Job Opportunities?

I'm looking for some advice about moving to Korea.

My situation is this:

 - I'm looking to move to Korea in May to teach English.  I don't have a TEFL but I have been teaching private one-on-one English lessons for almost 4 years to college-age students and adults (many of them coming directly from Korea).  I'm looking for a similar job in Korea, as I would prefer to teach adults rather than children.  It seems like most jobs working with adults in Korea require more experience and qualification.  Will my experience teaching for several years be as helpful as getting my TEFL?  Could I obtain one of these jobs without a Masters or any experience teaching in Korea?  Also, I graduated from Berklee College of Music and am wondering if anyone has any thoughts about jobs that could incorporate my musical skills.

I'd appreciate any help I can get.  Thanks.

Re: Job Opportunities?

Will personal tutoring experience help for getting a job teaching adults? Short answer is no. I have about 8 years of tutoring university students from my university (University of Washington) and it didn't help much at all. I also volunteered a lot in ESL classes at my university, and my major is pretty much Korean studies. None of that helped me much.

I would suggest that you apply for the jobs you want, but realize that the more you limit yourself in the age group, the harder it will be to find a job (unless you like teaching kindi students). If you can, get a 120 hour TESOL cert. You don't need a masters, but the cert helps. Also, age is important for university jobs. You should be older than 28 years old. They prefer people who have several years experience, especially at one particular job.

I definatly think you can apply for those jobs, but the majority of people who get them are either people with masters or people who have several years of experience in Korea. It helps if you are a woman. And remember, if you teach adults, you should wear business professional clothes everyday, not a polo and a pair of slacks. Teaching children usually does not have this requirement, except some hakwons do.

I hope this helps. If you do get a job offer teaching adults, come and post about it. BTW, what was your major? Music? Teaching young kids, the music degree would be helpful, very helpful. If you can play some kind of handheld instrument like a guitar or ocarina, that would go a long way.

Re: Job Opportunities?

Thanks for the advice Gilbert,

It seems as though the odds are against me, but I'll see what I can do.

By the way, I'm neither a woman, nor am I over 28.  My degree is in Commercial Writing and Production which essentially means I compose and produce music for tv and radio advertising, among other things.  I'm a guitar player and I have given young children lessons but have no classroom experience.  

P.S. I like how you lumped ocarina in with guitar as if they're the two most natural instruments you would expect to hear together.  Is ocarina popular in Korea?

Re: Job Opportunities?

In my years here, I have found that in order to secure the plum teaching jobs, you should do the following:

* be tall (Number one!  I can't tell you how much they love tall!) 

* be white (not a deal breaker, but if you're mixed, emphasize your whiteness)

*be handsome or pretty

* be young enough to appear shiny and enthusiastic, but not so young that your adult students don't take you seriously

* develop a taste for rice cakes

Your useless music degree will impress no one, nor will it work against you.  The paper is the thing; they don't actually read what's printed on it.

As for any other certificates, laudits, or validations?  Burn 'em now.  No one really cares over here.  Being tall is worth 6 TESOL certificates.

Re: Job Opportunities?

check wall street institute (i think) if you want to work with adults.  music, religion, art, they only want a degree here.  if you worked with children in a public elementary or middle school or a hagwon, you could play a guitar or something.  they usually dig that.  it does help if you are tall and white, that is true.  the longer you stay the less they care about you being smelly or an aging pretty boy, though