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Applying for Korea

 
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Augustus



Joined: 16 Oct 2012
Posts: 98

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:49 pm    Post subject: Applying for Korea Reply with quote

Hello,

I'm still not able to post over on the Korean forum despite sending emails to the forum mods so I hope people here will help me.

I really want to apply for SMEO for this September but I am struggling with the application and so far have not been able to find much help elsewhere, including emailing the contact supplied with the docs.

Firstly, I've had to write a teaching philosophy which considering I've only done 6 hours worth on my CELTA has been a challenge. I've put something together and wondered if anyone would have a look and comment ....

Will I be ok including a lesson I planned for my CELTA?

In terms of a reference letter - what is suitable?

Thanks for any advice.

Augustus

Here is my draft Teaching Philosophy

Why do I wish to teach English as a second Language?

I've spent a lot of time considering what I would like ultimately to achieve in my life and came across teaching English abroad as it addressed a number of my objectives; to experience an alternative culture and to pass something positive onto others.

I decided to apply to Korea after having watched a programme on the exciting changes taking place in this part of the world.

Educational philosophy

What are my beliefs regarding teaching?

I believe that the acquisition of knowledge is key to getting to where you want to be in life. For me, teaching English provides the individual with additional choices; to work in business or commerce and the opportunity to experience an alternative culture. A good teacher utilises students natural curiosity to develop skill in applying their learning to encourage their sense of independence; developing the individual both academically and individually, beyond the classroom.

Teaching must be authentic and functional; providing a real use for the learning in the real world. In order to be most effective teaching activities should allow for the varying needs of each individual to learn in a different manner; providing the student with an achievable task, differentiated to suit accordingly. Furthermore, a positive relationship with the teacher is an essential element, made up of mutual respect and a shared aspiration of meeting high expectations.

What do you believe about learning?

My degree in Psychology informs me that we are as humans innately compelled to learn. Learning is an active process of creating connections with prior learning, patterns and experiences with new information, relationships and contexts. Once I know my students current level of knowledge and application I can develop my lessons to bridge the gaps and further their objective in learning English.

How is this played out in your classroom?

I strive to provide a collaborative learning environment focused on accomplishment. I believe that a large aspect of this is that I myself must aim for excellence; I am passionate about my subject matter and am confident in presenting the material. My experience suggests that young learners prefer a quick pace with opportunities to apply their learning therefore I keep my teaching sessions focused, with a selection of learning possibilities along with a series of increasingly challenging tasks by which to consolidate their new skills. I tend to utilise problem-based learning encouraging both independence and curiosity within the safe and nurturing classroom environment. Each lesson is holistically designed with an element of reading, writing, listening and speaking in each to develop all the skills in conjunction with one another. I hope that in time the connections created will grow and deepen, allowing them to utilise their English language skill in different contexts beyond the classroom. My experience has shown that group work and in particular, role-play are effective tools in learning; providing alternative stimuli in the form of other students curiosity. I am keen to be generous in my praise when students make positive attempts to demonstrate their language skill and following each session I undertake a review of the lesson in the form of a “game” to encourage a competitive edge; to do better next time.

Young learners enjoy seeing how theory can be applied to their current life and as such I often incorporate learning materials such as video, the internet or relevant magazines or newspapers in the lesson, keeping students motivated. However, the traditional methods of learning a language; rote learning, repetition and memorisation are the basis of my teaching as the most effective method to instil basic skills.

I value each and every students contribution to the classroom and am always wiling to offer assistance to students who require additional support beyond the class. I am approachable and happy to go over any material where the student requires additional clarification.

How does student identity and background alter my teaching approach?

I aim to ensure that each student is successful in their own right, in order to do this I endeavour to seek each individuals strengths and weaknesses in the classroom and work to further these to the greatest degree possible. Ultimately through coming to know their learning preferences I aim to develop an individualised approach to support each student to achieve their objective.

Thoughts on encountering cultural difference

In deciding where in the world I would like to teach I have became immensely interested in Korea as a country, the culture and the people and am keen to embrace it for myself. I understand there are many differences between Korean culture and my own and feel that the words that describe my approach in encountering these differences are curiosity and acceptance. I firmly believe that there are few rights ways in terms of culture and hope that my willingness to learn and adapt shows through allowing me to take full advantage of the opportunity to work in such an amazing country.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 3793
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did you register for the Korea forums? It's required for posting.
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Augustus



Joined: 16 Oct 2012
Posts: 98

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've tried, several times in fact. Each time the server replies that I have specified an invalid or incorrect password (although I know I am inputting it correctly). I request it supply me one again and despite cutting and pasting it still says "You have specified an incorrect or invalid username / password combination"

I've emailed the moderator who is also on another board where I am registered and had no answer.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 3793
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try typing in the password instead of cutting and pasting. Otherwise, register fresh with all new info. Or email Mr. K or one of the other Mods.

By the way, your teaching philosophy is too cliché; there are way too many "I" this and "I" thats. Teaching is more about your students and not so much about you. You need to include real examples that give the reader a sense of your classroom dynamic as a teacher engaging his/her students in learning but also self reflecting on the experience. In fact, you're asked exactly that with the question: "How is this played out in your classroom?"
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Augustus



Joined: 16 Oct 2012
Posts: 98

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks. I've tried those suggestions too ;(

I've just emailed Mr K again, there is no other moderator who also mods another forum who I can PM.

Unfortunately I only have 6 hours of teaching experience, I considered making it uP but then I thought they would then want to know why I hadn't mentioned it in the past job history section (or want to check refs, if I made that up too).

Augustus
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rtm



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 541
Location: US

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 6:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Applying for Korea Reply with quote

1) Please, please, please proofread / spell check / grammar check your job application materials before sending them. There are many grammatical mistakes in your teaching philosophy. These would make me less confident about hiring you as an English teacher, not only because there are language mistakes, but because you didn't care enough to fix them. There are many mistakes in spelling, punctuation, tense, plurals, etc.

2) The "How is this played out in your classroom" section needs to be more concrete. You do a good job of saying some types of activities you (would) use in a classroom (e.g., "group work", "role play"), but it would be better if you mention specific examples in more detail. For example, give an example of a specific target grammar point, and specific activities that you would use to teach it.

3) Your statement that "Young learners enjoy seeing how theory can be applied" strikes me as odd. I doubt young learners (i.e., preschool to early primary school) would care about theory and how it is applied.

4) Your statement that "rote learning, repetition and memorisation" are the basis of your teaching wouldn't impress me. It doesn't make you seem like a very dynamic teacher -- in fact, these really don't require the teacher to do very much at all. If you do include those, you should describe why you think they are useful methods.

5) The last 2 sections are too vague. They would be much stronger if you can give concrete examples. For example, what is a specific way that you would alter your teaching approach vis-a-vis students' identities or background?
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rtm



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 541
Location: US

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Augustus wrote:
Unfortunately I only have 6 hours of teaching experience, I considered making it uP but then I thought they would then want to know why I hadn't mentioned it in the past job history section (or want to check refs, if I made that up too).

Don't make up jobs on your CV, but in your teaching philosophy, you can make up situations, and describe how you would address them. If I were the employer, I would hardly notice the difference between "in X situation in the classroom, I did Y" and "in X situation in the classroom, I would do Y". The only disadvantage you are at is that what you describe might be completely unrealistic.
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Augustus



Joined: 16 Oct 2012
Posts: 98

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This has been redrafted so many times ... I've given up trying to get it perfect in terms of grammar as I will only change it again......

I've only got 6 hours of teaching experience, as per CELTA qualification so I've no practical application to go off yet.

I've taken what limited advice is available from various pages on the internet and they state I should aim for the Korean approach as that is what they want to see. The application mentions young learners and my research suggests that the schools that are available to be posted in, are secondary school. Plus on CELTA YL were aged 15 years upwards, similar age group as A'levels but didn't have enough English to study for them yet.

I haven't a clue to be honest on how I would alter things for student identity / background - we were taught differentiation for differing abilities and making things relevant to the students being taught ....

Any links for ideas?
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Augustus



Joined: 16 Oct 2012
Posts: 98

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rtn - mmm thats a different way of addressing things .... what type of situations are likely to come up in a Korean classroom?

I'm not sure a description of situations I can imagine occurring in the UK would be likely to happen in Korea.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 3793
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Augustus wrote:
I've only got 6 hours of teaching experience, as per CELTA qualification so I've no practical application to go off yet.

Is this an entry-level position for newbie teachers with zero experience?
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Augustus



Joined: 16 Oct 2012
Posts: 98

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm hoping to apply for SMEO - Seoul hopefully. The criteria doesn't request experience as an essential. I am struggling to find jobs I can apply for and this is one of them. Any help would be much appreciated.
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 8954
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 4:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nomad soul wrote:
Augustus wrote:
I've only got 6 hours of teaching experience, as per CELTA qualification so I've no practical application to go off yet.

Is this an entry-level position for newbie teachers with zero experience?


They have different levels with different pay, but on the lowest end of the scale, yep, entry-level. Might want to look at GEPIK and EPIK. SMOE is the hardest.

About memorisation and rote-memory, well, they might like it given it's Asia. I wonder if people actually read all these applications to be honest. It's all through recruiters and they can tons and tons. I just had a chat with an interview about a job offer. I couldn't believe the questions she asked. At the end I had asked if she got my application and she said she was so busy she didn't even have time to look at it.

Reference letters: ask former employers or trainers on your TEFL course.

You might want to change stuff like this, "What are my beliefs regarding teaching?" The second sentence doesn't really seem like it belongs.

You have some good ideas, but you need to do a bit of research about the position. You're going to be thrown into a classroom with about 30 kids twice a week with a co-teacher, who may or may not want anything to do with you. You'll also be given a book that make a fantastic pillow and that's about it. Here's an example of such textbooks, read the eye chart, at least the NETs had a bit of fun, https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152311647910351&set=p.10152311647910351&type=1&theater

Project-based learning? might be hard to pull off. I think you have lofty ideas, which can be good, however, you'll be working for the government and after about 10 years of English many of the kids can just about say, Teach-uh, my Englishee bad-uh. But they can read and text very, very well.

Sadly this, "I hope that in time the connections created will grow and deepen, allowing them to utilise their English language skill in different contexts beyond the classroom" will not happen that much in the context you're looking at.

"Young learners enjoy seeing how theory can be applied to their current life" not really, they just want to play.

"I am approachable" not as a foreigner. You're an outsider and people aren't going to want to talk to you.

"I endeavour to seek each individuals strengths and weaknesses" this is good, but not acceptable here, strengths only, no weaknesses.

This thread will probably be locked soon. Keep trying on the Korean board, maybe from a different device, like your phone or tablet. There are also a number of FB groups you might want to check out. YOu can PM me for more info.
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rtm



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 541
Location: US

PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Augustus wrote:
rtn - mmm thats a different way of addressing things .... what type of situations are likely to come up in a Korean classroom?

I'm not sure a description of situations I can imagine occurring in the UK would be likely to happen in Korea.

I have no experience in Korea. My feedback and advice was based on my experience at US universities, but could be valid elsewhere. We're not allowed to talk specifically about Korea here -- that's what the Korea board is for. If I were you, I'd follow any Korea-specific advice (such as naturegirl321's) over general advice, at least when tailoring your application materials for jobs in Korea.

Hmm, the mods must be asleep at the wheel. I'm surprised this thread is still open.
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Augustus



Joined: 16 Oct 2012
Posts: 98

PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for all the advice offered. I will go over to the Korea board and re-post. Augustus
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