If you haven’t already heard, I’m sorry to be the one to break it to you: teaching English to middle school teens in South Korea is an extremely tricky business. It is difficult, tiring, and can be very disheartening. Now that I’ve gotten the hard truth out of the way, let’s move on to the positives: you can survive, nay, thrive, and even enjoy it if you have the right attitude and are willing to accept truths and vary your approaches.
Although I enjoyed the majority of my classes as an English teacher in South Korea, I can’t help but admit that I did have a favorite group: my Kindergarten class. It’s not very PC to have favorites, but these little ones were the beam of light that started my teaching day, radiating all the happiness and eagerness to learn that you’d expect from five-year-olds. If you agree (or get assigned) to teach a Kindergarten class, there is a very good chance that your young students will enter your classroom without every hearing (let alone speaking) a word of English. While this can be daunting, especially for new teachers, try to embrace the positives. These students are complete clean slates, not yet victims of the mistakes or habits of others and not yet confused by the accents, styles, and methodologies of other teachers. They are the perfect canvases for us as teachers to make our marks, get them excited about learning a foreign language, and set them off in a great direction educationally.
I worked with EPIK in both small and large class environments and I generally enjoyed teaching larger classes more. This article will explain more about class participation, working with the co-teacher, and how to discipline your students in large classes.
If you have an interest in living on the Korean coast, you may want to teach English in Yeosu. This city is located on the southern coast in the Jeollanamdo region. Yeosu is the perfect mix of city and gorgeous natural views; it’s no wonder why so many expats choose to teach English here. Keep reading to learn about some of the top reasons you’ll love living in Yeosu, South Korea.
If you’re thinking about teaching English in South Korea, you may want to consider rural areas. Big cities like Seoul offer a lot to do and see, but the rural areas are also full of adventure as well as gorgeous views. You may be wondering what life will be like in the countryside. Luckily, there are many perks to living in rural South Korea. Keep reading to find out more about what to expect!
After my first year in Busan, there was still plenty to see and do, and I wanted to continue teaching English in Seoul to explore a bigger city with more exciting options. My easy, breezy, beach life is over, and now the bright lights of the Seoul keep me awake and alive at all hours. I have had so many opportunities for me to explore all of my interests in Soeul. My life is incredibly exciting all thanks to this history and culture-rich city, which never seems to sleep! Here are the top 5 reasons I love teaching English in Seoul.
When I researched TESOL jobs in Korea, I knew the country was pretty small as a whole and only considered the capital. I had had a close friend who taught in a small suburb and loved it, so I jumped at the opportunity to head to the hustle and bustle of another city. About a month before leaving for my new job, I met someone who said they would be teaching English in Busan. I knew a few others who had spent time teaching in Busan, and I had to admit that it was very attractive having been called the Vancouver or Miami of Korea. Having lived in Vancouver and having visited Miami, these two cities could not be more different. I was intrigued! I knew I had to visit, so I put it on my Korea bucket list. I had no job and no apartment, but I boarded the KTX with two large suitcases, a heavy duffel bag, and my big girl purse, and took the bullet train down to Busan. Within a few days everything was sorted and I started a new job in Hwamyeong, a “new city” suburb in the North West pocket of Busan (a $12 cab ride to the Gimhae Airport or 45 minutes on the subway and the light-rail rapid transit). Here are 5 things I love about teaching English in Busan!
Teaching private English lessons in South Korea is a big part of many teachers’ lives as they try to save a little bit more money. In fact, in my 18 months of teaching English in Korea, I don’t think that I met a single teacher who had not taught at least one private lesson, and I encountered some who juggled so many private lessons around their regular schedules that they barely had time to do anything but teach. Yet there is one very important thing to note about teaching private lessons – it’s illegal. When you are granted the Foreign Language Teaching (E-2) Visa, it expressly defines that you can work for one company only, the one for whom the visa has been granted. So why is it that so many teachers do it? Money.
Koreans refer to it as the Hawaii of South Korea and while there are many differences between the islands, the sentiment is clear – Jeju Island is a very nice place. During my first twelve months of teaching English in Daegu, many of my students told me that their dream place to visit in the whole world was Jeju island. Despite this, I never went. I left South Korea after twelve months having never visited Jeju and thinking full well that I never would. Fast forward a couple of years and I met a lovely young lady – oh, how they change things – who was offered a job teaching English in Seogwipo, Jeju Island. Very unexpectedly I found myself returning to Korea. Daegu was a city of 2.5 million people and while I enjoyed my time there, I very much wished not to return because my life had taken a new path. Fortunately I had returned to somewhere completely new – a place I couldn’t have ever imagined existing in Korea.
I arrived in Daegu knowing nothing about it except that it had a population of around 2.5 million people. It wasn’t that there wasn’t information available on the internet, it was simply that I chose not to research where I was going. After a skiing accident in France in which I broke my back, I had come to the decision that my next step in life would be to teach English in South Korea for a year. Coming from a small village of a few hundred people, my main requirement was that I didn’t want to live in Seoul, a city with a metropolitan population of 25 million people, simply because it was very big.