How to get started teaching EFL in Asia

A few thoughts for those who want to get started teaching EFL in Asia (I don’t have experience outside of Asia or the USA).

  1. Get some kind of training in EFL . This usually requires some on-site instruction. This often takes place in some kind of practicum and/or methodology course. This basically means gaining instruction on the nitty gritty of teaching by having a teacher trainer (who is often experienced in teaching him or herself) observing and offering feedback. Depends on where you’re at, you can get lots of teacher training at local colleges or universities. One option is to do what I did and head to South Korea and get training while working at an entry level job.
  2. There are two types of entry level jobs (for those with zero experience in teaching EFL) that allow you to train on your own time to improve your skills and work your way up the food chain.
    1. EPIK in korea found here . This program isn’t actually the one I taught at. I taught at SMOE, but it’s gone now and replaced with EPIK. It was a good experience, and South Korea is an awesome country. I really enjoyed my experience there.
    2. The JET Programme found here . This was my very first job out of my undergraduate degree program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaing. It’s an excellent way to get started in EFL. You’ll meet many cool people, have a nice exchange and learn lots of new stuff about Japan.
    3. (I recommend these two programs because they are both government sponsored. This means that the standards of pay are better and usually means more paid vacation than the other entry level jobs at private schools in both South Korea (hakwons) and Japan (jukus or eikawa schools). )
  3. Think about how long you want to work in EFL. If you want to work more than 5 years or so, I recommend working towards a Master’s program. There are a few programs you can do online or while working in Japan ( here both Osaka and Tokyo campuses ). I did the Framingham TESOL master’s program in South Korea found here .

That’s all for now. If you have any questions, please do ask as I can expand this posting to include more information.

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