I have a Masters Degree in English Literature. And I am working as a freelance author in India. I have the two year experience of writing school’s books for junior and senior levels. I have also completed a specialised diploma in Mass Communication. I am writing short stories too. I am planning to study a three months course in Chinese language. Will this help me in getting a job in Taiwan . Please suggest me.
It seems to me that you are not a native speaker. Not having a pass port from the US, UK, RSA, Aus, NZ, Canada or Ireland, you are not legally allowed to work in Taiwan.
If you like teaching young adults, you might try applying to local universities in Taiwan. However, according to what I know, there is a lot of competition for teaching jobs at the university level.
I smell a rat. All those qualifications, yet you make several basic grammar mistakes in your post, and your prose style doesn’t flow at all. I am only pointing this out because you claim to be an author, yet you write on the level of an 18-year-old freshman enrolled in Composition 101 (and I should know, having taught such a course in the U.S.)
However, it may be, as Bu Lai En surmised, that you are a non-native speaker. If so, my apologies for the preceding paragraph. Unfortunately, non-native speakers are not legally entitled to work in Taiwan. On the other hand, this is Taiwan, and everyone ignores most of the laws…
If the guy has a masters in English from India, then it’s not saying much. I mean, I know elementary school children from Canada who could write better than him.
Mod Lang - What does being a native speaker (or should I say native English speaker) have to do with getting work in Taiwan? I’m not, but I’m from Canada and I hold a Canadian passport. A lot of my friends are in the same boat as me and they’re all working as English teachers or editors or whatever. Of course, we could all speak English like native speakers. It’s just that our skin color isn’t white.
I think you got the laws confused. The Taiwanese government will allow foreign teachers to teach in Taiwan, only if they’re from native English speaking countries. The Taiwanese government considers only the following countries as native English speaking countries: Canada, USA, New Zeland, Austrailia, South Africa, and Britain.
There is no law about not allowing non-native English speakers to teach English in Taiwan. Why should there be? If you’re from one of the countries mentioned above, then do you really think that an ABC or CBC is inferior at English than let say that of a native English speaker? Actually, the most articulate and best English speaker I know happens to be a native Cantonese speaker. He’s teaching English courses at UCLA. Of course, he won’t be qualify for most jobs in Asia for he’s not white enough. Yet, to a major school like UCLA, he’s the perfect fit.
All this native speakers from “US, UK, RSA, Aus, NZ, Canada or Ireland” has been teaching Taiwan English for years without any success. Look at current English level in Taiwan. Let alone hiring someone from a non-native country to add the confusion. I’d rather not lah…If you’re from India, better learn more Java lah…
Non-native teachers can teach in Taiwan . . . Chinese from Taiwan teach English all the time . . . however, if you are a “foreigner” you need to come from a native-English country. If you want to teach at a university, then you need to have a background in TESOL at the MA level or above, otherwise you need a PhD or most universities won’t look at you . . . certainly, none of the national schools will hire you without a PhD or a TESL degree. You could always try the Bushiban route but then it becomes problematic if they don’t offer an Alien Residence VISA . . . you could skirt the law, but then you’d be at anyone’s mercy . . . legal status is the way to go when considering any overseas position.
As to a Master’s from India . . . I know a number of folks from India who speak and write flawless English . . . this guy’s ability is not a reflection on the whole system . . . if I were on a search committee, I’d throw his letter and resume into the trash . . . not because he’s from India but because he claims to be well educated and published while having serious problems putting a simple letter of inquiry together . . . of course, this is the internet so many folks post things without proofing . . . heck, when I re-read some of the stuff I’ve written and posted, I cringe at the typos or word displacements . . . however, this isn’t the case here . . . there’s just so much grammar weirdness that it doesn’t seem to be speed or simple stuff like that.
I’m agree with Ax. Native speakers have been teaching English here with varying degrees of failure for nigh on 20 years. However, I think the roles of Taiwanese and foreigners should be reversed. Foreigners should manage the schools and Taiwanese teach in them. But then I’m in cloud cuckoo land.
Was it hard to get a visa?
“I’m agree with Ax. Native speakers have been teaching English here with varying degrees of failure for nigh on 20 years.”
Most of the English teachers here are not foreigners or native speakers. There may have been a general failure in the system, but it should not be laid at the feet of all foreign teachers . . . there’s plenty of blame to go around . . . besides, there have been some varying degrees of success as well.
The general failure in English education has only a little to do with the presence or not of foreign teachers . . . the vast majority of English education in Taiwan is done by non-native speakers, local Chinese . . . certainly, in the past there have been problems with the foreign teachers . . . the fly-by-night bushibans who will employ anyone who is white without checking nationality or educational background (I’ve had a German stop me on the street to ask how to say a group of words in English - on his way to teach an English class - and I know of a number of Russians who have barely passable English skills who have modified photocopies of their passports so they can claim to be American - even the native speakers aren’t always qualified (often, in the past, they were not). However, even this is not the core problem . . . when one points fingers, it’s to the basic education system . . . where until recently, there were NO native speakers and competence of non-native speakers in terms of language ability is rather questionable. In the past few years, there have been many major reforms and there’s a ways to go. More qualified foreigners (or at least fewer incompetents - many of the backpackers are gone, albeit some disreputable bushiban owners are still exploiting underskilled folks for peanuts) are in the marketplace and the locals have begun programs to revitalize English education with more competence programs.
Foreign teachers are for the most part in most buxibans and highschools and kindergartens windowdressing. I see one set of students once a week for an hour. I do my best, but at once a week for one hour my teaching is a drop in the bucket. The majority of the time in the week the kids are being taught English, it’s being taught by their Taiwanese teachers, who range from competent to barely being able to speak English themselves.
My idea has always been that, given the situation, to focus on teaching the Taiwanese teachers better English skills. That would be a much more effective use of my talents and time than singing the hokey-pokey song with 5 year olds. But, as of now, there is no $$ in such a scheme, and ultimately that’s all that most Taiwanese ‘schools’ care about.
That is true for the most part . . . even in the schools where they pride themselves on the number of foreigners they have, the majority of instruction is often by Taiwanese . . . the need to improve skills among local teachers is pressing . . . the need to improve qualifications and skills among foreign teachers is also important . . . as to improving skill levels for foreigners, the situation has improved a lot over the past few years . . . albeit, there’s a long ways to go . . . as to the local teachers, a number of universities have begun practical English programs as well as graduate programs for TEFL with both theoretical and competency requirements. Some, like the one I teach in, requires that incoming graduate students already be qualified teachers . . . it remains to be seen how many of these and similar programs will impact on real-world teaching . . . while reforms are underway in the marketplace, they are easier to implement in the private sector, rather in the bushibans, as other schools have an entrenchment of teachers in place . . . it is difficult to remove teachers with low competence who already have positions and so most schools have started demanding higher education and competence from the get-go for new hires . . . way back when dinosaurs walked the Earth and I was first hired for a university position, one could get a job with an MA and little experience directly in the field while bushibans hired folks who claimed (but did not have) bachelor degrees . . . I know of at least one university professor with an AA rather than a BA . . . but now, you won’t get in the door without a PhD and even then you have to pass more stringent evaluations and get a promotion within a few years or be terminated. The minimum expected qualifications for new hires at high schools is likely to go up to the MA level within the next few years as well . . . of course, advanced education doesn’t mean one is competent in the classroom . . . but there is a push towards higher education and higher competence expectations. We’ll see if this trend continues and if it has any lasting impact on education in the long term.
But are we really teaching? I consider myself to be a well paid baby sitter, not a teacher. If we were teaching we would be able to fail students and have control over curricular matters.
I think all the above confessions should be translated in to Chinese and printed on
[quote=“ax”]I think all the above confessions should be translated in to Chinese and printed on ?
The cold north wind is blowing. Rolling over the island like a slow wave of maple syrup…
I have a question. What system are they using in Singapore and Malaysia? It seems to be working there. Even though the people in those 2 countries don’t speak fluent English, they are still quite capable of communicating with it. I noticed that students in Singapore would communicate with each other in English and not always in Mandarin. This was suprising to me for I have yet to see anything simliar to that in Taiwan. I mean, if you don’t use the language, then it’ll be impossible to remember it. A lot of Taiwanese also seems to be too shy when speaking English so they just don’t speak it at all.
I don’t know what system they’re using in public Taiwanese schools, but they have to stop using it cause it’s not working! Most of the English teachers in public schools aren’t even capable of communicating with foreigners and they’re teaching English??? Don’t get me wrong though. I’m not just nitpicking on local English teachers. A lot of so call foreign teachers are also incompetent when it comes to teaching English here. Earlier in the day, I went to this cram school to meet a friend. What I saw at that school was laughable. I saw a bunch of signs posted by kids with many grammatical and spelling errors, yet no one either noticed or took the time to correct them. Or, maybe they, the teachers themselves, don’t even know how to spell and grammaticalize. Some of the signs read:
“Can I go first” - “Go a head”, “Where is my Kite?.” - “It’s over their.”
I can’t remember anymore, but these kids were taught by so call native English speakers. I mean, talk about incompetence. I know my grammar isn’t anything to brag about, but even I’m not that bad when it comes to teaching kids! I guess what I’m trying to say is…, the schools here should hire competent English teachers and not just some guy or girl who’s got a TEFL certificate/degree, which has little or nothing to do English skills.
I have a guess and I’d wager it’s multiculturalism. People in Singapore and Kuala Lampur and Hong Kong actually have to deal with foreigners on a daily basis. Taiwan, by contrast, has to be one of the most parochial islands in Asia - how many times does your average Taiwanese (outside of central Taipei) get a chance to see a foreigner, much less get the opportunity to speak to one? I’d wager that most of the Taiwanese I’ve met, I have been the first white guy and first native English speaker they’ve ever talked to in their lives.
So naturally, if you don’t use it, you lose it. Think about all the stuff you learned in school that you’ve long since forgotten as it had no practical application in your life. I mean, I couldn’t factor the area of a circle by using the diameter on my life, or recite all the state capitols in the union without getting stuck.
[quote=“mod lang”]I have a guess and I’d wager it’s multiculturalism. People in Singapore and Kuala Lampur and Hong Kong actually have to deal with foreigners on a daily basis. Taiwan, by contrast, has to be one of the most parochial islands in Asia - how many times does your average Taiwanese (outside of central Taipei) get a chance to see a foreigner, much less get the opportunity to speak to one? I’d wager that most of the Taiwanese I’ve met, I have been the first white guy and first native English speaker they’ve ever talked to in their lives.
So naturally, if you don’t use it, you lose it. Think about all the stuff you learned in school that you’ve long since forgotten as it had no practical application in your life. I mean, I couldn’t factor the area of a circle by using the diameter on my life, or recite all the state capitols in the union without getting stuck.[/quote]
Very true. But… Why did you include Hong Kong on your list??? I can tell you one thing. They’re as good at English as the Taiwanese are. I should know cause I’ve been there and have friends from there. In Hong Kong, only the highly educated are “good” at English. Otherwise, do expect some 16 year old from McDonald’s to give you a fish fillet when you asked for a cheese burger. For Singapore, it seems that everyone, excluding the ederly, is capable of using English in an effective manner. But then again, like you said, they are truly a multicultural community.