Morphed thread:BEST PLACE to teach English to BEST WAY!


#1

Can anyone recommend a bushiban to teach at in Taipei? In particular, I’m looking for a place where I can work for at least a couple of years if I can’t get another job, which pays reasonably well, where teachers are, at least, generally content, and which will allow me to get an ARC (I plan studying Chinese at the Mandarin Training Center for five years also, but don’t want to work illegally.)

Peter


#2

This is a question that never seems to get answered. I have always felt there has been a bit of a closed shop mentality when it comes to recommending good places to teach. Perhaps things have changed, but in my time teachers were pretty unhelpful when it came to helping new arrivals - with very few exeptions. Let’s hope some of the exceptions are Oriented members. It would be interesting to conduct a review of bushibans and branches, maybe starting with the chains.


#3
quote:
Originally posted by Peter Schwartz: In particular, I'm looking for a place where I can work for at least a couple of years if I can't get another job

Looking at your post it seems that teaching is a ‘fill in’ job for you so you are better off going to one of the umpteen bushibans which are equally not serious about the quality of their product.

I’m sorry if this seems unhelpful, but as a dedicated professional myself, I and others like me are hardly likely to suggest you come and work with us now are we?


#4
quote[quote]I'm sorry if this seems unhelpful, but as a dedicated professional myself, I and others like me are hardly likely to suggest you come and work with us now are we?[/quote]

Dude, you work in a Bushiban. Get over yourself. That’s like working at McDonalds. Any monkey from abroad can teach English. All you have to do is stand at the front of the classroom and be entertaining.

FB


#5

No, it’s not really a fill-in job. I mean, as of now, I plan on teaching for all five years that I am in Taiwan. And, I would not want to break a contract. But, if I find another, higher-paying job which would also allow me to take Chinese classes at the same time, at the end of a contract, I would probably take that.

I’ve taught in Taiwan before, although I was not bound by a contract then. I do have an idea what I am getting myself into by signing a contract. For the time being, I just want to cover my costs of living, tuition at the Mandarin Training Center, and have some extra for fun stuff. And, I’m willing to work hard and responsibly for that. So, teaching English seems like a good idea. In addition, I am considering getting a Ph.D. in TESOL in the future, although I haven’t made up my mind yet. So, teaching would give me some more valuable experience.

Peter


#6

If you’ve got a master’s degree in anything, get one of those cush government teaching jobs that pay 70-80k a month and let you work a grand total fo 17 hours per week. That’s the life.

There’s a place in Hsinchu like that. Can’t remember the name off hand, but when I think of it I’ll post it here.

FB


#7

No, not yet. Though I’m 27, I’m just about to get a bachelors degree in finance and a bachelors degree in international business management.

Peter


#8
quote:
Originally posted by Fuzzball: Dude, you work in a Bushiban. Get over yourself. That's like working at McDonalds. Any monkey from abroad can teach English. All you have to do is stand at the front of the classroom and be entertaining.

Sounds like you’re the expert on the matter, Fuzzy. I wonder where you’re working, and how much you’re being paid to be ‘entertaining’.

The place you mentioned in Xinzhu is CETRA.
They probably wouldn’t hire someone without experience and an applied linguistics background. Hence, I don’t think it’s a burger flipping kind of place. From what I hear, the 17 hours add up to a lot more in planning and socialising with the students, and god forbid, anyone having to live in Xinzhu. YUK!
You wouldn’t catch me back in that dump for a $150k job.


#9

Peter, what I’d being doing is this, put yourself on probation at a school that you think is ok, and then after 2 months, decide whether or not you reckon they’re ok. When I first got here, I did this at one buxiban, found they’re were pretty tight with the money, didn’t care much about both me or the kids, so I left before signing anything. I then found another on which was family owned and run. Well, almost 3 years later, I’m still there. Lasagne, scalloped potato and starbucks coffee are the norm when any meetings take place. Also if you have the chance, get a bit further out of the city, like most countries, generally people are a little different there.


#10
quote:
Originally posted by Fuzzball: Dude, you work in a Bushiban. Get over yourself. That's like working at McDonalds. Any monkey from abroad can teach English. All you have to do is stand at the front of the classroom and be entertaining. FB

Please don’t assume that all of us came over on the banana boat Fuzzball and if you think that standing at the front of a classroom and being entertaining is a pedagogy then you clearly know nothing about teaching.

Obviously you’re not a teacher.

Yes there is a minority of qualified professionals here and while the ‘hobby teachers’ may berate us down to their level, they’ll never get up to ours.

Do yourself a favour and grow up into a profession you like and please stop disgracing mine.


#11

Except for chain schools, many schools have just a few foreign teachers. They are just too small to build a reputation among teachers. It’s also often pointless to recommend a school unless there’s a position available because it may be a year before another position opens up.
Finally, I think many positions are alright but nothing to boast about. Nothing you probably couldn’t find somewhere else. You’re generally trading one thing for another, better pay, worse management, better materials, worse hours. No reason to recommend one over another. At least that’s my conclusion after years of never really hearing, or making, any real recommendations.

But here’s a recommendation. If you’re planning to study Chinese and want to teach adults, teach at a university extension program at night (ShiDa, NTU). They don’t give work permits but pay higher than many schools for teaching the same materials (eg 800 vs 600). And no running around to company classes. To get a work permit, you’re technically supposed to teach at least 14 hours/week but most require more and you often can’t turn down hours you don’t want. Though no work permit, you should be pretty safe at a university program. And you’d have more time for studying, your main goal.

If you want to teach full-time and study part-time, you could try LTTC (adults, also). They’ve got AM or PM block hours M-F so you can have a regular work schedule (eg 8a-12 or 5p-9, four hours/day is the minimum). For this reason, there’s a relatively large percentage of long-term foreign teachers, some here for good. And that makes for a pretty good work environment. The pay isn’t special however, starting between 500-600, I think.


#12

Peter,
What kind of position are you looking for?
Do you hope to teach kids or adults? What levels? Full or part time? In one place or various locations? If you’re a student, how much time have you allocated for your studies and so, how many hours will you teach in order to maintain a decent standard of living? Have you considered that private students could float your boat if you get a student visa through MTC?

A general question like ‘can anyone recommend a buxiban…’, is rather vague when you consider how many different types of buxibans, language schools, consultants, etc, there are in Taipei.


#13
quote:
[i]Abracadabra done did writed:[/i] Obviously you're not a teacher.

Yes there is a minority of qualified professionals here and while the ‘hobby teachers’ may berate us down to their level, they’ll never get up to ours.

Do yourself a favour and grow up into a profession you like and please stop disgracing mine.


Touched a nerve did I? Maybe you shouldn’t be so condescending to people like Peter asking a genuine question. If you are one of the few qualified professionals, and you work in a bushiban, you’re a helluva lot sadder than I thought. If you don’t work in bushiban but have a legit teaching job, you sound like you have quite a large chip on your shoulder and I’m not responsible for that, am I?

I never said I was a teacher, though I have done the bushibun thing before. Which leads me to…

quote:
[i]Alien done did writed:[/i] Sounds like you're the expert on the matter, Fuzzy. I wonder where you're working, and how much you're being paid to be 'entertaining'.

Expert, no. But I’m not under any pretensions about the “profession.” I did it for two years and that was two years too many. You wonder where I’m working? I’m a freelance writer. I write books and other shit for a living, so that means I get paid roughly 4-20 cents a word to be entertaining. I’m sure it’s not as much money as you make teaching English, but I’m also sure I couldn’t care less. Before that, I worked at E*TRADE in San Fran doing web production work for OptionsLink, where I was paid 90k a year to be entertaining. Before that, I worked for Ulead Systems in L.A. and in Taipei, doing technical writing and web production work where I made variously between 40k and 70k per year to be entertaining. Before that I taught English for Jordan’s in Hsinchu, where I think I made 20k per year to be entertaining. Since you asked. Want to see my resume or look up my ass while you’re at it?

And I stand by my assertion: Any monkey can come over here and teach English - if you (Alien, Abracadabra, or whomever) took that statement personally, then you’re the one with the problem, not me. It mean’s you’ve no confidence in your abilities or others’ perceptions of you. I know there are real teachers here. I know they do real teaching, and I actually, believe it or not, have respect for those people. But, that doesn’t change the fact that Joe Blow from Saint Louis can come over with his degree in Phys Ed and still teach, does it? When you think about, which neither of you did, I’m on your side on this whole issue. You just read my ‘attack’ on bushiban teachers as being attacks on you (assuming from your bile that you are, in fact, legit teachers.)

FB


#14

So many dedicated professionals! What a bore!

Just look for the bushiban with the least degree of monitoring and micro-management; you will be much happier. If possible, teach adults and avoid children… You will live longer.

pooopppo


#15

I taught English for six years here, but that was more than double that many years ago. Perhaps things have changed…but I do commiserate with Abracadabra to some extent. I don’t know what his professional credentials are, and don’t care to know really, but there are a lot of what we used to call “cowboy English teachers” in Taiwan.
I also think that the others who say that anyone who can fog a mirror can act as an English teacher are correct.
I think one reason that no one seems to be willing to cough up a name of a cram school or chain is because they are all a much of a muchness. “Quality” is butts in seats and re-enrollment, keeping the parents happy and entertaining the kids. If it’s adults, then it’s make them think that they are learning something (while being entertained).
I found that 95 percent of the students – except the kids, whose parents MADE them do the homework – really did not care about putting any real effort into learning or improving their language skills.
I seriously doubt that any school is really superior to any other, although there appear to be ones that are clearly shite.
Abracadabra has my sympathies. Chinese are getting royally cheated all the time by people who have the singular qualification of being born in an English-speaking country.
Furthermore, to those who condemn him/her, think about this: could you get the same teaching job in your home country? I taught here for years and even directed a school, but could not get a similar teaching job in the US. I wasn’t qualified.
However, on the other side I say, “Yes, get over yourself. This is the nature of the beast. If you want to be a pro, be one. If you want to eat lotus and be a cowboy, be one. Just keep the beers coming…”


#16

Hi Peter,

If you don’t have any previous experience as an ESL teacher, don’t be put off. I recommend finding a place that has a decent supervised training program.

Unfortunately, these places are too few and far between. I guess I’ll get flamed here a little, but Sesame Street has a 40 hour training program. Although their materials are a little hard to use in a foreign language classroom. The training program is quite professional, but far too short.

Joy, another children’s English school, has training but it’s not as comprehensive. However, they do have on going training.

The best situation you can find yourself in is to have some basic training for lesson plans and activities and then have somebody come in and appraise your teaching on a regular basis. Do this for two years and then give the bushiban scene away and work for yourself.

You may of course prefer to teach adults in which case it’s not a bad idea to do a preliminary course before coming to Taiwan. They are a dime a dozen these days and most universites will offer some kind of accreditation program. These kinds of programs will give you a little insight in to what to expect in the classroom. However, in Taiwan it’s unlikely to help you find a job. The adult teaching scene is quite competitive and employees really require experienced teachers. On the other hand, if you do eventually get a job and have some experience under your belt the certificate is very handy for finding semi-government jobs such as those at CETRA (mentioned in a previous post). It’s something of a catch 22.


#17

Thanks for all the info. so far. I did teach last time I was in Taiwan, though I mostly taught privately. I am serious when it comes to any job, at least to the extent that I will try hard to do well. I don’t plan on becoming a fly-by-night teacher, because I will be in Taiwan for five years, and need to support myself. It will make life much more unstable if I change jobs every few weeks or months.

Ideally, I’d like to teach junior high, high school, and adult students. But, I am open to teaching younger kids if I can’t find jobs teaching the older ones. I really do value my and other’s education. I know that the parents of the kids I teach are putting out money with the hopes it will better their children’s futures. I don’t expect to turn anyone into fluent English speakers and writers, but I’d like to know I made some difference. At the same time, I do want to study Mandarin (and if I can, some Taiwanese) and become fluent with that. So, I will have competing priorities that will require I manage my time well. I figure 2 hours of Chinese class a day Monday through Friday, along with a couple of hours of studying. The remaining time, and on Saturdays, I will spend preparing for English classes and teaching those classes. If possible, I’d like a structured program. By that, I mean one that already has a curriculum and provides some training. Otherwise, I will spend some time reading up on that and preparing one myself. After a while, I may better be able to prepare my own curriculum, but initially, it’d be nice (but not necessary) if there was one already made.

Sorry about asking such a vague question initially. I realize that it will bring all sorts of views. I guess it is that variety of views I am looking for. I’m guessing if everyone agreed on the same place as being the best, there would be no job opening there anyway. Anyways, thanks again for the information you’ve all given me so far.

Peter


#18
quote:
Originally posted by Abracadabra:

Looking at your post it seems that teaching is a ‘fill in’ job for you so you are better off going to one of the umpteen bushibans which are equally not serious about the quality of their product.

I’m sorry if this seems unhelpful, but as a dedicated professional myself, I and others like me are hardly likely to suggest you come and work with us now are we?


You see Peter this is what you have to put up with when you ask a question like this. A straightforward and unprovoked insult right of the bat. As you’ll know from your last stay in Taiwan there are unfortunately many people teaching English who are very impressed with their own abilities, but yet are not quite secure enough in themselves to pass up any opportunity to slag off others who may be contemplating teaching English in Taiwan. Now there are arrogant self-righteous types in every walk of life, but can you imagine a “professional” in other industries responding like that ? No, that’s about as patronising a response as I’ve heard to a simple enquiry, and tells you more about the author that the “profession”.

“Dedicated professional” !!! No, I take it all back, this has got to be a wind up surely !? I just have visions of a trade union of streetwalkers vigorously protecting its turf against less committed new entrants who are advised to shuffle off to the next estate on account of their not appearing “professional” enough. So Abracadabra, five years committment not enough then ? Tell us, how long have you been a “dedicated professional” in Taiwan, and what did you fail at before you took up teaching in such a professional and dedicated manner ? Oh yes, and who do you think you are anyway ?


#19

I’m with Fox on this. If you haven’t had much background in teaching English, and you don’t want to “wing it,” you can learn some useful stuff from schools with a training program. Usually they are children’s chain schools. Berlitz is the only adult school I know off hand that provides (and requires) a training program for new teachers. Though these schools don’t usually have top pay, they do usually provide detailed lesson plans.


#20

Well, I’m realistic. I don’t have a degree in TESOL, and only have a year of formal English teaching, along with a few years of helping out friends here in the U.S. who are learnig English. So, if I can get NT 500-600/hour before taxes and national health insurance premiums are taken out, I will accept that. I certainly can’t get that much money, if any, teaching here in the U.S. So, I’m fine with that. Ideally, though, I hope these places will give raises commensurate with experience and number of years at their school. Anyway, money aside, a chain school does seem like my best bet, based on what I read. Now for that question…What do you all suggest when it comes to chain schools that have established curriculums?

Peter