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Teaching Assistant



Chinese Studies TAs are hired as apprentice Mandarin teachers and will be instructing students of various backgrounds and ability levels. TAs are assigned to work directly with Chinese language faculty in conjunction with the Chinese language course(s) offered each quarter and will meet weekly with assigned course instructors. TA duties include but are not limited to preparing in class presentations (which may include drafting PowerPoint presentations), preparing instructional materials (i.e. making copies), keeping attendance, conducting tutorials, leading conversation drills, distributing and grading homework/writing assignments, holding weekly office hours, language tutoring and proctoring quizzes/tests.

The Chinese Studies program hires several graduate students as Chinese language Teaching Assistants (CHIN TA) on a quarterly basis. Current TAs MUST REAPPLY for an available TA position each quarter, as rehiring is not guaranteed for future quarters. TA appointments are generally 50%. 


All Chinese language TA candidates must meet the following criteria: 

  1. Matriculation as a UC San Diego graduate student. US citizens, US residents and UC San Diego grad students holding an F-1 or J-1 visa may apply.
  2. Candidates must maintain strong academic standing of 3.0 or better.  The Chinese Studies Program will request permission from their home department to hire TAs.
  3. Candidates must have superior pronunciation and be skilled at communicating in Pǔtōnghuà also known as Mandarin Chinese. Candidates must be able to read and write clearly in both Traditional & Simplified characters. 
  4. Experience as a Chinese language instructor is a requirement.

TAs must be available to lead tutorials on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; they must attend and lead the assigned section(s) and various other tasks. TAs may initially need to attend lectures for their assigned courses on Tuesdays and Thursdays to observe CHIN lectures. Attendance at TA Orientation and Training is mandatory. Attendance and participation in weekly TA meetings is also a requirement of employment.


Positions will be posted at the beginning of each quarter for hire in the following quarter. Please see for postings. Interested graduate students are encouraged to carefully read the website and follow the instructions. Email with any questions.

Applicants must complete the following in the online application:

  1. Answer the questions in the online application system.
  2. Upload your CV or résumé in Word document or PDF format into your online application. This information should be in English. It should detail your work history and highlight the required Chinese language teaching experience.
  3. Draft a one page handwritten autobiography in Chinese characters. Ensure that your handwriting is clear and easy to read.  Applicants may use either Traditional or Simplified characters as TAs are required to be able to read, write, and correct both types of characters. Do not type in Chinese characters. Upload a PDF or JPEG of the handwriting sample.
  4. Record a video of yourself speaking in Mandarin for a minimum of 3 minutes. This is an opportunity to introduce yourself in Mandarin to the selection committee to speak on why you want to be a Chinese language TA. Do not read from texts and do not have background music or noise in your recording. Speak loudly and clearly.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are the duties of a Chinese language TA?

Qualified graduate students are hired as Teaching Assistants (TA) to teach Mandarin Chinese on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in tutorials (also known as sections). A graduate student working as a TA must have a flexible schedule that permits him or her to lead 2 or more CHIN tutorial sections on those particular weekdays. Teaching as a TA includes but is not limited to practicing pronunciation, in class presentations, and answering student questions. The TAs offer quizzes in class, maintain confidential records of the grades, grade homework papers and exams and return these documents to the instructor/students in a timely manner. A TA hired must also hold office hours to meet with students so that they may practice vocabulary/pronunciation drills or other aspects of tutoring. TAs also prepare or adjust lessons and meet with instructors on a weekly basis to prepare for the upcoming week's classes. A new TA may be instructed to attend a corresponding lecture on Tuesday/Thursday to shadow a Chinese language instructor and learn his or her teaching method.

When can I apply for a TA position?

Positions are posted early in the quarter for hire in the following quarter. So, if you wish to be a TA in the fall you will need to apply during spring quarter, if you wish to be a TA in the winter you will need to apply during fall quarter, and if you wish to be a TA in the spring you will need to apply during winter quarter.

How many TAs do you hire?

Spring quarter in preparation for fall is the best time to apply for a TAship. Many TAs will continue to work for Chinese Studies program for the entire academic year or until they graduate, but still need to re-apply each quarter. In winter and spring quarters there is a reduction in enrollments which causes us to cancel some sections and therefore we will need fewer TAs.

Can you enter my information into the application for me?

No, it is the responsibility of the applicant to submit his or her own full application in order to be considered for an available TA position.

It is after the deadline date, can I still submit my application? What are my chances of being selected?

You may check to see if the Chinese Studies Program is still considering additional applicants after the deadline date; if the application is open, you may apply. Please be aware that there are many new and continuing graduate students who are qualified to apply for the Chinese language Teaching Assistant position and the process is very competitive. To be considered as an applicant you should follow all instructions and complete your application by the deadline date.

Can I call or stop by to find out the results?

Applicants are contacted via email with information regarding whether or not an offer will be made. There is no need to contact the Chinese Studies Program to inquire about the status of your application as the program is unable to answer your inquiry until the decision making process is complete.

I'm currently a CHIN TA, do I really need to complete an application again?

Yes, anyone who is interested in being considered as a TA for the upcoming quarter MUST apply online. Graduate students that are currently working as teaching assistants must still complete the online application by the deadline date.

Can I send you a mp3 or other sound wave instead of a CD? What about a thumb drive?

It is preferred that you submit a video online on Youtube or Youku. If you are having trouble and have attempted numerous times to upload then yes.  The online method is preferred as it makes it easier for the Selection Committee to quickly hear your pronunciation.

How much will I be compensated as a TA?

The salary for a TA is set by the university. Each quarter consists of three equal paycheck for the three months. Please note fees and taxes may be deducted from the monthly salary.

Any graduate student hired as a TA at 25% or more is eligible for a TAHI/TAFE fee remission (also known as a G-SHIP). The TAs home department is responsible for entering the fee remission in the system, not Chinese Studies. Please contact the graduate advisor in your home department with questions about fee remission. Tuition and fees charts are provided by the Graduate Division at UC San Diego.

When will the Chinese Studies Program give me the fee remission?

The Chinese Studies Program does not give or submit fee remissions. It is the graduate student's home department that enters the eligibility online and that prompts the Graduate Division to activate the fee remission.