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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 8-12 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 25%, 33%, or 50% depending on the assigned sections and number of students. TAs must enroll in CHIN 500: Apprentice Teaching for a letter grade during each quarter of employment.


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 quarterly at Application details are available at the Chinese Studies website:, which links to the online application system to apply.  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 to a maximum of 16 students 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 at 25% must also spend 60 minutes in the assigned TA office to meet with students so that they may practice vocabulary/pronunciation drills or other aspects of tutoring. TAs also prepare or adjust a lesson 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?

If you wish to be a TA in the fall you will need to apply during spring quarter, generally before May 15th. If you wish to be a TA in the winter you will need to apply during fall quarter, generally before November 15th. If you wish to be a TA in the spring you will need to apply during winter quarter, generally before February 15th. These dates vary depending on the UC calendar. Official deadline dates will be posted on this page. 

How many TAs do you hire?

Spring quarter in preparation for fall is the best time to apply for a TAship. In preparation for fall we hire a total of approximately 11-13 TAs. This means we usually hire 4 to 6 brand new TAs depending on how many of current TAs are graduating. Many TAs will continue to work for Chinese Studies program for the entire academic year or until they graduate. In winter quarter there is a reduction in enrollments which causes us to cancel some sections and therefore we will need fewer TAs. In spring quarter there is a further reduction in enrollments which causes us to offer fewer CHIN sections and then 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; however, it is very unlikely that the deadline would be extended. 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?

We greatly appreciate that you do not check on the status of the application process. Applicants are generally contacted via email or phone call four to six weeks after the application deadline with results. There may be the possibility that you are invited to come in for an interview, the Chinese Studies Program will call or email you. Please be patient.  DO NOT call, stop by or send emails to the Chinese Studies Program to inquire about the status of your application prior to the results are available 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 finish the online application and MUST drop off the completed CONFIRMATION PAGE at HSS 1009 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 prefer 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. If you do submit a USB thumb drive the Chinese Studies Office will make an effort for you to pick up your recording once the application review process is over.

How much will I be compensated as a TA?

The salary for a TA varies depending on the percentage of employment. Some TAs are hired at 25% or more. 25% results with a monthly salary of $1,113.95. Most Chinese language TAs are hired at 33% which results in $1,470.41 per month. 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). Currently the fee remission is $5,280 in accordance with the 10/1/2016 agreement. This fee remission does not cover all of the fees. This amount of G-SHIP fee remission per quarter is based on the 2016-17 tuition and fees chart 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.

Why am I required to enroll in CHIN 500? Why do I have to select letter grade?

In addition to the fee remission and a monthly salary you will be earning 2 or 4 units based on your assigned percentage for being a teaching apprentice. Your work output/response, employee attitude and effectiveness as a TA are measured via a grade. Each grad student will be earning a grade for CHIN 500.