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Welcome to Expacked (Issue #88)

October 2, 2010

The weather may be cooling down, however the news certainly isn’t.  We have a lot of news this week and I actually had a hard time deciding what to leave out.Korean man sitting The big news at the moment is the high rate of native English teachers quitting their job early.

While the Ministry of Education has just released figures, none of the national newspapers seem to agree on exactly what the rate actually is. Brian, from the blog ‘Brian in Jeollanam-Do’, has made a great write up about this and you can read this in the stories below.

ATEK Vice President nominations open

Is you are interested in doing more for the native English teaching community, ATEK is welcoming nominations for the role of Vice President.  The nomination period will close on October 14th and voting will be from October 15-21.  Click here for more details.

Huge fire at high rise apartment in Busan yesterday

The Korean Herald has some spectacular pictures of the fire in this 38 floor building.  Luckily no one was hurt.  It started on the 4th floor and has pretty much gutted most of the apartment complex.  Click here for the pictures.

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.




Busan schools to evaluate foreign teachers

Schools in this southeastern port city will begin full-blown evaluations of foreign teachers for their teaching skills and working attitude next year, the city’s top educator said.

Lim Hea-kyung, superintendent of the Busan Metropolitan City of Education, said, “The comprehensive appraisals will ultimately upgrade the quality of English education, with those teachers who rate poorly being kicked out of schools.”

It is the first time that a major city in the country will evaluate foreign teachers.

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

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EPIK Press Release: Spring applications

We will begin accepting applications for the Spring 2011 semester on October 1, 2010 (Korean Standard Time). Applications submitted before this date will not be accepted.

The deadline to submit applications will be December 1, 2010. This date is tentative and could change depending on circumstances.

National EPIK applicants must submit the Spring 2011 EPIK Application. Applicants applying to teach with Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education (SMOE) through EPIK must submit both the Spring 2011 EPIK Application and the EPIK – Seoul Attachment Form. Please read the instructions and determine your eligibility before submitting this form. Applicants who do not or will not meet the minimum requirements will not be considered for a teaching position with SMOE.

Please download and use the EPIK Application Form and EPIK – Seoul Attachment Form Instructions to help you complete the forms.

When submitting your application, you must include the following in your email:

1. The application form(s)*
2. Two scanned letters of recommendation**

*Please follow the guidelines provided on our website for letters of recommendation. If any of these documents are missing, your application will not be processed. Incomplete applications will not be accepted. Resumes will not be considered.

Joint applicants must apply together.  Joint applications will not be processed until each applicant’s application and letters of recommendation are received.

Please submit all the applications and letters of recommendation to Please write “Spring 2011 – [Your Name]” in the subject line of the email. Receipt confirmation will be sent approximately 1 week after application submission.

Thank you for your interest in EPIK, and we hope to hear from you soon!

Click Here for EPIK’s website (Source: EPIK)

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Every damn native speaker English teacher breaks contract and leaves job early, reports Ministry of Education

Well, just about. A few hours ago I wrote, based on a Korea Times article, that 5% of native speaker English teachers in Korean public schools were leaving before their one-year contracts ended. From the Times:

According to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, the number of foreign teachers who failed to complete their working contracts last year rose to 425 from 283 a year ago. This year as well, 252 native English speakers have already left schools as of July, according to Rep. Kim Se-yeon of the governing Grand National Party (GNP) who asked the ministry to submit the statistics to the National Assembly.

Click Here for the Full Story (Source: Brian in Jeollanam-Do)

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Provinces need more native English teachers

Despite a steady increase in the number of native English teachers here, their regional distribution is still uneven as most are concentrated in the metropolitan areas.

As of the end of August, the number of students per native English teacher was 778 in Seoul, 799 in Gyeonggi Province and 804 in Busan, according to data released by Reps. Kim Se-yeon and Park Young-ah of the ruling Grand National Party, who sit on the parliamentary education committee.

However, the figure reached 1,552 in Daegu, 1,298 in Gwangju and 1,316 in North Chungcheong Province.

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

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More school kids kill themselves

Suicides among schoolchildren rose by nearly 50 percent in 2009 from the year before, exceeding 200. According to a report submitted to Grand National Party lawmaker Hwang Woo-yea by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology on Wednesday, 202 elementary, middle- and high-schoolers committed suicide last year, up 47 percent from 2008.

There were six elementary school students, 56 from middle school and 140 from high school. The number of students in primary and secondary schools who killed themselves has rose from 101 in 2004 to 137 in 2008.

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

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Top educator in Busan backs corporal punishment

A campaign to ban corporal punishment at schools is gaining support in the Seoul area, but the top educator in the southeastern port city of Busan thinks differently.

Unlike schools in Seoul and Gyeonggi Province that are revising rules to prevent teachers from physically disciplining students, schools here will keep them intact, allowing corporal punishment for educational purposes.

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

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Education minister ready for reform

The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology’s teacher assessment policy will be one criteria used to allocate funding to 16 regional education offices nationwide, Lee Ju-ho, the new education minister, said in a recent interview on Tuesday.

According to Lee, the schools will be eligible for government funding based on several criteria, including the school’s ability to decrease dependence on private education, increased support for underprivileged children and creation of programs to build character and creativity.

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

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Press Release: KOTESOL PAC 2010 international conference

Enhance your teaching skills at one of the biggest and best conferences of the year in Korea! Register now for the KOTESOL PAC 2010 International Conference!

And, don’t forget to drop by our conference booth to say hello. We will be actively recruiting new volunteers for a variety of roles across the country. If you regularly attend or organize KOTESOL events, consider running for Professional Development Officer in your province! Please go to to apply.

Pre-registration can be completed online at

Sookmyung Women’s University, Seoul, Korea

Saturday, October 16 at 9:00am – October 17 at 5:00pm

List of Presenters on Saturday

List of Presenters on Sunday

Pre-registration costs 40,000 won for KOTESOL members
65,000 for non-members
20,000 won for undergraduate students.


“Advancing ELT in the Global Context” is the conference theme, addressing the issue of language teaching and learning in the broader socio-cultural perspective. The conference will host internationally acclaimed speakers Paul Nation, David Nunan, Thomas Farrell, Kathleen Bailey, Patricia Duff, Rod Ellis, and many others.

The conference will be a forum for educators to share their ideas, innovations, experiences, and research fin…dings in the global context. More than a dozen world-renowned speakers and 140 presenters will enlighten us on the future directions of the profession and on cutting-edge techniques in the age of English as a “global language.”

There will also be a number of cultural events and shows held during the conference. Suji’s and Tomatillos will provide on-site lunch options for conference attendees.

Those wishing to attend the conference are advised to pre-register to avoid queues on the day. Pre-registration costs 40,000 won for KOTESOL members, 65,000 for non-members and 20,000 won for undergraduate students. Pre-registration can be completed online at

RSVP on their Facebook event page, too!

(Source: KOTESOL)

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October 2010 events

Author’s note: There’s bound to be updates to this month’s events – keep checking back for more information and new events! If you have an event you’d like to plug, comment on this post with all the details. Please follow a few guidelines for the maximum benefit.

August 27 – October 10: Folks, it’s time – time to get your Rocky Horror Picture Show on. This isn’t just a showing of the movie – the original cast of the stage musical will perform the cult classic IN ENGLISH (a Korean narrator will be around). Tickets range from 66,000 to 110,000 won – reserve them on the appropriately-named website. No word on whether callbacks and throwing things will be part of the festivities – but I’d bet more than a few people will come dressed… correctly…

September 24 – October 3: The Andong Maskdance Festival – one of the best reasons to see the city of Andong. Take an Important Intangible Cultural Property and make a festival out of it. For more information, check out the appropriately named

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

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Teachers’ verbal abuse to be banned

Beginning next year, any form of verbal abuse inflicted by teachers on their students within classrooms will be banned as the Gyeonggi Provincial Office of Education sets out its guidelines to better protect the rights of students.

Topics off limits are a student’s appearance, family background, academic records and sensitive issues that could embarrass them. Instead of corporal punishment, students who misbehave or violate school rules will be subject to writing repentant reports or doing voluntary service.

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

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This week’s joke: I don’t want to go to school

Early one morning, a mother went in to wake up her son.

“Wake up, son. It’s time to go to school!”

“But why, Mom? I don’t want to go.”

“Give me two reasons why you don’t want to go.”

“Well, the kids hate me for one, and the teachers hate me also!”

“Oh, that’s no reason not to go to school. Come on now and get ready.”

“Give me two reasons why I should go to school.”

“Well, for one, you’re 52 years old. And for another, you’re the PRINCIPAL!”

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