5,000 Korean English Teachers to Be Recruited This Year

5,000 Korean English Teachers to Be Recruited This Year

There has been a surprising amount of backlash against this in the Korean blogosphere. I can see why some would be against it do to low expectations of implementation and/or fear of being replaced. However, this is a good thing for Korea to aspire to. There is no downside to a long-term plan to staff schools with Korean teachers of English.

As I mentioned, some have noted that implementation might be the real problem. This, I agree, is the real issue. Teaching in Korea is a job of stability, not pay. They are only providing half of this equation (the “not pay” part). Why would qualified teachers choose a low-paying, contract job over better paying options at institutes and offices without long-term prospects of stability? The simple answer is that they won’t. You’ll get those who can’t cut it in those more competitive areas.

Not only will you see the dregs of the EFL workforce taking these jobs, you’ll see the few good ones drop out after getting a year of experience. These jobs will be temp jobs held while looking for real ones. Any whiff of a better offer and they’ll be out the door. English classrooms will either be staffed well-qualified short-termers and mumbling misanthropes long-termers (wow, sounds just like the foreigners there now 🙂

What can they do? First of all, give them the same pay that the foreign teachers are getting now. That’s still not a great paycheck in Korea, but it is better than they will get in most institute positions and even more than they will get as starting salary in an office. Secondly, include some security or, at least, a path to future job security. Make this something that they do not for a year, but for the foreseeable future.

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