Governmental Teaching Programmes
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Moving abroad takes courage, especially moving to a country where you are unfamiliar with the language or culture. In this article, we will discuss governmental teaching programmes which will help you step into the world of TEFL for the first time.
These programmes have many benefits to them, such as additional training before you begin your job, free accommodation or an accommodation stipend and a flight refund.
Before you begin, think about which country fits your needs the most, as you will be living and working in these countries for up to a year. Let’s take a look at the different governmental teaching programmes available:
EPIK stands for ‘English Programme in Korea’ and is the South Korean Government’s English teaching programme based on improving the South Korean public-school system through internationalisation. Applications for the EPIK programme open at two periods throughout the year: February for the fall term and August for the Spring term, with deadlines being at the end of November for the Spring term and at the end of May for the Autumn term.
How to apply?
You can apply either directly to the Ministry of Education or through a recruiter. If you decide to apply through a recruiter, there is a list of recruiters approved by the Korean Ministry of Education on the EPIK website, and you should only apply through these recruiters. At no point should you pay a recruiter as they get paid by the Ministry of Education for their services.
To begin your application, you need to go onto the EPIK web portal and register. The application is split into several sections: Background Information, Health Self Declaration, Personal Essays, and Lesson Plan. The background information and health self-declaration are self-explanatory, but personal essays and lesson plans may take a bit more time to complete.
Personal essay tips
Answer both why you want to teach EFL AND why you want to teach in Korea
When writing this part, think about the different elements of EFL and how this may connect to your degree or your previous employment history. Why have you decided to jump from your previous expertise, if you have, to EFL? If your studies have been in EFL or teaching, why did you decide to study this in the first place? For the second part of the question, think about the South Korean educational system, or maybe the ideology that surrounds education in South Korea and how this connects to your own.
Please explain your teaching philosophy
When thinking of your teaching philosophy, think about key elements that you rely on when teaching. Is this fun? Respect? Communication? Use these as the basis for this essay and expand upon them and explain why they are important.
Share your thoughts on encountering cultural differences
When sharing your thoughts, think about what cultural differences mean to you and how you react to them. Have you been anywhere where you have experienced cultural differences, and what are they? Ensure that you relate this back to South Korea- talk about what parts of Korean culture excite you and how you will use your colleagues, fellow staff members, and students to experience this.
Your lesson plan is your time to shine but remember that EPIK will look for both quality and quantity; make sure that you hit the word counts, but also make your lesson plan unique.
Before you start your lesson plan, make sure that you research the South Korean educational system as each level (e.g. Elementary, Middle, and High) will have specific focuses. For example, High Schoolers will be going into either higher education or employment, whilst Elementary School students will be focusing on the basics.
Your lesson plan should not focus on grammar, but rather a conversation. You need to make sure that your students are being taught something that they will primarily need to use in English, for example, being in an airport or going on holiday.
As for every teaching programme, EPIK will require a notarised and apostilled copy of your degree and teaching qualification, as well as a notarised and apostilled original CBC. One thing that is different is that EPIK may require an apostilled copy of your birth certificate or some other way to identify where you were born. This is because, if you were born in Korea and under a certain age, you would be liable for conscription. More information about the EPIK programme can be found here: EPIK (English Programme In Korea)
2. JET Programme
The JET programme is run by the Japanese government as a way to increase educational internationalisation. There are three distinct strands that you can apply for through the JET programme: Assistant Language Teacher (ALT), Coordinator of International Relations (CIR), and Sports Exchange Advisor (SEA). Whilst you only must have a high level of English proficiency for the ALT strand, you will also need a high level of proficiency in Japanese for the CIR and SEA positions.
If you are looking at the JET Programme from a TEFL point of view, you are most likely going to be applying for the ALT position. As the name implies, you will be assisting a Japanese teacher of English in their teaching duties.
How to apply
Due to the circumstances of 2020, JET applications have moved fully online for the 2020/21 application cycle. This is compared to previous years where you would have you send your application and documents to your local Japanese embassy for processing. Please note that each country has its own JET website, so requirements may change from country to country.
To start the process, you need to complete an online application form; the form will ask you for background information such as educational history and employment history, but also any coaching or teaching roles and any intercultural experiences. In these additional parts, it is important to sell your experiences and to say what you have learnt, even if you have only been to Spain for a family holiday. JET will be looking at how you can apply what you have learnt to their programme, but also to make sure that you are open to new cultures and experiences.
The final part of the application, which is the most important, is the personal statement. Unlike EPIK, you do not have to complete a lesson plan here, but you must convey why you JET should pick you. Dependant on the role that you are applying for, you may need to complete a slightly different personal statement. As most people will apply for the ALT position, I will be discussing this.
Things to consider for your personal statement:
Do your background research on the JET programme and think about what parts are most appealing to you- is it the fact that you can help students improve their skills, or is it the fact that you get to experience a new educational system?
Think about what skills you can bring to your new community: are you experienced in the world of EFL? If so, tell them what skills you can bring from that. If not, think about what skills you can bring from other areas of work and life.
When talking about culture, think about your first day in the country you want to give as an example. Did you struggle to understand the language or culture? Was it hard getting used to a new way of living? If you have not had experiences of new cultures, think about previous work or life experiences where you might have had to compromise or a change of view. Was this at work, at university, or somewhere else?
When talking about teaching, think about past teaching experiences, whether this is in a classroom or online, and what elements worked the best. Do you have a specific philosophy that you teach, and do these elements fit this. If you don’t have much teaching experience, think about when you were back in school and what things you enjoyed the most. Was it interactive lessons or activities? Was it group work or individual work? As this is such a big class, how would you go with organising them? Make sure that you are imaginative with this!
After you have finished your application, you need to make sure that you have your additional documents ready, but what do you need? For the initial application, you would need the following: a statement from your doctor (if necessary), your academic transcript from your university or college, proof of your degree, proof of nationality, and two letters of reference. If you are applying for the ALT position, you would need your TEFL certificate. If you are applying for the CIR or SEA positions, you would need certificates of proficiency in Japanese as well.
You would need to upload your documents, as PDFs, to the online application portal. Make sure that documents with multiple pages are saved as one file before they are uploaded.
Once you have uploaded everything, just sit back, and relax! You will be notified if you have an interview soon.
3. FET- Foreign English Teachers in Taiwan
The ‘FET’ government teaching programme is probably not as well-known as JET and EPIK but has amazing benefits to match. The only hurdle that you may encounter is that FET requires you to have a teaching license from your own country to work with them.
How to apply:
The application process takes a similar route to EPIK and JET, in which you would apply using an application form on the FET website. Applications close at the end of April, with interviews taking place in May. If you are accepted, you will be notified by June.
The application is a simple affair and requires you to fill out your education and background history, as well as writing a personal essay around the following: your reasoning for your application, the objectives you wish to complete during your time in Taiwan, and how you would use that experience when you return home.
You will require quite a handful of documents for this application, including the following:
– A health check report from a local hospital or clinic,
– School transcripts (if you have graduated within the last two years)
– Your CV/resume
Contracts run for eleven months and can be extended if an agreement is reached between the relevant bodies. At the time of writing this article, there is no indication of when applications will open for the 2021/22 academic year.
Getting your documents approved for travel
In this section, we will be talking about the joys of getting your documents approved so that you can get your visa and travel. The information in this section will vary country-to-country a bit and should only act as a guide.
Documents required can depend on the country and can differ between government teaching programmes, but they will ask for three key pieces of documentation: your degree certificate (if the country you are going to requires a degree), your TEFL certificate, and also a criminal background check (CBC) from your home country.
To get a CBC, you need to go to the relevant body within your country to do so. The list below will help you:
England and Wales – Disclosure and Barring Service on Gov.uk
Scotland – Disclosure Scotland
Northern Ireland – Disclosures Northern Ireland
USA – FBI
Canada – Royal Canadian Mounted Police
New Zealand – Ministry of Justice
Australia – Australian Federal Police
South Africa – South African Police Service
The Republic of Ireland – National Police and Security Service
You can apply for your CBC online in a lot of these countries, however, if you need to apply for a CBC in the Republic of Ireland, you first need to go to your local Garda station to get permission. To see how to get a CBC in your country, just search ‘Criminal background check’ and add your country name.
It is worth noting that CBCs for visa purposes will only be valid for six months. If it has been six months or longer since you got your CBC, you will need to get a new one ordered.
So, you have all your documentation ready, now what? Now, we send them to the solicitors…and some other places as well. Getting your documents approved can be confusing as there are so many different and conflicting terms, but just follow the process below and all will be revealed:
1. Solicitor certification/ Notarisation
For your documents to be valid and accepted in your destination country, they first need to be certified (also known as being notarised) by a specialist solicitor called a notary public. A notary public has permission and training to certify your documents; any solicitor who is not a registered notary public will not be able to perform this service for you.
The notary public will inspect the documents that you sent and contact the relevant bodies, such as your university or TEFL provider, to confirm that the documents you have sent are real. Once they have done this, they will stamp the document, sign it, and then emboss it with a special seal that states their name and other information.
It is recommended that you use copies of your degree certificate and a TEFL certificate for this process, but your original criminal background check.
2. Getting your documents apostilled/legalised
The second section of this process is getting your document apostilled by your home country’s foreign office. In the UK, for example, you would have to send your documents to the Legalisation Office of the FCDO (formally known as the FCO) for this to happen.
The Legalisation Office will ‘legalise’ or confirm that the stamp, signature, or seal is real and is from a registered public official, such as a notary public in step one. Once they have confirmed this, they will place a small piece of paper on the back of your document called an apostille. This apostille confirms that the document is a certified original or copy has been authenticated by your home country.
3. Attestation/ Embassy authentication
If your destination country has not signed the Hague Convention of 1961, then they will most likely require you to get your documents legalised further, also known as attestation or embassy authentication. To get your documents attested, you will need to send them to the embassy of your destination country in your home country, and they will either stamp or seal them so that they can be used.
If you do not want to do all this individually, you can get your notary public to do all three steps for you. Most companies will do this for a fixed price per country per document and will save you the hassle of having to send them to different governmental bodies. They will be more expensive than doing it individually on your own, however.
If you have any other tips or tricks, or even have experiences of the programmes above, feel free to tell us in the comments section!
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LAST UPDATED: 6th June 2022
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- Personalise our services
- Process payments
- Carry out fraud and other legal investigations
Where we use another organisation, we make sure that your personal information is protected and remains in our control.
- We also, in certain situations, share personal information with government bodies and law enforcement bodies. Where we do share personal information with these types of organisations we’ll make sure it’s protected, as far as it is reasonably possible.
We’ll use your personal information to send you direct marketing and to better identify products and services that interest you. We do that if you’re one of our customers or if you’ve been in touch with us another way (such as registering to attend an Everything TEFL Ltd event).
This means we’ll:
- create a profile about you to better understand you as a customer and tailor the communications we send you (including our marketing messages);
- tell you about other products and services you might be interested in;
- try to identify products and services you’re interested in; and
We use the following for marketing and to identify the products and services you’re interested in.
- Your contact details. This includes your name, gender, address, phone number, date of birth and email address.
- Information from cookies and tags placed on your connected devices.
- Information from other organisations such as aggregated demographic data and publicly available sources like the electoral roll and business directories.
- Details of the products and services you’ve bought and how you use them.
We’ll send you information (about the products and services we provide) by phone, post, email, text message, online banner advertising. We also use the information we have about you to personalise these messages wherever we can as we believe it is important to make them relevant to you. We do this because we have a legitimate business interest in keeping you up to date with our products and services. We also check that you are happy for us to send you marketing messages before we do so. In each message we send, you also have the option to opt-out.
We’ll only market other organisations’ products and services if you have said it is OK for us to do so.
You can ask us to stop sending you marketing information or withdraw your permission at any time.
Everything TEFL Ltd retains personal information in line with our corporate retention requirements. Your data will be stored within the European Economic Area (“the EEA”) (The EEA consists of all EU member states, plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein). However, in some circumstances, part or all of your data may be stored or transferred outside of the European Economic Area (“the EEA”). You are deemed to accept and agree to this by using our site and submitting information to us. If we do store or transfer data outside the EEA, we will take all reasonable steps to ensure that your data is treated as safely and securely as it would be within the EEA and under the GDPR. Such steps may include, but not be limited to, the use of legally binding contractual terms between us and any third parties we engage with, and the use of the EU-approved Model Contractual Arrangements. If we intend at any time to transfer any of your data outside the EEA, we will always obtain your consent beforehand.
Right to access personal information
- Under the law, any individual has a right to ask for a copy of the personal information held about them. This means that you can ask for the information that Everything TEFL Ltd holds about you. This is known as the right of ‘subject access’.
- When making a request you will need to give us:
- a request in writing (by post or by email)
- We may need to ask you to provide:
- proof of your identity
- proof of your home address
- any information that we reasonably need to locate the information you have requested (for example details of the Everything TEFL Ltd offices or staff that you have had contact with and when)
We will not start looking for your information until we receive all of the above. In order to submit your request, or for help making a request, please contact us.
Rights concerning the processing of your personal information
- Right to restrict processing of personal information
- In some situations, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of your personal information. We may restrict your personal information by temporarily moving the information to another processing system, making the information unavailable to users, or temporarily removing published information from a website. We may also use technical methods to ensure the personal information is not subject to further processing and cannot be changed. When we have restricted processing of personal information, this will be clearly indicated on our systems.
- You can require us to restrict processing in the following circumstances:
- You are concerned that the information we hold about you is inaccurate. You can ask us to restrict the information until we can determine whether the information is accurate or inaccurate.
- We are processing your personal data unlawfully and you do not want us to delete the information but restrict it instead.
- We no longer need the information for the purposes for which we collected it, but they are needed by you for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.
- You have objected to the processing (see below), and we need to decide whether the legitimate grounds we have to process the information override your legitimate interests.
Processing you think is unlawful
- If you tell us that you think we are processing your personal information unlawfully, but you do not want the information to be erased, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of that information.
- We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the processing is unlawful, and may also ask that you provide evidence to support this view.
Processing of personal information you think is inaccurate
- You can tell us if you think the personal information we are processing about you is factually inaccurate. You can require us to restrict how we use your personal information until we can verify the accuracy of the information. We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the information is inaccurate, and may also ask that you provide some supporting evidence of the alleged inaccuracy.
- If we find that the personal information we are processing about you is inaccurate, we will take appropriate steps to correct the information.
Personal information is no longer needed by Everything TEFL Ltd but needed by you in connection with a legal claim
- In most circumstances, we will securely delete or dispose of personal information when we no longer need it for our legitimate business purposes. Our approach to retention is outlined in our corporate retention schedules.
- However, if the personal information we no longer need would assist you in establishing, exercising or defending a legal claim, you can require us to keep the information for as long as necessary. We may ask you to provide an explanation and any available supporting evidence that a legal claim is ongoing or contemplated.
Right to erasure of personal data (“the right to be forgotten”)
In the following circumstances, you have the right to require that Everything TEFL Ltd securely deletes or destroys your personal information:
- If the personal information we hold about you is no longer necessary for the purposes for which we originally collected it.
- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to Everything TEFL Ltd collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think Everything TEFL Ltd has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the Everything TEFL Ltd processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the Everything TEFL Ltd has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, Everything TEFL Ltd is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the Everything TEFL Ltd.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to Everything TEFL Ltd, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
Everything TEFL Ltd
28 – 32 Pembroke Street,
Republic of Ireland
Telephone: +353 (1) 554 6227
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.