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Free time for degree studies

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  • Dawie
    16 October, 2007 at 19:02
    • Total posts: 1

    Hi there

    I’m considering doing the CELTA course and then teaching in Korea for a few years.

    I’m also busy with an LLB degree part time, and have around 2-3 years to go. It is very important for me to finish this, which I want to do while teaching overseas.

    My question is regarding the time I’d have available for my studies, while teaching EFL. I have read on forums about contractual 30 hr. work-weeks, but teachers ending up working much longer than that, doing preparations, and other activities (meetings etc.). These aren’t part of the initial contract.

    I need at least 3-4 hours per day to study. Would this be possible, generally speaking, while being a TEFL teacher?

    Thanks in advance and kind regards,


    17 October, 2007 at 10:50
    • Total posts: 86

    Reply To: Free time for degree studies

    Hi Dawie

    Welcome to the forum! First of all, the CELTA or an equivalant course is a very good option if you’re thinking of teaching for a few years. It will give you the skills and confidence you need to get started.

    The vast majority of TEFL contracts are for actual contact hours with classes. So if you are teaching 30 contact hours, you will also have to take into account preparation time, travel time to classes and any administrative work and training that the school asks you to do.

    With this in mind, I would say that 30 contact hours is a lot – somewhere between 20 and 25 is more reasonable. That way you can normally end up with something like a 40 hour week in total (give or take, and depending on how much time you put into preparation of course – preparation time should decrease as you gain experience).

    Another thing to consider is the possibility of split shifts. This depends very much on the school, but you might, for example, have classes early in the morning and at lunch time, and then a long break in the afternoon, followed by a class in the evening. This is something to talk with any potential employer about.

    So, with all that in mind, the answer to your question depends of course on you! For me, with 30 contact hours a week, finding 3 or 4 hours a day for study would be difficult. With 20-25 contact hours, and therefore a 40-ish hour week in total, for me that would be hard work, but do-able!

    Hope this helps.


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