Travel Agency in Search of Volunteer Teachers for North Korea

April 2, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. aspiring /əˈspaɪərɪŋ/ (adj.) – trying to become a certain type of person or professional
Example: The speaker gave advice for the aspiring teachers in attendance.

2. placement /ˈpleɪs mənt/ (n.) – an act of hiring for a certain job position, usually temporary
Example: She handled the placement of the overseas workers.

3. shoulder /ˈʃoʊl dər/ (v.) – to carry the burden or responsibility for something
Example: The company shouldered the extra costs.

4. shell out /ʃɛl aʊt/ (v.) – to pay or spend a certain amount of money
Example: The employees shelled out $100 for their travel fee.

5. wandering /ˈwɒn dər ɪŋ/ (n.) – act of moving around an area with no specific destination
Example: We had an enjoyable wandering at the city.


Read the text below.
North Korea is in search of volunteers that will teach English to aspiring tour guides in Pyongyang [PYUHNG-YAHNG] Tourism College.

Travel agency Juche [ju-che] Travel Services (JTS) plans to improve the country’s tourism by seeking the help of foreigners. JTS will provide a one-month teaching placement for volunteers to teach English or tourism subjects. However, the services of the volunteers will be for free and they will have to shoulder funds necessary for them to go to the country. JTS hopes to encourage students who will take a gap year.

JTS will accept five volunteers in May and in November 2015. Applicants need to have a certification on Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) or an educational background in tourism management. Once accepted, the volunteer will need to shell out £765 for travel expenses and accommodation. The volunteers will follow the same restrictions North Korea applies to tourists in regard to wandering and talking to people.

Despite tensions in North Korea, thousands of tourists still visit the country. About 6,000 people visit the country every year through accredited tour companies. The country hopes to improve its tourism with the help of its upcoming attractions. The Masikryong [MA-sig-le-yong] Ski Resort, which recently opened in 2014, expects to have 5,000 visitors per day. The resort features vintage chairlifts and 70 miles of ski slopes. Another project that North Korea plans is a tourist city in Wonsan [WœN-SAHN] that will feature an underwater hotel, a flower park, and a stadium.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         In your opinion, what would a volunteer gain from teaching in North Korea for free?
·         If qualified, would you volunteer your services to visit a foreign country? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         Do you approve of acquiring foreign employees? Kindly explain.
·         Why do you think some countries are in need of foreign workers? 

April 2, 2015