- Genre: Reality/General Entertainment
- Length: Season 1: 8x30, Season 2: 8x30, Season 3: 13x30
English Teachers follows six young people as they embark on an exotic adventure, travelling to Taiwan to teach English as a second language. They don’t speak the language. They don’t know the culture. They are half a world away from home. Unprepared, inexperienced and uncertain on a daily basis, they must struggle with the loneliness of being away from home, and try to adapt to a new culture, new relationships, new revelations about their own lives, and living in their new surroundings.
“It’s fascinating to watch… low-budget genius…clever editing and writing…”
- Vinay Menon, Toronto Star
“…We have to admit we’re hooked… English Teachers Taiwan makes you care about these individuals.”
- Will Chabun, Regina Leader Post
“…This one really works…There’s an immediate connection with their disparate stories… a clear-eyed look at how most of us would fare if we ended up in a foreign land…”
- Kathy Muldoon, Toronto Star
- 2005 Gemini Awards
- Nominated (Best Direction)
- 2004 Gemini Awards
- 2004 Yorkton Film Festival
- Yorkton, SK Canada
- Best Documentary Series
Cecile is now a veteran English teacher. Last year she met Gary Dai, a young film student, and after just one week they decided to get married. Gary and Cecile share a beautiful home together, but after a year of marriage, the tedium of work, restlessness for travel, and her extreme homesickness, Cecile begins to question whether she made the right decision getting married. The language barrier and Gary's busy work schedule seems to be pushing the couple apart. Cecile knows things aren't right and for there to be complete happiness in her world there needs to be big changes. Cecile soon discovers that she is pregnant, but is this the change she was looking for? Cecile's honesty and intelligence continue to make her one of the series' most vital characters.
After high school, small-town prairie girl Deighen, 29, left for the bright lights and the big city. In hot pursuit of an acting career, Deighen thought that Montreal had all she needed. She was wrong. After years of struggle, Deighen found herself in need of a change and her career in need of a boost. Again looking east (this time Far East) Deighen decides to move to Taiwan in hopes of breaking big in the lucrative acting and modeling scene in Taipei. Although she knows it's a long shot, it could be her last chance to find the success she's always craved.
Inger is a 6 foot tall 25 year old brunette from Alberta who is really struggling right now with her life plans. Her fiance broke up with her three years ago and she hasn't been able to get over him since. She travels to Taiwan in hopes of finding herself again. After a bumpy interview process, she manages to get a job that demands that she start teaching immediately. As a result, Inger is forced to quickly get settled into her life in Taiwan. Her job begins to take over her life and she soon realizes that Taiwan is slipping her by. Remembering that she came here for a specific reason, she decides she needs more substance in her life.
Inger finds an inline hockey league here and though her experience learns a valuable lesson about herself and about the parts of her life that she dislikes. After her self - realization she decides she needs something spiritually fulfilling in her life and eventually finds it in the most unlikely of places. Inger's contagious laughter and kindness make her an extremely likeable character.
After being rejected from a prestigious Canadian screenwriting program, Jaymie decided that he didn't need film school and returned to Taiwan, planning to make his own movie. After spending most of his savings traveling back to Canada, Jaymie finds himself starting back at the drawing board - literally. He must teach English to save enough money to see his dream of directing a movie come true. There is a bonus. Jaymie teaches a drama class and uses his students to help him to become a great director. Jaymie is not afraid to make fun of himself, which makes him a lovable and hilarious character. He knows very little about the movie making experience providing the series with tons of comic relief. The viewers will watch Jaymie fumble through a series of problems like finding young Taiwanese actresses for the sex scenes, securing free locations, and trying to communicate with a crew that speaks no English. Does he end up making the movie?
With a degree in Computer Science, John, 28, was on top of the world. He got a job in Silicon Valley that not only made him a lot of money, but gave him the professional satisfaction he's always hoped for. Unfortunately for John, he became a victim of the dot-com bust and, like so many others, lost his career.
He went back to university, and after receiving his Masters degree, decided he was again ready to look for work. But something was bothering him. Before he started any new career, he wanted to try and find a long-term relationship with a serious girlfriend. With a small window of opportunity, John decides to move to Taiwan in search of the girl of his dreams. Will the fantasy come true? Or, like his dream-job, will it end up in disappointment, or worse?
Back in Nova Scotia, Jules was having a tough time finding work. A graphic designer by trade, Jules was facing mounting debts and an unmanageable student loan. Desperate, Jules decides to step away from her career to take a potentially more secure income as a teacher in Taiwan.
The bet pays off. Quickly she secures a job in a kindergarten, and not only does she receive an income that will allow her to payoff her debts, but it also allows her to save cash to put toward fulfilling a secret desire. Ever since she was a kid, Jules wished she had a smaller nose. Ever since she was a teenager she had considered cosmetic surgery. Now, with money in her pocket, and her living so close to Thailand, Jules realizes she may never have a better shot than this
Laura, 25, has no idea how her youth slipped away. Once a care free spirit with all her life ahead of her, she now finds herself divorced and wondering about what could have been. Determined to forget the recent past, and live life to its fullest, Laura escapes to Taiwan to rediscover her old adventurous self. Through explorations of travel, culture, and the children she teaches, Laura reconnects with a piece of herself that she thought lost forever.
Zen (31) is a struggling musician who has spent the last decade wandering through Western Canada, playing punk music for a handful of listeners. He has heard that the Taiwanese audiences are friendly towards foreign musicians and decides that he is going to try and make it big in the music industry there. Upon arriving in Taiwan, Zen gets off to a rough start. His first day there he loses his wallet and must busk to survive. This wasn't the type of music career Zen was anticipating finding in Taiwan, but he must do whatever it takes. Zen puts off finding a teaching job for as long as possible. We later discover that Zen hasn't been to school since he was kicked out of grade nine, and is a little nervous about becoming a teacher. All his life, Zen has felt that everyone has looked down upon him because he didn't have his high school diploma. As a result, Zen must not only prove his worth to others, but he must also prove it to himself. For Zen, getting a full time job teaching English could provide him with the stability and accomplishment that he has been looking for his entire life. Zen's enthusiasm and naivete make him a lovable and endearing character.
Tim is 24 years old and openly gay. His dashing good looks and emotional side make him a great character for the show. Currently trying to pursue a career as an actor, Tim travels to Taiwan with the hopes of saving enough money to return home to Canada and produce a play. Tim has a tough time in Taiwan at first and considers leaving after his first teaching experience is a disaster. He settles in though after meeting Scott, another English teacher, and falls in love. However, as time goes by, Tim has to make the decision of whether to go back to Canada to produce his play or stay in Taiwan and be with Scott. It's a decision that he'll have to live with the rest of his life.