abitofanenigma (abitofanenigma) wrote in tefl,

Gap in TEFL/tutoring since qualification and worried about race…?

I’m looking to teach in Korea in the summer but I have two things worrying me.

For the record, I'm a native English speaker living in Scotland.

The first is I was qualified in TEFL at the end of 2008 when I did a 4 week course in Prague, but had student debts (and the cost of the TEFL) to clear before moving abroad so I came back to my old job. I kept meaning to leave, but life generally gets in the way. Unfortunately I have let this cycle of “going to leave – actually no can’t afford it yet” get in the way of me getting further teaching experience here because volunteer application here is very lengthy, particularly for working with children. Excuses, I know. I am now finally in a financial position to go, but I’m worried about the lapse of 1 ½ years without experience by the time I plan to leave. I’m also a dancer (as in, I get paid for it and need the money), which takes up a lot of my evenings. I’m kicking myself, because I loved teaching and want to do it more than anything. I still read up on lesson planning and grammar in my spare time.

As for qualifications, I have a degree in English Literature and my TEFL. I work as an Audio Typist (I listen to tape recorded interviews for court and type them into legal transcripts…so my English and computer skills have to be pretty good) and occasionally I operate a switchboard and have customer service experience. The only thing that I have that is close to teaching is that I have a fairly multi-cultural group of friends, some of whom are students. I’ll happily proofread or help them practise their English, but sadly nothing that comes too close to tutoring.

My second concern is my heritage. My mother is Japanese (my father is Scottish), and I’m not sure how this might be received in Korea? I know some Asians resent the Japanese, and also don’t like the idea of hiring Asian descendants for some irrational reason. I do not have a Japanese name, but I’m wondering whether I “look” Asian in my photos…I’m also worried by how people might see me when I get there.

Do any other “hafu” or similar Asian descendants have experience of teaching in Korea? What was it like? Should I keep it low, or will it ever even work in my favour?
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