Teach English – Korea How http://www.koreahow.com The English teacher's guide to living, working, and traveling in Korea. Thu, 28 Nov 2013 13:24:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.6 10 Secrets to Landing a Korean University Job Teaching English http://www.koreahow.com/2012/12/10-secrets-to-landing-a-korean-university-job/ http://www.koreahow.com/2012/12/10-secrets-to-landing-a-korean-university-job/#comments Mon, 10 Dec 2012 02:40:12 +0000 http://www.thenomadwithin.com/?p=604

Kim Yu-na, the famous figure skater, at her class at Korea University.

Teaching English at a Korean university is one of the best ESL jobs on the planet. With almost 400 colleges in the country, why aren’t you working at one?


Do you want to teach at a Korean university?

Find work at Profs Abroad!


If you’ve spent any time at all in Korea then you know that teaching at a university is the Holy Grail of ESL jobs. Why? How does 4 months or more of paid vacation sound to you? Not enough? Most university lecturers teach around 14 hours per week and get one or two days off per week, and you don’t have to desk-warm between classes.

Having loads of free time isn’t the only thing university jobs have going for them. The students are pretty cool to work with as well. Yes, it’s true that many Korean university students kick back and relax once they’ve made it into college. However, they are easier to deal with and more respectful than a class of 40 screaming primary school students.

Next, you won’t have a co-teacher. The class is yours. Yes, you will have a director or foreign teacher supervisor to answer to, but generally you are left alone to run your class as you like.

The best part is you can use your extra free time to pursue a hobby, further your education, or make some extra money. Many university teachers double or even triple their salary by teaching private classes on the side. Of course this is illegal in Korea (unless you marry a Korean) but everyone does it.

Job Description

Keep in mind that all university jobs are different. There is no standard. In general you can expect the following:

Teaching hours: 10-20 per week (the standard is around 14-16).

Salary: 1.8 to 2.8 million per month (around $25k or more after taxes), which varies depending on qualifications, experience, and school location.

Housing: many universities provide housing or a stipend of around 300,000 won per month.

Bonus: public universities provide an end-of-year bonus equivalent to one month’s salary, private universities usually don’t.

Pension & Health Care: all universities are required by law to provide a pension (about 10% of your yearly salary) and health care.

Contract Duration: usually for one year but sometimes 2. A few universities will force you out after 3 years.

Airfare reimbursement: occasionally a university will pay for your roundtrip airfare but it is rare.


Don’t you need an MA to teach at a university? No. Korean universities ask for a minimum of 2-years teaching experience if you have a Master’s degree (in any subject – does not have to be in TESOL or English related) or 4 years teaching experience if you don’t have a MA.

You also need to have a passport from either the UK, US, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand or Australia. You can’t have a criminal record.

You’re Hired

As you can imagine these jobs are highly competitive. Just look at anyone who has lived in Korea for some time. You’ll see that almost every “lifer” works at a university. So how do you get one of these jobs? Here are a few tips:

1. Know the Right People

The number one key to getting a job at a Korean university is to know someone on the inside. Korean culture is all about circles: personal relationships are key.

The best university jobs are rarely advertised on the Internet job boards. For every university job posting there are 100 public school or academy job offers. Why? When a position opens up the university usually knows about it far in advance. Instead of posting an ad on the Internet, the university will ask the foreign teachers at that school to recommend their friends.

One university I worked at had almost 30 foreign teachers. If each teacher recommends the job to 10 of their friends that means the school already has 300 applicants. Why should the school advertise on an Internet job board?

2. Join Professional Associations

So how do you network in Korea? First, get to know as many university teachers as possible. Anytime you meet a university teacher you should “friend” them on Facebook. Ask them questions about where they teach and what it is like. Let them know you are looking for a job.

Next, join a teaching association. The largest in Korea is KOTESOL. Find your local chapter. Join it. Go to the meetings and conferences. This is your number one place in Korea to network with English teachers. More importantly, it is a fantastic resource for your own professional development…and it looks good on your résumé. Another association for English teachers in Korea is ATEK.

3. Be Proactive in Your Job Hunt

You have to go after these jobs. You won’t find them on Korean university job boards like Profs Abroad. First, decide what city you want to live in. For example, if you want to live in Busan, then visit the city and grab a tourist map. You will see there are over 20 universities in Busan alone. Next, look up the schools on the Internet or get a Korean friend to find the phone number of the English department. Call and ask who is in charge of hiring new teachers. Introduce yourself, find out if they are hiring, and send your résumé.

4. Get Some Experience In Korea

Although it is possible to get a university job before you come to Korea, it’s quite difficult. Most employers want to see that you have at least one year of teaching experience (it doesn’t have to be at a university) in Korea. It can be at a public school or private academy.

5. Know the Hiring Seasons

The Korean school year starts with the spring semester in March. More teachers tend to get hired during the spring semester. The fall semester starts in September. Therefore, there are two main hiring seasons: November-December and May-June.

It is true that some universities do things at the last-minute and hire teachers a few weeks before the semester starts. However, you want to get your job search going in full swing during those prime hiring months.

6. Get Qualified

If you have an MA in TESOL or Linguistics then you shouldn’t have much trouble finding work. There are no guarantees but more and more university teachers are getting their MA these days.

A second cheaper and quicker option is to get a CELTA or TEFL certification.  CELTA courses take about one month and cost around $2,000. There are also many TEFL certification courses online that will certify you for under $300. Just be sure your course is at least 100 hours and that it states the number of hours on your certificate.

7. Make Your MA Work For You

When most people think of teaching abroad they assume they can only teach English. This is absolutely not the case in Korea. There is a huge demand for university professors with Masters degrees that can teach major subjects in English. This is a trend that is not going away and will only continue to get bigger in the future.

For instance, if you have an MBA you can teach business – in English of course – to Korean university students. Try contacting the department related to your area of study and ask them if they are hiring. These jobs often pay double or more of what you would make teaching English.

8. Look the Part

Koreans are highly image conscious. Got gray hair? Dye it. Is your suit a little old or out of style? Buy a new one. Was your photo on your resume taken at home on your couch? Get photo taken professionally and have it photoshopped. If you don’t wear a suit and tie or your best dress to your interview you might as well not show up.

9. Pay Your Dues

Korea has 4 tiers of universities according to competitiveness. At the top-tier you have the SKY universities (Seoul National, Korea Univ., and Yonsei Univ.). They are like American Ivy league universities. The 4th tier universities are the least competitive and similar to community colleges in the US.

The secret to getting your first uni job in, especially if you don’t have any university teaching experience, is to aim for the lower tier universities. More importantly, look for universities outside of major cities.

Most people who have been in Korea for some time prefer to live in the major cities like Seoul, Busan, or Daegu. As a result, universities that are far from major cities have a more difficult time finding qualified applicants.

For instance, there are only a handful of universities left in Seoul that don’t require an MA. However, there are plenty of universities in other parts of the country that will hire you with just a BA.

10. Beware of the Unigwan

Usually the want ad says you will teach 20-30 hours per week and have 2 weeks or less of vacation. You will probably be working in the university’s private language academy and teach everything from primary school kids to adults. The only university students you teach are the ones who come after class for extra help.

These are by no means bad jobs, and can actually lead to full time work in another university or department. However, if you have the qualifications to get a true university gig then don’t waste your time at a unigwan.

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Sexy English Lesson Plan: Origami Butterfly & Imperitives Mashup http://www.koreahow.com/2011/01/sexy-english-lesson-plan-origami-butterfly-imperitives-mashup/ http://www.koreahow.com/2011/01/sexy-english-lesson-plan-origami-butterfly-imperitives-mashup/#comments Thu, 13 Jan 2011 11:21:27 +0000 http://www.koreahow.com/?p=1019 Teach English writing, speaking, and listening with this simple and fun lesson plan.

Level: Lower intermediate – advanced

Time: 50 minutes

Materials: Printer paper, scissors, computer, screen, projector

Objectives: S’s will be able to use the imperative and give instructions

Key Vocab: crease, fold (in half), edge, corner, tuck, horizontal, triangle, flap

Step 1. Engage: Watch video and make origami.

  • Ask S’s if they know what origami is. Explain. Show an example.
  • Introduce key vocab.
  • Play butterfly origami video and have class follow along.

Step 2. Study: The Imperative.

Step 3. Activate: Give “How to…” demo.

  • T introduces how to scramble an egg.
  • Put S’s in groups of 2-4 and have them make their own “how to” instruction list. For example, how to: tie your shoes, make a recipe, put on makeup, drive a car, etc..
  • S’s come to front of class in groups and demonstrate their “how to…” instructions.

*Not quite sure how to teach English in Korea? Check out this guide: 11 Steps to Effective ESL Lesson Planning.

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11 Steps to Effective ESL Lesson Planning http://www.koreahow.com/2011/01/11-steps-to-effective-esl-lesson-planning/ http://www.koreahow.com/2011/01/11-steps-to-effective-esl-lesson-planning/#comments Wed, 12 Jan 2011 14:53:07 +0000 http://www.koreahow.com/?p=1005

Korean students are notoriously shy. Plan activities that build rapport from the start. Photo: P. DeMarco

“Always plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark” – Richard C. Cushing

Donald D. Quinn once said, “If a doctor, lawyer, or dentist had 40 people in his office at one time, all of whom had different needs, and some of whom didn’t want to be there and were causing trouble, and the doctor, lawyer, or dentist, without assistance, had to treat them all with professional excellence for nine months, then he might have some conception of the classroom teacher’s job.”

Yes, teaching can be difficult at times, but with the right preparation and planning it can be one of the toughest jobs you’ll ever love. Some say teaching is an art, not a science. Well, not exactly. Yes, it is true that after some practice you will find your natural teaching style.

Your lessons will gain a zen-like quality and you will start to flow, or act without thinking, as you teach. Like putting one foot in front of the other, teaching will become as natural as walking is to you. There will always be challenges but you will feel much more comfortable in your role as a teacher.

However, even the best most experienced teachers use lesson plans. A lesson plan is a working document that helps you stay on task and reach your educational goals. You can’t get to where you want to be if you don’t know where you’re going. Furthermore, lesson plans act as a record of your progress with your students.

So how do you write a lesson plan? Well, any way you want. There is no set form or formula for lesson planning. But one thing is for certain, there are some basic steps everyone must take in order to make and deliver a quality lesson plan. Let’s take a look.

Step 1: Know yourself.

William’s Shakespeare’s advice, “know thyself”, is one of the most import things a teacher can do. The more you know about yourself and your reasons for teaching, the more motivated and focused you’ll be when you teach. Ask yourself:

  • Why am I an ESL teacher?
  • What values and beliefs do I want to pass on to my students?
  • What type of role model do I want to be?
  • If I could only teach my students one thing, what would it be?

Step 2: Know your students.

The more you know about your students, the better you will be able to tailor your lesson. Some questions you’ll want to ask yourself are:

  • How much do my student’s already know (i.e. what’s their level)?
  • How eager are my students to learn English?
  • Are they well behaved or unruly?
  • What are they interested in (favorite TV shows, groups, movies, sports, etc…)?
  • Which activities do they react best to: visual, auditory, kinesthetic?

Step 3: Start with the end in mind.

“A good plan is like a road map: it shows the final destination and usually the best way to get there.” – H. Stanley Judd

Know your key objectives. What do you want your students to know by the end of the class? For example, by the end of the lesson, students should be able to introduce themselves to someone and then get basic information from them (i.e. country, age, job, etc…).

Know your key expressions. What vocabulary or phrases would you like you students to know? “Where are you from?” or “What’s your job?” for example.

Step 4: Find a formula that works for you.

There are many different ways you can structure your lesson. For instance, one of the more popular ESL lesson formats is the ESA (Engage Study Activate) method, which you can read about in more detail later. However, there is no set way to structure your lesson plan. Find the way which works best for you.

Step 5: Keep it simple.

No matter how easy you think your lesson or activities are, your students will surely find them more difficult than you. Even the simplest exercises can be confusing for students. When you plan your classes, remember that you may have to simply your lesson in order to meet your students where they are at.

Step 6: Develop a good progression and balance of activities.

It’s natural for students to feel shy or not want to make mistakes in front of the teacher. Set your students up for success from the start. Give them activities you know they can’t fail at. Only ask them questions you know they can answer. Get them warmed up to English and your class. As the class moves on, you can raise the level of difficulty.

Also, try to vary the types of activities you do in class. Try to mix it up so you reach different types of learners. For instance, activities that require students to draw or paint are great for visual learners. Try using songs and music for auditory learners. Finally, use drama or role-plays for kinesthetic or active learners.

Step 7: Be structured yet flexible.

Think of your teaching as a Tokyo sky-scraper. Even though Tokyo has many earthquakes, it still has numerous high-rise office towers. These structures have a strong foundation and frame, but when there’s an earthquake, the buildings bend and flex with the vibrations.

Your lesson plan should be the same way, solid and structured, yet flexible enough to roll with the inevitable changes that happen during a typical class. Think of your lesson plan as a living document that is co-created with your students, almost like a semi-scripted play or dance.

Step 8: Be organized!

Do you have your markers or chalk? How about your books and attendance sheet? Will you be using an overhead projector or computer during class? Does it work? Do the speakers work? Do you have a PPT presentation? Can you get it to work on a Korean computer? What about the layout of your classroom? Will you need to move desks around? What materials will you need for your class?

These are all questions you should ask yourself before you set foot in the classroom. Be prepared.

Step 9: Over-plan.

Your lessons will not always go as planned, especially in the beginning. You may find that some lessons take longer, or shorter, than you planned for. Therefore, make sure to ad in an extra activity or two. Sometimes you might even need to jettison an activity all together and replace it with something else.

Step 10: Check to see if you reached your educational goals.

How do you know if your class was successful? What was your goal for the class? Remember to end your class with some type of review that not only bring s closure to your lesson, but shows you that your students learned the target language.

Step 11: Make the lesson yours.

In conclusion, learning should be both educational and engaging. The more fun you are having, the more fun your students will have. If you are bored and disconnected from what you are teaching then your students will be too.

Use what inspires you as a springboard to your teaching. For instance, if you like music and play an instrument then try to find some way to incorporate that into your lessons. Not only will your students appreciate it but you will walk away with a richer experience of your time spent here in Korea.

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Korea Changes E2 Visa Process: FBI Background Check How To http://www.koreahow.com/2010/12/korea-changes-e2-visa-process-fbi-background-check-how-to/ http://www.koreahow.com/2010/12/korea-changes-e2-visa-process-fbi-background-check-how-to/#comments Mon, 13 Dec 2010 23:11:22 +0000 http://www.thenomadwithin.com/?p=633

Even though this guy looks like a wimpy college student, he was trained how to kill in Tae Kwon Do, slept in the snow at the DMZ, and ate worms for breakfast. He will kick your ass if you don't get comply with the new visa regulations.

Calling all criminals teaching English in Korea. The game is over. The Korean government is on to your scam. I say that jokingly but actually it is kind of true.

In the past, all you needed to prove you didn’t have a criminal record was a background check from your local police department or state. The problem with state background checks is someone can be charged with a crime in Maine for instance, but it will not show up on a record check for say Iowa.

Staring January 1st, 2011, all foreigners teaching English in Korea will need to submit a federal background check when applying for a job or renewing a contract. If you are American, that means you have to get a background check from the FBI. Again, anyone who is applying for an E2 visa OR extending his or her E2 visa must submit a federal background check.

Here is the unofficial guide to the FBI check in 5 easy steps:

1. Complete the application form.

  • It takes just a minute.

2. Submit your fingerprints.

  • This is a little more complicated – especially if you are living in Korea. First, print out the official fingerprint card (you might want to print out a few extra copies if you mess up).
  • Next, if you are in the US you can take the form to your local police station. Most offer a fingerprinting service for about $10. Call ahead for pricing and hours.
  • If you are in Korea, go to the biggest police station in your city. These are the “gu” stations or main city police stations. Be sure to bring your form with you.
  • Can’t find a police station that will do it for you? Call the Korean Police English Hotline at 313-0842.
  • NOTE: Be sure to check that you were fingerprinted properly. Compare the prints on your form to page 2 of the fingerprint form that talks about “obtaining classifiable fingerprints.” Your request will be rejected if the prints are not done properly.

3. Submit the $18 payment.

4. Review the checklist.

5. Mail the required items here:

  • FBI CJIS Division – Record Request, 1000 Custer Hollow Road, Clarksburg, WV 26306

It can take up to 12 weeks to process your request.

Visit the FBI site to download the forms and get the official instructions.

DISCLAIMER: Immigration rules are always changing. For the latest information, please contact your local Korean Office of Immigration. Furthermore, feel free to post here if you have info on getting a background check in other countries.

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English Mania Grips World http://www.koreahow.com/2010/12/english-mania-grips-world/ Tue, 07 Dec 2010 23:20:14 +0000 http://www.thenomadwithin.com/?p=593


Like it or not, English is sweeping across the world. Some say English is a tool used by America and England to “colonize” the world. Others see it as the dawn of a new era when people from around the globe will have a common language to promote cultural understanding and solve some of the world’s biggest problems like poverty, disease, and war.

Either way the rise of English as the world’s lingua franca cannot be ignored. Today over 2 billion people are studying English from Algeria to Zimbabwe.

In this video Jay Walker, the founder of Priceline.com, describes the meteoric growth of “the world’s second language” and the effects it has on other people, countries, and languages. Furthermore, he focuses on English education in China.

Wait until you see how one man in China is teaching English to thousands of students – in one class!

Is English taking over the world? Is it good or bad thing?

Q&A With Dr. David Noonan at 2010 PAC-KOTESOL Conference http://www.koreahow.com/2010/12/qa-with-dr-david-noonan-at-2010-pac-kotesol-conference/ Tue, 07 Dec 2010 04:55:44 +0000 http://www.thenomadwithin.com/?p=515

Drs. Ken Beaty, David Nunan, Kathleen Bailey, moderator Alan Maley, Rod Ellis, and Martha Cummings.

This year KOTESOL (Korea Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) celebrated its 18th International Conference in Seoul. Under the slogan of “Advancing ELT in the Global Context,” over 1,500 English teachers from around the world visited the conference.

Among those attending were also a stellar list of presenters. This year was the first time there was a plenary panel discussion about the state of ELT in the world today. One of the members of the plenary panel was Dr. David Nunan.

The following are some follow-up questions to the plenary panel discussion:

What is your experience with KOTESOL and teaching English in Korea?

Dr. Nunan: I’ve been coming to Korea for conferences, consultancies and teacher education for the last twenty years. I have been a presenter at many KOTESOL conferences.

What was the most important topic/theme (related to ELT) you heard people talking about at this year’s conference? Why?

Dr. Nunan: The hot topics right now are globalization and the emergence of English as the global language, the teaching of English to younger learners and the use of technology to enhance the teaching of English. all these issues are interrelated. English has emerged as the international language of business, entertainment, education, and media because of the dominance of the USA as the largest economy in the world. Organizations, governments and individuals know they can increase their value by learning English. Middle-class parents believe that they can give their children an advantage at school and ultimately in the workplace by having them learn English. Because of the belief that the earlier you begin learning a language the better you will be at that language, educational systems around the world are lowering the age at which English is introduced as a compulsory subject. The insatiable demand for English is far outstripping the supply of adequately trained teachers. Technology has stepped in to supplement face-to-face instruction.

English in Korea (and the world) is quickly becoming a form of social and economic exclusion. Many Korean’s believe that forcing everyone to learn English is another way to separate the “haves” from the “have nots”. Do you think that is true? Do you have any suggestions as to how this can be prevented?

Dr. Nunan: I believe that a situation of “haves” and ‘have nots” is an unfortunate reality. One 25% of the world’s population have the opportunity to learn and use English and these are people who are already advantaged. The only solution has to be a political one – governments have to improve the quality of English language education in public schools.

Some people say teaching English is not a “real” job. It is something you do to save money for a backpacking trip around the world or a way to hold off being a corporate slave back home. Furthermore, many English teachers (even the ones with masters degrees in TESOL or Applied Linguistics) eventually leave the field because there just isn’t enough money in it. Is teaching English a job with a sustainable future or more of a short-term career move?

Dr. Nunan: Until the public perception that all you need in order to teach English is to be a native speaker is reversed, this will not change. It is up to us as teachers to argue the case for English as a profession, to demonstrate that well-trained non-native speakers of English with good English skills and appropriate training as just as effective, if not more effective than Native English teachers.

Many Koreans would prefer to learn English from a native speaker with little or no experience teaching English than from a certified Korean English teacher. However, David Graddol in his book English Next says that there is a trend that native-speaker norms and native speakers themselves are becoming irrelevant. Will we [native speakers] be out of a job in the near future?

Dr. Nunan: Absolutely not. I would like to see the first language status of the teacher become an irrelevance, and that employment and advancement be based on criteria other than first language status. Associations such as TESOL have developed performance standards for teachers, and these should be the criteria for deciding who gets to be employed as a teacher.

Where do you see the ELT industry in the next 10 years?

Dr. Nunan: I was asked this question ten years ago, and will give the same answer now as I gave then. “Technology will become increasingly significant, the teaching of English to young learners will become more effective through the development of age appropriate curriculum models, materials, teacher training, and (this is a wish rather than a prediction), government agencies will look to bodies such as The International Research Foundation for Language Education (TIRF) for data-based advice upon which to base policy decisions.

Do you have any advice on for current teachers or people interested in getting into the field?

Dr. Nunan: Teaching is a vocation. You have to love what you do and care for your students. If you’re doing this job simply for the money, or because you can’t think of anything else to do, then get out now.

Dr. David Noonan

Dr. David Nunan is the Academic President of Anaheim University based in Anaheim, California. Dr. Nunan serves in a concurrent role as Dean of the Graduate School of Education and Professor of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). He is also a best-selling author. In 2003, Business Review Weekly ranked him the 7th most influential Australian in Asia, and in 2005, he was named one of the top “50 Australians Who Matter.”  Dr. Nunan has this year authored “The Learner-Centred Curriculum: A Study in Second Language Teaching.”

English Teachers Reflect On Changing Role in Globalization Age http://www.koreahow.com/2010/12/english-teachers-reflect-on-changing-role-in-globalization-age/ http://www.koreahow.com/2010/12/english-teachers-reflect-on-changing-role-in-globalization-age/#comments Tue, 07 Dec 2010 04:15:38 +0000 http://www.thenomadwithin.com/?p=504

English teachers at the KOTESOL conference in Seoul focus on their professional development.

[This article was previously published in The Korea Times on November 24, 2010.]

By Peter DeMarco

Is it possible that Korea will no longer hire native English teachers in the near future? Most would laugh at the idea. Today there are at least 23,000 foreigners teaching English here and the numbers keep rising.

However, in his book English Next, commissioned by The British Council, renowned linguist and researcher David Graddol says that native-speaker norms and native speakers themselves are becoming irrelevant.

As English becomes an international language used for business and tourism, the reasons for learning English change along with it. Unless a Korean is going to live or study in an English-speaking foreign country, it is more probable that they’ll speak English with a Chinese or Japanese person than an American or Brit.

Another trend  is that people who speak English as a second or foreign language are quickly outnumbering native speakers. English has become a world language, a lingua franca owned by every  country  .

This past weekend over 1,500 educators from 20 countries traveled to Sookmyung Women’s University in Seoul for the 18th annual KOTESOL (Korea Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) International Conference, which this year included the PAC (Pan-Asia Conference). Although many topics were discussed, the focus was on English language education in the changing global context.

Improving English Language Teaching in Korea

KOTESOL is a not-for-profit foundation that was founded in 1992 to promote scholarship, disseminate information, and facilitate cross-cultural understanding among persons concerned with the teaching and learning of English in Korea. Its membership consists of both foreign and Korean English language teachers.

This year’s conference had more than a dozen world-renowned speakers and 140 presenters  who spoke on the future direction of the profession and provided insight, techniques, and theories that contribute to professional development.

A Call for Increased Training

Conference members also agreed the most important quality of 21st century English teachers is their skill set, not the country they come from. Yet you can still find Korean parents who would prefer to put their child in a class with an untrained native

Dr. David Noonan

speaker than a certified Korean teacher of English .

“Until the public perception that all you need in order to teach English is to be a native speaker is reversed, this will not change,”said Dr. David Nunan, Academic President of Anaheim University and an invited speaker at the conference.

He went on to say “It is up to us as teachers to argue the case for English as a profession, to demonstrate that well trained non-native speakers of English with good English skills and appropriate training are just as effective, if not more effective than Native English teachers.”

Lack of English Teaching Jobs for Koreans

Recently the Korean government endorsed a program that will create robot English teachers to alleviate the lack of  English teachers. One of the invited speakers to the conference, Dr. Andrew Finch, associate professor of English Education at Kyungpook National University disagrees emphatically with this move, “There is no shortage of teachers. The shortage is in the number of jobs. The country is full of highly-qualified Korean teachers of English who can’t find work.”

Dr. Andrew Finch

The test which prospective English teachers have to pass in order  to work in the public school system is highly competitive and the openings are few. This is not the case  for native English teachers who are in high-demand and are seen as the gold standard in Korea.

One policy change Dr. Finch suggests is  to lower the class size, on a par with Europe. But he says most importantly, “let’s make sure that English teachers in Korea – foreign or Korean – are qualified to teach.”

For further information about KOTESOL please visit www.kotesol.org.

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