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Best way to approach Taiwan TEFL as a newbie?
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JonathanRossWC



Joined: 05 Dec 2011
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:33 pm    Post subject: Best way to approach Taiwan TEFL as a newbie? Reply with quote

Hello everyone!

I have spent quite some time reading the Taiwan forums (and other forums) on Dave's, and have decided that I am going to try to come to Taiwan to teach English. However, I have a few different avenues to take, and would really appreciate some advice from those on the ground in Taiwan.

Here's my current situation:
I am a 23-year-old native speaker from the USA.
I will be graduating in May with a Bachelor's degree in Economics and Finance.
When I graduate, I will have no TEFL certificate and no teaching experience.

This brings me to two possible choices once I graduate:
1. I could take a CELTA in Thailand or another affordable place in the summer, and then fly to Taiwan in July/August and look for work.

2. I could fly to Taiwan immediately upon graduation, maybe get an online TEFL cert under my belt, and hit the ground running.


I've read many threads on the Taiwan forum that said that a CELTA may not make a difference in salary. However, I want to go to Taiwan and be sure that I can land a job. I don't mind working in a cram school or anywhere, as long as it's legal.

What option do you think I should go with to get myself started in Taiwan? Is there another way that I should consider?

In advance, THANK YOU for all comments and advice Very Happy This forum has been more than helpful in learning about TEFL opportunities.

Jonathan
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yamahuh



Joined: 23 Apr 2004
Posts: 1026
Location: Karaoke Hell

PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This has been covered in some detail before, but to summarize:

You are a 23-year-old native speaker from the USA and you will have a Bachelor's degree in Economics and Finance but will have no TEFL certificate and no teaching experience.

With a BA you don't need experience or teaching credentials in order to 'teach' English in Taiwan - this is not me being cynical or my 'take' on things - it is truth. Teaching experience elsewhere counts for essentially zero here.

1. I could take a CELTA in Thailand or another affordable place in the summer, and then fly to Taiwan in July/August and look for work.

You could, but why waste the money until you know if you will enjoy teaching / want to do it elsewhere (that requires the credential ) / want to 'up' your skill set?

2. I could fly to Taiwan immediately upon graduation, maybe get an online TEFL cert under my belt, and hit the ground running.

A better idea - get some experience under your belt and see how things pan out. There are ample opportunities to get CELTA or Tesol certified once you are here and earning money.

I've read many threads on the Taiwan forum that said that a CELTA may not make a difference in salary.
And they are correct

However, I want to go to Taiwan and be sure that I can land a job. I don't mind working in a cram school or anywhere, as long as it's legal
A CELTA will not make your choice of school or acceptance of a contract any more or less legal, nor will it significantly improve your chances of landing a job

What option do you think I should go with to get myself started in Taiwan? Is there another way that I should consider?
Well, you could flunk your B.A and go get an associate degree or a community college diploma and then you WOULD need a CELTA - let it be said once more for the record - you do not NEED a Tesol / Tefl / CELTA / DELTA qualification to be issued a work permit / ARC / find legal work in Taiwan IF you have a degree.

In advance, THANK YOU for all comments and advice This forum has been more than helpful in learning about TEFL opportunities
You're welcome..
Laughing
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JonathanRossWC



Joined: 05 Dec 2011
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you very much for your insight, yamahuh.

Would you recommend (as a newbie seeking work in Taiwan) that I fly to Taiwan and hand out resumes at schools on the ground, or would it be wiser to apply for jobs from the USA?

I have no problem flying to Taiwan and looking for work, but if it is just as likely for me to land a job from here than from there, I'd prefer to have something solid lined up before I get on a plane.

Thanks again,
Jonathan
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yamahuh



Joined: 23 Apr 2004
Posts: 1026
Location: Karaoke Hell

PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I completely understand your reluctance to get on a plane and fly halfway across the world with nothing lined up.

More and more it seems that employers are reluctant to hire employees sight unseen, when they can advertise online or 'pass the word' about openings and actually interview prospective teachers. That being said, I would definitely look online first - if nothing else it will give you a good idea of what is being offered and where.

The worst that happens is you fail to line anything up and then you're back to your original choices anyways. However you may find some possibilities and then you can arrange interviews for when you arrive.

Some people will say 'Just show up and hit the pavement with some resumes' - they are entitled to their opinions but I prefer to have something in my back pocket just in case.

Good luck.
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JonathanRossWC



Joined: 05 Dec 2011
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks again yamahuh, I really appreciate it. Very Happy

I will try to get something going online first, and hit the ground running in Taiwan as an alternative if I can't at least line up an interview ahead of time.

Jonathan
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JZer



Joined: 16 Jan 2005
Posts: 3824
Location: Alaska

PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JonathanRossWC, would you ever accept a job in the United States without meeting the employer face-to-face?
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JonathanRossWC



Joined: 05 Dec 2011
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JZer, I see where you're going...
No, I wouldn't. However, as a newbie to Taiwan (and teaching English), do you think it would be wiser to line something up before I fly over there?
I assume you feel that it's better to job hunt while in Taiwan. Do you have any personal anecdote or advice about that?

Thanks,
Jonathan
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yamahuh



Joined: 23 Apr 2004
Posts: 1026
Location: Karaoke Hell

PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rolling Eyes

wow - you just opened a monstrous can of worms...
Get comfy

Laughing
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JZer



Joined: 16 Jan 2005
Posts: 3824
Location: Alaska

PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JonathanRossWC wrote:
JZer, I see where you're going...
No, I wouldn't. However, as a newbie to Taiwan (and teaching English), do you think it would be wiser to line something up before I fly over there?
I assume you feel that it's better to job hunt while in Taiwan. Do you have any personal anecdote or advice about that?

Thanks,
Jonathan


Nine times out of ten if a school is willing to hire you in Taiwan without actually meeting you, you have to wonder why they can't find someone already in Taiwan to work for them. Unless your qualifications far exceed what most foreigners in Taiwan have to offer then you really do have to wonder about a school that cannot find a foreigner in Taiwan with a B.A. degree.
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JonathanRossWC



Joined: 05 Dec 2011
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JZer, that's a very good point you make.
Does this apply to small buxibans, or also to the big chains like Kojen, Joy etc.?
I see online ads for them sometimes...why wouldn't they just grab teachers on the ground in Taiwan?

Thanks,
Jonathan
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Taylor



Joined: 24 Oct 2003
Posts: 384
Location: Texas/Taiwan

PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear JonathanRossWC.

I just have to ask a few questions:

(1) Do you have any experience dealing with Asians?
(2) Do you have any experience dealing with children?
(3) Why are you considering Taiwan above all other countries?

I would presume that there are some Chinese/Taiwanese students at your university. You should find them and get to know them.

Actually, you could probably make a little money by correcting their papers or helping them get ready for an upcoming class presentation.

At a minimum, you should spend some time hanging out with them just get an idea of what it's like to be around Taiwanese people.

I've lived in Kaohsiung for 10 years...and I've known my wife and others from Taiwan for over 20 years. It's all second nature to me now, but your post just doesn't provide any indication of your awareness of Chinese culture/language, etc.

Best wishes. Feel free to e-mail me directly at taylorclint at gmail

Taylor
Arlington, Texas
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yamahuh



Joined: 23 Apr 2004
Posts: 1026
Location: Karaoke Hell

PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So far as I know, an awareness of Chinese language / culture isn't a pre-requisite for finding employment in Taiwan...
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JZer



Joined: 16 Jan 2005
Posts: 3824
Location: Alaska

PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yamahuh wrote:
So far as I know, an awareness of Chinese language / culture isn't a pre-requisite for finding employment in Taiwan...


It appears you are missing the point. Getting a job is the easy part. Working and living with them is the challenging part!
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yamahuh



Joined: 23 Apr 2004
Posts: 1026
Location: Karaoke Hell

PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rolling Eyes

Sounded to me like the OP was asking for advice on the best way to go about finding employment in Taiwan. You and I both made some valid points in that regard but I'm pretty sure he wasn't expecting to have his posts dissected and analyzed for cultural awareness.

Why people feel the need to offer unsolicited advice is beyond me. I would assume that if the OP wanted to know what Taiwanese people were like to work and live with he would have just asked...
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Taylor



Joined: 24 Oct 2003
Posts: 384
Location: Texas/Taiwan

PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yamahuh wrote: "Why people feel the need to offer unsolicited advice is beyond me."

Johnathan (the OP) in his INITIAL post wrote: "THANK YOU for all comments and advice..."

It's sort of ironic that no one asked Yamahuh for his opinion regarding my comments... Hmmmm......

Taylor
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