The Differentness of Things: Korea Round 2

About a week ago, a friend from home asked me whether or not Korea was treating me better this time around. I didn't give a particularly good answer, but I did promise to blog about it when I'd had some time to think. While it's difficult to determine offhand whether it's worse or better, I have found … Continue reading The Differentness of Things: Korea Round 2

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I’m a new teacher! Help!

... Whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable Than my own meandering experience, I will dispense this advice now... Be careful whose advice you buy but be patient with those who supply it Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past From the disposal, wiping … Continue reading I’m a new teacher! Help!

From the Frying Pan to the Fire: My experiences going from the public school system to a hagwon

Another guest post. Patti has been teaching in Korea for the last seven years, and has a wide variety of experiences. I asked her to write this post because I knew she previously taught public school, and now taught at a hagwon, and did not seem to hate her hagwon. She has, however, delivered a lot more than I could ever have asked for. Her experiences cover a wide range of teaching positions in Korea, over various levels. My most heartfelt thanks to Patti for sharing these experiences with me, and thus with all of you.

Joining the Dark Side: How and Why I’m moving from an EPIK day job to the late shift at a hagwon

So, I decided to move to a hagwon. But which one? Before I joined EPIK, I spent years researching, reading horror story after horror story about evil hagwons with evil owners and people pulling midnight runs and so on. I was terrified that I would end up in a stinky, mosquito-ridden closet in a run down building in a street full of love motels, working for a slave driver who monitored everything via CCTV.

Escaping Hagwon Horror and The Ordeals of Moving to a Public School: Will’s Story

OR: I talk to some teachers about their hagwon experiences Before coming to Korea: Will* wanted to come to teach in Korea, but he'd had a hard time getting into the public school system. As certain of the benefits of EFL positions in Korea exist in both public schools and hagwons (refunded airfare, a furnished apartment, … Continue reading Escaping Hagwon Horror and The Ordeals of Moving to a Public School: Will’s Story

Do a TEFL course or not bother?

In a previous post, I mentioned that my TESOL certification is not worth the paper it’s printed on, and that in class experience has been infinitely more valuable in teaching me how to be a teacher.

But would I tell anyone to ‘not bother’ with a TEFL course (or an equivalent)?

Simple English ~ Nicola Prentis

I’ve seen this argument come up a few times in various places over the last few weeks, mostly in the Facebook teaching groups I joined when I was promoting the pre-conference survey Russ and I did. And then, there it was again on ELTjam.

unqualified_china_teachers

A lot of ELT people feel really strongly that anyone doing an online teaching course with no practical component is insulting the industry and every professional in it. Not to mention doing the students a huge disservice.

I have the Trinity TESOL and an MA in ELT – self funded. Whenever anyone asks me what course I recommend they do, I always ask them where they want to go and teach. And, maybe, how long they plan to stay in teaching. (My personal advice being make sure you have a get-out after two years because you can only grow old, poor and pensionless in ELT).

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