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Korean Perception of Foreign English Teachers
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JustinC



Joined: 10 Mar 2012
Location: We Are The World!

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

edwardcatflap wrote:
How long are these classes it is being claimed are used for babysitting purposes? I've heard people on here talking about twenty to forty minute classes. Hardly worth the hassle to get them to the school is it if they want a babysitting service for that length of time?


They're usually 40 or 50 minutes, then often the kids will ferry themselves on to another hagwon. They could be out for a couple hours, the same time that it'd take to watch a movie at the cinema or go to the mall.

EDIT: Or play a game of tennis/badminton/soccer, swim 20 lengths etc
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fermentation



Joined: 22 Jun 2009

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Koreans think you guys suck. You should probably leave the country unless you're a good looking girl who wants to pm me her number.
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Unibrow



Joined: 20 Aug 2012

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paddy said it best. Who cares what people think of you or your career? I don't think about other people and their jobs too much.
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aq8knyus



Joined: 28 Jul 2010
Location: London

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paddycakes wrote:
Most Koreans don't think about ESL teachers... they don't care...

Or they care about as much as as the average middle aged white guy back home cares about Vietnamese cooks. This means - not much.

However, some do care, and it's usually those from my experience who have worked or dealt with foreigners usually in educational settings.

Much of the negative perception of ESL teachers stems from some basic things:

1. Korea is a very image centered society, and while it may not apply to everyone in ESL, most ESL teachers look like slobs.

A lot are obese to morbidly obese.

In a society where people are generally thin and care about their appearance and make an effort to dress up, this is an issue.

2. A lot of ESL teachers make no effort to respect or fit in with the culture, but you could probably make that argument among the expats in professional occupations... in fact, they're probably worse since they have the money to not live like average locals.

3. ESL is generally a low paid, non-professional job, and we all know how obsessed Koreans are with income and status (ie., being a Doctor and a graduate of SNU... blah blah blah...).

I know some ESL teachers, especially those who work in universities, genuinely believe in their own minds that they are "professionals", but the reality is you're only a professional if you're a member of a self-regulating body and you're legally responsible for your work. Also, 'professional' jobs are generally high income (plus $100,000 per year).

I know everyone like to think they are "professionals", but those who hark on it usually come across looking insecure and trying to compensate for a reality they don't like.

4. A lot of ESL'ers would be loathe to admit it, but the reality is most are here because they can't get a job back home, or they just don't function socially very well back in their home countries. Or they're here for a fun working holiday... a gap year.

Some generally care about teaching ESL, but most don't.


So, yes, there is a stigma against English Instructors.

But who cares.

You're only here as a transient guest. Make some money. Pay off some student loan debt. Date some cute K-girls.

Have a good time.

Don't fret over how other people perceive you... you can't change their opinions.


You are right that most Koreans wouldn't care but your reasons dont make sense. The strength of bile is symtomatic of some Koreans thinking english teachers get an easy ride or have it better than Koreans. Think of your own country where the perception of immigrants getting free/easy money from the government is always a point of outrage.

Also those earning over 100,000 USD would be in the top 10/20% of wage earners and not representative of society. I could definitely see wealthy people looking down on lower earners but that is a bigotry of another sort.

On a side note it is good to see a measured response to your Korea bashing comment. Whilst Korea is an awesome place people shouldn't be ganged up on for saying something anti-Korea.
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Who's Your Daddy?



Joined: 30 May 2010
Location: The joy's in the ride.

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

English teachers do have it better than average Koreans. They are jealous, and I don't blame them, I feel sorry for them. At least we can leave.

When you are gone that sneering local will still be here feeling angry at other foreigners while you're enjoying your life. So the fact that your are in his vicinity temporarily is irrelevant, he probably hates his life.
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Paddycakes



Joined: 05 May 2003
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who's Your Daddy? wrote:
English teachers do have it better than average Koreans. They are jealous, and I don't blame them, I feel sorry for them. At least we can leave.

When you are gone that sneering local will still be here feeling angry at other foreigners while you're enjoying your life. So the fact that your are in his vicinity temporarily is irrelevant, he probably hates his life.



I've heard the Koreans are "resentful of us" argument often... it smacks of total delusion.

Maybe if you're dealing with your hogwan secretary who makes less than a million a month and who sees a bunch of whiny, self-entitled weirdos from the West make twice as much money as her for doing half the work, maybe she's resentful.

But for the average Korean on the street who owns his own Sum Gap Sal restaurant or cell phone shop or who works in a government office, I don't think so...


As I said (and this was not Korea bashing), except for a few odd balls, most Koreans could care less about ESL teachers, or any foreigners for that matter.

You're off the radar.

This is not your country. You can't vote. You have no political power. You have no economic power.

You are nothing more than transient labor here.

The Koreans have no reason to care about you, unless you start committing serious crimes.

And if they do care, it's only to the extent that by Korean standards you come across as strange and oddly amusing.

Maybe that will change when the hippie/slob aesthetic catches on here someday...
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newb



Joined: 27 Aug 2012
Location: Korea

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't really care what Koreans or other people think. I'm here for the money. I make good money here (saving most of it) doing my job that I enjoy with loooooooong vacations that I won't get if I were working back home.

Yeah, I get paid more for less work than most Koreans so I feel guilty, NOT.
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Paddycakes



Joined: 05 May 2003
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

newb wrote:

Yeah, I get paid more for less work than most Koreans so I feel guilty, NOT.


You really think you make more than most Koreans?

You can't just compare yourself to shop workers or fast food workers...


Last edited by Paddycakes on Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
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No_hite_pls



Joined: 05 Mar 2007
Location: Don't hate me because I'm right

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most college educated Koreans make more than ESL teachers and usually it's quite a bit more.
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shostahoosier



Joined: 14 Apr 2009

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paddycakes wrote:


As I said (and this was not Korea bashing), except for a few odd balls, most Koreans could care less about ESL teachers, or any foreigners for that matter.

You're off the radar.

This is not your country. You can't vote. You have no political power. You have no economic power.

You are nothing more than transient labor here.

The Koreans have no reason to care about you, unless you start committing serious crimes.

And if they do care, it's only to the extent that by Korean standards you come across as strange and oddly amusing.


I'm glad someone else has said this. ESL teachers here tend to live in a foreigner bubble and don't realize that Koreans have other things to worry about.

My Korean friends (and I do have 2 close ones that I can really consider friends and not free English lesson seekers) always seem oblivious to issues that worry me. It's probably because they have to worry about their careers, families, finances, Korean politics, the weather, etc. NETs are the last thing on their minds.
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Dodge7



Joined: 21 Oct 2011

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shostahoosier wrote:
Paddycakes wrote:


As I said (and this was not Korea bashing), except for a few odd balls, most Koreans could care less about ESL teachers, or any foreigners for that matter.

You're off the radar.

This is not your country. You can't vote. You have no political power. You have no economic power.

You are nothing more than transient labor here.

The Koreans have no reason to care about you, unless you start committing serious crimes.

And if they do care, it's only to the extent that by Korean standards you come across as strange and oddly amusing.


I'm glad someone else has said this. ESL teachers here tend to live in a foreigner bubble and don't realize that Koreans have other things to worry about.

My Korean friends (and I do have 2 close ones that I can really consider friends and not free English lesson seekers) always seem oblivious to issues that worry me. It's probably because they have to worry about their careers, families, finances, Korean politics, the weather, etc. NETs are the last thing on their minds.

That is of course if you are seen with one of "their" women.
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orosee



Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Location: Hannam-dong, Seoul

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paddycakes wrote:
Most Koreans don't think about ESL teachers... they don't care...

Or they care about as much as as the average middle aged white guy back home cares about Vietnamese cooks. This means - not much.

However, some do care, and it's usually those from my experience who have worked or dealt with foreigners usually in educational settings.

Much of the negative perception of ESL teachers stems from some basic things:

1. Korea is a very image centered society, and while it may not apply to everyone in ESL, most ESL teachers look like slobs.

A lot are obese to morbidly obese.

In a society where people are generally thin and care about their appearance and make an effort to dress up, this is an issue.

2. A lot of ESL teachers make no effort to respect or fit in with the culture, but you could probably make that argument among the expats in professional occupations... in fact, they're probably worse since they have the money to not live like average locals.

3. ESL is generally a low paid, non-professional job, and we all know how obsessed Koreans are with income and status (ie., being a Doctor and a graduate of SNU... blah blah blah...).

I know some ESL teachers, especially those who work in universities, genuinely believe in their own minds that they are "professionals", but the reality is you're only a professional if you're a member of a self-regulating body and you're legally responsible for your work. Also, 'professional' jobs are generally high income (plus $100,000 per year).

I know everyone like to think they are "professionals", but those who hark on it usually come across looking insecure and trying to compensate for a reality they don't like.

4. A lot of ESL'ers would be loathe to admit it, but the reality is most are here because they can't get a job back home, or they just don't function socially very well back in their home countries. Or they're here for a fun working holiday... a gap year.

Some generally care about teaching ESL, but most don't.


So, yes, there is a stigma against English Instructors.

But who cares.

You're only here as a transient guest. Make some money. Pay off some student loan debt. Date some cute K-girls.

Have a good time.

Don't fret over how other people perceive you... you can't change their opinions.


I would add one more thing.

Most ET's come from a culture where being young means everything (and they're all young). And they act it out here as they did back home.

Korea is a country where being young means nothing. Conflict is programmed.

Your Korea reception at age 35+ will be vastly different from age 20-30.

Even in Western culture, at age 40+ you don't give a shit about the opinions or feelings of someone half your age. It gets more so as you age more.

Also as it has been mentioned a few times before, the feelings towards ET's are universal and multi-cultural, not restricted to Koreans. Or Korea.
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sluggo832004



Joined: 04 Sep 2010

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dodge7 wrote:
shostahoosier wrote:
Paddycakes wrote:


As I said (and this was not Korea bashing), except for a few odd balls, most Koreans could care less about ESL teachers, or any foreigners for that matter.

You're off the radar.

This is not your country. You can't vote. You have no political power. You have no economic power.

You are nothing more than transient labor here.

The Koreans have no reason to care about you, unless you start committing serious crimes.

And if they do care, it's only to the extent that by Korean standards you come across as strange and oddly amusing.


I'm glad someone else has said this. ESL teachers here tend to live in a foreigner bubble and don't realize that Koreans have other things to worry about.

My Korean friends (and I do have 2 close ones that I can really consider friends and not free English lesson seekers) always seem oblivious to issues that worry me. It's probably because they have to worry about their careers, families, finances, Korean politics, the weather, etc. NETs are the last thing on their minds.

That is of course if you are seen with one of "their" women.


haha. I cant tell you how many korean men approach me for introducing them to a big breasted blond girl. haha. Yet get jealous when they see a foreigner with a korean girl.

Just proves that no matter what race or country, guys will still be guys. lol
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KimchiNinja



Joined: 01 May 2012
Location: Gangnam

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Korean Perception of Foreign English Teachers Reply with quote

MetaFitX wrote:
I asked her about what many Koreans thought about foreign English teacher and her answer kind of surprised me. She straight up told me that many of them see foreign English teachers as incompetent, lazy and unable to get a job back in their home country. So, they come to Korea...


Classic Korean bluntness. Wink

I'm not in the education profession so my experience is similar to the guy who posted earlier; my colleagues talk openly about it since they don't need to worry about offending me. The view from the normal middle class Koreans I've encountered is 1) who cares, they never think about foreign English teachers, but 2) tends to the negative if the topic comes up.

It doesn't take much imagination to figure out why. General perception probably comes from foreigners lack of interest and respect for Korean culture, so clearly they must not be here cause they are interested in Korea. If they are not interested in Korea logically why would they be here? Because they have no better option back home. Or because they just want to drink and womanize while doing the minimal possible at their jobs. Perception enforced by negative press and this website (which is available for everyone to read). For example: on this site today there was a guy who posted that he likes to fight adjumas on the subway for a seat [facepalm].

But I think most people are smart enough to know that people differ, and not all foreign English teachers are the same.
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newb



Joined: 27 Aug 2012
Location: Korea

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paddycakes wrote:
newb wrote:

Yeah, I get paid more for less work than most Koreans so I feel guilty, NOT.


You really think you make more than most Koreans?

You can't just compare yourself to shop workers or fast food workers...


So you know how much I make, eh? Laughing
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