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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Apr 22nd, 2005, 09:04 pm
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Default Qualification Requirements to Teach English in Asia

Qualification Requirements to Teach English in South Korea, Japan, China, Thailand & Taiwan.

After being asked a few times and not really knowing the answers, I did a little research to try and find what the teaching qualifications are for the main ESL countries in Asia. Below is what I found. If you think/know this information is skewed or wrong, please reply to this thread. I have made note of the source of all the information.

Warning: Please check out this information for yourself before making your decisions.

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Qualification Requirements to Teach English in South Korea
Korea employs many English language teachers, and generally does not require that you have any special qualifications for teaching English other than having a Bachelors degree (in anything!) and being a native speaker of English.

Basic Qualifications
  • A university degree of any field or higher (Note: A Bachelors degree is recognized as a 4 year degree).
  • English should be your first language.
  • Enthusiastic about teaching.
  • Teaching experience is preferred. If you have teaching experience, you will be offered better salary and benefits.
Source

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Qualification Requirements to Teach English in Japan

Private Students
Teaching private students can be very lucrative business. The rates vary immensly (somewhere from around 1,500 yen/hour - 10,000+ yen/hour, however it seems like the going rate has settled somewhere in the 3,000 - 5,000 yen/hour range. Many teachers take on private students to supplement income from their regular teaching jobs which, depending on the particular school and contract signed, may be permitted or not. Even when teaching private students is specifically forbidden, many (most?) teachers still seem to take on a private student or two.
Qualifications
No special qualifications are generally required to teach private students, students often choosing their teacher due to chance (i.e. an introduction). However, you will probably only be able to retain your student if the student feels that she is benefitting from the lessons (either linguistically or socially).


Private English Schools
Private English schools are where the majority of English teachers land their first teaching jobs. The rates have been falling a bit over the last few years, so teachers are starting somewhere around the 250,000 - 300,000 yen/month range. Part-time work is also available on an hourly basis usually somewhere between 2 - 6,000 yen/hour. Private English schools cater to a number of different markets including: children and high school students who attend them to supplement their education (JUKUS); business people who take voluntary/mandatory classes either during or after work; and housewives. Working conditions/hours vary greatly from school to school. Check the forums for recommendations/warnings on particular schools.
Qualifications
Requirements vary, but a minimum will be a university diploma (BA/BS or equivalent). This is not necessarily for scholastic reasons, rather that you need one to qualify for a visa. So, if you already have a visa (spousal or other) many schools won't care whether you have graduated from a university or not.


Universities
This is really the top of the ladder. Perks vary, but professors generally enjoy enormous pay increases vis-a-vis other teaching positions, lighter work loads, lots of benefits, and long paid vacations. Part-time work is often available and, depending on the school, payment is made year-round (even the 5 months or so that you are not teaching).
Qualifications
Generally a masters degree or equivalent and a minimum of 2 academic publications is required for full-time work. Part-timers are often required to have the masters, but not the publications.

Source

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Qualification Requirements to Teach English in China
To Teach English in China:
  • You must have a 4 year degree to be eligible to teach
  • You must be a native English speaker
  • You must have a passport from Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom or the USA.
Source

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Qualification Requirements to Teach English in Thailand

To be eligible to teach English in Thailand you need:
  • A Bachelor’s degree in any major by the time of departure. No language or teaching experience is required.
  • Have excellent spoken and written English skills. Non-native speakers of any nationality may apply providing that they have near-native English.

Source

In addition to the discussion about working in Living in Purple Thailand, you should note the following:

Quote:
Quote Kitti Nuisri, Chief of Foreign Labor Division, Phuket Employment Services Office
The penalty for working in Thailand without a work permit is up to three months imprisonment or a fine of up to 5,000 baht, or both.The penalty for doing work reserved for Thais is up to five years imprisonment or a fine between 2,000 and 100,000 baht, or both.
In order to get a work permit, a minimum B.A. degree and teaching certificate is required, despite what some schools tell you (all schools are desperate for teachers). Some schools, desperate for teachers, will tell prospective teachers "no problem" or that it takes up to a year for a work permit, but they never apply for the work permit. Work permits are the responsibility of employers and all fees must be paid by employers. According to sources, a properly filed work permit takes 4 to 6 weeks. A teaching certificate is required for anyone holding a B.A. in any field (this includes those with BEd), but is not required for those with a higher degrees. Once hired the teacher should receive a letter and school documents in order to obtain two Non-Immigrant B Visas (obtained at a Thai Embassy or Consulate). The Non-Immigrant B visa is the first step in obtaining a work permit (that is, your passport is flagged that you will be working in Thailand). If the school is not registered, there is a chance that the visa will be denied. After six months (when the two Non-Imm B are used), it is likely that documentation that a work permit will be required. Since the work permit process must be initiated by the employer, there is really no way for the foreign employee to track the process. Additionally, schools that do not obtain work permits for employees are subject to having their licenses revoked and fines (improperly licensed schools, therefore, are willing to risk illegally hiring teachers, as they have little to lose exept the fine). Source: A personnel director of a major chain of language school.

Source

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Qualification Requirements to Teach English in Taiwan
  • You must have a minimum of a 4 year degree
  • You must be a native English speaker
  • You must have a passport from Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom or the USA.

This teaching opportunity in Taiwan will provide you with your working visa and there is a minimal monthly employee contribution for health insurance. Classes range from elementary students to adults. There is also a unique pre-school “English immersion” program. As your experience grows with this company you can request specific ages to teach.

Monthly positions are available in Taiwan’s three major cities, Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung.

Teachers are offered the choice between hourly and salaried contracts (when both are available).

Source

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Again, please check this information out yourself. Comments or corrections welcomed.

Eric
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Last edited by Eric : Apr 22nd, 2005 at 09:23 pm. Reason: Perfection :)
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  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Apr 24th, 2005, 07:26 pm
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For Korea a three year General B.A. is acceptable. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise
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Unread Apr 24th, 2005, 07:50 pm
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Quote:
Quote fishead soup
For Korea a three year General B.A. is acceptable. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise
I have a friend who is stuck at his current place of employment because he has a 3 year degree. He was kind of grandfathered in there but when he leaves he has to leave korea. At least this is his understanding. Where can he find out more about staying on a 3-year degree?
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Unread Apr 24th, 2005, 08:59 pm
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Quote:
Quote Oreamnos
I have a friend who is stuck at his current place of employment because he has a 3 year degree. He was kind of grandfathered in there but when he leaves he has to leave korea. At least this is his understanding. Where can he find out more about staying on a 3-year degree?
For a while they changed the rule. Now its back to three year. This whole discussion comes up frequently on Daves ESL. When I go to the immigration office they never bother me. They just glance at the photo copied piece of paper.

Last edited by Eric : Apr 24th, 2005 at 11:17 pm. Reason: Accidently hit the edit button instead of reply. :(
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Unread Apr 24th, 2005, 11:18 pm
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That's great info! I'll pass it on to my friend. Thanks!
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Unread Apr 24th, 2005, 11:57 pm
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I would call the immigration office and double check first.I'm pretty sure its no big deal.
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Unread Apr 26th, 2005, 12:20 pm
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Default teaching at (some) Korean universities

I can't say that this is a fact, just that I heard that this was the latest trend.I've heard of two universities that want prospective teachers to have Masters and not just a degree in any field.please make a thorough check.thanks.
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Unread Apr 26th, 2005, 07:11 pm
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Most Universities require a Masters. If you've got lots of experience its possible to get a University job in the sticks with just a B.A. Beware some University jobs are actually Hoegwan jobs in Disguise

Example

Sogun University requires three teachers immediatly

World language institute will be hiring several new teachers who will be teaching University students.

They'll give you some hours at the university for that they get a big cut. Then they bus you over to their little Hoegwan to teach kids.
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Unread Apr 26th, 2005, 07:16 pm
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Additionally, at a lot of universities summer 'vacation' is really time spent in extra classes or camps or both.
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Unread Apr 27th, 2005, 06:43 pm
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Quote:
Quote Oreamnos
Additionally, at a lot of universities summer 'vacation' is really time spent in extra classes or camps or both.
You can make money on top of your already existing salary for this; and still have some time to go rock climbing in Krabbi.
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Unread Sep 29th, 2007, 08:31 pm
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Default Re: Qualification Requirements to Teach English in Asia

Thank you for posting this great topic, conducting valuable research, and providing a clear roadmap for people considering teaching English in Asia.
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Unread Sep 29th, 2007, 08:32 pm
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Default Re: teaching at (some) Korean universities

Great quote!
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Unread Oct 30th, 2007, 03:22 am
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Default Re: Qualification Requirements to Teach English in Asia

As of October, 2007, I would stay out of Japan for the next few months to one year. A major English school chain with 50% of the market closed (NOVA), flooding Japan with upwards of 5000 English teachers. A lot of companies, both English-related and outside the industry, have been wading through applications. My company has been getting more than fifteen a day, and a friend of mine in the headhunting business has been getting twice that number on average.

What does this all mean? Although it's too soon to tell, it's definitely an employer's market at this point. If you don't have a lot of experience, or a lot of qualifications, then I think Korea and China offer much better opportunities for the teacher/ traveler looking for a few years overseas. To put this into perspective: I've been teaching for ten years here, and I wouldn't bet on landing a job myself if I chose to enter the market.
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Unread Oct 30th, 2007, 09:17 am
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Default Re: Qualification Requirements to Teach English in Asia

Thank you for that detailed, illuminating, and slightly depressing update.

I guess the idea of earning yen as the dollar collapses will have to wait until the chaos ends in the language market. By the way, why did NOVA go under?
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Unread Oct 30th, 2007, 09:42 pm
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Default Re: Qualification Requirements to Teach English in Asia

NOVA filed for court protection from its creditors, as it's roughly 44 billion yen in debt. These figures are from June or July, so the debt is likely greater. At this point, they're shopping around for a major corporation to bail them out.

There are a lot of reasons for NOVA's demise. The final blow came over false advertising. NOVA advertised lessons at any time, but couldn't provide the service. And when students asked for refunds, the company either said "no," or claimed that the points were less valuable than when they were purchased.

It is very depressing, especially for the teachers who are here. A lot have no jobs, no savings, and so have no choice but to return home.
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