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Teaching English

Teaching English

Teaching English

Anyone had any experience, good or bad, teaching English in Korea?

Mike McCann
MMC Engineering

RE: Teaching English

I am talking for my brother. He taught English in Korea at Ulsan for over a year. Their spoken english is pretty awful and parents don't think putting effort into learning english is important.

RE: Teaching English


But their spoken English is probably better than most American's spoken (or written) Korean.  Unfortunately, as an American, I see too many students whose parents also don't think learning English is important.

Patricia Lougheed

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RE: Teaching English

msquared48  - what has prompted the question?

RE: Teaching English

No experience of teaching as a 2nd language or Korea.  However, I did find that most Japanese I encoutered (in Japan) who had been taught English had learned it from a Japanese teacher, with the net result that they found it difficult to understand my English pronunciation.  You may find the same thing when trying to teach Koreans who have some exposure to English.

Goodness knows what would have happened if I'd been a Geordie or they'd been taught by someone from the Gorbals smile

RE: Teaching English

That apparently did happen when a Japanese learned his "English" from a Glaswegian TEFAL trained teacher.....

TEFAL has long been regarded by many as the cheap way to see the world.... the basic premise is that you don't need to speak the host language when teaching English and it beats being a waiter or waitress, or whatever other menial jobs there might be for the would be long term tourists.
Draw your own conclusions as to the quality ability or qualifications needed to become a TEFAL teacher. These are commercial courses e.g.:

TESOL: Teaching English overseas
TEFAL: Teaching English as a Foreign Lanaguage (Foreign language in more ways than one if you are a Glaswegian though I think the idea originally intended was that English would be the TEFAL accredited teachers native language and "foreign" only to the students)



RE: Teaching English

Just returned from Korea (vacation) where I ran into an Australian girl who was teaching English there.

The one thing I remember is that she mentioned she can NOT stray from the books at all.  The administration gets very upset at this.  Giving slang, phrases, words that aren't in the book is frowned upon.  I don't remember if it was a private or public school.

This is normally the space where people post something insightful.

RE: Teaching English

If you are considering teaching English abroad I recommend Jeff Mohamed's book Teaching English Overseas: A Job Guide for Americans & Canadians.


From what I hear, it is easier to get a position in Korea if you are certified as an TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) teacher by a legitimate program such as CELTA.


RE: Teaching English

@ msqaured48 : I have a couple of canadian friends who taught English in Korea. I can introduce you if you want.

@ KENAT : good point. The same question rises when dealing about teaching French and you have a French guy, a Belgian one and a Quebecois in the same room  big smile

Cyril Guichard
Defense Program Manager

RE: Teaching English

I have a friend that just finished a year teaching in Changwon. She leaves to head back today I think.

She taught at a private school and her hours were crap. She would teach something like 10 classes a day with minimal or no breaks. Had a director that she couldn't stand and often got stuck teaching math, cooking, or other things even though she was hired to teach English.

All that aside, she really enjoyed her time there and it payed well.

She is going back to work for a different school (also private) that she hopes will be run better. She says that the public schools have better hours and are more likely to follow "the rules" but it is VERY hard to get hired on.

You can read her blog if you are interested. It might give you a better idea of what you would have to look forward to.



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