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Homepage Home > K–12 Services > Awards, Grants, & Financial Aid > Chinese Language & Culture Initiatives > Chinese Guest Teacher Program > Guest Trainee FAQs

Guest Trainee FAQs

What is the purpose of this Program?

The Program aims to further international exchange between the United States and China. It is intended as a cultural enrichment opportunity for U.S. K-12 schools and districts with existing Chinese programs. It benefits both host institutions, who by participating gain a native speaker and cultural resource, and the trainees, who will enhance their skills and expertise in the field of teaching Chinese as a foreign language through structured on-site training and mentoring, and will learn about U.S. teaching methods and the American way of life.

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Who sponsors the Chinese guest trainees?

This Program is made possible through a collaboration between the College Board and Hanban (Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters) in China. In addition, the College Board collaborates with NCSSFL (National Council of State Supervisors for Languages) to review applications, select and prepare the trainees. The Institute of International Education serves as the J-1 visa sponsor for trainees in the Program.

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What is the timetable of the Program?

Early January 2015 Districts and schools interested to host trainees for the 2015-16 school year submit an online application.
February 6, 2015 Application priority deadline
March 2015

The College Board and NCSSFL representatives review applications and the College Board notifies selected host schools/districts.

Guest trainees are selected and matched to schools/districts.

Host institution representatives attend online Program Orientation.

April 30, 2015

Schools/districts submit multi-phase training plans and submit program contracts to the College Board by this date.

Guest trainees finalize participation by signing program agreements.

Summer 2015

Guest trainees apply for J-1 exchange visitor visas and prepare for departure.

August 2015

Guest trainees arrive in the United States and attend program orientation organized by the College Board before arriving in host communities.

August 2015–July 2016 Guest trainees receive training and participate in K–12 teaching and learning at their assigned school/district.
July 2016 Guest trainees return to China.

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What are the benefits of hosting a guest trainee?

Benefits of hosting include:

  • Schools enhance their Chinese language programs by providing on-site training to a Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language teacher-in-training, who participates in Chinese classes, collaborates with teachers of other subjects, engages in after-school and extracurricular programs, and conducts cultural activities to foster interest among students and the larger community, as part of their training activities.
  • Students gain a valuable opportunity to practice their language skills with a native Chinese speaker.
  • Participating schools have the opportunity to be part of an international exchange program and bring more global perspectives to their community.
  • The guest trainees receive a stipend from Hanban to support their expenses; host institutions are responsible for providing complimentary housing and transportation for the duration of the trainee's stay.

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What are the guest trainees' qualifications?

Trainees participating in the Program for the 2015-16 school year possess the following qualifications:

  • Training in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language from Chinese universities and Hanban
  • At least one year of teaching experience, often international experience as a Hanban Volunteer Teacher
  • Standard Mandarin (Putonghua) certificate
  • Proficiency in English

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Are the guest trainees certified to teach in the U.S.?

Though the guest trainees have training in foreign language education, they are not certified in the United States. The trainee candidate is not intended to fill the role of a certified teacher and a trainee should not be assigned as the primary instructor for any course.

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What roles can guest trainees assume in a host institution?

The Chinese guest trainees' strength and expertise is in sharing their knowledge of and experience in Chinese language and culture during their training activities.

Examples of appropriate training areas for trainees under guided supervision:

  • Native language support for small groups of students in language classrooms
  • Chinese language program resources and materials planning
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration with teachers of other subjects such as social studies, history, geography, music, visual and performing arts
  • Cultural exchange activities for the school and local community
  • After-school and extracurricular Chinese programs

Trainees should be exposed to the activities of multiple classes and departments, but not be assigned as a full or part-time teacher or staff member in the school. They should not be responsible for developing the curriculum of a Chinese program, be assigned to clerical work at the institution, nor work in early childhood or child care programs. They must participate in a minimum of 32 hours per week of on-site training. Trainees do not receive compensation from host schools, but host institutions must provide complimentary housing & transportation to the trainee for the length of his/her term. If a guest teacher and a trainee are placed at the same host institution, their roles should be fully independent of each other.

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What institutions are eligible to apply to host a Chinese guest trainee?

Accredited, full-time, public K-12 school districts or independent schools are eligible to apply. Individual public schools interested to host teachers should obtain district-level approval for their application. Host institutions must have existing Chinese programs; however, the trainee may spend a portion of time at school sites within the district/institution that do not offer Chinese as part of the other areas of activity in their training plan.

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Can colleges and universities apply to the Program?

No. This Program is designed to help K-12 schools and districts enrich a Chinese language program. Colleges or universities may assist host schools or districts by providing professional development opportunities.

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If host institutions partner with local colleges or universities, can the guest trainee perform training activities there as well?

No. Participating schools and districts, under contract with the College Board, serve as host sites. Guest trainees can only be assigned training activities that enrich the learning of K-12 students in accredited primary or secondary schools.

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What criteria are used to evaluate host institution applications?

Host institutions are evaluated on their rationale for hosting a guest trainee, the quality and growth of their current program as well as their three-year program plans. The host institutions are expected to implement proficiency-oriented Chinese programs. "Exposure" programs in which students learn Chinese once a week or less are not encouraged. Host institutions are expected to provide evidence of commitment to maintaining a sustainable Chinese language program, in which a guest trainee is an enhancement to programming.

Host institutions must provide in the application a sample Training Placement Plan (T/IPP) that consists of several well-structured phases with clear articulated sequencing of activities. Final T/IPPs must be customized to the educational background and experience of the trainee once a candidate is matched to the institution. Plans must have specific learning outcomes for the trainee, describe knowledge and skills to be gained as well as outline the plans for supervision, mentoring and evaluation of the trainee's progress. It is important to highlight that this is also a cultural exchangeprogram and training plans must include descriptions of American culturalactivities that the trainee(s) will participate in during his/her time in theprogram.

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What are the host institution responsibilities?

  • Sign a contract with the College Board by April 30, 2015, agreeing to the terms and conditions for the Chinese Guest Trainee Program.
  • Pay an administrative fee for visa processing and health insurance during the contract period.
  • Design a multi-phase on-site training plan for the guest trainee. Training roles may include: special activities in Chinese classes, interdisciplinary collaboration, resource gathering, cultural enrichment activities, after school and extracurricular programming, etc. The training plan will be reviewed by the J-1 program sponsor, the Institute of International Education.
  • Issue training plan to the guest trainee, outlining his/her on-site training (using program templates).
  • Provide the guest trainee with complimentary housing and transportation throughout the duration of his/her stay.
  • Ensure adequate professional development and training is available, enabling the trainee to fulfill his/her training plan.
  • Designate a program coordinator who serves as the primary contact and liaison to the College Board.
  • Assign a supervisor, professional and cultural mentor(s) to work closely with the guest trainee.
  • Submit semi-annual guest trainee observation and progress reports (and a final evaluation at the end of the program) to the College Board and the visa sponsor.
  • Attend the Host Institution Orientation for an overview of hosting Chinese guest trainees.
  • Ensure that the institution does not recruit or train guest trainees for employment in the U.S.
  • Confirm the institution's intent to continue offering the Chinese program beyond the appointment term of the guest trainee.

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What are the complimentary housing and transportation requirements for the guest trainee?

Host institutions are required to provide complimentary housing and transportation for length of the trainee's stay. Housing must meet minimum program requirements, be furnished and have basic utilities; trainees must have their own bedrooms, access to a bathroom and kitchen facilities. Apartments, houses, campus dormitories, and host family arrangements are acceptable forms of housing.

Transportation should cover home to school transportation, as well as regular trips to grocery stores and occasional leisure transportation. Public transportation, carpooling, bicycles and taxis are acceptable forms of transportation as long as it is safe and appropriate per local conditions.

Although some trainees are licensed drivers in China, all trainees must be issued licenses from the host state before they are legally able to operate a vehicle unaccompanied in the U.S. This typically requires that they pass the local driver's road test. License requirements vary; we recommend host institutions assist the trainee in the process and with interim transportation.

Trainees receive a stipend of approximately $13,000 for their year of participation directly from Hanban. The stipend amount is expected to cover their basic living expenses, such as meals, personal goods, and incidental expenses

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Do host institutions need to cover health benefits for the guest trainee?

The administrative fee paid by host institutions is used to cover the guest trainee's visa processing and medical insurance costs. The program insurance provided to guest trainees meets J-1 visa requirements.

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What is the total cost of this Program to host institutions?

During the contract period host institutions are required to:

  • Pay an administrative fee of approximately $3,000 per trainee for visa processing and J-1 visa required health insurance. (Fee subject to adjustment by the insurance provider.)
  • Provide the guest trainee with adequate, complimentary housing and transportation for the duration of his/her stay.
  • Prepare a reasonable budget to cover the cost of materials relevant to the trainee's assignment, and allow for attendance at professional development events.

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Can host institutions apply for more than one trainee?

Yes. Such applications will be reviewed and evaluated by the College Board and if accepted, more than one trainee can be assigned to the host institution. School districts are encouraged to consider hosting more than one trainee to participate at different schools in the district; this approach enables the district to further enhance its program.

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What are the responsibilities of the designated program contact?

The designated program contact is the primary person at the host institution responsible for the coordinating arrangements for the guest trainee. On behalf of the host institution, he/she serves as the first point of contact for the College Board. This person is most familiar with the policies and procedures of the Program and coordinates its administration among supervisors and mentors at each school site and among host families and others in the community.

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What are the responsibilities of the supervisor and assigned mentors?

Host institutions are required to assign a training supervisor and both cultural and academic mentors to the trainee. The training supervisor monitors the Trainee's development. This is the person s/he may turn to with larger questions and concerns about his/her training plan. This designated supervisor should be able to provide guidance on each school where the Trainee has training activities. The supervisor and Trainee should meet regularly - at least twice per phase - to discuss the Trainee's progress.

The purpose of the cultural mentor is to help the trainee get oriented and settled into the community, and to check in regularly with the trainee. The cultural mentor can be a local (non-guest) teacher, a Chinese member of the community or an American with interest in Chinese culture. Cultural mentors will help the trainee get settled, show them important and useful locations, arrange social and cultural outings, and help explain local culture. The cultural mentor should be in frequent contact in the beginning, and at least once a month the remainder of the trainee's stay.

The academic mentor, who can be another world language teacher or teacher in the building (non-guest teacher), should introduce school rules and practices and involve the trainee in school activities. Throughout the year, the academic mentor should expose the trainee to new, American teaching strategies and guide the trainee in reflecting on his/her work. The mentor and guest trainee should have regular, guaranteed time to meet over the course of the school year.

If a host institution is also hosting a guest teacher through the Chinese Guest Teacher Program, s/he should not serve as the primary mentor for the trainee. As trainees participate in this program to gain knowledge from experienced U.S. language educators, the Chinese guest teacher is not appropriate for this mentoring role.

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What support is provided during the Program?

  • The College Board organizes an orientation for the guest trainees. It introduces them to living and working in the United States, the U.S. education system, and cross-cultural communication.
  • Hanban and the College Board provide on-going support to the guest trainees by offering professional guidance, resources, and professional development workshops.
  • The College Board maintains on-going communication with all the guest trainees through email and by phone, and also conducts site visits in order to provide both guest trainees and host institution support and assistance.

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How long can the guest trainee stay?

The guest trainee will be hosted at the host institution from August 2015 until the end of the contract period (no later than July 2016). The length of stay in the U.S. for any guest trainee in the Program is one school year.

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Can guest trainees stay in the United States after completing the Program?

No. Guest trainees in the Program are not allowed to stay in the United States after completing their contract period; they must return to China. This Program is intended as a supplementary cultural enrichment opportunity for schools with existing Chinese language and culture programs in the United States. Participating schools are required to certify that the trainees do not replace full- or part-time employees through their participation, and that the Program is not designed to recruit and train non-citizens for employment in the United States.

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I am a teacher of Chinese. How can I apply to become a guest trainee?

The College Board does not accept individual applications from interested candidates. Hanban collects the applications from trainees in China. All the Chinese guest trainees participating in this Program need to be approved by their provincial government, selected, and then approved by Hanban, the College Board and NCSSFL. The College Board only collects applications from U.S. schools and districts to host trainees.

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