Options for TeachersWith Western and European economies not being as stable as they have been in the past, teachers are looking at different employment options. Often, such options lead teachers, whether experienced or inexperienced, to teach their native language, english, abroad.
Having been stuck in a slow economy post university graduation, I looked at my options outside of my home country pertaining to how I could extend my experiences beyond my home boundaries. Never having interest in living abroad, there was not a plethora of options as a new graduate
. So, taking advice from a friend, I looked into the options for teaching my native language abroad. With just completing a french immersion program, I was vaguely familiar with foreign language teaching, however, this was from the perspective as a student. As research commenced, options for teaching abroad were in abundance, the only decision I needed to first make was, in which country? Choosing Korea, I was then awarded with multiple options for institution, and student type, which all had their positives and negatives. I also found that I was not the only foreigner, but that the expatriate community was actually quite large. In 2007, just two years before I started my teaching adventure, there were 5,005 other Canadians teaching abroad, and now in 2012, there are 6,506 Canadians (Author Unknown). Not only for Canadians, but teachers from the majority of Western and European countries have been seeing teaching abroad as a viable option with numbers assumed from all nationalities seeing a 30% increase from 2007 to 2012 (Author Unknown) therefore establishing this option as practical.
Having lived in Korea for the last 3 years, and looking back on my first choice and how I followed it with subsequent teaching jobs in different institutions, it is important for new people thinking of the idea of teaching abroad to be aware that they will learn more about themselves in such a short amount of time than they would ever expect. With the intention to engage students in english and have students learn to communicate about their native culture using a new language, it is found that the teachers are able to learn just as much, if not more about the new culture, about the students and also about themselves and how they deal with new cultures, people of different ages and a new language.
Through the option of teaching abroad, the chance for international education is established. Such international education encompasses verbal, body, and facial language where we learn many are culturally specific while others are irrespective of origin and can be deemed universal. Through such exposure, teachers gain greater opportunity to engage and teach individuals how to interact beyond their culture with people from other cultures who speak english, therefore teaching students lifelong and life enhancing skills. That allows them to take their english learning abroad (just like their teacher).
Having the option to teach abroad is an option that is becoming more and more popular for people and teachers of Western countries as it offers a stable income and the chance to travel and experience a new culture. Country availability for teaching english as a foreign language are in plenty- ranging from Asian countries to even those in the Middle East and Africa. In addition to teaching english as a paid employee, having experience opens teachers to the possibility to volunteer teach in less well of countries, and such experiences can be just as, if not more rewarding. Having been an individual who took, tried, and loved this experience, I strongly recommend that for all of the rewards and benefits, nothing help shape your personal character and your teaching ability than taking up the option to teach english as a foreign language
Author Unknown. teaching in korea
Overview. Gone 2 Korea: ESL Employment Services. Date unknown, 2012. http://www.gone2korea.com/teaching-in-korea.html.
Date accessed: June 11th, 2012