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A fitting analogy for ESL in Korea
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World Traveler



Joined: 29 May 2009

PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:49 pm    Post subject: A fitting analogy for ESL in Korea Reply with quote

Preface:
The most recent (and in fact only) posting of its kind on a website I checked today really pissed me off.
Quote:
Hello, I'm an American living in Hongdae. I'm looking for more 1-to-1 English clients for English conversation, business English, etc. I live in Hongdae but can travel to all areas of Seoul. Please reply to this post to contact me. Price is negotiable!

Education: B.A. Media Studies & Radio Journalism, USA

Age: 27, Male

Availability: After 1 pm Monday-Friday, All Weekend Hours

Rate: ₩20,000/hour (we can discuss a lower price for multiple lessons, etc.)

Video: A fitting analogy for ESL in Korea
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TEZ7zbumak

Look at the kind of crap being pitched to F-visa holders these days:
Quote:
Part-Time / F-2 Only / Anyang / Kindy / M-F 10AM-3:30PM F-2 Part-time Only
* Location: Gyeonggi / Anyang
* Starting Date: ASAP
* Age Group: Kindergarten
* Working Hours: Monday to Friday (10:00AM~3:30PM)
* Compensation: 1.0 Million KRW
* The Closest Subway Station: TBD
Please send us your resume and a recent photo to jakenglish@korea.com

From Dave's, a mere two years ago:
Quote:
Looking for Only F2/5 Visa holder
- Monthly Pay- 3,500,000
- Starting Date: Negotiable (September/October) * Gangnam
- Working Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30am- 2:00pm (no-overtime)(non-negotiable)
- Teaching Target: Pre-K to K children
- Location: Gangnam

These two jobs are as similar as can be: The amount of working hours per hour are exactly the same, yet there is a big difference in pay. Why? One is an offer from late 2011 and the other (which is far worse) is an offer from 2013. It's a damn shame. But here's the thing: there are a limited number of F-visa holders in Korea. If every F-visa holder said, "no" to low ball offers of recruiters testing the waters, wages would not fall. All it takes is for one person to say yes, and the job is gone off the board, with the labor done for a low rate. That person just set the bar for everyone else. So please guys, if your wife is nagging you to make more money, don't just accept anything. Hold out for more. If a company or recruiter offers you an offer lower than what was the going rate before, refuse and give the reason why. Encourage others to do the same too. If you see an ad from a Westerner offering low rates, PM that person explaining why he should charge more. If you see a voice recording ad offering a low amount, make a post directly above it explaining why this is a crap wage (for a voice recording which will make a company rich). Do your part to fight falling wages. If people accept low payment, surely it will become the norm.
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edwardcatflap



Joined: 22 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the past the first guy might have got more because foreigners were more of a rarity but he doesn't list any qualifications or expertise. I wouldn't pay more than 20,000 for someone like that. I can't think of anyone who'd apply for the second ad unless they're a non native speaker.
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Died By Bear



Joined: 13 Jul 2010
Location: On the big lake they call Gitche Gumee

PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's only going to get worse. Get out now.
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Lucas



Joined: 11 Sep 2012

PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I work for rice!

5KG per hour. 3Kg for brown.
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World Traveler



Joined: 29 May 2009

PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

edwardcatflap wrote:
In the past the first guy might have got more because foreigners were more of a rarity but he doesn't list any qualifications or expertise. I wouldn't pay more than 20,000 for someone like that.

You wouldn't? Not if you were a Korean learning English? I pay 20k an hour to learn Korean (a difficult obscure language spoken by less than 1% of the world's population) from a person who has never taught Korean before. Zero "qualifications or expertise". In fact, none of that is needed for one on one. For a big classroom with mixed abilities it is, but personal tutoring is different. Westerners offering/agreeing to work for cheap drive down the going rate and you know it. But you (and The Urban Myth, etc.) are too straight laced to participate in the illegal privates market, meaning it doesn't affect you (not yet anyway), so why should you care?
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Who's Your Daddy?



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

PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In 2003 FOB I was paid 40K per hour for private lessons. You didn't need any qualifications to make 40K per hour. I think it is probably the same today if you stick to your guns. I make 40/50/60 depending on the size of class now - but they don't inquire much about my experience, I think a FOB could get the same. Those that work for less are probably a bit stupid. I understand employers offering low ball offers, but they must get pretty stupid teachers.
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World Traveler



Joined: 29 May 2009

PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Consumer prices have increased by 31 percent since when she arrived in 2003, according to OECD figures.

Quote:
“Living back then was so simple. Everything was cheap and affordable,” said Heaney. “I have noticed that the prices of things have risen, but the pay scale has stayed the same.”

http://groovekorea.com/article/koreas-efl-education-failing
I guess you could say the 40k in 2003 is 55k in today's money. WYD, you are making decent money, about the same as what you made when you first arrived with no quals. Much of that is due to you having the F-visa, but nevertheless, well done. I heard so much about rates dropping, even for F-visa holders, but what you are saying indicates that may not be so true. Let's cross our fingers and hope things don't take a turn for the worse too badly in the future.
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edwardcatflap



Joined: 22 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
You wouldn't? Not if you were a Korean learning English? I pay 20k an hour to learn Korean (a difficult obscure language spoken by less than 1% of the world's population) from a person who has never taught Korean before. Zero "qualifications or expertise". In fact, none of that is needed for one on one


From your other thread


Quote:
Bring your own materials and tell the teacher what to do. That's what I do


That's why your teacher's only worth 20k. You're putting in half the effort yourself without getting paid for it. If I wanted one to one lessons, I wouldn't scrimp n it. I'd choose someone who could plan their own decent and interesting lessons, prepare
their own materials and I could just turn up, engage and learn. But each to his own.
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misher



Joined: 14 Oct 2008

PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

edwardcatflap wrote:
In the past the first guy might have got more because foreigners were more of a rarity but he doesn't list any qualifications or expertise. I wouldn't pay more than 20,000 for someone like that.


"Qualifications" for teaching English "conversation." What are these qualifications? You're not exactly editing a thesis or technical journal or developing a curriculum/ managing a program.

1 to 1 conversation "lessons" are entirely dictated by the number of native speakers available. Less of them = more desperate Koreans who think yaking to a native speaker 1 hour a week will make them fluent.

I wouldn't pay more than $20 an hour for that either even if my teacher had 5 MAs in education English Tesol IELTS BS or whatever else "qualification" has materialized out of the education inflation in this industry. I had 1 to 1 Native speaker leasons for Korean. I paid 17,000 krw an hour. My korean teacher asked for 40,000 krw an hour. No way when there are millions of Koreans around me who would even do it for free. I just want conversation and some corrections. "Qualification" whatever they may be for doing this job are not needed IMO.
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misher



Joined: 14 Oct 2008

PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:


That's why your teacher's only worth 20k. You're putting in half the effort yourself without getting paid for it. If I wanted one to one lessons, I wouldn't scrimp n it. I'd choose someone who could plan their own decent and interesting lessons, prepare
their own materials and I could just turn up, engage and learn. But each to his own.


No korean teacher I engaged offered such services. It was either to work through a book that you already had and to answer questions/provide drilling Nd conversation practice according to their book. Or free talking.

That's not worth 40,000 krw an hour when any university educated student can do so.

Now design a program tailored to your needs and provide materials, that is another story but most teachers doing private "conversation" lessons wouldn't do that because in the end the prep doesn't justify the pay.
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World Traveler



Joined: 29 May 2009

PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

edwardcatflap wrote:
That's why your teacher's only worth 20k. You're putting in half the effort yourself without getting paid for it.

How am I putting in half the effort by bringing a book from home (or printing off free TOPIK tests from their website)? It's a matter efficiency. Other people made good quality materials through collaboration and published them. I use them. They are as good as what a K-tutor could make from scratch. Plenty of good materials exist for learning English now (and to a lesser extent for learning Korean). There is no need to reinvent the wheel. What makes a good tutor? Speaking slowly (boring for the person doing it, but something everyone is capable of doing). If the person teaching you isn't accommodating, you can drop that person and get a new one (and they know it), so they do as you wish in a one to one setting.

If all Westerners refuse to work for cheap rates, the going rate for all Westerners remains high. If some Westerners agree to work cheap (or free- I've seen it happen) (or do language exchanges- an unequal exchange as English is worth far more than Korean), then the going rate for all Westerners drops.

As recently as 2010, I knew people making 100,000 won per hour in the privates market. (Granted, that wasn't the norm, and the teachers were female, but still, that is a hell of a lot of money.) And these were teachers with liberal arts BAs. No quals at all (aside from having had graduated from college which I suppose is worth something). Who's making 100k per hour teaching privates these days? No one I know. I'm guessing it's extremely rare to nonexistent in 2013/2014.
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edwardcatflap



Joined: 22 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Qualifications" for teaching English "conversation." What are these qualifications? You're not exactly editing a thesis or technical journal or developing a curriculum/ managing a program.


I've had teachers with qualifications or experience and I've had ones without. The good teachers knew how to make the lessons interesting. They picked articles pitched at the right level to discuss and thought about what vocabulary I might need to take part in a discussion and what questions to ask to lead me into the text. They could answer questions I had about grammar or vocabulary in an easy to understand way and prepared review activities to build on what I'd learned in the previous class. These are techniques you can learn by doing a course.

The teachers without qualifications turned up and asked me what I wanted to talk about that day. They often couldn't answer my questions or explain why I had made a mistake.

Quote:
Now design a program tailored to your needs and provide materials, that is another story but most teachers doing private "conversation" lessons wouldn't do that because in the end the prep doesn't justify the pay.


That's where the experience comes in. The longer you teach, the quicker you can design a lesson and know where to go for materials.



Quote:
How am I putting in half the effort by bringing a book from home (or printing off free


You said yourself you have to tell the teacher what to do. So you're effectively planning the lesson.

As I said before each to his own and if you want to scrimp on lessons that's up to you. But IMO it'd be foolish to suggest qualifications and experience don't matter in one to one teaching
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World Traveler



Joined: 29 May 2009

PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 5:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

edwardcatflap wrote:
it'd be foolish to suggest qualifications and experience don't matter in one to one teaching

It matters a lot less than you think. What matters more is the supply of Westerners and how cheap they are willing to work. People getting paid decent money to test voice apps and record their voice get the money not because they are qualified and experienced but because they were lucky enough grow up speaking English as their mother tongue by an accident of birth. English is the most useful and important language in the history of civilization. Korean is not. And telling a teacher what to do in a one on one setting is great, something not afforded in a classroom setting. No one understands the needs of a student as well as the student. Lastly, because Korean is such a hard language, most Westerners (yourself included) are at a very, very basic level. They won't be reading articles. They will be struggling to form simple coherent complete sentences.
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edwardcatflap



Joined: 22 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
It matters a lot less than you think


I started this whole discussion by saying what matters to me. I'm not really bothered about what your average Korean looking for a one to one class thinks, as I don't teach privates. Although I'm sure there are some around who recognise what makes a good teacher and are prepared to pay more for one.
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TheUrbanMyth



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Location: It's not a superiority complex when you really are superior

PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

World Traveler wrote:
[ Westerners offering/agreeing to work for cheap drive down the going rate and you know it. But you (and The Urban Myth, etc.) are too straight laced to participate in the illegal privates market, meaning it doesn't affect you (not yet anyway), so why should you care?



Are you working in the illegal privates market? if no then it doesn't affect you either. And if yes...well I'm not going to cry too many tears over someone whose illegal gains have decreased. And it's doubtful too many other people who work legally would care either.
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