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Teaching English as a foreign language - Best country to work/gain experience

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 30 Colliewollie


    Hello,

    I'm a long time reader of Boards.ie and a 1st time poster, so apologies Mods if this is in the wrong forum etc. :D

    I've signed up for the intensive 4 week Celta course in Bridge Mills, Galway recently, after thinking about doing a tefl course for ages. I have a Level 8, 2.1 honours degree in construction, not teaching related however. Hopefully I'll have completed the course come June, after starting it on the 29th of April.

    As the thread title suggests, I'm mulling over what would be the best country to apply for, as I will have no experience in actual teaching, bar the Celta course itself. It seems S. Korea, barring the Nordies invading :eek:, would be an ideal place to start a tefl career, i.e. good pay, paid accommodation, ability to save money and proximity to other areas of Asia...

    I've been told that I should obtain short term teaching during the summer in Ireland relatively easily before leaving in September.. Having read the whole S. Korea thread from start to finish , yes I'm unemployed at the moment :rolleyes:, it seems it can be hard to get a job there, applying from Ireland without any teaching experience. I also understand that different countries have differing entry requirements. If I eventually decide to pick a country in the next 2 weeks for example, would it be wise to start applying for the country even though I will not have started the Celta course?!!

    I'd appreciate any advice from current tefl teachers, as to where would be the best country to gain experience/start off.

    Sorry about the long post, ladies and gents!


Comments



  • Im in much the same train of thought as yourself (thinking of heading to south korea in sept/oct to teach), I was also thinking of doing the celta but im not sure whether its worth the investment as i really dont have an ambition teaching english beyond the next 2-3yrs, so whether the investment is really worth it i dont knw :rolleyes:. Of course it is required you have celt or celta preferably to teach english in ireland. so it could well prove a nice little side earner over the summers etc ... :D anyway man from my research iv been looking into it quite a bit it seems all you need is a uni degree in any discipline and a clean background, celt would obviously be an advantage, but it would be more relevant i think in the likes of china, japan, thailand etc ...
    I read somewhere that they are likley to tighten up the amount and quality of the english teachers in south korea soon but at the moment its a degree and your away. Anyway thats my two cents, what city in south korea you thinking?




  • I would personally recommend the JET programme, the only problem being you must wait till the end of the year to apply for Aug 2014. Great support network, and no experience of TEFL courses are required. Just your degree.

    It's a finite career, but many people use the time to gain experience and also do TEFL courses while I'm Japan. For example, friend if mine is just finishing up here (has of 200 hours of TEFL, 5 years experience on JET), and is heading to a very well paid job in a women's college in Saudi Arabia.




  • Yes, the Celta course is quite an investment but I've 2 friends who have completed the course over the last 2 years and they highly recommended the course. One lad has been teaching in Russia for the last 3 years and the other guy is currently in Japan. I suppose I was looking mainly for a really good qualification and hopefully gain experience eventually. There is a small bit of actual teaching practice in the Celta course, which will help and boost the confidence of a lad like myself, as I've no teaching experience!

    I've been busy the last 2 weeks, so my research has been temporarily put on hold! As regards South Korea, how is the atmosphere over there at the moment I wonder? Those Nordies could do anything, bloody rogue State!! Possible Nuclear attack etc!! :eek: As regards actual cities in S. Korea, I suppose you're automatically going to be thinking of Seoul, the nightlife hot-spot, 'where it's at' etc! As S. Korea isn't a gigantic country I don't think I'd be too worried of where I would be placed/look for a job, within reason of course. You wouldn't want to be stuck in a school etc in the middle of nowhere!!

    I've aslo been thinking of maybe China for a year, just to experience it, but I'll see! More research required!!

    With regard to the JET programme, are you actually only an assistant and not an actual full-time ESL teacher? Looks interesting..




  • If you are interested in gaining teaching experience and pursuing a career in education I would avoid the JET programme. In, my opinion, there's not much opportunity for professional development as a JET ALT (assistant language teacher).




  • Yeah seoul would be cool but the winters and intensely humid summers would put me off, so trying to convince a mate of mine to come with me to busan city its on the coast and has more of a 'mediterran style climate' i would be looking for, regarding the north i really doubt that any of that will come to anything, more of a domestic PR stunt hopefully :( Yeah i don't have teaching expeirence either from what i have read though what they really look for is for the students to have interaction with a native speaker, but of course any experience/qualifaction that you would have would a) be beneficial for your teaching and the long run and b) at least in the korean public schools entitle you to about and extra 200,000 won or about 140e extra per month so it would pay for itself and more in that regard.


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  • You're an assistant, but the difference between placements can be mind boggling.

    On one hand you could be a human tape recorder, while the JET down the street could have full control of the classes they're teaching.




  • Ah Cheers for the replies..

    With regards Japan, I haven't really given a huge amount of thought about going there to teach.. It just seems like too much of a crazy place in my own mind, that's just my own opinion by the way. However, I'll try visit, if I decide on going to Korea. Thanks anyways ConFurioso.

    timger, with regards Busan, is the nightlife good, the city itself a nice place? Like a lot of countries, theres more than the capital city I suppose? From what I've heard and the small bit of research I've done, Korea itself seems to be a beautiful country..

    Have you been looking up jobs/applying yet for the Sept/Oct period?




  • Haha! No problem. It's crazy alright.....




  • A ya i would say it would be better than any place in ireland for nightlife i mean a population of 3.7million, even just on that basis it would bound to be good. :) Me and my friend are thinking of holding out until feb thats when the public schools begin again so thinking of getting in with them, seemingly more vacation time and possibly more money with the right qualifaction (tefl, celta etc ...) with the public schools :cool:




  • timger wrote: »
    A ya i would say it would be better than any place in ireland for nightlife i mean a population of 3.7million, even just on that basis it would bound to be good. :) Me and my friend are thinking of holding out until feb thats when the public schools begin again so thinking of getting in with them, seemingly more vacation time and possibly more money with the right qualifaction (tefl, celta etc ...) with the public schools :cool:

    That's true, the nightlife will be different anyways, judging by youtube there seems to be a lot of big clubs in the major cities in Korea.. Should be good :D

    Personally, from what I've researched myself, I think starting teaching in a public school would be the best bet. Much more time off, to explore the place. Fair enough you might have bigger classes than a hagwon, but you would need some time off, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!!

    Have you considered the EPIK programme? It's hard to get into it, but it seems like a good programme to be involved with.

    Plus I don't know if you've seen it on here, but there's a huge mega-thread on Tefl in S. Korea on boards. Just start reading it from two-thirds of the way through, because a lot of the info is outdated as it's quite an old topic..


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  • Yeah its supposed to be more structured aswell, because you work alongside a korean teacher aswell (from what i have read). Yeah i was looking at the EPIK programme it looks good reckon you'd probably want to be applying 4-6months in advance to them just to make sure. The time off is essential, ten days off aint much with the hagwons. I glanced over but its a few years back though. What agency are you thinking of applying to? Or are you set on the EPIK thing?




  • Vietnam is a good place to start. Good money and freedom to live where you want, work as many hours as you want and drive any motorbike you want.




  • timger wrote: »
    Yeah its supposed to be more structured aswell, because you work alongside a korean teacher aswell (from what i have read). Yeah i was looking at the EPIK programme it looks good reckon you'd probably want to be applying 4-6months in advance to them just to make sure. The time off is essential, ten days off aint much with the hagwons. I glanced over but its a few years back though. What agency are you thinking of applying to? Or are you set on the EPIK thing?


    I'm starting my CELTA course the 29th April, so by the time 5 weeks will have passed, it will be the 2nd week of June by the time I would be applying for S Korea. Probably too late for the September deadline for public schools etc. I'd rather apply for positions etc with my qualifications and a proper resume.

    I'm mainly researching about China now, I'm thinking of giving a year there. Plenty of options in China, i.e. where I want to go geographically and what type of work I want.

    The thing about Asia for this type of work is that there are plenty of options!!


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