Where to find jobs

I’ve been a frequent visitor of Oriented/Segue for quite some time now though I am not living in Taiwan at present. I’m a British guy thinking of coming to Taiwan to teach English. Got word of this site from a friend long ago.

I’ve had some experience in the UK teaching foreign students. I have heard teaching children is quite popular in Taiwan, though I wouldn’t at all be interested in this. I would like to teach teenagers or adults, from about 16 - 30 years. I also prefer to teach where there is only one branch throughout the whole island. I don’t like too many branches as I have heard frequently these schools don’t treat teachers well and there is no flexibility and too many rules on what you have to teach. I like to have some flexibility when I teach, I like to plan the classes myself, use my own material, or look through what they have available, and if it must be approved first that is fine by me. Could be a private school, flight school, small college or what have you…

How do you long time teachers find these sorts of jobs? Newspapers, word of mouth, the tube, posters?

Any information you could provide me would be greatly appreciated.

My suggestion is to sign up at Kojen (formerly ELSI) which although it is a big school with many branches and a structured curriculum it still allows teachers a great deal of flexibility about content of lessons. They have really incredible teaching materials (books/activities/database/realia an’ all that) in their branches too. Downside is relatively low pay compared to other schools.

That is the closest thing I have seen to ‘real’ teaching in Taiwan, in my limited experience anyway. From there you could scout out other possibilites. Best source of information is simply to ask around, but don’t take one person’s word for it as there are always many different opinions.

Note on above. I left Kojen years ago so ask for some more up-to-date info from someone who is currently working there. Also try to find out which is a good branch to work at. Some of them might not have such a good working atmosphere.

I think the personnel director of Kojen has posted recently at Segue about their shiny new database thingy - u could do a search on this site and send him a pm for more info/advice.

The only reason that I can think of to consider Kojen is that they specialize in adults.
But since you stress the fact that the big chains pay less, work you harder, and don’t treat you well, why in the world would you choose Kojen?
Kojen is a perfect example of the big, bureaucratic, unfriendly bushibans that I would never work for again.
And if the personnel director mentioned is the guy I think it is (a fat guy from Wisconsin), he’s a perfect example of the kind of guy I wouldn’t want to work for. He’s been here for 11 years and has picked up some bad habits. He tends to varnish and manipulate the facts, giving you an overly-rosy and distorted view of things, and especially of how “wonderful” Kojen is. Ironically, the same guy is a GOOD SOURCE OF INFORMATION about teaching in general.

No job is perfect. No matter where you work there will be problems. Opportunities for teaching adults are much more limited than teaching children.

Chain schools have their good and bad points and a lot can depend on the personalities of the staff working there. A bad director or a couple of teachers that are not easy to get along with can be the difference between a good experience and a bad experience.

Word of mouth or guanxi are probably the best way to find good jobs. However, guanxi takes time to develop and when you first arrive you may not find yourself able to tap into all the networks for word of mouth jobs.

One suggestion is that you work illegally when you first arrive and then when you find a good opportunity sign up for a legal job.

The newspaper is definitely a place to look for jobs. Many independent schools as well as chains advertise positions. Just make lots of phone calls and ask lots of questions to narrow your search. Children’s schools are more likely to insist that you stick with set lesson plans. Adult schools may have target material, but they’re less likely to be as strict about how you teach, unless it’s a school like Berlitz. Many schools do lessons at companies which means lots of travel around town for the teachers. It may take longer to find a job teaching adults. If you haven’t looked through old threads or the archives, be sure to do so.

I have only one question to ask about jobs. What city is the best to work in regards to transportation, rent prices, food, safety, and reasonably good pay?

My second question is this. Where are the best relaxation and Raves located?


I can recommend David’s English Center. They have an age limit - students must be 16 or over - so most classes are a mixture of senior high and university students, and adults.

It’s a chain school but the local manager has a fair amount of discretion. I’m allowed to choose my own textbook, use my own material, and left to get on with it.

The good thing is that they let me work part-time. They (unlike the majority of schools) pay twice a month. I’m on 530 an hour. Classes are 1.5 hours (2 or 3 times a week) and usually have 10-14 students.
Not a bad first jig, although a lot will depend on the individual manager.
Contact me if you want more info. johngrantross@yahoo.com

I know Taipei best. Public transportation is probably the best there. But if you plan to get a scooter or motorcycle, then daily transportation is taken care of wherever you are. Taipei is worst in terms of cost of living, however. Rents are the highest in Taipei. And since there are more things to do and things are generally more expensive there, it’s easier to spend money. I’d assume a majority of raves are in or around Taipei, but I’m not expert on that.

Taipei proper isn’t the place to relax as it’s a crowded city, though it’s not too far to get out into the lush hills. If relaxation means lying on a white sand beach with a mixed cocktail, save up for a vacation to Thailand. In Taipei, sipping beer on a rooftop at night is popular form of relaxation. For some, it’s Chinese teas in the hills of Mucha. For others, it’s weekends at raves with esctasy (just don’t get caught!).

Dear posters,

My apologies for not coming back so often.

I can accept what you have written so far, but I hope to get more feedback before planning anything long term. Friends of mine have stayed in Taiwan for years, but working at large companies, not teaching. They do know of folks who do teach and they have said the newspapers are bloody worthless for good jobs. I asked one of them the other day about David’s, they said it’s a cram school and to stay away. Doesn’t know anything about Kojen.

I would be interested to know more about Berlitz, is there one in Taiwan? What is it like there?

I am quite sure there must be teaching jobs in Taiwan that are worthwhile and rewarding, not to say the schools you mention are not, but just not what I am looking for. I am sure expatriates in Taiwan have loads of knowledge about teaching so I would like to hear from some others on the subject.

I hope my message doesn’t seem negative, would just like some more feedback. The information provided has been valuable.

You’re always going to get people saying to go or not to go to certain schools. Best to check things out for yourself. It depends on your personality as to which school will work for you. I can say that Kojen always paid on time, had the best resource library going; however, things weren’t perfect but that was more to do with a director who had a lot to learn. Teachers could work their way around those kinds of problems. Good group of teachers at the school, dedicated, professional and cared about what they taught.

Find a school. You’ll get a feel for it. If you think it’ll work, then talk to a few of the teachers that work there.

Kojen has an English for Special Purposes (ESP) department. You’ll have the most autonomy there, good pay that includes a tax free and very generous travel allowance with no weekend work. If you’re a creative teacher, this is the place for you.

Have you checked the archives ? There are posts about various schools, and a few from Prentice Berge, who is Personnel Director at ELSI/Kojen

[quote=“Cactus”]How do you long time teachers find these sorts of jobs? Newspapers, word of mouth, the tube, posters?

Any information you could provide me would be greatly appreciated.[/quote]

I haven’t been here long enough to know much, but you did say ANY info.

Let me ask you a question, why are you coming? If it’s to make money teaching english, that won’t be a problem (I think). If your coming because there’s a burning desire in your heart to teach 16-30 year olds in a “perfect” (your perfect, not the universal perfect) teaching situation, you might have a little more trouble. I’d say word of mouth and that guanxi thing would help you land the ideal job (not for just you, but anybody).

All I have to add to that is, know how much money you want to spend finding a job. If you want to land and be working in a week, you might not find what your looking for. If you have enough money to casually look for a job, I think you’ll find it.

You know the saying “Beggers can’t be choosers.”
Not callin’ you a begger though :wink:

There is a Berlitz, but you said you wanted to use your own material. Berlitz is a very structured program with a very specific method of teaching. They regularly evaluate teachers to make sure that they are sticking to the method and not just doing their own thing. You have to follow the same teaching manual that everyone else uses because they often switch teachers from class to class and each teacher will start off from where the last one left off. There are pros and cons of this approach but it doesn’t sound like the kind of environment you want.

Most schools with teaching jobs for foreigners are cram schools. What we’ve mentioned is what the opportunities are for folks with a BA. Could you better clarify what you are looking for? Maybe you need to do more research to see if Taiwan is the best place to pursue your goals.

I work for an agent named IACC, about which quite a lot has been said in quite a few places. Despite all my gripes I’m still with them - and I’m the kind of guy who is not afraid to walk away from a bad situation.

Agents are pains in the arse, but ultimately they make money out of putting you in a situation where you will be happy. And they claim to take care of the settling-in problems that we all experience in new cultures.

There could well be a job opening up at my place in the near future - teaching senior high, with more or less complete freedom. The job is there because the teacher is sick of trying to motivate teenagers who are at school 60-70 hours a week, and doing homework the rest of the time. Bear that in mind when insisting on no kids. I have juniors (age 12ish) half the time, and need their energy.

High Schools are starting to employ foreign teachers - I currently teach at 3 - and the benefit for me is that I don’t have to work evenings or weekends. Most of them have to work through agents, which is the problem, but there are problems of one kind or another in every job here.

Hope this helps.