English teachers will soon need gov't licenses in Taibei


#1

English teachers will soon need gov’t licenses in Taibei, according to today’s TAIBEI TIMES. Click here for the story. Maybe the new councilwoman will read reactions here…


#2

At last, more red tape which we have to find our way through.
Perhaps they should test the schools and not the teachers. Does she really think that teachers will go for this - NO WAY. You arrive in the country, go for a med. check, work permit paperwork, and then for the A.R.C, by that time your first visa for Taiwan is finished, you get your A.R.C just in time. Now, she says that they want to take up even more of our time just to pass some standards that she feels are important. Someone on a anti-foreigner crusade by the sounds of things.

Ok, test the schools, or insist on training after you’re given a work permit and ARC.
Or let’s send employers to classes about how to pay on time, treat teachers fairly, and not be complete jerks. Yes, an anti-jerk class for employers in Taiwan - Sounds like an idea :slight_smile:


#3

And what government body in Taipei is qualified to test foreigners? The same body that checks the spelling on Taipei street signs? Regardless, it’s a wonderful idea. If passed, we can expect a further exodus of teachers and a BIG jump in tuition. Never let it be said that the Taiwanese don’t know how to shoot themselves in the foot! :laughing:


#4

Or, a higher rate of pay for those teachers lucky enough to pass these exams


#5

And what government body in Taipei is qualified to test foreigners?
Hope it’s not the same group that writes the English for the drivers license test.
If passed, we can expect a further exodus of teachers and a BIG jump in tuition.
Yeah!!! Baby. I think I’ll start jacking up my prices in advance.


#6

I wonder whether this proposal is more about having a go at foreigners rather than improving the standard of English. While I would have to say that there is a problem with substandard foreign teachers, the fault lies mostly with greedy Taiwanese bosses whose primary concern is raking in the dosh. Why do they hire crap teachers?? And if we are talking about crap teachers we need to start with Taiwanese teachers, both those in the bushiban and public school sectors. Many of them can’t speak English to a half-way decent standard. “English Captain, but not as we know it.”


#7

The TT calls her a freshman, and too right.

This is her little project, is it?

Well, we’ll see if she can convince other councillors, councillors who have many, many bushiban-owning constituents–owners who are not going to be happy about additional redtape, and not to mention the higher salaries they will need to pay to attract teachers from a much-reduced labor pool, etc

wwwwaaaaahhhahahaahahaaha

what a novice!


#8

Boss Hogg,

You said “further exodus” of teachers. I wasn’t aware that the number of teachers had declined; do you have info on this? I live in Chaiyi and the number of foreigners has increased over the last five years. Many small cities that were once without big-noses now have several (usually South Africans).


#9

[quote=“almas john”]Boss Hogg,

You said “further exodus” of teachers. I wasn’t aware that the number of teachers had declined; do you have info on this? I live in Chaiyi and the number of foreigners has increased over the last five years. Many small cities that were once without big-noses now have several (usually South Africans).[/quote]

Hmmmm… I think you’ll find that I was merely quoting another poster. Have a read of the whole thread or even the quote box in my post and I think we’ll find that it wasn’t me who said anything about an exodus of teachers. You’re right about the South African thing though, some I’ve met can barely speak English. That just shows how stupid the schools are.


#10

come now hogg boss


#11

Sorry, nothing personal against you Alleycat.
It’s just that I recently discovered another school that has 8 S.A teachers. 5 of them could barely hold a conversation in English - Another S.A teacher translated from Afrikaans so other people could understand what they were saying. In meetings they speak Afrikaans, and when the boss says that he can’t understand, they say “Oh, we’ll speak slower for you” , and then they changed to simple English.

I am not saying that it is all S. Africans, as Alleycat is obviously a class act and a top notch English spreaker, but there are some, usually hiding away in small towns. In these small towns they make a tiny salary and are happy, but is this acceptable???

If I were a parent of one of the kids at the English school where they teach I would not be happy. Actually they didn’t even pass the required test for their school, but the boss was greedy and needed a foreign face.


#12

I had better add that many South Africans are excellent English teachers and I am glad to count some of them as friends, but even my S.A friends admit that there are many out there spoiling it for the rest of them.

I would never speak like this to Taiwanese, I wouldn’t want to ruin the rep. of any good teachers trying to find work here, but, this forum is mostly foreigners - correct me if I am wrong.


#13

she is incorrect comparing foreign teachers to taiwanese as she does. taiwanese do not need any licence to teach english in a bushiban. if she is referring to the public school system, then her idea is not a bad one, otherwise it is ridiculous.


#14

Uh-oh… a voice of dissent…

Just a question to throw out… I don’t know enough about the situation either way to have a strong opinion yet.
But wouldn’t some sort of qualification system (certainly not a test, but passing a course of some sort) raise the standards of English teaching? Not because the teachers would learn much from the course, but because it would seriously weed out all the ‘teachers’ that are here to solely make money or because they have nowhere else to go (ie the teachers that don’t really care about teaching)? It would shrink the pool of available teachers, which would in turn give higher pay to those semi-qualified (and attract more “real” teachers).

I can imagine it now… “What? I want to make a lot of money without putting in much effort, and you want me to take a 2 month course and pretend I know what I’m doing first?? But… I’m a foreigner!”

Anyways… maybe someone who witnessed this same process in Japan could shed some light if it helped things there…

(Flame retardent suit on…)


#15

[quote=“Alleycat”]The TT calls her a freshman, and too right.

This is her little project, is it?

Well, we’ll see if she can convince other councillors, councillors who have many, many bushiban-owning constituents–owners who are not going to be happy about additional redtape, and not to mention the higher salaries they will need to pay to attract teachers from a much-reduced labor pool, etc

wwwwaaaaahhhahahaahahaaha

what a novice![/quote]

Some of those councillors are probably also bushiban owners THEMSELVES, doing very nicely from keeping things exactly the way they are now.

Could it possibly be that, before this fresh-faced young lass became a bushiban boss, she put in several years as a teaching assistant or teacher, being paid much less than her foreign colleagues and harbouring an ever deepening resentment about it? Has anyone worked for her and noticed any particular hostility toward the foreign teachers in her school? Oh, and wouldn’t it be funny if it turned out that she’d employed grossly under-qualified people as teachers in her own school!


#16

think of what bushibans are called in chinese, “short-term” bushibans. for someone to go through inevitably mindless and useless bureaucratic “training” to take a short-term job in a private bushiban, which only provide a convenient choice for people looking to practice a language or other subjects, outside of the official school system, would accomplish nothing and probably hurt the system overall. in addition, it would be unfair unless chinese teachers had to undergo the same training.

i kind of assume she was talking about teachers in public schools, and this i can agree with as the public school system has a responsibility to ensure a minimum standard. i wouldn’t be surprised if she wasn’t though, after all she is a city councilwoman.


#17

[quote=“almas john”]Boss Hogg,

You said “further exodus” of teachers. I wasn’t aware that the number of teachers had declined; do you have info on this? I live in Chaiyi and the number of foreigners has increased over the last five years. Many small cities that were once without big-noses now have several (usually South Africans).[/quote]

The Boss was quoting me and many of my longtime/experienced teacher friends HAVE left…and they’re now teaching in China. The pay and benefits are getting better and there’s less paperwork for visas.


#18

In Japan they started requiring similar certifications back in the 80’s I think. But it led to a downward spiral with people competing with different qualifications. When I was there in '98-'99 I heard that a lot of places required a MA in TEFOL or similar qualifications in order to get a working visa. And all hiring is done outside the country. Of course, few people had an MA so there were few English teachers. As a result, the Japanese level of English greatly deteriorated.

Interesting side note, I was interested in serious language study when I was there because I was thinking of eventually working as a translator. i managed to track down a foreigner who had been in Tokyo for 15+ years and was doing Japanese-English translation. She said that without those types of English teaching jobs, acquiring the necessary Japanese skills to eventually translate was impossible. Teaching English gave her the time and money to study and master Japanese which would be practically impossible now. So it eventually hurt the quality of translations too.


#19

[quote=“blueface666”][quote=“almas john”]Boss Hogg,

You said “further exodus” of teachers. I wasn’t aware that the number of teachers had declined; do you have info on this? I live in Chaiyi and the number of foreigners has increased over the last five years. Many small cities that were once without big-noses now have several (usually South Africans).[/quote]

The Boss was quoting me and many of my longtime/experienced teacher friends HAVE left…and they’re now teaching in China. The pay and benefits are getting better and there’s less paperwork for visas.[/quote]

Really??? Give me some more info. PM me if you want


#20

[quote]It would shrink the pool of available teachers, which would in turn give higher pay to those semi-qualified (and attract more “real” teachers).
[/quote]

It would shrink the pool of available legal teachers, which would in turn raise the demand for illegal teachers.

BTW This is just an idea of newly-elected council, who (as Alleycat says) probably doesn’t have much chance in getting it through. This thread hardly deserves it’s alarmist title.

brian