Recruiter In Korea

The Honest Truth About Recruiting in Korea

English teachers look to change their image

with 4 comments

From the Korea Herald today.  ATEK taking a different approach?  As discussed here, the new drug test plans understandably outraged English instructors in Korea.

One of Korea’s biggest foreign English teacher associations is taking an enlightened approach against the fight on mandatory HIV testing by correcting, rather than complaining about, the public’s image of English teachers as promiscuous party animals.

It’s a proactive approach but,

“ATEK prefers taking a problem-solving approach to that kind of a question, where rather than complaining about some perceived injustice, why don’t we get to work on improving the reputation of English teachers in Korea, by going out into the community and doing good stuff.”

Not sure if everyone will do that.  However, if a few bad apples can tarnish an entire community’s image, perhaps a few can set a good example and show that not all foreigners are dirty, diseased, perverted, unqualified joint-smokers?  Too optimistic?  Probably.

“When English teachers go out into the community and volunteer, collect clothes for poor kids and volunteer English lessons at the orphanage nearby, than instead of being that kind of faceless, scary, English teacher, it humanizes us and by contributing to Korean society and saying we’re not here just to drink and party and take our money and go home. We’re part of Korean society, and we want to be responsible members and contributors to Korean society.”

Umm…not to rain on the parade but I think a lot of foreigners (not just English teachers) do things like this already and the image remains the same.



Written by recruiterinkorea

November 16, 2010 at 10:56 am

Posted in Uncategorized

4 Responses

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  1. Still I think we do need to do something about our image, and educate teachers about it. Most people I talk to about these issues don’t even know that there is such a poor image of them.

    The bottom line I feel is we need to build a functioning and visible community.


    November 16, 2010 at 2:49 pm

  2. Nope, English teachers just have to do their job and behave normally in Korea. Having a one year contract and a shitty free room does not equate to some obligation to run around and show Koreans who are xenophobic/racist that foreigners are human beings.

    Start seeing Koreans as people who live in a society that is ethnically homogenous apart from a foreigner population of still limited size. While there is a general inability to see foreigners as people who are equal, there’s a mostly live and let live attitude towards them. As is the case in other countries, there are elements who are abusive towards non Koreans.

    This is fed by irresponsible sections of the media and by politicians who get away in Korea with saying racist garbage that is not acceptable on the part of politicians in some other countries.

    Korean society has a big problem with alcohol,has an age of consent that is 13, encourages males to pay for sex and accepts married men whoring around while wives and kids at home. Koreans are hardly in a position to criticise E-2 holders for partying on their days off provided the partying is not illegal in any way and Koreans are not harassed by drunk foreigners in any way.

    E-2 visa holders don’t have to go out of their way to give money to Koreans and their causes, visit orphanages, do free work etc etc. In the case of orphans you are just going to end up being pestered for expensive/brand goods and will not be appreciated for small gifts you give. Korean orphans have the same shallow materialistic ethos that other Korean kids show.

    In the case of helping care for the animals that are tortured and thrown away in shamefully high numbers, you won’t get any credit from Koreans nor will it change their attitudes either to their treatment of animals or foreigners.

    So volunteer if you want to but it won’t make much if any difference to most Koreans’ attitudes. Just follow the law and don’t cause disturbances. Just because Koreans give you a job that pays less for the hours than some serving coffee and burgers back home doesn’t mean you have any obligation other than to do your job as well as you can and follow the law.


    November 19, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    • kudos that was a perfect response.


      November 21, 2010 at 4:44 pm

  3. […] GrizzlyB for posting a comment in regards to my post about English teachers trying to change their image.  You’re very pessimistic but you speak the truth.  Put simply, do your job, don’t […]

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