Here is the monthly update and insight into the world that TESOL Certificate graduates live in. The country featured in our jobs section is Korea – a good place to make money, there is also great food, friendly people and lots of social fun. The teaching tip to file away for when you are teaching is a simple pronunciation activity you can do with no preparation. We also have the usual information about professional development our Certificate graduates can receive and our standing invitation to observe ESL classes at Rennert so you can get a taste of what working in the industry is like. As always, please feel free to contact me at any time if you have any questions or comments.
I hope you enjoy this window to the world of TESOL.

Me eating pulgogi, Korea, 1999

James Stakenburg
Head of Teacher Training - Rennert
World Learning SIT TESOL Teacher Trainer
212-867 8700


Rennert offers a range of one-day teaching seminars that are open to all ESOL teachers in the New York area. Alumni of the SIT TESOL certificate course and Rennert teachers get a discounted of rate of $60 (regular price $75) for all of these professional seminars.

All one-day seminars are 6 hours plus a one-hour lunch break.

Schedule Summary 2009
21 Feb, 2009
21 Mar, 2009
Grammar 2
25 Apr, 2009
Vocabulary & Speaking
30 May, 2009
Listening & Songs
20 Jun, 2009
Drama and AV
25 July, 2009
Grammar 1
22 Aug, 2009
Reading & Writing
19 Sep, 2009
24 Oct, 2009
Grammar 2
21 Nov, 2009
Vocabulary & Speaking

Teaching Pronunciation
Pronunciation isn’t just sounds. What are the other aspects involved?
All aspects of pronunciation comprehensively covered
What’s the /aI pi: eI/?
Review the International Phonemic Alphabet
Do you wear your best vest or stop at the right light?
Practice with Minimal pairs
Do you wonder how to put this all together and teach pronunciation to your students?
Learn how to teach pronunciation


Each month SIT TESOL Alumni who did the course at Rennert receive a monthly newsletter. Along with details of upcoming professional development seminars and workshops and teaching tips, they receive information about jobs. We are also currently developing a comprehensive job referral site for our website that will be password accessed by TESOL Certificate alumni.

In this month’s Alumni Newsletter’s job section we go to KOREA – a great place to make money, have fun and experience a new culture. The scoop (word-of-mouth advice from someone who’s been there):

Nick lived near Seoul for a year.

“I lived on the outskirts of Seoul, on the last stop on one of the subway lines. I really liked Seoul – it was fun. The food was the highlight. The people are very warm.

Finding a job in Korea is easy. A good place to start looking is also has a separate Korea listing. Getting a sponsorship is pretty easy. You need a degree and most places you need a certificate also. I am going back to work with children and need to have a criminal background check, but this could be new as I didn’t have to do this before. You need to have the original of your diploma, sealed transcripts, a copy of the school’s contract with you and some documents that the school provides for you.

I worked from 1:00-8:00pm basically. I worked no weekends, but this depends on the school. I’d steer clear of split shifts, but that’s just a personal thing. I’d be cautious of a school that claims “Teacher needs to be flexible”, as they might abuse this word. It is not so hard to find private students and there is money to be made this way, but it depends on your contract as whether or not this is allowed. I taught kids (8-13 year-olds). They were generally pretty good, but did have more discipline problems than adults.

My salary was about $2400/month. They also paid for my apartment. I was able to save a ton of money there as I didn’t have any expenses.

It was pretty easy to get by without the language, especially in Seoul, though of course speaking the language enhances the experience a ton.”

Seoul, Korea, 1999

Extra Information
It’s very important to have a signed written contract before going, clearly outlining the complete terms of employment, accommodation (if included) etc. It’s best (and easy) to arrange work and visa before you go. However, it is also possible (and easy) to arrange work once you’re there. In Seoul look in the English language newspapers Korea Times and Korean Herald. You will need to leave the country (Japan, Hong Kong, Taipei are common places) to get a visa.

Private language institutions are called hogwons, and their quality varies greatly. Larger chain schools are safer in terms of being reputable and honoring contracts. Korean law requires that after completing a year’s contract you are entitled to 1 month’s severance pay. Be aware that less reputable hogwons can try to make your life miserable towards the end of your one-year contract so that you quit before they have to pay this. The average teaching day is 5-6 hours a day. Some classes may start as early as 6:30am.

School that are known to employ American teachers:
This information is made available to graduates of the SIT course.

Please note: While every endeavor is made to ensure this information is accurate, Rennert is not responsible for incorrect information.


Pit, Pet, Pat
A short, fun pronunciation exercise to practice/ review vowel sounds.

This requires no preparation, so is a good filler of 5 or 10 minutes.

1. Write at along the board words (with numbers below) such as:

This requires no preparation, so is a good filler of 5 or 10 minutes.

1. Write at along the board words (with numbers below) such as:


Note: The actual words you choose can differ, but try to use word beginnings and endings that provide for a variety of vowel sounds.

2. Review phonemes and sounds. Go over each word and elicit the phoneme for each (if the students know this). Drill each word so students are comfortable with them.

3. Practice sounds recognition/ discrimination: Say the words in random order and the students write down the number they hear. They should all end up with the same number (but almost never do). Do a few practices.

4. Practice sound production (and recognition). Put the students in small groups of 3 or 4 and have one student in each group read out the words, while the others write down the numbers. Each student takes in turns. Teacher monitors.

The students will have fun and practice vowel production.