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Tips for Teaching English in Korea

In recent years, Korea has become a lucrative teaching market for English and given most Korean’s desire to learn English or upgrade their existing language skills there is no dearth of teaching opportunities.

In recent years, Korea has become a lucrative teaching market for English and given most Korean’s desire to learn English or upgrade their existing language skills there is no dearth of teaching opportunities. Teaching positions vary, from small language institutes to large university language programs; in addition to teachers needed in Korea’s elementary, middle and high schools as part of the Korean government’s plan to improve English education.

If you are seriously thinking about teaching English in Korea, the first thing you would want to do is check with Dave’s ESL Café which has job listings for Korea as well as various forums on living and working in Korea. It is your first stop for what could be a very exciting and rewarding career as a language teacher in Korea and other countries.

Most universities in Korea start posting teaching vacancies in summer and late fall; however, schools that have their own language institutes generally post job vacancies throughout the year. There has been an increasing demand for more native English speakers to work in elementary schools and middle schools and such positions and vacancies are also posted in summer and late fall.

There is no shortage of language institutes (hagwons) in Korea and most institutes like YBM Sisa post job vacancies throughout the year. There tends to be more positions available in the summer and winter vacation months when a lot of students study. Additionally, there are often summer and winter English camps and immersions courses.

The forums at Dave’s ESL Café are also a good place to find out about unscrupulous hogwon owners and schools that teachers have had problems with in the past. The forums are also good to inquire about teaching and living conditions in Korea. Although that teaching position might look quite appealing when you are applying from overseas, it’s not a bad idea to check the forums first.

There are a lot more recruiters posting job positions and they can be quite helpful in sorting out all the confusion one might have with applying from overseas.

Requirements vary from institute to institute and university to university but a BA in almost any degree will guarantee some kind of employment though salaries tend to be a little lower. Most universities require prospective candidates to have an MA but in recent years schools have backed off and are accepting more BA holders (and thereby paying lower salaries). TEFL or TESOL certificates not required (unlike in some Southeast Asian countries); however having one is a definite advantage in securing more gainful teaching positions, as are the CELTA and DELTA diplomas.

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