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Making a Career in Teaching in Korea

 
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MetaFitX



Joined: 23 Jun 2009

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 4:25 am    Post subject: Making a Career in Teaching in Korea Reply with quote

Helpful replies will be greatly appreciated.

I'll get straight to the point. I really enjoy Korea. I also really enjoy teaching (I did not find this out until coming to Korea and teaching with an unrelated degree).

For the more experienced, if you interested in improving yourself professionally (for Korea), what would you recommend?

I am strongly considering doing a CELTA, and then a Masters in Applied Linguistics but still not sure. Would the CELTA be "overkill"? That, on top of studying Korean religiously....
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Squire



Joined: 26 Sep 2010
Location: Jeollanam-do

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 6:27 am    Post subject: Re: Making a Career in Teaching in Korea Reply with quote

I'm in the same boat, so I'm very interested to hear what more experienced posters have to say on this. I'm thinking of doing a CELTA then getting uni work in China first. My experience teaching adults involves an informal teachers' class every week, so I want to find out what that would really be like before I make the commitment to getting a master's. If after a year or two in a university I'm still committed to ESL, then a relevant master's would be next
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PatrickGHBusan



Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Location: Busan (1997-2008) Canada 2008 -

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 6:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you wish to make a career out of Teaching English, an M.A. in a related field is a good option.

If you wish to make a career of teaching in the broader sense, getting certified will be a smarter play.

In a more Korea-centric perspective, the most important thing would be to get a relevant MA or some related certifices WHILE you accumulate referenced quality experience.

Learning Korean can be a plus but what will become critically important is networking. A good professional network (fellow teachers (Korean and Foreign), school admins you worked for and so on) can become your best road to success. What happens when you network well is that better jobs open up to you as you get referals. This takes time, effort and commitment but it pays off.

How do you network? That depends on each person but I would say that a good way (worked for me) is to attend workshops and conferences in your field as often as you can. That will allow you to meet other people in your field. Keeping good relations with your employer (past and present) will open up doors as well. Networking with Koreans working in your field can be a boon too. I would also say, take on side projects at your work and make them part of your teaching portfolio. Working wih others this way on various projects is also a good way to network and establish yourself as a dedicated professional.

All this means a bit more work but if you are serious at making a career out of this...it is worth it in my opinion.
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Stan Rogers



Joined: 20 Aug 2010

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There isn't much upward mobility for foreigners teaching in Korea.

That's why you see so many former teachers get out of teaching and start running businesses of their own here. Go to Itaewon and see how many former teachers run a bar now.
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JustinC



Joined: 10 Mar 2012
Location: We Are The World!

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A CELTA then a Master's is a very popular route - for good reason. A CELTA gives more 'bang for the buck' (taking into account more countries than just Korea here) but getting a Master's is where you really want to end up if you're looking to make a career out of teaching/coaching.
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timhorton



Joined: 07 Dec 2005

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My answer: MASTERS DEGREE

Get a TESOL Cert. to give yourself a pay bump. Don't do a CELTA. Get a public school job and work on your masters (while making money to pay for it) in your free (desk warming) time.

I did the above for 2 years and my workload has decreased 50% and vacation increased 50%. Do you need to hear more?

Networking is obviously useful. Doors will open once you have a few years at a public school and a masters in your hand (connections or not). It's important to finish those contracts on good terms since they may be contacted by future employers.

I did the majority of my masters while still on shift at the school. I did prep. for my classes in the evening so my free time (the next day) could be used for masters work. Sometimes i'd switch it around, etc.

Do you want to experience a drastic improvement in you life in Korea? Do you want to feel like you accomplished something big? Do you want to......anyway you get the idea GET A MASTERS!
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edwardcatflap



Joined: 22 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The best way to get a university job here is definitely to do a Masters but the best way to become a better teacher is to do some practical training where you are observed by people who know what they are doing and can give you advice. The CELTA would give you a good grounding in this.
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PatrickGHBusan



Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Location: Busan (1997-2008) Canada 2008 -

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stan Rogers wrote:
There isn't much upward mobility for foreigners teaching in Korea.

That's why you see so many former teachers get out of teaching and start running businesses of their own here. Go to Itaewon and see how many former teachers run a bar now.


Fair point but upwards mobility is not something one should bank on if they wish to teach as a career...anywhere.

You can however get better pay and conditions as a teacher in Korea as you accumulate referenced experience and if you improve your credentials. This won't happen overnight, nor will it be handed to you but it certainly can be done.

I agree with Ed on the basics however: get some practical training that is observed and certified. A CELTA can be a good plan but over the longer term, being certified can lead to a bigger payoff in Korea but also on the broader international teaching job market.
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