How much will the market demand?


#1

What is the MINIMUM hourly pay you would accept to teach English conversation classes to adults?

  • NT$500 per hour
  • NT$600 per hour
  • NT$700 per hour
  • NT$800 per hour
  • NT$900 per hour
  • NT$1000 per hour
  • More than NT$1000 per hour

0 voters

I’ve been sucked into helping with the teacher recruiting process for some new conversation classes my school is going to hold.

So…I need to get a read on what kind of pay folks will be looking for. The job description is:
-Teach 3 hour conversation classes from prepared curriculum. Classes meet twice a week.
-We’ll probably hold at least a half dozen classes to start, and double or triple that in the summer.
-Class size is limited to 15 students.
-No designing of course materials involved. Prep time should be minimal for experienced teachers, particularly after teaching the first round.

The school is very stable. The boss has kept every promise he’s made me for the past two years, and though many of my co-workers feel he is a bit cold, nobody complains that he’s dishonest.

If you don’t need or want to teach English, please don’t wreck my poll by answering. Gracias.


#2

I put $1000 as I would be able to get other teaching jobs for that amount or more. Then again - I teach at a local university, have a master’s degree and fairly fluent Mandarin.
My guess is that without the degree and Chinese ability I would only ask for $600-700.


#3

[quote=“Mao-guang”]I put $1000 as I would be able to get other teaching jobs for that amount or more. Then again - I teach at a local university, have a master’s degree and fairly fluent Mandarin.
My guess is that without the degree and Chinese ability I would only ask for $600-700.[/quote]

Thank you for clarifying. What I’m talking about here is walk in, teach for three hours, walk out type of work. It doesn’t require Mandarin ability or any real preparation time past the first round.

As a side note for newbies: What mao-guang is alluding to here is true about the Taipei market. If you want to make NT$1000 or more per hour, you have to have a graduate degree, teaching experience, and the ability to teach some or all of your lessons in Mandarin. You also have to work your ass off to develop your own materials. I’m talking 30-40 hours per 3 hour class, the first time you teach it, and including the time you spend after the first few rounds polishing it. I often think that teaching for NT$600-700, with little prep time, and no need to teach in Mandarin, would make my life much easier.

T.


#4

In my view, teaching adult conversation classes is pure pleasure rather than work, and I wouldn’t need to be paid to do so – provided, of course, that the class contained the regular quota of gorgeous young xiaojies. But I’m not so keen on using anyone else’s curriculum – it’s much more fun and vastly more rewarding to teach it my way with my own materials. Unfortunately, I don’t have any spare time for teaching these days, and haven’t been able to indulge in its heady delights for the last several years. I miss it like hell, and envy you guys who are blessed to spend part of your daily lives in that hugely enjoyable milieu.


#5

We teach our Primary School chinese homeroom teachers in a group class 3 times a week, 2 hours a go. Price $NT1 000 an hour.


#6

I’m getting equivalent to $550ph on salary, with four paid weeks off per year, and feel underpaid. I also teach a corporate class for $1000/hr cash.

I guess $6-700 would be about right if you’re not going to turn around and say “oh, that’s minus 20% tax and a security deposit.”

It all depends on what you expect of your teacher. Most conversation ‘syllabus’ (syllabuses, syllabi?) seem to bore the pants of the average adult, and with 15 in a class you’re not really going to have a lot of time to interact with them as individuals. If you’re lucky you’ll get the odd conversation in English break out among students, but they’re there to talk with teacher NOT with each other.

Three hours is also a long time to hold that many people’s attention.

Personally I use the book (or whatever) as a starting point if no-one has anything more interesting to talk about, and then see what comes up from there. I usually go way off-topic, address language issues as they come up, and try to just fire up their enthusiasm enough that they will get over their reluctance.

Doesn’t always work of course, and there’s always an element of picking on people to talk. With that many students for that long I think you’ll have a hard time keeping students in the long term - unless you can find a good ‘edutainer’.


#7

Sorry, are we talking of one off classes. I’d doubt anyone would take much less than a grand an hour if it was less than a few hours a couple of times a week. Of coarse if it’s daily, then that price would be different.


#8

I seem to remember that markets commanded prices, not demanded them.


#9

I am investigating the hourly wage demanded by what I perceive to be a small pool of qualified teachers. Commanding a price implies that one has successfully found a job at an expected rate of pay. As we have not hired anyone yet, I used the word demand to imply that there is an expected, yet still undetermined, hourly rate that the market (in this case, the pool of qualified teachers) will demand.

Thank you for your generous support of mine and others’ efforts to stay focused on the topic at hand.


#10

[quote=“Tomas”]Idiot that I am, I’ve been sucked into helping with the teacher recruiting process for some new conversation classes my school is going to hold.

So…I need to get a read on what kind of pay folks will be looking for. The job description is:
-Teach 3 hour conversation classes from prepared curriculum. Classes meet twice a week.[/quote]

So that’s six hours a week to start with, am I right ?

So the prospective teacher could take more than one of these classes to make his hours up to a full week’s work ? So it would be a full-time position with ARC ?

adults ? kids ? university liankao prep ? you say conversation, so I presume these are not exam preparation classes ?

[quote=“Tomas”]-No designing of course materials involved. Prep time should be minimal for experienced teachers, particularly after teaching the first round.
[/quote]

Is there any reason a complete newbie couldn’t teach these classes, or are you looking for someone with experience, and / or qualifications ? What about Chinese ? I think all the factors I have mentioned would affect the price of the labour you are seeking.


#11

[quote=“hexuan”]
So that’s six hours a week to start with, am I right ?

So the prospective teacher could take more than one of these classes to make his hours up to a full week’s work ? So it would be a full-time position with ARC ?

adults ? kids ? university liankao prep ? you say conversation, so I presume these are not exam preparation classes ?

Is there any reason a complete newbie couldn’t teach these classes, or are you looking for someone with experience, and / or qualifications ? What about Chinese ? I think all the factors I have mentioned would affect the price of the labour you are seeking.[/quote]

I agree with your last statement. Thank you.

We’re a little further along in the planning, so I can provide some answers, some certain and some tentative.

  1. We are planning to open three classes to start. One refresher level, one intermediate level, and one advanced level. Given the number of students we recruit each year, particularly during in summer vacations, the number of classes should expand fairly rapidly. The number of hours per week would be more like ten to twenty. There are also opportunities to work in the translation and publishing departments.
  2. Yes, a teacher could take more than one class. That is the preferred arrangement. So yes, the position is full time with ARC.
  3. The students are all adults. Roughly 2/3rds of them come to us for test preparation. The other 1/3rd come for other reasons. Instead of conversation, I should use “speaking,” as these classes will become first round courses for students who will take a speaking test.
  4. No newbies. The instructor has to have some experience (around a year) teaching adults. That’s why I’m trying to get a read on the salary we’ll need to pay. Ability to speak Mandarin isn’t crucial, but helpful. No graduate degree required.

Thanks again for asking me to clarify.

T.


#12

I would say about 700-1000/hour depending on experience, qualifications, and mandarin ability.

A 3 hour class is long. You’ll need an outgoing teacher with very good personality. I would say Mandarin ability is a necessity. Imagine having to go to a 3 hour language course in that language and no other, where you’re at a advanced beginner/intermediate level. The headache alone would drive you crazy.

What kind of class materials though? Have you seen them? That is the part that worries me. You might want to add “Friends” episodes with their scripts like my one friend did during her conversation courses. You can then have tham act it out and use the language in context. I’ll be doing this with my adult class to get them speaking and acting out.

There are parts missing in your description. What tests are they preparing for? TOEFL doesn’t include a speaking part, but IELTS does. Speaking is generally/always the hardest part. I’ve rarely seen good speaking come from anything besides immersion or one-on-one teaching as the students have trouble dropping the mental barriers necessary to speak. Normally, in my previous adult classes, one fifth of the students would speak right off the bat, 2 fifths would interject an opinion comment often enough, 1 fifth usually neede a month to get used to it, and the last fifth wouldn’t/refused to speak and normally quit the class or sat there like a mushroom.

I also don’t see a support mechanism for the teacher. All teachers should be advised/supervised/critiqued by another teacher. I do better after getting constructive criticsim from a peer and not an anonymous chew-out or bland could-you-do-better. You can’t often see the mistakes you make or the good points you came up with. Also as a teacher watching another teacher, I often learn a new techniques or styles that I incorporate into my own classes. Durin’s Bane recently taught me a better way to teach phonics.

I think your pool of applicants is quite small. I know a lot of people will jump at a high wage and teaching adults though. Be disciminating and I wish you the best of luck.

CYA
Okami


#13

[quote=“Okami”]
A 3 hour class is long.

What kind of class materials though? Have you seen them? That is the part that worries me.

There are parts missing in your description. What tests are they preparing for? TOEFL doesn’t include a speaking part, but IELTS does.

I also don’t see a support mechanism for the teacher. All teachers should be advised/supervised/critiqued by another teacher. I do better after getting constructive criticsim from a peer and not an anonymous chew-out or bland could-you-do-better.

I think your pool of applicants is quite small. I know a lot of people will jump at a high wage and teaching adults though. Be disciminating and I wish you the best of luck.

CYA
Okami[/quote]

Thanks for the commentary.

One option for length of classes is 1.5 hours. Another is 2 hours. Give the feedback here, I’m favoring 2 hours. I teach 3 hour classes, and I’m amazed that I can still go the gym beforehand. Perhaps it’s because I go to the gym beforehand that I perform at a high level for three hours.

Class materials will be selected from among the many series of texts available. I have seen a few that aren’t bad, evaluated several. I’m working with two other experienced and certified ESL instructors (I know, big deal.

The TOEFL will begin testing spoken English in early 2004. Check out ets.org for all of the press releases and hullabaloo.

Support mechanism? What is that? Actually, I agree. We’re going to need supervision.

I hope we can find qualified applicants. For what we do, that is very difficult to do. Try and average of 20 resumes a week for a year. One hire.

Anyone else who cares to offer an opinion is welcome to do so. I appreciate it.

T.


#14

When I was taking first-year Chinese class in the States, it was a three-hour, twice a week, after work class. Our teacher’s approach was the first 1.5 hours were grammar, vocabulary and text content. Then, the next 1.5 hours was for skits. In groups of 2-3, we would write short scripts, trying to incorporate some of the new grammar and vocab. The teacher would circulate around helping out. We would practice and then act out our skits. I don’t think I could’ve sat through three hours of structured lesson. And the skits were fun and helped build comraderie between students. I was one of the weakest students in class and felt pretty dumb, but those skits made class fun for me. We did use English to develop our ideas, but if the teacher had insisted Chinese only, I would’ve given up in frustration.

As a teacher, I tried to incorporate skits into my own English classes in Taiwan, but usually having a strict syllabus to keep up with, I didn’t do it as often as I would’ve liked. Usually, though, the students had fun.

I also like the idea of using clips from TV shows, it’s just that getting appropriate clips and transcripts takes quite a bit of effort. Once you’ve got some good clips, you can use them again and again in different classes and levels.


#15

Since I missed the poll, I would like to add my comments

Warren Buffett suggests that you need to create value if you want to be a successful investor, likewise if you want to be a ‘financially’ successful teacher (i’m not talking about other aspects of teaching success, though they may be related).

It depends to a large extent what value you are adding to the basic mix. That helps to enhance the value in the eyes of the customer. When I first came here, I didn’t know how to add value, so I didn’t add much to my initial salary; now I’ve learned the ropes well enough to be able to justify a higher rate.

Adding value includes
masters or other specialty that can be brought into play
materials creation (books, lessons, etc.)
business/administration skills that can be adapted
some language skills, useful in reaching out
wider circle of acquaintances that can help sell your service
teacher training
public speaking,
etc.

If you are willing to adapt what you know, put in time to build ‘your business/clientele’, it shouldn’t be difficult to earn more.

Kenneth


#16

The fact is, that no matter how many newbies come to Taiwan, their will always be the great exodus when the seasons change and contracts expire. Until the local labour situation for teachers improves, the majority of those willing to teach in this kind of environment will opt for the ever expanding ESL market on the mainland or in Korea. Currently pay and benifits in Shanghai and Korea far exceed that of Taiwan with an almost identical risk factor.


#17

Statistics and links please.


#18

eslcafe.com/forums/job/viewtopic.php?t=127


#19

Well, all I see is a list of the usual horror stories about bad schools. Give us statistics or you’ll be enjoying crank status on this subject as well.


#20

Average pay in Shanghai is significantly lower than in Taiwan. In Korea it is similar.

brian