Taiwan’s Biggest Secret 台灣的最大祕辛

Immigration laws can often be garbled and silly in any country. Nations need borders like homes needs doors. But, doors must open and close so that invited guests and welcomed friends don’t need to crawl through windows.

Taiwan’s unfortunate situation is known only to a few because the problem hides behind its complexity and neither directly nor obviously affects the Taiwanese. Though not obvious, the problem deeply wounds Taiwanese, who are required by schools to learn English, and hinders their opportunities, many of which require international communication. Though despicable, Taiwan’s problem with international-related law is by no means the worst. It is but one example that every country can learn from.

How the KMT-Nationalists destroyed English education in Taiwan


This is a problem with a simple solution that has been discussed with the Tainan Research department in Taiwan. Tainan’s City Yongkang District Councilor has also been made aware of this matter.


English learning in Taiwan suffers because the government considers native English teaching the same as “white collar” work and does not recognize it as a special job. Normal Taiwanese jobs need “protection” from cheap foreign labor. But “native English teaching” cannot be a Taiwanese job by definition. So, “protecting” English teaching jobs only hurts Taiwanese students and does not “protect” any Taiwanese employees. The solution is to “license” ESL teachers to teach anywhere, any amount of hours, if they report hours and pay taxes. “Work permits” should be optional for foreigners who want residence, but not a requirement to help Taiwanese learn English. This does not “relax” labor laws. This changes ESL laws from Ministry of Labor “work permit” to Ministry of Education “ESL license”, then labor laws only apply as they would to normal Taiwanese.


The current MOL white collar foreign labor law requires 14 hours/week at about $400NT/hour or higher every week from the foreign employee. While the MOL does not require companies to have large amounts of money to offer such a job, the 14 hour requirement is a de facto “large company” requirement. This 14 hour requirement eliminates many normal-sized companies south of Taipei. As a result, many English-speaking Westerners move to greater Taipei and the English everywhere else is not as good.


The 14 hour law should be a requirement ONLY for resident visas, not teaching English. Taiwan’s government should offer a “teaching license” through the Ministry of Education.


That’s the simple part. Here is more in-depth information…


Urban Myths

There are four urban myths about this:

1. Westerners prefer Taipei because they like the “big city”:
Actually, Taipei is not a “big city”. Hong Kong, Singapore, and Tokyo are. By the time Westerners travel from the other side of the world, if they land in Taiwan, they want countryside and beauty. Some city life is nice, but they don’t want “Taipei” only. Driving scooters is also fun and is easier outside of Taipei.


2. Westerners want a “resident visa” or ARC in Taiwan:
Actually, Westerners in Taiwan are already traveling. They like travel or they wouldn’t be here. Westerners get asked in Taiwan by Taiwanese, “Where will you travel to for [the next holiday]?” One Western friend always answers, “I think I will travel to Taiwan. And I’m already here.” An ARC is convenient, being “required” to travel outside of Taiwan ever few months is kind of like “requiring” a child to eat chocolate. A job program with no ARC would attract many foreigners.


3. High standards are always-always better:
Consider prohibition and marijuana. Banning some things creates black markets. There is a huge black market for illegal ESL teaching in cram schools that would not exist without the 14 hour law.


4. The government doesn’t know about the problem:
Actually, Western native English teachers have been complaining to the KMT-controlled government for a long time. Just like with most of Taiwan’s problems, this is a problem that the KMT continues, knowing very well about the problem. The KMT also knows that the law will discourage Foreign English teachers from living in poorer areas of Taiwan… Especially areas that vote DPP. Isn’t that a coincidence!? That helps the KMT. Do you believe it was an accident? Think about it. But, the central government of Taiwan has known about this problem for a long time.

事 實上 ,外籍老師已經對國民黨這種集權式的政府抱怨好一段時間了。就如同大多數台灣存在的問題一樣,國民黨也很清楚他們存在著同樣的問題,但卻縱容它一直存在。 而他們也非常清楚,這樣的法規會讓許多留在都市以外地區的外籍老師打退堂鼓…尤其是那些民進黨的票倉地區,那會是一個巧合嗎?這不就對國民黨本身有利 嗎!你相信這是湊巧嗎?而中央政府長久以來都非常清楚這樣的情況。

Recommended Law

A “teaching license” should require:

  1. Application to the Ministry of Education, either in person, through the Post Office, or at an Immigration office, all locations of which have a checklist of required items available.
  2. An International Driving Permit with cycle endorsement (or Taiwan Driver’s license).
  3. Native English passport and a promise of having lived 10 years in that country.
  4. Health exam (HIV/TB).
  5. Be in Taiwan one year prior (verified by passport stamps).
  6. No criminal record in Taiwan beyond basic traffic moving/parking violations (checked/reported automatically by police).
  7. Pay taxes previous year (on renewal).
  8. A simple knowledge test of procedures, including basic MOL, “Taiwan motorcycle left” turn procedure, how to keep a log of teaching hours and where/how much to report the hours and pay taxes and health insurance each month.
  9. Can pass a simple test of identifying/typing/writing zuoyin after hearing the letters spoken individually, can copy Chinese characters of 11 strokes or less accurately enough for a digital device to recognize them. (This verifies ‘language concern/awareness’, something any language teacher should have. Normally, this could be achieved by the first year in Taiwan being as a language student.)
  10. The teacher to report the number of hours, addresses where lessons are taught, and pay a flat tax of 50NT$ per hour of teaching, regardless of how much the teacher charges. The government assumes $400/hour, so there is no room for lying. (The 50NT$ includes tax withholdings and national health insurance.) This also controls the price naturally. If the teacher stays in Taiwan more than 183 days, some of the taxes may be refundable under normal tax law. There should be a special tax bonus for teachers who live in Taiwan more than 183 days to encourage teachers to stay. Taxes are paid and hours are reported at the Post Office.
  11. Teachers must enroll in National Health Insurance, the paperwork is included in the original application at the Post Office. The insurance cost is deducted from the 50NT$ paid per hour.
  12. ADDED TIER: with a college 4-year degree and two years in Taiwan, an additional endorsement that allows teaching in a D-5 registered classroom,such as cram school.
  13. TESOL certification from a TESOL class sponsored by Taiwan’s government.



  1. 向教育部提出執照申請,並應該親自前往郵局、移民署辦事處等辦理,不論是以上哪個單位都必須要有可以核對資料的清單。
  2. 兩輪的國際駕照許可證明(或台灣的駕照或任何在台灣合法駕駛車輛的證明)。
  3. 當地的護照和一個在自己的國家居住超過10年的聲明。
  4. 體檢報告(愛滋/結核)
  5. 之前來台滿一年(當年留在台灣超過330天)者(確認護照的憑證)
  6. 在台無前科紀錄,除了交通違規記錄(資料與警察單位連線確認)
  7. 前年有繳稅紀錄(當每次換照的時候)
  8. 針對一些程序及基礎知識簡單的測驗,包括基本勞動法規、機車兩段式左轉,每個月如何登錄教育時數、報稅的方法以及健保的條款及繳費。
  9. 通過ㄧ些簡單的測驗,像是能夠在聽完一遍朗讀的注音後可以獨自辨識、寫下跟輸入所聽到的注音;可以抄下11個筆畫或是少於11個筆畫也能精確使電腦裝置辨識這些字的能力。(這些可以確認你對這些語言的辨識度以及敏感性,這也是一個語言教學的老師應該具備的條件。這對一個第一年來台灣作為一個外籍學生可以達成的程度)
  10. 外籍老師申報其教學時數、教學地址,且不論一個小時時薪多少,支付每個教學小時均一價50元台幣的稅金。台灣政府假想外籍老師一個小時時薪400元台幣,所以不會有謊報的可能(50元包括所得稅及健保費用)。這可以控制薪資的給予。若外籍老師待在台灣超過183天的話,也許還可以退稅。對於那些一年內在台超過183天的外籍老師 們,應該給予一個稅賦獎勵制度。且允許在台灣的郵局就可以報稅及申報時數。
  11. 外籍老師的資料應該登錄於健保局,文件程序也包含第一次在郵局辦理的申請手續。而健保的費用就從扣除的50元中支付。
  12. 備註:擁有一個4年的大學文憑和兩年在台灣的經歷,通過特別的聲明是允許在台灣對D-5等級的教育單位進行教育,例如補習班。
  13. TESOL認證,台灣政府主辦的TESOL班級。

A Teaching License would:

  • Look similar to a normal ID or ARC card, similar, but not confusable with
    Bear a passport and Taiwan taxpayer number and bear any extra endorsements, such as “D5” for classroom and endorsements for driving such as “CAR”, “CH”, “T”, “CY”, etc.
  • Allow the foreigner to carry one card instead of a passport and International Driving Permit and/or Taiwan Driver’s license.
  • Be issued by Immigration.


  • 可以比照身分證或是居留證的樣子製作,但應是可以容易被區分的。 擁有護照和稅籍號碼或是任何需要額外的簽署或是背書,像是D-5的等級的教育單位教學憑證或是駕照種類。
  • 可以讓外國人持這一張執照來替代國際駕照或是台灣的駕照或是駕照。
  • 由移民署來控管。

A Teaching License can be used for:

  • 180 days of visitor visa extension.
  • Proof of purpose of visit (such as visa application, etc).
  • National Health Insurance.
  • Taiwan Driver’s license eligibility.
  • Ability to own a vehicle in Taiwan.
  • A simple way to pay/mail/electronically pay monthly taxes/health insurance at any local post office or tax office.
  • Post Office bank account.
  • Teaching any basic subject at a level that does not require any additional license using English, except a D-5 classroom requires the higher tier endorsement on the license.


  • 適用180天的延長簽證。
  • 證明來台的目的(例如申請簽證時會使用到)。
  • 全民健康保險(任何一位在台的外籍老師應該都要有健保,就算他沒有居留證)。
  • 台灣的駕照資格。
  • 在台灣擁有車輛。
  • 可在任何一間郵局或國稅機關簡易的支付郵件/以電子方式支付。
  • 每月的稅金/健保費用。
  • 郵局的帳戶。
  • 需要特殊証書或更高層級的教學以外,能用英文做任何最基本的教學。

A Teaching License cannot get you:

  • A Resident visa or “ARC”.
  • Years counted toward an APRC/JPRC.

This program is very simple so it is easy for foreigners to do it and obey the rules.

This program should also have a simple information about the program and requirements via a memorable-domain website, developed, designed, and copywritten by an American, Canadian, or other native speaker. (Taiwanese web design is quite horrific in the eyes of Westerners.)


  • 居留簽證或是居留證。
  • 申請永久居留證(APRC和JPRC)的年資累積。



88 Typing Words

Doc on Google Drive | Simple HTML | 88-Word Hanon App
Keyboard vectors on Google Drive: PDF | SVG | SVG-TEXT

The 88-Word Hanon App  is a perfect place to begin! Drag-and-drop, cut, paste, and auto-word-completion are disabled so that students can’t cheat. Copy is still enabled so students can keep a record of their progress.

Typing Keyboard Finger Chart

Keyboard is a technique, whether typing or playing piano.

Firstly, practice these using correct fingers:

  1. asdfjkl;
  2. qweruiop
  3. zxcvm,./
  4. asdfghjkl;’
  5. qwertyuiop[]\
  6. zxcvbnm,./
  7. `1234567890-=

Then, practice these 88 words, in order, about 50 times each…

To keep improving typing, do numbers zero through twenty, then colors, then other basic vocabulary, then short sentences. After all that, you can be very good at “sight typing”.
Continue reading “88 Typing Words”

How the Whale Got His Throat

Doc on Google Drive | Simple HTML

Rudyard Kipling

With English notes by Jesse Steele

In the sea, once upon a time, O my Best Beloved, there was a Whale, and he ate fishes. He ate the starfish and the garfish, and the crab and the dab, and the plaice and the dace, and the skate and his mate, and the mackereel and the pickereel, and the really truly twirly-whirly eel. All the fishes he could find in all the sea he ate with his mouth—so! Till at last there was only one small fish left in all the sea, and he was a small ‘Stute Fish (quite astute indeed), and he swam a little behind the Whale’s right ear, so as to be out of harm’s way. Then the Whale stood up on his tail and said, “I’m hungry.” And the small ‘Stute Fish said in a small ‘stute voice, “Noble and generous Cetacean, have you ever tasted Man?”

“No,” said the Whale. “What is it like?”

“Nice,” said the small ‘Stute Fish. “Nice but nubbly.”

“Then fetch me some,” said the Whale, and he made the sea froth up with his tail. Continue reading “How the Whale Got His Throat”

How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin

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Rudyard Kipling

With English notes by Jesse Steele

Once upon a time, on an uninhabited island on the shores of the Red Sea, there lived a Parsee (having a very mystical sentiency) from whose hat the rays of the sun were reflected in more-than-oriental splendour. And the Parsee lived by the Red Sea with nothing but his hat and his knife and a cooking-stove of the kind that you must particularly never touch. And one day he took flour and water and currants and plums and sugar and things, and made himself one cake which was two feet across and three feet thick. It was indeed a Superior Comestible (that’s magic), and he put it on the stove because he was allowed to cook on that stove, and he baked it and he baked it till it was all done brown and smelt most sentimental. But just as he was going to eat it there came down to the beach from the Altogether Uninhabited Interior one Rhinoceros with a horn on his nose, two piggy eyes, and few manners. In those days the Rhinoceros’s skin fitted him quite tight. There were no wrinkles in it anywhere. He looked exactly like a Noah’s Ark Rhinoceros, but of course much bigger. All the same, he had no manners then, and he has no manners now, and he never will have any manners. He said, “How!” and the Parsee left that cake and climbed to the top of a palm tree with nothing on but his hat, from which the rays of the sun were always reflected in more-than-oriental splendour. And the Rhinoceros upset the oil-stove with his nose, and the cake rolled on the sand, and he spiked that cake on the horn of his nose, and he ate it, and he went away, waving his tail, to the desolate and Exclusively Uninhabited Interior which abuts on the islands of Mazanderan, Socotra, and the Promontories of the Larger Equinox. Then the Parsee came down from his palm-tree and put the stove on its legs and recited the following Sloka, which, as you have not heard, I will now proceed to relate:— Continue reading “How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin”

How the Camel Got His Hump

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Rudyard Kipling

With English notes by Jesse Steele

Now this is the next tale, and it tells how the Camel got his big hump.

In the beginning of years, when the world was so new and all, and the Animals were just beginning to work for Man, there was a Camel, and he lived in the middle of a Howling Desert because he did not want to work; and besides, he was a Howler himself. So he ate sticks and thorns and tamarisks and milkweed and prickles, most ‘scruciating idle (that is, ‘excruciating idle’); and when anybody spoke to him he said “Humph!” Just “Humph!” and no more.

Presently the Horse came to him on Monday morning, with a saddle on his back and a bit in his mouth, and said, “Camel, O Camel, come out and trot like the rest of us.”

“Humph!” said the Camel; and the Horse went away and told the Man. Continue reading “How the Camel Got His Hump”

How the Leopard Got His Spots

Doc on Google Drive | Simple HTML

Rudyard Kipling

With English notes by Jesse Steele

In the days when everybody started fair, Best Beloved, the Leopard lived in a place called the High Veldt. “Member it wasn’t the Low Veldt, or the Bush Veldt, or the Sour Veldt, but the ‘sclusively bare (quite exclusively bare), hot, shiny High Veldt, where there was sand and sandy-coloured rock and ‘sclusively tufts of sandy- yellowish grass. The Giraffe and the Zebra and the Eland and the Koodoo and the Hartebeest lived there; and they were ‘sclusively sandy-yellow-brownish all over; but the Leopard, he was the ‘sclusivest (most exclusive of all) sandiest-yellowish-brownest of them all—a greyish-yellowish catty-shaped kind of beast, and he matched the ‘sclusively yellowish-greyish-brownish colour of the High Veldt to one hair. This was very bad for the Giraffe and the Zebra and the rest of them; for he would lie down by a ‘sclusively yellowish-greyish-brownish stone or clump of grass, and when the Giraffe or the Zebra or the Eland or the Koodoo or the Bush-Buck or the Bonte-Buck came by he would surprise them out of their jumpsome lives. He would indeed! And, also, there was an Ethiopian with bows and arrows (a ‘sclusively greyish-brownish-yellowish man he was then), who lived on the High Veldt with the Leopard; and the two used to hunt together—the Ethiopian with his bows and arrows, and the Leopard ‘sclusively with his teeth and claws—till the Giraffe and the Eland and the Koodoo and the Quagga and all the rest of them didn’t know which way to jump, Best Beloved. They didn’t indeed!

After a long time—things lived for ever so long in those days—they learned to avoid anything that looked like a Leopard or an Ethiopian; and bit by bit—the Giraffe began it, because his legs were the longest—they went away from the High Veldt. They scuttled for days and days and days till they came to a great forest, ‘sclusively full of trees and bushes and stripy, speckly, patchy-blatchy shadows, and there they hid: and after another long time, what with standing half in the shade and half out of it, and what with the slippery-slidy shadows of the trees falling on them, the Giraffe grew blotchy, and the Zebra grew stripy, and the Eland and the Koodoo grew darker, with little wavy grey lines on their backs like bark on a tree trunk; and so, though you could hear them and smell them, you could very seldom see them, and then only when you knew precisely where to look. They had a beautiful time in the ‘sclusively speckly-spickly shadows of the forest, while the Leopard and the Ethiopian ran about over the ‘sclusively greyish-yellowish-reddish High Veldt outside, wondering where all their breakfasts and their dinners and their teas had gone. At last they were so hungry that they ate rats and beetles and rock-rabbits, the Leopard and the Ethiopian, and then they had the Big Tummy-ache, both together; and then they met Baviaan—the dog-headed, barking Baboon, who is Quite the Wisest Animal in All South Africa.

Said Leopard to Baviaan (and it was a very hot day), “Where has all the game gone?” Continue reading “How the Leopard Got His Spots”

The Cat that Walked by Himself

Doc on Google Drive | Simple HTML

Rudyard Kipling

With English notes by Jesse Steele

Hear and attend and listen; for this befell and behappened (and happened) and became and was, O my Best Beloved, when the Tame animals were wild. The Dog was wild, and the Horse was wild, and the Cow was wild, and the Sheep was wild, and the Pig was wild—as wild as wild could be—and they walked in the Wet Wild Woods by their wild lones (or lonesomes). But the wildest of all the wild animals was the Cat. He walked by himself, and all places were alike to him.

Of course the Man was wild too. He was dreadfully wild. He didn’t even begin to be tame till he met the Woman, and she told him that she did not like living in his wild ways. She picked out a nice dry Cave, instead of a heap of wet leaves, to lie down in; and she strewed clean sand on the floor; and she lit a nice fire of wood at the back of the Cave; and she hung a dried wild-horse skin, tail-down, across the opening of the Cave; and she said, “Wipe you feet, dear, when you come in, and now we’ll keep house.” Continue reading “The Cat that Walked by Himself”