Monday morning, EPIK sent out the information for us to begin our pre-orientation for the Fall 2014 intake. For those of you that don’t know, EPIK teachers are required to complete a good amount of mandatory training. This is something that I was actually glad to know when applying to EPIK because I’d rather have as much support and training as possible. There’s a 15-hour online pre-orientation that we must complete prior to arrival in Korea and present the certificate of completion during the in-person orientation. (Honestly, if you have nothing else to do, you can finish pre-orientation in a day. It took me about two days to finish). There’s also a 45-hour in-person orientation that all EPIK teachers must complete once we arrive in Korea (and we’ll also receive a certificate of completion as well). In addition to that, there’s another 15-hour online in-service training that we must complete depending on the grade level we’ll be teaching (elementary, middle, or high) and it must be completed by December.
In this post, I’ll be giving my initial thoughts about the online pre-orientation, which is geared towards giving you some basic knowledge about life in Korea. Once you sign in with your information, you have to register (takes literally 2 seconds) and then you can look at the lists of lessons. Each lesson has a video or 2 (sometimes its someone talking or showing you things) and then there’s a check-up, which is a 5 question or so quiz about what was just discussed. Don’t worry, if you get things wrong, you can go back to that question and revise your answer. Here’s what the main page looks like:
There are definitely some parts that I felt were much more helpful than others. I’ll admit though, I’ve been looking at a lot of blogs and youtube videos which is why I already knew some of the previous information, like the importance of obtaining your Alien Registration Card before you can do ANYTHING.
- Lesson #5: I liked seeing the different co-teaching styles and it gave me an idea of what successful lessons look like when I’m working with my coteacher
- Lessons #6 and #7: INCREDIBLY HELPFUL. They gave a lot of tips about living in Korea, like making sure to use the correct trash to dispose of your garbage and recyclables and explaining how to effectively use your transportation card so that you can seamlessly make transfers without getting charged twice.
- Lesson #10: MOST HELPFUL so that you don’t make a complete ass out of yourself lol. They discussed basics around Korean social hierarchy and etiquette, common Korean body language and gestures, and gave an overview of different aspects of Korean culture, such as dining. (I actually took some notes when listening to this lecture. Who knew that the #4 was a sign of bad luck in Korea?)
- Lesson #15: They gave specific details about orientation and arrival in Korea, as well as a sample orientation schedule and they let us know when we receive our specific school placements.
Honestly, I didn’t find the lessons on survival Korean (Lessons #11 – #14) to be that helpful because I’ve already been practicing my Korean and they seemed so rushed. If i hadn’t already practiced a little, I would have probably been very confused. In my opinion, it’s better to make sure to practice on your own and learn some of the key phrases so that you can have a basic conversation. For some ways to learn Hangul and some basic conversational phrases on the go, you can check out my previous post here.
Once you finish all of the lessons, you need to print out your certificate of completion and bring it with you to the in-person orientation in Korea. Comment below if you thought other lessons were more helpful, or if you wish they would have included information about other things as well. Also, if you have any questions, comment below and I’ll get back to you ASAP. Talk to you later!!