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Teaching ESL: What about after?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Early next year, it looks like I'm headed to S.Korea to teach english. I'm pretty excited for this oppurtuninty, and expect it'll be fun. But I was wondering..... what does one do after? I mean, when I put this on my resume afterwards, will any employer ever look at it and go "Aha, transferable skills!" or is it just a waste of a year in terms of entering a career.

I eventually want to get into marketing/PR, but having just graduated university, working every summer and during the school year.... this is the closest thing I've ever had to a break/vacation.

Anyways, Cheers and thanks for any help.
post #2 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by L.R. View Post
Early next year, it looks like I'm headed to S.Korea to teach english. I'm pretty excited for this oppurtuninty, and expect it'll be fun. But I was wondering..... what does one do after? I mean, when I put this on my resume afterwards, will any employer ever look at it and go "Aha, transferable skills!" or is it just a waste of a year in terms of entering a career.

I eventually want to get into marketing/PR, but having just graduated university, working every summer and during the school year.... this is the closest thing I've ever had to a break/vacation.

Anyways, Cheers and thanks for any help.

I hate to say it, but unless your planned career path is ESL, that's how employers will see it. TESL abroad isn't really considered quality work experience by most employers as far as I can tell, based on the experiences of several people I know who have done TESL abroad.

That said, it isn't a bad experience from what I've heard and it can be fun for a year. I don't think employers see it as a negative but it certainly won't help you "start" a career per se. So do it for one year MAX and then begin your intended career path. Look at it as a one year, paid cultural experience with a little work thrown in.
post #3 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by L.R. View Post
Early next year, it looks like I'm headed to S.Korea to teach english. I'm pretty excited for this oppurtuninty, and expect it'll be fun. But I was wondering..... what does one do after? I mean, when I put this on my resume afterwards, will any employer ever look at it and go "Aha, transferable skills!" or is it just a waste of a year in terms of entering a career.

I eventually want to get into marketing/PR, but having just graduated university, working every summer and during the school year.... this is the closest thing I've ever had to a break/vacation.

Anyways, Cheers and thanks for any help.

I'm most likely going to do this after I graduate in the spring. Can you tell me how you went about finding a job, what kind of people you talked to, all that pertinent info? Thanks!
post #4 of 15
potential employers will not regard the experience as 'wasteful' nor as reflecting poorly on your career potential, but at the same time, they will not view it as an asset either (I guess unless you are considering teaching as a career...which you are not). Come interview time in a year or so, be honest about the experience. Don't try to upsell it, we all know bullshit when we hear it...but be open about what you learned, what you gained from the experience, and then move on to what you can bring to them as a firm.
post #5 of 15
Back when I was still in the military I spent a year in Korea. Had lots of fun!

The Korean people were nice and I had fun traveling as much as possible and seeing the different areas. The food was outstanding and it's still one of my favorites to this day.

I hope you have as much fun as I did!
post #6 of 15
if you devote your time there to learning the local language , that may give you something to offer to potential employers, as long as it is useful in your field.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArteEtLabore14 View Post
I'm most likely going to do this after I graduate in the spring. Can you tell me how you went about finding a job, what kind of people you talked to, all that pertinent info? Thanks!

http://www.gone2korea.com/

I would suggest to contact the teachers at whatever place wants to hire you. This way you can determine if the school is a decent one, or just a fly-by-night operation. As well, it'll give you the general sense of who you're teaching for, and with.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt View Post
potential employers will not regard the experience as 'wasteful' nor as reflecting poorly on your career potential, but at the same time, they will not view it as an asset either (I guess unless you are considering teaching as a career...which you are not).

Come interview time in a year or so, be honest about the experience. Don't try to upsell it, we all know bullshit when we hear it...but be open about what you learned, what you gained from the experience, and then move on to what you can bring to them as a firm.

Thanks for the heads up. I'll probably end up doing an internship after the Korea teaching experience. (This is also a great way to earn some money, I work 60+ hours a week, but it's a family farm, so the pay is..... well non-existent...., so I'll actually be able to afford a couple months of living in a city doing an internship).

I'm not sure if this is in your field of knowledge or not, but how often are companies willing to look at 24-25 year old interns? Or at that age would I be considered out of the running for such a position. Between a sociology degree and a years experience teaching in S.Korea, I'd hope someone would be willing to at least take a chance on me.

Thanks again for the information.
post #8 of 15
Assimilate yourself, learn the language, use it to provide a backdrop of diversity for yourself. Other than that, I'd say it's only useful if you want to be a teacher.
post #9 of 15
I did the teaching thing for two years, and then transitioned into other work. Of course, that involved also doing my Master's degree, and then doing a lengthy internship related to U.S. policy towards the two Koreas in D.C.

The recommendations above are correct. Before you go to any school be sure to contact their current teachers. If they are hesitant about that, then that's a warning sign. If possible, I'd recommend going to one of the larger, chain institutions. The contract might not be as attractive, but you will be stable, and not have to worry about your paychecks.

As the date gets closer, feel free to PM me with questions. I've gone through it all, and would be glad to help. I've had a very good experience living in Korea, and would be happy to help someone else have that same experience.
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by L.R. View Post
I'm not sure if this is in your field of knowledge or not, but how often are companies willing to look at 24-25 year old interns? Or at that age would I be considered out of the running for such a position. Between a sociology degree and a years experience teaching in S.Korea, I'd hope someone would be willing to at least take a chance on me. Thanks again for the information.
Interestingly enough, PR in Asia is very close to my field of knowledge. I would say that Korean PR firms would be very very receptive to free-expat-labor, and volunteering yourself as such would be well received. The English teaching day (at least in Vietnam where I live) tends to be a morning/evening split shift lifestyle, where the teachers spend their daytimes doing jackshit. Spending that time - or say 4 hours a day of it - being office shitkicker (and basically English sanitiser) for Korean consultants would likely be well received, and a decent CV booster for when you get back home. Plus, just attitudinally, when you are explaining how you spent your year in Korea, recognising the importance of your career development (rather than just spending a year as a hammered backpacker) will be well regarded.
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eason View Post
Assimilate yourself, learn the language, use it to provide a backdrop of diversity for yourself. Other than that, I'd say it's only useful if you want to be a teacher.

+1. I'll be doing this for a while, cause teaching is my career. You're young, so just enjoy saving a good amount of cash, traveling and enjoying a new culture.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt View Post
Interestingly enough, PR in Asia is very close to my field of knowledge.

I would say that Korean PR firms would be very very receptive to free-expat-labor, and volunteering yourself as such would be well received. The English teaching day (at least in Vietnam where I live) tends to be a morning/evening split shift lifestyle, where the teachers spend their daytimes doing jackshit.

Spending that time - or say 4 hours a day of it - being office shitkicker (and basically English sanitiser) for Korean consultants would likely be well received, and a decent CV booster for when you get back home.

Plus, just attitudinally, when you are explaining how you spent your year in Korea, recognising the importance of your career development (rather than just spending a year as a hammered backpacker) will be well regarded.


Would not my lack of local language prevent me from being useful?

But great advice everyone. Interning while working there would definitely help me stick out from the rest.
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by L.R. View Post
http://www.gone2korea.com/
I would suggest to contact the teachers at whatever place wants to hire you. This way you can determine if the school is a decent one, or just a fly-by-night operation. As well, it'll give you the general sense of who you're teaching for, and with.

Do you know what city you'll be teaching in?

Did you elect to go public or private school, and what is the difference exactly?
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by L.R. View Post
Would not my lack of local language prevent me from being useful?

But great advice everyone. Interning while working there would definitely help me stick out from the rest.

nah, theyll have global and regional clients and issues with comprehension on conference calls and all sorts. Don't expect to be paid, and I'm sure someone will find a use for you.
post #15 of 15
have you got any formal teaching qualifications ?

i'm currently studying the Cambridge English Language Teaching Certificate (CELTA). i'm aware you can get find work in some countries just by having a degree, though having a formal teaching qualification will open up a lot more opportunities.

be interested in anyone's experiences of this, as will be finishing my course soon and am looking at my options regarding destinations for employment.
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