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Anyone ever taught english overseas

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Newer Dave, Oct 28, 2018.

  1. Newer Dave

    Newer Dave Guest

    Sep 12, 2018
    London, UK
    I'm thinking about doing this - possibly in the far east (China, Taiwan, Japan or S Korea with Japan and S K as my first choices).

    Has anyone done this? What was it like? What would you say to someone (who you liked) that was thinking about doing it?
  2. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member

    I wish I could say that I did it, but I will say that everyone that I've met who has done it gained tremendously from it so I'd encourage you, but negotiate - the best pay, the best accomodations, the best perks, the fewest hours schedule, and, I'd say, the longest contract, because the longer you're there, the more you'll learn.
    If you go, you'll be nothing like the you who didn't go - you'll know a lot more.
    fhm555 and the harp unstrung like this.
  3. Ever consider Thailand? Pay probably less than other places but so is the cost of daily living. Just a suggestion. My favorite place out of the states.
    the harp unstrung likes this.
  4. the harp unstrung

    the harp unstrung They’s only two things that money can’t buy... Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2014
    On The Bus
    Our son spent his first year out of college...ESOL certified...in Bangkok.
    He Loved It...full stop!

    He worked about 30 hours a week...mostly after school hours, and a weekend each month doing corporate (read: grown-up) conversational English.
    I think he got a 3 or 4 week-long break in the middle of his year there. Between that and the 4-day week he worked, he traveled all over Thailand, and took several trips to Vietnam Nam.

    They set him up with a big, single room at a long-term kind of hotel...maybe the school even owned it...?
    He paid some little sum in rent.

    My Bride & I spent the last 3 weeks of his stay with him...boxing stuff up and exploring the city.
    I can confidently state that Bangkok is (was) the biggest, loudest, busiest, dirtiest/ most pristine, happiest, craziest city I’ve ever been to...and I’m from The Bronx! :thumbsup:

    Do your homework. I’m sure that different schools do it different ways!

    Do it now, or wonder about it forever!
  5. Hey. If you don't get hit by a scooter doing 20mph on the sidewalk, your experience was a good one! I kid... but my dad got a Thai license. Which he rarely used. Just try to live near a sky rail stop. It's perfect for just walking around. Love it. Miss it.
    the harp unstrung likes this.
  6. I taught in Japan. About 5 months in a semi rural semi industrial ''Juku'' private after school extra school. Very tough on the kids. Some classes were straight after regular school, others had maths and/or basketball or football in between.

    The curriculum was about passing school tests, I was trying to get them to speak. It might have gone better if I had trained at TESL, ESOL whatever, but nobody lasted more than 6 months teaching in that school.

    When I got back home I had lost all my Kiwi vowels having adopted neutral 'English' ones so well that every English tourist took me for a Pom as well. I wasn't so much trying to teach English as trying not to teach Kiwi which the kids took such delight in mangling into more of an Aussie drawl from my predecessor.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2018
    the harp unstrung likes this.
  7. Newer Dave

    Newer Dave Guest

    Sep 12, 2018
    London, UK
    Thanks all for your input.

    For me it's about more than just a temporary experience though. I think Brexit is going to be a disaster for the UK and I would like to leave permanently if possible. Teaching English (with a TEFL or ESOL course) is one of the ways I'm thinking of doing it.

    Anyone know of a colleague who started a new life there or tried to? How'd that work out for them?
  8. I met up with a group of expat longtimers. I found them to be a weird bunch of groaners who all seemed they wished they weren't there.
  9. Newer Dave

    Newer Dave Guest

    Sep 12, 2018
    London, UK

    Oh dear. That doesn't sound great. Makes me wonder if the trick is to choose to go somewhere rather than to escape from somewhere.

    Mind you, from your previous description it doesn't sound as if you had a great time yourself. Would it have been better if you'd done a TEFL course. In retrospect is there anything you could have done differently to make it better?

    Did you meet any longtimers who spent more time with locals than with other expats?
  10. ronin614


    May 15, 2008
    New York
    My daughter has been doing it in Spain for two years (we’re from the U.S.), teaching conversational English in school.

    She is currently with a program run by CIEE (they do programs all over the world), and she loves it. She completed her TEFL through them over the summer.

    The pay isn’t great, but it’s enough to live on comfortably, and she works a total of 12 hours a week, spread out from Monday through Thursday, so she has three day weekends and plenty of time to tutor on the side when (if) she wants. Also, she’s not allowed to speak Spanish with the students; it’s strictly English, to the point that most of her students didn’t even know that she speaks Spanish. She’s managed to travel all over Europe on her breaks, and has two weeks at Christmas so she can come home. She’s hoping that at the end of this year they’ll offer her a permanent position.

    She splits her time between locals and a few native English speakers that she’s met, and the group’s have actually seemed to cross over and merge. It’s great Spanish practice for her because she spends a good amount of time translating back and forth.

    Last year she went through Medeas. Let’s just say that I would NOT recommend them. Seriously!!!

    Also, my sister-in-law’s nephew did three years in South Korea teaching English in an elementary school, and he loved it there. He got the position through the South Korean government, and from what I know, they are among the highest paid English teachers in the world (along with Japan).
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2018
    the harp unstrung likes this.
  11. Newer Dave

    Newer Dave Guest

    Sep 12, 2018
    London, UK
    Thanks Ronin. You make it sound very appealing.
  12. ronin614


    May 15, 2008
    New York
    She absolutely LOVES it!!!

    Just do your research! (And avoid Medeas!). :)
    the harp unstrung likes this.
  13. JN8642


    Aug 19, 2015
    I'm finishing the last two years of my Linguistics degree so that I can do this professionally. My school offers a TEFL as well which is nice.

    After a lot of research and consideration, Spain and Japan are my top two countries I want to teach in for a long period of time and possibly permanently. With a lot of these programs you don't need to speak the language but it definitely helps. I'm very busy with school but in my spare time I'm taking the time to learn both languages as much as I can with the use of Duolingo.
    the harp unstrung likes this.
  14. If I had a TEFL cert I would have been eligible for government work. I don't know that it would have made the Juku job any easier.

    I did some very part time teaching of adult classes in Tokyo for about 6 weeks. That was a whole lot of fun as they were ''conversation classes'' and they were getting right into it.

    Definitely get the TEFL.
    the harp unstrung likes this.
  15. My most successful friend in the training sector has retired in Bangkok. He started out teaching English at the most prestigious university in the country & then found out working for the oil & gas sector paid more.
    He had an office next to mine at the refinery for years & later moved on to possibly the highest paid instructor in the country, working for the national petroleum exploration company.

    I think when he retired he was the Training department manager & now he's living a life of leisure there in Bangkok. I still get to see sights around Bangkok vicariously through his FB posts.
    However, my friend graduated with a MA in Education.

    Another guy I know, born in Minnesota, grew up in Japan, moved to Thailand to teach.
    He speaks three languages fluently & is now working in a Japanese company in Thailand making big money.

    I did ok over there also, but not from being an instructor.
    the harp unstrung likes this.
  16. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    No personal experience to relate, but a good friend of my brother who sang with us for a while spent ten years teaching english in (i think) a private school in Japan. He returned to the US and started an import export business, mostly California wines to Japan. He moved to the west coast about ten years ago and from what i hear from my brother, has become quite wealthy.
    the harp unstrung likes this.

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