ESL Employment

Teaching English in Taiwan

There's a high demand in Taiwan for teachers of English as a second language. If you're considering traveling abroad to teach English as a career, Taiwan may be one of the main places you'll want to check out.

Because global communication is highly valued in Taiwan, the Taiwanese people put great emphasis on the skill of speaking English. Recent changes to immigration law in Taiwan have made it more difficult for those foreigners to tutor privately in Taiwan, so the job market for English teachers is in desperate need of applicants. Native English speakers who can head to Taiwan and teach for at least a year are virtually guaranteed a job.

If you're planning on teaching English in Taiwan, there are a few basic requirements that you must meet. The first, and most important, is that you must have a working visa. Visas can be difficult to obtain and usually involve a lot of paperwork, so it's vital to start the process as soon as you can. Once you get offered the job, you're not going to want to put it off- or, worse, have to say no- because you're still waiting on your clearance. Check websites for the Taiwan government for more information on obtaining your visa.

The good news is that if you do find a school or organization that wants to hire you, they will more than likely be happy to sponsor you for your visa. Because there is a shortage of teachers, if they find a good one, they're going to try to get you over there as smoothly as possible!

Those who are interested in teaching English in Taiwan are also required to have a college degree. Although the field of study is not particularly important, those with degrees in language or teaching related fields will probably have an edge when it comes to finding a job. Regardless of what your major was, though, you need a four-year B.A. in order to qualify as a teacher.

Finally, although it's not strictly required, consider getting your TEFL certification. This program certifies you to teach English as a second language, and can be extraordinarily helpful. Not only does it make you look better during the application process- it also teaches you how to handle yourself in a classroom setting. TEFL can be obtained through a simple month-long program at almost any school or learning institution.

If you're qualified and ready to go, your next step towards teaching English in Taiwan is to decide what type of teaching you'd like to do and where to do it. There are several levels of English schools in Taiwan, from children up through adult. Taiwan has many private institutions as well as public ones, and all are in need of native English speaking teachers.

Do some research on what city you would like to work in; in Taiwan, there's a major difference between the major urban areas and the smaller cities. In the capital Taipei, the American accent is in high demand, and an American teaching English in Taiwan can expect many job offers from this area; however, that may not be where you want to live. Taipei has serious pollution problems as well as urban overcrowding and high rent. Keep in mind when choosing a job that you won't only be teaching English- you'll also be living there for a year at the very least.

The key to finding a job teaching English in Taiwan is to do your research. Look into various schools and the positions they have to offer, and check up on the areas surrounding them to ensure it's a place where you can be happy. If you can, pay a visit to the school and city where you intend to work. Remember- this isn't just a job; it's a lifestyle change!

By Michelle Simmons

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