Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Several articles in the Hankyoreh about foreign English teachers

Brian in Jeollanam-do pointed out that the Hankyoreh published an article looking at the difficulties foreign English teachers face in the classroom. In fact, they published four articles on November 29:

At school we are ‘Losers’
[Translated here]
Fostering the Ability to Think Critically is Difficult with the Korean Education Process.
“Sharing information among foreign teachers”, Teacher association launched this year
At an English Cafe, playful conversation with the teacher

Kudos to the Hankyoreh for taking the time to look at the concerns of foreign teachers regarding the classroom. Yes, the Weekly Chosun also looked at such concerns back in August, but this was marred by them giving equal space to Lee Eun-ung, the manager of Anti-English Spectrum. It should be noted that the Hankyoreh stands as one of the only newspapers that has not given Anti-English Spectrum a platform.

Years ago I read a friend's copy of Lynda Barry's "Girls and Boys," pictured above (from here), which was my introduction to her work. Over the past few decades she has done more narrative style work, but this early collection of individual strips was published in a 9x5 inch book similar to the type The Far Side or Garfield strips were collected in. Seeing as such books collected humorous strips, it was a shock to see pieces in her book that weren't funny at all - often the opposite. My immediate reaction reaction was along the lines of "...does not compute." I could pretend to feel the same way about the cartoons in this Hankyoreh article:

"Forty students?"

"Why doesn't she ever consult with me about classes?"
"Do this today, OK?"

That seeing positive cartoons in a Korean newspaper about foreign English teachers would result in a response of " ....does not compute001001001100..." wouldn't be surprising, seeing as every other newspaper cartoon about foreign English teachers I've seen has been negative...

(Does this comment on stereotypes, or contribute to them?)

(From here)

..or exaggerate certain facial characteristics...

(From here)

Neither of these characteristics are on display in the Hankyoreh cartoons:

"Are they going to ignore me?"

It's nice to see the concerns of the vast majority of foreign teachers being dealt with, instead of sensationalizing the crimes and cultural insensitivity of the minority.


Anonymous said...

I am very impressed with the Hani posting a picture of a Black teacher interacting with Korean students in a healthy, positive and educational setting.

I may have to start subscribing...

Way to go Chantelle Manciel! How do you like teaching there?

ZenKimchi said...

Fascinating watching this turn of opinion in the English speaking community. It was that the Hanky was vilified while the KT and Chosun were the voices of reason (at least on Marmot and friends). Now the Hanky is the good guy and the Chosun and KT are bad guys. B in J is on top and Gusts is riding the wave.

I like what I am witnessing.

matt said...

I think a focus on the Chosun was more because of Cho-Jung-Dong's critical take on the mad cow protests. Even though I'm a lefty, I tend to find the Hani's politics in regard to North Korea and the US to be rather kneejerk. Its social concerns and analysis I tend to find quite good. I haven't asked around at ATEK, but I think the Hani article about them was done without their input - meaning they just up and decided to do an article on them.

Hopefully ATEK will follow up on this, and in Korean.

Marc Hogi said...


Just discovered this now (through a link from "The Grand Narrative"), but good to see. Thanks for posting, and I'll start to keep an eye on the Hankyoreh.