Recruiter In Korea

The Honest Truth About Recruiting in Korea

13-year-old girl aces TOEFL iBT

with 6 comments

Congrats to this young student who scored perfect in all sections of the TOEFL iBT.

She didn’t even attend one of those ubiquitous test prep/SAT/AP hagwons scattered all over the country or studied abroad. In fairness though, her mom did teach English conversation for 10 years.

Lee, who had taught English conversation at a local college for some 10 years until five years ago, led her daughter to learn English in phases through activities using English, which enabled her to enjoy the process of learning.

Her (the mom’s) statement here speaks the utter truth about Korean kids learning English but if everyone followed it, I think we’d all be out of business.

Asked if Kim could offer some tips on studying English, she said, “Rather than thinking of learning English as memorizing grammatical rules, and words and phrases, it is important to think of it as having a good habit of using English in everyday life.”


Written by recruiterinkorea

November 13, 2009 at 12:25 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

6 Responses

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  1. Hi,

    I found your blog while searching for information about teaching in Korea. I really wanted to get a public school job through SMOE, but they appear to be full of applicants already for March. I want to work in Seoul and I am considering private schools. Can you recommend a good recruiter to get in touch with?

    I have double major in business education and human resource development (training program development).



    November 13, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    • Yeah…ME!! haha..jk..that would blow my ‘cover’. I would hate to name names on here because I have a close working relationship with a lot of recruiters and again, don’t want to blow my cover. I would look out for the most established recruiters. You could tell by checking out their websites. Check out this post which will give you some helpful hints to weed out the sheisty recruiting agencies from the more reputable ones.

      Also, it would be better to apply directly to schools if you can but most schools rely on the handy work of recruiters (I’m glad ’cause they keep us in business..hehe). Again, you can tell if it’s a legit recruiter who works directly for the school simply by the email address that they use: not Recruiters that work directly for their schools seem to be more forthright than an agency working for tons of schools.

      Hope that helps. Let me know if you need anything else.


      November 13, 2009 at 5:42 pm

      • Thanks for the info. I have read that some shady schools will use your accommodation as leverage against you and that it can be better to get a place on your own. A lot of schools I have seen provide accommodation or money towards it (at least public ones), but do they usually provide the key money? I wouldn’t think most recent grads have 5 or ten grand to spare to put down the key money.

        Also, how often do employers break contracts? Say you have in your contract that you don’t work weekends (I wouldn’t complain about coming in once and a while for special events) and you start getting scheduled full shifts on Saturdays. What can you do about it? The way it seems is that they have you trapped because you need a written release to change employers and they are paying your rent. Therefore, they can pretty much do whatever they want regardless of the contract because you can’t get another job and you can’t pay your bills without them.


        November 14, 2009 at 7:29 am

  2. Theoretically, using housing as leverage is possible if the school wants to screw with you somehow but this has been rare in my experience. That being said, if there is an option of getting a housing allowance I would definitely go that route.

    You’d be surprised at how many schools offer key money but of course these are usually bigger schools that have a big enough war chest to provide 5 or 10 million KRW. You would probably have to sign some kind of separate agreement if they do release key money to you. It’s more tougher to find but there are places that offer housing for little or no key money. Obviously these places would be less nicer with few amenities than typical studios.

    Like I said earlier, we only work with schools that have a reputation of not dicking instructors around. We make sure that the contract is 110% clear and that the school cannot drastically change it unless they provide some great incentive to the instructor. You should never feel ‘trapped’. There’s always a way out. Shady schools are under the assumption that they have you by the balls with your visa, housing, etc. But they don’t. If you feel that you’re being cheated, go straight to the Labour Board. Don’t even threaten them first, just go right away and make a case.


    November 14, 2009 at 11:11 am

    • From the stories I read on other sites (eslcafe) you would think private schools are like a gulag. What would you consider an ideal contract/situation to be for a good private school job? things like total hours a week, $, how much direction they give you, work on Saturdays, etc.. If I see an offer I want to know if it is garbage or too good to be true.

      Also, will the recruiter be able to answer things like how long the school has been in business, how many teachers they employ, and how many students the school has?

      I wanted to do SMOE, but they are really making it difficult now. They want us to have TEFL cert. now (2grand) on top of everything else. Plus we have to drive to an embassy for the interview now. For me thats an 8 hour drive.


      November 14, 2009 at 2:08 pm

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