The demand for English teachers in Korea greatly exceeds the supply and just about anyone from an English-speaking country with a four-year university degree can find a job in Korea. These jobs provide salary, airfare to Korea, housing, and severance pay. Korea is in need of good English speaking teachers who can help and make situations better and a promote the language skill of the people in Korea
Few years ago the ministry of Education and Human resources development had implemented a plan stating the need of English language to survive in the present generation. Korean English teacher are hard working, dedicated and competent but they find themselves socially challenging to teach with foreign teachers. Co-teaching if taken in the right spirit will surely prove to be good, as it enables both the parties to exchange thoughts and ideas and gain benefit out of them.
English teachers are themselves afraid and are not sure about their ability and skills with regard to English language and always have a feeling that they are up to some mistake. In such a situation how could they ever expect their students to be comfortable while making mistakes? If the quality of the foreign English teachers are questioned in any way the fact is that why did it take 10 long years for the educational authorities to discover such a problem? No one could be put on blame.
More over it is important to keep all this in mind that a single subject elementary school teachers make about one hundred thousand won less per month than home room teachers do. When you have your family with you the amount adds up. The Korean teacher having a lot of paper work have limited time for developing their language skills. The Koreans and the Native English speakers experience a multitude of cultural problems with one another. All these are the underlying factor to the problem. The problems could be solved to a certain extent if the parties where flexible with one another. The major of the problems are due to the lack of proper understanding. There should be proper understanding only then such issues could be sorted out.
The major problems faced by the native speakers are:
Administrative and Financial: The native English teachers are facing certain problems like unexplained deductions and retroactive back payments (II) Problems securing suitable semi-furnished apartments.
Limited Vacations: The other problem is that the length of a teacher’s vacation mainly rests on the prerogative of the school’s principal. Many principles have a feeling that their English teachers will be ready to give up their summer and winter vacations to co teach with the foreign teachers.
The Principals also realized that it would be ineffective to throw the foreign teacher into a classroom with a `non English speaking Korean teacher.’ Faced with such a reality, many principals allow their foreign teachers to “teach English camps and/or return home for a few weeks. Indeed it is not uncommon to have teaches from the same district with totally different vacation dates. This can be the cause of animosity and lower morale among foreign teachers.
Non-native speakers teaching English in their way and pronouncing the works as they feel comfortable is fine but blaming dedicated English teachers for the woes of English system in Korea is totally a bad thing to do.
It is high time that people understand the present situation and work together to solve the problems for future benefits and save Korea from the present situation.