ESL in Taiwan is currently undergoing drastic changes and the job market in the future will be nothing like it was in the past. This is not to say that finding work teaching English in Taiwan is impossible, but it does mean that the future for Taiwan and English teaching jobs does not look bright. One of the main reasons for this is the dropping population of Taiwan. Families are quite simply having fewer children and this has eventually trickled on down to affect both public and private schools. Each year less and less children enrole in classes and this means there is a dropping demand for teachers. This change in the demographics of Taiwan has resulted in changes in the work place for not only ESL teachers but educators of all kinds.
In the past you would typically be given a class of 10 to 15 children and assigned a Chinese teacher to assist you with teaching. If there was ever a problem with the children understanding what you were trying to teach, the Chinese teacher would step in and quickly translate. Cram schools today rarely assign one teacher to a single class, and instead assign one Chinese teacher to help with several classes taught by different teachers. Enrolements are down and this has translated into dropping revenues at cram schools. This in turn means that the schools have to cut back on their expenses and one way they are doing this is by reducing the number of assistant teachers. This basically means that ESL teachers have seen an increase in their workload but not an increase in what they get paid.
The other way English schools have managed the changing market is by combining classes. Most teachers would have classes of around 15 students, but today it is not uncommon to see classes ranging in size from 20 to 30 students. It is becoming the norm now that classes consist of at least 20 students, and the more the better. This makes teaching much more difficult for you as a teacher but it also reduces the quality of education that the children receive. With 30 students in a class, the students rarely get much time for individual practice as schools typically have an enormous amount of work that needs to be covered in each lesson and there is no way that any teacher could allow students more than a minute or so of individual time. If you are looking at an ESL job in Taiwan then you must be prepared to handle large classes and be able to manage your time effectively.
ESL jobs in Taiwan will never be the same as the local population continues to decline and schools are forced to combine classes and cut costs where possible. This doesn’t mean you can’t find work teaching English in Taiwan, but it does mean that you need to do your homework before you make the decision to move to Taiwan to teach. Making money from teaching English in Taiwan is no longer as easy as it used to be.
Want to know the truth about how to teach English in Taiwan? Visit the Taiwan teaching jobs website to find out the truth about ESL jobs in Taiwan and how you can avoid the mistakes most people make when moving to Taiwan.