Recruiter In Korea

The Honest Truth About Recruiting in Korea

The Filipino Teacher Debate

with 43 comments

My previous post is generating a little debate on whether the Korean government should allow Filipinos to legally teach English in Korea and if Filipinos are able to teach English to Koreans as good as or better than native speakers from the current countries that qualify for the E-2 visa.

Poster Jiimy wrote:

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!

I’ll tell you why.  Because it’s cheaper to go to the Philippines than to N. America, the U.K., Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.  So you’re telling me that if one of those countries was as close to closer than the Philippines that Koreans would still go to the Philippines to learn English?

I actually know several Koreans that went to the Philippines to learn English, including a girlfriend, and I’m sorry to say, the English they learned was horrendous and incorrect.  This I noticed by the phrases and idioms that they had learned from their ‘English teacher’.

I don’t want to go on a Filipino-bashing spree but the argument against mine is weak.  Please feel free to argue against my rebuttal of the nonsensical comment above.

Written by recruiterinkorea

June 10, 2010 at 11:47 am

Posted in Uncategorized

43 Responses

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  1. First of all I am a Filam and my Caucasian wife and I totally agree that a lot of the Korean nationals that do come here to the Philippines aren’t getting their money’s worth. Here is an example of what they are taught. My current student and I were having dinner one night and he called for the waitress and asked, “can I have a bowel?”. I told him do you know what you just asked for? You just asked for a part of your digestive system. Then went ahead and told him how to properly pronounce the word “BOWL”. My student himself expressed his disappointment from learning from Filipino local tutors for six years. But I have some good news for all the new incoming Korean students, My student and my family have decided that this is enough and we have put up “Virtual America Institute of Conversational English” ( which is located 30 minutes from the International Airport here in Manila. We may not all be blonde and blue eyed, but we are all American teachers here. (My wife is a beautiful redhead with green eyes) Please don’t get us wrong, we are not trying to bash on my fellow Filipino’s either but how can you expect to learn how to speak and sound like an American from a Teacher/Tutor who is not a native English speaker?


    June 12, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    • oh c’mon, you try to humiliate some Filipino teachers over an advertisement about your school you want to place here?… Pathetic….


      October 12, 2010 at 9:17 am

      • Are you trying to teach the American accent? are the Koreans trying to learn the American accent?
        Or do they want to speak English and be understood. I agree, not all Filipinos can teach English but there are Filipinos who can teach the language well. Our advantage is, we know the nuts and bolts of learning a language.
        Native speakers speak the language well because it is your native tongue.

        i have met a lot of native speakers whose grammar is as poor as mine. My wife who is also a Filipina even corrects the grammar of her American co-worker here in Japan.

        Suico Lynn Alrahmanynn

        February 6, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    • Koreans really have difficulty in pronouncing the “L”. IThe teacher of your student may have taught it correctly but your student can’t just pronounce it right. To “save face”, your student just blame his/her Filipino English teacher. It’s easier that way.

      I am now teaching my Korean students with the vowel digraph ai, ay. No matter how many times I correct them in pronouncing the words like mail, nail, quail, rail, and so on, they would always sound like “maiyel, naiyel, quaiyel, raiyel”. I believe it’s because of how they were taught to pronounce the “ㄹ” since their kindergarten years. It’s in the positioning of their tongue. Even my wonjangnim, who has been teaching English for 7 years, sounds “Ayplur” every time she says the month of April.

      Korean kids don’t practice what they’ve learned in English in their daily life. They are only forced to study the language at school. They don’t even bring their books at home so that at least they can review. They just open their English books during the lesson. Learning another language is a two-way process you know. Teachers teach the lesson to them and it’s up to the student to master it. We cannot wait for the student to learn how to pronounce the word correctly before moving on to another lesson.

      I hope your student can now pronounce the word BOWL correctly.


      April 4, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    • okey i agree with you but is it our fault on teaching or its really the way they speak or havent done there homework well have you been to korea?your a filam youve said why put a shame on your races is it important to sound like a native rather than to know how to use the right grammar in english hey brother we are asian we are not americans to sound like one maybe if koreans would be born naturally in U.S i think they would sound like one, its not right to blame english teachers in the phillipines,

      we had studied hard and earned our degree for 4 years shame on you,if these is pure business of yours dont blame it on filipinos shame on you filam brother…..


      April 8, 2013 at 6:38 pm

  2. […] 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 shameless […]

  3. @recruiteinkorea: so, from what country are you? were you taught by a Filipino because your english is also not good…

    a Filipino

    June 23, 2010 at 9:43 am

  4. […] a comment » A comment was left on this post by a Filipino regarding MY English: @recruiteinkorea: so, from what country are you? were you […]

    • First of all we all shouldn’t take any comments placed on any blogs as a personal attack. They are blogs for crying out loud, where freedom of speech is the name of the game. But to Recruiter in Korea, I would like to point something out from the comment ” a filipino” mentioned. He or she asked you if you ,”were taught by a Filipino because your english is also not good…..” the conclusion i have come up with based on his/her question to you is that they agree on what we have been saying from the get go. I believe that the jury has spoken against theirselves. Have a great day ” a Filipino” and thanks for proving our point.


      June 23, 2010 at 12:11 pm

      • Yes sir. The post was written because I found the comment funny.


        June 23, 2010 at 12:28 pm

      • “theirselves”? maybe you mean “themselves”. There is no such a word in Reflexive Pronoun.


        April 4, 2012 at 6:38 pm

  5. I just buy a set of Macdonald meal here in Daechi..this bunch of cashiers could not understand this is summer and every soft drinks must have an ice..Is this a product of non passing western teachers? who pretend to be a teacher here in Korea that pass to a non standardized test and assesstment ..If you know I know some of them…here I am..teaching in this pragmatic country..


    August 4, 2010 at 4:07 pm

  6. Come on, the call center businesses in the Philippines won’t be thriving if Filipinos speak with bad English accent or grammar. Most of their clients are in the U.S.


    August 5, 2010 at 8:32 am

  7. What is true to some is not necessarily true to all.

    Yes, some Filipino teachers can’t teach English very well. Reason for that is because it’s not our native tongue. Our accent and, at times, grammar is not really as good as Westerners. We did not grew up speaking the language but most, if not all of us, grew up learning the language or at least we try to.

    I would like to believe that a good number of Filipino English teachers can teach just as good and maybe at times better than some native speakers. It all boils down to who has the passion to teach.

    Learning is a two way process. Even if you place the best teacher in an ESL class, all she can do is guide and inspire students to learn. The other half of the learning process depends on the students interest and eagerness to learn.

    I used the word “some” in some parts of this comment. Because I don’t generalize. Logic tells us that, “What is true to some is not necessarily true to all”. Let’s not generalize.


    August 7, 2010 at 1:35 pm

  8. That’s great! sounds good in Philippines.Have you ever tried going to Kangnam station?(a.k.a Beverly hills of Korea) and then apply in Sk Hub Telecom,it’s because you you have a problem in your network or phone and then you are complaining in the front of ten call center ladies and you will discover only one of them know how to speak english,but in a bouncy jumping accent! I don’t know if the owner of this telecom know what’s happening to this business in Korea.


    August 7, 2010 at 10:21 pm

  9. I know more Filipino English teachers working in public or private school of Texas,Santa Monica,California and other states of America or even in Mexico.I think it was more increasing in the year 2003,and some of them were friends of my mother,I heard some of them were the product of University of St.Lasalle in Philippines.They work well in my place,very articulate people and always focus to their objectives.Don’t you know two of their students were niece and nephew of the famous golfer in south Korea?…Hello..


    August 7, 2010 at 11:04 pm

  10. Where did my comment go??

    Enstein’s comment got approved but mine wasn’t? or maybe not yet?

    I’m thinking this one’s not going through either but I’ll take my chances.

    By the way, I hope you didn’t take my first comment as an attack. The last thing I’d want is to start a fight. I just want to air out my opinion that’s all.

    Even if other’s haven’t read my comment at least the owner of this website has.

    Sometimes we say things out of an impulse and I understand your point on how Filipinos, most likely, can’t teach English as good as how a lot of Americans can. But I want to be fair to those Filipino English teachers who are very good at what they do and for the future teachers who hope to teach Korean students.

    Let’s not be a shark instead be a dolphin to other people regardless of race. God bless you.


    August 8, 2010 at 12:40 am

  11. Race doesn’t matter, education does. I would rather have a Filipino with a degree in English or Education than an American who is only teaching because he can’t get a job in the States. The American might have a pretty accent but if he can’t teach then whats the point?


    August 11, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    • All things being equal, what about an American English teacher who HAS a degree in English or Education with the PROPER accent or a Filipino teacher?


      August 11, 2010 at 4:56 pm

      • In this case, BOTH are qualified. So whoever the school shall accept won’t stir any debate. The argument only arises when the competitor is no match to the Filipino teacher (in terms of credentials and ability) and is still being chosen.

        Being fluent in English with the proper accent is different from being effective in teaching the said language.


        April 4, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    • I agree…

      April dela Cruz

      May 5, 2012 at 3:05 pm

  12. What about having a knowledge regarding A TESOL STATEMENT ON NON-NATIVE SPEAKERS OF ENGLISH AND HIRING PRACTICES?sounds equal…don’t be blindfolded by the white handkerchief only.


    August 12, 2010 at 1:12 am

  13. What about having a knowledge regarding A TESOL STATEMENT ON NON-NATIVE SPEAKERS OF ENGLISH AND HIRING PRACTICES?sounds equal…


    August 12, 2010 at 1:13 am

  14. Yeah I know,that’s why I ask you? we are just like playing a chess in what you called debate…now we know who is the famous imbecile in hiring and recruiting English teacher in Korea..that’s all folks.thanks!


    August 18, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    • Sorry, your English is horrible. I can’t understand what you’re trying to convey. I suggest studying harder and comment when your are able to write something legible. Thanks!


      August 19, 2010 at 9:55 am

  15. What is Korea comparing to the opportunities offered by other Western countries? I wonder if the Korean government has a better policy than the U.S.A. Through the years, U.S. government is hiring thousands of Filipino teachers to teach in public school. It’s a fact! Likewise, all the neighboring Asians countries are willing to hire Filipino teachers like China, Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, etc. except Korea who has a different point of view on learning English. Out of 90 million Filipinos, nobody here has the authority to condemn a friendly nation just because you have a myopic point of view. Korea could never have the cream of the crop, for the highly intelligent and professional Filipinos, Korea is near at the bottom of its lists. Probably, somebody here met some Filipinas married to Korean guys who are just trying to earn a living even teaching English at Hagwons. I admire their courage to survive in this country but they do not represent the whole Filipino people. Some people here have a sad state of mind to think otherwise. Factory workers are not English teachers, whether they’re fluent or not in English, it’s nobody’s business anyways. I know lots of Filipino friends earning great fortune in the 7 countries entitled to have E2 visa, they why these natives are here if they’re professionals, indeed? Your guess is as good as mine! Cheers! By the way, I’m a Filipino head teacher in of the big English hagwons in Korea and I manage the teachers from those 7 accredited countries.


    August 19, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    • some typo-error…they->then / one of the big


      August 19, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    • I couldn’t have said it better myself. I salute you Sir Pete. Mabuhay ang Pinoy!


      August 31, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    • If you are an English teacher, how come you make so many errors?

      “What is Korea comparing to the opportunities offered by other Western countries?”

      Correction: What opportunities does Korea have compared to those offered by Western countries? The word comparing is totally incorrect. You need to use compared.

      “Through the years, U.S. government is hiring thousands of Filipino teachers to teach in public school.”

      Correction: Over the years, the U.S. government has hired thousands of Filipino teachers to teach in public school.”

      Words ending in “ing” are used only when everything in the sentence is happening right at this time. Also, the U.S. government doesn’t hire teachers. They are hired by school districts.

      “Out of 90 million Filipinos, nobody here has the authority to condemn a friendly nation just because you have a myopic point of view.”

      Correction: There are 90 million Filipinos. You don’t have the authority to condemn a friendly nation just because of your myopic point of view.

      You cannot switch from the many, ‘nobody’ to the singular ‘you’ in one sentence. I’m not sure what the number of people in a country has to do with whether someone can condemn it or not. Also, I’ve never heard of someone needing authority to say what they they think.

      “Factory workers are not English teachers, whether they’re fluent or not in English, it’s nobody’s business anyways.”

      Correction: Factory workers are not English teachers, whether they’re fluent or not in English. It’s nobody’s business anyway.

      What is nobody’s business?

      “I know lots of Filipino friends earning great fortune in the 7 countries entitled to have E2 visa, they why these natives are here if they’re professionals, indeed?”

      Correction: I know a lot of Filipino friends earning a great fortune in the seven countries entitled to have an E2 visa. The rest doesn’t make sense so I don’t know how to correct it.

      You are not using ‘a’ and ‘an’ which is the thing that drives me crazy the most about Filipino speakers.

      Please let me know why YOU should be teaching English.

      Just so you know, I am a native American who is just fed up with Filipinos who don’t ever try to improve their English. I know you aren’t one of those, your English is much better than most Filipinos who live here (California) that I have to work with. I just don’t understand the defensiveness. I think this is the problem with Filipinos here learning to speak better.



      January 21, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    • I hope Filipinos can also have a chance to teach in South Korea…

      April dela Cruz

      May 5, 2012 at 3:09 pm

  16. Hello. I’m a Filipina and I’ve had my fair share of time in those Korean call centers in the Philippines. Unfortunately, many Korean call centers fail when it comes to screening their tutors – which is why a lot of students do not get their money’s worth. I’m not looking down on Filipinos because that would be ironic and just stupid. My point is, a lot of so-called English tutors pride themselves in being capable of teaching the language when if fact, they do not have the skills to do so. I admit, when I hear some fellow teachers speak, I can’t help but secretly cringe. However, I’ve also met a lot of capable Filipino English tutors as well.

    It’s just a matter of proper screening, really 🙂


    September 1, 2010 at 8:23 pm

  17. […] a comment » Okay, my posts (here, here, and here) on the possibility of Filipino instructors have generated a lot of discussion.  […]

  18. I am a native-born Hindi speaker. If you guys want to learn Hindi, post a comment here, and I’ll get back to you. Full disclosure, so you don’t get other ideas: I wasn’t all that good at college, but, hey, I can speak great Hindi. So post a reply here if you want to learn the language that, given the changing world economy, everyone will soon want to learn.


    September 17, 2010 at 5:39 am

  19. Strange that I should find this article, one of my best friends just emigrated to Korea not 2 months ago. And what’s she doing? She’s an English teacher! From what I hear, they’ve all been very receptive of her and are excited to learn from her. It’s always so much more quaint if it’s a “foreigner” teaching you the language, and as far as the kids go it sounds like they’re really enjoying it.

    Girlfriend Back

    September 30, 2010 at 4:10 am

    • i am interested to be an english teacher in Korea too! 🙂 i just came back from a C3visa last month. 🙂 ..I found korea a wonderful place 🙂


      May 8, 2013 at 10:21 pm

  20. I graduated from college last year and found myself passing the board exam for teachers late last year,too. I am currently working as an English tutor for Korean kids. I found it so interesting teaching a foreign language to foreign kids. It‘s so ovewhelming that I actually received a present from South Korea and it was from a 12-year old kid. I am a passionate teacher and I think these kids can actually feel it. I received proper education and I am planning to pursue a Master’s degree. Not all Filipino teachers are bad…not all. Trust me. By the way, I just turned 20 and I am proud to say that I am a Filipino teacher! Yipee!^^


    February 4, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    • i want to work as an english teacher i korea, i graduated in de la salle, can you help me? What are the steps that i have to do ? 🙂


      March 9, 2013 at 3:02 am

  21. I find this very odd since it is my first time hearing of it. I am a Filipino Canadian English teacher and I teach in South Korea located in Seoul city. I’ve been teaching here for about 2 years. However I was born and raised in Canada even if I am an Asian/Canadian. Maybe it also varies of which country you came from and how good you’re resumes are. But I cannot be stereotypical of what others pin-point of how each Filipino (group or individuals) teachers – I have met a few Filipino English Teachers once and I do understand what other people mean, some but not all have bad pronunciations, speech and grammar problems but still these people are working hard to learn. Besides if you cannot work in South Korea it’s not the end of the world try another country!


    April 10, 2012 at 11:24 pm

  22. “For 2012, results showed that from 76 represented countries worldwide, only the Philippines attained a score above 7.0, “a BEI level within range of a high proficiency that indicates an ability to take an active role in business discussions and perform relatively complex tasks.”


    May 4, 2012 at 10:18 am

  23. Another nearby option is GUAM. It’s a part of the U.S. It’s a U.S. territory and they speak English. Guam is only a four-hour flight from South Korea. Koreans can go to Guam to learn English. Both the Philippines and Guam are much closer to Korea then places in North America. Koreans going to Guam to learn English is already happening. See this news article about some Korean college students who went to the University of Guam to learn English titled “University of Guam Hosts Korea University Students for English Program”: .
    I think Guam will have an ESL boom in the near future. It’s too perfect of a place to learn English. In addition to being close to Korea and part of the United States, it is also a tropical paradise.

    George Gutierrez

    May 27, 2012 at 5:59 am

  24. Filipinos are good people who use English as the official medium of instruction in classrooms.


    February 19, 2013 at 9:47 am

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