Saturday, September 23, 2006

About the Job

I've recieved a few emails from friends asking me how's work, so I'll give a little explanation on what I'm doing here in Jeju-do.

I work for a privately owned, though part of a franchise, private language school, called a hagwon, or academy. The hagwon is relatively small, though after talking to a few people, it seems to be kind of a standard size. There are two other teachers, Brad and Ryan, two front desk girls, Jinni and Eun Ju, and Michelle, the boss.

The classes I teach are 3 hours long with two 5 minute breaks. Classes are either from 4-7pm or 7-10pm. Right now I'm teaching 24 hrs a week which is pretty nice, but that may change to 30 soon. Prepping doesn't take long, I'll bet the total time I spend outside of class nowadays working on class materials is about 30mins per class. My classes right now have a minimum of 10 students and a max of 15. I have one Elementary class (4th-6th grades) and 3 Middle School classes (7th-9th grades).

Basically the main theory behind Korean language education is immersion with a native speaker. These kids have me for 3 hours a day, twice a week. In class, we only speak English, 100% of the time. All of the kids already speak English relatively well, they can read simple books and understand me fairly well. The class is structured down to the minute for the entire 3 hours and is centered around Reading Comprehension. We do a little vocabulary and listening with a CD, then spend the next hour reading a chapter in a book. At the end, for every class they have to memorize a paragraph.

The job is going pretty well so far. I'm enjoying it. There are many frustrating parts about it, but overall, I think I'll make it through a year here just fine.

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