ESL career

English Class with Korean 4th Graders (English As a Second Language)

English As a Second Language, or “teaching English”, is many things to many people. It exists on many levels ranging from a travel ticket to a serious career choice. Most people look at it as a way to have an extended stay in a place they’ve always wanted to visit. There’s nothing wrong with this. In fact, I think it’s a valid reason, and many recruiters and schools know this. Some of them will market their positions to cater to this angle.

Others, however, have approached it much differently. They are highly qualified teachers whose plan is to be part of a bigger picture in international schools or specialized private schools. They teach in subject-specific roles. If they do teach English, they need to be English majors with experience often times. Some become department heads, others, principals. These types of roles are not for the majority of “teach English” people out there.


Are the “Glory Days” of Teaching ESL in Korea Over?

Teaching ESL is a mixed bag depending on what country you target. In some countries it’s a refined, streamlined endeavor where employers seek qualified and experienced teachers and the government has mandatory guidelines as well. To obtain a work visa in a certain country, a government may actually require a teacher have a TESOL certification and/or a certain amount of experience.

In other countries, this isn’t always the case. In China, it’s a little bit of both it seems.

There were once days in places like Korea and Japan where anyone could roll off a plane and be offered a teaching job on their way to their hotel. Those days are over in some countries, and many others are following suit.


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