Wednesday, September 29, 2010

대한민국회사들이 외국선생을 선택하니: 좋은 생각? 아닙니다. 왜? 읽으보세요.

Here is an advertisement from today's
The recruiter is searching for a Business English teacher/coordinator.
At the bottom of this position, here is the list of "Qualifications."

1. English native speaker
2. Bachelor’s degree or higher
3. Teaching Certificate
4. Age 24~36
5. Must have more than 2 years of teaching business Eng. experience at corporation in Korea
6. F2, E2 visa holders who are in Korea now, and can attend in-person interview (F4 visa holders will not be accepted)
7. Female

If you are interested,
Please send your resume and a professional picture of you

This is quite incredible, actually, and it happens all the time at Korean companies.  First, you should read my earlier post called What "Business English" Hagwons in Korea Don't Want You to Know, which tells you that just because a person was born in a English native country does not necessarily make him/her a qualified teacher.  As everyone knows, Korean companies excessively rely on the idea that some type of certificate makes a person qualified.  It DOESN'T and this excessive reliance sacrifices ACTUAL quality.  Now, this does not apply only to Business English teachers, but that is a topic for another blog entry.  The best way to ensure that a teacher is qualified will be to look at the quality of the university that the teacher attended.  It tells a company that the teacher could at least study well enough for an entry exam.  If you use "niceness" as the criteria, then you will find that YOU ARE SMARTER THAN THE TEACHER.  That is the primary problem that I find with Business Education instructors that I have met in Korea. Especially at the executive level, the employees are far superior to the teachers.

That, however, is not the key point of this article.  Look at criteria #4, #6 and #7 above.  For those of that do not know, F4 is for non-Korean citizens that are of Korean descent (교포).  First of all, using #4, #6 and #7 as criteria would be ILLEGAL in most countries in the Western hemisphere, and the company would EASILY (and at great financial cost) lose in a court of law.  It is policies such as these that make Korea seem to be a highly discriminatory country.  Now, perhaps Korea believes this to be a positive:  I assure you that the remainder of the 1st world do not.  Certainly, implicit discrimination has and will always exist.  Explicit discrimination such as this is, generally speaking, banned by the rule of law. 

The key point of this article is that a teacher of Korean descent will have a greater probability of understanding of how Koreans have learned English and superior knowledge of what mistakes that Korean-native speakers most commonly make.  This is the unwritten 정, which really has no accurate, sufficient English translation.  That almost cannot exist with a foreign teacher that is not a gyopo.  That relationship between teacher and student will compel both the student and the teacher to try harder to satisfy each other.   That additional effort will almost always lead to better results.  Isn't that the goal of taking a company's time and money? 

I have heard a long list of excuses why the statements made above are wrong.  They are only that:  excuses.  If you enter into a debate with actual logic, then those "reasons" lead to superficial matters such as "I like pretty foreign girls," or "Foreigners are nicer," or "Girls are nicer."  None of the "reasons" leads to the only acceptable answer:  "We learn more English."  It is another example of how Korea, while stating that it does so, fails in what should be its most ambitious goal:  a society based on merit, rather than appearance and labels. 

Please comment, and if you believe that I am wrong, then I would appreciate you telling me why in the Comments section below.


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