Teaching English as a Second Language!


Sy
#1
Has anyone had any experience in this field? I'm wondering if anyone here can give me a pointer or two as i've just been offered a position teaching english in South Korea! WOOOOHOOOOO!!! I leave August 30th!

On another point can anyone give me any experience related tips on life in South Korea?
I can't wait to get over there and show them what Canadian English is all about! lol
 
Haggis McBagpipe
#2
My daughter taught English in South Korea... I'll ask her to sign up to this forum, she could tell you quite a bit on the subject. She loved it over there.
 
Sy
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by Haggis McBagpipe

My daughter taught English in South Korea... I'll ask her to sign up to this forum, she could tell you quite a bit on the subject. She loved it over there.

Awesome! can't wait to hear her thoughts if she could! =)
 
Heta
#4
Sy,

My mum mentioned you are moving to South Korea and want a little info before you get there.

First off, congratulations! You will have a great time, especially if you are REALLY open to new experiences. What city are you off to?

A few pointers:

Don't eat the street vendor food OR if you must, make sure you have anti-biotics on hand. I brought some over that my physician gave me but I didn't eat the street vendor food and never got sick; I was the only person at my school that didn't.

When you are sick, go to the pharmacy. The pharmacist will give you a bag of unmarked pills, you will sleep for 2 days and wake up feeling better than ever.

Be aware that 'dog' is frequently on the menu. If you don't want any surprises, take your dictionary to all restaurants and public places.

Your students will love you. They will buy you gifts of shampoo, soap, underwear and the like. Don't be surprised, this is the most common form of gift giving, practical items. I received a box of toilet paper once.

If you are going to be in a big city, take a holiday to the older cities to get away from the steel and glass. The old cities are considered rural (even with 1 million plus people) and have more cultural character to offer.

Be prepared for the fact that people will stare at you. It is not rude in that culture to simply stare if interested. If you have blonde or curly hair touching may become part of this interest.

Men must never go shirtless, it is the epitomy of rude in S. Korea. Same goes with eating as you walk, it is simply not done.

Learn to read the language as soon as you can. It is easy to learn and pronouce. Your life will be much easier once you can pronounce the name of buildings and neighborhoods you wish to visit.

Kham-sa-ham-ni-da is thank you. It is said so fast, it kind of blurs together. Ne or Nay and Ye is Yes and An-ni-yo is no. Most words end in a vowel and there are some syllables which are out of the realm of the English speaker. It will take time to master these.

At least once visit the McDonald's for seaweed flecked Big Macs.

Traffic is crazy! Be on your toes and remember that bumping another car to move them out of your way is usually quite acceptable. In fact, in busy parking lots a lot of people double park and simply leave their cars unlocked so you can take off the brake and push them out of the way. Honking is a way of life. Expect it frequently and seemingly without reason.

Karaoke is very different there, and I think more fun. You go with friends and are assigned a private room. From there you can order drinks and food and sing with your friends to your heart's content without involving perfect strangers.

In every city there is a foreigner's bar. This is usually where teachers from all over the city hang out at least occasionally and is a great chance to meet other English speakers.

I best leave this as is before it becomes a novel. Let me know if you have specific questions.
 
Haggis McBagpipe
#5
Well Sy, there you have it. A good experience, from everything I've been told. Good luck! Maybe you can keep us informed on the forum about life in Korea.
 
MMMike
#6
Quote:

Be prepared for the fact that people will stare at you. It is not rude in that culture to simply stare if interested. If you have blonde or curly hair touching may become part of this interest.

My friend taught ESL in Korea years ago... This guy is 6' 6", weighes about 350 or so. He's a big guy here - you can imagine that when he went anywhere there he got some looks. Little kids would follow him around - they thought he was a giant.
 
LaoWai
#7
Korea. Good luck. The horror stories from there from ESL teachers abounds. Beware the Hogwans. Make sure your paperwork is in order. Deportation is no fun.

When you get there, don't be a wimp. Do everything you wouldn't do in Canada. You may never get the chance again.

And stop being a Canadian as soon as you get off the plane. It is so liberating to rid yourself of that nationality and all the hangups that go with it. Pretend to be a Brit or french and you'll enjoy yourself more.
 
LaoWai
#8
Oh, one more thing.

You'll experience racism like you have never before. It will be first hand experience, if you are white. You'll come to know first hand very well how it feels to be the target of racism.
 
Jo Canadian
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by LaoWai

Korea. Good luck. The horror stories from there from ESL teachers abounds. Beware the Hogwans. Make sure your paperwork is in order. Deportation is no fun.

When you get there, don't be a wimp. Do everything you wouldn't do in Canada. You may never get the chance again.

And stop being a Canadian as soon as you get off the plane. It is so liberating to rid yourself of that nationality and all the hangups that go with it. Pretend to be a Brit or french and you'll enjoy yourself more.

My sister has had a couple of years experiencing teaching ESL in S Korea. Funny, She's had many enlightening experiences as far as being part of a differnt culture goes, but nothing as seething as you have mentioned. She also taught in Beijing for a little while too, no matter where you are a minority people will look at you different, that's life.

Quote:

Oh, one more thing.

You'll experience racism like you have never before. It will be first hand experience, if you are white. You'll come to know first hand very well how it feels to be the target of racism.

I've already encountered racism in canada first hand and I am White. There's nowhere in the world right now where you'll find every creed&color holding hands and singing kumbya. Some places are better than others, when it comes to tolerance...Even then you'll not find 100% tolerance, *******s breed in many shades. At least in Canada, people try to look past such things, even though there are those who don't. At least the topic is up for discussion and debate wheras many other countries don't acknowledge that it is a problem. Hush hush, you know.

The last time I checked, China has it's own racisim in the form of regionalism...Sooo many different people there and sooo many grievances against those from "that area" or "That Dialect".
 
mrmom2
#10
Hey jo look i found one of those *******s He's stupid fecker too and his name is LaoWai :P :P
 
Haggis McBagpipe
#11
Well, from everything my daughter has told me, LaoWai speaks the truth, every word of it. He doesn't suggest that China has less racism, at least not that I can see. He just points out that it will be part of the learning experience for anybody going to Korea. Korea is also an extremely sexist country... that, too, is part of the culture shock. One quickly learns to have tolerance of different points of view, and if you don't, you'll hate it there.

There are a lot of people who do not know what it is like to be a minority, it is a very good experience to live somewhere where you are. Gives people a better understanding of how it feels.

None of this detracted from my daughter's experience, however. She loved it in Korea, she learned to bend with the wind, she learned a different kind of tolerance and understanding that she would not have learned in North American. The best way to love a job teaching in Korea (or, I suppose, any foreign country) is to accept that it is going to be radically different, and that the rules aren't the same as they are here.

LaoWai is right, as well, that you'd better have your paperwork in order, it is critically important, and you'd best track which of the hiring companies are the bad ones, because there are some that are very, very bad, ones that will threaten you with jail if you don't tow the line.

Mr. Mom, I cannot begin to imagine why you would call LaoWai an ******* for simply speaking the truth.
 
mrmom2
#12
Haggis this guy has posted nothing but hate towards Canada as far as I'm concerned he can go feck himself I don't put up with Canada bashers he can bash politicians me whoever but don't start bashing our culture as far as i know no one bashed his .And to say China is not a comunist state Yea right i'm sick of hearing that feckin lie
 
Haggis McBagpipe
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by mrmom2

Haggis this guy has posted nothing but hate towards Canada as far as I'm concerned he can go feck himself I don't put up with Canada bashers he can bash politicians me whoever but don't start bashing our culture as far as i know no one bashed his .And to say China is not a comunist state Yea right i'm sick of hearing that feckin lie

Mr. Mom, I will go back and read more of his posts, but the ones I have read to date seem merely critical of certain aspects of North American culture, which is fair enough. Often, he has been dead on the money. I haven't read anything he's written that bashes Canada any worse than our bashing of US culture (well, markedly less, actually). I promise, I will do a search on all his posts for a better idea.
 
mrmom2
#14
Yea well I'm critical of communists sorry i love my freedom and I'm not listening to anybody from a communist country tell me they have more freedom than we do its feckin propaganda and the masses believe that crap People better wake up or were going to be in the same boat
 
Haggis McBagpipe
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by mrmom2

Yea well I'm critical of communists sorry i love my freedom and I'm not listening to anybody from a communist country tell me they have more freedom than we do its feckin propaganda and the masses believe that crap People better wake up or were going to be in the same boat

The masses here certainly do not believe such a thing, and I can guarantee you we'll never be a Communist country. For one thing, if there was even a hint of such a thing happening, you can bet your freedom-loving *** that the Americans would be making sure it didn't go past being a hint.

Personally, I enjoy hearing his point of view, I don't feel threatened by it, and I would love to hear more of it. I like to hear lots of views from all different sides, don't you?
 
WildKat
#16
I know someone who is in South Korea now for about a year to teach. A friend of mine is also in Japan. He has been there for two months and he is loving it.
 
LaoWai
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by mrmom2

Yea well I'm critical of communists sorry i love my freedom and I'm not listening to anybody from a communist country tell me they have more freedom than we do its feckin propaganda and the masses believe that crap People better wake up or were going to be in the same boat

To clear the Record, your hatred of all things foreign is obvious.

My login name is Laowai. It is chinese and means in a literal translation; "Respected Outsider".

Guess What?

I am Canadian.

I am White. I think that information may be important to you.

Because I post from China and critique Canada, you just assumed I was Chinese. And then the bile of racism spilled forth in your posts.

If you have never been to China, you haven't a clue what it is really like here. Capitalism is the norm. Small businesses thrive. The GDP averages above 9 per cent per year. Opportunities abound for those willing to seize them. The standard of living is increasing for a huge segment of the population.

The internet is available at netbars here to anyone who has the equivalent of a dime. People can read and be exposed online
to the same kind of information that is readily available to Canadians. Websites I routinely couldn't view in Canada are easily accessed here.

Your notion of what constitutes freedom is very limited.


I leave you with this wisdom:


Salutation

O generation of the thoroughly smug
and thoroughly uncomfortable,
I have seen fishermen picnicking in the sun,
I have seen them with untidy families,
I have seen their smiles full of teeth
and heard ungainly laughter.
And I am happier than you are,
And they were happier than I am;
And the fish swim in the lake
and do not even own clothing.

-- Ezra Pound
 
mrmom2
#18
sorry momsy...but lets not get a war going
 
peapod
#19
Hey come on! momsy is momsy, thats the way he is, and we love him. If you knew momsy like I knew momsy, you would know, he is just shooting from the hip, its momsy way. Take a chill pill, get to know momsy.
 
LaoWai
#20
[You are a nasty piece of work, aren't you?

Re-read the thread in its totality.

momsy income is not relevant to your points, and its a real cheap shot .
 
peapod
#21
I edited both your posts...and momsy's
 
mrmom2
#22
Shows your ingnorance there pal neverbeen on welfare in my life maybe you should check my name out . :P Shows your intelligence and your right I am a nasty piece of work Where did i post anything racist huh ?I don't like comunism be it China ,Cuba the former USSR try reading about it sometime you might learn something .Ever heard of a place called Tiannemen sure lots of capitalism going down there
 
mrmom2
#23
Sorry Pea but i gots a problem with some guy calling me a racist like I said show me were i posted anything to do with racism .Just because i don't agree with a countrys system of goverment I'm a racist China stomps on peoples rights daily but i'm the bad guy Feck that **** thems fighting words and he talks about cowards
 

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