Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Shit Koreans Say ... about E-2 Visa Qualifications.

It's a clear fact that most English teachers working in Korea are not qualified to teach a language. They just grew up in English countries.

How many times have you seen or heard some version of the above from Koreans? Their media, politicians, bloggers, and average mook on the street parrot the refrain. But is it true?

Let's see, to qualify for an E-2 Visa to teach English in South Korea you must ;

1) Have at least a Bachelor of Arts Degree in ANY subject
2) Be a Native English Speaker (THAT rule is being bent to allow Philippinos to come and teach.)
3) Pass a Criminal Background Check
4) Pass a drug test
5) be somewhat healthy

That is it. Only one of the 5 really pertain to education. You do NOT have to be qualified as a teacher in your home country. A TESOL certificate is NOT required. If you meet those criteria you ARE qualified to teach English in South Korea by the South Korean government. Which would make you, in South Korea, QUALIFIED to teach.

For some reasons the miscreants, morons, and malcontents who have their panties in a bunch over foreigners being in South Korea can't wrap their head around that simple fact. And then they wonder why people have a low opinion of their intelligence.


  1. As if conning your way into teaching English in Korea has a significant pay off. If you can forge a bachelors degree, a criminal records check, and a university transcript, it makes perfect sense that you would settle for a $25,000 a year job. Forget printing money in your basement its much better to deal with the stresses and strains of living and working in a different country for way below what is considered poverty in your own.

  2. FYI, the word "qualified" can take on a couple different meanings. More commonly, it is synonymous with "competent," and that is the definition seemingly implied by your quote's author. Is it really inaccurate to assert that the majority of ESL teachers in Korea have no training, experience, or credentials (in the form of teaching certificates or education-related degrees), and thus lack competency to teach English? This is not to say that new ESL teachers are totally ineffective or cannot pick up skills along the way, but that when they walk into the classroom on day one they are ill-prepared to perform the duties that their job requires.

    More loosely defined, "qualified" can simply mean "eligible," and that appears to be the definition you (and other ESL teachers who like to refer to those such as your source as "miscreants, morons, and malcontents") use. You will be hard-pressed to find anyone who contests your eligibility based on the five critera listed. However, just because you choose to define a word differently doesn't make those others suddenly become an m-word.

  3. You make a good point Anonymous.

  4. Okay, eligible vs. qualified argument aside, business matters of resumes reviewed, interviews conducted, contracts offered, documents vetted and immigration visas approved all suggest that regardless, the candidates have been "selected." If that turns out to be an error, then the process itself is to be blamed more than the result.

    Your serve, Korea(ns). You have the ball.

  5. I wish I had said that Anonymous. You summed it up quite well.

    Every time I hear Koreans mention the interview it makes me laugh. The interviews I have had were a joke.

    When I was looking at taking an EPIK job in Daejeon everything was being delayed for "the interview". They couldn't tell me if they would hire me until "the interview". The interview consisted of one question. When can you be here? It took a month to have the interview and that was it. What a fucking joke. The guy in charge in Daejeon was a joke as well ... which is why I ended up not taking the job.

    Any interview I had was that laughable. The questions tended to be just as inane.

  6. When I first went to Korea, I was "qualified" according to the Korean government. But I knew I wasn't qualified according to my own specifications. I had very little classroom training, and none at all in the ESL field. I was told prior to arriving there that I would be given adequate training, which turned out to be following one of the teachers already there for two days before being left to manage on my own.
    What a disaster!
    I had a very rough time, and I came THIS CLOSE to doing a runner. But I stuck it out, and eventually became "qualified."
    I met many other "teachers" who were in the same boat. Some rose to the occassion, while others took the money, had a good time while they were there, and ran.
    People who complain about the quality of teachers in Korea tend to gloss over the fact that this is what they wanted. Their standards are such that they should have expected nothing else.
    Expecting different results from the same criteria is a definition of madness.

  7. Just because you have a teacher's license doesn't mean you are any more competent than someone that does not have one. Let's see who I have met in my short career as a teacher. 60 year old grandad didling his adopted granddaughter. Thinking he was Humbert Humbert. 26 year old local female teacher diddling a 14 year old boy. Violating parole, because she didn't want to break her promise. One teacher that would literraly sleep in class while his co-teacher did everything.

    Just because you get a drivers license that doesn't mean you are a competent driver.


  8. That is true Stig. In fact GEPIK has said they don't want to hire the experienced people because they cost to much.

  9. Good point A1.

    Just about every teacher when I was in High School was either an average or below average teacher. Most didn't really give a shit about the students it was "just a job". A couple were alcoholics and either came in hung over or would have liquid lunches and come to class drunk in the afternoon. (Teachers union protected them.)

    All of them were "trained" teachers but only a few were good teachers.

  10. Most teachers can get away with no qualifications if they're funny and manage to avoid angering Koreans (via nationalism or something). This may make some angry on here. But I see it more as a "clown" job.

    However, it's hard to be funny when the management is bad. The material is bad so unless your a great story teller you can't make up for it.

    Finally, they discriminate based on looks so even funny ugly people (or darker skinned people) have to teach in smaller towns.