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Non-Native speaker seeks your advice.

 
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amiami



Joined: 08 Mar 2003
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2003 4:01 pm    Post subject: Non-Native speaker seeks your advice. Reply with quote

Hi folks,

I'd like to ask few questions:
First of all, being a non native speaker I am unsure of my chances of finding a teaching job in Taiwan (I'm aiming at TaiChung). After reading your helpful comments I was thinking of just coming over and looking for a job on my own without the aid of agencies. But what are my chances? I REALLY don't want to work illeagly. Kindergartens can't supply a working visa, right? So what can I do? I won't want to abuse my students visa (I am coming for the purpose of learning Chinese). Do these agencies supply you with a working visa?

What do you think?
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itchy



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 28
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2003 3:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kindergartens CAN supply a working visa. I don't know where people get that idea from. There's really no government regulation of schools there and it doesn't matter what kind of school it is. The owners of the business sponsor you and you get your ARC that way. The idea is that no Taiwanese person could perform the service that you're performing (native english speaker) so you can get a working visa (it would be harder to get a visa to work in a restaurant as a waiter, for example).
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amiami



Joined: 08 Mar 2003
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2003 7:34 am    Post subject: reply to itchy Reply with quote

Thanks for your reply.

From the information that I gathered, I have learnt that other than having a passport from an English speaking country, the taiwanese law requires you to A) been born and raised in an English speaking country. B) The language of teaching in your university is English.

I acutally heard of a British man who made his degree in France and thus could not obtain a working permit.

Given that, I feel a bit unsure of my chances... What do you think?
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itchy



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 28
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2003 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you have a passport from an English speaking country, then you are fine. They're not going to ask you where you were born. You might have a problem if your degree comes from a non-english university since the degree will more than likely not be in english and they'll ask questions about that. It might help to get an english copy of your degree if this is possible. Provided your english is top notch and you don't have a noticeable accent you shouldn't have any problem. Just don't tell them your first language isn't english. There are many people over there from lots of different english speaking countries (especially South Africa and Australia, but also the UK, USA and Canada) and these people all have distinct accents. The Taiwanese don't seem to mind this (though the Koreans want an "American Accent" - whatever that is).
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itchy



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 28
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2003 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PS: I wouldn't worry too much about law in Taiwan, there isn't very much of it. I knew a girl who got an ARC with a one year certificate in outdoor recreation from a community college.
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amiami



Joined: 08 Mar 2003
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2003 10:18 am    Post subject: reply to itch Reply with quote

Hi Itchy, thanks for your comments.

You see, I do speak with a soft accent and although I believe that my English is more an adequate to teach kindergartens or small children (the ages I want to teach), I wouldn't call it top notch.

Perhaps you can advise me on what city to go. I really don't care as long as I can study mandarin. that's basically why I'm coming. Where will this English thing be less of an issue, in the large cities (like taichung, taipei)? Or the small ones?

Thanks again,
Ami.
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itchy



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 28
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2003 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cities: Taichung, Taipei, Hualien, Taitung, Tainan, Kaoshiung. Those are the ones I can remember. People say Taipei has higher standards than other cities. I can't really agree, as other cities at least get the writing on their sidewalks correct (in Taipei, there are sidewalk slabs with English written on them, and it is just horrible gramatically and spelling wise - Green Island in contrast has English language signs with perfect spelling and grammar). Taiwan's a bit of a contradiction that way. I would strongly suggest that you "fake" being a native speaker. That is, if they ask you if you're a native speaker, say yes. Because if you say no they might not hire you, regardless of how good your English is. The reason I say this is that the "native speaker" in Taiwan is something of a fairy tale figure who solves all problems for English schools and makes everybody happy with their perfect knowledge of the language. In reality, having learned English, you probably know more about the grammar than I or any other "native speaker" does. The Chinese themselves can't tell the difference. My school was called "The Harper American School". When they made the big neon sign to put on the roof, the sign makers got it wrong and put "The Haper Amerocan School". I pointed it out to my boss and he said that no one ever noticed. So you see the knowledge void that you'll be entering. They won't be able to tell if you're a native speaker or not. There are basically no standards for teaching there anyway and the only thing that keeps the classes good is the dedication of the foreign teacher. I lived in Fengyuang. It was nice, central, but too many earthquakes. I would suggest Kaoshiung if you don't mind the heat, or Hualien if you don't mind the typhoons. Or any number of the little towns and cities down the west coast. I always say to avoid Taipei because there are too many foreigers there, but some people argue with me that it's a good place to find work. I would avoid it. If nothing else, the rent is too high.
Good luck

Itchy
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