Interview With EFL Geek, Part 2
In Part 1 of this TEFL Logue interview, EFL Geek shared some insight into his graduate studies and also into his background and the origin of his blog. Turning more specifically to Korea, where he’s lived for ten years: what advice can he give to teachers job hunting there?
“I would recommend being extremely cautious – do as much research as you can. Get contact information of current and past teachers for where you would like to work. Most of all take your time and don’t rush into it. There are good teaching positions available in Korea, but they are not easy to find. Trust your gut – if you have a bad feeling about a job, don’t sign the contract.
Also be sure to read these entries on my blog to see what you are getting yourself into and be sure to follow all the links in each entry:
Despite – or perhaps because of – the length of time he’s spent in Korea, EFL Geek found it hard to name a specific aspect of the culture he appreciated the most, but when pressed he admitted “If anything it has got to be the food. I know many foreigners slam the food here and claim it is all the same, but it isn’t. In particular my favorite dish is Ddak dori Tang (닭도리탕), which is a kind of spicy chicken and potato stew. It’s truly outstanding.”
And the most challenging thing?
“The most challenging thing for me has got to be that I find Korean people at times extremely self-centred, selfish, and completely unaware of others around them. For example when walking down the sidewalk there will be a group of four walking abreast taking up the entire sidewalk and walking at a snails pace. They will not move out of the way to let people pass in either direction. Another example is the inability to let people out of the subway before pushing their way in.” [I have to concur that this type of thing bugs me wherever it happens!]
And what does he miss from home?
“I can’t remember. I haven’t lived in Canada for ten years and haven’t been back for five, though I will be going back this summer for two weeks so my parents can meet their latest grandchild.”
A big thank you to EFL Geek for taking the time to share his experience – and don’t worry, it’s not over yet! Come back soon to see EFL Geek’s ideas about the changing role of technology in the language classroom and also his advice on anonymity in blogging.