Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Lost in Translation

So a lot of things in Korea are lost in translation. It's mostly my fault in most situations for not speaking enough Korean to grasp the intricacies of what being said. But there are some programs that I teach in, at my uni where a lot of stuff is mis-communicated, and it's not really my fault. In theory, those in charge of recruiting and directing foreigners to teach English in their programs would themselves have pretty passable English. Anyway, my tips to help in these situations:

1. Never give a verbal yes to anything over the phone. My Korean is horrible on the phone and so is most Korean's English. I always ask them to send me an email or ask if we can meet in person sometime to discuss it.

2. Don't worry about all the details. At my uni, it seems that the directors don't really care about what you're actually teaching, they just want a program of some sort and they want a foreigner to teach it. So the key is to ascertain if this is the situation or not. If it is, just agree on date/times/money and worry about the rest later.

3. Everyone says their students are "high level," whatever that means. Just prepare for the first class with some general introductory activities and then see what the actual level is and go from there.

4. And check to make sure you actually get paid. This often happens at my uni, with someone just simply forgetting about you, or they don't know your bank account #, etc.

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