tips

Teaching English in Korea for 3+ Years – What’s It Really Like?

Teaching ESL in South Korea for one year – fun and exhilarating.

Teaching for two years – interesting and more time to explore things now that you’re settled in.

Teaching for three years…?


3 Tips for Earning Student Respect

Let’s be real about this whole teaching gig. If you’re a teacher in the ESL world, chances are you’re probably in the same boat as me, and I’m no different than the thousands of other ESL teachers doing their thing abroad as I write this.

We are generally not at the same level as the native teacher at the school to which we’re assigned. There, I said it.

I want to stress “generally” because there are certain circumstances where an ESL instructor is, indeed, the ruler of his or her classroom kingdom. Universities, international and private schools, and probably some others may call for the ESL instructor to hold total responsibility for their classroom and students. Not to mention the administrative tasks that go along with the role.


Find a Job Teaching English in Korea Through the Red Dragon Diaries

Three years have come and gone. I’m still here in Korea, and my time here has been filled with so many events and happenings, I can’t even begin to recall them.

One thing is for sure though, I started this blog while I was sitting in my dorm room for orientation and somehow I kept it going this long. I also made a bunch of videos on YouTube. If there’s one thing that the blog and YouTube channel did is they brought in many questions and comments from prospective teachers about how they too could get started teaching abroad in a country like South Korea.


I Speak English. I’m Not American or British…Can I Teach English Abroad?

This is a very common question I’ve received on many occasions…

I speak English and I even have a degree in English, but I’m not from America or the U.K. Can I get a job teaching ESL in Korea?

The answer to this question is…it’s possible. Anything is possible.

The main obstacle for you will be whether or not you’re from a country designated by the country in which you would like to work.

Though there are some other subtle reasons, they wouldn’t be hard stops for you. The reason I mentioned above will be.

I comment on this in my recent vlog and go into some other reasons why you’ll find it difficult, but also, why you SHOULDN’T GIVE UP!


“I’m Not White and Korea Won’t Hire Me!

This is a touchy subject. At the same time though, it’s just reality.

In the Korean ESL job market for private academies, or hagwons, there’s a lot of negative press. And for good reason. You don’t have to look far to hear of the countless horror stories of bright-eyed, hopeful teachers excited to go to Korea being mistreated in many ways. It serves no purpose getting into the details as I’m sure you’ve heard the same stories that I have.

In addition to the working conditions of some of these schools post-hiring, the recruiting process has left multitudes of people stunned and offended.

There are numerous recruiters and private academies who make distinctions based on ethnicity.

This also is not a new concept. It’s a very unfortunate aspect of job acquisition in South Korea, and it won’t be changing any time in the foreseeable future.


Absolutely Groundbreaking Backpacking Advice

‘Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth’ – Mary Schmich

I’ve backpacked, worked, lounged about, volunteered, romanced, and generally fucked about in well over 30 countries. And during my time I’ve learnt a few things about moving from one place to another with a massive bag.

So here, in no particular order, is some earth-shaking guidance for the better backpacking:

Take shitloads of photos… but not too many.Photograph yourself, obviously, but make sure your shots are not just endless reams of selfies on the beach, or of gormless muppets smiling in front of monuments. Shot small things as well. Capture unstaged and natural moments when nothing much is happening, like waiting for a bus, eating dinner, or whatever.


Q&A: The Importance of TESOL, CELTA, and Teacher Certifications

A follow up another Q&A topic dealing with what major is best for teaching English abroad?

What Certification is best?

The topic of certifications is a vast array of choices. There are acronyms like TESOL, TESL, TEFL, CELTA, etc. that can be difficult to navigate if you’re still unfamiliar with the whole lay of the land.  In short, TESOL/TESL/TEFL are generally interchangeable. They are ESL certifications that offer 50, 100, 120 hour courses.


Q&A: Best Major for Teaching English Abroad

I receive many questions through both my YouTube channel and Red Dragon Diaries blog. I get a bit of everything, but some of the important questions regarding teaching English abroad center around college majors and TESOL certifications.

Both of these things can impact your options when looking to secure a teaching job abroad. Much of it depends on the country or even school that you’re interested in applying to.

See the accompanying Q&A dealing with what teaching certifications are best?

What Major is best?


7 Ways South Korea Rules the World

 

CNN just recently did an article called, “10 things Korea does better than anywhere else”.  Some of the things I can’t confirm, but I can say that 7 of them are definitely spot on.


How to Make Your EPIK Job Awesome #5 – Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff!

This is part 5 in a 5 part series about how to make your EPIK job awesome! This final tip is an all-encompassing one: Don’t sweat the small stuff. Shake things off. Insert other cliche but true statements here. ;)


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