Extra! Korea

March 30, 2009

Gov’t to hire Korean English teachers because “native speakers can’t teach”

Filed under: education, expatriates — extrakorea @ 11:33 am

The government is intending to hire 10,000 Korean teachers to teach conversational English in public schools over the next two years. The initial plan was to hire a lot of native English teachers from “the Super Seven” (my term for Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States), but they’ve had difficulty attracting enough. No surprises there. However, this is what caught my eye:

“Foreign native English speakers cannot teach students without Korean teachers, but the newly recruited teachers can teach on their own. We expect these instructors will replace foreign teachers over the long term,” [Ministry of Education, Science and Technology official] Euh [Hyo-jin] added.


I know a lot of native speakers who can, and do, teach entirely on their own, and I’ve also known a lot of Korean English teachers who had no business being in a classroom, except maybe as a student.

Brian in Jeollanam-do, who works as a public school teacher, brings us some of his personal experiences and thoughts on the subject.


  1. I don’t know why they call them “co-teachers.” They’re more like opponents than assistants.
    I do my dangdest to immerse my students in a second language and the Korean teacher busts in and translates everything I say.
    I try to see if a student can perform a task my himself and the Korean teacher busts in and does it for him.
    How do they KNOW we “cannot teach students without Korean teachers”? They never give us a chance!

    Comment by Thomas Robertson — March 30, 2009 @ 6:23 pm

  2. […] Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Gov’t to hire Korean English teachers because “native speakers can’t …Cardio Workout 1/16/2009A better solution to the long term need for […]

    Pingback by Korea ranked 136th out of 161 countries in speaking skills « Extra! Korea — April 1, 2009 @ 11:18 am

  3. This is ridiculous. Any foreign teacher who spends a year teaching in a Korean public school will be a teacher, by all intents and purposes, by the end of their first year. Period.

    Foreign teachers come here and are thrust into a classroom with forty kids. The foreign teacher (excuse me, assistant language teacher) has no resources, no curriculum and he/she is lucky if he/she has any support from the faculty whatsoever. We’re all required to have co-teachers in the classroom with us, but guess what? In most public schools, the native teacher is left on their own with no co-teacher. So thats: no help, no resources and no curriculum.

    After a year of this, I think these foreign teachers will have learned enough about teaching from the school of hard knocks to consider themselves A) teachers and B) worthy of the position of teacher and some respect.

    These anti-foreign English teacher articles all seem to be written by aging, conservative politically-minded public ass kissers who have nothing supporting them but their “credentials” on a piece of paper (or some cronies who got them the job).

    Comment by Wavefunction — April 2, 2009 @ 6:58 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: