I have heard it is no longer possible to be an foreign English teacher in China and that all English schools will have to close. Is this true? Have all the English teachers now lost their jobs and work visas? I was hoping to go back to China and get an English teaching job after the COVID travel ban ends.
I wouldn't come here if your goal is to teach English. If you are already here then you an still find jobs teaching English but it's not like it was before. The rules have changed and are still being clarified. There are previous posts about this topic so do a search.
Things are still up in the air. However, I would speculate that teaching or tutoring school age children will be restricted, perhaps to the point of near impossibility.
However, teaching university students and adults is still permitted. Universities do not pay the best, but the contract is clear cut, there are usually no office hours (you teach 16 class hours max and the rest of the time is your own) accommodation is usually provided (sometimes an accommodation allowance) and flights home are paid. For those who have never worked in China before, universities are a good place to start and learn the ropes.
Adult learners are most common in the tier one cities like Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, etc. When I lived in Shanghai I worked for 3 different companies over 3 years and I only taught adults.
English teaching isn't banned. What's banned is private profit based training schools. This means that there are still jobs going in universities, state schools and some training schools that have negotiated with the government and managed the transition to the new regulations. Like livinginchina mentioned, the amount of jobs are drastically reduced but it's definitely possible to get one.
Thanks. I guess I will wait and see what the situation is like after the COVID travel ban ends. At the moment there are no flights to China. Flight ban and teaching ban together really makes things difficult.