Sunday, August 8, 2010

Planning and Notification

Some more information people going to Korea to work and live should know about courtesy of the Seminar for Foreign Language Academies. Beware of poor planning and notification. (Something I warned about in a previous post.)

I find it funny that they tried pawning this lack of professionalism in a workplace on culture. One thing they failed to mention is that MANY times the Koreans WILL be aware of the changes. Maybe a week or more in advance. No one tells the FOREIGNER until the last minute. I don't know about you but to me that sounds more like an unprofessional workplace or idiocy. But Koreans consider it to be a "cultural difference."

However, it is a GREAT warning to give people who are coming to Korea. EXPECT things to change at the last minute. Often literally.

Expect to have to come up with ideas to teach a class with kids of several different levels of ability as the bell rings for class.

Expect to be told what you will be teaching for intensive classes, or even regular classes, at any moment.

Don't get angry ... it is cultural. Try and work it to your advantage.


  1. Gotta love that abuse of the word global. Just slap it anywhere.Swivel it around a bit to look stylish. Christ on a bike. Not even a sentence like "We are Global" or "Global Thinking" or "Towards the Global" Just sitting there by itself like it means something.

  2. Mr. Pharmacist

    When I first saw it I thought the picture was out of place. i thought it was something to do with Global TV. :)

    But yeah, I found it interesting that in pointing out cultural differences they would put Global on the handout. If the attitudes were global there wouldn't be any cultural differences.

  3. I just finished A TESOL course courtesy of one of the local unis. I was hoping, as it was 120 hours in the classroom, that it would be accepted outside of Korea.
    Just how professional they were was demonstrated when it came time to award the certificates. The... uh... mook in charge... texted me on my cell in order to check the correct spelling of my name. When I "graduated," I checked my certificate, and sure enough, they misplelled my middle name.
    I showed the mook his text saved on my phone. I showed him my reply saved on my phone. I said "What the kimchi?" and he promised to redo the certificate. It's been two weeks, and still no replacement cert...
    So much for professionalism.

  4. Wow, two weeks. You better get that fixed in person quick before the person in charge gets rotated out or leaves the position.

    misplelled ha ha ha brilliant

  5. Damn Stig. It is a cultural delay! :)

  6. While quick thinking and flexibility are skills necessary to any workplace, it is very irresponsible to chalk up frequent occurrences to "cultural difference."

    Given my temperament I would probably flip out on a co-teacher if this happened any more that three times in a month! Perhaps I'm still naive but I think proper planning and preparation is necessary for any given presentation, especially those directed at educating the audience.

  7. Bwadmon

    On their website they actually tell you that you are there to send happy kids home, not so much to educate. I suppose when you look at it that way it doesn't have to be taken seriously.

    I too find it strange to chalk up the lack of professionalism to cultural difference.

  8. I had an ARC with my name mis-spelled for 12 months. I'd gone to collect it, noticed it would expire in 3 months....took it back, they changed the date.....then noticed my surname was wrong. What the Kimchi! I thought Fuggit, had enough, and just left anyways.

  9. Sometimes getting things corrected in Korea is more trouble than it is worth.