Getting Masters and Teaching English

大家好! Hello, Everyone! =]

Let me introduce myself, first. I am a college student studying in Elementary Education. I will graduate Spring of 2014 with one full year of student teaching in an urban city.
I am born in the States and my parents are Taiwanese. I do have a passport for Taiwan and a National ID (thanks to my parents’ hard work!). I’ve always been interested in Mandarin Chinese and have wanted to learn more so I can teach it in the future.

My plan is to teach English in Taiwan for a few years while getting a master degree in National Taiwan Normal University for Teaching Chinese as a Second Language. Would any of you know how competitive it is to get accepted?

While I do want to get my degree, do you think teaching English at the same time would help pay off the tuition, room and board, etc.?

I do plan on returning back to the States, but would it be worth it? Or should I just live in Taiwan and be a manager of a buxiban (is that even possible?)? I know if I do that, my Mandarin needs to improve a lot.

I’ve read a lot of forums saying ABTs (or ABCs) like me would have a harder time finding a job teaching English (compared to blond hair and blue eye Americans) unless you know some Mandarin to communicate with your boss, students, parents, etc. In that case, how much is “some”? There is quiet a difference between conversational Mandarin and business/formal Mandarin.

To get a sense of how much Mandarin I know, I will translate this text as much as I can without a dictionary. Please do not judge, as I am genuinely trying to improve and learn more.

Thank you!

首先我來介紹自己。目前在大學主修基礎教育而會在2014年的5月畢業進入社會。在美國出生和成長的我有來自臺灣的父母。因此,透過他們的幫助我已收到台灣護照和身份證。我一直以來對中文(國語)有很大的興趣所以想在台灣待一段時間繼續學習。希望以後能夠教中文。

我的計劃是在國立台灣師範大學進修華語文教學研究所。你們是否知道被入取的機會大嗎?

如果在師大讀研究所,教英文的薪水可以繳學費、宿舍費、雜費等嗎?

我有打算讀完研究所再回國,但不知道值不值得。如果不值得的話而我待在台灣,我會一直教英文嗎? 是否可當補習班主任之類的?

我唸過很多forum (對不起,沒用字典不知道forum怎麼說) 說在美國出生的台灣人在台灣找教英文的工作不簡單,反而對金髮碧眼美國人比較順利。如果在美國出生的台灣人能夠向老闆、學生、父母等溝通的話,教英文的機會會增加。但要多流利? 基本溝通能力與formal (再次道歉!)語言能莉大大不同。

在此謝謝各位! 也請多多指教!

First of all, why would you aspire to manage a buxiban? Who needs that stress? Most people I know are trying to find a way to stay here without working at one anymore, and the places they work at are managed by the owner. It’s like saying you’ve got a PhD in the US, are 29 years old, and expect to be the principal of a high school. I doesn’t work that way. If you’re getting a teaching license with the master’s degree (is it a Taiwan license, or US?), then look for jobs at an American school or something similar.

Thank you for your input! I am leaning towards staying in the States. It might help me more in the long run.

ntnu.edu.tw/oia/multi/english/programs.html

that’s the website for NTNU in English and you can check out their graduate programs. I recommend you apply as a foreigner because then you will not have to take the admissions test which are in Chinese and you might not do so well. It’s a more complicated admissions process, but I think it’s easier in the long run. You might also qualify for some scholarships given to international students as well. With the scholarship, some tutoring, and living a simple life, you can finish up your MA in 2 to 3 years. Tuition is pretty cheap here; there was an article in the Taipei Times that claimed university tuition in Taiwan is the cheapest in Asia (good or bad, depending on how you feel about quality!). So check into it, apply early, and see how it goes.