Monday, April 25, 2005

Public school positions from September

This time around we have close to a hundred public school positions starting in September. The first week of September, that is. Last time we had a bit over sixty and it wasn't all that easy getting them all filled; this time we have even more and so we're starting early, posting on Hotjobs and other paid sites to try to get the widest exposure possible right away.

Korea intends to have one English teacher per school by the year 2009, so these positions are only going to increase. Personally I wonder if that isn't a bit late; sometimes it feels like the fervor for English education has already started to die down slightly. Not that the ESL industry will be going anywhere but according to the latest statistics English webpages are a mere 33% of the internet, down from a high of 85% in the nineties and still going down. In China 800 000 people start using the internet every single week.

For the industry here, that would just mean switching over to Chinese as well. Hagwons have already started adding Chinese to the curriculum and I expect it will just be another subject that people here are expected to study. Probably. The thing about Chinese that makes it easier to study is:

  • Prevalence of hanja in Korean vocabulary. 70% of the vocabulary in Korean originally comes from Chinese. Grammar is easy too.
  • Proximity. It's easy enough to just get on a plane and go to China for a week, stay for a while without using all that much money and coming back wherever. Not the same as packing your bags and going off to the States for a year or two. Prices there are cheaper too, so a student could easily take off to a city like Qingdao (靑島) and live for two weeks for somewhere just under 500 000 won.
Those are two of the factors that might make the Chinese language industry over here different from the English one. It's possible that schools and hagwons here might just stick with the if-you-want-to-learn-a-language-you-must-bring-native-speakers-over-on-one-year-contracts type of thinking that dominates the place now, who knows. We'll know in a few years.

As always, send applications or questions to esljob@hotmail.com.

PS salary for these positions goes from 1.7 to 2.4 million won depending on education and experience. I think they're hoping for a hundred people with master's degrees and a few years of education under their belt, but a bachelor's is enough to get a job there. The pay is lower than a hagwon at first for someone with no experience but goes up after a year and looks better on a resume. Usually more vacation time too. Public school vs. hagwon is always a difficult choice.

6 Comments:

At 5:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I signed on when public schools wanted 22 hours/week. Now it's 30 hours, for the same mediocre pay scale? Are they serious?

 
At 5:57 PM, Blogger Easy English Consulting said...

Unfortunately, they are.
My personal opinion is that they (the educational authority for Gyeunggi-do) are going to shoot themselves in the foot with this eventually as they keep on wanting more and more teachers but for the same pay scale. Last time we had 60 positions to fill and we just barely filled them all; this time it's even more. Eventually there should be a breaking point but it hasn't quite been reached yet; we'll see what happens by the time September rolls around.

OTOH, 90% of the prospective candidates we have only want to live in or near Seoul, and they know that. That's another disadvantage to a country like Korea where everything is so focused on one city. It's no easy task finding someone who wants to go teach out in the boonies. I would say four out of five of the prospective teachers start their email with a "Hi, I'm looking for a job in the centre of Seoul for at least 2.2 million." (or some other salary)

As far as I know, the public schools in other provinces are still operating rather independantly and have better schedules. But then you're living in another city. It's a tough choice.

 
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At 1:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

endless number of these wonderful finds, what with the Internet being a vast network of constantly evolving ideas and all!

 

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