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Welcome to Expacked (Issue #17)

April 7, 2009

It’s not secret that, in today’s economic climate, the Korean Government is falling well short in attracting the numbers of native English speakers they want.  And its not just the value of the Won, or the economy, that they have to worry about – the real threat may just be China’s rapidly growing appetite for English.  great-wall

I read somewhere recently that China employs over 100,000 native English teachers.  The scary thing is this number will most certainly rise in the future and its going to be harder and harder for countries like Korea to attract teachers.

Korea is a fantastic place to live and work and has the potential to be much better.  Instead of putting so much effort in attracting new teachers, the Korean Government should be focused on creating an environment where the teachers already here want to stay longer than the normal one year contract.  

One option that could go a long way in keeping teachers here would be if the Government looked at setting up a central support structure for teachers.  A support network that would; make living in a foreign culture much easier and enjoyable (remember the problems you had getting a simple cell phone); make working and dealing with non-english speaking Koreans far less stressful;  and provides opportunities for further training and career advancement (eg free access to TEFL type courses).  

As well as reducing the cost in recruiting new teachers, by keeping teachers in Korea longer, you are giving Korean students access to more experienced (and thus better) teachers.  This would also provide more opportunities for better feedback to improve teaching material and resources.

Its amazing how quickly a happy and motivated teacher tells his friends, and his friends friends, about how great it is working and living in Korea.

If you had any thoughts we would love to hear them.

As usual, we have a summary of this week’s stories on the right.  I want to highlight the article detailing Seoul’s big plans for massive new buildings.  How exciting is this!

I hope you enjoy the read and, of course, this week’s jokes.

Thanks,

Ken

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