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Welcome to Expacked (Issue #81)

July 23, 2010

Welcome to the end of semester one!  It’s always a good feeling to finish up another great semester.  It certainly makes it easier to get through the current hot, tropical, nights.

The biggest story, this week, is the Korean Government’s announced changes to the E2 visa.  Most changes are positive news for native English teachers and this should help in reducing some of the stress related to employment and visa applications.  Chris from the blog ‘Chris in South Korea’, has a good write up about the changes and I have included this as the main story.Seoul Apartments

I have been working hard lately on a slightly new format to Expacked, and while there has been no major changes for readers, I hope that the new look makes it easier for all to view.  The aim is to give Expacked a more streamlined look, make navigation better for readers and improve the backend for me.  Hopefully you like the changes and I’ll be happy to hear any comments you have.

Here are the teaching related stories this week:

Feel free to comment on any of these stories and continue to share Expacked with your friends. Enjoy the read and, of course, have a good laugh at this week’s jokes.




Important visa / immigration news

I have Stafford Lumsden at the Chosun Bimbo to thank for making these changes known, and to Matt at Gusts of Popular Feeling for his research into the subject.

Some important news regarding E-2 visa holders is coming out – and this time, it’s about as official as things can be. The original announcement can be found at, although the Chosun Bimbo has already gone through and vetted the changes.

First, the good news:

  • Stafford says it best: “If you stay less than 3 months outside of Korea between visas you do not have to submit a Criminal background check again.” This seems too good to be true, and might be cut back to a shorter time frame in the future. For the time being, this means you can visit another country or go home without needing to get another expensive piece of paper.

Click Here for the Full Story (Source: Chris in South Korea)

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ATEK Employment & Benefits Survey

[12 Yes/No Questions]

Participants can register at the url:

If the registration email does not arrive immediately, send an email to:

with this number as the subject: 15507


Please take a few moments to complete this survey. The data we collect will help ATEK understand the scope and frequency of issues facing teachers. The results will inform our on-going efforts to insure that teachers are treated fairly and in accordance with legal labor standards.

In order to gather accurate results, email addresses are needed to uniquely identify participants when registering for the survey. Your email address is NOT shared, and you WILL NOT be added to an email list. Also, there shall be no connection to you or your work place. Please respond carefully and honestly as it affects what areas we will prioritize to improve the lives of teachers.

Please feel free to share the link to this survey with any English teachers who may want to participate.

Participants can register at the url:

If the registration email does not arrive immediately, send an email to:

with this number as the subject: 15507

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

Russell Bernstein
National Membership Officer (acting)
Association for Teachers of English in Korea

(Source: ATEK)

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Corporal punishment ban opposed

The ban on corporal punishment in schools has emerged as a controversial issue between the liberal Seoul education superintendent and the Education Ministry.

The Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education on Monday imposed a full ban on all forms of corporal punishment in schools, a policy which the new liberal head Kwak No-hyun vowed to implement during his election campaigns.

Click Here for the Full Story (Source: The Korean Herald)

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Digital education takes hold in Korean classrooms

Students are in awe as their teacher flips and magnifies a graphic of Jongmyo Shrine, an ancient royal tomb in central Seoul.

All of the students in the class have tablet PCs in front of them. The PCs have replaced blackboards and conventional textbooks at the school. Their teacher, Nam Yeong-soo, created the simulation by taking videos and pictures of the site and uploading them to the school server, which feeds information into the students’ digital textbooks.

Click Here for the Full Story (Source: JoongAng Daily)

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Crime Victim Compensation to Be Expanded to Foreigner

Starting next year foreigners who fall victim to violent crime in Korea will be eligible for compensation.

The Ministry of Justice announced on Tuesday that it has started working toward changing the current victim protection law to provide financial compensation for foreign victims of violent crime.

Click Here for the Full Story (Source: The Chosun Ilbo)

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SBS radio interviews AES’s Lee Eun-ung

On July 9, 2010, Anti English Spectrum’s Lee Eun-ung was interviewed on the SBS morning radio show‘서두원의 SBS 전망대, or “Seo Du-won’s SBS Viewpoint.” I’ve translated the transcript which was put up on their site later that day (see the first search result here):
Anchor Seo Du-won:
Last year (a) native speaking teacher posted nude pictures of (his) students on the internet causing a large problem and now not long ago a native speaking teacher who molested students at an elementary school in Daegu fled abroad. With unqualified native speaking teachers openly teaching children in schools and hagwons and causing problems such as sex crimes, we are in a situation where urgent measures are needed immediately.

Click Here for the Full Story (Source: Gusts of Popular Feeling)

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Education in confusion

Most of the nation’s students sat for the Nationwide Scholastic Achievement Assessment Test, submitting to the standardized test before advancing on to the realm of higher education. They agreed to take the test despite suggestions from liberal superintendents of education that they abstain.

The number of students who opted out of last Tuesday’s assessment totaled 436, a paltry 0.02 percent of the 1,939,000 sixth graders, ninth graders and 11th graders who were eligible for the test. We can safely say that the majority of the nation’s students have taken the tests.

Click Here for the Full Story (Source: JoongAng Daily)

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Life in Korea: The top sights in Seoul – and some alternatives

Every so often I’m asked a version of the following: “So I’m coming to Seoul but I only have a couple of days (or a few days or one day)… what should I see?” Well, I’m sorry to say you’re not going to like the answer.

Where some smaller towns might be seen in a day or three, Seoul is far too large to say you’ve seen it in such a short time. Even after living in Seoul (or the area) for over two years, I wouldn’t claim to have seen it all. There’s a 464 page book written about the city itself by Robert Koehler (check it out on Amazon if you’re not in Korea).

The bottom line is there’s plenty to see – albeit too much so if you’re only in the city for a day or two. Let’s narrow it down based on your interests or goals.

Click Here for the Full Story (Source: Chris in South Korea)

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Students learn English through acting in Daegu

At one school in Korea, learning English isn’t just about memorizing vocabulary and practicing test questions. Here, the play’s the thing.

Teachers, students and around 400 audience members gathered in the auditorium of Taegu Foreign Language High School, a public boarding school in Daegu, for the second annual TFLHS English Play Festival July 6-7. In the festival, 18 plays – nine productions each for first- and second-year students – competed for trophies and prizes that were awarded by the school principal, Choi Sung-hwan.

Click Here for the Full Story (Source: JoongAng Daily)

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This week’s jokes

1) Questioning (ROKetship)

ROK questioning WEB By Luke Martin (

2) Hitler has to desk warm

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