My wife wants to pay Hess to become a Taiwanese English teacher

Hello,

Over the last few months my wife has become more and more dissatisfied with her office job and is looking for a change. Everytime I come home and give her my battle log from the days service on the front line of English teaching she always responds with general statements such as “oh, kids are so cute, teaching English is better than my current job, one day I want to become an English Teacher” etc etc.

Well I didn’t think she would go through with it but she has. She now has serious plans to take a course offered by Hess for local Taiwanese people in order to go and work for them. As my wife has no English teaching experience she has been told that she has to pay $NT9000 and attend a 6 week course held every Sunday in order to learn how to teach English. However I have heard that they Hess methodology isn’t the greatest in the world. Will she be taught the “Hess way”?

Has anyone ever come across this situation before?

She has been told that after the course she will be assigned a substitute teaching job “in one of the Hess branches”. We live in Kaohsiung so I hope that she isn’t assigned a job in Taipei :astonished:

Also is this how the Buxibans in Taiwan find their local teachers? Do all of the Taiwanese teachers have to go through this?

Furthermore in the back of my mind I worry that my wifes English isn’t good enough to actually teach English. Last week she sat a TOEIC test but we are still waiting for the results so we don’t have any real evidence of her English ability. However I know from speaking to her that she would face a lot of criticism from my colleagues if she worked at the school where I work. Common problems that I encounter include missing articles and the correct use of the past tense. However she assures me that for teaching kids it doesn’t really matter. :unamused:

Finally I want to support her in leaving her current job which I know is truly terrible, however I don’t know if teaching English is the right path for her to take. I feel that she has an overly optimistic view of what life is like for a Taiwanese English teacher.

Thanks for your time.

Several of my mates’ other halves teach English. They either teach kids privately at their apartments as a child care in English kind of deal which seems to be very profitable, or they work as teaching assistants at those bilingual kindergartens. The latter tends to pay between 25 and 35k a month with minimal perks. The job mainly involves maintaining discipline while the westerner teaches, marking, dealing with parents and stuff like that.

I guess that the advantage with HESS is there is a career structure of sorts for ambitious Taiwanese employees. I have no idea how much actual teaching she’ll be doing there. If I were you, my salary could cover all the bills, and my living arrangements allowed for it then I’d encourage her to chance her arm at working privately. Perhaps throw in a couple of free English lessons from you as an extra freebie.

I wouldn’t worry too much about teaching methodology or her English level. I’ve reached the conclusion that nobody really cares.

What a great way for HESS to make even more coin.

milkbar kid,
You should be jumping for joy. Taiwanese English teachers who are married to whitey can make a lot of money. I don’t want to put personal details here so will send you a PM.

[quote=“almas john”]milkbar kid,
You should be jumping for joy. Taiwanese English teachers who are married to whitey can make a lot of money. I don’t want to put personal details here so will send you a PM.[/quote]
Send me a PM too. I’m intrigued. :ponder:

Taiwanese elementary/junior/senior high school English teachers can’t speak English either. It doesn’t seem to matter…

[quote=“jimipresley”][quote=“almas john”]milkbar kid,
You should be jumping for joy. Taiwanese English teachers who are married to whitey can make a lot of money. I don’t want to put personal details here so will send you a PM.[/quote]
Send me a PM too. I’m intrigued. :ponder:[/quote]

There are no get-rich-quick secrets, no shortcuts to the Kingdom of Coin Mr JP; just good old-fashioned hard work, sobriety, and Godliness.

I don’t know jackshit about teaching Inglaise in Taiwan, but I do know something about what causes marriages to crumble (been on both the receiving and giving ends, fwiw).

How old is she? How old are you? How yall doing these days?

Assuming she’s in her mid-thirties to early-forties, is it impossible that she’s REALLY telling you that she wants out? (very nearly all women go through a life-weighing thing, a fork in their road, in this age range. Am I doing what I need to do with my uterus, or not? - it’s a function of their biological clock and its ticking I think).

Is it possible that she’s really saying that she’s in love with an English teacher, or that she wishes she were? If it’s not obvious by now, I am asking if it’s possible that she is trying to tell you that she’s checking out. Hopefully I am COMPLETELY out in left field. Still, if she’s of a certain age my question is, or may be, relevant.

Best of luck anyway. I always thought Lucille Ball would make a fine wife despite it all, and you may feel like you’re somehow verifying that. :slight_smile:

  1. 9K seems a pretty cheap price to me to never have to hear how I crushed my loved one’s only chance at a rich and rewarding career sometime during every single argument I’ll ever have with her again.

  2. Meh, maybe her English isn’t up to snuff, but if you tell her that and then she tries and fails she’ll feel doubly bad about herself.

In the end, whether she fails or succeeds, your relationship will be a lot more impacted by whether you supported her or not. Maya Angelou once said “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Something it took me way too long to learn is that women often aren’t asking for help to figure things out, just for their mate to make them feel loved and secure while they do.

support her in this. Will she be paid an English teacher’s wages though? You can always give her some extra help, fix her mistakes when she makes it, speak to her in English more, get her to read more. Good luck!

[quote=“skoster”]1) 9K seems a pretty cheap price to me to never have to hear how I crushed my loved one’s only chance at a rich and rewarding career sometime during every single argument I’ll ever have with her again.

  1. Meh, maybe her English isn’t up to snuff, but if you tell her that and then she tries and fails she’ll feel doubly bad about herself.

In the end, whether she fails or succeeds, your relationship will be a lot more impacted by whether you supported her or not. Maya Angelou once said “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Something it took me way too long to learn is that women often aren’t asking for help to figure things out, just for their mate to make them feel loved and secure while they do.[/quote]

This sounds about right; although it will hurt to give 9K to an asswipe outfit like Hess in exchange for … well, essentially nothing, it’s all about playing the game. If it gets her what she wants, go for it, and there’s nothing like seeing something for oneself to understand exactly why one might not really want it after all.

Also +1 to the comments suggesting that it doesn’t matter whether she can speak English or not. I’ve met public-school English teachers who can barely string a sentence together. People send their kids to Hess so that they can tell other parents “I send my kids to Hess”, and for no other reason. Cha Bu Duo La!

I disagree. She’ll get nowhere in the industry if her English is crap. Unless you think working at the same position and salary at HESS for the next 20 years is getting somewhere.

The only teachers I ever worked with who had lousy English were the kindie assistants. Yes I’ve met high school teachers who spoke poor English but they had a great command of grammar and vocabulary (with a few odd quirks) which of course is what they teach.

She’s got to have one or the other, preferably both to get anywhere: good spoken English or good grammar knowledge. Children classes are getting fewer and fewer and high school kids are not going to accept a tutor (since she isn’t going to be a public school teacher) who can’t speak and has a “good enough” attitude. They have too many other choices.

You’re probably right, but I get the impression she doesn’t intend to “get somewhere”. She just wants to jump ship? Also, her academic knowledge of English grammar rules might be better than her spoken English would indicate.

The only real requirement is that she can wing it to the point where people will employ her. Personally, I’d hate that, but it depends entirely what her aspirations are. A far better solution for the OP and his wife would be to sit down and seriously discuss what she wants from life, but that conversation might have better results after she’s discovered for herself that a 9-til-5 anywhere, including at Hess, usually ends up as “same shit, different day”.

An idea might be for her to pay the devil their due, maybe work at it a year, then think about doing a masters in ESL perhaps in your home country if still set on teaching.

[quote=“Milkybar_Kid”]
Also is this how the Buxibans in Taiwan find their local teachers? Do all of the Taiwanese teachers have to go through this?[/quote]
Absolutely not. In my experience, buxibans find Taiwanese teachers by advertising an opening, interviewing to gauge English ability, and then if the teacher is hired they will be given on the job training (2 weeks of observation and shadowing, 2 weeks of demoes and co-teaching) before being assigned their own class. This training period might be low or even unpaid, but all they’re giving up is their time; at no point do they have to pay the school.

[quote=“Milkybar_Kid”]
She has been told that after the course she will be assigned a substitute teaching job “in one of the Hess branches”. We live in Kaohsiung so I hope that she isn’t assigned a job in Taipei :astonished: [/quote]
This sounds like BS; a total money-grab by Hess. Basically they already have the staff and facilities to train their own teachers, so they’re going to charge wannabes to be trained and they don’t even have to give them a job at the end! It’s unlikely any Taiwanese is going to leave their job to work a temporary Hess substitute job, plus they’re likely to be in different cities, so probably 90%> of the people on this course will never actually actually be hired. Nice little scam there. Also if they get hired by another school they’ll have to go through training again anyway, so fairly pointless.

That said, if she wants to dip her toe in the water and try teaching, this sounds a decent opportunity with little commitment. As others have said, nothing may come of it but you should probably support her.

[quote=“Milkybar_Kid”]
Furthermore in the back of my mind I worry that my wifes English isn’t good enough to actually teach English. [/quote]
Her English will probably improves if she teaches it, as she’ll be forced to study grammar patterns and practice along with the kids.

This is the same money grab that all the Chinese-teaching buxibans have been doing for the past 8-9 years in “training” Chinese teachers. “You will have first priority as a sub for us, later leading to fabulous full-time work”, yadda yadda.

But as you say, $9k for marital harmony? Cheap.

And that’s why I said in my other post that it was a great way for HESS to make coin. Can’t believe people fall for stuff like this. Well, actually I can because they want to live a “better” life and think that teaching English is easy and you make good money. The hourly rate is probably better than most jobs Taiwanese do, but when they discover they only have four hours a week, they quickly realize someone has pulled a fast one on them.

While it is difficult to look at Hess favorably for this scheme, I would support her, especailly when you think that most people are getting paid about NT100 per hour for mundane office work. She might pick up a helpful foundation of teaching at the course that could be a springboard for establishing a student base. I wouln’t encourage her to work at HEss though after she completes the course.

Thanks for all of the replies. I would also prefer it if she didn’t do a course at Hess. Does anyone know of any other courses that she could do without having to sign up for a masters or degree program in ESL?

Thanks

I worked at Hess way back in the day. My co-teachers, in the main, had pretty bad English and barely spoke English to anyone ever. One had barely comprehensible English including words with multiple syllables being cut to one and a bit syllables, a complete inability to produce about half the sounds in the English language, and so on. She was the most senior Taiwanese teacher at our branch. None of her really, really deep problems with speaking English mattered. Her lessons basically involved her talking a lot in Chinese and doing drill and kill (with bad pronunciation). The other thing is that Hess’ curricula are incredibly structured. As a teacher (Taiwanese or foreign), you can basically learn exactly what you need to teach each lesson and that’s it. In fact, digressions are heavily discouraged because each lesson has so much material to get through that you simply don’t have time to do anything else. Thus, it’s completely possible to fake it and avoid being caught out. Those who have been in the game for long enough can pretty much recite each lesson from memory. Personally, I think that would be absolutely mind-numbing.

There were two types of Taiwanese teachers at our branch. The majority were part-time. By part-time, I mean they had only four or eight hours per week (half of which were with a foreigner teaching the class). The others were salaried, which meant they had more teaching hours, plus more general responsibilities around the branch. Those teachers came in around 12-1 o’clock and left anywhere from 9-10:30 o’clock. So, the hours weren’t that different to a lot of normal jobs, just at less sociable times. All teachers had to do periodic training at Hess Main Office on the weekends or on public holidays in their own time. All teachers, including part-time teachers, had to do marking, planning and weird telephone testing. Sometimes, I’d be sitting at a table marking, and one of my colleagues would be giving a kid a telephone oral test at 7,8 or 9pm. I don’t know what the pay is like. I also heard that kindy teachers got around 27,000NTD or so, though less if they weren’t the main teacher for their class (there were some roving assistants). As far as a job goes, teaching for Hess is probably not much different to any standard office job. I don’t know what the situation is with holidays and other perks, but it’s probably like with the foreign teachers, i.e. if you don’t teach, you don’t get paid. So too bad if there’s a national holiday, typhoon day, etc. That’s got to be worse than any office job.

As for paying 9,000NTD. If there’s no guaranteed job at the end of that, and even if there is, but it’s on the other side of the island, I think that’s a massive scam.

As others have said, I’d be using this as a springboard to other things, but that would be about the only reason I’d do it. Or, I’d try to get a job with Hess for a while, and then syphon off private students either for her or you.