Jobs are beginning to roll in. Many are still short but I am busy which feels nice. I am also getting experience with the type of teaching this group wants.
I have taught youth up to university age for fifteen-plus years and I have taught adults here and there. And yet the groups I am now working with have a different set of needs. Last week, I taught a 20 hour course in presentation skills in English to Korea Customs personnel. Working in the field of customs meant that they already had strong English skills. I think all of them had more than ten years experience in their work and a few had more than twenty.
I learned a whole lot about customs.
This group, individually, often gave presentations to customs officials of other nations and to junior members of their own organization.
I have taught presentations skills classes to university students and had them give 2-5 minutes talks about their hobbies or the like. This crew gave 20 minutes talks that were condensed from one or more hour talks they frequently gave. Their slides were professionally made. The main ESL thing I did was work on pronunciation: the ‘rl’ in words like ‘girl’ and on ‘ths’, especially in ‘months’.
Regarding presentations, we worked on a catchy opening and simplifying slides. Some of the PPT slides they used were very busy and hard to follow. They were horrified when I told them about the 7 X 7 rule (check the link, but basically, add very little text to your slides).
One cool thing that happened during the three day course was one student didn’t show up one morning. I teach kids; this is not unfamiliar. But the excuse was pretty cool. His staff had intercepted several kilograms of cocaine entering Korea and he had to speak at a news conference on the subject. He returned that afternoon and gave a strong talk the next day.
One of first things I was taught at an adult hagwon in Seoul was that I was the ENGLISH expert, not the all-round expert. Many of my students then were far more knowledgeable in their fields and didn’t need my advice on those subjects. I needed to walk a line; strong in my English criticism and cautious on my outside commentary. As a university instructor, I forgot that advice because a) I have more life experience and b) students needed the high grades that I could give and so needed to accept unnecessary advice without complaint.
Well, time to look for more work and fill in some holes in my schedule.
On Quora, there is a discussion on how to start freelance work. The question is vague and the location of the people asking and answering is largely unknown but the answers chiefly cover writing. Hasan Mirza wrote:
What you need to do is visit sites such as odesk, elance, freelancer, fiverr and sign up. For example on Elance, you can give skill tests to prove how much you know, and how much is demanded. How it works is, you sign up and look at the jobs people have posted, and bid on them. If you can get a job, the respective platforms have quite a few services that assist both the employer and the employee.