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2013 seminar for foreign language institute instructors
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alongway



Joined: 02 Jan 2012

PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 4:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gee, that sounds epic
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CentralCali



Joined: 17 May 2007

PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

M-Tea wrote:
Not going to organize this so it's going to be fairly ugly. Was really tired so I'm probably going to miss a lot.


The whole event, IMHO, is what's pretty ugly. As you mentioned, there really wasn't anything new--or all that applicaple--in the way of actual information.

Quote:
1. Arrived, paid 10,000 won(that I got from my boss) and got my paper stamped.


That's really another sticking point for me, there. What the heck? It's a government-run/sanctioned event and you have to pay to attend? If there's no food, screw that. If anything, the government should be forking over manweon for travel pay.

Quote:
2. Waited around in the auditorium until it started. They played classical music in a lame attempt to promote calm.


Let me guess. It was music nobody had ever listened to and it was the same piece over and over?

Quote:
3. Show starts, Korean dude who had studied in some English-speaking country for a while was the main speaker. English good but not perfect.

4. Had everyone stand up as they played the Korean national anthem. Cancelled it before the end because nobody wanted to listen to it.


More cultural insensitivity from your esteemed hosts. When I worked on Diego Garcia, although there was a very small contingent--a token presence, really--of Mauritians, official and even unofficial events had the national anthems of the US, the UK, the Philippines, and even Mauritius played. Would it have killed them to show some kind of acknowledgement of their target (captive) audience?

Quote:
5. Distributed raffle tickets. The bribe portion. Random distribution was held after some of the later events.


What were the prizes?

Quote:
Also some speeches. Or was that later? Basically people wrote letters and had them read or stood in front of us and told us to have a good time. Which was responded to by applause by some and swearing by others. Of note was the head of the Gyeonggi Office of Education, name seemed to be the one I had noticed on the website before. ___ ___ Kim?


I now a lot of people feel compelled to join in applause at any function. I'm not one of those people. Had I been there, no doubt I'd've been in the swearing contingent.

Quote:
6. We were then subjected to tour videos. They showed us some famous places in Korea. Unfortunately, they all had the same annoying opening track and the computer they were using was overloaded so as they went through more and more videos they started to stutter more and more. Was rather sad.


Good grief. How many times does the same person have to suffer through "Korean culture introduction"? As I told the absolute moron my last school in Korea inflicted upon me for a supervisor, "I arrived in Korea before you did." M-Tea, I have no doubt that you are far more conversant in Korean matters than the folks trying to educate you on same.

Quote:
7. Next was the drummers, I believe. Osan drumming group. Not a very high skill group but reasonable to listen to up until the point where they started mixing with extremely high volume techno/trance? Totally painful on the ears. Mostly seemed like an attempt to wake us up/keep us awake.


And, yet again, total cluelessness about their audience. Yes, some people do happen to like drums, some even like Korean drumming. Hey, some people even like that tinny Korean traditional folk music (I'm one of them). But, really, how many foreigners are into that?

Quote:
8. After that we listened to the two immigration girls. Their English was okay but all they told us was crap we already knew. For example, you need an ARC and a criminal background check. Also, it was mostly for E-2 visa holders. Judging by the response to the questions that followed, they really didn't know much about anything else. This section also contained numerous reminders/threats about being fined/penalized for not doing various things. As an F4 visa holder, it took most of my effort just to stay awake.


I'm surprised you didn't interrupt them. Kind of wish you had. But, of course, they weren't dispensing information of their own volition or knowledge. They were merely reciting a script.

Quote:
9. My mind was pretty numb at this point, don't remember things too clearly. They had two foreigners explain some stuff to us. The first speakers, Mario, explained to us how great the academies are for bringing us to Korea and how generous they were to provide us with so many things.


I swear by all that I hold dear, had I been there, I'd've chucked something at that jackass for that comment. Generous employers don't lie to their employess. Generous employers don't cheat their employees out of health insurance, pension payments, tax payments. Generous employers don't lie to the government about their employees' status as employees. Generous employers don't steal from their employees. All of those are quite common problems with those great academies in Korea.

Quote:
If I had been more awake, heckling would have been unavoidable.


Darn tootin'!

Quote:
The second speaker, Matt? He was a decent speaker but I didn't like his presentation much. It was pretty clear he had been teacher rather special classes and was pretty out of touch with what the average foreigner deals with. That being said, I will say he did the best job out of all the speakers.


I hope you had a chance after the event to clue the dude in.

Quote:
10. It gets really blurry after that. There was the professor from Kyeongju. He is also part of the hiking association.. so what? Anyway, his presentation was horrible. The only part that got anyone listening or caring was when he repeatedly told people to spread their lips. Some of the girls behind me thought he said "spread your legs" and well, a bunch of other less than kosher things. In any case, it sounded more like he was teaching everyone how to give proper head. I don't think he figured that out though.


I think I've actually suffered through his presentation before. It's all about how Koreans can't pronounce English sounds properly and how native English teachers don't know how said sounds are produced in the first place. Lot of rubbish.

Quote:
11. It gets pretty blank after that. I was just glad to get out and go. Didn't miss anything useful, that's for sure.

(Two big typos fixed, ignored the rest.)


Sometimes I don't mind being proven wrong. My earlier posts in this thread showed my doubt, my extreme doubt, on the government requirement/sponsorship/participation in this sham. Sadly, this is not one of the times I'm happy to be proven wrong. I'm sad that the government was involved and that it was, as mentioned, a sham.

Good grief, Korea. Get a clue!

Oh, and thanks for the report, M-Tea
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Who's Your Daddy?



Joined: 30 May 2010
Location: Victoria, Canada.

PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 5:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, most of this thread said it was a scam. They'll be another thread next year, when it will still be a scam.
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wooden nickels



Joined: 23 May 2010

PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 5:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How many foreign teachers attended?

9000? 11000?
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CentralCali



Joined: 17 May 2007

PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 6:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I suppose it could've been worse. I had the misfortune to attend the "grand opening" of Busan Global Village. The beginning of that was a group of Korean women, about the same age as those store opening go-go girls, doing some kind of dance routine that was, judging by their costumes, supposed to be something about America. The only things that really captured my attention, in a train wreck kind of way, were the costumes had no sleeves and none of the women dancing shaved their underarms.
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ontheway



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Location: Somewhere under the rainbow...

PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:48 pm    Post subject: Re: 2013 seminar for foreign language institute instructors Reply with quote

ontheway page 2 wrote:
nbbboby wrote:
Has anyone been told about this? It is being held at Anyang City Hall on June 29th.

Paper says "All foreign language instructors who have arrived in Gyeonggi. Korea based April 30, 2013. The following seminar is mandatory for the foreign language instructors in accordance the article 13 subsection 3 of the law governing academy foundation, management and extracurricular work." Participation fee: 10,000won

Is it normal to be charged for a government mandatory seminar?

Is this retroactive for teachers that have arrived before this time? I got here in 2008 and have not left country so considering the distance I would have to travel I would rather not go.

phone +82-31-8045-2114 number yet there was not an English speaking person that could answer questions. This makes me wonder .....


Porksta wrote:
What is article 13 subsection 3 of the law governing academy foundation?


FriendlyDaegu wrote:

ACT ON THE ESTABLISHMENT AND OPERATION OF PRIVATE TEACHING INSTITUTES AND EXTRACURRICULAR LESSONS

Article 13 (Instructors, etc.)

(3) The Superintendent of the Office of Education may, if necessary, establish and implement programs for training founders, operators and instructors of private teaching institutes to improve their quality as persons in charge of social education in accordance with the conditions as prescribed by Presidential Decree.



As should be clear from the above: These meetings are established by local and provincial Education Offices throughout most of Korea for all hogwan teachers according to the Presidential Decree. Since the local Education Office "may" establish the meetings, some do not. They have not been held everywhere in Korea. These are akin to the required education meetings held by the government schools for teacher training.

It is not just E2 English teachers who must attend these meetings. Educational meetings are also held for E2 Chinese and Japanese teachers. Likewise, Korean hogwan owners, managers and teachers must attend these meetings. E2 visa language teachers attend meetings held in their own language, or in some cases, combined meetings are held UN style, with each speaker being sequentially translated from Korean into English, Japanese and Chinese.

In the areas holding these annual meetings, every registered hogwan teacher, manager and owner must attend - including E2 teachers. It does NOT depend on the hogwan being a member of any hogwan association. The list of attendees is provided by the local Education Office. All legally registered E2 teachers are required to attend.

Yes, the hogwan associations cooperate with the Education Offices in setting up these meetings, including the Korean meetings for Korean teachers, managers and owners. F visa teachers who are legally registered as working either full time or part time at a hogwan are also required to attend - sometimes they attend with the E2 teachers, sometimes they attend with the Korean teachers (silly if they don't understand the language well, but fact).

Many E2 teachers in Korea will reply that they have never been informed about or required to attend such a meeting. In part, this is because the Education Office in Seoul has held very few if any of these events. It is also because public school teachers have their own meetings, and because numerous E2 teachers who think they are legally registered in Korea to teach are not legally registered at their local Education office.

Local education offices require a copy of an E2 teacher's ARC within two weeks of arrival, along with a copy of your background check, diploma and at times, transcripts and passport ID page. Many E2 teachers go far beyond that date before obtaining an ARC. When unable to fake the starting date and faced with a fine for being late, many schools just "forget" to report their E2 teacher to the Education Office, meaning you won't be on the list of required attendees.

Some of the Education Offices have fines and penalties for not attending. The fine for a teacher who does not attend is levied by the Education Office against the school, the school may collect the fine from the teacher or from the teacher's pay - and the Labor Office will not intervene on the teacher's behalf. There are penalties against the school as well, and if the school has other bad marks it could even end up being closed. Of course they can fire the offending teacher and appeal the penalties.

Yes, there are fines, as many, many years ago at one of my first hogwans, the owner received the fine and showed it to me. Since I had not been informed about the meeting, I refused to pay and the owner paid. The fine at the time was 100,000 won.

Yes these meetings are boring, mostly a waste of time, and unpaid since they are set up and required by the government. Yes, it would be nice if your school paid the admission fee - a good school does pay the fee. However, it is possible to meet other E2 teachers at your area, hogwan owners other than your boss, and even do some networking for your next job if your current job sucks, so maybe it isn't all bad.




ontheway also on page 2 wrote:
axelf wrote:
Quote:
As should be clear from the above:

Nice attitude. Please read my posts and then this thread will make more sense to you.

As I showed before, the Gyeonggi Metropolitan Office of education is not a real office of education. It's a name made up by the hagwon association. The real office is the Gyeonggi Provincial Office of Education.

The stuff in your lengthy post might (or might not) be true if this were a legitimate meeting by the Gyeonggi Provincial Office of Education, but it's not.

Quote:
I'd guess the main purpose is legislative lobbying against fee limits and things like that. There's a proposal now to ban all private kindies, i.e. setting a minimum hagwon student age. So those owners are probably turning to the Hagwon Association to get it stopped.

What? How would gathering a bunch of foreign teachers on June 29th help those situations? Your post doesn't make sense in relation to this topic...

I suspect one agenda of the meeting on June 29th is to misrepresent the law in order to make foreign teachers feel less capable of defending themselves against dirty hagwon practices. While the industry may be "dog eats dog," marginalizing foreign teachers is one thing most hagwon owners probably wouldn't have a problem with.

I don't think the association is doing this for money, and it wouldn't be that big of a deal to hold such a meeting if it were legit, respectful of foreign teachers (unlike the one in Daegu), and had sincere intentions. But this particular situation wreaks of agenda.

Quote:
Yes these meetings are boring, mostly a waste of time,

That's not why I'm opposed to this meeting, dude. I see much deeper problems with it. I hope other people will read my posts more carefully than you did.


axelf wrote:

"Metropolitan"
- irrelevant translation error. Local government officials do this all the time.
FriendlyDaegu wrote:

"I'd guess the main purpose is legislative lobbying against fee limits and things like that."
- You'd be wrong. Go to the meeting and find out.

axelf wrote:
I suspect one agenda of the meeting on June 29th is to misrepresent the law in order to make foreign teachers feel less capable of defending themselves against dirty hagwon practices.
- Every meeting I've been to had representatives from the Immigration Office and Education Office to present the law and answer questions from the teachers, how to teach presentations and a general bitch session at the end. No BS, just factual. Nothing I didn't know, but new to some of the attendees. But, what you "suspect" is obviously superior to actual knowledge.

axelf wrote:
"I'm opposed to this meeting, dude. I see much deeper problems with it. I hope other people will read my posts more carefully than you did."
- You "suspect" and others "guess" with great paranoia, but you "know" nothing, which is why I read and ignored your post in my original reply.




M-Tea after attending the actual event wrote:
Not going to organize this so it's going to be fairly ugly. Was really tired so I'm probably going to miss a lot.
______________________________________________

1. Arrived, paid 10,000 won(that I got from my boss) and got my paper stamped.

2. Waited around in the auditorium until it started. They played classical music in a lame attempt to promote calm.

3. Show starts, Korean dude who had studied in some English-speaking country for a while was the main speaker. English good but not perfect.

4. Had everyone stand up as they played the Korean national anthem. Cancelled it before the end because nobody wanted to listen to it.

5. Distributed raffle tickets. The bribe portion. Random distribution was held after some of the later events. Also some speeches. Or was that later? Basically people wrote letters and had them read or stood in front of us and told us to have a good time. Which was responded to by applause by some and swearing by others. Of note was the head of the Gyeonggi Office of Education, name seemed to be the one I had noticed on the website before. ___ ___ Kim?

6. We were then subjected to tour videos. They showed us some famous places in Korea. Unfortunately, they all had the same annoying opening track and the computer they were using was overloaded so as they went through more and more videos they started to stutter more and more. Was rather sad.

7. Next was the drummers, I believe. Osan drumming group. Not a very high skill group but reasonable to listen to up until the point where they started mixing with extremely high volume techno/trance? Totally painful on the ears. Mostly seemed like an attempt to wake us up/keep us awake.

8. After that we listened to the two immigration girls. Their English was okay but all they told us was crap we already knew. For example, you need an ARC and a criminal background check. Also, it was mostly for E-2 visa holders. Judging by the response to the questions that followed, they really didn't know much about anything else. This section also contained numerous reminders/threats about being fined/penalized for not doing various things. As an F4 visa holder, it took most of my effort just to stay awake.

9. My mind was pretty numb at this point, don't remember things too clearly. They had two foreigners explain some stuff to us. The first speakers, Mario, explained to us how great the academies are for bringing us to Korea and how generous they were to provide us with so many things. If I had been more awake, heckling would have been unavoidable. The second speaker, Matt? He was a decent speaker but I didn't like his presentation much. It was pretty clear he had been teacher rather special classes and was pretty out of touch with what the average foreigner deals with. That being said, I will say he did the best job out of all the speakers.

10. It gets really blurry after that. There was the professor from Kyeongju. He is also part of the hiking association.. so what? Anyway, his presentation was horrible. The only part that got anyone listening or caring was when he repeatedly told people to spread their lips. Some of the girls behind me thought he said "spread your legs" and well, a bunch of other less than kosher things. In any case, it sounded more like he was teaching everyone how to give proper head. I don't think he figured that out though.

11. It gets pretty blank after that. I was just glad to get out and go. Didn't miss anything useful, that's for sure.

(Two big typos fixed, ignored the rest.)



So, it turns it was set up by the local department of education, it was done with he cooperation and assistance of the hogwan association, the list of attendees came from the dept of ed, there were speakers from the dept of ed and from the immigration office, it was a required meeting, your boss paid for your ticket, and it was boring and generally a waste of time.

Who'd a thunk.
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axelf



Joined: 18 Jun 2013

PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, your ASSUMPTION was right, Ontheway. The meeting turned out to be an actual government-related function like the ones you've seen before. Lucky you, Sherlock. If you read my last post, you'd see I backed off on my ranting once somebody presented convincing EVIDENCE that the GOVERNMENT was actually involved in THIS meeting.

Until then, it looked like a hagwon association scam:
- The invalid government name
- The lack of web presence and hidden IP addresses
- And most importantly, the fact that Wooden Nickels and TTOMPATZ actually talked to the GPOE and other offices, and those offices seemed to be completely uninvolved with the meeting.

Other odd things:
- The 10,000 won fee (for a government event?)
- The phone number on the letter was just for the city hall building. Why didn't they put a REAL number that could've been USEFUL?

In my opinion, the GPOE officials in charge of this event ought to be slapped. What a disrespectful lack of effort went into informing the teachers, and then on Saturday some teachers had to travel up to 2 hours each way to sit through that wasteful display of bureaucracy.

I apologize to M-Tea for doubting him before. He was writing like a "clueless foreigner" in his first three posts last week, which were his first posts since 2009, but in 2009 he showed he was quite capable of communicating with offices of education and such. I thought he MIGHT be a hagwon association rep now, and didn't trust him.

But I don't apologize to you, Ontheway, as you smugly say, "See, I told you so." I have no apologies for doubting the hagwon association, questioning the "authority" of the letter, or bitching at you. Your first post was perhaps informative about such government events in general, but it annoyed me because it completely sidestepped the real issue that I and others were concerned about: That in this case the hagwon association seemed to be lying and pretending to be a government body.

You ASSUMED correctly in the face of other evidence. Well, light up your victory cigar.


Last edited by axelf on Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:20 am; edited 2 times in total
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nicwr2002



Joined: 17 Aug 2011

PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unless these kind of meetings only happen in Seoul, I've never been to one before in 2 and half years. I still challenge that it is a requirement unless I've somehow fallen through the cracks. How many people didn't go?
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Savant



Joined: 25 May 2007

PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been to the Seoul one which was to put it bluntly, a pile of *beep*.

If the Hagwon Association (KAFLA?) wanted to make the event useful and informative for foreign teachers then why don't they have speakers from the Pension Office and NHIC? Oh right.....
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Lucas



Joined: 11 Sep 2012

PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No free coffee mixes?
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wooden nickels



Joined: 23 May 2010

PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I should eat crow and admit I was wrong, I have no problem doing that. I've been wrong before. I simply based my input on what I had been told by an official and my prior knowledge.

But I still have some doubts about all of this. I've talked to several acquaintances about this of which one is actually an attorney who works in the city court and a couple of small hagwon owners. For the most part they have all said it's not legally enforceable to impose mandatory attendance upon anyone or to fine a school or teacher for not attending this meeting. And that the meeting might be legitimate, and that there may be some written statement about it being mandatory, but that doesn't necessarily give any legal authority to impose a fine or penalty for nonattendance that's not under the jurisdiction of law.

I've come to the conclusion that I'm not sure. Or simply, I don't know.

So far So good

"Knock on wood"en nickels
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mrbarryobama



Joined: 08 May 2012

PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The event was an insult, but it wasn't terrible. It didn't feel like a scam, more like a half-assed attempt to educate us to appease some higher-up. Mostly a waste of time. The two foreign speakers had some interesting things to say; one guy had a couple cool ideas to use in the classroom. I got to see friends from all over Korea there, so that was fun, too.

Of course, once you checked in, you could leave at any time with impunity. So I did.

3/10

Would not attend again.
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World Traveler



Joined: 29 May 2009

PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 3:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mrbarryobama wrote:
The two foreign speakers had some interesting things to say; one guy had a couple cool ideas to use in the classroom,

What were the ideas? (I could use some more.)
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Juregen



Joined: 30 May 2006

PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

World Traveler wrote:
mrbarryobama wrote:
The two foreign speakers had some interesting things to say; one guy had a couple cool ideas to use in the classroom,

What were the ideas? (I could use some more.)


I was there and it was a complete and utter shame for those presenters to do their bit. I hope they got paid.

Anyone with 6 months of on the job training can do the same.
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Juregen



Joined: 30 May 2006

PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CentralCali wrote:
M-Tea wrote:
I was wondering the same thing. Were non-hagwon association affiliated academies told to have their teachers go?


This might be a silly question, but here goes anyway: Are there any hagweons that aren't affiliated with a hagweon association?


Yes, Mine.

Don't attribute to Malice what can be attributed to Ignorance.
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