Monday, November 15, 2010

The one where Kushibo says something nice about ATEK

The Korea Herald is carrying a nice story on the efforts of ATEK (Association of Teachers of English in Korea) to burnish the public perception of their constituency [HT to matt of Popular Gusts, as I haven't been reading the KH so much during these particularly busy past few weeks].

From the article:
In an interview with The Korea Herald, Ouwehand explained that rather than criticize the ministries and third party organizations involved, they look to themselves to polish the tarnished image of foreign English teachers.

“ATEK prefers taking a problem-solving approach to that kind of a question, where rather than complaining about some perceived injustice, why don’t we get to work on improving the reputation of English teachers in Korea, by going out into the community and doing good stuff.”
Good on them. I adamantly do not agree with ATEK's tactics on a number of issues in the past and present (including their support of the dismantling of HIV testing), but I think they are going in the right direction with this. I would submit, however, that they may not have as far to go as many think.

That is, despite the attention paid by ATEK and the anglophone K-blogs to Anti-English Spectrum, the majority of KoKos get their impression of English teachers from the English teachers themselves. And most of them, I would submit, are all right people who come across as such.

Still, it's a sincere effort to get out there and do some good and get it publicized is not a bad way to go at all, and I like the idea of expanding membership to include many KoKo teachers of English. More power to you.

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