MLES English Language Teacher Salary and Benefits 2020-21

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Salary for fully qualified teachers is on a four-step scale from $22,800USD to $30,000USD per year. New teachers hired under special permission with less than two years’ experience begin at Step 1 of the MLES ESL Teacher salary scale. MLES offers initial placement of one step on this scale for each two years of full time prior teaching experience. Annual increments are based on successful completion of each teaching year within MLES. MLES salary is paid in 12 equal monthly installments deposited directly to the teacher’s bank account. Options are available for payment in USD, RMB or CAD based on the USD exchange rate.

Step 1 2 3 4 5
Annual Salary (USD) 21,600 22,800 25,000 27,200 30,000

Step Placement Details

  1. Salary Step Increments are based on full-time teaching over a full 10-month school year, usually September to July.
  2. All continuing MLES ESL teachers will receive an increase of one step on the salary scale for each year of teaching completed with MLES up to Step 5.
  3. New teachers hired under special permission with less than two years’ experience begin at Step 1 of the MLES ESL Teacher salary scale.
  4. Prior Experience Recognition: for initial placement on the MLES salary scale, each two (2) years of full-time classroom teaching experience in a recognized school will result in one (1) step advance on the MLES ESL Teacher salary scale.
  5. New teachers placed in new schools which locate in small and isolated areas may result in one (1) additional step advance on the MLES ESL Teacher salary scale. These locations are determined by the ESL Superintendent, MLES.
  6. Official verification of previous experience for salary step placement must be provided to the MLES ESL Head Office Department or authorized designate.
  7. Salary Step increases based on experience verification records provided after the date of hire will appear on the pay period following the date of receipt of the experience verification. No retroactive payment will be made.

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The ESL Teacher will be at the School from Monday through Friday, five working days a week. The school day is normally nine hours, including student supervision and a lunch break. The average teaching load for ESL Teachers is approximately 25 hours per week. At the Elementary and Middle School levels there are approximately twenty-five (25) classroom instructional periods per week. At the High School level there are approximately fifteen (15), 70 minute ESL blocks each week and teachers may be called upon to provide service as a substitute teacher (Teacher on Call – TOC) in the high school for one block during the day, as needed. At the high school, the ESL Director will determine the ESL Teacher’s assignments when not serving as a TOC. In addition to instructional periods ESL teachers lead club activities, providing opportunities for informal English language learning and practice.



MLES provides free apartments on-campus or in MLES owned off-campus apartments where available. When MLES owned apartments are not available MLES provides an accommodation allowance of 21,000RMB-30,000RMB (taxable) per year, paid in monthly installments. MLES staff at each school assist with initial accommodation set up. A $150USD damage deposit is required for on campus housing and is deducted from the first month payment deposit.


Maple Leaf gives first-time to Maple Leaf teachers an additional 3,000 (RMB) (taxable) in the first pay period to help offset the cost of initial living expenses incurred in moving to China. Apartments are furnished but not equipped. This allowance is for initial purchases of basic living necessities.


MLES provides up to $1,500USD for round trip airfare in each year of the contract from the negotiated ‘point of hire’ to the Chinese city in which the assigned school is located. This amount is usually allocated as two one-way flights to a maximum of $750USD per year.

Vacation Entitlement

MLES provides a paid winter break of approximately 4 weeks and an approximately 6 week long summer break, along with one week in October and one week in May during Chinese national holidays. For the October and May holiday, 3 days are national holidays and MLES schools add two days of classes or professional development on Saturdays around the holiday to create the full week long vacation period.

Visa and Immunizations

MLES covers most costs, up to specified limits, and assists with applying for visas and resident permits in China. Candidates from outside of Canada will need to make arrangements to visit a Chinese Consulate to obtain their final visa prior to departure. MLES will reimburse for basic immunizations up to $250USD. Receipts are required.

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MLES provides full international medical coverage.

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Dependents Benefits

MLES provides medical insurance coverage, visas, immunizations, and annual flights for a dependent spouse and dependent children living full time in China with the teacher. MLES provides a school tuition discount for children of teachers.

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