Teaching English has intrigued me from a young age. I first started to get involved with it as a teenager, when I stayed an extra semester in high school to work as an ESL Peer Tutor for exchange and new immigrant students in Kingston, Ontario.
I continued volunteering as an ESL Tutor when I went to university for a double major in Linguistics and Modern Languages. While studying for my degree, I was a Conversation Language Partner for students at the TESOL Centre at my university. These initial experiences helped me build my passion and confidence to choose TESOL as my career. After I graduated from university, I came to South Korea for my first professional teaching job.
About the Author: Daniel Linn completed his TESOL certificate course with OnTESOL.
Becoming More Understanding
There are many benefits and rewards for working overseas such as exploring a new culture, learning a new language, and the ability to travel more freely.
However, I would say the biggest benefit of teaching abroad is how it helps me to be a more open and understanding person. Being away from home is helping me become more accepting of things that may not be the norm in my home country. (Read: Countries that need ESL teachers)
Adhere To New and Different Ways of Teaching
I remember many experiences during my thirteen years here. I would say that one of the biggest lessons is to not limit yourself.
As an educator, think of new ideas to work into a lesson. This helps to better structure the lesson and give it a personal touch. Believe me, personal touches are noticed by people such as supervisors in a positive way.
A Change of Personal Perspective
My experience in Korea has changed how I look at different things such as my personal habits and feelings about teaching in Asia.
However, it hasn’t changed my view of ESL, because after more than 20 years of teaching ESL it is still a true passion for me.
How to Pick a School In South Korea
I have now taught at my current school for the past three years. I chose this school through a recruiter that offered me the position.
With years of experience in Korea, I am a bit pickier in choosing a school that meets my needs such as choosing a semi-public school, a housing allowance, and staying at the school for more than a one-year contract.
It is important to keep in mind when choosing a school that not only do you need them, but they need you as well. So, most schools are willing to accommodate your needs if they really want you.
The Necessities of Having TESOL Certification
When I first came to South Korea, I was told I didn’t need a TESOL certificate because I already had a degree in Linguistics. Over time I learned that although I didn’t need the certificate to get the job, it was definitely beneficial to have one. So after a few years of teaching in Korea, I completed my TESOL course with OnTESOL.
This opened more doors for different jobs such as both private and public teaching jobs. It also helped me to be more prepared by being more confident in my teaching skills like knowing better lesson planning (such as PPP format), better approaches like the Communicative Approach, and caretaker speech when working with young learners.