Kaoshiung County Opens English Village

Continuing with the central government program of promoting in-country English education, Kaohsiung County has opened an English village. This is the second English village for Taiwan. I wrote about the first one in this post. Language educator Stephen Krashen has commented on the concept of an English village on his website here. The Taipei Times article that announced the opening points out the theme park was built in empty classrooms at an elementary school in Luchu Township (路竹). The cost of the village was cited as $6 NT million.

Looking at this, I can’t help wondering how much of this English village mania has to do with declining enrollment in elementary schools. Six million is a relatively small amount for a make work project that almost certainly employed only local people. regardless of the pedagogical value of this idea, it’s sure to attract people from nearby Kaohsiung and Tainan Cities.

I searched the Net but was unable to find more information than the Taipei Times article contained. The significant point for me, and the main cost of future operation, is who will work there. The English Village in Taoyuan County is operated by the King Car Education Foundation, which is a private foundation. It employs missionaries supplied through a highly politicized American Christian groups. You can read more on this here. These individuals work almost for free; certainly their pay is well below market value for foreign English teachers.

I am extremely concerned about this last point. I can easily imagine a whole slew of government English projects with no pedagogical value whatsoever being staffed by swarms of cheap labour supplied by American missionary groups. As I have said before, my concern is not that they’ll somehow affect Taiwanese spiritually. I suspect polytheism is far too deeply entranced in Taiwanese society for this.  Rather, I am concerned about how this will distort the salaries of established English teachers in commercial language schools or other government projects.

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It seems that the Taichung-based John Dewey agency is doing the recruiting for this village. The government uses the same agency for mass-importing foreign teachers for Taiwan’s primary schools. The pay for teaching in the Luchu English village seems similar to that of foreigners teaching in primary schools, around NT$60.000. (In and around Kaohsiung, a Taiwanese teacher with the same qualifications will earn NT$20.000 less).
Oh, and only native English Caucasians are wanted, of course.
links:
http://www.teachoverseas.ca/Jobs/index.pl?noframes;read=26951
http://www.esldewey.com.tw/

forgot to ‘identify’ myself- sorry

Johan’s link says it’s tax free?!?

And you have to have a grade school teaching cert, OR a Taiwanese spouse. What’s that all about?

Does this mean there will be more offensive blogs from 20-something missionaries talking about how their students are learning to accept Christ, blah, blah, blah?

Johan, I’m less inclined to think it’s a problem that teachers who have to relocate get more money than local teachers. But that’s another story.

I wasn’t able to find the site you posted. Is that my problem or yours?

If zukeeper is right and candidates need a teacher’s certificate, it means that they are not going to have any teachers.

Are you sure this is the right one? I can’t seem to find the post for Kaohsiung. I did find this one for the Taoyuan County theme park
http://www.esldewey.com.tw/esl-job-ad/esl-jobs-0410.html
There’s a link at the top of Dewey’s homepage that says ‘Village’, but it seems to be dead.

I’m concerned with the hours. 830 to 430 is an 8 hour day. For 60,000, that a 40-hour-week. That’s less than $400 an hour, somewhere around $350, in fact. All that for the privilege of living in Kaohsiung County.

I wonder why they’re recruiting for this position openly. what happened to the missionaries? Perhaps even they have their limits. The market may have consumed all the young energetic American evangelicals willing to do for free what is in effect a real job not directly related to their mission.

Several years ago, the MOE tried to do something similar. They ended up with a hugely failed program. even if you can find them, there’s no way you can run a program like this with properly paid teachers.

“Tax-free English village Kaohsiung”
http://www.teachoverseas.ca/Jobs/index.pl?noframes;read=26951

scroll down on this link to find reference to Kaohsiung
http://www.esldewey.com.tw/daviddewey/

It seems prospective teachers only have to teach 25hrs a week.

You are probably correct as for the reasons the government is now recruiting teachers openly.
As far as I am concerned, the government can build as many villages as they deem necessary to (also) hide the serious shortcomings in language education. Let them attempt commercial/esthetic ways on something (language education) in need of major surgery. Time and hopefully some research on the outcomes of such villages will show their ineffectiveness.

But I trust one does not necessarily have to be a linguist to realize that such educational practices will not only prove to be a waste of time, but more importantly I’m afraid, will provide false hope to many parents and pupils alike that “English villages” will make them more linguistically competitive. I also have difficulty in accepting that so many once aspiring programs eventually die a silent death – after much money, time and talent has been wasted. Because that time, money and talent could have been spent on improving local teacher education.

I appreciate you keep your readers aware of this issue Scott.

The ad states $US 2,270 a month and that they’re looking for 20+ teachers. That’s more than
$US 44,000 a month. That’s tremendous. Just think of the teacher training program you could run with that much money. This is insane.

I won’t be forgetting about this one for a long time. I generally don’t expect policy makers to do a good job by professional standards, but this one defies even my imagination.

I typed the contact e-mail into Google and got hits all over the place, including this one at Dave’s ESL Cafe
http://www.eslcafe.com/joblist/index.cgi?read=17376

Any idea on where the photos came from? I can’t help wondering of they’re as equal opportunity as the ad implies. I’m also left wondering what the fellow in the top picture is doing. It leaves me feeling that some sort of ‘lesson’ goes on in these places and that the ‘authentic’ surrounding is just a backdrop for a more traditional buxiban lesson.

Any comments on this?

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