Teaching English has intrigued me since a young age. I first started to be involved with it as a teenager. In fact, I stayed an extra semester in high school to be an ESL peer tutor for both exchange and immigrant students in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. This continued when I went to university for a double major in Linguistics and modern languages. While studying for my degree aimed towards teaching English, I was a conversation language partner for students at the TESOL Centre at my university. This all helped in building my confidence to choose TESOL as my career.
About the Author: Daniel Linn is a graduate of OnTESOL’s TESOL certificate course, 20-hour Teaching English to Young Learners Specialist and Teaching English Online Course. He currently teaches English in South Korea.
Becoming More Worldly and 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 for me is becoming worldly and how it helps me to be a more open and understanding person. This is great because it helps you to be more accepting of things that may not be the norm in your home country.
The Necessities of Having TESOL Certification
When I first came to 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 initially didn’t need it, it was definitely beneficial to have. So after a few years of teaching in Korea, I completed my original 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.
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.
I think it is so important to be prepared. This means doing your research, being TESOL certified, and using resources such as a recruiter to help guide you into making a decision that is best for you. I was very fortunate to have my sister also teaching in Korea when I first came here. It made the adjustment much easier for me. Hence, the information I’ve provided is very important to be prepared to teach English in Korea.