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The End of English
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goat



Joined: 23 Feb 2010

PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:07 am    Post subject: The End of English Reply with quote

It looks as if English Education, in Korea, is doomed. It's going to be brought to an end through Elementary 2.

What's your Plan B as the market shrinks?
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denverdeath



Joined: 21 May 2005
Location: Boo-sahn

PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going to open either a restaurant or laundry shop. Here in Korea. Might do BOTH, depending on resources and energy.
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ttompatz



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Location: Kwangju, South Korea

PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As public schools scale back the hagwons move in to take up the slack.

Parents are not going to let English education for their kids drop.

Attrition will take care of the rest (people won't come to Korea unless they get a free plane ticket) and that will still leave jobs open for those who are here and who want to stay.

.
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wonkavite62



Joined: 17 Dec 2007
Location: Jeollanamdo, South Korea.

PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:11 am    Post subject: The "End of English?" Reply with quote

I can't quite say that it's the end of English. But there have been a lot of cutbacks over the past 5 years, especially in public schools under President Park. The current government seems to take gleeful pleasure in suddenly finding English teachers that are here illegally and kicking them out. There has been a lot of negativity. A report by the Korean government in 2011 said that western teachers in public schools were not helping Korean students become fluent in English. Well, the number of foreign English teachers has declined, and Korea's level of English has also declined internationally.

Parents and others may force a reaction.
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PRagic



Joined: 24 Feb 2006

PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Take it for what it's worth, but people have been foretelling the 'end of English' in Korea since I came over in 93.

Keep in mind that a TON of kids from all walks of life and all age cohorts now regularly travel abroad, often with a parent, to burnish their English.

And, in agreement with TTompatz, there will always be a market here for English language instruction. English is part of the national curricula, it is still a part of the college entrance exam, it is still a requirment for graduation (high school and university), and the bigger companies still want evidence of English ability (fine, I won't say 'fluency', but they still want documentation). Smile and say TOEFL. A lot of government and think tank jobs also require English.

Add to this that Korea punches well above its weight class in terms of university students studying in the west. You can't fudge your way through an advanced degree at a western university, particularly if there is a thesis/dissertation component.

There have been several threads and posts about how to approach teaching English, whether as a career in and of itself, a transition to another English related vocation, or as a stepping stone to other academic related work. Korea is still a good place for those with minimum qualifications looking to do a year or three without having to up their game (e.g. related degrees and certs), and it is also a decent place to work for those qualified professionals looking to make a career of it here in ESL long term.

Just my 2 cents. Yes, there are potential pitfalls, and, yes, horror stories still abound. But if people do their homework prior to taking the plunge, downsides can be substantially minimized and you can still have a good experience here.
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Kuros



Joined: 27 Apr 2004

PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is hardly the end of English education in Korea.

Korea has fresh and ambitious initiatives aimed at achieving the same international hub status as the other Asian Tigers (Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan). Arguably, Korea has the farthest to go in terms of English infrastructure.

PRagic mentions how English forms part of the college entrance exam in Korea. Compare this to reform trends in China:

2013: Beijing [sic] cancel English test for college entrance exams

PDF: GaoKao to drop English prong by 2020; pilot programs initiated

Does anyone here suppose that English education has died in China?

Korea has no choice in the matter. It must emphasize English. It is too small to reverse the trend. And it would not voluntarily buck that trend, either. Should Korea prefer the other, closer Elephants (China, Japan, or Russia) gain cultural or linguistic hegemony over Anglo-American influence?

Korea's lack of choice looks comparatively potent when one examines the choice of individual families. Can a Korean middle-class family afford to take the risk that their children fall behind in English?
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wonkavite62



Joined: 17 Dec 2007
Location: Jeollanamdo, South Korea.

PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:51 pm    Post subject: Hi Reply with quote

Quote:
Korea is still a good place for those with minimum qualifications looking to do a year or three without having to up their game (e.g. related degrees and certs), and it is also a decent place to work for those qualified professionals looking to make a career of it here in ESL long term.


There may be some truth in this comment. But potential earnings are in decline. Yes it is possible to get an okay job here with a bachelor's degree, but the supply of relatively stable public school jobs has shrunk greatly. Hagwons vary a lot, and we've read a lot of hair-raising tales about the BAD hagwons and English Villages on Dave's ESL Cafe in the past!

In principle, you can come here with a master's degree and 2 years of university experience, and get a good university job. In principle, if you are a registered teacher you can get a job in an international school. (But remember the British Columbia Schools case).

However, I am not sure if South Korea is the best place to transition from hagwon jobs to university or international schools.

Unfortunately, I suspect that Saudi Arabia would be a better place to save the money needed to make that transition. What do you think?
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PRagic



Joined: 24 Feb 2006

PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sure, I stated that there is no shortage of hagwon horror stories even now. Still, I've met my fair share of people who've done a couple of hagwon years before heading 'home', and they've had great experiences. Again, you have to do your homework before signing on the dotted line. Might not nullify chances of getting screwed, but it can help to minimize those chances.

Never lived or worked in the ME, but a have a few friends (all male) who have worked over there in a few different countries. They went for the money and only the money, and they all moved back to either Korea or Hong Kong after a couple of years max. I'd rely on insights from those who have lived and worked there long term.

Korea? Seems that there are still decent university gigs to be found, but you definitely either need to work your way up the food chain or luck out with a diamond in the rough (no term limits, block scheds, decent housing or allowance, 4 day work weeks, fully paid breaks, some salary bumps).

While I do have friends at some universities that are satisfied, others are getting a bit ticked off. Some places now, for example, want their ESL instructors to publish, but they're not reducing hours or increasing pay, just adding on to the crap to do list. Plus, most admit that the MA does not really prepare anyone to conduct actual research and publish the results.

For those with decent scheds, there are opportunities to pad incomes either via on-campus activities or with side jobs. And let's not forget the paid breaks. Those are good for generating income and for getting away to recharge the batteries a bit when needed. A lot of my buddies take amazing trips once a year, sometimes twice.

No place is perfect for everyone and a job is, in the end, a job.
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ttompatz



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Location: Kwangju, South Korea

PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PRagic wrote:
Plus, most admit that the MA does not really prepare anyone to conduct actual research and publish the results.


What kind of MA would that be?

While my MBA only required an internship and defended thesis my MA and M.Ed were simply smaller versions of my PhD.

They required a proper proposal with proposal defense, original research, a properly defended thesis (committee of 3), then publication of the research in a peer reviewed journal ALL as requirements of graduation.

I do have to confess however that both of those Masters were taken at globally ranked, research universities and that may have made the difference.

.
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PRagic



Joined: 24 Feb 2006

PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That could have something to do with it. Most MA work is as you described, but the lit reviews tend to be much more shallow and any analysis correspondingly watered down. Not saying MA students don't often do some pretty cool stuff, just that it's distantly removed from Doctoral research. The big qualifier, of course, is that Doctoral research must contribute something new and original to the field or you don't pass go.

I've published with MA students, but mainly becaus