Thursday, May 03, 2012

'Clamor' at foreigner English education site

The 2005 English Spectrum Incident

Part 1: English Spectrum and 'Ask The Playboy'
Part 2: The Kimchiland where it’s easy to sleep with women and make money
Part 3: English Spectrum shuts down as Anti-English Spectrum is created
Part 4: How to hunt foreign women
Part 5: Did the foreigners who denigrated Korean women throw a secret party?
Part 6: The 'Ask The Playboy' sexy costume party
Part 7: Stir over ‘lewd party’ involving foreigners and Korean women
Part 8: The 2003 post that tarred foreign English teachers as child molesters
Part 9: Netizens shocked by foreign instructor site introducing how to harass Korean children
Part 10: Movement to expel foreign teachers who denigrated Korean women
Part 11: "Middle school girls will do anything"
Part 12: Netizens propose 'Yankee counter strike force'
Part 13: Segye Ilbo interview with the women from the party, part 1

Part 14: Segye Ilbo interview with the women from the party, part 2
Part 15: Web messages draw Koreans’ wrath
Part 16: Thai female laborers and white English instructors
Part 17: 'Regret' over the scandal caused by confessions of foreign instructors

Part 18: "Korean men have no excuse"

Part 19: "Unfit foreign instructors should be a 'social issue'"
Part 20: 'Clamor' at foreigner English education site

On January 18, Dailian posted another article about the English Spectrum incident, this time looking at the reaction of foreign teachers on an unnamed "ELS" foreign teacher website. You have to appreciate the non-sensationalistic subtitles:
'Clamor' at foreigner English education site

Claim "Low level Korean netizens are racist."
"Korean women love us for free English classes," survey posted

As the stir over behavior 'denigrating Korean women' by foreign English instructors spreads, garnering responses by netizens such as forming a movement to 'expel unfit foreign English instructors,' the incident is being hotly debated by foreign English instructors at a foreign English education (ELS) cafe site.

In regard to the incident over photos denigrating Korean women posted at 'English Spectrum,' foreign English instructors argue that "At that internet site not just foreigners but anyone can post writing or photos - it's an open site." "The people who posted it could be foreign English instructors or Koreans or other foreigners. It's a problem to blame only foreign teachers."

They said, "I agree with Korean netizens wanting to boot out the instructor who had sex with an underage student and sex criminals who prey on children," "But the story of the sex criminal teacher is just a rumor," it was claimed.

At the site's bulletin board, C asked, "Is there even one unfit foreign instructor who has been arrested for sex crimes?" "If a hagwon instructor molested a student, how could he not be arrested?"

He also claimed that "There's a great possibility that the person who posted that wasn't a foreigner but a Korean who posted it to slander foreign instructors." "The story that foreign instructors molested minors and high school girls is a just a lie to justify racism."

On the same bulletin board, F said in regard to this incident, "It seems like Korean netizens are trying to inflame xenophobic feeling against foreigners." "There has been xenophobia in the past, and the press and media are going to keep mentioning this until the netizens lose interest."

F said, "The important thing is that these unstable netizens are insecure people and do not represent Korea." "Until their disgust is satisfied, they'll hurl all kinds of abuse and photos [at us] and some day their disgust will calm down," he said, criticizing netizens who bring up the "disparaging Korean women" issue.

Voting on a survey at the site titled 'why do Korean women love us?' which had caused controversy was halted on the 18th. 40% voted for "Free English lessons," while minority opinions made got about 10% of the vote each.

Meanwhile, at another forum at the site, English instructors responded to a question asking what they did before coming to Korea with various answers such as veterinarian, farmer, restaurant manager, law clerk, laundry staff, high school teacher, etc.

In response to these jobs, Korean netizens said, "I know that to [be a teacher] in English education in the US, they would need to have completed at least a masters in TESOL." "On the other hand, in our country all it takes is a four year degree from the US," they said, expressing dissatisfaction with hagwon law regulations.

At the Naver cafe where the 'movement to expel unfit foreign instructors' is unfolding, member 'sunnyahn' wrote, "Among native speaking instructors, it's difficult to find anyone who majored in English education." "What's worse, among English instructors who come from the US are people like credit delinquents and sex criminals," he/she said, emphasizing the need to strengthen qualification screening.

He/she also said, "Among illegal instructors are people unwilling to not only teach children but do other jobs as well." "Written at a foreign forum site is a post saying they came to Korea with a 3 dollar visa and wanted to unconditionally find a job and so received replies one after the other saying, "Don't worry, you'll find a job no matter what."
The AES commenter's remark about the "need to strengthen qualification screening" was a fair enough remark, but I don't know if I'd put "credit delinquents" up there with "sex criminals" when it comes to people I'd be worried about teaching children. I enjoyed the comment about "the press and media are going to keep mentioning this until the netizens lose interest." I'm sure worse things could have been found had the reporter dug a little more, but the comments translated there were certainly not going to cause the "netizens [to] lose interest."

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