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MEd (App Ling/TESOL) + 6 yrs Korean experience = chances?

 
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DaveT383



Joined: 07 Sep 2009
Posts: 7
Location: Seoul, Korea

PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 8:23 am    Post subject: MEd (App Ling/TESOL) + 6 yrs Korean experience = chances? Reply with quote

Hello I have read some of the posts here and apologize in advance if this is redundant. I have an MEd (Applied Linguistics) and over 6 yrs of university teaching experience in Korea, as well as a BEd from Canada. I am in excellent health, a marathoner, and wonder if my age would be a factor against me in CK? I am 51 shortly, but seem younger. I would love to come to CK for a year or so. Experienced hands, what do you think my prospects may be?
Thanks
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9655
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your age shouldn't be any problem, but do be aware that European students are very, very different from those in Korea, in nearly every way from motivation to expectations to accepted classroom approaches and methods.
You may find that your experience isn't highly applicable in this very different situation - and school directors will likely be aware of that.

Most jobs are at newbie level, and it really takes local reputation and contacts to get anything further up the totem pole, particularly in today's economy with jobs a bit tight everywhere. You'll be certainly qualified for whatever's out there, but you may very likely not find something better than entry-level. However, that's enough to enjoy the country, so long as your tastes are reasonably modest.
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DaveT383



Joined: 07 Sep 2009
Posts: 7
Location: Seoul, Korea

PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Spiral,
Thanks for the reply. I hope European students are different than Koreans! That is definitely my expectation. I expect them to be more participative and less focused on a transmission style of teaching with rote learning the main means of developing language skills - it's not too effective. But if you could be more specific that would be helpful. Also, what do you mean by "modest tastes"?
Dave
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9655
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, Dave

Your read on the differences is essentially spot-on. Further, you may already be aware that the majority of teaching work in the region is through private language schools to businesspeople in their places of employment - another big difference from being school-based. You may find a position in a gymnasium or other school-based situation, but it's not the majority of the work around.

Businesspeople usually have an actual need for their English - it's not just to pass some tests. This means that your focuses will be more strongly functional. You will also be likely to have more responsibility for designing relevant lessons.

Another difference can be that you may be faced with teaching across levels, in small classes. The business English context is often with 2-5 students, and they can represent a challenging range of levels and social contexts.

You'll need to account for travel time to different locations in the city, and plan to travel with your stuff for teaching.

In terms of 'modest' living, I guess you probably already know that teaching in Europe is just less lucrative than in Asia generally. The market is much more in favor of employers, and wages are generally just above subsistence level. Even your MA will just get you at the top range of the newbie wage range, meaning that you can enjoy living there, but not enough to save up or pay off any debts (which presumably you won't have!).
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DaveT383



Joined: 07 Sep 2009
Posts: 7
Location: Seoul, Korea

PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spiral,
Thank you very much for your informative replies. In surveying a variety of ads, you have detailed essentially what I supposed were the basic working circumstances. I believe the inherent motivation of businesspeople with real interest could easily result in satisfying interaction with these klinds of students. Teaching in Prague, or elsewhere in Europe, would be less for the income than the experience and the opportunity to live and work in different areas. Fortunately, I do not have to worry about covering any debts. What is your take on the Caledonian School? My impressions are that it is well-established and reputable. I am strongly considering submitting an application.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9655
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Caledonian's been around a respectable length of time and have an all-round decent rep, though there are always a few disgruntled folks out there somewhere...

Sure, submit the application. You might find something slightly better if you want to come beat the pavements, but Caledonian's a safe start.

If you're considering staying around longer than a year or so, send me a pm. I can tell you more about working in the region with an MA and experience, and what you might be able to find/expect with some local language skills and reputation.
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DaveT383



Joined: 07 Sep 2009
Posts: 7
Location: Seoul, Korea

PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 12:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Spiral,
I went to try and PM you, but it says I have to have a minimum of 5 posts before I can contact other members; this is post 4, so I'll check something else out and contact you shortly. I appreciate your input!
Thanks,
Dave
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cks



Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 144

PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually Dave, you kind of fit the profile here in Prague better than me. The trend seems to be that the teachers here are the fresh out of university types in their early to mid-twenties and then it jumps to those who are over 45ish and whose children have already grown. I know a numerous amount of guys in their early 50s here and a few people in their 60s. Most of the people my age (30s) are raising children and not moving abroad. Many schools and students will prefer you over the typical youngster due to your actual life experience and maturity. They know that you will be more responsible and not come to class hungover or wearing a baseball cap. My aunt who is 53 may be moving here in January as well. No worries about the age factor.
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DaveT383



Joined: 07 Sep 2009
Posts: 7
Location: Seoul, Korea

PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cks, I rather thought that the age split and profiles would be along those lines - young people fresh out of university and then older folks looking for new things to do. Here in Korea, that is not quite so much the case. There is a preoccupation with ageism here, such that people over, mmm, I'd say around 40-45, have a more difficult time finding jobs, even though the younger set often presdent exactly the kinds of problems (and then some) you mentioned. Of course, it is just a general rule. There are also a lot of younger people here doing an excellent job.
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cks



Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 144

PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With the exception of the man seeking an attractive young English teacher to flirt with, your age will work to your advantage in most instances over here. And you should definately participate in the Prague half and full marathon next spring. I go and cheer the runners on every year and it is a great experience.
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