- File Size: 1876 KB
- Print Length: 57 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1503199827
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: October 21, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00ORLRP2Y
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #823,665 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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How to Get a University Job in South Korea: The English Teaching Job of Your Dreams Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Unlike most books in this genre, however, content in this book is not divided into numbered chapters. The absence of such organization forces the reader to ponder where the text begins to answer to the book title the author has chosen, and presents inherent challenges to writing a review. From what I gather, it appears as though the content is arranged in chronological order to mirror the job application process: 1) where to look for employment; 2) how to craft a resume/cover letter; 3) how to pass a job interview with demo lesson tips; and 4) some bonus extras including “Not the Perfect Candidate?”, “Frequently Asked Questions”, “Cultural Tips” “Online Resources”, and a one-page explanation on “How to Set Yourself Apart”.
Baring resemblance to the book’s title, it is hard to miss the heading “How YOU can GET that Fabulous Job” listed in the Table of Contents, or perhaps because the author has consciously decided to type ‘you’ and ‘get’ in capital letters. It turns out that poor writing mechanics act as a kind of harbinger of things to come. Analysis of the passages show why How to Get a University Job in South Korea fails not much because it is poorly written (which by the way it is), but rather because the author lacks credibility and struggles to identify with readers in her audience opting to fill these voids with passages of dubious advice, a number of which subject the reader to derogatory remarks about Korean culture.
It is hard to fathom how any aspiring university professor, qualified or unqualified alike, alike would benefit from demeaning passages where the author asserts her dominance, such as “The people who are conducting the interview are far more important and busier than you, so it really is their time that is the priority, not yours” (It’s Time for the Interview), and subjects them to catalogue of imperatives, such as “Arrive Early Especially if your interview is out of town, you need to leave yourself a significant amount of extra time to get to where you need to go” (It’s Time for the Interview), and “Smile, Look Friendly and be Outgoing Along with appearance, this is the other thing that is going to get you that job” (ibid).
Aside from stating the obvious, what permits the author to write with such command and authority? This is answered, in part, under the heading “Who am I” where the author announces her ten plus years of teaching experience that includes contracts with private academies and two Korean universities, in addition to an undefined MA degree, and a DELTA certificate. The author is a Canadian expatriate who has amassed a number of followers through in her involvement with the Korea Organization of Teachers to Speakers of Other Languages (KOTESOL), and perhaps more notably through her work online dedicated to helping teachers. Such credentials warrant applause but fall short in permitting the author to write in the kind of authority that would typically be reserved for someone with years of experience recruiting professors for teaching positions at Korean universities.
Nowhere in the text does the author document her experience screening resumes or conducting interviews; nor does she even qualify her experience as a job seeker. How many applications did she submit? How many interview invitations did she receive? How many interviews did she attend? And ultimately, how many offers did she receive? This critical information that goes surprisingly unreported would provide the author with much needed credibility, so that pronouncements like “Koreans will ask you personal questions at your interview, which would be considered illegal and/or extremely rude in Western countries” (It’s Time for the Interview) could not be dismissed as comically anecdotal.
In the absence of credibility, the author seems unaware that a distant relationship is created with the reader by choosing a writing style that seems to speak not to, but rather down on the readers, as if they are immature, inept adults in desperate need of a tutorial on common sense. Yet, in a strange twist, the author feels compelled to include a section on networking, enlightening the reader with more imperatives on the dynamics of social interaction: “Also, be careful of your love life or dating reputation. You might not get a recommendation if a friend fears that you might try to date your students” (My First Rule of Networking), and “Do not get all excited and try to go in too early for the kill. I recommend actually talking to that person like they are a human being and not just a university job vending machine” (My Second Rule of Networking).
There is little relief: “Do not be that guy who gets ridiculously drunk every weekend and makes a fool out of himself, or who is racist, homophobic or generally not cool” (Ooze Professionalism). Exactly, how does the author miss the point that people who enjoy getting “ridiculously drunk every weekend”, or who are “racist” or “homophobic” require the assistance of a licensed professor, not some EFL teacher trying to assist with applications to teach at a university? “My first rule of networking is do not be creepy, obnoxious, immature, lazy, unethical or unprofessional because nobody wants to be your coworker. You can be sure that people will not recommend you to work at their university because you will be like a black mark against them when your behavior offends people (which it surely will)” (My First Rule of Networking). Speaking directly in the second person, it seems clear that the author had a few bad encounters with people she deems to be undesirable – but why speak directly to these people using grammar in the second person? How many of these undesirables did she encounter to warrant word space in the book? What kind of thinking is required to believe that this passage or the one preceding will be read by the right members in the audience, and ultimately lead to positive change?
The only relief from such dubious advice is a one-page summary under the heading “Job Seeker's Checklist” that catalogues actions needed to be taken prior to beginning a new job. What makes content in this heading is that it tends to be more succinct in its message: the imperatives sentences are presented in point form and are arranged into three categories: insightful actions needed to be taken six months, 3-4 months, one month prior to beginning a new job. It would have been nice to see if the book had used these three categories as an outline for the book, then explained each point in finer detail by elaborating with examples, illustrations, and citing other useful resources.
In other passages in the book, it becomes clear that the author struggles to identify with her readers. In a more concrete example, the author’s poor choice of wording gives thanks to her editors in one sentence using grammar in the third person, then refers to those same editors in the second person in the following sentence: “Before we get started with the nitty-gritty details of finding that job of your dreams, I would like to express my appreciation for two amazingly helpful editors: Jason Ryan and Lauren Fitzpatrick. The book is much better because of you. Thank you for all your constructive criticism and encouragement” (Preface). How did this error, seemingly elementary in nature, not only pass by the author, but the editors themselves?
Oblivious to the possibility that her audience might include a Korean or possibly a Korean American, the author makes no apologies for a number of derogatory comments on about Korea, and its culture as a whole. By means of searching ‘Korea’ and ‘Koreans’ on Kindl, the author manages to move the reader to both pity and scorn characteristics she perceives to be distinctly Korean.
Here, the author’s condescending remarks on appearance in Korea: “In Korea, it may seem unbelievable, but if you look like a ‘teacher’, Koreans will think that you really are a good teacher” (Appearance is Everything); “How you look is the number one thing Koreans consider” (Who is the Prime Candidate?). Both examples illustrate the author’s view that Koreans are somehow incapable of evaluating candidates on job-related competencies inferring that Koreans are shallow and inferior relative to her own perceived notion of Western virtues.
In these passages, the author’s remarks on how Koreans view educational certifications and a foreign teacher’s association: “Koreans do not really seem to care that much about KOTESOL, so the previous four things are definitely more important and only include presentation certificates if you have nothing else ‘extra’ to include” (Your Application Package); “While the CELTA and DELTA are not currently very well recognized by Koreans, it is slowly changing and if there is a foreigner on the hiring committee, they will know the value of them” (Your Application Package). “A quick note about teaching portfolios. These are entirely optional in Korea and no employer will probably ever ask you for one. But, outside Korea it can be quite a valuable thing to have” (It’s Time for the Interview).
But the example that remains piercingly salient in my mind is the author’s observation on how employment is governed in Korea: “Contracts are not so important in Korea and I often say that they are not worth the paper they are written on” (Cultural Tips). This run-on sentence that ends in a preposition highlights the reality that the author is handicapped both in her knowledge of written composition and labor law. Regarding the latter, in all cases grievances cannot be resolved through the Ministry of Employment & Labor without first presenting a copy of an employee’s employment contract and a written declaration that reports upon the infraction.
You get the idea. Do yourself a favour, don't buy this book.
I have not read it, but I have read the author's writing on her blog. She regularly insults the English teaching profession in Korea and states that it is "not for serious educators"
Why buy a book about obtaining an English teaching job in Korea from someone who hates it?
Save your money!
I want to know what I'm doing wrong when trying to get a university job. I have been trying for about a year with no luck.
This book does nothing to help solve my problem..
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