MOE to snap up foreign teachers
BID: Ministers plan to attract 1,000 teachers from English-speaking countries
before August as part of a scheme to have one foreign teacher for each of
Taiwan's schools By Sandy Huang
Tuesday, Jan 07, 2003,Page 2
The Taipei Times
The Ministry of Education will start recruiting foreign teachers from
English-speaking countries next month to teach English in Taiwan's public
elementary and secondary schools, Deputy Minister of Education Fan
Sun-lu (范巽綠) said yesterday.
Under the ministry's plan, the goal is to have at least 1,000 foreign teachers
ready for the school year starting in August.
"The teaching program is being introduced in accordance with the implementation
of the government's six-year national development plan -- Challenge 2008," said
Fan. "Through this program, we wish to build a bridge from Taiwan to the world
and boost Taiwan's competitiveness as Taiwan youngsters boost their English
Under the Employment Services Act (就業服務法), public schools are prohibited from
hiring foreign nationals as teachers. However, as consensus among legislators
builds with regard to allowing foreign nationals to teach at public schools,
recruitment will be able to start as early as next month, once the law is
Aside from teaching students at schools, another function of foreign teachers
will be to help train Taiwan's English teachers.
Fan added that, in a long run, the ministry wishes to hire 1,000 foreign
teachers every year and to realize Premier Yu Shyi-kun's expectation to have at
least one foreign English teacher in each of Taiwan's 3,300 elementary and
Yu suggested last year that English should become Taiwan's second official
Fan said that the ministry has notified foreign representative offices in
Taiwan, including those of Britain, the US, Canada and Australia, of the
ministry's plan and has asked them to help in recruiting teachers from their
According to the ministry's plan, prospective foreign teachers must be under 45
and come from an English-speaking country with English as their mother tongue.
They must have a college degree in a linguistics-related fields, be proficient
in basic Mandarin Chinese and have no record of drug abuse. Previous teaching
experience is recommended.
Each foreign teacher will be paid NT$60,000 to NT$90,000 (US$1,800 to US$2,700)
a month, which is about double the wage of Taiwan's English teachers.
Fan said a comparatively higher salary will be offered in order to attract
Prior to starting formal teaching in August, qualified teachers will have to
undertake two weeks of training after arriving Taiwan to familiarize themselves
with Taiwan's culture and educational arena.
"This teaching program holds multiple purposes," said Fan. "Aside from helping
to upgrade English teaching quality, materials and curriculums in Taiwanese
schools and make up for Taiwan's teacher shortage, these foreign teachers can
also help broaden students' global view."
According to Fan, Japan started a similar program in 1978, South Korea in 1995
and Hong Kong in 1997. "Taiwan must do so too in order to catch up with the
trend and to remain competitive with our neighboring countries," she said.
Despite the ministry's assurance that the program will not jeopardize the
teaching opportunities of Taiwan-born English teachers, the program, however,
has not been well-received by some Taiwanese English teachers.
Ho Hsin-yu (何心瑜), an English teacher from Taipei Mandarin Experimental Primary
School, said that foreign teachers hired by the program will definitely
jeopardize Taiwanese English teachers' career opportunities.
Chang Hsiao-tzu (張孝慈), another English teacher from the Taipei Mandarin
Experimental Primary School, questioned the teaching ability of those who will
be hired by the program.
"Just because English is their first language, it does not necessarily mean that
they know how to teach English," she said.