Ok, sooo… we all have all heard about the fake degrees you can get on the roads of bangkok and I have heard stories of people who have gotten ARC’s with these. But i have also heard stories of people who have tried and it doesn’t work. What’s the deal? I am an English Teacher who has taught in Taiwan for over a year before but never legally… Oh ya and for all of you who say "oh ya great all we need is another illegal english teacher trying to pay their way through asia, well seriously what the crap is the difference between a degree and no degree, does it help teach a 3 year old how to say I like apples… :loco:
Maybe not, but if it’s in a linguistic or education related field it might help to teach a 14 year old Taiwanese kid how to say “I like cake.”
Then there’s that little thing called “fraud”. (I don’t mean teaching illegally, I mean getting an ARC with a fake degree.) The last lesson Taiwanese youth need is that the law is something you should circumvent when it doesn’t suit your purposes and you can get away with it. They already get that from native role models.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe having a degree in a non-teaching field will help you be a better teacher. And even having a degree in a teaching field doesn’t mean you can practically apply what you learned or that another person can’t figure out on the job (or with training) everything important to their situation. A degree in teaching is an advantage if properly applied, but experience and talent trump formal education about education all day.
Were I a buxiban laoban, if someone is getting an ARC illegally, or working illegally and know it, I would feel that person has a higher risk of breaking their contract with me-- like taking students away from my school to teach privately-- than someone who wants to have all the T’s crossed and (lowercase) i’s dotted.
Not to say that there aren’t honorable people who are working illegally and dishonorable ones with a degree and ARC. But I would just be more cautious myself…
The difference is that a FT with an ARC is not going to get the school fined a large sum of money (60-120K NT) for having an illegal FT.
I don’t think people who work illegally are any morally worse or less reliable than anyone else, somehow! If you flout the law in Taiwan, then good on you because it’s not terribly logical or fair, anyway. In fact, people with ARCs run away from the job just as often as people without. The problem is not usually the teacher, but the school. You don’t need a linguistics degree to figure out spelling/phonics rules! All you need is a brain, and a degree doesn’t guarantee that. I’m up to my eyeballs in degrees, but when faced with a roomfull of three- and four-year-olds, it’s all I can do to try to keep them sitting still for ten seconds, let alone getting them to concentrate on my lesson. Children’s teaching is more about relating to children and being creative making activities and games for them and little to do with any formal knowledge of language.
Oh, and to get back to the poster’s original question … because it’s none of our business to moralize with her, is it … it depends, from what I’ve heard, on the county in which you want to teach, whether they can or bother to recognize fake degrees. So you need to ask around in your area.
See the TPR thread for help.
:bravo: :bravo: :bravo:
When I teach English, I don’t view myself just a person teaching kids speaking English. A teacher should really teach the more important things. One of them would be moral values such as honesty and respect.
Action speaks louder than words.
If you try to do things illegally and say, oh the law is unreasonable anyway, then you have no right to tell a kid off when he does things against classroom rules and tries to get away with it. And that makes you no teacher, but a person after easy money. :bluemad:
I teach at a university.
With the first statement, I don’t totally disagree. Many people who choose to work illegally in Taiwan have the same kind of attitude towards the law that the Taiwanese have themselves. They’re basically working the system, which can be seen to be more flexible in terms of the absolute morality of abiding the law. I think so long as nobody (and in the case of Taiwanese it can be extended to nobody in your 關係網- circle of relationships) is disadvantaged by your breaking the law, then break away. Those people who are doing this with that sort of cultural awareness are as likely moral as not.
But your second statement, I do totally disagree with. I have respect to the law. If a law is asinine, come up with a better proposal and work to have it changed. If you don’t like a country’s laws and you’re not a citizen, go back home. Taiwanese have the right to determine how they want their legal system to work. Lead, follow, or get out of the country.
Nothing personal. You have the right to your opinion, and to come to Taiwan and break whatever laws you want. I have the right to hope people who are flouting the laws get caught, prosecuted, and that the rule of law will be strengthened.
Do you have any statistics to back that up? I don’t have any to discredit it. I’m just giving my personal point of view that I would be less trustful of someone who is circumventing laws than one going by the book when it comes to keeping a contract. If you felt your contract terms were unfair or not terribly logical, wouldn’t you simply ignore them?
So, ethics and morality only apply when everything is fair to you?
I’m not making a judgement, only responding to what you wrote. If that is not representative of who you are then no need to take my statements personally. If it is who you are personally, I still won’t say you are not a good person. I know a good number of people with relaxed ethical standards who would give you the shirt off their backs and are loyal friends. Good people, but not ethical people.
Quoth the teacher.
#1- I don’t think a school has ever issued a diploma to a person who does not have a brain. If their brain was later removed their issuing the diploma is respective for a time in which their brain was still within their skull. So, a degree does guarantee a brain with a pretty high degree of certainty. The quality of the brain, on the other hand, well you’re right on that.
#2- No, you don’t need a linguistics degree to do that. But if you are going to argue that training in linguistics has no chance of helping a teacher correct speech problems with kids, understand the reasons why they have those speech problems, or develop exercises to help kids make progress, you’re fooling yourself.
My example of cake is pointed because this particular problem is systemic with Taiwanese, and for reasons that anyone with training in linguistics and half an ounce of Chinese knowledge will figure out in short order. Can you figure it out without training in linguistics, or be told by someone who knows already? Sure. But educational training and linguistic training is an advantage.
Before you go off on how you don’t have to have a linguistics degree to be a good teacher re-read my first post and look for the word “trumps.”
Did you read my post well? What did I say were the most important qualities for teaching? It wasn’t a background in linguistics or pedagogy. You can learn most of the important stuff on the job. But they do come in handy.
She made a sweeping statement in her original post in defence of teaching illegally. If she didn’t want to discuss that aspect of the question she shouldn’t have brought it up.
Personally, I wouldn’t risk it. It’s one thing to get deported from a country (worst case scenario if you get caught working illegally here), and quite another to have a criminal record for fraud (which can happen if you are caught trying to fool the government).
I’d say don’t do it. Do the language school thing as so many in your position do, if you must. If you are caught doing that, you’ll likely only face deportation. Maybe this is just hearsay, but I’ve always heard that document forgery is a much more serious offence here than simply teaching while here under the pretense of studying Chinese. I’d be very careful if I were you.
The difference is a job in a quality school or a job in a school that only teaches kids to say “I like apples…”.
If you don’t have a degree, then be honest about it. Don’t lie to a school by getting a fake degree and risk them being heavily fined and shut down because you think you’re above the law. If they think they are above the law and hire you despite not having a degree, then it’s on them.
Stepping off my soapbox for now.
[quote=“ImaniOU”]If you don’t have a degree, then be honest about it. Don’t lie to a school by getting a fake degree and risk them being heavily fined and shut down because you think you’re above the law. If they think they are above the law and hire you despite not having a degree, then it’s on them.
Stepping off my soapbox for now.[/quote]
I agree 100%.
If I ever found out that a teacher used a fake degree to get hired at my school I would fire them right then and there on the spot and cancel their ARC ASAP. No ifs, ands, or buts.
The difference is that a FT with an ARC is not going to get the school fined a large sum of money (60-120K NT) for having an illegal FT.[/quote]
And you know that if a school is going to get fined this much because of your deception, they’ll (rightly) be after your hide.
Best not pursue the fake degree route. I think someone once posted something very thoughtful. There are universities here. If you were so motivated and in it for the long term, you could earn your BA here.
I’m not going to give you a moral lecture, because I used to know some brilliant teachers here who do not have degrees and who have faked tham, and because many of the schools are as bad if not worse on the moral scale as those who fake credentials. If you can convincingly fit it in to your resume, and it looks the part, I doubt you’d get caught. On the other hand, many years ago I had to have my degree certificate sent home for verification. And also be aware document fraud is a big crime here and you can get immediately and unceremoniously deported for it. Worse than being caught without a work permit. You would be putting yourself in a more precarious legal situation, potentially.
Simply put, don’t do it. The negatives far outweigh the positives and you can’t guarantee that a school won’t see right through your fake degree. Some schools do hire here without requiring a degree from what I have heard. It just doesn’t seem fair to steal a job from someone who legally meets the requirements of a school, but then I’m being a moralist again.
As I said above, if a school is willing to take a risk, then by all means let them, but don’t subject an innocent school to the risk of being shut down because you lied to them about your qualifications with a forged document.
If you are serious about teaching English, though, you’d make the effort to at least get some kind of TEFL training. If you’re not serious about it, then don’t get into it.
I agree with ImaniOU - just don’t do it. There are a lot of risks involved if you get caught - deportation, and no chance of return lest you wish to be charged with a criminal offence. And it jeopardizes the school, and its students. Despite the feelings that many people have towards their sometimes not-so-friendly/understanding/competent/rational bosses, the ones who I think will ultimately pay the price will be the students. Whether you’re a trained teacher or not, you have to have some responsibility for the lives you are affecting. And if you think ‘hey, they’re only 3, they won’t remember this’, you may be surprised at how much your actions affect them and their impressions of foreign people and English in general.
And it does happen (getting caught) - probably more often than you think. I have heard that there are quotas within the Labour Council/Ministry of Foreign Affairs to deport as many as 1000 illegal workers/year, which includes illegal teachers (mind you, this is only hearsay, and I’m not sure which government agency is actually in charge of this area)
As for what carolinelr wrote about the difference between degrees and no degrees wrt teaching little kids, it depends on the person I suppose, but that’s not the point at issue here. The point is the government of Taiwan wishes to have some standards as to who it will allow to get a permit to work in its country. At least they don’t limit the permits to those who only have a B.Ed or English majors - imagine how frustrating that would be.
It would perhaps be easier if they had some kind of alternative system, such as the ones that Australia/Canada have with their working holiday visas which are available to people under the age of 30, but which don’t stipulate the need for a bachelors degree. If I knew how to propose this to a relevant government agency - I would try. I know a few people whose hearts are in the right place and are excellent teachers, but who are essentially working with fraudulent documents because they have no alternatives.
And finally (sorry this is so long, but I’m fascinated with this topic), a linguistics/English/TESOL degree may not appear to be so useful for the training of tiny tots precisely because they’re so young and are not supposed to be learning the detailed structure of anything (according to the regulations of the Ministry of Education). Training in childhood education would be preferable to anything else in this area. But as to Europa’s comment, I’ll tell you what, I can’t be grateful enough for my linguistics training when I walk into my adult classes - it makes all the difference.
That was morals aside - as for the right or wrong of it, well, …
My linguistics degree also helps me analyze problems my little ones are having with speaking English. As part of my linguistics degree, I was required to study at least one other language, which was no problem since I also majored in French, but I think having a strong background in syntax, phonology, and language acquisition theories helps with teaching all ages. It also helps that my specialization was TESOL. I think many people find what they majored in can come in handy when teaching. If they majored in English, they might help inspire their students in creative writing. Drama majors could find it easier to teach their students many paralinguistical aspects of English that someone who wasn’t used to expressing emotions in speaking would. Music majors can teach kids through music much better than someone without a musical ear. Physics majors can cover interesting science activities with their students.
It’s all on how you use your talents to enhance your classroom environment.