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Welcome to Expacked (Issue #93)

November 6, 2010

I hope everyone got into the Halloween spirit last week!

This week’s Expacked picture has to be one of the best Halloween costumes in Korea. Kate spent a week making it by hand and she took out the competition to win best dressed at a local pub in Nowon-gu, Seoul.

Special events are a great way to motivate students in your English classes.  We are interested to find out how many people tried to use Halloween in their classrooms last week.  Was it successful or did it turn out to be a waste of time?  Participant in the poll below – It will be great to find out how everyone went.

Halloween

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


Share


 

Korean actress slammed for making fun of Filipino teachers’ English accent

Korean actress and commercial endorser Lee Da Hae, who starred in dramas such as “My Girl” and “East of Eden,” has drawn the ire of Filipinos after a video uploaded on YouTube showed her mimicking and making fun of what she claimed as Filipino teachers’ English accent.

The actress, who was appointed this year as ambassador of the Korean government’s Presidential Committee on Green Growth, was a guest on a KBS entertainment program hosted by Shin Dong Yup.

Click Here for the Full Story (Source: Manila Bulletin)

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Lantern festival to light up Seoul ahead of G20 summit

The Cheonggye Stream in Seoul is to be adorned with 27,000 traditional and creative lanterns from 24 countries, including a special one celebrating the Group of 20 summit.

The Seoul Lantern Festival 2010 is to be held from Friday until next Sunday, starting with the lighting ceremony Friday evening, said Seoul City officials. The second annual festival, themed “Seoul, a forest of hope and light,” has been specially planned to celebrate the first G20 summit in Korea.

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

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Samsung Electronics to hire high school grads

Students from the 21 meister schools that opened their doors this year will be handpicked by Korean corporate giant Samsung Electronics for jobs at the company after they graduate. “This was a rare decision by a large conglomerate to hire high school graduates as technicians, and not just as technical laborers,” Seol Dong-keun, first vice minister of education, science and technology, said yesterday.

To facilitate cooperation between the government and the business, the Education Ministry and Samsung Electronics plan to sign a memorandum of understanding within the year.

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

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ATEK applauds Korean Ministry, congratulates activists for change in HIV testing rules

Hello.

This is Rob Ouwehand, ATEK’s National Communications Officer. I hope this message finds you well; ATEK is doing well, and growing quickly.

Please find an attached .pdf file containing a press release about changes in visa requirements for Migrant Workers.

View this document on Scribd

(Source: ATEK)

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EPIK Press Release: Attention Spring 2011 applicants

Attention Spring 2011 Applicants for EPIK-Seoul:

If you have previously worked as a Native Speaker English Teacher under the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education (SMOE), and you wish to reapply for a position in Seoul, you must submit your application directly to the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education. If you have ever held a contract with the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education, either currently or at any point in the past, your application to teach for the Spring 2011 semester cannot be submitted to the national EPIK office.

That means only teachers applying for EPIK-Seoul for the first time can apply through the EPIK website. For contact information and details about the application process for SMOE, please visit their official English-language website. http://english.sen.go.kr/index.jsp

Notice for Spring 2011 EPIK applicants:

Please note that successful EPIK applicants will be given 48 hours from the time they receive a contract to withdraw from the program. If you receive a contract and Notice of Appointment from EPIK, you will have a position secured with a Provincial or Metropolitan Office of Education, and you will be expected to arrive in Korea for the beginning of the mandatory orientation.

Should a successful applicant decide to withdraw from the program after receiving a contract from EPIK, they must contact the EPIK office immediately. Beginning this year, applicants who withdraw from the program, for any reason, and do not notify the EPIK office within 48 hours of receiving their contract will not be eligible to apply for subsequent terms.

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

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For migrant children, getting fair education is still elusive

The government has promised that migrant children, whether registered or not, will be offered equal opportunities in education. Most of them, however, are still being discriminated against systematically — they have difficulty getting admitted to and registered at schools leading many of them to quit for various reasons.

The Joint Committee with Migrants in Korea (JCMK) conducted research on the condition of migrant children’s education at the request of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). It surveyed 168 migrant children, 96 of their parents, 67 teachers who have taught them and other educational government officials. Currently, there are some 50,000 multicultural children under 18 living in Korea.

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

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Order in the classroom

Corporal punishment has now officially been banned in all schools across Seoul. Teachers are not allowed to administer direct physical punishment at elementary, middle and high schools in the capital, nor can they implement indirect disciplinary measures such as forcing students to do push-ups, run or hold their arms above their heads for a prolonged period of time.

The move to nix such punishments at schools has created a new dynamic in a society where smacking students on the palm or calf with a ruler-like object has long been an accepted form of discipline in the classroom. It would be wonderful if schools didn’t need to administer punishment of any kind. But that’s not the case, and we are concerned that chaos could result from the ban of corporal punishments.

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

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Foreign school info website opens

A website (www.isi.go.kr) has been opened to provide comprehensive information on all international schools across the country for parents and students, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology said Friday.

The website is expected to strengthen transparency in the management of foreign schools and enable parents to compare them before selecting one for their children. All schools here have to make financial data and other in-depth information public under the Education Law, and parents can access each school’s statistics on a single website (www.schoolinfo.go.kr). However, data on foreign schools has not been available online as their systems are not compatible with the existing ministry one.

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

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The battle over HIV tests for foreign English teachers

There were a few things I’ve been meaning to blog about that I needed to pull out and dust off before I felt I could talk about the announcement last week that HIV tests will continue for E-2 visa holders. I decided a chronological review might work best – starting from the beginning of 2009. I’ll save what came before that for another day.

In February 2009, Benjamin Wagner submitted a complaint regarding the drug and HIV tests required for E-2 visa holders to the National Human Rights Commission, and in concert with this, ATEK encouraged people to submit complaints as well. This was done in part to draw attention to Bill 3356, which, if passed, would mandate HIV/AIDS testing of all foreigners applying for work visas in Korea. At the time, ATEK president Tom Rainey Smith (who has been active with Amnesty International in Korea on migrant workers’ rights) told me he hoped the challenge would benefit other foreigners besides English teachers.

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

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Half of Seoul Residents Prefer More Leisure to Higher Wages

About half of Seoul residents prefer more time off for leisure activities to earning more money, according to data released by the Seoul Metropolitan Government on Monday. Some 45 percent of residents over 15 in Seoul prefer to have more leisure time rather than work longer hours for more pay. Only 18.8 percent said they prefer to work more for money rather than rest.

According to a study by Statistics Korea last year, Seoul residents spent six hours and 22 minutes on average on leisure activities over the weekend and four hours and 28 minutes on weekdays, which was one minute and 17 minutes less than five years ago.

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

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This week’s joke: Comments from 1955

Fine, it’s not really a joke, but these comments from 1955 are pretty funny now!

  • ‘I’ll tell you one thing, if things keep going the way they are, it’s going to be impossible to buy a week’s groceries for $20.00.
  • ‘Have you seen the new cars coming out next year? It won’t be long before $2,000.00 will only buy a used one.
  • ‘If cigarettes keep going up in price, I’m going to quit. 25 cents a pack is ridiculous.
  • ‘Did you hear the post office is thinking about charging 10 cents just to mail a letter
  • ’If they raise the minimum wage to $1.00/HR, nobody will be able to hire outside help at the store.
  • ‘When I first started driving, who would have thought gas would someday cost 29 cents a gallon. Guess we’d be better off leaving the car in the garage.
  • ‘I’m afraid to send my kids to the movies any more. Ever since they let Clark Gable get by with saying DAMN in GONE WITH THE WIND, it seems every new movie has either HELL or DAMN in it.
  • ‘I read the other day where some scientist thinks it’s possible to put a man on the moon by the end of the century. They even have some fellows they call astronauts preparing for it down in Texas .
  • ‘Did you see where some baseball player just signed a contract for $75,000 a year just to play ball? It wouldn’t surprise me if someday they’ll be making more than the President.
  • ‘I never thought I’d see the day all our kitchen appliances would be electric. They are even making electric typewriters now.
  • ‘It’s too bad things are so tough nowadays. I see where a few married women are having to work to make ends meet.
  • ‘It won’t be long before young couples are going to have to hire someone to watch their kids so they can both work.
  • ‘I’m afraid the Volkswagen car is going to open the door to a whole lot of foreign business.
  • ‘Thank goodness I won’t live to see the day when the Government takes half our income in taxes. I sometimes wonder if we are electing the best people to government.
  • ‘The drive-in restaurant is convenient in nice weather, but I seriously doubt they will ever catch on.
  • ‘There is no sense going on short trips anymore for a weekend, it costs nearly $15.00 a night to stay in a hotel.
  • ‘No one can afford to be sick anymore, at $35.00 a day in the hospital, it’s too rich for my blood.’

 

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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

Share

 


 

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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Welcome to Expacked (Issue #91)

October 23, 2010

We are a little late this week with Expacked, however it is with good reason.  We’re lucky to actually get one out at all, as I have had a recurrence of an eye infection and have found this clashes pretty badly with staring at computer screens.

This weekend sees another big sporting event coming to Korea – the Formula One World Championship has arrived.  On Sunday we will have an audience of over 600 million watching Sunday’s race at the  brand new Korean International Circuit in Yeongam, South Jeolla.  Hopefully some of our readers will be heading over for it!

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


Share


 

English language still a challenge for Korean college students

Foreign scholars and experts, who were invited by the government to evaluate the quality of the nation’s higher education, have pointed out that a lack of English language proficiency still holds back Korean students from becoming more proactive in classroom.

“Korean students are well-prepared students. But they are more withdrawn from their American counterpart and seldom raise questions during the class,” an American professor, who taught in Korea, told the local Chosun Ilbo newspaper Saturday. “Perhaps it has to do with their fear of having to speak in English.”

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

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Duncan calls on U.S. to match education fervor in South Korea

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan Wednesday called for his nation to match Korean parents’ enthusiasm for the education of their children, attributing South Korea’s economic growth for the past decades to that fervor.

Duncan told the Council on Foreign Relations in New York that the U.S. is losing the global race to achieve economic competitiveness, citing the conversation U.S. President Barack Obama had with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak in Seoul last year, according to a transcript released by the Education Department.

Click Here for the Full Story (Source: Yonhap News Agency)

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Get Your Scare On: Halloween in Korea!

Autumn has arrived in Seoul, and with it comes the ending days of October, sadly without the ghouls and goblins of Halloween in Korea. For the record, Korea has no history whatsoever related to or even associated with Halloween, All Saint’s Day, Dia de Los Muertos or any other of those creepy, spooky, knee-knocking days nutured by and kept alive through confectionary conglomerates across the globe.

I’ve taken the liberty to list out, by area, every happening event from here to the Gates of Hades to help you enjoy your Halloween in Korea, whether you are in Seoul, Busan or even…Bundang! (All events on October 30th unless otherwise noted).

Click Here for the Full Story (Source: HiExpat)

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The EBS textbook debacle

Many worried when the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology suddenly announced in March that starting this year 70 percent of the national college entrance exam would be based on lectures and textbooks run and published by the public Educational Broadcasting Company.

The decision, which bypassed thorough research, public debate or pilot testing, stunned students and parents. Students returning home from prep classes and cram institutions sat in front of computers late into the night, dozing over the EBS online lectures.

The ever-resourceful cram schools acted fast, opening up classes and printing texts dedicated to EBS lectures, completely demolishing the education authorities’ intention of reducing students’ dependency on private tutoring.

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

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Good News for First-Year NETs : Clarification on Korean Visa Extensions

Furious. Frustrated. Jaded. Piss-poor negative and tempted to risk unauthorized visa extensions. This is how many (Daegu) NETs were feeling at the recent email that went out from DOE’s notifying them of the new visa extensions regulations. Produce apostilled diplomas and now, a FBI criminal background report from abroad?!

Messages on Facebook circulated around in various EPIK Daegu forums from interpretations of the regulation’s wording, fears that we weren’t given enough time to meet deadlines, rumors of how other district NETs (outside of Daegu) were going about it, to “My co-teacher said…” Though the regulations were written in English, reading it was only leading to more confusion.

Personally, my head hurt. We were feeling all too helpless and our Daegu DMOE wasn’t responding to our many questions. If you’re wondering… there’s good news ahead and we finally received a second email from our DMOE clarifying the actions we need to follow if we’re renewing a contract, changing schools or leaving after contract is up. Maybe the Korean Department of Ministry and the Korean God of visa extensions aren’t evil. Maybe….

Click Here for the Full Story (Source: GRRRL Traveler)

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Is parents’ educational zeal always good?

Korean parents’ single-minded devotion to their children’s success through education is well-known. This zeal has become an object of criticism here, while — interestingly enough — it has become an object of admiration in some other countries.

Experts share the view that competitive people were the impetus behind Korea’s rise to become one of the world’s fastest-growing economies from one of the poorest nations after the Korean War (1950-53) over a relatively short period of time. Parents’ education fervor for their children has become a topic for debate here lately as it has spawned negative fallout, including soaring household spending on private tutoring and a persistent gap in academic performance between children from high- and low-income families.

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

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1.5 A Month for Rural Teaching?

According to this article, a government agency signed a memorandum of understanding with a bunch of US universities to recruit students to teach in Korea. The program will bring hundreds of students to Korea to teach in rural schools, and give foreigners a chance to learn Korean culture.

The monthly stipend is 1 500 000 won, and it’s run by the National Institute for International Education.

OK. This is a little more realistic than thinking that Korean Studies students and Kyopos would want to teach in the countryside for free, I suppose… and it’d be good for those rural schools to have native speakers in their classrooms, I suppose.

Click Here for the Full Story (Source: Roboseyo)

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ETIS Press Release: Apostilled Diploma

Hello SMOE Teachers, Just to clarify you will need to apply for and obtain an apostille for your diploma, even if you have turned in one to us already if you plan on renewing next year. This will be for immigration but please give us a copy when you get it so we can keep track of who has completed it.

Sincerely,

Mathew Bumbalough

ETIS Coordinator

smoemathew@sen.go.kr

Click Here for the Story (Source: ETIS/SMOE)

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Married teacher accused of sex with 15-year-old student

A married female teacher at a middle school in Gangseo-gu had a sexual relationship with one of her students, news reports said. Police officers reported that the teacher, who is 35 years old, had a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old student. Both cannot be named for legal reasons. According to police officers, on Oct. 18, the female teacher had intercourse with the student inside her car in a car park at Yeongdeungpo station, approximately at noon. The teacher had been hired as a short-term teacher, before being appointed as a homeroom teacher. The teacher is married with a child around the same age as the student.

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

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Conducting English classes in Korea

Recently my daughter’s middle school English teacher held a demonstration class. He had invited parents of his students to sit in on his class. He began to conduct his English class in broken English. No sooner had he started than his students sitting in the first row asked him, “Why don’t you teach the same way you usually do?” This anecdote reminds us of the two stark realities of English education in Korea. The first is that everybody knows that it is desirable to teach students English in English. The second is that it is often impossible for Korean teachers to do so. Some scholars may argue that English should be taught in a way that students are not scared or discouraged, and therefore taught in Korean. That way, the argument goes, students will “understand” the lesson. Others attribute many Korean students’ inability to learn English to their low intelligence.

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

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This week’s Joke: The following are actual newspaper headlines seen around the world

  • Something went wrong in jet crash, experts says
  • Police begin campaign to run down jaywalkers
  • Safety Experts say school bus passengers should be belted
  • Drunk gets nine months in violin case
  • Iraqi head seeks arms
  • Is there a ring of debris around Uranus?
  • Prostitutes appeal to Pope
  • Panda mating fails; Veterinarian takes over
  • British left waffles on Falkland Islands
  • Teacher strikes idle kids
  • Reagan wins on budget, but more lies ahead
  • Shot off woman’s leg helps Nicklaus to 66
  • Enraged cow injures house
  • Miners refuse to work after death
  • Juvenile court to try shooting defendant
  • Stolen painting found by tree
  • Two soviet ships collide, one dies
  • 2 sisters reunited after 18 years in checkout counter
  • Killer sentenced to die for second time in 10 years
  • Drunken drivers paid $1000 in ’84
  • War dims hope for peace
  • If strike isn’t settled quickly, it may last a while
  • Cold wave linked to temperatures

 

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Welcome to Expacked (Issue #90)

October 14, 2010

While teaching, it is always important to at the calendar and try to integrate special topics and events into your lesson plans as much as possible.  This helps to keep the classes fresh and exciting.  It is also a great way to encourage more participation from your students.  School with Blue Sky

There are two big events coming up that your students will love – Halloween and Guy Fawkes (if you are not familiar with Guy Fawkes, read this.  Its a major English celebration and involves fireworks).  Just be creative and have a little fun with your students!

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


Share


 

TOPIK to have speaking section

The government plans to add a speaking section to the Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK) which currently consists of four parts — vocabulary and grammar, writing, listening and reading. Foreign students have insisted that the state-run language test have a speaking section.

The Ministry of Education Science and Technology said it and the National Institute for International Education Development (NIIED) are considering developing a speaking test for TOPIK, though they have yet to come up with a detailed timeline.

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

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Union: Teachers should have right to politics

Elementary, middle and high school teachers need a revised law to allow for their participation in politics, said Ahn Yang-ok, the president of the Korean Federation of Teachers’ Association, at a press conference yesterday marking his 100th day as president.

Ahn’s comments have caused conflict with the central government. The current law prohibits teachers from engaging in any kind of political campaign or joining a political party because educators in Korea are considered civil servants. In 2001, KFTA requested the right for its members to take part in political activities, but was denied.

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

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Rules on foreign schools to be eased

Rules on conditions for the establishment of foreign education institutes in free economic zones (FEZs) and the Jeju International Free City will be eased to attract more foreign schools. The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology announced revised bills Tuesday to ease regulations regarding school facilities and teacher requirements in obtaining school licenses from the government.

The new criteria are expected to become effective from the end of the year, the ministry said. Foreign elementary and secondary schools along with colleges in these special zones will not have to meet a set of rules applied to Korean schools.

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

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[Letters] Why Koreans learn English

A lot of English teachers come to Korea expecting to teach active, enthusiastic Korean students eager to learn English. Many of those teachers complain about the fact that no matter how hard they try, they can’t get students’ attention.

While some Koreans want to learn English so they can pursue studies in English speaking countries or communicate better with their foreign friends or in-laws, most Koreans study English simply because they have no other choice.

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

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Formula 1 Korean Grand Prix

After the 1988 Seoul Olympics, it seemed like Korea had hit the big time in terms of hosting international sporting events. But it wasn’t until the beginning of the last decade when things really started to take off – the 2002 FIFA World Cup, several Asian Games (2002 and 2014) and the upcoming World Athletics Competition in Daegu in 2011. Now Korea can add Formula One racing to the list.

Click Here for the Full Story (Source: HiExpat)

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English teachers launch fundraising initiative on Jeju

JEJU ISLAND, South Korea, Oct. 13 (Yonhap) — When Lindsey Lynch arrived on Jeju Island in March to teach as part of the English Program in Korea, she found well-equipped classrooms with high-tech aids and a focus on long study hours.

Having previously spent a month teaching at a school for underprivileged children in Thailand and several months traveling in India, she was struck by the contrast. Lynch decided to help less privileged children while educating her students about lives far different from their own on Jeju, a semi-tropical island off the south of Korea that is a favorite with South Korean and Japanese honeymooners.

Click Here for the Full Story (Source: Yonhap)

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ETS scholarship networks future leaders

A scholarship program, organized by the TOEFL and TOEIC test developer, Educational Testing Service (ETS), is helping competitive young collegians network with each other.

The U.S.-based test organizer has recently picked a total of 30 Korean college students who have excelled in English language learning and leadership and hosted an awards ceremony at the Shilla Hotel in Seoul, Thursday. The students said the scholarship program helped them to improve communication skills and team-work capabilities.

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

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ATEK Newsletter: Human Rights Issues

This month on the blogs:

One of the most surprising and disturbing blog posts of the last month was one in which a female English teacher recounted a near sexual assault in her neighborhood. You can read the full story here: http://imnopicasso.blogspot.com/2010/10/even-closer-call.html.

If women’s issues are of particular interest to you, and you would like to help develop resources and share information to help female English teachers be prepared for situations like the one above, and moreover, to have a safe and happy time in Korea, please consider volunteering to join ATEK’s Human Rights Committee (to specialize in writing and distributing information about women’s issues) or Emergency Needs Committee (to help women directly with these issues).

Please go to atek.or.kr/humanrights or atek.or.kr/emergency to view more about each officer’s roles.

Go to atek.or.kr/officers to apply.

Michael Glendinning

Gyeonggi Human Rights Officer

Human Rights Committee Chair

gyeonggi.humanrights@atek.or.kr

Click Here to read the full ATEK newsletter (Source: ATEK)

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Classroom panoramas let teachers see it all

SAN FRANCISCO–Stepping into the second-grade classroom at Cesar Chavez Elementary School in San Francisco’s Mission District, one thing was clear. In many ways, school hasn’t changed.

The books, the pencils, the paper. None of it looked very different than my second-grade class did 25 years ago.

But Teachscape, an education company focused on using technology to develop new ways of thinking about learning, wants to change that; and it’s giving teachers the tools to watch, listen to, and share the ways they teach.

Click Here for the Full Story (Source: Cnet)

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This week’s joke: A senior moment

A 98 year old woman in the UK wrote this to her bank. The bank manager thought it amusing enough to have it published in the Times.

Dear Sir,

I am writing to thank you for bouncing my cheque with which I endeavoured to pay my plumber last month. By my calculations, three nanoseconds must have elapsed between his presenting the cheque and the arrival in my account of the funds needed to honour it.

I refer, of course, to the automatic monthly deposit of my Pension, an arrangement, which, I admit, has been in place for only thirty eight years. You are to be commended for seizing that brief window of opportunity, and also for debiting my account £30 by way of penalty for the inconvenience caused to your bank.

My thankfulness springs from the manner in which this incident has caused me to rethink my errant financial ways. I noticed that whereas I personally attend to your telephone calls and letters, when I try to contact you, I am confronted by the impersonal, overcharging, pre-recorded, faceless entity which your bank has become.

From now on, I, like you, choose only to deal with a flesh-and-blood person. My mortgage and loan payments will therefore and hereafter no longer be automatic, but will arrive at your bank by cheque, addressed personally and confidentially to an employee at your bank whom you must nominate. Be aware that it is an offence under the Postal Act for any other person to open such an envelope.

Please find attached an Application Contact Status which I require your chosen employee to complete. I am sorry it runs to eight pages, but in order that I know as much about him or her as your bank knows about me, there is no alternative. Please note that all copies of his or her medical history must be countersigned by a Solicitor, and the mandatory details of his/her financial situation (income, debts, assets and liabilities) must be accompanied by documented proof.

In due course, I will issue your employee with PIN number which he/she must quote in dealings with me. I regret that it cannot be shorter than 28 digits but, again, I have modelled it on the number of button presses required of me to access my account balance on your phone bank service. As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Let me level the playing field even further. When you call me, press buttons as follows:

  1. To make an appointment to see me.
  2. To query a missing payment.
  3. To transfer the call to my living room in case I am there.
  4. To transfer the call to my bedroom in case I am sleeping.
  5. To transfer the call to my toilet in case I am attending to nature.
  6. To transfer the call to my mobile phone if I am not at home.
  7. To leave a message on my computer (a password to access my computer is required. A password will be communicated to you at a later date to the Authorized Contact.)
  8. To return to the main menu and to listen to options 1 through to 8.
  9. To make a general complaint or inquiry, the contact will then be put on hold, pending the attention of my automated answering service. While this may, on occasion, involve a lengthy wait, uplifting music will play for the duration of the call.

Regrettably, but again following your example, I must also levy an establishment fee to cover the setting up of this new arrangement.

May I wish you a happy, if ever so slightly less prosperous, New Year.

Your Humble Client

Remember: This was written by a 98 year old woman; DOESN’T SHE MAKE YOU PROUD!


 

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Welcome to Expacked (Issue #89)

October 7, 2010

Our leading story this week looks at the high cost of most English kindergartens.  It’s not really a big surprise to us, as Korea is well known for their excessive spending on education.  What is jaw dropping is that more than half of the private English kindergartens in Gangnam charge over 1 million won a month per child – that’s half my paycheck!  This is a problem, but who is to blame? the hagwon or the parents that pay it?Gate Negative

On another issue close to our heart, there’s a research study you may be interested in being involved in.  Sung-Yeon Kim, a professor of English Education at Hanyang University, is wanting to interview English teachers on the effectiveness of native and non-native English co-teaching in Korea. You can find out more details on the ETIS (SMOE) website under the section ‘Announcements’.

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


Share


Lawmaker slams cost of ‘English kindergartens’

More than half of the private English institutes for young children in Gangnam, a posh district in southern Seoul, charge more than 1 million won ($880) a month per child.

Of the 23 institutes in the area, 14 charge more than 1 million won a month, with the most expensive charging a monthly tuition of 1.68 million won, seven times higher than the average monthly tuition of ordinary kindergartens, according to the data submitted by the Education Ministry to Rep. Cho Jeon-hyeok of the ruling Grand National Party.

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

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ETIS Press Release: Official notice on Federal CRC and health check

Hello Teachers,

We have made a decision on the new Federal Nationwide Criminal Record Check. Immigration will only take CRC from state/local area only still Dec 31st, 2010.

Starting Jan. 1st 2011 – Teachers will have to submit a Federal Level Criminal Record checks with an Apostilled. You will also have to submit a new apostilled copy of your Diploma to Immigration. Even if you have turn in your old Federal CRC apostilled to SMOE in the past you will have to turn them again to Immigration if you plan on renewing your Visa.

This will include all teachers from USA, CANADA, UK, Australia, SOUTH AFRICA, NEW ZEALAND. You will have to submit all new “updated” Federal CRC with Apostilled and Copy of the Diploma with Apostilled.

Please get started on collecting your documents for renewal. This will apply to all teacher with E2, F4, and F2. No exceptions.

**SMOE will not release old Federal CRC or Apostilled Diplomas.

__

Update to Federal CRC

Hello SMOE teachers,

For those of you who plan on renewing with SMOE you will need to turn a copy of the apostilled degree and apostilled CRC in to us before the end of next semester and you will need to give the original to immigration upon renewing.

For most of you this will take a few months so please start as soon as possible. Official notices of this were sent to your schools last month. Let us have a copy before you turn it in just in case immigration looses yours and we can confirm who has completed it.

Best wishes,

Mathew

__

Health Check

Hello SMOE Teachers,

For those of you who just arrived in Korea we will need a copy of your health check before you bring it in to immigration.

Also there are a few of those who renewed last August and still need to turn in a copy to us. Please fax a copy to 02-3999-003 or send it to our main office. This health check must include an TBPE (drug) and HIV test.

Everyone must complete it regardless of visa status. Let me know if you will have any trouble turning one in soon. If you have already turned yours in to immigration you can get a copy at the hospital where you completed it.

Sincerely,

Mathew

Coordinator, ETIS Program

2-77, Sinmunro 2-ga, Jongro-gu, Seoul, Korea 110-781, Room 1007

Click Here for the website (Source: ETIS/SMOE)

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Incorrect statistics depict foreign English teachers as “part time workers” harming regional English education

On September 30, the Korea Times posted an article titled “More native English teachers quit”: More native English teachers are breaching agreed working terms in contracts made with public schools and are leaving Korea.

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: Gusts of Popular Feeling)

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ATEK Statement on English Teachers Breaking Contract

ATEK Official Statement:

ATEK Invites Discussion To Help Native English Teachers Stay Longer in Public Schools

In the last week, a number of articles have been published, in the Hankyoreh, Yonhap News, The Korea Herald,  The Korea Times, and other places, about Native English public school teachers leaving their jobs before their contracts end.  Korea’s news outlets are concerned, and so is ATEK.  If there is high turnover in Native English teachers, that certainly damages English education in Korea.

Unfortunately, these articles gave conflicting statistics: one article showed that fewer than 5% of native teachers leave early, while another said 66% leave early. Many articles presented statistics without much context, so readers would have trouble understanding the statistics correctly.  ATEK is investigating these statistics.

Because ATEK is committed to improving Education in Korea, we reach out to the politicians, journalists, and education officials concerned about native English teachers in Korea’s public schools.

Finding the causes for high turnover will help Korean education officials to improve the situation, but none of the articles asked why they left early in detail. If nobody is asking teachers why they leave, we are losing our chance to learn how to improve our system, so that teachers stay longer. If teachers stay longer, their expertise stays in Korea, and Korean students will benefit more than if new, less-experienced recruits must constantly come in to replace more experienced teachers who are leaving.

ATEK has over 1100 members, including hundreds of public school teachers, in our organization, and we invite education officials to open a dialogue about ways that we can change the conditions for native English teachers in Korea’s public schools.  ATEK would love to work together with Korean education institutions, to understand, and solve the problems connected with high teacher turnover.  By working together, we can improve the professionalism, and the effectiveness, of Native Teachers in Korea’s public schools.

Media inquiries can be directed to media@atek.or.kr, and official communications can go to ATEK’s president, Ms. JaeHee Oh, atpresident@atek.or.kr

More information:

For a more detailed explanation of the statistics, and a comparison of the articles:

http://populargusts.blogspot.com/2010/10/incorrect-statistics-depict-foreign.html

This article gives the number of teachers who quit, compared to the total number of teachers.  According to those numbers, the percentage of teachers quitting is less than 5%.

http://news.naver.com/main/read.nhn?mode=LSD&mid=sec&sid1=100&oid=001&aid=0004677239

Most of these articles use this article, from Yonhap news, as their source.  This article does not compare the total number of teachers with the number who quit:

http://news.naver.com/main/read.nhn?mode=LSD&mid=sec&sid1=100&oid=001&aid=0004676496

For more examples of articles giving different statistics about teachers leaving:

http://news.naver.com/main/read.nhn?mode=LSD&mid=sec&sid1=100&oid=001&aid=0004677239

http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2010/10/117_73796.html

http://www.koreaherald.com/national/Detail.jsp?newsMLId=20100930000824

http://www.fnn.co.kr/content.asp?aid=4ada9196901e4a5388fd40a89f004c26

http://mbn.mk.co.kr/pages/news/newsView.php?category=mbn00009&news_seq_no=1002773

http://article.joins.com/article/article.asp?total_id=4483055

http://news.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2010/09/29/2010092901128.html

Rob Ouwehand

National Communications Officer

Association for Teachers of English in Korea

Click Here for the website (Source: ATEK)

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First student rights ordinance proclaimed in Gyeonggi Province

SUWON, South Korea, Oct. 5 (Yonhap) — The Gyeonggi Provincial Office of Education on Tuesday proclaimed an ordinance on the protection of students’ human rights, banning corporal punishment and enforcing respect toward pupils’ individuality in clothing, hairstyle and religion.

The so-called student rights ordinance is unprecedented in South Korea, and education offices in other provinces are expected to take similar moves in the coming months, education officials said.

Click Here for the Full Story (Source: Yonhap News)

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The Seoul International Firework Festival

For one night every year, the night skies above the Hangang River Park are ablaze with color as the spectacular Seoul International Fireworks Festival gets under way. This year, it will take place from 19:30 to 20:45.

Spectators eagerly await the fireworks displays, put on by Korean experts as well as international teams. Expect to see not only fireworks but a total visual extravaganza, as the pyrotechnics will be accompanied by music, lights, and a laser show. Bring your loved ones to enjoy breathtaking fireworks displays against the backdrop of the Seoul skyline and the Hangang River.

Click Here for the Full Story (Source: Korea Tourism Organization)

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Don’t blame the foreigners – an interesting look into Japan’s English educational system

From the Japan Times comes an article on the JET program. The entire article is worth reading, but I’ve copied and pasted a few juicier parts.

The Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme, touted as the world’s largest cultural exchange scheme, has brought thousands of non-Japanese into the country to teach at local boards of education. These days, with many government programs being told to justify their existence, a debate is raging over whether JET should be left as is, cut or abolished entirely.

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

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High-rise apartments defenceless against fire

The blaze in the 38-story apartment complex in Haeundae, Busan last Friday set off multiple alarm bells that high-rise buildings are essentially defenceless against fires, experts said Sunday.

Fortunately, no casualties were reported as most residents were evacuated soon after the fire broke out at 11:30 a.m. in a cleaners’ room on the fourth floor of the Wooshin Golden Suites. However, if the fire had broken out at night while residents were asleep, it could have claimed a lot of lives, they said.

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

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Young defectors struggle to learn in South Korea

Children of North Korean defectors were found to lag behind their counterparts academically in South Korea, especially in reading and writing, according to researchers at Ewha Womans University.

Also, these students, already at a disadvantage, had trouble catching up, the study found. Shin Dong-hee, an education professor at the university, said Tuesday he studied 1,400 North and South Korean students attending elementary, middle and high schools in South Korea over the past four years.

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

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24% of Kids Have Tough Time Adjusting to School

A study shows that 24 percent of Korean schoolchildren cannot adjust to life in the classroom. According to the study, which was conducted on behalf of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology by Cha Myung-ho, a professor at the Graduate School of Education at Pyeongtaek University, the total number of troublesome students was 1.77 million, 23.9 percent of all students in the country.

Around 330,000 or 4.5 percent were considered “high-risk” and unable to achieve their educational goals without academic or psychological intervention. The study was conducted among 7,262 students at 81 elementary, middle and high schools between October and November last year.

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

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This week’s Joke: Why Teachers Go Crazy??

TEACHER: George, go to the map and find North America.
GEORGE: Here it is!
TEACHER: Correct. Now, class, who discovered America?
CLASS: George


TEACHER: Willy, name one important thing we have today that we didn’t have ten years ago.
WILLY: Me!


SUBSTITUTE TEACHER: Are you chewing gum?
BILLY: No, I’m Billy Anderson.


TEACHER: Didn’t you promise to behave?
STUDENT: Yes, Sir.
TEACHER: And didn’t I promise to punish you if you didn’t?
STUDENT: Yes, Sir, but since I broke my promise, I don’t expect you
to keep yours.


TEACHER: Tommy, why do you always get so dirty?
TOMMY: Well, I’m a lot closer to the ground than you are.


HAROLD:Teacher, would you punish me for something I didn’t do?
TEACHER: Of course not.
HAROLD: Good, because I didn’t do my homework.


TEACHER: Why are you late?
WEBSTER: Because of the sign.
TEACHER: What sign?
WEBSTER: The one that says, “School Ahead, Go Slow.”


TEACHER: I hope I didn’t see you looking at Don’s paper.
JOHN: I hope you didn’t either.


MOTHER: Why did you get such a low mark on that test?
JUNIOR: Because of absence.
MOTHER: You mean you were absent on the day of the test?
JUNIOR: No, but the kid who sits next to me was.


SILVIA: Dad, can you write in the dark?
FATHER: I think so. What do you want me to write?
SYLVIA: Your name on this report card.


TEACHER: Well, at least there’s one thing I can say about your son.
FATHER: What’s that?
TEACHER: With grades like these, he couldn’t be cheating.


TEACHER: In this box, I have a 10-foot snake.
SAMMY: You can’t fool me, Teacher… snakes don’t have feet.


TEACHER: How can you prevent diseases caused by biting insects?
JOSE: Don’t bite any.


TEACHER: Ellen, give me a sentence starting with “I”.
ELLEN: I is…
TEACHER: No, Ellen. Always say, “I am.”
ELLEN: All right… “I am the ninth letter of the
alphabet.”


TEACHER:Max, use “defeat,” “defense,” and “detail” in
a sentence.
MAX: The rabbit cut across the field, and defeat went over defense
before detail.


TEACHER: If you received $10 from 10 people,what would you get?
SASHA: A new bike.


TEACHER: If you had one dollar and you asked your father for
another, how many dollars would you have?
VINCENT: One dollar.
TEACHER(sadly): You don’t know your arithmetic.
VINCENT(sadly): You don’t know my father.


TEACHER: If I had seven oranges in one hand and eight oranges in
the other, what would I have?
CLASS COMEDIAN: Big hands!


BOY: Isn’t the principal a dummy!
GIRL: Say, do you know who I am?
BOY: No.
GIRL: I’m the principal’s daughter.
BOY: And do you know who I am?
GIRL: No.
BOY: Thank goodness!


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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.

Cheers,

Ken

Share


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 epik@korea.kr. 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 atek.or.kr/officers to apply.

———-
REGISTRATION
Pre-registration can be completed online at http://www.kotesol.org

———-
LOCATION:
Sookmyung Women’s University, Seoul, Korea

———-
DATE & TIME:
Saturday, October 16 at 9:00am – October 17 at 5:00pm

List of Presenters on Saturday
http://www.kotesol.org/?q=2010ICScheduleSaturday

List of Presenters on Sunday
http://www.kotesol.org/?q=2010ICScheduleSunday

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

———-
MORE INFO:

“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 www.kotesol.org

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 maskdance.com.

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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Welcome to Expacked (Issue #87)

September 25, 2010

I hope the everyone had a great Chuseok holiday and that no one was majorly affected by the wild weather over the week.  At least this gives us plenty to talk about with our students next week.  Seoul Reflections

Here are the 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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English language education in Korea, fad or the future?

About one-third the size of Japan, South Korea now outspends its Asian rival by a margin of three to one in English language education, according to unofficial industry estimates. Dave’s ESL Cafe, an Internet site where learners and teachers of English convene, is significant for having its own “Korea Job Board.” The only other country that has its own job board is China, and China has the most people on Earth.

While Japan spent billions of yen in the 70’s and 80’s trying to learn English and later gave up, the South Koreans’ craze for learning English continues.

Click Here for the Full Story (Source: Yonhap News)

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Korea’s college graduation rate highest in OECD

Korea’s university and graduate school completion rate tops among member states of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, according to the organization’s annual educational index.

Over 98 percent of Koreans aged from 25 to 34 graduated from junior college, university or graduate school, showed the OECD’s 2010 Education at a Glance report released Tuesday.  Korea was thus ranked first in the category among 39 respondent countries — 32 OECD member states and seven non-member states.

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

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Efforts to end overwork not working

Punching out at 5:30 p.m. sharp has never been possible for Song, a 35-year-old employee of a midsize engineering company in Yeouido, central Seoul. Although his official working hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., nobody leaves the office on time.

“Since my wife works, we take turns picking up our baby from a day care center. But I’ve never left the office at 5:30 p.m. I linger in the office for about 30 minutes and leave at around 6,” said Song, who asked to only be identified by his surname.

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

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South Africa attracts more Korean school kids

A growing number of Korean mothers are taking their children to study in South Africa, which has the advantage of being English-speaking but is less costly than the U.S. The number of study permits issued by the South African Embassy in Korea doubled from 226 in 2001 to 461 last year.

According to the Korean Embassy in South Africa, around 4,000 Koreans lived there as of May this year, a quarter of them believed to be teenage students and one or more members of their family.

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

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Korean teachers in US campaign for Chuseok

NEW YORK ― This Chuseok, Korean teachers in New York City public schools have a special favor to ask their students: don’t go to school. Stay home, enjoy time with family and celebrate the Korean holiday, they say. This isn’t to get students in trouble, but to get one of Korea’s most important traditional holidays recognized in the U.S., or at least in New York.

The Korean American Teachers Association of New York (KATANY) is leading the campaign to ensure that Chuseok becomes an official school holiday, similar to how many Jewish holidays are observed.

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

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Chinese students ride Korean Wave to South Korea

Chinese students are flocking to colleges and universities across the country. According to official statistics, the number of Chinese studying in South Korea has increased almost 10-fold over the past six years to 53,461, 70 percent of the entire foreign student population in South Korea.

Meanwhile, China has also emerged as one of the most popular destinations for South Koreans studying abroad, numbering 66,800 last year. This influx of Chinese students to South Korea is unprecedented in the long history of Sino-Korean exchanges that spans thousands of years.

Click Here for the Full Story (Source: Yonhap News)

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School ranking ban

The education authorities still maintain the policy of the “three nos” ― no high school rankings, no entrance exams administered by each university, and no acceptance of students in return for donations. Needless to say, the policy is intended to curb soaring spending on private tutoring and ease excessive competition for college entrance.

However, many universities have come under criticism that they are stealthily favoring applicants from elite high schools, especially specializing in foreign languages or science. They have flatly denied allegations about their involvement in the unfair and illegal practice of discriminating against applicants from ordinary high schools.

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

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Decoding my Korean workplace: an NET’s class schedules

So I’ve returned this semester to my teacher’s desk more confident, a bit more cocky and… ahem, a tad lazy. Inevitable. This is second semester and I’ve had 6 months worth of grueling experience to prime me for this lounging funk.

What’s changed since last semester? I’ve come to trust the process, know the expectations set for me and understand what my co-teachers’ bring to the table in work habits and teaching personalities. While the situations and events arising around my teaching schedule aren’t always predictable, my method of accepting and dealing with them has gotten to be… predictable.  I’ll take that as balance!

Click Here for the Full Story (Source: GRRRL Traveler)

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This week’s joke: He has to be brave

A blind man wanders into an all girls biker bar by mistake. He finds his way to a bar stool and orders some coffee. After sitting there for a while, he yells to the waiter, “Hey, you wanna hear a blonde joke?”

The bar immediately falls absolutely silent.

In a very deep, husky voice, the woman next to him says, “Before you tell that joke, sir, I think it is only fair – given that you are blind – that you should know five things:

1. The bartender is a blonde girl with a baseball bat;

2. The bouncer is a blonde girl;

3. I’m a 6 foot tall, 175 lb. blonde woman with a black belt in karate;

4. The woman sitting next to me is blonde and a professional weightlifter; and

5. The lady to your right is blonde and a professional wrestler …

Now, think about it seriously, Mister. Do you still wanna tell that joke?”

The blind man thinks for a second, shakes his head, and mutters, “No, not if I’m gonna have to explain it five times.”


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