From the KH.
The Justice Ministry has tightened visa regulations for foreign language teachers to ensure they are paid at least 1.5 million won ($1,324) per month.
At first I was thinking, who makes less than 2 million these days? Then it made sense:
“The change will largely affect Chinese language teachers since most English teachers are well-paid. This is also part of efforts to prevent low-paid foreign teachers from taking away jobs from their Korean counterparts,” said a ministry official.
Maybe not a whole lot but a positive move. It’s good to see laws that are trying to protect instructors when it’s usually the opposite.
Not sure how they will enforce this though unless someone reports it.
The government will also restrict visa issuance if foreign instructors do not teach in accordance of their reported timetable.
Remember newbies: don’t settle for anything less than 2.2! It’s sad though; I made that post in 2009 and the minimum/average salary hasn’t really changed much.
So I’ve been gone for a little more than 2 years but out of boredom decided to start up again. I was still getting notifications when people left comments. Well, I’m still in the business, got a promotion to a senior level but still in the same game.
So what changed over the past 2 years? Not much really. More sex offenses, a lot more idiots smoking pot but that’s about it.
The market is flooded right now (good for me) which I guess why I was too busy to post. I’ll try to write more often but if you guys want me to write about anything regarding recruiting then let me know.
This article implies that these new measures are nationwide, not specifically targeting foreigners teaching at language institutes , but I’ve always advocated that it’s hagwons’ responsibility to conduct their own checks of their candidates and instructors due to relatively recent events (here too). Our firm actually conducts several background checks on top of the regular E-2 visa processing.
I think this is a step in the right direction.
They all have to study English, but students have a hard time linking what they learn in school with what society expects from them.
The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, seeking to recognize the efforts of teachers, has comprised a list of the top schools across the country with creative English programs to address this problem.
It’s obvious that there’s an English education craze here in Korea. That may be an understatement, I know. It’s the reason why all of us are here after all. It’s a big business but how many Koreans do you know that speak English at even a near-fluent level?
Choi said almost all the students at the school memorize the phrases, and even apply them. Choi said that they believe the scholastic ability test is important, but their students, recognizing the importance, constantly seek other English skills.
Again with the damn memorization. It can only possibly get you decent scores on a test but critical thinking is much more important that remembering how to say something.
They should just save their money and follow what this guy is advocating. Of course we’d all be out of the job though if that went wide-scale.
From the Korea Times.
I have to admit that our firm is somewhat guilty of this too. While we don’t necessarily recommend Korean-Americans/Canadians on a lower pay scale, they are in a separate category then ‘E-2’ instructors who are considered true natives. I wholeheartedly disagree with this notion but hey, this is Korea. Sometimes a school a ‘원어민 강사’ which literally ‘foreign native speaker’ but they consider these to only be E-2 holders. In other words, if they request a 원어민 강사, they are actually requesting a Caucasian instructor. Umm…I’m Korean-Canadian (born in Canada) and consider myself a native speaker. I guess it just sounds better than ‘gimme a whiteboy’.
However, like I said, the schools that we work with do not pay 교포 instructors any less than E-2 guys but nonetheless, it’s annoying that they’re placed in a different class. Being paid less for this reason is even worse:
A 30-year-old Korean-American filed a complaint with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) last May, claiming Busan Global Village, an English-immersion facility in Busan, paid him less than other native English speakers due to his birthplace, South Korea.
Even more pathetic though, is that he accepted this ridiculous salary:
He was hired by the institute last year and coerced to sign a contract that treated him like an English-speaking Korean, whose annual pay was roughly 7-10 million won ($6,100-8,700) less than those of native English speakers who were not ethnically Korean. He worked there between July 2009 and April this year.
So he was making around 800,000 KRW per month less than E-2s? If this is true, that means if the average salary there is 2.2 million, he would be making around 1.4 million (English Villages don’t pay that much to begin with). There are schools (including schools that we work with), that prefer Korean-Americans and actually pay them a premium salary over E-2s. Those that have a lot of experience and connections can make salaries many times than that of the average ESL instructor.
If you have an F-visa, use it to your advantage and don’t be duped like this guy!
This poster on ESL Cafe was wondering if there were any ‘good’ hagwons out there.
I know most people would say that a public school is more reliable and safe since it’s a ‘government’ position but there in my opinion, I would go with a private after-school academy. Of course with a P.S. you get the long vacations, short ‘teaching’ hours, and reassurance that you will get paid on time and not dicked around with your contract but at the same time, you will more than likely be the only teacher at your school (and a bitch co-teacher which I find all too common), will be required to be at the school for long hours when not teaching (desk-warming may be a good thing for some people), but most importantly, the pay is relatively lower than a hagwon, especially for someone with teaching experience.
A hagwon on the other hand, will pay a ‘relatively’ decent salary (newbies: don’t accept lower than 2.2), will not require you to desk-warm for an unreasonable amount of time (although some may require you to do some extra B.S. work), and you more than likely won’t be the only teacher there unless it’s a really small school. On the downside however, you will definitely get less vacation days and if you don’t do your research and find a bunk school with a prick director, you may be getting screwed.
Of course this is only my opinion and some may try to refute this. A public school is best for someone who isn’t so concerned about money or for someone who has a lot of experience with decent pay to reflect that. Also, if you’re studying for a post-graduate degree or doing some side work on the internet, you can do that during your desk-warming hours. However, as most people are here to save some coin, probably best to go the hagwon route. Of course there are a ton of shady schools (and recruiters) out there so as I had always mentioned, best to apply to one of the big chains directly.
From today’s Chosun Ilbo. Obviously the Korean ESL job market for foreigner native English speakers isn’t this bad. Otherwise, my job would really suck. Check out the jobs below:
The most competitive industry was construction with 178 applicants per job, followed by IT (121) and automotives (101). The lowest rate was 24 in the electric and electronics industry.