Recruiter In Korea

The Honest Truth About Recruiting in Korea

Filipino English teacher challenges visa rules

with 33 comments

I’ve discussed this issue before and I’ll say it again, the E-2 visa should not be issued to Filipino, Indian, or any other nationality other than the 7 that qualify.  I highly doubt that the teacher in question who is challenging the visa rules, can speak 100% fluent English without a Filipino accent.  If she, and most others who currently don’t qualify for the visa, can speak English as fluently as someone who does qualify for an E-2, then I will stand corrected.  But we all know that’s not the case.

Again playing the race card:

She says it’s obviously “racial discrimination” issuing English teaching (E-2) visas for the mere reason people are white rather than verifying their qualifications as a teacher.

I know a lot of blacks, Asians (gyopos and other nationalities WHO QUALIFY), and many other non-whites who qualify (and receive) the the E-2 visa.  I’ve also had many WHITE Swedish, Dutch, Polish applicants who apply to our agency who we’ve simply ignored because THEY DON’T QUALIFY.

They don’t seem to realize that though:

“I hope something happens. But I’m not sure if Koreans can actually accept darker skinned people as their equals. To be a teacher here, you have to be white. It’s discriminatory. People here only prefer to be taught by whites,’’ Mr. Sawyer said.

It’s funny how the Korea Times tries to take credit for things that are not even happening:

After The Korea Times reported in 2008 that foreign envoys and English teachers whose countries adopt English as an official language had criticized the E-2 visa regulations, immigration authorities revised the rules so that English teachers from India, Singapore and the Philippines are able to come to Korea.

However, there is one precondition ㅡ countries must sign a trade contract with Korea, containing clauses on employment as English teachers, government officials said. Korea and the Philippines have not signed the needed contract as yet.

Even if the E-2 visa gates were suddenly opened to countries with citizens that speak sub-par English, would schools really hire them?  From my experience, that would be a  big, fat NO.  Schools are picky enough as it is.  Why?  Because the parents want their son/daughter to learn from a native speaker.  Again, I’ll use my example from this post:

It’s not an issue of race or discrimination.  For example, if I wanted to learn Chinese, I’d much rather learn it from someone who grew up in China (even if they were white!) than from someone who studied it in school for a couple of years.

SMOE also says:

Yoon Ho-sang, senior supervisor at the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education (SOME) also said Korean parents and students want to learn English from native speakers, adding that schools might not want to hire Filipino teachers.

But all that is besides the point.  Simply put, non-native speakers should not do the job that a native speaker can do.


Written by recruiterinkorea

June 8, 2010 at 11:58 am

Posted in Uncategorized

33 Responses

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  1. I’m sorry, but I’m just not with you on this one. I was until I met a few Filpinos who spoke better English than the average person from my hometown.

    Let’s be serious. A Filipino accent is much easier to understand that a South African accent. Personally, I have an easier time with Filipinos than I do the Scottish or Irish.


    June 8, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    • I know that accents can be subjective but from the Filipinos I’ve spoken with in Korea, have extremely thick, almost Indian-like accents when they spoke English. I agree that some South African and Scottish accents are more difficult to understand than North American accents, but I, and I believe others would agree, would prefer that over a Filipino accent.

      Of course, there likely are a few Filipinos who speak nearly flawless English but we’re talking about the vast majority here.


      June 8, 2010 at 1:04 pm

      • Sure. It is very likely that the Filipinos I’ve met were among the better speakers. Hell, there are Koreans who’ve never left Korea, who are more intelligible than some people from the “Big 7.”


        June 8, 2010 at 4:05 pm

      • asian needs caucasian while caucasian needs asian!
        how ironic! ^^

        Selena Layson

        December 8, 2010 at 10:53 pm

  2. Why hire an Indian or Filipino with an akward accent instead of Korean or NSET, it is pointless and if you know anything about Korean society you know this will not work.


    June 9, 2010 at 8:10 am

    • Agreed 100%


      June 9, 2010 at 9:59 am

      • hey Josh get real! okay! Korea isn’t only the country to work for! hey I am Filipino but I am working in New York as an English Teacher! Josh wake up! COME HERE TO AMERICA!! AMERICA NEEDS YOU!! to be blunt about i don’t understand why my fellow filipinos go crazy over Korea! GUYS and Gals be real!! USA IS WHERE THE HONEY FLOWS FOR US FILIPINOS NOT KOREA! C”MON WAKE GUYS! ^^

        Selena Layson

        December 8, 2010 at 10:41 pm

  3. Koreans prefer native English speakers more than Filipino? C’mon, I dont think so! Then why are there thousands of Korean students in the Philippines learning English with Filipino teachers and the number is really increasing? Guess what? they’re here to improve their SPEAKING, PRONUNCIATION and LISTENING ability!


    June 10, 2010 at 11:01 am

    • My reply here.


      June 10, 2010 at 11:48 am

      • absolutely right! that’s the reason! jiimy because koreans who belong to affluent member of the society study in the u.s.a and europe. Korean who study in the philippines in our country are oh well not enough moolah! trust me guys we you have to be realistic!
        instead set your sights on the USA and UK.
        there are lot of employment agencies in the Philppines!
        trust me UK now is looking for teachers ! the bad news is nobody wants to be a teacher! ^^that’s they hire us!

        Selena Layson

        December 8, 2010 at 10:46 pm

  4. […] a comment » My previous post is generating a little debate on whether the Korean government should allow Filipinos to legally […]

  5. Learning English has nothing to do with the accent and more to do with the Language and grammar. Even the native speakers do not share any common accent. And also meeting few Indians or Philippians does not mean that the whole of India or Philippines speaks bad English.

    Tell me, if you walk in to a Korean Shop or any public place, and if there is no one who speaks English at the counter. So when some Korean guy who speaks little English is helping you out at that time do you really care about the grammar or the accent of that Korean. No way.. you are so glad that he could speak English. A language is just a means of communication to put your views across irrespective of the words you use to frame your sentence.

    Brijesh Bolar

    June 11, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    • I disagree. Do you think people want to learn English so they could just learn the very minimal in order to do menial tasks like buying something in a store? The English language education industry is so huge in Korea because everyone wants to gain a competitive edge in their lives and careers.

      So again I will ask: Do you really think that Koreans (or anyone else that wants to learn English) would rather do so from a Filipino or an Indian person or from someone whose NATIVE LANGUAGE is English?


      June 11, 2010 at 2:28 pm

      • Well I have already answered your answer in my blog. Indians are doing pretty well in English with out any substantial help from Native Speakers. And if you want to read it how then please follow this link:

        Indians speak. Indians write, Indians publish and Indians teach English. So before categorizing Indians with Philippines (for English) I wish you get your facts clear.

        And there are many a people who agree with me on this. Not only India, but even Malaysia and Singapore are doing pretty good.

        Brijesh Bolar

        June 11, 2010 at 2:55 pm

      • I agree 100% that Indians and Filipinos SPEAK much better English than Koreans in general. I also believe the the majority of people from Malaysia and Singapore speak better English than Koreans in general.

        But the issue I raised was Indians and Filipinos TEACHING English as opposed to those from the U.S., Canada, U.K., etc. Are you still saying that Indians, Filipinos, Malaysians, and Singaporeans are more qualified to teach English than their current E-2-qualified counterparts? And are you also saying that most people would agree with that mindset?


        June 11, 2010 at 3:43 pm

      • hey bolar! stop it move on and leave the poor guy alone! he is korean he knows better than us! so why not focus on the other side of the fence! okay! ^^ he!he! ^^

        Selena Layson

        December 8, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    • Too bad wordpress doesn’t have a like button.

      I would have ticked on it for this comment right here.


      August 8, 2010 at 1:28 am

  6. Well it is not about Indians or anybody replacing the teachers from US, Canada, UK etc. Also, an average Indian would not be qualified to teach English. But I am talking about that section where a) They have majored in literature / English b) Have been trained in a call center to interact with natives c) Are working as content writers / instructional designers d) Have given examination like TOEFL, IELTS, CPE, ESOL etc. or e) Are qualified to teach English via TESOL, TEFL, etc.

    I strongly believe that some teaching certification or degree (along with experience) is a must for non-natives. They should have an aptitude for teaching English. Also from what I understand Korean Government is testing out this approach of hiring Indian Teachers and depending upon their performance they may or may not hire more teachers. It is more like an experiment so people will agree after they see the result for themselves.

    Brijesh Bolar

    June 11, 2010 at 4:34 pm

  7. Again Indians do not study English in some school for couple of years. It is rather the only language in which they study, finish their degree and later work. The corporate world in India does business in English. Yes an Indian may not be qualified to teach languages like French, Chinese, German etc. because as rightly pointed out above they study it only for a few years. But that is not the case with English. All the subjects are taught in English from the time a kid starts attending kinder garden.

    Brijesh Bolar

    June 11, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    • Okay, I get where you’re coming from. I definitely believe that there is a portion in every culture that is able to do something that most of the general population cannot and can even succeed in areas where that culture may be perceived as inadequate. Due to the history of India and the Philippines, they absolutely have more experience with the English language than countries such as Korea, China, and Japan so it is possible to find individuals from that country who have had significant training, education, and experience to teach English. However, while the general population does study English from a young age in those countries, it is not the only language they speak (or hear) so it can arguably far less fluent than someone who has spoken the language 100% of their lives.

      By the way, great blog and great pics~


      June 11, 2010 at 5:03 pm

      • I agree with you on the fluency aspect. But that improves only with exposure (to native speakers) which again substantially reduces the section of Indians whose English can be considered as fluent as native~

        Thanks for your feedback. I find your blog informative too.

        Brijesh Bolar

        June 11, 2010 at 5:13 pm

      • “However, while the general population does study English from a young age in those countries, it is not the only language they speak (or hear) so it can arguably far less fluent than someone who has spoken the language 100% of their lives.”

        This is so completely unscientific. That is not at all how language learning works. Read VanPatten, Gass and Selinker, Krashen or Long if you’re interested in some cognitive discussions about language learning.

        Or keep saying crap that has no basis in reality, and hope that no one notices.


        June 14, 2010 at 10:56 pm

      • I’m not trying to base my opinion on scientific evidence but please specify where that statement is inaccurate: that one can learn to speak and understand a secondary language fluently even though they are not exposed to that language 100% of the time?


        June 14, 2010 at 11:27 pm

      • What you’re saying is that because you learn two languages that you can’t learn both well. That is incorrect. Humans have the cognitive capacity to learn more than one language fluently.

        Now, fluency is a difficult thing to achieve in a second language situation, and is often not a realistic goal for our Korean students.

        I think the best argument against Filipinos would be the problem with their accent.

        At any rate, this issue will continue, as more and more people learn English. Did you know that there are more people who use English as a second language than there are people who use it as a first language? With that in mind, why is it that North American English is the standard? I guess we all know why, but it’s an interesting thing to think about.

        Anyways, great blog and keep it up! I’ll be reading.


        June 18, 2010 at 7:29 pm

      • Yes, you can definitely learn more than one language well but as you said, fluency will be an issue. I did not know there were more ESLers than ‘native’ speakers but I absolutely don’t doubt it now that I think of it:)


        June 18, 2010 at 9:11 pm

  8. […] a comment » Cris, a Filipino-American, concurs with my opinion on my previous posts (here and here) regarding the issue of Filipinos obtaining visas to teach in Korea.  Also included:  a […]

    • First of all I would like to extend our gratitude for your acceptance of our “shameless plug” : ) But you have great points on your blog that have hit close to home with our family. Regardless of any race or college degree; if you are not a Native English speaker it will truly show and reflect on your teaching ability. IMPO between Indians and Americans both who speak freely with the english language it would come down to the accent preference that the student would like to become familiar with. That opinion of mine is solely based on all of my Indian customers that I have dealt with in Las Vegas (over 100 families), who I had no problem whatsoever understanding let alone conversing with.

      More power to your blog, keep it coming!


      June 14, 2010 at 10:51 am

      • Dear Cris, I do agree that the student would prefer Natives. But to a great extent the preference is more to do with the exposure. Students in Asia are more exposed more to the native speakers as compared to Indians. Also, the Indians which they (and I) have met here do have problem with their fluency. But that is just a small portion of India that the Asians are exposed to and the very reason they are here is not because of their English Speaking skills but their technical or Business skills.

        But then the Fluent English Speaking audience of India would normally prefer working in any native country, Singapore, Malaysia or Middle East. So if these guys take the initiative to teach English in countries like Asia, Japan, Korea or any non English speaking country then they would in a few years put (or rather push) India in the list of preferable countries for teaching English. So I’d say this is just the beginning….

        Brijesh Bolar

        June 14, 2010 at 11:23 am

      • Yes, it has nothing to do with race, nationality, or discrimination (although I’m not denying these problems exist in Korea) but simply the ability that one can teach English.


        June 14, 2010 at 10:13 pm

  9. I agree with most of your opinion. I am indian but I have never learn Indian language in my schooling its depend on where you are and which community you come from.I was always in the English mediuom shool from grade 1 to degree course, but we speak our language at Home. I learn Hindi which is a second language to me as indian national, for just one subject every year which is required by the school, and all students speaks english fluently but they do have indian accent whereas Korean wiould prefer american accent.


    August 15, 2010 at 3:19 am

    • The idea that there is a labor demand in the 1st world, with an uncooperative labor force, is ludicrous. There are very exploitative working conditions even at highly skilled levels, e.g., my expertise, medicine and pharmacy. Lower levels of skilled-jobs categories are only open if they pay sub-poverty wages–much like Bangladesh are hated in India.
      Indians have to understand that for every foreigner that comes to the U.S., post 1972, is just taking work from another, or driving down declining working conditions, pay. I’ve worked with several Indian health care practitioners stunned at the declining pay, declining job positions, and appalling fast-food work conditions here, conditions they helped facilitate. There is something like 23 percent of U.S. physicians are Indian, same with pharmacy, etc. The idea that Indians speak equivalent English is absurd, as evidenced by several of my university science teachers, and the fact that they do not speak it in the home. You’re escaping inhumane conditions in your land–fine (a little selfish, but understandable)–just don’t get the notion that you are filling a skill gap, as if there aren’t tens of thousands of unemployed higher educated workers in the West, and the rest doing jobs that are dangerous to their health at all skill levels.


      December 14, 2010 at 9:17 am

  10. i would like to learn more about the english language specially the english grammar “

    Thermoplastic Elastomers :

    October 30, 2010 at 8:33 am

  11. ihello,im from turkey im live on turkey,i have private english language school here on turkey,i need english langaage teachers ,can u help to me
    thank u


    November 6, 2012 at 9:47 am

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