Tutoring English In Korea | A Full Guide To Tutoring

Private tutoring English in Korea is a great way to supplement your income. Teachers can easily earn an additional 1 – 2 million won a month when giving private English lessons. Read on for the do’s and don’ts about English tutoring in Korea.

Tutoring English In Korea

What To Know Before Teaching In Korea

When moving to Korea, you’ll soon realize that things are quite different to back home. Korea has another culture, language and society. These will probably come as a culture shock to you. There is nothing better than being prepared for you move, this will help you settle in better and be prepared for what you might experience.

  • Learn Korean – If you are moving to Korea, then learn some Korean before getting there. Learn how to read and the basics, so ordering food and going to the supermarket won’t be as challenging. Great resources to check out are TTMIKSogang University books and Rosetta Stone.
  • Packing – When going to Korea for a full year, you’ll experience the 4 seasons. In winter, temperatures can reach -20°C and in summer it can be 40°C. Check what to wear in Korea here.
  • Giving Tips – Tipping in Korea is a big no no. Some people might even be offended by the gesture. The only occasion where tipping is accepted is to taxi drivers or tour guides.
  • Greetings – Greeting one another is also different from the rest world. No handshake, hug or kiss is given instead making a small bow with your head is the norm. More about Korean customs here.

Who Can Be An English Tutor In Korea?

For most professional English teachers in Korea, being a tutor is highly illegal and if discovered can lead to deportations or big fines. Only people on an F-visa are legally able to tutor and even then a special tutoring licence from the Ministry of Education office is required.

Even though tutoring is illegal for most teachers residing in South Korea, you will find that most teachers have thought additional private lessons in their spare time to supplement their teaching salary.

English Tutor In Korea

English Tutoring Fee In Korea

Tutoring pays way better that most full time teaching positions in a hagwon or public school, where the average English teaching salary in Korea lies between 2 and 3 million krw a month.

Private tutors normally charge per hour and fees for native speakers start around 50 000 krw an hour. The rate for non-native speakers starts around 25 000 krw per hour. These rates can go much higher depending on experience and qualifications. Rates also depend on the location, skills thought (reading, speaking, grammar, business, etc) and qualifications (TEFL certificate). Most of the time you get paid in cash after the lesson, or the student will transfer the lesson fee at the end of the month into your bank account.

Benefits Of English Tutoring In South Korea

When having the right visa, there are many benefits to tutoring English in Korea. The salary is generally higher, you have a flexible schedule and are free to choose who and what to teach.

English Tutoring In South Korea

1. Flexibility

You are in charge of your own timetable and can give as many or as little classes as you want. On top of that, you can easily arrange with your students when classes are cancelled or when you would like to catch up on missed lessons.

You can also pick who, where and what you want to teach. Only adults or kindergarten kids. Business English or conversation English. In your own home or in a coffee shop down the road?

2. There Is Lots Of Work Available

As it is very important for Korean kids and adults to become fluent in English, there is a high demand for English tutors, therefor tutoring jobs in Korea are widely available. Especially in big cities like Seoul, Busan and Incheon there are many Korean students looking for English tutors.

3. Non-Native Speakers Can Be Tutors

In contrast to full time visa sponsored teaching jobs in Korea that are only for native speaker, English tutors can be from anywhere as long as they are highly proficient in English. The same counts for locals, English tutor jobs for Koreans can also be found.

Down Side Of English Tutoring In Korea

1. Staying Organized

When being a private tutor, you have to stay on top of your planning. This includes lesson plans, different meeting places, payment due dates and lesson times. When working with different students, you need a way to organize your schedule with a virtual or written calendar.

English Tutoring In Korea

2. No Security

There is no guarantee when working a tutor. No set income as students can cancel anytime without notice, therefor it is highly recommended to let students pay in advance. At the start of the month or week.

If this is your sole income, make sure you have a solid student base and are not relying on one group or student. Before making this your full time job, start out by taking on a couple of students and grow it steadily.

3. No Visa Sponsorship

As mentioned before, being an English tutor in Korea is only for those with the right visa. There is no visa sponsorship available for people looking to move to Korea to become a tutor.

How To Find Students?

There are a couple of options when looking for private lesson students: going through a recruiter or advertising yourself. A good place to start is Facebook, search for Facebook groups that are specifically targeted to English teachings jobs. Some groups are listed below, note that these are for teaching jobs in general.

Other websites that are a good place to find tutoring jobs are Craigslist, Preply and Prime Edu.

Tips And Resources

1. Lesson Plans

Most students will like you to follow some kind of structure when teaching. Preparing your lessons is key to make help your student improve and make sure the lesson goes as planned.

When teaching a new student, try to find out what exactly they would like to learn and what their goals are. Based on this you could prepare your lessons plans and pick the right study book. A list of suitable books are listed below.

Another great resource is waygook.org where many other English teachers in Korea have uploaded their lesson plans. You can find anything from PPTs to worksheets and English word games.

2. Get A TEFL Certificate

When certified it is easier to find students and you will be able to charge a higher hourly rate. The certificate is fairly easy and cheap to get. Find more info on TEFL here.

Risks Of Teaching Illegally

Most of the teachers that are tutoring English illegally never get caught, but it is important to know the consequences before starting. If you don’t brag about your extra teaching jobs, then the only places you can get caught is when working extra hours in a hagwon, going through an agent or in the entertainment sector.

Most of the time when teaching 1 on 1 or doing company classes, you should be safe, as long as you don’t cause any trouble.

In the case you are caught tutoring English in Korea illegally, you will be deported or fined heavily.

Are you planning on becoming a private English tutor in Korea? Do you have any tips for other English tutors? Have any questions about tutoring? Let me know in the comment section below.

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