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Welcome to Expacked (Issue #92)

October 30, 2010

The big news to come out of the week is that native English teachers on a E2 visa will soon be able to teach English at companies.  This has been a long time coming and it finally opens up a market that should give teachers a lot more job opportunities in Korea.  As with everything in Korea, it will be interesting to see whether this will have any effect on the  industry, as potentially, greater demand for English in corporations (with deep pockets) could help increase salary’s for native English teachers. Fall

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.

Cheers,

Ken

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E-2 visa holders to be …allowed to teach at firms

The government plans to ease visa rules to allow English teachers at private institutes to give lectures at private companies starting in December, a presidential council said Tuesday.

Foreign nationals holding E-2 visas granted to those who come to Korea to teach languages at private institutes will be able to teach at both private and state-run firms starting in December, said a committee co-organized by the Korea Chamber of Commerce and the Presidential Council for National Competitiveness, dedicated to regulatory reforms, in a report submitted to the council Tuesday.

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

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New E-2 rules to be postponed to 2012

This has been talked about on Dave’s, with several people saying they were hearing this from various sources. I got an email today from the foreign teacher coordinator for my district education office which reads:

I’m sure you’ve heard about the new requirements for getting a visa. Since the new rules turned out to be so difficult, the office of immigration decided to delay implementing the new regulations until 2012. If you plan on staying in Korea past 2012, keep in mind that eventually you will need an apostilized copy of your college diploma and a complete background check from your home country.

You’d think that immigration might have figured this out when they implemented the last set of visa regulation changes three years ago that these things take time, especially when requiring a federal criminal check that takes 3-4 months to receive.

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

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Low B]birthrate M]means F]fewer kids in schools

The number of schoolchildren in Korea has dropped significantly due to the country’s low birthrate, according to statistics released Tuesday.

The figures, compiled by the Korean Educational Development Institute for the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, show that there are 7.28 million elementary and middle school students in Korea this year, down 210,000 from last year and 2.69 million fewer than in 1980. There are 3.29 million elementary schoolchildren this year, 170,000 fewer than last year and only 57.4 percent of the number in 1970.

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

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Korea’s overheated education system

As a nation we are again approaching that time of year which comes around in November when high school seniors are given their college entrance exam and this year it is slated for Nov. 17. It is called the Korea Scholastic Aptitude Test when each high school senior’s previous 12 years are tested on one day, between the hours of 9 o’clock in the morning and 5 o’clock in the evening, with a lunch-break in between. On this day the entire nation takes a deep intake of breath.

The national subway network adds more trains to their services in order to assist with getting the examinees to the test centers on time. Even traffic policemen are on a heightened state of alert on this particular morning of November, to ensure traffic flows smoothly, and to spot a latecomer rushing to the test center, and whisking her or him along as quickly and safely as possible, by giving a lift in one of their patrol cars.

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

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College admissions sap students, parent

Korea has changed the way universities pick students every year as admission rules are mainly governed by the government. Each year students and parents have to study the ever morphing, complex and multilayered admission rules.

Currently, the admission rules are two-tiered — the regular national scholastic test, and early or rolling admissions that allow students to submit applications ahead of the regular state-administered test. For the rolling admissions, students can submit as many applications to as many schools they want, raising costs and making competition fiercer.

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

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Is the fad for sending kids to school abroad dying?

The number of primary and secondary schoolchildren going abroad to study dropped sharply last year, though it is unclear whether this was as a result of the weak won or diminishing zeal for overseas education.

According to data released Sunday by Grand National Party lawmaker Suh Sang-kee of the National Assembly’s Education, Science and Technology Committee, a total of 18,119 primary and secondary school students from across the country went abroad to learn last year, down 33.7 percent or 9,230 from the year before.

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

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Teaching tips & tricks: Discipline with a smile

There comes a moment in every teacher’s life when some drool infested germ bag outright refuses to obey you. Or, as you’re about to share the secret to perfect past tense, a malignant chatter spreads through the class. Or, as you calmly try to guilt trip a misbehaving earring-clad hell demon, he beams up at you with a knowing scowl and says, “Yongo mulayo.”

Instinctively, your throat opens up, ready to release a string of primo profanities New Jersey housewife-style at any student who hasn’t got the memo that you’re the Alpha Dog. Unfortunately, that’s about as effective as giving the cat a PowerPoint presentation on why he shouldn’t shred the sofa. Your students barely understand you on a good day, now imagine how unintelligible you’ll be when in the throes of a murderous rampage (see: Jack Nicholson in the Shining).

Anyone who has overheard an impotent foreigner yelling “Sit down! Sit down! Sit down!” can tell you discipline is the biggest challenge of the ESL classroom. Here are some innovative ways to overcome the language barrier before you end up on the 6 o’clock news.

Click Here for the Full Story (Source: HiExpat)

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Textbooks create gender bias, human rights violation

The state-run human rights agency has advised the education ministry to revise social studies and other textbooks currently used for elementary and secondary schools as many illustrations and other content has connotations of gender bias and represents a violation of human rights.

The National Human Rights Commission held a workshop Friday to discuss the content and illustrations in textbooks and examine them for possible infringements of human rights. Textbook publishers, teachers, education experts and those from civic groups were invited. Teachers who participated in the workshop also said textbook writers should consider changing society content to reflect a more multicultural one.

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

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Korean kids grow fatter, less healthy, survey finds

Youngsters are becoming more obese and unhealthy, a survey released Wednesday finds, with three out of four schoolchildren eating instant noodles and one out of two fast food at least once a week.

According to the survey by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology of 19,400 students at 749 schools nationwide, 75.6 percent of elementary schoolchilren, 85.4 percent of middle schoolers and 77.7 percent of high schoolers eat instant noodles once a week or more.

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

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Foreign English teachers still subject to HIV testing; prostitutes and entertainers to have regulations eased

The Korea Times, via The Marmot’s Hole, writes that “HIV test rules for foreigners [will] be eased”: just not for E-2 visa-holding native speaker English teachers.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare said it will scrap compulsory human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) tests for foreigners seeking to acquire an entertainer’s E-6 visa, and workers renewing their E-9 visas here. However, the tests will still be required of those seeking E-2 language teaching visas.

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

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This week’s joke: A man goes into a bar

A man goes into a bar and seats himself on a stool. The bartender looks at him and says, “What’ll it be buddy?”

The man says, “Set me up with seven whiskey shots and make them doubles.” The bartender does this and watches the man slug one down, then the next, then the next, and so on until all seven are gone almost as quickly as they were served. Staring in disbelief, the bartender asks why he’s doing all this drinking.

“You’d drink them this fast too if you had what I have.”

The bartender hastily asks, “What do you have pal?”

The man quickly replies, “About a dollar and a quarter.”

One more: Really bad day

There was this guy at a bar, just looking at his drink. He stays like that for half of an hour.

Then, this big trouble-making truck driver steps next to him, takes the drink from the guy, and just drinks it all down. The poor man starts crying. The truck driver says, “Come on man, I was just joking. Here, I’ll buy you another drink. I just can’t stand to see a man cry.”

“No, it’s not that. This day is the worst of my life. First, I fall asleep, and I go late to my office. My boss, outrageous, fires me. When I leave the building, to my car, I found out it was stolen. The police said that they can do nothing. I get a cab to return home, and when I leave it, I remember I left my wallet and credit cards there. The cab driver just drives away.”

“I go home, and when I get there, I find my wife in bed with the gardener. I leave home, and come to this bar. And just when I was thinking about putting an end to my life, you show up and drink my poison.”

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