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Teaching English in Taiwan
Think Taiwan for Your First ESL Job
To begin with, choosing Taiwan as a start to an ESL career is a
good decision if compared to starting in other Asian countries. The
Taiwanese seem to be very interested in people from other countries
and cultures. Whereas, they might be frightened and apprehensive at
first, once they relax a bit, one will find the Taiwanese to be some
of the most receptive people in Asia. This is a very welcoming
phenomenon for a Caucasian arriving in Asia for the first time. If you
compare this to other Asian countries, such as Korea or Japan, you
will find the locals will keep foreigners out of their circle of
intimacy. The Koreans and Japanese, specifically, only hold close
family, friends, and a few colleagues. All others, even fellow
countrymen, are considered distant outsiders.
Another great aspect to teaching English in Taiwan is the amount of
resources that are available to beginning ESL teachers. This goes to
say, that is, if you start with the right school. If an inexperienced
teacher goes to a small, non-chain affiliated children's school,
he/she might find a manager/owner who just tells you go in and
'teach.' Little regard is given, in this situation, to the quality of
teaching that takes place in the classroom. The main focus is keeping
the children happy and having them tell their parents they enjoy their
time in class. This said, it is advisable that first time teachers
spend at least one year working for a large chain school (Kojen, Hess,
or Wall Street English). These chain schools have time tested
resources that will help train an inexperienced teacher and not send
him/her into class without a complete lesson plan that he/she
understands how to execute.
Whatever your reservations might be, if you're considering teaching
English in Asia, take a close look at Taiwan. The experience and
strategies you can learn here, with a supportive local and foreign
staff, will make you marketable enough to teach ESL in any other
country in the world.
Timothy Bullard, D.M.A. October 22, 2007
Reader's response to "Teaching English in Taiwan"
To Timothy Bullard
I find it a little offensive on your "Teaching English"
button that you assume that all native English teachers are Caucasian.
While the majority of people applying maybe Caucasian, you
are excluding the potential millions of non-Caucasian native English
speakers whose English is of equivalent level. Furthermore, I'm not a
Caucasian, but my English is better than the millions of "Caucasians"
whose first language is not English (Germans, Polish, Russians, etc.).
Finally, the term "Caucasian" has become, or is becoming obsolete (see
I know you meant no offense with your ad. I'm just
pointing out something that could be offensive to millions of people and I
hope you decide to change your wording.
Ray October 16, 2009
Tim Bullard asked me to apologize and to change the word
Caucasian to foreigner.
I, however, published this article more than two years
ago. My thinking was he wanted to imply that there was a problem with
discrimination in Taiwan. I didn't change it for that reason.
Many people are too careful in the way they say things.
This often results in a sentence like that. I asked Tim to write an
article describing ˇ§Teaching English in Taiwanˇ¨ from his experiences. He
is Caucasian. When I say men can have fun in Taiwan, it does not
automatically imply that women can't.
I am sure you can find a job in Taiwan working with good
people. There is, however, a lot of discrimination in Taiwan -- not only
against black people. Being I am 46 years old, I have faced
discrimination myself when some very uneducated school directors wish to hire
teachers under 30 and directly publicize it. These are the types of people
you should try to challenge.
taiwan-taipei.com October 19,