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How different is teaching back at home?
« on: December 12, 2018, 03:17:45 pm »
I have to return home after next year. I originally had no idea what I wanted to do but I've grown to like teaching ESL and wouldn't mind doing it long term. I'm even looking into masters programs. The only thing that worries me is that I think I've become too accustomed to teaching the Korean style (ppts, focusing on expressions, activities, etc). For those of you who have taught in other places, how different was your lesson preparation process?


Re: How different is teaching back at home?
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2018, 03:40:05 am »
Since I returned to Canada after working as an EFL teacher in Korea, my lessons are completely
different because I am teaching music. The lessons I plan are totally different because a lot of the
work I do is for practical engagement. I am not doing multiple power point presentations, that is
all on a very rare basis. I have yet to spend one class doing a bomb game with my students. They
would love that but it has to be on a rare occasion.

It is also harder for me because the resources I need for teaching music to students as high as
grade 8, are very limited. The students from grade 6 to 8 need instrumental music, and there are
no heavy duty wind instruments for them at the school. So because of that, most of my lessons are
theoretical based lessons. It's also still harder for me because I am teaching on an indigenous
reservation where a lot of kids have negative attitudes towards music education.


  • taeyang
  • Moderator - LVL 4

    • 5491

    • September 08, 2010, 08:35:10 am
    • daejeon
Re: How different is teaching back at home?
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2018, 06:55:24 am »
i teach grade 3/4 in ontario now. teaching in korea taught me basic classroom management skills and gave me the confidence to be able to actually teach to students. but in terms of actually teaching students, it is very, very different. there are a lot of needs in the classroom that are often superlatives of need and attention. mental wellness/health is acknowledge here in canada too; i have students in my room that come from a variety of backgrounds and economic situations and just the fact that they're in the building at 9am is a huge accomplishment.

i feel more supported though. i know my union will have my back, and i have a great staff of teachers who understand what i am going through we can all talk about our classes and problematic students and commiserate at the end of the week. while i certainly had friendships with co-workers in korea, we were never able to truly connect on teaching because of the language barrier.

teaching in canada is also a lot more involved. planning lessons and units takes a lot of energy and effort, and that's before assessing and marking. the ontario curriculum is way too big!!
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  • Piggydee
  • The Legend

    • 2516

    • October 15, 2013, 07:32:43 am
    • South Korea
Re: How different is teaching back at home?
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2018, 02:21:28 pm »
I'm curious if anyone has taught ESL in the States.  Being that the southern part of the US is bordered with Mexico and Central America I'd imagine there might be a need for people who need to learn English.  I'm curious on how was that experience.


  • Kayos
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1189

    • March 31, 2016, 07:13:57 pm
    • NZ
Re: How different is teaching back at home?
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2018, 02:28:06 pm »
Based on NZ:
When I done my internship at a local high school for my degree, I had to go to the ESL classroom a lot.
Most of the time I was there, the teacher was doing worksheets.
However, I was never there from the start of the class, maybe from about 1/4 of the way through at the earliest.

NZ often gets students from Japan and Korea that go to NZ to study English. (possibly other countries 2, but JP and Kor seem to be the most common, until you get to university anyway).


  • AnnaW
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    • April 03, 2017, 01:36:01 pm
Re: How different is teaching back at home?
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2018, 07:27:57 am »
I have taught ESL in the US.

The biggest difference you have to realize is that you will be teaching ESL (English as a Second Language) not EFL (English as a Foreign Language).
You will need to teach your students survival English. This is not about I like cake! It is about (depending on age) school English or how to go to the store. If you are teaching kids, you need to teach them things you take for granted in a school. What is a tornado drill? How do you get school lunch? What is the teacher saying (basic classroom stuff)? They will learn most things from their friends. They will pick up what they say. If you are teaching adults, this ranges from basic-advanced. If at a college - basic = alphabet, how to go shopping; advanced = going into a master's program and they should be preparing for doing a thesis. It is super different.

If you are talking about becoming an English teacher, as in the subject itself. Then it is super different. You will be teaching literature and things like that. You will be teaching kids whose first language is English. So you will just have them doing book reports and dissecting the meaning of books.