Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Korean English teachers preferred over foreign English teachers?

I guess all those articles on pot-smoking, child-molesting, skirt-chasing, drunk-teaching instructors have resulted in this shocking result: students, parents, and other educators prefer homegrown English teachers (assuming they speak English well) over native English-speaking teachers by about two-to-one.

Hmm... I was joking about it being all about the bad press, but I'm sure some will think that. What I think is really at work is the nervousness, uncertainty, and anxiety that so many KoKos feel when they learn English. They want, whether they should have it or not, to have someone hold their hand through the language learning process.

The thing is, most native-speaking English teachers cannot do that in Korean. And of course, those who do speak Korean reportedly are told not to do so. It's all a bit unfair, I suppose.

But I don't think this means the native-speaking English teachers are going anywhere soon. The survey was comparing them to Korean teachers who speak English well, which is almost a hypothetical creature in many schools. And there will always be those who feel that no matter how well a KoKo speaks English, it will never be as perfect and pure as an actual native, for whom there will always be a market.

Even despite the robots.



  1. Kushibo, in my opinion the survey just reveals the fact the koreans feel better interacting with koreans than with foreigners

  2. Really? Gosh, where was this sentiment when I was in my early 20s?! I remember interviewing for a position that was supposed to teach English to KAL stewardesses (any man's dream job) and the guy telling me in Korean "Well, we're actually looking for NATIVE English speakers". Huh? I was born and raised in the US and my Korean barely scrapes the "fluent" level (plus I majored in languages!). But he said English students preferred to learn from a non-Korean face. Sheesh! I'm still not over that!


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