Working in the Elementary Bilingual English Program


We are the largest program of all the Clifford School departments, with more than 2,000 students over 6 grade levels. We have 43 Western teachers in our program. Our teachers are primarily English teachers. They do not teach subjects like Science, Social Studies, Mathematics, etc... although, through theme work, some of these subjects are covered in a linguistic sense.


We offer a good contract, excellent working and living conditions. We are a responsible and reliable employer, and have been for over 20 years. Teachers like working here, and the department has excellent retention rates, equal to, or better than, any International school, remembering we are a Chinese school. Cost of living is low here, so most teachers are in a position to save a large majority of their salaries. This is a major consideration why teachers stay a good number of years with us.


For the classroom positions we employ qualified teachers, whose first language is English, who have teaching degrees and at least two years teaching experience. We also have an English Language Support (ELS) program where experienced ESL teachers may apply, as long as they have completed a recognized TESL course of at least 135 hours. In our program, we have Western teachers from many countries, including, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. Teachers generally stay with us, on average, for 4 years, with some teachers being with us for over 10 years. Please note: teachers must be native English speakers from us, Canada, Australia, UK, Ireland, South Africa or New Zealand.


Program Details

The Elementary Bilingual Program is primarily a language program working with students whose first language is not English. The majority of our class time is spent focusing on English Language Arts (listening, speaking, reading and writing). Our program also follows themes taught from the Chinese National Curriculum. The students learn the content in Chinese first and then learn it in our English classes as a language lesson. So, we are teaching mathematics, science, and social studies linguistically, not conceptually.


Typical Work Week

We have two classes that we teach for three periods each day (a morning class and an afternoon class) – totaling six 40-minute periods that we teach per day. The morning and afternoon classes are generally taught the same lessons. So, we prepare three lessons per day and teach them twice. We have some specialist classes, so teachers usually teach 26 or 27 periods a week. This allows for 3-4 prep periods each week.


Since the students are second language learners, with only two hours of English exposure per day, our students’ language abilities are naturally below what is found in an international school or in our home countries (generally by one grade level). Our work day begins at 8:30. We have a two hour lunch from 11:45 to 13:50.   Our work day ends at 16:50 each day. Teachers are not generally required to put in extra time outside of school hours but there are some extra-curricular activities available if a teacher has a particular interest.


We work a 198-day contract for the school year.  Our school year generally begins the third week of August and goes until the last week of June or first week of July (depending on the Chinese government holiday schedule).  We have a week long holiday in October, two weeks off for Christmas, and three to four weeks off for Chinese New Year (Jan-Feb). This is in addition to the summer holiday.


Salary and Benefits

The school provides teachers with a furnished apartment and daily transportation on a private bus to and from the school, which is only 10 minutes away. Some teachers prefer their own mode of transportation and drive a scooter or bicycle to school.


The school offers the following benefits:

  • a competitive after-tax salary, dependent on experience and qualifications
  • initial one or two year contract (with yearly bonus and salary increases), followed by renewable one year contracts (after the first two years if given and initial two year contract)
  • yearly salary increase of 4-8%, based on performance
  • assistance with China Visa and Chinese Work Permit
  • 50% shared cost on your choice among 3 levels of health insurance plans
  • modern furnished apartment (see slideshow below)
  • daily transportation to and from the school
  • monthly utilities allowance
  • free Internet in your apartment
  • annual, end-of-year contract bonus
  • annual flight allowances for staff member and two of their children
  • Clifford employee discounts at select retailers (e.g. pharmacy, dry cleaning, restaurants, etc)
  • free access to a fitness center and swimming pool across from your Noble Court apartment
  • a relocation remuneration package
  • loyalty bonus after 3, 5 and 10 years of service
  • free tuition for 2 children in any of Clifford School's Bilingual or International (Canadian) programs, from K2 (4 yrs old) to Grade 12, per staff member
  • document allowance - for teachers recruited from outside of China to assist with the costs of applying for work permit and visa

2021 Clifford School Video

1. If in China, watch it on Youku (your browser will open the video in a different window)


Watch it by clicking this link 

2. Watch it on YouTube

2019 Clifford School Video

2018 Clifford School Video

1. If in China, watch it on Youku (your browser will open the video in a different window)

2. Watch it on YouTube

*Special Advisory (issued January 2016): Please be wary of any unsolicited email that is offering you a job from Clifford School, no matter how professional it looks. They will sometimes ask you to send them thousands of dollars for various reasons as a prior condition to completing their bogus contract. Please be careful with any contract offered that asks for money upfront! We will never ask you to send us money!!! 

Employment Opportunities

At this time, we have filled all the positions for the 2024-2025 school year, starting in August, 2024. However, we are happy to hear from teachers interested in employment at any time, in case unforeseen positions crop up. So, if you are a native English speaker (native from one of the countries listed below)a qualified teacher, (or hold a Degree and a TEFL (or similar) certificate) and you are interested in working in the Bilingual Elementary English program, then please send an updated CV, recent photo and the completed Application Form, that you can download below and send back (as a Word document or PDF file), to


Application Form
Please complete all details on the form including email addresses for your referees.
Email to:
Thank you
1. Clifford School Application Form - 16
Microsoft Word Document 72.0 KB

NOTE: Requirements vary in each Province and even city! We are part of Guangzhou City and need to follow the requirement set down by the Foreign Experts Bureau in Guangzhou. 

You may find that another province, or city, will have different requirements and Guangzhou is generally stricter with the requirements. For up to date information, ask at the email address above.

Chinese Work Permit Requirements

(for those applicants who DO NOT have an existing Chinese Work Permit):


If your application is successful, and you are offered a position, you would need to be able to provide the following to apply for a Work Permit for teaching in China. You will receive more details later about the process after an employment offer has been made.

  1. Passport – at least 1 year validity and 3 empty pages, for you and any family members accompanying you.
  2. Marriage Certificate (if coming with spouse) and Birth Certificate (for any children accompanying you). You will need originals or official government department issued documents.
  3. Original Degree certificate (not transcript) – which you will need to have notarized by 2 different authorities in your home country – Local and Department of Foreign Affairs/State/Province
  4. Non-Criminal Record Check (issued within the last 6 months) – which you will need to have notarized by 2 different authorities in your home country – Local and Department of Foreign Affairs/State/Province.
  5. Original letter from your previous employer stating the position held and duration – must be on official letterhead, signed and stamped (or sealed). No other information is required on this letter.

Typical Teacher Apartment at Noble Court