Teaching EFL in Taiwan: A Beginner’s Guide
When you think about teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL) in Taiwan, your first few thoughts may be about the teaching requirements, seeing Taipei 101, and how on earth you’re going to manage speaking Chinese. Fear not!
This is a beginner’s guide that will cover all the basics you need to know if you are considering teaching in Taiwan. Let’s dive in!
Top 5 Reasons Taiwan Should Be Your TEFL Destination
While there are many reasons you should be choosing this Asian country as your next TEFL destination, here are the top 5:
- It is a win-win in terms of availability of high paying EFL jobs and low living costs.
- The average salary ranges between US$2,000 and US$2,400. If you are wondering how much you can save teaching in Taiwan, the answer is that you can, on average, save about US$500 per month.
- Great food and vegetarian-friendly as many restaurants cater to the country’s large Buddhist population.
- The Taiwanese are friendly to outsiders, especially when compared to other Asian countries such as Japan or South Korea.
- Many EFL teachers say that you’d get the best standard of living in Taiwan.
Here is a list of what you can expect to pay in Taipei and Kaoshiung for certain items:
|Meal at an inexpensive restaurant||120 NT$||100 NT$|
|Domestic beer (0.5 litre draught)||125 NT$||130 NT$|
|Regular cappuccino||81 NT$||77 NT$|
|Regular milk (1 litre)||86 NT$||90 NT$|
|White rice (1 kg)||107 NT$||92 NT$|
|Monthly pass for public transport||1,280 NT$||1,000 NT$|
|Basic utilities for 85m2 apartment (electricity, heating, cooling, water and garbage)||2,255 NT$||1,661 NT$|
|Gym membership||1,384 NT$||1,230 NT$|
|Movie ticket||300 NT$||200 NT$|
|A pair of Nike running shoes||2,635 NT$||2,067 NT$|
|Rent: One-bedroom apartment in city center||17,644 NT$||8,277 NT$|
|Rent: One-bedroom apartment outside of city center||12,000 NT$||5,500 NT$|
Requirements For Teaching EFL In Taiwan
Teaching English in Taiwan requirements include:
- Being a native English speaker
- Having a Bachelor’s degree. This can be in any field
- Completing a criminal background check
- Signing a one-year contract (this depends on the school, but this contract length is the most popular)
- Being mentally and physically healthy
- Being at least 20 years old
You may wonder about whether you need a TEFL certificate; the answer is no. Some schools may prefer or require for you to have a TEFL certificate or CELTA, but this isn’t always a requirement. If you do have a TEFL certificate and teaching experience, however, you may be able to demand a higher salary. Plus, having a TEFL certificate prepares you for the EFL classroom.
You should also know that some teaching jobs are full-time while others are part-time at between 20 and 25 hours per week. You may also not have your normal weekend off (that is, Saturdays and Sundays); you may work Saturdays, Sundays, or both and then have a day or two days off in the week.
Where To Teach EFL In Taiwan
As stated in the introduction, you may think that Taipei – Taiwan’s capital city – is the best place for you to be an EFL teacher. This is simply not true. While the capital city offers the most teaching jobs and is cosmopolitan, there are other great cities in which you can teach too.
Some of these other cities in Taiwan in which you can teach are:
At Which Schools To Teach EFL
There are quite a couple of options in terms of at which kind of school you can teach EFL in Taiwan; they are:
- Public school (You would need a teaching license)
- Private school (You would need a teaching license)
- University (You would need a Master’s degree)
- Buxiban (or cram school). These are the most popular as they offer teaching EFL to kindergarteners and young learners after school. You can expect to teach for about two hours in the mornings if you have a kindy class and then again for between two to six hours in the afternoons and evenings depending on how many classes you have. This time excludes admin, preparation, and marking.
Other options include teaching Business English at a company or to private Business English students. You can also supplement your income and teach English online or tutor private students.
EFL Teaching Methods In Taiwan
A strict ‘English only’ policy is what many schools adhere to; even you speak or know some Chinese, you can only use English to teach and instruct your students. The school you end up teaching at would most likely already have an EFL curriculum you’ll have to implement.
As an EFL teacher, you will be mainly tasked with teaching grammar and proper pronunciation, developing your student’s listening, reading, and speaking skills, as well as encouraging engagement within each class. As part of student engagement, you’ll play lots of games and do activities with your students to make learning fun.
How To Find An EFL Job In Taiwan
One of the most popular ways to find and then apply for an EFL job in Taiwan is through the school’s website that you would like to teach at. Other ways include:
- Signing up with a recruiter.
- Checking to see if Saxoncourt, ESL Café, teflsearch, and Dave’s Café have any job postings.
- Google teaching jobs in Taiwan and see what comes up. Ensure you apply at reputable schools.
Do you have any questions about teaching English in Taiwan? Please let us know in the comments section below.
Denine W is a freelance EFL teacher, writer, and editor/proofreader. Her EFL career spans teaching English to young learners (from kindergarten to high school students) in Taiwan and to adults and young learners in an online EFL environment. In whatever free time is left, she likes to read, plan her next trip abroad, scrapbook, and do online grammar quizzes.