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Getting a teaching certificate
« on: July 27, 2020, 03:17:06 pm »
For those of you that did not go abroad with a teaching certificate, did you get one later? If so, online or in person and where? I would be interested in programs specifically for the US.

For those of you who did not choose to get a teaching certificate, why?

I will be in Korea or a different country than my home country most likely for the rest of my working life and need to make sure I have a future. I thought about becoming a tour guide after I learn Korean to an advanced level and know enough history to pass the Korean tour guide certification classes/exams.....but that's quite far off.



  • VanIslander
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 2650

    • June 02, 2011, 10:12:19 am
    • Seogwipo, Jeju Island
    more
Re: Getting a teaching certificate
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2020, 05:23:31 pm »
I came to South Korea in 2002 for only one year. The plan was to travel Asia a bit, to see some of the wider world outside my home country and its neighbor.

I quickly found out I LOVED living overseas, traveling AND teaching! So, I signed on for JUST one more year.

I soon realized I hadn't had enough yet, that four or five more years of teaching would be fun, so I decided to get a CELTA to learn how to teach BETTER.

So, after year 2 I re-signed a third year at the same hagwon on Geoje under one condition: a one-month break to go to New Zealand (a country i had wanted to visit) for the CELTA in all of January 2005 (nice summer weather in Auckland then, beaches great on the weekend).

(I first wanted to go to Uruguay for their advertised rarely-offered Cambridge CELTYL, which is CELTA for young learners, but the scheduling didn't work out.)

The CELTA program helped me a lot, and I was a keen learner of teaching for years, reading dozens of books on it (bought online through the Whatthebook? site).

None of my Korean employers gave a flying fig that I had the certificate, but then again I didn't do it for that kind of impact, though I was cognizant that it could open doors in other countries like the Czech Republic, Poland, etc).


  • stoat
  • The Legend

    • 2085

    • March 05, 2019, 06:36:13 pm
    • seoul
Re: Getting a teaching certificate
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2020, 05:54:18 pm »
I did the CELTYL after i had a CELTA and DELTA and after teaching kids for 10+ years but was still shocked how little I knew and how crap I was,at teaching kids. It'since been discontinued and people do the TYLEC instead. Needless to say no Korean employer has ever asked me any questions about qualifications in interviews.


Re: Getting a teaching certificate
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2020, 09:59:23 pm »
Has Celta, Delta changed the way you get paid in Korea??  From my experience here they want a degree in teaching and a MA in teaching/linguistics in order to get the "big bucks" here in Korea  (which isn't much at all)......Celta, Delta doesn't seem to affect pay here in Korea at all.   In fact it's never listed as anything above a regular TESL certificate.  It's valued much more in other countries.

Who cares what you've done, stoat..its not applicable... It shows you've probably wasted your money, especially if you are still here in Korea making less than 2.7 a month...
« Last Edit: July 27, 2020, 10:15:12 pm by dippedinblush »


  • stoat
  • The Legend

    • 2085

    • March 05, 2019, 06:36:13 pm
    • seoul
Re: Getting a teaching certificate
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2020, 10:18:58 pm »
CELTA allowed me to get a job with the British Council and become an IELTS examiner. DELTA  gets me a higher hourly rate for the BC, got me a jobs as a senior teacher on a higher salary scale and teacher trainer. Also enabled me to become a CELTA , DELTA, ICELT and TYLEC tutor, all for extra pay. But yeah, when I do the odd hourly paid stuff for Korean companies, all they're interested in is experience.  Considering I worked out the other day I've made about 100k doing IELTS examining over the years, my 1k on the CELTA was I reckon a pretty good investment.


Re: Getting a teaching certificate
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2020, 10:25:32 pm »
Wow!  So when are you gonna take me out for a drink?


Re: Getting a teaching certificate
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2020, 07:55:46 am »
Thanks for the info, but what about an actual teaching license?


  • Nokcha
  • Super Waygook

    • 362

    • August 22, 2012, 02:37:27 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Getting a teaching certificate
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2020, 08:44:13 am »
I do have my license from the states. Every state has different requirements for a license and each university has their teaching classes set up to meet those requirements. Probably best to look online for certificates you can get online (if you plan on staying here to do it), or look for the requirements in the state you where you would like to get your certificate.


  • apancoe
  • Veteran

    • 176

    • March 02, 2011, 08:44:40 am
    • south korea
Re: Getting a teaching certificate
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2021, 12:46:59 pm »
I got my US teaching license in Elementary Education while living & working in Korea this past year.

I completed the TEACH-NOW (they have recently changed their name to Moreland University) online program, sent the required documents (all done online) to the US, and was granted a standard US teaching license for Elementary Education. The entire program is done online and Zoom is used for all class meetings.

I started the program in June of 2020 and received my teaching license March 1st, 2021. It took roughly 9 months to complete.

The total cost was $6,000 USD or around 6,000,000 Korean Won.

I am American, but my cohort had teachers from the US, Canada, South Africa, England, Africa, and China.

If anyone is interested in getting their teaching license or has any questions about the program/process/paperwork, I would be glad to try and answer them.
too many blueprints & not enough architects


Re: Getting a teaching certificate
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2021, 06:04:50 pm »
I got my US teaching license in Elementary Education while living & working in Korea this past year.

I completed the TEACH-NOW (they have recently changed their name to Moreland University) online program, sent the required documents (all done online) to the US, and was granted a standard US teaching license for Elementary Education. The entire program is done online and Zoom is used for all class meetings.

I started the program in June of 2020 and received my teaching license March 1st, 2021. It took roughly 9 months to complete.

The total cost was $6,000 USD or around 6,000,000 Korean Won.

I am American, but my cohort had teachers from the US, Canada, South Africa, England, Africa, and China.

If anyone is interested in getting their teaching license or has any questions about the program/process/paperwork, I would be glad to try and answer them.

Would completing this license allow an EPIK teacher to apply for international schools here in Korea? I've seen a lot of places requiring 2 years of teaching experience in the teacher's home country before applying, or would the public school experience be taken into consideration?


  • theman3285
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1072

    • June 16, 2017, 09:01:06 am
Re: Getting a teaching certificate
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2021, 11:26:23 pm »
Would completing this license allow an EPIK teacher to apply for international schools here in Korea? I've seen a lot of places requiring 2 years of teaching experience in the teacher's home country before applying, or would the public school experience be taken into consideration?
Thing is, you'd need to be on a different visa class (E-2 is just for ESL). The two year experience thing is an actual visa requirement in most countries (5 years in some countries), and applies to other jobs as well (engineering, for example). There are some exceptions (Thailand and Kuwait don't have a minimum experience requirement), but I think Korea falls into the 2 year camp. Doubtful your ESL experience will count, but maybe your local immi office can tell you more? I'm doing my PGCE right now, so I'd be interested to find out. If you have any questions for people who are actual international school teachers/administrators, check out this free forum:

https://internationalschoolsreview.com/v-web/bulletin/bb/viewforum.php?f=1&sid=c915311b83e7f89c5b9ab309f7ad0feb


  • waygo0k
  • The Legend

    • 4498

    • September 27, 2011, 11:51:01 am
    • Chungnam
Re: Getting a teaching certificate
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2021, 01:09:04 am »
E-7 for international school requirements:

BA/BSc, with teaching certification/license - minimum 1yr relevant experience needed

MA/MSc with teaching certification/license, 0yrs relevant experience needed

No degree but with teaching certification/license - minimum 5yrs relevant experience needed

A lot of schools also need the right mixture of qualifications and experience to meet their accreditation standards...so they'll naturally go for those with bachelors or masters in education or specific subject fields with the appropriate teaching certification and/or license.


  • apancoe
  • Veteran

    • 176

    • March 02, 2011, 08:44:40 am
    • south korea
Re: Getting a teaching certificate
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2021, 06:53:09 am »
Would completing this license allow an EPIK teacher to apply for international schools here in Korea? I've seen a lot of places requiring 2 years of teaching experience in the teacher's home country before applying, or would the public school experience be taken into consideration?


I think what theman3285 said about visas is correct. Let me know if I'm wrong, but I'm assuming you have an E-2 visa right now? I have an F-6 visa, so our paths to teaching at an international school would be different.

Outside of Korea, what I do know from my research and talking to teachers that are at international schools in different countries is this - many international schools would like their teachers to have 2 years experience teaching in their home country, but it is not ALWAYS a requirement. There are schools that will overlook the 2 year requirement if you have enough international experience, if you can fill a position they are having trouble finding other candidates for, etc. Every school is different and I always just apply to whatever I want, regardless of their requirements. You never know what will happen.

Here's an example from my personal experience: I have 10 years experience teaching elementary in Korea, but none in my home country (USA). After I got my license and started looking for jobs, I interviewed with international schools in Dubai, Kenya, and China. All 3 schools offered me a position without having the 2 years experience teaching in my home country. Each school said they felt my international experience was more than sufficient. I declined the positions for 2 reasons though - Each country's covid protocols were different and it would've made moving and starting at a new school really difficult right off the bat & I got really lucky and found a great public school in Korea that offered me a position after applying.

I wish I would've done this years ago. Having a proper teaching license has opened the door to so many opportunities that were just not available before.

I have a bunch of desk-warming days this summer, so I figured I'd share my experience with others in case anyone is interested or thinking about doing something similar.
too many blueprints & not enough architects


Re: Getting a teaching certificate
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2021, 08:40:07 am »
Thing is, you'd need to be on a different visa class (E-2 is just for ESL). The two year experience thing is an actual visa requirement in most countries (5 years in some countries), and applies to other jobs as well (engineering, for example). There are some exceptions (Thailand and Kuwait don't have a minimum experience requirement), but I think Korea falls into the 2 year camp. Doubtful your ESL experience will count, but maybe your local immi office can tell you more? I'm doing my PGCE right now, so I'd be interested to find out. If you have any questions for people who are actual international school teachers/administrators, check out this free forum:

https://internationalschoolsreview.com/v-web/bulletin/bb/viewforum.php?f=1&sid=c915311b83e7f89c5b9ab309f7ad0feb

I'm guessing that the 2-year requirement is more so for securing the proper E-7 visa for the job? If someone is on an F6 (marriage visa) then the 2-year requirement could be overlooked, seeing as the applicant would no longer require visa sponsorship?


Re: Getting a teaching certificate
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2021, 08:57:36 am »
I think what theman3285 said about visas is correct. Let me know if I'm wrong, but I'm assuming you have an E-2 visa right now? I have an F-6 visa, so our paths to teaching at an international school would be different.

Outside of Korea, what I do know from my research and talking to teachers that are at international schools in different countries is this - many international schools would like their teachers to have 2 years experience teaching in their home country, but it is not ALWAYS a requirement. There are schools that will overlook the 2 year requirement if you have enough international experience, if you can fill a position they are having trouble finding other candidates for, etc. Every school is different and I always just apply to whatever I want, regardless of their requirements. You never know what will happen.

Here's an example from my personal experience: I have 10 years experience teaching elementary in Korea, but none in my home country (USA). After I got my license and started looking for jobs, I interviewed with international schools in Dubai, Kenya, and China. All 3 schools offered me a position without having the 2 years experience teaching in my home country. Each school said they felt my international experience was more than sufficient. I declined the positions for 2 reasons though - Each country's covid protocols were different and it would've made moving and starting at a new school really difficult right off the bat & I got really lucky and found a great public school in Korea that offered me a position after applying.

I wish I would've done this years ago. Having a proper teaching license has opened the door to so many opportunities that were just not available before.

I have a bunch of desk-warming days this summer, so I figured I'd share my experience with others in case anyone is interested or thinking about doing something similar.

Thank you for sharing your experience!
Reading this has been helpful. I have only been in Korea for almost 3 years, but am in the process of changing over to an F6 (marriage) visa, so I am hoping to work at EPIK for a little while longer, and then switching over to a more long-term sustainable teaching option. I'm glad to hear that having the teaching license has opened up a wealth of opportunities for you.
Do you have any recommendations for teacher programs? (The only reliable one and affordable one that I know of is the Moreland University's Program).


  • waygo0k
  • The Legend

    • 4498

    • September 27, 2011, 11:51:01 am
    • Chungnam
Re: Getting a teaching certificate
« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2021, 09:28:27 am »
What if someone is on an F6 (marriage visa) with the Bachelor's + TESL+ Teaching certificate. Would that kind of applicant still need to obtain outside work experience before applying for an International school position in Korea? Or would the 3~ 5 years in the Korean public school be counted towards that experience?

Most proper international schools with accreditation do not recognise EPIK/GEPIK/Hagwon/general public school as experience...even for ESL. They want you to be experienced in a formal education setting where you are in charge of the class in terms of planning, teaching, assessments, grading and reports.

This is further exacerbated in Korea where there is intense competition for international school jobs...there just aren't that many accredited international schools in the country. Being on an F-6 is definitely an advantage, but it only means you'll be near the front of the queue if the school can't find a teacher with the right credentials and experience, and they don't have any other F-6 recommendations from their current staff members.

The other option on an F-6 would be to do subject teaching at a private school (NOT hagwon) with partial accreditation. You won't have any visa issues, and some schools will recognise this as experience. These are the kinds of schools that hire E-2s to do proper teaching, but with EPIK pay...risky for E-2 holders, but no risk for F-6 holders. Just a lot more work for the same pay as public school teachers.

I know that for Uni job applicants if they get their masters and are applying for Uni jobs without the 2 years of work experience at a Uni outside of Korea, their EPIK experience is counted as 2 years of EPIK teaching = 1 year of experience, so after 4 years of EPIK experience, they are able to substitute it for the requirements. And I'm hoping something like this could be an application to an international school.

Unis have this requirement due to government regulations. The more instructors they have that fit the criteria, the more government funding they can get. Some unis will overlook the experience part because they know they can make up for the lost money elsewhere.

International schools generally don't have that kind of leeway, and in all honesty teachers there don't want there to be any leeway either. First, these schools charge tens of thousands of USD per year. The cheaper ones might charge around the 10k mark or slightly less. Parents paying these fees expect the best teachers available...and that usually means those with the right combination of verifiable pedagogical knowledge, subject knowledge and experience.

Second, any idiot with enough money and time on their hands can set up an "international" school. This is where accreditation bodies come in. The best schools have a set of standards prepared by an accreditation body that they must meet...and these are reviewed in the form of visits and audits every few years. Criteria like staff qualification and experience are usually non-negotiable. Here are some examples for reference:

https://www.cois.org/for-schools/membership-standards

https://www.asicuk.com/documents/ASIC-Standards-for-Accreditation-International-Schools.pdf

https://www.acswasc.org/wp-content/themes/acswasc/pdf/ACS-WASC-International-Initial-Visit-Procedures-2019.pdf

https://www.cobis.org.uk/services/accreditation#fs-panel-7637

https://www.aus.edu.kw/uploaded/images/Accreditation/Standards_and_Indicators_-_8th_Ed_(V8.2).pdf

Third, teachers at these schools have every incentive to want to protect the "profession". They get paid extremely well for being highly educated, trained and experienced practitioners, and from what I'm starting to learn as someone new to the scene they will fight to the death to keep things that way. The moment any Joe Schmoe with a BA who thinks they can waltz into a classroom and "teach" is allowed to do so on any meaningful scale...the gravy train will be lost, and we will see the gradual deterioration of salary and benefits that the ESL has been experiencing this past decade.

Just my two cents. So, with your F-6 you have an advantage in that you could get into one of the main international schools if they can't fill a vacancy...or you could do subject teaching at a full private school without any visa issues to get your experience points.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2021, 09:31:25 am by waygo0k »


  • apancoe
  • Veteran

    • 176

    • March 02, 2011, 08:44:40 am
    • south korea
Re: Getting a teaching certificate
« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2021, 09:44:43 am »
Thank you for sharing your experience!
Reading this has been helpful. I have only been in Korea for almost 3 years, but am in the process of changing over to an F6 (marriage) visa, so I am hoping to work at EPIK for a little while longer, and then switching over to a more long-term sustainable teaching option. I'm glad to hear that having the teaching license has opened up a wealth of opportunities for you.
Do you have any recommendations for teacher programs? (The only reliable one and affordable one that I know of is the Moreland University's Program).

Congrats on getting married!

You described it perfectly - "switching over to a more long-term sustainable teaching option". That's exactly the reason why I finally decided to start the program and get my license. Whatever happens in the future (in Korea and just in general), I know having a proper license will allow me to find a job teaching somewhere on this planet.

Recommendations: The two programs I was looking into were Moreland and Teacher Ready. They're similar programs in that they both offer a similar end result (a US teaching license), but they each use different paths to get there.

We can discuss the minor differences in the programs if you'd like, but here is the most important piece of information I can offer:

After you complete either program (Moreland / Teacher Ready), you need to take an official exam called The Praxis Exam.

With Moreland University, you can take the exam at a registered testing center in Korea. If you google Praxis exam locations and enter South Korea, you will find there are 4 in Seoul and 1 in Busan.

With Teacher Ready, you CANNOT take the test in Korea. You have to fly to the USA and take the test there at a registered testing site. There is no way around it.

For this reason alone, Moreland University is the better option. Can you imagine doing a 9 month online program and then having to fly to the USA just to take an exam? That would be hard enough as it is, but with covid and quarantine and all the other stuff going on, having to do that now would be a nightmare.

If you're planning on trying to get your license while living abroad, Moreland is your best bet.
too many blueprints & not enough architects


Re: Getting a teaching certificate
« Reply #17 on: July 22, 2021, 11:40:49 am »
Congrats on getting married!

You described it perfectly - "switching over to a more long-term sustainable teaching option". That's exactly the reason why I finally decided to start the program and get my license. Whatever happens in the future (in Korea and just in general), I know having a proper license will allow me to find a job teaching somewhere on this planet.

Recommendations: The two programs I was looking into were Moreland and Teacher Ready. They're similar programs in that they both offer a similar end result (a US teaching license), but they each use different paths to get there.

We can discuss the minor differences in the programs if you'd like, but here is the most important piece of information I can offer:

After you complete either program (Moreland / Teacher Ready), you need to take an official exam called The Praxis Exam.

With Moreland University, you can take the exam at a registered testing center in Korea. If you google Praxis exam locations and enter South Korea, you will find there are 4 in Seoul and 1 in Busan.

With Teacher Ready, you CANNOT take the test in Korea. You have to fly to the USA and take the test there at a registered testing site. There is no way around it.

For this reason alone, Moreland University is the better option. Can you imagine doing a 9 month online program and then having to fly to the USA just to take an exam? That would be hard enough as it is, but with covid and quarantine and all the other stuff going on, having to do that now would be a nightmare.

If you're planning on trying to get your license while living abroad, Moreland is your best bet.

Once again, thank you!
I think I will go with the Moreland program. It definitely sounds like the better option.
I am not from the US, so flying over there regardless of COVID or not would be a really big hassle.



Re: Getting a teaching certificate
« Reply #18 on: July 22, 2021, 11:48:09 am »
Most proper international schools with accreditation do not recognise EPIK/GEPIK/Hagwon/general public school as experience...even for ESL. They want you to be experienced in a formal education setting where you are in charge of the class in terms of planning, teaching, assessments, grading and reports.

This is further exacerbated in Korea where there is intense competition for international school jobs...there just aren't that many accredited international schools in the country. Being on an F-6 is definitely an advantage, but it only means you'll be near the front of the queue if the school can't find a teacher with the right credentials and experience, and they don't have any other F-6 recommendations from their current staff members.

The other option on an F-6 would be to do subject teaching at a private school (NOT hagwon) with partial accreditation. You won't have any visa issues, and some schools will recognise this as experience. These are the kinds of schools that hire E-2s to do proper teaching, but with EPIK pay...risky for E-2 holders, but no risk for F-6 holders. Just a lot more work for the same pay as public school teachers.

Unis have this requirement due to government regulations. The more instructors they have that fit the criteria, the more government funding they can get. Some unis will overlook the experience part because they know they can make up for the lost money elsewhere.

International schools generally don't have that kind of leeway, and in all honesty teachers there don't want there to be any leeway either. First, these schools charge tens of thousands of USD per year. The cheaper ones might charge around the 10k mark or slightly less. Parents paying these fees expect the best teachers available...and that usually means those with the right combination of verifiable pedagogical knowledge, subject knowledge and experience.

Second, any idiot with enough money and time on their hands can set up an "international" school. This is where accreditation bodies come in. The best schools have a set of standards prepared by an accreditation body that they must meet...and these are reviewed in the form of visits and audits every few years. Criteria like staff qualification and experience are usually non-negotiable. Here are some examples for reference:

https://www.cois.org/for-schools/membership-standards

https://www.asicuk.com/documents/ASIC-Standards-for-Accreditation-International-Schools.pdf

https://www.acswasc.org/wp-content/themes/acswasc/pdf/ACS-WASC-International-Initial-Visit-Procedures-2019.pdf

https://www.cobis.org.uk/services/accreditation#fs-panel-7637

https://www.aus.edu.kw/uploaded/images/Accreditation/Standards_and_Indicators_-_8th_Ed_(V8.2).pdf

Third, teachers at these schools have every incentive to want to protect the "profession". They get paid extremely well for being highly educated, trained and experienced practitioners, and from what I'm starting to learn as someone new to the scene they will fight to the death to keep things that way. The moment any Joe Schmoe with a BA who thinks they can waltz into a classroom and "teach" is allowed to do so on any meaningful scale...the gravy train will be lost, and we will see the gradual deterioration of salary and benefits that the ESL has been experiencing this past decade.

Just my two cents. So, with your F-6 you have an advantage in that you could get into one of the main international schools if they can't fill a vacancy...or you could do subject teaching at a full private school without any visa issues to get your experience points.


It is fair that teachers protect their professions since the international schools (fully accredited ones) here are the equivalent of the public/ private schools in the US and Canada. Not only the Koreans but North American children would be attending these schools as well. And getting into these jobs back home would be really difficult even after graduating from university and teachers college.
It's too bad that the international schools here don't have student-teacher/ or teacher's assistant positions. This way, if the applicants don't have the 2 years of teaching experience back home they can acquire it here by doing internships at the international schools or working at one as a teachers assistant for a few years and learning all the responsibilities on the job.


  • waygo0k
  • The Legend

    • 4498

    • September 27, 2011, 11:51:01 am
    • Chungnam
Re: Getting a teaching certificate
« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2021, 12:54:27 pm »
There's another back door way to get into these schools.

Some schools offer internships for those who might not have enough experience. This means you'll be employed at the school basically as an assistant/trainee teacher on a reduced salary compared to the full time teachers...could be anything from one to two years.

The other option is to get in as a substitute teacher. You obviously won't be on salary, but you'll be in their system and on their pay roll (paid per class)...meaning you'd probably have first dibs if a vacancy for your subject came up.