I saw this letter posted on Korea Times. It’s about a Filpina teacher appealing (begging?) to the Korean government to allow non-native English speakers to teach in Korea. Some of the posters have been attacking her “writing style” and her not-so-perfect grammar (according to the grammar police on the board.) I guess that’s one of the risks of going online (been taking those risks for years!)
I am a Filipina teacher, and I’ve been teaching English here in our country for almost four years. We Filipinos are capable in English whether for speaking or writing. Maybe this is because we study English from primary school, and the fact that our country was a colony of the Americans in the past.
I want to talk about President Lee Myung-bak’s announcement about hiring only native English teachers to teach English in Korea. When I found out the news, I was really devastated and wrecked, thinking that it’s my portal to teach English in my dreamland.
Since I started to fall in love with Korean culture and traditions, I began a quest to learn about and study Korea. As a matter of fact, I also started teaching Korean students here in our country. I could really feel the sense of “belongingness.”
I don’t dispute the fact that native English speakers can perform their teaching with flying colors, not just because they are teachers but also because it’s their first language, but I do hope that President Lee would soften his heart about allowing qualified non-native English speaker to enter Korea and teach English.
It does not necessarily mean that non-native speakers of English can’t speak English. Surely when President Lee softens his heart, many teachers would gladly share their knowledge teaching English to his fellow Koreans.
There are now talks of allowing Filipino English teachers to Korea by next year. It could be a good idea if only they will be paid competitively, but English is a big business in Korea. KWIM?