There are primarily four different kinds of schools most English teachers work at. They are: kindergartens, cram schools, public schools and universities. However, if you are coming to Taiwan for the first time you will probably end up working in a cram school.
Kindergartens are very popular in Taiwan. The kindergartens that provide English classes hire foreign students to teach them. Please note that working at a kindergarten is illegal. You will still find kindergartens advertising and openly hiring foreigners even though they are aware it is illegal. Classes usually run from 9am to 12 midday and you may have anywhere from 5 – 15 children in your class. Activities usually involve a morning workout, English class time and then lunch.
These schools make up the bulk or majority of English schools in Taiwan. Most foreign English teachers work in these schools. Most of the students are aged anywhere from six to twelve years of age with classes from 2pm to 9pm. Children are sent to these schools by their parents after they finish their daily public school classes. Classes range anywhere from five to 25 students and run for usually two hours. Each school has its own curriculum and teachers are simply required to follow the preplanned teaching schedules for each class. Many schools have a Taiwanese assistant on hand while you are teaching your class to help deal with any problems.
Public and private schools and hire foreign teachers but are not as common as cram schools. The requirements to teach at these schools is much stricter as teachers usually need to hold an education degree and be a licensed teacher back in their home country. Class sizes can range anywhere from ten to thirty and a wide variety of classes may be taught beyond just English. Work hours are usually similar to that of public schools and range from 8am to 5pm. Work at these schools is uncommon as the majority of foreign teachers in Taiwan are employed by and work in cram schools.
Similar to public schools, teaching positions at universities is uncommon and not as easy to obtain as teachers need to hold Master’s degrees and higher. Class sizes can vary anywhere from ten to thirty and working hours may be during the day, at night time or even on weekends.