"Native Speaker Phone English? Turns out it's a korian
Deception by yuhaksaeng [posing as] 'neitibeu seupikeo'"*
The Munhwa Ilbo published an article yesterday with the above title featuring interviews with several yuhaksaeng (Koreans who have studied overseas) who say they - and many others like them - pose as native speakers for Korean companies who operate 'Phone English' services. It notes that the reason they take the job is because they are tempted by the money they can easily make by speaking with a student for only 10 minutes. The article notes that the businesses promise native speakers but do not live up to this, and that the teachers' contracts have non-disclosure clauses (regarding the fact that they are not foreigners). An official from one such business asserts that when the teachers sign contracts with them, they have to confirm their foreign nationality, but one of the teachers retorts by saying that the businesses require their (Korean) resident number and address.
There's nothing specific about foreign native speakers in the article, which perhaps explains why the article clearly sides with the teachers and criticizes the companies that hire them. The yuhaksaeng teachers are simply young people tempted by the amount of money that can be made - quite different from (real) "native speakers who come and go only for the moment to make money" (as the KTU put it), and whose broken contracts are "a key factor intensifying regional disparities in English education," according to Yonhap, who based this on [mistaken] statements by National Assembly Education, Science and Technology Committee member Park Young-a. I'm sure the number of articles published this year which criticize hagwons or education offices based on the testimony of foreign teachers working for them can be counted on the fingers of one hand (if they can be counted at all, I mean).
Oh, and you have to love the illustration accompanying the article:
A girl with a nose long enough to dry laundry on compared to two Koreans with eyes the size of pencil leads. The Korean woman is probably wondering where her nose went.
* In the title, "Korean" is rendered "코리안" instead of "한국인" or "우리나라 사람" or "같은 순수한 민족 사람," while "native speaker" is rendered "네이티브 스피커" instead of "원어민."
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