Introduction to Teaching at the AIEN Institute on the Lingang New City Campus of the Shanghai Ocean University
The AIEN Institute is the Teaching Centre for the Joint Venture between Shanghai Ocean University and the University of Tasmania, Australia. The Institute was established in 2002 it offers a four-year Business Degree program with majors in either Information Management and Information Systems or International Marketing.. Currently over 1800 students are enrolled.
Shanghai Ocean University (SHOU)
Shanghai Ocean University (formerly the Shanghai Fisheries University) was founded in 1912. It is one of the 13 Shanghai-based universities which have key disciplines recognized by the State Ministry of Education.
University of Tasmania (UTas)
The University of Tasmania, Australia, has a history of over 100 years and is highly regarded internationally as a teaching and research institution.
There are 12 staff members of the English Department, including the Director, the Administrative Assistant, Program Coordinator, Program Developer and teachers
Courses delivered by the AIEN Institute, SHOU
The first year course at the AIEN Institute SHOU is English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and Study Skills; this is a preparation course for students who will begin studying in China with the University of Tasmania (Australia) in their second year.
The Second Year course offers the students English support and development while they are undertaking undergraduate studies in Information Management and Information Systems or International Marketing. The students study Business English and Presentation Skills.
There are approximately 400 students in each year group, divided into 16 classes of approximately 25 students per class.
Curriculum and teaching materials
The teaching materials are developed by the Director, the Program Coordinator, Program Developer and teachers and supported by set text books. Each course is structured in modules and involves ongoing assessment tasks within each module as well as mid and end-of-course tests. The courses are a blend of face-to-face and on-line activities.
AIEN Institute is an elite educational program that offers an intensive curriculum geared towards preparing students to continue further studies abroad and / or to pursue a business career in multinational companies all over the world.
The first year curriculum trains and exposes students to the academic areas of the following;
- Academic Research Writing: Sentence structures, Written reports, wide variety of academic texts such as Argument text, Discussion, Cause and Effect, Compare and Contrast, Process text, Graphs and Tables text, and Research Paper.
- Individual and Group Speaking Presentations: development of students’ speaking skills in English, Individual presentation and interviews, Group Presentations, successful presentation skills, team building and confidence, effective skills in creating visual aids to be used in presentations, Problem- Solution- Evaluation speaking presentations, Argument and Debate skills.
- Reading Skills and Vocabulary Development: training and exposure to academic text types and Academic Word list. Familiarizing students to reading strategies such as; Skimming and Scanning, note-taking styles, Marketing and Information systems technical vocabulary or jargon.
- Harvard Referencing System and Academic Honesty: students are trained to avoid plagiarism by using the Harvard Referencing system modified to suit the UTas referencing style. It covers intellectual property rights and academic research skills, in-text referencing, direct quotations, summarizing and paraphrasing.
- Study Skills and Critical Thinking: it involves building a sound foundation of English language and study skills for further university study rather than a mastery of skills for one specific assessment. Critical thinking is a necessary skill to improve students’ understanding of language functions. Students are trained to be able to identify the structure, functions, and features of the given text allowing them to transfer their knowledge and skills from one activity to another. Students are required to use and develop their critical thinking skills to think outside the box in order to solve problems, accomplish tasks, and finish assignments.
- Progressive Individual Development and Exposure to International Culture: AIEN institute rigorously screens select, and employs educators from around the world. Priority is given to quality of teaching and effective teaching strategies. Students’ individual development is assured by combining the best discipline of the Chinese education system and the inter-active approaches to education from foreign methodologies. Students are regularly exposed to foreign culture on a day to day basis providing them with different approaches in completing tasks thus improving their cognitive skills.
The 2nd year curriculum trains and teaches students the language-based professional skills necessary for future employment under the international business settings. The program offers the following:
- Clear understanding of the International Business World: it teaches students about the different corporate structures, business ethics, corporate culture, roles of different departments and employee’s position in a company. This is covered in every face to face lectures and being reinforced in the LL classes using updated listening audio and video business related recordings.
- International Business and Management Styles: Students are required to conduct surveys and research outside the classrooms to identify different types of management styles from different managers around the world. The program identifies the top trading partners of China on a particular year and this is being used as a subject for their business interviews and research. A successful completion of this task guarantees a wider understanding of the different managers and their management styles.
- Job hunting, Hiring and Recruitment: This is a unique attribute of the program that is designed to assist students in a successful job application in the future. It shows and trains student the correct and effective way to write a Cover letter (Letter of Application) and a CV / Resume intended for multi-national companies located in and out of the country.
- Job Interview and Interview Simulation: No known joint venture practices and trains students on the proper ways and means with regard to job interviews. AIEN 2nd year program enhances the skills necessary to be successful in job interviews. Language skills as well as interview skills are taught, dress code, proper gestures, how to answer difficult interview questions, conversing confidently, these and many more are covered and part of their speaking assessment.
- Case Study Writing; To reinforce and strengthen the UTas (University of Tasmania) major units, case study writing is a necessary component. Students are trained to write a case study using a variety of case study formats such as; SWOT analysis, PESTLE analysis, and Feasibility studies. These are concise versions of the Research paper they covered from the previous year.
- Field Research Report and Presentation: This Field Research Report and Presentation will enable students to practice all their skills in research and presentations. Students are required to select and evaluate an international corporation, set an appointment, conduct an interview with the duly recognized representative of the corporation / company, record the interview and conversation, evaluate the said activity, and report their findings in their presentation in the face to face class.
- Business Presentations: This assessed activity trains students the proper table battles and business negotiation techniques, marketing, branding products and developing corporate image necessary for selling and promoting their own product in an assumed business situation.
Under the EAP and Business English program of the AIEN Institute students are expected to gain an advanced knowledge and skills necessary for them to succeed in their chosen fields here and abroad.
Teaching program organization
Classes are timetabled in 1.5 hour sessions – 5 min break after 45 mins - with a 15 minute mid-morning break, 80-minute lunch break and 10 minute mid-afternoon breaks. Classes fall within the hours of 8.15 a.m. to 4.20 pm Monday to Thursday and 8.15 to 11:40 am. on Friday. There are no evening or weekend classes.
Teachers in the First Year Program work as members of a team of 2-3 teachers sharing four classes.
The face-to-face teaching hours are 19.5 hours of the 38 hour working week. Each teacher is available for consultation by students during Office Hours (1.5 hours per week) The remaining 17 hours are used for marking and lesson preparation as well as for collegiate activities such as staff meetings, professional development, reporting on student progress and lesson planning. At the discretion of the Director, work such as marking may be done off campus.
The new campus of Shanghai Ocean University
Until August 2008, the Shanghai Ocean University had two campuses – the older city campus and the newer campus in Nanhui, an outer district of greater Shanghai. In September 2008, the university moved to the new campus in Lingang (New City) Pudong.
Lingang is part of greater Shanghai and is about an hour’s drive from the city centre of Shanghai. The new city is on the shore of a large lake and is only a short distance from the sea and the new deep sea port. The air is clean and the open spaces are welcoming, especially for cyclists. The university place is connected with Subway Metro line 16 that starts its operation from 5:50 am and ends at 10:30 pm
Local Chinese supermarkets, convenience stores and restaurants have opened in Lingang with western-style supermarkets. TESCOS have a large centre in Nanhui, about 30 minute subway ride from Lingang.
The starting date of 2021-22 contract is Sept. Classes will commence on the third week of Sept 2021.
There will be an orientation period prior to the commencement of classes. All teachers will be involved in orientation, curriculum development, lesson planning, teaching resources creation and professional development.
Contracts are for the academic year which usually ends in early July. There is an option for a renewal of contract after a review process. If the contract is renewed, the starting date will be the beginning of the next academic year. The teaching salary is not paid during the summer break. However, the living allowance will be paid over the summer break. This allows returning teachers to keep their apartment, if they so wish. Teachers are free to seek other employment during the summer break.
The AIEN Institute is situated in a four storey building with a lift and air-conditioning in offices, staff room and all English classrooms. Each classroom has power point facilities.
The English Department staff facilities include a well-equipped staff room with individual work stations and computers.
There are a number of restaurants – both Chinese and western - as well as coffee shops, cafeterias, a supermarket, convenience shops, post office and banking facilities, on the campus.
AIEN staff may use the services of the campus clinic which is staffed by Chinese doctors and nurses. Language interpretation is offered if required. The cost is low. AIEN also provides medical insurance to cover medical costs for accidents and hospital stay.
Accommodation for Teachers
The AIEN Institute will provide the first 3 nights’ accommodation free for new teachers. The accommodation will be arranged or approved by the institute. Assistance will be provided in finding accommodation.
Assistance will be provided in finding accommodation. The AIEN Institute contract includes a RMB 4,500 monthly allowance to assist in covering the cost of accommodation, utilities and local and/or commuting travel.
1. A hotel-style room, with en-suite, in the Visiting Teacher’s Accommodation Building. Each room is equipped with a bed, a pillow, sheets, blankets, arm chair, desk, chair and drinking water. Some rooms with a television, a refrigerator and a micro-wave oven are available. Teachers will need to provide their own towels, crockery and cutlery.
2. Local apartments in Lingang are available for rent. These apartments have standard white goods and are furnished. Tenants will need to buy their own linen, crockery and cutlery. Most apartments are furnished. The rent for a single bedroom apartment is about RMB 2,000. These rents are much less than those charged in more central parts of Shanghai center. A local bus runs between the apartments and the campus.
3. Some members of staff choose to stay in the Shanghai suburbs closer to the city centre. Apartment rent there is usually between RMB 5,500 and RMB 8,000 per month, with the usual deposit and advance rent. A university commuter bus runs from Zhangjiang Gao Ke metro station to the campus at 7.00 am each morning. A return bus departs from the campus each day at 1.00 pm and 4.30 pm (Friday at 3.30 pm). The commuting time is about 50 minutes, depending on traffic conditions. The bus fare is 5 RMB. An allowance is included in the salary package to help cover this cost.
4. Assistance is given in finding accommodation, negotiating leases and completing all rental formalities.
On arrival (if you are not already living in Shanghai)
Someone from the AIEN Institute will meet you and bring you either to the campus or to reserved accommodation. During your first week, AIEN will help to orient you to living and working in China, look for accommodation, undertake procedures required by the Chinese Government (e.g. medical, visa ) and familiarize you with the teaching program.
Accommodation will be provided at no cost for the first three days.
The AIEN Institute SHOU package
The AIEN Institute offers an attractive package including:
• a competitive salary
• an accommodation/living allowance
• local travel allowance
• annual travel allowance
• annual bonus
• free workday lunch
• local medical coverage
• public holidays and paid annual leave
• assistance with visa application
• reimbursement of medical check and visa costs at the end of the 6 week probation period
• high quality teaching materials and lesson outlines
• on-going professional development
• career development opportunities
The details of the salary package will be discussed during the interview.
Shanghai Ocean University