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James English Academy
Job Description


Private English Academy in Tongyeong-si, South Korea seeks ESL Instructor, flexible start date of mid-Sept to October 1, 2014, (latest would be Oct. 20)

Please submit your resume with a current professional headshot photo to the email address below.

All the standard benefits, salary commensurate with experience, etc. SEE BELOW.

This is a successful academy that has been in business 7+ years, owned by the same woman the entire time, with most students attending multiple years.

I am the foreign teacher (American) currently holding this position and am helping my wonderful boss find a replacement. My contract ends Oct. 27, and I am returning to the USA to finish my Master’s degree. I have been a teacher at this academy for one year, and love it: love the job, the coworkers, the boss, the students, the city, and Korea! I am happy to answer any questions about the position, the school, the boss, and general life in Korea. My contact info is at the bottom.


Tongyeong is a wonderful small seaside city. The school and apartment are 2 blocks from the sea and great hiking trails are a one mile walk from your front door! Fresh seafood abounds! The local market for fresh veggies, tofu, seafood, meat, and all things grown locally is a 10 minute bus ride. A large grocery store is around the corner. The intercity bus terminal is a 15 minute walk or 5 minute bus ride. Taxis are cheap! There are two rock climbing walls and a rock climbing gym and club. Cycling here is fantastic, along the sea and you can get long rides in or just commute around town. There’s a seafront walking/bike path a mile long 2 blocks from the apartment. SCUBA diving is available in Geoje and Busan. Numerous foreign clubs abound for whatever activity you are interested in! Crime is non-existent (but I keep my bike locked up--be smart), people are courteous and kind, and the culture is beautiful. There are a dozen hiking trails and mountains all within the city, easily accessible by bus. We have tons of great restaurants, coffee shops, and bars. There are beaches here and in nearby towns. The ferry terminal will whisk you to all the great islands within an hour boat ride for beaches, hiking, relaxing, eating, and sightseeing. Museums, festivals, multiple parks… department stores, clothing stores… every modern convenience you want is here, along with the charm of Korean countryside and farms, rice fields along the roads and highways. Tongyeong offers the combination of city life and smaller town life.

The second largest city in Korea, Pusan, is a 1 hour and 10 minute bus ride away. Seoul is a 3 1/2 hour bus ride away. The next town over, with foreign markets and larger foreigner population is Geoje, only a 25 minute bus ride. There are plenty of foreign markets with American and other types of foods there. The bus system both in town and around the country is easy, modern, clean, and fantastic! Subways are available only in Seoul and Pusan. Trains leave out of other larger cities, including Seoul and Pusan. The two major International airports are in Pusan and Seoul. You can fly direct out of Seoul to major US cities and also many major international cities direct from Busan. Japan is a ferry or plane ride. Of course, you can easily access all of Asia from Korea.

The air in Tongyeong is clean, the ocean breeze fresh, and there is little traffic. The foreign community is an average size, with 20-40 teachers from all over: Canada, UK, South Africa, and America. The ship building industry is huge here, so you have many other non-teacher foreigners from all over: France to Albania to Greece to Italy! It’s a beautiful smaller city with the benefits of that, without the traffic, pollution, crowding and noise of Pusan or Seoul.


This is my experience with the teaching position. The boss is female; she wants a female teacher only. She’s easy going as long as your lessons are prepared, you are on time, and you are not a big drinker that shows up with a hangover or other issues. If you are a smoker or a partier, apply elsewhere. She prefers a mature, older, experienced teacher (meaning someone not right out of college unless you are exceptionally credentialed, experienced, mature, and past the partying stage). Not only is she a great and easy going boss, but she has become a trusted friend. She has always been around to help me and show me the city and assisted me in any way she can help me adjust to Korea. She is friendly enough that she will invite you to dinner with her family and take you hiking and sightseeing as well. She’s a nice, kind, friendly woman.

I work about 7 hours each day, no more than 8. There’s never overtime or weekend work, in fact most nights she lets me leave a few minutes early. I am at school about 35 hours per week, but this includes my lunch break and prep time. The schedule can change according to the kids’ vacation and summer schedule classes, but in general, your schedule will be 1230 or 1pm til 8pm. If you show responsibility with lesson planning by doing it at home, you don’t have to come in early to prep unless she wants to meet with you to review lessons (expect this a lot at first, of course, and each Monday we review the week’s lessons, takes 15-30 mins.). I spend about 1-2 hours each week in lesson planning at home, the rest I do at school before classes or on lunch break, so I don’t have to devote too much personal time to this! I have my own classroom, my classes are 50 minutes long, and I teach 2-4 classes per day. There is a new laptop with wi-fi access and overhead projector in the room, along with a large whiteboard. The rest of the day is spent in the computer room monitoring students as they do book work or online lessons, correcting work and enunciation; more supervisory. You will work alongside the boss and 1-2 other Korean co-teachers, who are also awesome.

I get a 30 minute dinner break around 6. Normally, we also bring snacks in and munch on them in the afternoon while students are working online. Classes are pretty much back to back, so there aren’t other official break times. It’s a short, busy, rewarding, fun day! The kids range in grade from lower elementary to upper middles school. You’ll mainly work with elementary age kids. They are well-behaved, respectful, eager, and wonderful kids!!! I love them and will miss them!

Here are the main points of the contract (obviously the official contract is much more detailed):

• Position is officially open Oct 28, when my contract ends, but an early start of Sept. 20-October 1 is encouraged for transition and training purposes.

• Salary: W 2,100,000+ ($2100.00 US) commensurate with experience, certifications, and education

• $2,100 bonus at completion of one year contract

• Furnished one-bedroom apartment is provided, you’ll pay $40 for apartment maintenance/wifi, electricity and gas (average $20-30/mo for both), w/d in apt.

• Pension (fully refunded upon contract end and departure) is $94/mo (optional)

• Full health insurance (health care is awesome here!!) $67/mo.

• Round trip airfare provided if contract is completed. You must buy your ticket to Korea, but my boss reimbursed me the first week.

• 8 days paid vaca, but there are enough extra government holidays that I’ve had off double that. It’s basically 5 days in summer (with two weekends that means 9 total) and 3 days at Christmas (again, add a weekend). There have been numerous government holidays (“Red Days”) that offer 3 and 4 days weekends every other month!

• You will need an FBI background check, transcripts, apostilled college baccalaureate certificate (bachelor’s degree), passport, etc….everything else required of a foreign teacher in Korea; finalized before a formal offer of employment is made.

Once I receive your resume and photo and status of your documentation, if you pass the initial screening, I will forward your resume to my boss and she will contact you. She might refer you to a recruiter because they generally handle the contract negotiations and minutiae for English Academy directors (fyi).

Again, the starting date is somewhat flexible, but must commence no later than Oct. 27. If you are already in Korea and have experience teaching ESL, that’s a plus! I am happy to answer any questions, send you photos of the school and apartment, and also refer you to my blog so you will know exactly what life in Korea is like, along with being confident in your decision to work at this school.

Good luck and welcome to Korea! It’s a wonderful country!!!

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