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In this narrative inquiry, I want to tell my experiences as an Indonesian student who studies for a master’s degree program in Taiwan and works as a foreign non-native English speaker teacher to Taiwanese kids. I want to tell my experiences over time, attending to the stories I live that brings me to teaching, to the stories I live and tell while teaching, to the stories I live and tell as I move out of teaching and to the stories I live and tell after I have left teaching in schools.
Background Story: Taiwan has sought to improve the English communication capabilities of its populace, with a goal of developing into a fully bilingual nation by 2030. I work at a private ancillary educational institution in Taiwan, namely a private cram school, teaching English to young students from grade 1-9. I am responsible for teaching English with Communicative Language Teaching.
Even though I am not a native English speaker, I am eligible to work as an English teacher in Taiwan because it is regulated in the Employment Service Act of Ministry of Labor in 2018 “Employment and Administration of Foreign Workers”. The regulation gives guidelines for foreign nationals to work legally in the ROC (Taiwan). In article 50, it allows international students to work in any field (including foreign language teaching) for a maximum of 20 hours weekly. Hence, as an international master’s degree student, I can legally apply for English teaching jobs. However, once my international student status ends, I cannot apply for a work permit and legally work as an English teacher because I do not have a nationality from a country where English is an ‘official language’ as regulated by Taiwan Ministry of Education and Ministry of Labor in 2018.