Teaching English in Japan, Vietnam, Korea? Anywhere else? Experience?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Chris PC, Aug 16, 2004.

  1. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Just wondering if anyone has any feedback about teaching English in Japan, Korea, Vietnam or anywhere similar in Asia. Looking for feedback.
     
  2. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    My cousin is teaching English to four to six-year-olds full-time in Taiwan right now. She likes it, and the pay is adequate. Teachers are not required to know any Chinese, and you're not supposed to talk in Chinese in class anyways. Granted, it'll help you get around the streets, but there's a section of Taipei that houses a lot of foreigners because of the international school(s) located in that area. My cousin's Chinese is very good, so getting around is not a problem. She's lived in Taiwan on and off her entire life, and she attended one of the international schools for a couple years. She was on the basketball team, and (one of) her coach(es) doesn't know a word of Chinese. When he goes to out to eat and stuff, he just points to what he wants, since there are picture menus, and it's cheap to experiment on food at the night market. Oh man, I just came back two weeks ago from a two and a half month trip in Taiwan, and you just had to make me miss it more. [​IMG]
     
  3. RafaelB

    RafaelB Second Unit

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    Where does one get more information about this? I've been thinking about trying this out for a few weeks now and don't know where to start? [​IMG]

    Rafael.
     
  4. Matt Stryker

    Matt Stryker Screenwriter

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    I've had two friends do Korea, one that I knew thru school and another who I met thru work; neither had a teaching or English degree. They both absolutely love it; but do expect that if you are there more than ~6 months you're probably going to go thru some form of culture shock. All of their training (non-language) was provided, and they make a very decent wage.

    Of the ones you mentioned, I would probably try Vietnam, just because they are growing tremendously and their food is awesome.
     
  5. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    I knew several women (and some men) who taught in American and International schools in Singapore.

    They loved it, but most of them needed roommates to be able to afford housing in Singapore.
     
  6. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

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    How are they supposed to understand you if u dont speak their language?[​IMG]

    I was considering this for awhile as well awhile back.

    I always wanted to visit Japan and China
     
  7. Stevan Lay

    Stevan Lay Second Unit

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  8. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    They've got dictionaries. You're basically their pronounciation guide, I guess. [​IMG]
     
  9. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    I thought that was a joke—but just in case, most non-English speaking countries (and some English speaking ones like Singapore) have schools just for the expat community. These schools, usually called something original like, ‘The American School’, or ‘The Australia School’ are almost always attended by the children of expats from that country or at least from a country of the same language.

    The teachers in these schools are normally from the home country—and all you need to know is English. Almost always these jobs require a teaching certificate (and experience).

    There are often classes in ‘Conversational English’ and similar courses offered at the university (or community college equivalent). These jobs may not require a teaching certificate, but they usually require some experience and a degree (and usually demonstrated skills).

    Because such courses are normally designed for students who have studied English formally, foreign language skills are not required of the teacher.

    Finally there are normal courses in English and English literature that are taught in English in universities in these countries. Requirements are what you would expect. If you expect to be a visiting professor or lecturer—you need the credentials.
     
  10. Matt_M

    Matt_M Stunt Coordinator

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    Well just a little over a month ago I came back from Japan. I've taught English there for 2 years and it was a great experience.
    There is basically 2 ways to get a job in Japan. Either through JET program in which case you sign a contract with the government or through private schools.

    There is a great deal of difference between companies and working hours.In some like Nova (Inside joke is that it stands for No Vacation) you basically work the full day and always have to be in business clothes. In other companies you can wear casual clothes and work less hours. With JET the pay is the same everywhere but dress codes and amount of work vary greatly depending on the school(s) you end up at.
    I was lucky enough to end up in a company where my workload was between 2 and 4 hours a day and I got full time pay.
    Your experience varies greatly depending on what city you end up in. Anyhow, I found it a great experience.
     
  11. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Ok, so this wasn't a bad idea for a question. Cool. Thanx for the feedback. I would love to hear more. I was thinking about Vietnam because I have read a book recently about the beginning of the Vietnam war and Vietnam sounds exotic and beautiful. Terrible that the country was destroyed to such a degree. I know its a silly reason to want to go there, but I love food and I hear its really good eating there. I was a little embarassed when I realized that my only perceptions of the country come from hollywood movies. I have since read the book "The Making of a Quagmire" by David Halberstam and I feel I at least know a tiny wee bit about the history of the actual country and its people, at least from 1946 to 1965 anyways.

    I guess my main places of interest would be:

    Japan
    Vietnam
    Taiwan
    Korea
    China

    Not sure what the deal is for the various places. Also, I guess nobody goes to North Korea to teach English!


    I'll expand a little more about this idea. Why I am thinking about teaching English overseas and why I think I'd be able to do it.

    1) I have to admit that where I choose to go, and with what place depends to a great degree on the money I'd be able to clear after work and expenses are factored in. I have large student loans and credit debt to pay off ($20K CDN).

    2) I think I'd be a good English teacher because I feel I could learn to teach correct grammer.

    3) I am an auditory person who has a good sense of hearing, although for this job, I'd have to work on my listening skills a little more. I like sound. I know that sounds funny, but some sounds are musical to me. Language can be musical, although English isn't the most musical. I feel I would enjoy teaching people to pronounce English words properly. Methods of Imitating and doing impressions feels natural to me. I'm no great impressionist, but I often imitate people with a fair degree of success and I think those things are applicable to teaching English. Not sure how well I'd be able to effect others to do this and speak properly, but I guess I'd find out.

    4) Travelling and seeing the world. An obvious one, but true.

    5) Meeting new people. Thats a given I guess.

    6) Working. I haven't worked permanent fulltime for quite a while and its driving me bonkers.


    Things that are drawbacks:

    1) Leaving friends and family behind in Canada.

    2) Leaving my mountain bikes and camping gear in Canada.

    3) Leaving my home theatre in Canada. I think going to Japan would be kinda funny. I'd see countless electronics that I couldn't very easily acquire and use in whatever tiny room or whatever place I'm living in that country. I guess I could bring my portable CDMP3 player and maybe a widescreen laptop...lol...

    4) The work I would do is not directly related to my field of environmental science. The teaching aspect is good. I've had a little bit of experience teaching kids. Teaching English overseas would likely be helpful to get me into teachers college, where I could go to end up teaching outdoor education. This would overlap significantly with my environmental science education. My other career interests of ecosystem conservation and restoration and renewable energy would not be touched on in my job. I'm sure I'll see lots of Solar thermail and PV installations though.

    5) Risky living conditions. Japan has a higher rate of natural disasters due to earthquakes (Island Arch!). Other countries may have other problems.

    All in all, its still a very attractive idea for me to travel overseas to teach English. Is there anyone else interested in this opportunity? People who've done it, please also continue to leave feedback here, especially with specific details of companies/agencies/locations and your level of satisfaction with your experience. Internet links would be handy.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Amy Mormino

    Amy Mormino Supporting Actor

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    I taught in South Korea for about a year. I am fairly certain that the pay for the work there is the best in Asia and the living expenses are a lot less than in Japan. The technology level is very high there, too. If you save well, you can easily pocket $1,000 a month or more and they should pay for your airfare and housing. And don't worry about it not being tied into your future career. Almost nobody that I saw who taught English there wanted to be a language teacher- it was a means to other ends.

    But, for pity's sake, research carefully (which it looks like you're doing)! I wish I had looked into things more before I went. Dave's ESL Cafe is a good place to look for work and comments. See in the forums if anyone has written about the place you're interested in. Find out if you want to teach kids or adults. If you look, you can find a friendly place with decent hours.

    And keep in mind that they will not hesitate to fire you if you are not bringing in students. I was fired twice. But its easy to get another placement once you're there.

    As for your home theater, bring along a portable DVD player or laptop and you can have your DVDs with you. That's what I did!
     
  13. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    From what I gathered from my cousin, that's how it works, at least at the school she teaches at.
     
  14. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Good feedback. Keep it coming [​IMG]
     
  15. Shane Gralaw

    Shane Gralaw Second Unit

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    I taught in Japan for a little over a year. I'm glad I went and glad I came back. I would second the suggestion to check out Dave's ESL Cafe. It has very specific feedback from teachers all over the world about the different schools and living conditions, ect.
     
  16. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Anybody else have any more feedback?

    Has anyone taught English in Vietnam?

    thanx

    [​IMG]
     

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