There are newer employer reviews for English Program in Korea

1 person found this helpful  

Poor Management of Human Resources

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Native English Teacher
Current Employee - Native English Teacher

I have been working at English Program in Korea full-time (more than an year)

Pros

Good compensation given the required qualifications
Low cost of living
Good location for travel + a better vacation package than hagwons.
Yearly increases in salary for renewing.
Housing is provided
Can be an eye-opening cultural experience

Cons

No actual standardization in terms of quality control--your work and home situation is all up to chance.
Many first time teachers will sign the contract blind--you are not told what grade level you teach or exactly where (besides the providence) until after signing.
Lack of communication, in part because of a language barrier but in large part as well because your co-teacher is expected to be your sole point of contact with higher management.
The freedom you have in creating, planning and teaching English will depend on your co-workers, principal, and vice principal's decisions about what English class should be like, not necessarily on your abilities.
Co-teaching is, for many, an empty promise. You may be doing lessons alone while your co-teachers take smoke breaks, be reduced to a human tape player, or be given the role of the dancing monkey (entertainer rather than educator).
Coworkers don't always share the values of senior management about the value of English education.
If you use a textbook, you will be expected to teach from the textbook even if the language is incorrect or unnatural because that is what students will be tested on. "I have a new game CD!" "Did you enjoy a good sleep?"
Because the EPIK program seems to be reducing the number of hires, teachers may have multiple schools-sometimes as many as five. This is not beneficial to the students as it means they will only have English conversation classes once a week for one hour.
If you have a strict principal (or one who doesn't like you), family emergencies not covered by the contract will not equal unpaid leave. My grandfather became very ill and eventually passed away, but because the contract only notes "special leave" for the death of a parent, spouse or child, I had to miss his funeral.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Please treat your employees better-we may be contract labor but providing us with little to no communication, support and opportunities for feedback (especially on our co-teachers) is probably why the turnover rate is so high.
Brief your regional educational offices and Korean employees about what EPIK teachers are expecting given our Orientation training and in-service training: actual co-teaching situations, freedom in making our classes engaging and practical for students, and that much-talked about Korean hospitality that will let us take care of family emergencies.

Doesn't Recommend
Negative Outlook

59 Other Employee Reviews for English Program in Korea (View Most Recent)

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great Pay but Thankless Work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Native English Teacher
    Former Employee - Native English Teacher

    I worked at English Program in Korea

    Pros

    Great pay and benefits, especially since cost of living so low. Decent vacation time. Essentially a really excellent deal if you want to live abroad for awhile. The hours aren't long but can be made so due to discplinary issues (students, for the most part, speak zero English and you cannot control them yelling in English). If you have a great co-teacher the experience will be great.

    Cons

    Depending on your placement, you could have an amazing experience or an abysmal one. Be prepared to not have your ideas acknowledged or considered, run into issues scheduling vacations any time in advance, or getting heat turned on in your classroom. NETs aren't really considered "real teachers" in Korea, especially since they are foreigners. Be prepared for culture shock and to likely be unappreciated. If you have a bad co-teacher, I am oh so very sorry.

    Recommends
  2.  

    OK to waste a year, but not a career

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Native English Teacher (NET)
    Current Employee - Native English Teacher (NET)

    I have been working at English Program in Korea

    Pros

    The compensation/benefits package isn't awful. Pay is low, but the cost-of-living here is low too. Free apartment, flights in and out, nice severance.

    Cons

    Xenophobia and mistrust on the part of communities and EPiK management makes it difficult to feel like yo're more than just chattel. Schools are hit or miss - some are great, some are nightmares. It's best not to think of this as a professional position: you're here to do what they need you to do. There are no (literally no) opportunities for advancement or professional development.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Figure out what you want: are you hiring professionals, or human CD players? If you're just looking for a "play" button on a verbal English lesson, give it up and just buy the CDs instead.

    Doesn't Recommend
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