First of all, I’m not an English teacher. And as you can read from my posts, I don’t write (nor speak) perfect English. I make a lot of grammatical errors for me to qualify as a teacher, but then even Pres. George Bush who’s a native speaker and has a lot of degrees under his belt also makes mistakes. 😀
So why the heck am I writing about teaching English in Korea? It’s because I have friends who’ve been asking me about teaching opportunitites here. You see, a lot of Koreans go to the Philippines to study English. They pay as much as if they’re enroled in an English-learning institute here. The only difference is that they have their own teachers instead of being in a class of ten or more students. And also, being in a foreign country may force them to speak the language more. Not to mention that they can experience the “beautiful” weather that we have back home and the friendliness of the people.
One of my friend’s sister majored in English and she has been tutoring since she was a junior in college. Her Korean employer offered to take her to Korea for one summer and pay her $500 a month. Whoa!!! I told her not to accept it because she won’t be compensated as much as she deserves and it’s illegal for a Filipino to teach English here. The Korean government only recognizes teachers from six native English speaking nations. These are the USA, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. If you’re not a citizen of those countries, then you cannot teach English legally in South Korea. In addition, those people get a monthly compensation of at least $1,800 plus a lot of perks for less than a 40-hour job. And private teaching is also illegal if you don’t have a permit. Would you believe that private tutors receive as much as $40 per hour?
Some Filipinos here do work as English teachers, but not legally. They cannot be granted an E-2 visa which is the foreign language teacher’s visa. It’s not even legal for a foreign wife of a Korean to teach English, unless she has been granted Korean citizenship. And that is the reason why foreign wives are forced to abandon their nationality and acquire their husband’s. If I meet a foreign wife who is not an English teacher, I would be surprised. So far, I’ve known four people who are not English teachers here: Ate Rowena (the organizer of ISKA) works for KOIS (publisher of Korea.Net); Katie is a reporter for the Korea Times; Malou works for the local Metrobank branch in Seoul; while Anna is an administrative assistant at an architectural firm. So if you meet a Filipina who had renounced her Filipino nationality, she did it mainly because she needed to rather than her wanting to. I would do the same in the near future because I won’t be able to be of help financially if I don’t. I hope to be able to find a non-teaching job but that’s a longgggggggggggggggggggg shot!
In case you get offered an English-teaching job here in Korea, keep in mind that you’ll have to do it illegally. 😉