Or Aussies or Kiwis for that matter.
A full-page ad in the current issue of Seoul Magazine seeks to satisfy Korea’s seemingly insatiable appetite for English language teachers. The ad starts:
Thousands of College Graduates are going to South Korea to teach English to pay off their student loans and to gain international experience.
The only qualifications a potential teacher needs is
- Fluency in the English language
- A Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited university
- An American or Canadian passport
- A desire for adventure
And what’s on offer? Up to $5,000 a month, “incentives” relating to airfare, housing & relocation, free training, free Korean classes and “adventures in Asia”.
Sounds extremely tempting. But why only Americans and Canadians? Maybe it’s because a “British” accent isn’t considered as “cute” in Korea as it is in America. In fact I’ve heard that it’s rather uncool for a Korean to speak English with a “British” accent. But hey, we Brits can fake a transatlantic drawl if we need to: I was speaking to an American the other day that thought Hugh Laurie (better known for his portrayal of upper class twits in the BBC’s series Blackadder and Jeeves & Wooster) was American, based on his performances in American medical soap House.
Maybe it’s a statement about the quality of the British (and Australian, etc) educational system: I don’t know what North American universities are like, but certainly a BA from a British university is no guarantee of being able to write decent English. But an understanding of English grammar doesn’t seem to be something you need to qualify for this opportunity.
I’m sure no offence was meant. If you check out the website of the advertiser, the Chung Dahm Institute, you find that they are happy to accept people with passports from most Anglophone countries, plus Korea. In fact I would qualify myself, if only I could provide the “official sealed transcripts” from my university. If I knew what they were it would be a start.
Anyway, I wish the pupils of these future teachers all the best.