Some clips of Flight of the Conchords. "Business Time" and "Jenny" are partcularly great. Two very talented and funny Kiwis!

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Korea Times

It seems to be contagious. First the posting where "i-to-i TEFL - Up to their Old Tricks" tells us all that we are not meeting the high standards of TEFL in China (LOL) and NOW Korea has a pot at us The Koreans seem to suffer from Xenophobia . The irony is that Korea is an absolute hell hole most of the time for TEFL (check out the Korean section of the TEFL Blacklist). Read on dear readers what the Korea Times has the cheek to write about us. The land of the hot dog (yes they eat the woof woof kind and adore putrid cabbage) should be avoided. Barge poles out and give the place a very wide berth.

53% of Foreign Tutors Lack Teaching Degrees
By Kang Shin-who
Staff Reporter

More than half of foreign teachers at elementary and secondary schools have no English teaching certificates. Of 3,808 native English-speaking teachers, 2,002, or 53 percent, didn't have teaching certificates such as TESOL and TEFL as of September 2007, according to the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development, Sunday.

TESOL is short for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and TEFL means Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Among 1,806 foreign nationals who hold English teaching certificates, 532 teachers had teaching licenses from their countries, 1,134 had TESOL or TEFL and 140 had both.

``Native English speakers holding English teaching certificates are most preferred and applicants need to have an education major or teaching experience of more than one year if they want to work with us,'' said Kelly H. Ye, coordinator in recruiting native English speaking teachers at Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education (SMOE).

However, schools, in practice, have difficulty hiring certificate-holding teachers. Currently, Korean elementary and secondary schools are hiring foreigners as teachers aides, as this is legal, for English conversation classes. Native English-speaking nationals with a bachelor's degree or above can apply for English teaching or E-2 visa.

By region, South Gyeongsang Province had the highest ratio of ``licensed teachers,'' with 60 percent. The province had 163 foreign nationals with teaching certificates out of 270. Following South Gyeongsang were Gwangju and South Jolla Province with 57 percent.

In Seoul, 54 percent had certificates while the ratio fell to 47 percent in Gyeonggi Province.

Ulsan City had the lowest ratio of licensed native English teachers with 23 percent and Daejeon City also showed a low ratio with 26 percent.

Korea has seen a growing number of foreign English teachers and accordingly the number of foreigners forging their degrees to get E-2 visas is also increasing, according to the Korea Immigration Service. A total of 692 foreigners with fabricated degrees were caught as of August 2007.

Meanwhile, top educators in 15 cities and provinces requested President-elect Lee Myung-bak to ease English teaching visa regulations that restricts foreign English teachers by national in a meeting with Lee at the Lotte Hotel in central Seoul, last Friday.

Regarding this, an SMOE official said they can secure more qualified teachers by expanding English teaching visas to more countries. ``If Asian teachers are allowed at schools, we can also place those teachers in math and science classes for English immersion programs planned by the incoming government,'' said Choi Chun-ok, the supervisor in charge of recruiting foreign teachers at SMOE.

Inspector McHammered of the Lard in Pamplona, Spain

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