Sunday, November 04, 2012

Survey about teaching English in Korea

A reader asked me if I could direct people toward an online survey he has posted about teaching English in Korea:
Basically my survey is to test some of my core assumptions about the ESL teaching community in Korea. I taught there in 2007-2008 for 1 year and although I had a CELTA and some great intentions I quickly found it wasn't enough to run a classroom.

While there I founded the Bundang Social Club (BSC) on Facebook, which has around 1700 members now. Although I don't run the club anymore (it's now in the hands of far more capable people who are on the ground) I learned a lot (and continue to) from my experience with the club. I realised that the problem isn't that Korea attracts malcontents or that the ESL industry is full of people who don't care about teaching and would rather party. It's that if you don't have the right resources and work environment then you won't be very effective at your job and if you aren't good at your job you won't enjoy going to work everyday and if that's the case then you're very unlikely to be a happy camper in general. And it seems a little silly to me really as there's no shortage of good resources in the world (I know having taught ESL in Sydney for a few years after I left Korea) and there's no shortage of teachers who need them, so all that's required is to put the two together.

So my questions mostly relate to work conditions as well as other questions designed to try and give me more of an insight into what the ESL teachers think and feel are their biggest problems at work. As I wrote the survey I realised just how many assumptions I had about who Korean ESL teachers are as a group and how untested they were not just by me but by almost anyone. I can think of only one blog out there that takes a data and research driven approach to what they write and that's your blog, Popular Gusts. I think the results would be really exciting and would shatter some core assumptions. I also think it's one of the few, if any, meaningful ways that the average teacher can have their voice heard in a quantitative and qualitative way. I'd love to get 1,000 respondents and have the results in the public domain. If people answer, share with their friends and post it to different places online then that would be really neat, I think.

Whatever you can do to get the word out would rock. Thanks heaps, I'll leave the survey up for a week or two more.
 The survey is here.


Unknown said...

As the survey writer just wanted to say a public thanks to Popular Gusts for helping get this out there. Although my 1,000 responses is a pretty optimistic figure. I'll keep monitoring the comments and will be happy to respond to any questions readers may have.

Kind regards,

Christian Thurston

Christian Thurston said...

The survey is closed, thanks to every for taking part and Popular Gusts for posting it :)