What to Know When You Teach English in South Korea

What to Know When You Teach English in South Korea

Those who have teaching credentials and related capabilities in teaching English to students whose first language is not English may find that it is an invaluable experience to teach English in South Korea. It provides an opportunity to be a lead classroom teacher in a modern school where full-immersion English-language education is provided to children of South Korea. In addition to being able to teach English, teachers serve as cultural ambassadors.

Teachers that employ educational games and creative exercises in the classroom find that their cultural knowledge and native abilities in English improve the verbal abilities of South Korean students who want to learn.

South Korean Schools
There are opportunities to teach English in South Korea in both private and public schools. These schools are located in cities and their suburbs throughout South Korea, with many in such cities as Ulsan, Daejeon, Busan and Daegu.

Teaching positions in Seoul are the most competitive and only those with prior experience teaching English are offered positions in Seoul. It is best to apply for positions in various cities as once an application has been submitted to teach in Seoul then options for teaching elsewhere become limited.

Compensation
The average salary for teaching at a public school in South Korea is about $1,560 a month, with those who are certified getting about $1,700 a month. Starting salaries at private schools tend to be higher and those who are highly qualified can earn up to $2,340 a month. Typically, teachers are also reimbursed for their airfare to and from South Korea, live rent-free, get pensions and are subsidized for health insurance. Consequently, most of a teacher’s income goes to daily food and other expenses, and many teachers are able to pay off student loans and have money for travelling and touring the country on weekends.

Workload
Those who teach English in South Korea will spend 25 to 30 hours a week in the classroom and at least 10 hours a week outside of the classroom to prepare for class. There may be some times when teaching will be required on a Saturday but this is typically not more than five times in a contract for one year.

If there are high-demand months when a school has intensive language camps, there may be requirements for teaching additional 40-minute classes which are paid at a rate of up to $17 per class.

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