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How you can become an English teacher in Asia


Want to know how to become an English teacher in South Korea. Here are four tips to help you do it.

Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) in Asia has become popular in the country over the last few years. Photo: Pexels

TEACHING English as a Second Language (TESL) in Asia has become popular in the country over the last few years.

This adventurous and unique career path can allow you to steep yourself in a completely different culture while honing your skills as an English teacher.

Former presenter and TV producer Merica Monamodi took this path, and said it was the best time of her life.

In a burst of spontaneity, Monamodi went to South Korea in 2019 to teach ESL, and stayed for two years.

“I was really bored with my previous job. I felt that I was stagnant, and my life was not moving. I just wanted more out of life,” she said.

Monamodi was on Google when she came upon an ad that invited people to teach in Asia.

She opted to go for a recruitment agency, Korean Horizons, to ensure that her application would be smooth.

Monamodi soon landed a virtual interview and her journey kicked off.

“They asked for my CV and guided me through the whole process. There were a lot of documents I had to submit; it took me two months to get them all together.”

This included police clearance, university transcripts, and Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificates.

Monamodi went for the Gyeongsangnam-do Office of Education programme, which is for public schools in the southern Gyeongsang province of South Korea.

An apartment was provided for her as part of this programme.

“It was very scary, but luckily, I did not go straight to teaching. I had an introductory class where I got to know the students. What was also scary was that I was teaching elementary kids who did not know a lot of English.”

Here are Monamodi’s four tips for going to teach English in South Korea:

1. Learn Total Physical Response (TPR)

This is a method of teaching language using physical response. It is commonly used to teach children. It is basically teaching with your body. It’s very important.

2. Make sure you perfect your interview

During interviews, they want to know if you will be able to survive in a foreign country.

So think of a time you immersed yourself in other cultures. Speak about that and how you will survive homesickness.

3. Get a TEFL certificate

A TEFL certification is required to land a job teaching language abroad or online. Most TEFL courses are offered online, with the industry standard being 120 hours.

The prices start from R1 295, while some institutions offer them free of charge.

4. Do your research

Google and YouTube will be your best friend. Always do your research before applying for any job. Find out what interview questions are like and know how to respond to them.

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