qualified candidate for the position and have what it takes to be successful as a Chinese Language Professor.