English Program in Korea (EPIK)

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About

EPIK (English Program in Korea) is a program that works to improve the English speaking abilities of students and teachers in Korea, to foster cultural exchanges, and to reform English teaching methodologies in Korea. It is affiliated with the Korean Ministry of Education and is operated by the National Institute for International Education (NIIED). Established in 1995, the EPIK program encourages cross cultural exchange while promoting the development of English language skills in Korean students.

We are now accepting applications for the Spring 2016 term with positions starting in late February, March and April of 2016. Positions are available throughout South Korea including key cities such as Seoul, Busan, and Daegu. Apply now to begin the process and get your adventure with EPIK Started!

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Questions & Answers

An afterthought-- I applied directly through EPIK, but you can also apply through agencies/recruiters. I have friends who highly recommend Korean Horizons. :)

Reviews

81%
based on 33 reviews
  • Benefits 8.6
  • Support 7.4
  • Fun 7.7
  • Facilities 8.3
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 31 - 33 of 33
Default avatar
Amber
9/10

A little smile goes a long way...

I am currently starting my second year at a public middle school in Busan, South Korea and loving every minute of the time I spend with the teachers and my students.

I teach three grades -- first grade (13 year olds), second grade (14 year olds) and third grade (15 year olds). My largest classes are with the first grade students, averaging somewhere between 30-35 students a class. My second and third grade students are in what we call 'leveled' classes, meaning students are separated by their English level (high and medium to low). These classes tend to have somewhere between 20-25 students in each class.

In the public schools, foreign English teachers have Korean co-teachers with them in each class to assist with teaching, lesson planning, materials, and offer Korean translation if necessary. I have 7 amazing co-teachers that I work with throughout the day. This number varies by the size of your school and what level you teach (elementary, middle, or high school). I am lucky in that my co-teachers give me free reign of how I structure and teach my speaking class with the only exception of making sure to always incorporate their textbook into the lesson. So, I take the lesson for the day and structure my activities and games to fit with the key phrases in the book.

The structure of my classes look somewhat like this:

- Welcome, small talk, and warm-up

- Introduction of Lesson, key phrases

- Textbook dialogue CD (students follow along in their books), teachers then model the conversation again, students practice phrases and conversation with a partner.

- Practice, practice, practice! Students practice but this time using different types of conversations with the same key phrases. Usually, this is an active part of class. I do like using activities that move students around the class, always changing partners a few times, to keep them interested and having fun.

- Production activity. This lets me know students have practiced and understand the material. This is always an active part of class. I have a soft soccer ball I through around the class to have students stand up and practice or I play a game or sometimes both depending on the time.

- Calm down, review, and goodbyes!

One thing I've learned while teaching in my middle school is how important it is to smile and really be available for your students to talk to throughout the day. For my birthday last year, a student brought me a card she had made the night before (I later found out she was up at 3 AM doing it). But inside the card there was one thing she said that really stood out to me, "Teacher I like you very much. You always smile to us and you are always happy. That is why I like your class."

I genuinely love my job and my students. Teaching is always what you make it. Some day the students are bouncing off the walls and driving you crazy and other days they just won't talk! But a smile goes a long way with these students. If you show that you care just a little bit, they will often give you more joy than you could have ever imagined.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Mallory
7/10

EPIK Program

I have just begun my experience with EPIK, but so far I can say that the support from the staff and coordinators has been great. My apartment wasn't quite as nice as I had been hoping for, but after a good clean and with a little time and effort the place feels like my own now. My co teacher has been great so far and really helped me get settled in. She spoke great English and helped me sort out all the little things that need to be done when moving to a foreign country (bank account, ARC card etc). The only thing I would have liked was a little more information about adapting to life in Korea at the orientation. It was intensive training about teaching, but there was little info given about actually living in Korea.

Yes, I recommend
Lisa
9/10

Good for a first-timer

This was my first experience teaching in Korea and I'm glad I went with EPIK. The 10 day orientation eased us into Korean culture so by the time I started my job it wasn't so "shocking". It's very difficult to rate EPIK though because the teachers' situations vary a lot. I ended up in a low income school on the outskirts of the city; however, I lucked out with very kind, caring co-teachers and administration. Due to my (lack of) qualifications I'm on the bottom of the payscale, which I wouldn't have minded so much had the school not set me up with an apartment in the most expensive area of the city. The cost of living where I am is just slightly higher than other areas. But other than that, I have no serious complaints :)

Yes, I recommend

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About EPIK (English Program in Korea)

EPIK, English Program in Korea, affiliated with the Korean Ministry of Education was established in 1995 with the missions of improving the English speaking abilities of students and teachers in Korea, to develop cultural exchange, and to reform...