Monday, November 24, 2008

Half of Seoul's Native English-Speaking Teachers Not Qualified

Half of Seoul's Native English-Speaking Teachers Not Qualified

SEOUL, Nov 24 Asia Pulse - Half of the native English-speaking teachers placed at elementary, middle and high schools in Seoul do not have teaching degrees or certificates, a government report said Monday.

Among 810 native English-speakers who teach as assistants in the capital city, only 166, or 20.5 per cent, have education certificates, according to the report submitted to city councilman Nam Jae-kyong by the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education.

Those who hold certificates for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) total 303, accounting for 37.4 per cent.

There are 44 teachers, or 5.4 per cent, who have both education and TESOL certificates.

There were 136 instructors who majored in English education and 106 others who studied education.

Forty-eight per cent of the teachers, or 385 people, do not hold either education certificates or TESOL certificates, the report said.

With English proficiency seen as the key for success in school and in society, demand for native English speakers in South Korea has been rising in recent years.

The number of native English-speakers in South Korean schools jumped to 3,800 this year from 146 in 2000. There are currently about 2,800 more foreign teachers working at private institutes, according to a tally made by Ministry of Education, Science and Technology earlier this year.


Commentary: It would appear a selective sin of omission to yet again berate the general qualifications of Korea's labouring esl instructors. While such statistics may prove accurate no where is it mentioned in the article that Korea's own E-2 regulations require nothing more than a BA Degree. Until Korea's press and education departments treat its non-Korean instructors as guests according them all the civilities and welcome of travelling ambassadors of their own nations, and as partners rather than servants, the incidence of commitment to professional self-development will continue to appear lacking. It would be hard to find BEd teachers willing to work at hagwon salaries currently around 18,000 USD with current exchange rates.

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