Posts tagged tefl
Posts tagged tefl
What cities/provinces have we all applied for? :) Leave a comment in the section on my Tumblr!
This morning at the bright and early hour of 2.10am I had my EPIK interview.
It went OK, but I am a little bit disappointed! I’m not entirely sure I managed to a lot of my points across, and I think I rambled a little bit which is probably very very bad since my hiring depends on my ability to clearly express myself in English. D’oh
It’s not that I didn’t have any answers; simply that I could have been more concise with them.
I was quite tired since I didn’t sleep and had had a busy day. (Christening, followed by a friend’s BBQ), so that is my defence, nevertheless I still think I could have sensibly prepared myself a bit more beforehand. I’ve obviously researched so much and am dedicated to the job and moving to SK, however it’s how well I showed that on the spot, in an interview at 2am that I found difficult!
My interviewer did however praise my lesson plan and application, so hopefully they will go easy on me & give me a placement!
Fingers crossed, I’ll find out in a few days whether I’ve got it.
Finally completed my application for working in Seoul (the state government has an additional application procedure).
I had to send them a lesson plan! I decided to to the topic on the environment, drawing heavily on this website: Postcards From The Future.
I thought it’d combine pictures of London, with practice of the future tense and topical vocab on the environment! Hope they like it and hope that the environment & climate change aren’t taboo subjects… eek! (You never know!)
Anyway, fingers crossed I get an interview!
Over & out!
PS I found this useful website for TEFL’ers & teachers generally! Teach Kids News! It has a Canadian bent, but that’s not a bad thing :)
After frantically getting together my references and devising my own “teaching philosophy” (necessary for the final stage of the EPIK application) I’ve submitted the first bits and pieces to try and secure an interview! All very exciting. Not sure how long it’ll take to hear back about whether I get an interview but hopefully it’ll be sooner rather than later, though secretly I’d rather it was after the bulk of my exams! (So this time in 2/3 weeks).
PS: Only had one exam so far, but it went well! Wish me luck for the rest, and wish me luck on getting an interview, as well! Can’t be taking things for granted, now!
I bought my first proper camera yesterday: a Nikon D3100! It’s a fab little beginner’s DSLR.
Since I’m planning on the adventure of a lifetime I figured I should make sure I’m able to document it properly!
There’s the first, admittedly rather naff, picture I’ve taken on it! It’s really simple to use which is the main reason I bought it - it has a great ‘Guide’ mode that takes you though all the settings. I’ve not even had it 24 hours and I’m already feeling really confident when I use it! Will be sure to upload more practice pics when I get a chance to properly use it, after revision.
In other news, I had a good ol chat with EPIK people this morning. Feeling really excited and a lot more confident about how I’ll bear up in Korea, over 1000 TEFL people will be beginning August, and they ensure you all get to know one-another, especially during two week orientation period meaning the teachers get a great support network. Hopefully I’ll get a job with them!
Over & out!
I’ve begun applying for EPIK, the Korean state school programme. I’m a little worried because I could well get posted out in the sticks, but it’s worth a shot, I guess. Apparently placements are first come first serve, so hopefully I’ve not left it too late.
Three hundred languages are spoken in London, and someone out there is probably willing to teach you it.
But for a fee, obviously.
And despite finding relatively cheap courses at SOAS, and even some that are free, the fact I’d missed the deadline for applying to both, and the fact that SOAS’s easter course clashes with my final year exams I decided to look elsewhere.
And there is no shortage of people willing to teach Korean, it’s just really, really expensive. The average price is just under £60 per hour, with minimum lesson times of 90 mins. A full course would cost just over a grand!
It is obviously a niche, and I’m not bitching at them for charging the going rate, it’s just a bit disappointing!
So I set off to SOAS and bought myself a “Teach Yourself Complete Korean”, for significantly less than what one professional lesson would cost me!
Having learnt German for seven years I’m realistic at the standard one can get to over a summer - this was one of the reasons I decided against forking out for professional lessons. I decided I should get as much self study done as possible before paying for any proper lessons, if I can get through the tedious basics myself then I can actually gain some ground with a professional rather than repeating the mundane. Before setting off I’ll hopefully have learnt the Korean alphabet and a few key conversational phrases and can then perhaps get a few lessons to help improve my pronunciation and confidence.
I would however sound a bit of a warned with Teach Yourself books, let’s just say they’re not exactly a visual treat, and their website really doesn’t enrich your learning, despite purporting to. I’ve found myself taking the content from the book and making my own learning resources - if you want to learn from them, the content is faultless, but be prepared to be creative yourself.
Rigorous, but somewhat uninspiring - and not as well presented as they could be. Still, I think you get out as much as you put in from self-study books like Teach Yourself.
In other exciting news, it was my birthday a few days ago. I still haven’t had the proper do yet, but I had most of my family over for it on the actual day. Talk inevitably turned to what I was doing after uni, and that talk was obviously about Korea! Everyone was universally positive which was great. Mum also put a really lovely quote in my birthday card:
Fulfil your dreams, then you will never look back and say “if only”, all the love in the world, Mum & Dad
Which was really lovely of them, and a pretty subtle endorsement for everything which makes me feel great about the whole thing!
One of the best things about this is seeing everyone’s responses when I tell them I’m planning to go to Korea for a year… my old house-mate Cecilia was by far the best response - a blank, bemused stare! Really made me laugh.
However, I’m still yet to tell most of my closest friends. I’ll probably be telling them on Monday when I have the other half of my 21st birthday celebrations!
And the last but not least update for now is that I applied for my first job this morning! It was with eslstarter and was advertised on TEFL.com’s Facebook page. I applied right away, the impression I get is that it’s a scheme that places graduates all over South Korea. I’ll obviously be rooting for Seoul, but I’m sure I can try and swing it that way if I get through the first round or so. Anyway, we’ve all got to start searching somewhere & I’m sure it won’t be the first job application I have to send off!
So those are the latest few steps taken on the Road to Korea!
Today I began the first day of my TEFL course. It was really interesting, the people on the course were great and it filled me with a lot of excitement!
One of the most common responses TEFL’ers get when they say you want to live, work and (of course) teach in a country that you don’t know the language of…
How could you possibly teach somebody a language without knowing theirs?
Well, there are ways around that! There’s miming, eliciting and a host of other methods that I’m not really going to go into here. Some of the techniques reminded me of Rosetta Stone (if you’ve ever used it) - use of flashcards, pictures and lots of repeating.
Of course TEFL teachers (first timers, anyway) are most likely to be assistants, helping out in classrooms and aiding the usual (native) teachers with their native tounge! (It is after all our commodity! Or, to be a bit less Marxist, our USP)
One of my favourite things about the course was meeting a lot of like minded people. There were nine others, and out of them all I *think* I was the youngest. There were about 3 people older than 40, two of whom wanted to simply get away from it all, and another worked in HR and was hoping to transfer to Spain and use English language teaching within HR - something I found pretty interesting. I never considered using it in a professional way, but she was explaining how multinationals require most of their graduates to go through at least a foundation English language course. I think TEFL was a way of trying this out before perhaps going to on CELTA for her.
Another person was a Canadian guy who was pretty cool, him and his wife (married, but pretty young! I think he was <30!) were planning to go to China & Malawi together. They were already ‘living the dream’ as it were by living in London, using it as a base to travel around Europe. I was pretty jealous that he had such a like-minded partner! [Sigh of a singleton!]
The younger people there were typically people seeking to get out of (often pretty good sounding!) jobs, simply for a career break or to transition to teaching for awhile, (one lady wanted to go into lecturing, switching entirely from working in retail, another already worked in teaching).
Overall it was the diversity of the group but combined the commonality and enthusiasm for travelling and simply wanting to get out there & see the world that I really enjoyed! And I don’t mean to be patronising but I really loved the number of older people there, simply because I think it takes so much more courage to shake your life up so dramatically at that age! I mean, making a massive career change at any age is bold but I think moving abroad at the later stage of ones’ life is even bolder.
Quite a few of the people were well travelled and gave me some advice - Alex (the HR lady) was explaining how in China NOBODY spoke English, even in cities like Shanghai! This made me feel a bit better about South Korea, I imagine in Seoul to have a few more English speakers than, well, zero. The Canadian dude had been to Seoul himself - he said it was massively dense; completely on the go. “It doesn’t have a Downtown - EVERYWHERE IS DOWNTOWN!”
So basically today was great. Tony, the teacher was pretty nice & we also all took turns making our own lessons! Maggie (Older Scottish lady who had previously been to India) and I worked together, we were by no means the best in the group but we got a fair bit of praise!
All in all Day One has been a nice experience!
I rang my brother today and had a brief chat, I told him I had been on the course today and he wasn’t too enthralled.. In fact he was pretty discouraging, which upset me quite a bit. My family are never all that excited when I go travelling - I know my mum had many a sleepless night when I went to Tanzania, and I understand their worry. Either way they are always supportive of my endevours which I am so grateful for, but I know deep down they’ll probably be upset about me planning on going away for a year. That might be why my brother was a bit dismissive, however I’m sure he’ll come around. My dad has been cool about the whole thing but I haven’t involved him as much yet as I think I should.
Anyway, it’s getting late and I have another early start tomorrow so better go!
I finally signed up to a TEFL course yesterday, it begins this Saturday. Absolutely terrified, not about the course but about where it will lead me. I’ve set in motion something that is going to take me to the other side of the world (or, maybe just the other side of the English Channel if I decide to stay closer to home - not likely!).
For those of you that don’t know TEFL is, it means Teaching English as a Foreign Language. It allows any native speaker of English to work as an English teacher; its one of the easiest ways to live & work abroad. There is a lot of demand for those of us blessed with English as a mother tongue.
So as the title suggests, South Korea is probably going to be my destination.
So with trepidation I head off this weekend to do start my TEFL course, and with that, I bring my gap year that little bit closer.