English Teaching Jobs - Really native speakers only?


As we all know, there are tons of English teaching positions in Taiwan.
I do now there are similar topics to this question, but the newest one is almost 8 years old. Maybe things changed. However:

  • Most of those English teaching jobs require you to be a native speaker / passport holder of a country with English as official national language
  • Some of them require teaching experiences and/or certificates, but not necessarily.

…but from hearsay / 聽說:

  • There are English teachers out there without being native speakers.
  • Chinese / Taiwanese / Asian people rather have a difficult time to get English teaching jobs in Taiwan. You better look western / white - Is that still a big point?

I have checked the websites for a while, and I did not found one job description without the requirement of being a native English speaker. So I kinda wonder how that works / how non native speaker find their English teach jobs.


The problem is how to find out if someone is a native English speaker. How would you do it if you were a Taiwanese employer?


The following thread may be the latest discussion on the topic, and to teach English, you surely should have a passport, unless you have an open work permit or work right.

The requirement is to get a work permit. So, if you don’t need a permit obtained by an employer, they don’t care of your passport.


I taught English for a semester at a buxiban, found the job through a facebook group. I’m not a native, they knew it and just told me to pretend I was American. They asked me to get a work permit, I said I would, they never checked.


Yeah, this shows they were complete cowboys. You can’t get a work permit yourself, only they can apply on your behalf.


Judging from all the errors in your post, I’d say you’re not really qualified to teach English. That doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find a job doing just that in Taiwan though.


Are you asking how to get an English teaching job illegally?


Oops, indeed I made some ugly errors. Comes from fast typing. Happens when I’m using my mother tongue as well.
“I have checked those websites for a while, and I did not find one job description without the requirement of being a native English speaker. So I kinda wonder how that works / how non native speakers find their English teaching jobs.”
If you find any other mistakes, you’re welcome to share. However, if I really would be able to get a job as an English Teacher, I’d start from the bottom - teaching (very) young kids. Would be the same if I’d start teaching people who wants to learn my mother tongue.


Then you worked illegally I guess. Or student visa with work permit.

Seriously…? Of course not.


OP can you maybe disclose where you’re from? Just out of curiosity. I’m guessing Singapore.


Sure it was illegal, I did have a work permit but it was only allowing me to work within the university where I was studying. Besides, didn’t get any work contract or criminal check (that last one was scary, I could have been a pedophile and the school would still have let me in).

As a teacher I wasn’t perfect, you’d find me checking online the pronunciation of words before every class, and a couple of times the students actually corrected me on stuff. On other occasions though I was the one correcting fellow teachers (Taiwanese), and when came the time for me to leave the director told me I had done a better job than any native teacher she had had in the past (and from the Kiwi and American teachers I had met I didn’t find it hard to believe).

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That’s what I heard too: It seems to be not too difficult to get an English teaching job. That’s why there are more than a few of those… umm… less educated people teaching English in Taiwan. Native speaker and white (looking)? Good, join us!
Disclaimer: Not my own expierience. Just locals opinions. Not difficult to believe that by judging the demand of English teachers.

Thanks btw for your honest answer :slight_smile: Especially nowadays people don’t like to share their imperfectness anymore. It’s just about what they’re doing good.


I would estimate that standards are getting more lax. Several of my 英文教學 students can easily find jobs at cram schools (and may sometimes be preferred due to their educational background and fluency in students: L1). This relates to two further points. I worked in a cram school for a year and was the ONLY one with either an educational background or experience in education (the others majored in chemistry, biologist, etc., and seemed they’ve never even been around children). Secondly, the MOE is moving towards English only (immersion) or content and language integrated language learning (CLIL), but cram school bosses, while generally ignorant of best practice in education, tend to recognize the value of being able to use Mandarin/Taiwanese and know the culture of the educational system, as flawed as it may be.

That being said. For teachers with an education degree and certification with TESOL training, the sky is the limit for you. However, expect to teach at small or rural schools (maybe two), with regular professional development, and work hours more than in your home country. The average monthly salary would be 80,000 NTD or (much) higher.


…What they’re doing well.

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An interesting story. I knew a cram school boss that hired: 1) an Indian (from India :grinning:) who had English as a native language (at least according to English as an International Language; - EIL -standards). Light accent and likely in Kachru’s outer circle, but with nearly flawless grammar and good work ethic. 2) I swear! a legally deaf white American. They both got paid NTD200 or less per hour. So… Passports can get a deaf man a job, and ability can get a non-native speaker (according to MOE guidelines of US, UK, CSN, NZ, AUS as native speaking counties) a job


If you have no degree but an ARC through marriage, can you find a job easily IYO?




Hi there, it was great to find this topic, hard to find straight forward info sometimes. I haven’t got a native speaking country passport but have got TEFL, 3 years of teaching experience and I’m keen to move to Taiwan next month. Can I still apply for the work permit even though my passport is not from Canada, NZ, England, etc, or should I be all right with a tourist visa? Do schools really mind that? I’ve taught in Vietnam before and they hardly look at what visa you’ve got.


Where is your passport from?