Teaching english literature

seasons greetings.

i was enjoying a nice cup of camomile at a nice coffee shop last nite and was having a nice conversation about intros to taiwan since i just arrived a couple of days ago and during that conversation, amidst nice mood lighting and the elegant translucent aroma of the teas on the table, someone mentioned a friend who was teaching english literature, ostensibly at the college level (but perhaps in high school) somewhere here in taiwan. in my slightly jet-lagged induced stupor and fatigue, i was in a state comparable to drunkenness where i couldn’t really focus on asking all the follow-up questions such as, where? when? how? etc.

so i inquire to this forum: has anyone taught lit here in taiwan? if so, what type of background did you need to score the gig? i personally have an e. lit bachelors but no masters, but i do have some (albeit brief) experience teaching lit with high schoolers. in terms of my eventual career path, teaching at such a place would be a boon for my educational development.

i searched the archives and couldn’t find any previous posts, which leads me to believe that such a story must’ve been a taipei urban legend. but if there is a record of such odd and strange happenings, please let me know!


To teach at a university/college level you need either a master’s degree and/or connections. Those are really sweet jobs too. These jobs do exist, but are usually passed word of mouth.

What you might have more luck in is teaching English literature privately. Taiwanese find this to be a real pain in the ass. They have to learn how to use the language. You might want to find schools with English lit depts and talk to the professor and/or put your name up as a English lit tutor. Once people know you and you get settled and have a curriculum. The jobs won’t stop coming to you.

Good luck,

I agree, that sounds like a sweet and rare job. While not the same, I’ve had one private for about a year who is an English major (also my gf’s boss’ daughter). Her English is quite good considering it’s her second language, and I’ve been assigning literature to read and papers to write. We meet at a coffee shop, she pays me NT800/ hour and I find it fairly enjoyable. I would think that by posting notices at university English departments you could land similar gigs.

You need a PhD to teach in Foreign Language Departments at Taiwanese universities. That’s where the literature teaching is done.

Here’s a new book by a NZ writer. Might be worth checking out. From an Internet book service report:

“New Zealand native William Brandt’s first novel THE BOOK OF THE FILM OF THE STORY OF MY LIFE, sold to Sandra Bark at Warner Books, who found the book while traveling in New Zealand and pre-empted, (she describes it as “Nick Hornby meets Pretty Woman”), by Dan Mandel at Sanford Greenburger, in a nice deal for beucoup bucks.”

I do know a foreign lit teacher at a university and, yes, he has a PhD. I’m not sure how it is that he got the job, though I think he lined it up before arriving, perhaps through a job board for English lit profs.