Education Ministry expands recruitment of foreign English teachers

Taipei-As part of the campaign to turn Taiwan into a bilingual nation by 2030, the Ministry of Education (MOE) on Saturday said it is subsidizing the hiring of more foreign English-language teachers for local public schools starting this year.

The recruitment quota for English teachers from abroad has been raised from 81 to 381 per year, with two goals, the ministry said.

One is to give more students the chance to practice their English conversation. The other is to have foreign teachers guide and assist local teachers in improving their English teaching skills, the MOE said.

The recruitment program, called the Foreign English Teachers Program, was actually initiated in 2004 to build up the English skills of Taiwanese students.

Under the program, the MOE provides subsidies to public elementary and secondary schools in 16 regions that wished to hire foreign nationals to come to Taiwan and teach English at their schools.

Eligibility in the program starting this year has been expanded to include Taiwan's six biggest cities -- Taipei, New Taipei, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung -- and it is now called the Taiwan Foreign English Teacher Program, the MOE said.

National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei and National Chung Cheng University in Chiayi have been put in charge of handling the recruitment process and the training, management and supervision of new teachers.

A dedicated website in English has also been set up by the MOE for those interested in teaching in Taiwan, with the application deadline May 15. Once hired, the orientation for new teachers will begin in late August.

According to the website, eligible candidates must be from a native English-speaking country, hold a bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited university or college, and have a state-issued teaching license or certificate.

They will also need to provide a valid police check issued within six months before submitting the application.

In terms of benefits, the program offers a reimbursement of an annual round-trip economy class ticket between the teacher's country of origin and Taiwan, and the contract employer (school) will offer a housing allowance if accommodation cannot be provided.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel