Teacher Training in Taiwan: Expanding Your Teaching Skillset Without Leaving the Country
Updated: Jan 3, 2022
The picture isn’t related to the article unless you want to get very metaphorical.
When I first arrived in Taiwan, opportunities for professional development as an English language teacher were rare beyond workshops of varying quality through cram schools. Though I can’t speak for local English teachers in the formal education system, the lack of professional development options was also an issue for local teachers in cram schools.
I honestly regret coming to Taiwan as an unskilled random white person and starting out in a cram school job – a situation I sought to change as soon as I could afford to – and I think part of that regret is what drives my desire to contribute more to Taiwan than I take from it. As my profession is education, I feel that’s where I might be able to make a real impact.
With that in mind, I’ve hoped for some years that new paths to teacher development could be opened in Taiwan, so that a new generation of English teachers might simply, well, be better teachers and not have to go abroad for that training, as I did. Fortunately, due to the efforts of people who want to effect real change, there have been real improvements and I hope and believe this will improve the overall situation of English language education in Taiwan.
Since joining the community of teacher educators (teachers who develop other teachers), I’ve been asked a few times about teacher training and development opportunities in Taiwan, and I wanted to consolidate a list of resources for English teachers here – foreigners and locals alike – who want to develop themselves professionally, while staying in Taiwan.
There’s another good post on this topic here, but there are some things not covered in that post, so I’m writing this one.
Full disclosure: I train on some of these courses, but not all of them. There’s no sales motive, and this is not any kind of sponsored post. I receive nothing, and if anyone signs up for a course due to this post, I honestly wouldn’t even know.
All of these are open to both native and non-native speakers, so I hope Taiwanese readers of my blog who may be interested in teaching will also consider these suggestions. One way to end white supremacy and native speakerism in language teaching is to make professional development more accessible to local teachers, which I very much hope to do. Although the TESOL world still discriminates against non-native speaker teachers, the international qualifications (such as the TKT, CertTESOL) will be an advantage for any Taiwanese looking to teach English abroad.
It’s worth noting that most of these programs are not officially recognized by the Taiwanese government. Different schools have different requirements: public schools generally want a teaching license but will sometimes take permanent residents with other qualifications. Private schools are more open in what they can accept, and international schools vary quite a bit. Your average cram school often requires nothing (which honestly is a problem), but better jobs in the cram school system either appreciate or require basic certifications. These also provide a good filter when job-hunting: if the school you are applying to doesn’t know or care about the certifications listed here, they might not prioritize education. It’s good to k