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How Can I Best Prepare to Teach English in Taiwan?

Dear Matt,

How can I best prepare to teach English in Taiwan? I am 23 years old and recently returned from a three week trip to Taiwan to visit my sister who teaches there. Since coming back to America, I have been considering pursuing a degree in order to teach in Taiwan. What kind of degree would best prepare me for teaching English in Taiwan, and what would be the best way for me to start learning Chinese?

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this!

 

Sincerely,

 

Jacob

Hi Jacob,

Here are the three most effective things that you can do to make your life easier in Taiwan.

1)   Get a degree in education. Getting a degree in education (i.e. teaching) will greatly improve your chances of finding a good job in Taiwan. Employers here almost always prefer certified teachers to people who simply have a degree. Real teachers also often get paid more.

2)   Get experience. Either work, or volunteer, teaching ESL to international students at your local college or university. The experience will look great on your resume, and help you learn what its like to live in a country where you don’t speak the language.

3)   Study Chinese.  When I say study Chinese, I mean study Chinese A LOT. Chinese is extremely difficult to learn, especially when you are not immersed in it. Studying with books and online is a good start, but half the difficulty of Chinese is learning the sounds. You will need to hear Chinese (Pimsluer Language CD’s help with this) and speak Chinese (a language exchange with an international student will be necessary) on a regular basis.

If you do these three things, then you will be way ahead of the game when you arrive in Taiwan to look for work. In addition to giving you the necessary skills to get by here, the fact that you prepared yourself so thoroughly before coming to Taiwan will show employers that you are serious about working and living in there.

I hope this helps.

Best,

Matt

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