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ESL Educator in South Korea: The Career for Me, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 1672

Essay

There are few jobs that are more rewarding than teaching children. My dream has always been to work with little children in some capacity. As I grew older, I really wanted to live in different countries and experience their cultures in my own way too. So when I first heard of teaching English as Second Language Teacher (ESL) abroad, that sounded like the right career for me. I remember wanting to become a teacher because my teachers taught me how to learn, to set goals and most importantly to discover the world and dream of travel and adventure. My ambition is to go to South Korea to teach young children English because of my love of the culture. Teaching ESL elementary school in Korea meets all of my goals and more. This essay will examine why ESL is a good career match for me, why I think that it will be a rewarding and fulfilling career for me and what characteristics and talents will make me good at it.

ESL: A Good Match For Me

I chose this career mainly because it will allow me to become a teacher and to inspire young children to reach their fullest potential. ESL teachers can work at all levels of secondary schools as well as through adult education facilities like my current college, or the University of Arizona, where I hope to go to complete my educational requirements to teach and to teach ESL.

I love reading and writing so learning to be an ESL teacher will be perfect for me because it specializes in teaching others to read, write and speak in English as well as how to understand spoken English (“ESL Teacher”). ESL teachers can work in English-speaking countries to help new immigrants to assimilate and help them in their new life; or they can work abroad and teach English to non-native English speakers in their home countries. ESL teachers can also acquire further specialization to teach child learners. This of course would be the option for me, I would complete as much specialized education as possible.

Currently I am attending community college working on my general education credits, but I hope to transfer to university to complete my ESL education specialization. The program that I want to take is the TEFL certificate course at the University of Arizona. The basic requirement is that I first obtain my Bachelors of Arts degree, but I am hoping to be accepted into College of Education to receive my specialized degree in the Bachelors of Art in Elementary Education, BAE degree (“Bachelor of Arts Degree”). This degree is for elementary education students and includes three semesters of fieldwork. There is also an option to be prepared in bilingual education as well. Once I graduate with my BAE degree, I will be ready to start in with the specialized training for my TEFL Certificate at University of Arizona.

The TEFL Certificate with the 100-hour full curriculum certificate is the program that I will complete because it is widely accepted for most teaching abroad programs. Many of the classes can transfer into the Master in Arts TESOL program if I decide that I want to pursue my masters. Also in South Korea that is the designation they recognize. I also want to study in person, not online, so that I can be with teachers face-to-face. The coursework will include “language acquisition theory, teaching methodology and assessment with advanced instructional techniques and curricular frameworks” (“Teacher Training”). They will also teach me teaching theory, language assessment, methods and strategies and how to manage the classroom. For example, those listed in Nam’s work that shows how vocabulary is critical to the classroom, especially pictorial vocabulary teaching (Nam 127). With 30 hours of observation and hands-on experience, I will be ready to start teaching.

ESL Teacher: A Rewarding Career

One of the reasons that ESL teaching is a good career for me is that I can advance as high as I want to go. There are so many options in addition to teaching in the classroom that I could grow into as I get to understand more about the career. I could eventually open up my own institute to teach English to learners of all ages. Or, I could increase my own education and become an instructor or professor at one of the programs teaching teachers in the United States or in South Korea or another foreign country.

A second reason is that it is a good career where I can make a decent salary and have flexibility to hopefully teach my way around the world. ESL teachers who work only on a party-time basis can make about $22.26 per hour, in the United States, with full-time ESL teachers on a nationwide average is $49,830 and that was in 2008 (“ESL Teacher”). Of course, the salaries in the United States vary by location in order to factor in cost of living. Salaries in New York State are closer to $68,160 compare to Idaho where they are closer to $32,230 in 2008 (“ESL Teacher”).

Working in South Korea, will also give me many benefits. I will be eligible for tax deferred pay, which will allow me to save on my salary, which is estimated at $1600 to $2200 per month, which averages to $24,000 per year (“Teach in South Korea”). Most of the programs offer great services to help me and the other teachers settle in and get started. First, companies usually reimburse airfare on first and last paychecks as well as severance pay that is the equivalent of one-month worth of pay. In addition to the salary, each person is given 30 plus days of paid vacation every year and a free furnished studio apartment. For most of the companies my TEFL Certification of 100 hours would be the requirements, or a Bachelor’s degree in Education, English or Linguistics, so I would have both. I will be responsible for working with a South Korean co-teacher to arrange lesson plans, development the teaching materials, plan fun activities and supervise the children at extracurricular events or sporting activities. And I will be asked to attend faculty meetings and other social events (“Teach in South Korea”).

The third reason why I think that this is the career for me is that I want the exposure that seeing and learning about the world first hand will give me. I will learn so much and meet so many interesting people to gain experiences that will last me a lifetime.

There are those who warn that teaching abroad is less glamorous than it appears to me. Sometimes we will be sent to places to teach English but really we are expected to teach children in all subjects even if they do not know English yet, so it can be really frustrating and upsetting. It is also possible to be sent to schools where they are for-profit and have different goals, so it’s important to understand the school’s philosophy so that it will be in keeping with mine. And, the tax-free or tax-deferred looks like it will save me money but I could still owe foreign-earned income when I return and file my taxes. These are just some of the potential problems (“Top Seven Misconceptions”). However, these can be overcome with research and enthusiasm.

ESL Teacher: A Fit For My Personality

This career will suit my talents. I love to work with children and I love the idea of using the real world as a laboratory to teach children how to speak English. It will be fun to create stories, to take them on field trips so that they learn to practice English in real-life settings. I am very patient and an upbeat person so I will view the students who are a little behind as a personal challenge not a disappointment. Also, ESL teachers have to be very creative to find the right techniques for children to learn best. This could include using quizzes, textbooks, videos or event the computer (“ESL Teacher”). I am also very good on the computer and know many educational games and how I could use them in the classroom to help the children to learn. I also love to read, to learn and to talk about both so I will be a good colleague too. I have a lot of energy so I can help out a lot in the school doing more than just teaching. I look forward to working with other faculty, I cannot even imagine that I will have the opportunity to become a faculty member too.

Conclusion

In summary, I believe that an ESL teaching career is the perfect match for me because it will allow me to inspire children, see the world and learn from international experiences. I can easily relocate to South Korea where I will be supplied with accommodations, a good salary and an exciting work environment. Acquiring the necessary education is possible, but so too are opportunities to advance beyond a B.A. and a TESL 100 hour teaching certificate.

I am well suited for this job, which will take advantage of my talents and allow me to grow as a person too. I love children and their joy and energy and I have a lot of energy and creative teaching ideas too. I look forward to taking them on field trips, to teaching them this important language skill and to learning about them and their culture. This could not be a more perfect career match for me.

Works Cited

Center for Cultural Interchange. “Teach in South Korea.” N.d. Web. November 12, 2012. < http://www.cci-exchange.com/teach/korea.aspx >

EducationPortal.com. “ESL Teacher: Job Description and Salary Information.” N.d. Web. November 12, 2012. < http://education-portal.com/esl_teacher.html >

Jacoutot, Diane. “Top Seven Misconceptions About Teaching Abroad.” N.d. Web. November 12, 2012. < http://www.expatfocus.com/top-seven-misconceptions-about-teaching-abroad >

Nam, Jihyun. “Linking Research and Practice: Effective Strategies for Teaching Volcabularly in the ESL Classroom.” TESL Canada Journal/Revue TESL Du Canada 28.1 (Winter 2010): 127-135. Print.

University of Arizona. “Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, B.A.E.” College of Education. N.d. Web. November 12, 2012. < http://www.coe.arizona.edu/tls/tte_ba_ee >

University of Arizona. “Teacher Training Programs.” Center for English as a Second Language. N.d. Web. November 12, 2012. < http://www.cesl.arizona.edu/teacher-training >

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