Taiwan Steps Up Efforts to Recruit Foreign English Teachers | Taiwan News

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan is stepping up its efforts to attract foreign English teachers in anticipation of a surge in demand as the government continues to strive to meet targets set in its “home country” policy. bilingual”.

To realize former Prime Minister William Lai’s (賴清德) plan to make Taiwan a bilingual Chinese-English country by 2030, the Ministry of Education (MOE) plans to train 5,000 English teachers from primary and middle school by 2030. The MOE estimates that 2,000 teachers are expected to complete their training by 2022.

In addition to stepping up the promotion of “all-English teacher training” to train bilingual teachers, the government is also planning to relax the requirements for foreign compatriots and foreign university graduates to teach in elementary schools and middle schools. , reported CNA.

In March last year, the Ministry of Education amended the Secondary Education Act (高級中等教育法) to allow overseas compatriots, foreign students, and students from Hong Kong and Macao who have completed teacher training courses to participate in the teaching qualification examinations.

Lee Yu-chuan (李毓娟), an official with the Ministry of Education, told CNA that four Malaysian students have taken teacher qualification exams in Taiwan for the first time since the laws were changed. Lee said Malaysia’s independent high school system has a long history and fellow foreigners are encouraged to study in Taiwan and return to teaching after obtaining a teacher’s certificate.

If a fellow foreign student wants to teach in Taiwan, Lee said he can teach according to “Regulations Governing Work Permits and Administration of Foreign Teachers in Educational Institutions at All Levels” (各級學校申請外國教師聘僱許可及管理辦法). If foreign students want to teach in Taiwan, Lee said they could teach various disciplines at colleges and universities, schools of foreign compatriots, bilingual departments of experimental high schools and bilingual schools.

However, in standard elementary schools, middle schools and high schools, foreign students can only teach foreign language classes, Lee said.

Asked by the CNA whether easing regulations to allow more foreign teachers would squeeze the job market for locals, Lee said primary and secondary school teachers will still need a teaching certificate. . This requires that they first complete their education courses, complete their internships, and pass their teacher certification exam in Taiwan before they can apply for teacher selection. “There’s a certain threshold,” Lee said.

Lee pointed out that the Executive Yuan proposed a draft new Economic Immigration Law (新經濟移民法) last year, which called for teaching all subjects in elementary schools to be opened up to foreigners. , middle and high schools. He said the bill is currently being considered by the Legislative Yuan.

New teachers must pass the Advanced Level of the General English Proficiency Test (GEPT) or receive a grade of at least B2 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages ​​(CEFR) exam. English teacher training courses will require at least 10 credits to complete, which will be included in the total teacher training credits.

Lee said the demand for bilingual teachers will only increase in the future. He said there are already a dozen schools in Taipei City, New Taipei City and Tainan City all promoting experimental bilingual classes.

He added that there are also dozens of “bilingual education” vacancies in elementary schools in Taipei, open to teachers with teaching certificates or teachers who have reached a certain level of education in the second language. ‘English.