Kojen Language Schools Teaching Jobs in Taiwan

Kojen Language Schools

About

We believe in excellence in education above all at Kojen. Our philosophy has created an environment where teachers are thoroughly trained, with an ongoing network of support. They are given the freedom and opportunity to continually reinvent their teaching style so our students will be successful in studying contemporary English. If our students are successful in expanding their horizons, they will come back for repeated levels, bringing their friends with them. We are not a top-down company; what our students and teachers say or do counts in a very real way. We are working hard at building a supportive and creative environment for everyone who comes through our doors - students, teachers, and staff alike.

Reviews

Default avatar
John
4/10
No, I don't recommend this program

I am unhappy with the leadership. The leader has done nothing but alienate and annoy all new teachers who he has "trained". They find him unhelpful and can't respect him as he makes grammatical mistakes when speaking all the time.
He sits in the middle of the CTs and chats about fashion and what they're eating. He doesn't even teach at Kojen anymore. He was a terrible teacher as no students respected him. So he comes in and irritates all the foreign teachers and sits and gossips with the CTs.

What would you improve about this program?
have some actual discipline. Kojen id a haven for autistic and spoiled kids because parents know there is no discipline...ie Kojen don't punish kids either physically or via extra work etc. So kids realise this and they actually run the school.
Default avatar
EJ
2/10
No, I don't recommend this program

The pay per hour is the lowest in Taiwan. And if living in Taipei city it's even worse because the cost of living is much higher then the rest of Taiwan and there are also very few bonuses or incentives to do a good job. The managing staff's English level is very poor. It is very hard for them to explain exactly what they want your lesson plans and evaluation reports to be like, but they are very good at showing you an example of another teacher's report and say "do like this". I've had over 10 years teaching experience in Taiwan and this is easily the worst place I've worked at.

Default avatar
Gerald
1/10
No, I don't recommend this program

I came to Kojen signing a 15 hour per week contract and all they gave me was 12 hours per week and after 4 months they still refused to honour the contract. Expect to do hours of unpaid work and training for these bastards and treated like crap on very little money to keep your head above water. I advise all teachers coming to Taiwan to avoid Kojen.

Default avatar
Michelle
5/10
No, I don't recommend this program

At first I thought, yeah this place is okay. They picked us up from the airport. They housed us for free for the first week. Luisa, the head recruiter, was kind and answered our questions. The main office was great with helping each step of the way. However, everything changed.

I came to Taipei with my boyfriend to teach. We were sent to different branches; thus, our experiences were COMPLETELY different. His AD had been there for years. Mine had been in her position for a few months. He had a thorough orientation. I had a packet and a brief (15 minute) meeting. Granted, I did observe many classes, but I just wanted to teach! Finally, I took over classes. My AD was a nice woman, but she didn't know how to do her job. Don't expect anything to be handed to you. You want more hours? Fight for them. You've finally reached the required number of hours, and you think it's time for your raise? Keep hassling them. During my first year, I made A LOT of handouts and spent too much time prepping for classes (and not getting paid for any of it!). My colleagues were great, and I could always count on them to help me out when I knew my AD wouldn't have a clue. Also, the TT (teacher trainer) and my school's librarian made my life bearable. Without them, I probably would have cried every day.

Then came the second year. My incompetent director left, and an (incredibly) even more incompetent one came in. Seriously, I don't know where this guy came from. He's from America, but his background is completely shady. He's only been teaching for five years, and yet he's already made it to AD. How is this possible? I saw him, not once, but twice screw departing foreign teachers on their visas. One even had to leave his very last class early to make a same-day visa run (although the AD knew he wasn't planning on leaving for another two weeks) or be threatened with fines. He makes inappropriate comments about people's backgrounds and families. He inappropriately touches teachers and makes creepy comments. He struts around like he thinks he's some amazing gift for us to behold. But he's lazy. He colors and does crafts, but he never does any actual work. For example, an AD is supposed to arrange subs when a teacher takes a vacation. But does he do this? Of course not. He gives us a list of other teachers WE need to ask to sub (which is meaningless because most of the teachers are already teaching at those times). He has no clue who is teaching what at what time. And did I mention the behavior that would have a boss fired within a fortnight at any company in the US? This man is worse than a joke. He is possibly the worst decision Kojen has ever made. And trust me, they've made plenty of other terrible decisions.

Kojen will try to cheat you of your pay. Typically not your regular pay, but quite possibly "bonuses" or "return rates." The in-house made materials are terrible, full of spelling and grammar mistakes, and blatantly infringe on copyright (Disney and Cartoon Network might be glad to know this). The company has had a string of lawsuits in Taiwan for its bad business practices. You work many more hours than you are scheduled, but you won't get paid for them. And if you get a bad AD, you will straight up suffer. Would I recommend them? Sure, in the same way I would recommend giving yourself a few dozen paper cuts, squirting some lemon juice on them, dousing them in Tabasco, then adding a dash of salt just for the seasoning. Then repeat every day. (Okay, not Sundays. Even here, you get one day off. Hope you enjoy it!)

Default avatar
Peter
4/10
No, I don't recommend this program

I worked at Kojen 12 years ago, in Kaohsiung, and worked for one year. Overall I was quite disappointed with my experiences while teaching there. For me, the list of cons is endless. I hope that over the past 12 years that they have made improvements.

Soon after commencing, I realized that they made what I called "Kojen promises" - promises that they never intended to keep, or at least their intention regarding a promise was different to what I (or a reasonable person from a western background) would assume it to mean. For example, they promised me that upon arriving that they would assist me (for one week) to find accommodation for my stay in Kaohsiung. I understood that that meant that someone would help me see a few (3 or 4?) reasonable places where I could rent a room, so that I could choose a suitable one. This sounded reasonable as I could not speak any Chinese upon arrival. However their interpretation of making that promise was to pay for my stay in a very cheap hotel for one week, and that I was to find a place entirely myself. I didn't even know how to find such a place at the time. It was particularly challenging as I arrived just before Christmas - a time that almost no one was advertising.

There were plenty of other "Kojen promises". Like that they would provide all the training I would need to commence and ongoing training and support from a teacher-trainer (an experienced teacher with more than 1 year of teaching experience at Kojen). Again very different interpretations of what that meant. There was no teacher trainer at my school when I arrived (the previous one quit just before I arrived because he was completely frustrated by how the school was managed) and there wasn't a new one for 2 months. In fact, the new one didn't want that role - in renewing his contract - he requested that he would not be a teacher trainer, and they promised him that he wouldn't be if he didn't want to. But once he signed the contract, and the previous trainer left, the role was imposed upon him.

Before I left my home country I signed a contract (in English) regarding my work there. It was a one page contract - easy to read. In my telephone interview, I was asked if I had read and understood the contract, and they were happy to employ me. However, when I was there and about to commence teaching, a Taiwanese manager presented me with a new contract - written entirely in Chinese, with no English translation. I was asked to sign it immediately. He was surprised and somewhat offended when I said that I wanted an translation in English. (Who signs a contract written entirely in a foreign language without any translation?). I eventually got a different manager (Canadian) who could read a lot of Chinese to explain what it said and verbally confirm that the content was mostly straightforward and consistent with my original contract that I had signed.

When I started, a new Taiwanese manager had been appointed. He was the son of the school's owner, had recently got his MBA from a university in America, and thought that he had "great new ways" to train teachers based upon his theoretical ideas. And guess what? Because I had just started, he decided to commence his "untried training ideas" with me. His ideas were stupid. I tried many of his ideas and EVERY time they were counterproductive. He blamed me for them not working. Over time, he recommended his ideas to other teachers - experienced and new teachers - and they all recognized that his ideas were ridiculous. The solution was that I instead talked with other teachers (foreign and Chinese) and we shared ideas that actually did work.

I could go on and on about my disappointments with Kojen.

However, I should also mention that despite all the negatives, I achieved my personal goal that I wanted to achieve from my teaching experience there. And oddly enough, despite all of the rubbish that I had to deal with at Kojen - that experience helped me so much to get to where I am today. I went to Taiwan to teach English BECAUSE I wanted to learn how to teach and to be good at teaching. After 8 months of teaching there I had a reputation as being one of the best teachers there. I invested more time than any other teacher to learn how to teach, to analyze what techniques worked and why a technique didn't work. I learned through a lot of trial and error. Although I would have appreciated a lot more training and support at the beginning, I discovered that the Kojen model for teaching worked - I just had to learn a lot about classroom management, dealing with problem students etc, to use the model effectively. When you have dealt with everything that could go wrong, and the experience of immediately resolving it - through trial and error and learning from your mistakes - that confidence, that experience shows - to your students and other teachers.

Now 12 years later, I teach at a university. I have lectured class sizes of more than 300 students. I have a reputation as being one of the best teachers at my university. My experience in teaching English 12 years ago, and the confidence I got from that experience, and ideas that I discovered about how I believe that teaching should be done - and then implementing those ideas - has led to my success now. I attribute 90% of my teaching success to the lessons (good and bad) that I retained from my teaching experience in Taiwan.

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