Any education-related MA programs at Taiwanese universities? Qualification for public schools?

After searching I was tempted to post in this thread, but decided to open a new one, as that one is old and not completely related. I found other, somewhat related threads, but none answered the following question.

Is it possible to become a certified teacher, qualified to work in public elementary schools as an English teacher, without leaving Taiwan, or Asia?

Let’s assume that I speak Chinese fluently, and am also a fluent native English speaker. That I have a B.A. degree from a top North American University, and a North American passport.

If I obtain an education-related MA degree here in Taiwan, studied predominantly in Chinese, at a reputable Taiwanese University, would I then be qualified for government school work?

Do such post graduate programs even exist in Taiwan, for an English teacher?

Or, do I need to return to North America and obtain my teaching degree/license there? I am a bit confused on this - does the government only recognize North American (I should I just say ‘foreign’, for non-North Americans) teaching degrees/licenses?

If I want to improve my value in the broader EFL market (specifically, the EFL markets of China and Taiwan), and find secure employment outside of the private sector, am I more-or-less forced to leave Taiwan for a year or two?

Why would they hire a “foreign” teacher who has become certified to teach in Taiwan? Hopefully you can see the conflict of interest here. The MOE would be giving a job that a local could do to a foreigner. That’s my take on it anyway. I am probably wwwwwwrong, but that’s life :slight_smile:. You’ll need to get certified back in your home country.

Thanks for your opinion.

I guess the point is that locals aren’t native English speakers, and do not come from a foreign cultural background. Perhaps it is too straightforward, but to be frank, a local cannot do what I do.

You could be correct though - perhaps the intention is that qualified teachers have received their education at a North American/foreign school, giving them a background in ‘North American education’.

Heresy.

The (majority) local opinion is that they can do it better–I’m told that native English speakers don’t know their own language.

All joking aside, the perception would be that you are taking work away from a local. Search online to see if any university near you has an MA program in Applied Linguistics (and Teaching Methodology?) and see what they have to say. I did mine in Chung Li, but that was the final step for university teaching.

Heresy.

The (majority) local opinion is that they can do it better–I’m told that native English speakers don’t know their own language.[/quote]

Its true that most Foreign ‘teachers’, while able to speak English fluently, have a weak grasp of English grammar. Many also seem to lack ambition, genuine interest in working with young people, or any sort of real teaching qualifications. That’s the status quo of the private market, right?

All reasons why at some point I want to stop teaching for a business, and start teaching for a school.

May I ask what you mean by “the final step for university teaching”? With your Taiwanese degree in hand (from 中原大學 by any chance?) you began work at a University?

You need an MA to teach at universities in Taiwan. I assume that was what xtrain was talking about.

Yet, as I posted in the “Whack Things in Taiwan Part 3” thread, I have recently encountered quite a few examples of Taiwanese having great difficulty with their own language and having to be corrected by others.

Yes, there are plenty of native English speakers who don’t know their own language, but there are three things to be said about that. Firstly, plenty of native English speakers do know their own language. Secondly, knowing the technical, grammatical terms does not actually preclude a person from using examples of those correctly in both written and spoken language. Thirdly, it rests upon the (false) assumption that in order to achieve any level of functional or fluent use of a language, one must spend countless hours grinding through grammar textbooks and memorising vocabulary lists.

In other words, the average Taiwanese person has no clue what he or she is talking about if he or she believes that native English speakers don’t know their own language. Besides, they get what they pay for. If paying peanuts for a smiling, compliant clown is their major priority, then obviously they won’t attract the very large numbers of native English speakers who do speak the language extremely well.

Yet, as I posted in the “Whack Things in Taiwan Part 3” thread, I have recently encountered quite a few examples of Taiwanese having great difficulty with their own language and having to be corrected by others.

Yes, there are plenty of native English speakers who don’t know their own language, but there are three things to be said about that. Firstly, plenty of native English speakers do know their own language. Secondly, knowing the technical, grammatical terms does not actually preclude a person from using examples of those correctly in both written and spoken language. Thirdly, it rests upon the (false) assumption that in order to achieve any level of functional or fluent use of a language, one must spend countless hours grinding through grammar textbooks and memorising vocabulary lists.

In other words, the average Taiwanese person has no clue what he or she is talking about if he or she believes that native English speakers don’t know their own language. Besides, they get what they pay for. If paying peanuts for a smiling, compliant clown is their major priority, then obviously they won’t attract the very large numbers of native English speakers who do speak the language extremely well.[/quote]

One of the reasons I did the MA is because I wanted to be able to explain the concepts, rather than just saying “That’s the way it is.” I don’t mind the point being made that many English native speakers cannot explain English grammar; I just disliked hearing it from local teachers who made 2-3 grammatical errors in the sentence they used to state it. The irony …

Another example is locals who truly believe that because most native English speakers cannot speak Chinese, they also cannot teach English in Taiwan. In fact, this may in some way be at the heart of the matter–locals can speak Chinese (the L1), which is seen as more useful in terms of the countless hours needed to “grind through grammar books/memorize vocab lists” (publications that are often preferred by the punters to be in Chinese, with (substandard) English examples). The fact that their actual language production is shyte doesn’t enter into it.

And yes, it was an MA for the university position (completed at Yuan Ze University).

(Apologies–no time to put this more coherently).

xtrain: I still don’t get the general complaint by Taiwanese that native English speakers don’t know grammar. Native English speakers can (usually) use it correctly in context, which is what language is about. I can actually explain what the present perfect is, but let’s imagine that I can’t for a second. I, and probably almost every other native English speaker on the planet can say, “Teacher, I’ve finished my work.” We can say, “I have just eaten lunch.” Yet most of these knucklehead Taiwanese English teachers can rabbit on about grammar endlessly, but can’t actually apply what they’ve just taught. The textbooks the kids use at my school contain all sorts of esoteric points on the passive voice and so on, yet I have never heard any of the teachers use these obscure points, let alone correctly, and I’ve certainly never heard the kids use them. Likewise, ask any of these guys (including the teachers) to write a 100 word paragraph (as opposed to fill in a multiple choice cloze test) and it will be complete gobbledygook, as evidenced by commercial advertisements, government brochures, etc.

This is where Taiwanese have not only missed the boat in terms of teaching English, but were never even at the right dock to begin with. They need to stop thinking of it as a linguistics exercise and just use the bloody language to communicate.

True, most native speakers can use the various tenses correctly in context (although some include verbal nuances in their written work). I guess the issue is that for you and I (and many others), that is what language is about, but for the vast majority here (and other places), it doesn’t enter into the equation. In Taiwan, it’s far more important to be able to explain the concept and choose the correct answer on a multiple guess test. That goes hand-in-hand with a lack of actual production in school English classes (for whatever reason–most often that the instructor is uncomfortable using English and can’t properly assess either verbal or written work), as well as the general focus on MC-based testing, where (some) bushibans actually focus more on the aspects of the test rather than the material to be covered. In the end, students think they have a solid grasp of grammar (even better than NS), when they can’t produce one coherent sentence after years of “learning”.

I still see this first hand in Vancouver–I now teach a 3rd year Business Writing class where we expect incoming students to be (semi-) proficient in writing mechanics; 50-60% of the students each semester are Asian (and up to 80% are ESL/EFL/EAL whatever), and most think that they are “good” at English grammar. When they get their first assignment back, reality kicks in–maybe for the first time in their lives. I just handed back a 30 question student profile that had 90 mechanical errors in it. 90! This total did not include other types of errors associated with business writing that we haven’t covered yet–only spelling, grammar and punctuation. A handful of students were asking what they can do, as they had already taken Linguistics classes (??); even with their results, some don’t think they need to take a basic, hands-on writing class because “they’ve studied English for such a long time”.

To be honest, some students in Taiwan actively search out this type of instruction–I taught the same way in Taiwan at the university level, and students who took my classes knew that they would be graded accordingly. Not all of them went along with it, but many did; some have remained in contact and are appreciative for getting kicked in the butt early on. That said, they are certainly in the minority, and will remain so until the focus of English teaching/learning changes. I won’t hold my breath …

So, a locally acquired MA can qualify one for University work, how about public elementary school teaching?

xtrain: Good points. I don’t think things in Taiwan will change until the Taiwanese are forced to change. I don’t think any of us will really make much difference. The trouble is that there’s a massive amount of time, energy and money tied up in maintaining the status quo, and not just in English teaching. The whole educational system here needs reform.

KPSeventy, why not just ask the MOE or get a friend to call the MOE and ask? There has to be someone who knows the answer to your question. I assume you either already speak Chinese fluently, so perhaps that might be the best way to get an answer. If you don’t, then surely you must know someone who could inquire on your behalf?

This is only a guess, but I think not.

The reason is that locally trained elementary school teachers all have to take these huge exams. Your score on the exam must be very high, and even if you pass, you’re in the running for about five jobs for five thousand teachers. That’s the system you’re asking about participating in, right?

Even if you do the education, and take the Mandarin language exams, and score in the top percent–you’re now one of five thousand looking for one of five jobs.

Or maybe you want to take that huge exam and then get a “foreigner” job teaching in local schools? Theoretically, you should be qualifeid as a teacher, and qualified as a foreigner, but you will not have the right documents for the right stamps. The stamper people will be confused, confounded, and unlikely to see the sense in what you’re trying to do.