The application for Mandarin exchange teachers is closed.
The Teachers of Critical Languages Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and implemented by American Councils for International Education.
Candidates will be considered without respect to race, color, religion, sexual orientation or gender. Competition for the TCLP is merit-based and open to anyone who:
- Is a citizen of China who currently resides in China;
- Is currently a full-time teacher of English as a Foreign Language or Mandarin as a Foreign Language in a primary or secondary (K-12) school in their home country;
- At the time of application has at least four years of full-time classroom teaching experience;
- Is prepared to teach for the entire U.S. academic year with leave time limited to school breaks;
- Has a firm understanding of Mandarin;
- Has at least a bachelor’s degree;
- Demonstrates a commitment to continue teaching after completion of the program;
- Is proficient in written and spoken English;
- Has submitted a complete TCLP application; and
- Has submitted a complete Centre for Language Education and Cooperation (CLEC) application. The application is available at www.clecteacher.chinese.cn. Please contact your provincial education department or email firstname.lastname@example.org for the CLEC application deadline. It is likely earlier than the TCLP application deadline. You may complete the CLEC application simultaneously with your TCLP application. Applicants who do not complete a CLEC application in addition to the TCLP application will not be considered for the program.
Individuals in the following circumstances are NOT eligible for TCLP:
- U.S. citizens and permanent residents of the United States, or their spouses;
- Individuals currently participating in academic, training, or research programs in the United States;
- Individuals who have applied for U.S. permanent residency in the past three years;
- Individuals currently studying, residing, or working outside of their home country;
- Ministry of Education officials, full-time principals or educational administrators, full-time teacher trainers, education consultants, university faculty, private English Language tutors; and
- Individuals who have participated in an exchange visitor program sponsored by the U.S. government for a period of more than six weeks in the last five years.
The U.S. Department of State and American Councils reserve the right to verify all of the information included in the application. In the event that there is a discrepancy, or information is found to be false, the application will immediately be declared invalid and the applicant ineligible.
Applications not meeting the above technical eligibility requirements will not be forwarded to the selection committee.
View a Recording of the TCLP Informational Webinar with Program Alumna, Liang Yan
Learn about the program and how being Mandarin exchange teacher can benefit you and your students.
Click here to watch the recording on YouTube.
Click here to watch the recording on BiliBili.
View a Recording of the TCLP Informational Webinar for School Principals in China
Learn about the program and how about the TCLP program and how participating in TCLP benefits both exchange teachers and schools in China.
Click here to watch the recording on BiliBili.
TCLP is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), U.S. Department of State and provides:
- J-1 visa support
- A pre-departure orientation held in person or virtually
- Round-trip travel to and within the U.S.
- A nine-day welcome orientation in Washington, DC
- An approximate 10.5-month teaching assignment in a U.S. host school
- Professional development workshops
- Accident and sickness insurance (does not cover pre-existing conditions)
- Assistance with finding housing, generally arranged by the U.S. host school/educational community
- Living stipend of approximately $20,000 for the duration of the 10.5-month teaching assignment; and
- Housing in the form of a monthly housing allowance for the duration of the program, calculated based on average housing prices for the assigned host community.
- To be considered for the program, please submit a complete application online
- Incomplete applications or items submitted by fax or e-mail will not be accepted
- Unless otherwise noted, please answer all questions in English
- If a required question does not apply to you, please enter N/A (not applicable)
- There is a limit of three (3) attachments per applicable question; if more than three are submitted, the application may be disqualified
- Additional materials (such as student work or hand-outs) should NOT be included
- Materials that require technical equipment (such as audio or videotapes) will not be reviewed by the selection committee
- All applicants must also complete an application to the Government-sponsored Teacher Program and submit it to the Centre for Language Education and Cooperation (CLEC) in China. The application is available online at: www.clecteacher.chinese.cn. Please contact your provincial education department or email email@example.com for this application deadline.
To be considered complete, all applications must include:
- An essay that includes detailed answers to all questions;
- Transcript(s)/teaching certifications;
- A resume of no more than two pages;
- A recent passport size photograph of the applicant; and
- One completed recommendation form from a person who is the applicant’s supervisor and is familiar with his/her professional work; it cannot be written by a family member. Recommendations must be submitted with the application by the application deadline date. Recommendations submitted separately or submitted after the deadline will not be accepted. Please provide an English translation of the recommendation letter if it is not written in English. The translated letter does not need to be certified or notarized, but should be clearly marked as a translation.
The U.S. Department of State and American Councils will convene an independent panel to review the applications on the basis of the following:
- Professional and educational experience and achievements
- Demonstrated leadership potential
- Flexibility, maturity, and ability to participate in an international academic exchange
- Preparedness (including maturity, flexibility, and ability to function independently) for an intensive academic year in the U.S.
- Ability to express ideas clearly and effectively
- Demonstrated commitment to current pedagogy and willingness to adapt methodology
- Willingness to co-teach in the U.S. classroom
- Potential for developing long-term linkages between U.S. and home educational institutions and schools
Applicants who have had few or no opportunities to travel to the U.S. will be given priority.
Family Policy: Families may visit TCLP teachers during the academic program. However, the program is unable to offer financial support for family members of participants to come to the U.S. For those participants who decide to bring their family, dependent upon program approval, the families will be able to join after December 20 of the exchange year.
Home Residency Requirement: Exchange teachers may not extend their program in the United States, and are required to return home within 2 weeks after their program concludes. Exchange teachers are subject to the home residency requirement which obligates J-1 Exchange Program teachers to return home and reside there for two years following completion of their program.
You may direct questions to:
American Councils for International Education
Room 1206, Beijing Boya International Apartment Building
No. 1 Lizezhongyilu, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100102
Phone: (+86) 139-1179-5941