If you are looking forward to taking up an ESL teaching job in Asia, then you should consider the good employment prospects available for teachers in Korea. The salary and perks for ESL teachers are really good and cost of living relatively low. At the moment, Korea has a great demand for ESL teachers. So, if you are qualified, you stand a good chance of securing a satisfying job in a well-paying institution. Some of the viable options that prospective ESL teachers have in Korea are highlighted below.
1.) Universities and Colleges
If you are qualified and you have considerable ESL teaching experience, then you might want to consider checking out for jobs in Korean Universities and colleges. Although they are some of the best employers, nonetheless, they are equally among the most difficult avenues to ESL jobs. Universities want applicants with at least 3 years English teaching experience plus a Master’s qualification. It is a norm to find teachers getting university jobs through reference. In fact, it doesn’t matter what you know, but who you know. And, universities like to hire individuals who are either referred or recommended by someone they already know.
2.) Public Schools
In the last few years, there has been an impetus to embed native English teachers into the public school system in Korea through what is referred to as the English program in Korea (EPIK). Teaching in public schools is much better than teaching in Hagwons. If you have experience, it would be better for you to negotiate directly with schools than engaging recruiters. The remuneration for EPIK is good and teachers get housing allowance, contract-bonuses, and also qualify for 2 weeks paid vacation once a year. The opportunity to earn extra income is possible through intensive English courses in summer vacation and over school’s winter.
A great deal of ESL teaching jobs in Korea are available in schools commonly referred to as “Hagwons” for Academy in Korea. If you are new here, then this is will most likely be your first station. These academies cater for elementary/kindergarten kids, but you can find some for adults. When sending applications to these schools, you should bear in mind that they are business set-ups first, and secondly, education facilities. Thus, the quality of facilities varies greatly from place to place. Also, the curriculum may be subject to change from time to time and teaching hours long. Anyway, you may be lucky to get a round trip air ticket, free accommodation, and bonus.
4.) Working as a Private Tutor
One of the best ways to earn a considerable amount of extra money is teaching private English lessons to students in their homes. And, even though Korean students are taught English from a tender age, they are still required to enrol in after-school English language programs taught by native English teachers. The classes vary from elementary, intermediate, and advanced. Interestingly, Korean values English and so they place a great emphasis on ESL learning for business purposes. So, it is not unusual to find adult learners enrolling for English classed sponsored by their employers.
However, this practice is strictly forbidden. You are only permitted to work at the school that sponsors your working visa. Flouting this rule may attract a fine and in some cases compel the authorities to deport you. Anyway, this doesn’t prevent teachers from working at the side lines to earn extra cash.
If you want to secure a teaching job in Korea, then you should also consider engaging the services of a recruiter. There are many recruiters who are making business from the huge demand of TEFL teacher in South Korea. However, it is advisable not to stick with one recruiter. Rather, engage 2-3 recruiters and have them try to find a job concurrently for you. Don’t forget that recruiters want value for their time, and so some of them may really not be concerned about your well-being.
6.) ESL Forums& Job Boards
Lastly, you can also register in ESL forums and job boards to get daily updates of new ESL openings in Korea. You should look at message boards and go through forums to find genuine recruiters. You can check out legitimate recruiters at Dave’s ESL Café. There are also job boards dedicated for jobs in South Korea.
In conclusion, finding an ESL teaching job is a dramatic experience and a life-changing one too for someone who is accustomed to Western culture. If you are looking for a fulfilling career, then you should make contact with the right employers. The main tasks will be teaching conversational skills and effective communication for greater period with less emphasis on grammar. On average, teachers working in Korea work for 30 hours a week. And, as an ESL teacher, you can expect to earn a decent income plus generous perks during your work tenure.