How-To

How To: Prepare for and Pass the Epik Interview

Before I get started, I want to make it clear that I'm not just going to tell you exactly what happened in my interview, because that doesn't seem fair. What I can do is tell you all the dumb things I wish I hadn't done and the useful things I wish I had done, in hopes that you will have a better time of it than I did.

First off, make sure Skype works on whatever computer you plan to be in front of during the interview. I know this seems obvious, but trust me on this one: check and double check so there won't be any unforeseen technical difficulties. You know what they say about people who assume.


EPIK Help Part 1: How to Fill Out the Epik Application

The snow is melting, yellow dust has begun to float in from China, students are shedding their winter padding coats, and you know what that means...EPIK application time! Or, you know, spring. Whatever you're into, really. Dumb jokes aside, I've been meaning to do a series of posts with advice for aspiring EPIKers for a while, and like they say, there's no time like the present.

Honestly, you probably don't need any help with the application itself. It's pretty straightforward, if horrifyingly long and annoying to fill out. They've changed the format a bit since I applied, but the basics are the same, so I'll go through the whole thing and point out whatever seems important or confusing.

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How To: Get Along With Your Korean Coworkers



Before I write a single word, I want to preface this with my awareness that my advice is based only on my own experience- I am not, by a long shot, the expert on cross-cultural office relations. However, I do get along quite well with everyone in my office, so if that's proof enough for you, please read on!


Step 1: Eat delicious food together.

How to Talk to People in Korea

AKA Slow Motion Teacher Talk.

It's a disease.

The first symptom, as you might guess from my subtitle, is slower speaking speed. Unsurprisingly, if you speak quickly to someone in a language they aren't super comfortable with, they won't understand you. It's the same for me with Korean. If someone mumbles or talks too fast, I can't catch anything, but if they slow down for me, suddenly a world of comprehension opens up for me.

When I first started teaching, I was nervous. When I'm nervous, I speak more quickly. I think a lot of people do this. In an ESL classroom, though, fast talking is not gonna fly (though it is great for saying things you don't want your students to hear). That was the first critique I got from my co-teacher: slow down. So I did. Suddenly, a classroom full of unresponsive glassy-eyed students began to understand me. Maybe not everything I said, but finally I was getting through to them on some level.

Where the Wild Things Are

I love the book Where the Wild Things Are, I have since I was little.  I remember when my Kindergarten teacher read the book to the class, I also remember that I was convinced that it was a book written by her husband since both their last names were Sendak. 

To honor and remember the awesomeness that was Maurice Sendak's literary legacy, I decided yesterday's Current Issue class would be a great way to introduce some of Mr. Sendak's Wild Things to some of my Wild Things.


How to Make Kimchi

December is the time to make kimchi, the food most of the world associates with Korea. The cabbage is fresh and cheap, the weather cold, and the spirits high. Jo and I have made kimchi once before while attending a home stay, but it was a very rushed experience. Since it’s a dish we eat often when we’re out at restaurants, it would be nice to be able to get our kimchi fix at home.

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