A Filipino's Account of Teaching English in Cebu

Teaching is my life. I have been teaching English, ESL (English as a Second Language) to Koreans and Japanese for over two years now. I find pleasure in doing it.

I learn new things, make new friends, even make mistakes and learn from it. When I was young I wanted to become an astronaut but my mom told me I might bump my head on the moon because I'm too slow, so I kind of changed my mind about that.

I really never thought of being a teacher though, in fact I hated the thought of me being a teacher. But now I'm teaching English and I just love my job.

Most of my students are Koreans, some of them are Japanese. Teaching English to them isn't really that fun but the students (sometimes) make it easy for me to teach them.

When I started teaching I really didn't like it at first but slowly i developed a fondness for my students and that's when I started loving my job. And also, because of this I learned to speak Korean (not much really).

In this kind of school there are 4 types of classes which students can choose from, 1:1 - one teacher for one student, 1:2 - one teacher for two students (although this type of class is only for beginners), 1:4 - one teacher for four students and 1:8 - one teacher for eight students and the teachers that handle this class are foreigners (native English speakers).

Group classes are fun especially if the students are really willing (not pretending) to learn.

However, for a 1:1 class its not that exciting but you get to become a lot more closer to the student, which is also beneficial because there will be no more communication gap between the teacher and the student.

Also, there are a lot of special classes where students can enroll for no extra cost and yet learn a lot more. The most famous one is the Pops English class, in this class students learn English through songs, its quite fun actually and sometimes kind of irritating to the ear.

Teaching English to Koreans and Japanese isn't really rewarding especially if we talk about monetary value.

These schools charge a lot of money from the students (tuition fee) yet they pay less for the teachers.

Although if you're just starting out, the wage wouldn't really matter to you but once you've stayed there for quite some time you realize that what they are paying you isn't really enough for the effort you are exerting.

However, as I have mentioned a while back 'teaching is my life' so, the pay isn't really an issue for me. It's all about my passion for this job that has kept me going.

- Contributed by Sheila Acosta, a Filipino English teacher in the Philippines


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