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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 Wikipedia).

 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.

Webmaster taiwan-taipei.com October 19, 2009