The State of Things: English as a Second Language in Korea
Making the decision to teach English as a Second language in Korea is a little like getting married; you quickly develop a love and hate relationship with the country and regardless of your best efforts, it will change your life forever. Why not give yourself an advantage? Get some marriage counselling, before you get married. You’re not given a license before you learn to drive. Use this survey to gauge whether or not you are actually suited to teach in the country before you accept that first job. To those teachers already in Korea, this survey will give you a fresh perspective on the current marketplace.
This study was undertaken to find, to the fullest extent possible, the best way to find work in Korea teaching English as a Second Language. Using education, race, gender, nationality and age as determining factors, my study aimed to identify the most eligible candidates for teaching positions in Korea at the present time. The teachers used for the study were fictitious. As a secondary objective, the study also sought to determine which websites and recruiters returned the most offers to the candidates in the study. The quality of the job offer was not considered for that is largely a subjective judgement on behalf of the teacher.
The ESL market in Korea fluctuates quite often, so use this study as a guide and not a bible, when conducting your job search. I have worked at private institutions, public schools and universities in Korea for close to 6 years. Although I have seen many changes and improvements in the country and within the profession of ESL itself, I am always aware the country has its inherent biases, its quirks and its difficulties for foreigners. As much as things have changed they remain the same. Let this study give you some insight into the state of things in teaching English as a Second Language in Korea.