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How China’s New Laws Affect Teaching English Online

Written by Aidan Tyler-Scott

In July 2021, The Dual Alleviation Policy was published in China with the aim to reduce the overburdening amount of work Chinese students experience. As part of this policy, after-school tutoring from foreign English teachers was banned. This news has left many TEFL teachers anxious, worried, and frustrated about their future teaching careers. To help ease a bit of this stress, we discuss what these new laws mean and what you can do from here.

The new laws and what they mean

Chinese students are swamped with school, homework, after-school activities, and extra tutoring. The policy has implemented new regulations for online English classes to alleviate the young student’s stress:

    • Teachers outside of China are not allowed to give after-school online English lessons.
    • After-school tutoring that covers the school curriculum is not allowed on weekends and during the school holidays.

Unfortunately, these regulations have resulted in many online English platforms closing their doors to new TEFL teachers or ceasing operations altogether. Other platforms are continuing their contracts with students who have already pre-purchased lessons. Many TEFL platforms focus on teaching English to Chinese students, leaving many teachers frantically looking for new opportunities. However, it’s not the end of the road for TEFL teachers.

What should I do next?

Fortunately, there is still light at the end of the tunnel. Many companies teach English to young learners and adults alike from all over the world. Platforms like Preply have many teaching opportunities, from business English to prepping for an English exam to obtain a visa. Do a bit of research, and you may discover other opportunities besides teaching young learners.

If you are ready to take on a new challenge and have an entrepreneurial spirit, freelancing as an English teacher is a fantastic option. Platforms like Fiverr offer you the opportunity to market your teaching skills to specific students at your own rate and personalised schedule. Suppose you are willing to start your own private tutoring. In that case, South African learners need extra tutoring for English writing and comprehension, which you could promote through social media or your own website.


Many South African online English teachers feel demotivated about the new policy in China. Still, there are many other companies hiring teachers to teach students from other parts of the world. Potential teachers may feel uninterested in exploring a teaching career; however, many countries also look for South African teachers to teach abroad. Change can be difficult and close many doors, but change can also open new doors with exciting opportunities.

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