Friday, February 22, 2013

MBC Sisa Magazine 2580: "Korea is a paradise" for foreign instructors

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: 'Recruit a Yankee strike force!'  
Part 11: The Daum signature campaign: 'Let's kick out low quality foreign instructors!'
Part 12: Movement to expel foreign teachers who denigrated Korean women
Part 13: "Middle school girls will do anything"
Part 14: Netizens propose 'Yankee counter strike force'
Part 15: Segye Ilbo interview with the women from the party, part 1

Part 16: Segye Ilbo interview with the women from the party, part 2
Part 17: Web messages draw Koreans’ wrath
Part 18: Thai female laborers and white English instructors
Part 19: KBS Morning Newstime: 'I can also suffer from the two faces of the internet'
Part 20: AES: Grandfather Dangun is wailing in his grave! 
Part 21: 'Regret' over the scandal caused by confessions of foreign instructors
Part 22: "Korean men have no excuse"
Part 23: "Unfit foreign instructo
rs should be a 'social issue'"
Part 24: Growing dispute over foreign English instructor qualifications
Part 25: 'Clamor'at foreigner English education site
Part 26: Foreign instructor: "I want to apologize"
Part 27: No putting brakes on 'Internet human rights violations'
Part 28: "They branded us as whores, yanggongju and pimps," part 1
Part 29: "They branded us as whores, yanggongju and pimps," part 2
Part 30: Don't Imagine

Part 31: Anti-English Spectrum founder's statement
Part 32: 'Foreign instructor' takes third place
Part 33: Art From Outsider's Point of View
Part 34: U.S. Embassy warns Americans of threats near colleges
Part 35: Internet real name system debated
Part 36: Dirty Korean women who have brought shame to the country?
Part 37: Invasion of Privacy Degrades Korean Women Twice Over
Part 38: 60 unqualified native speaking instructors hired for English instruction
Part 39: The rising tide of unqualified foreign instructors
Part 40: Warrant for Canadian English instructor who molested hagwon owner
Part 41: MBC Sisa Magazine 2580: "Korea is a paradise" 
Part 42: Foreign instructor: "In two years I slept with 20 Korean women."
Part 43: Viewers shocked by shameless acts of unqualified foreign instructors.
Part 44: Warrant for the arrest of a man in his 30s for breaking into home of foreign instructors
Part 45: Unqualified English instructors seen as major problem here

Part 41: MBC Sisa Magazine 2580: "Korea is a paradise"

On January 30, 2005, the MBC current affairs show Sisa Magazine 2580, which airs on Sunday nights at 11pm, broadcast a report on the English Spectrum incident. The report can be watched at the show's webpage if you a member of the MBC website (you need to send them a copy of your alien registration card); then you choose the correct date and watch the episode (on IE, after 3 minutes of ads). If you just enter the correct date, you're given this description of the show: 
Is Korea a paradise?

'Is Korea a country where you can earn money and have fun by teaching English illegally?' Unqualified native speaking English instructors call Korea a 'paradise.' With no particular skills, they are treated well only because they can speak English. Recently they've entered into hagwons and one to one home visits as if babysitting. There are unqualified instructors with various backgrounds such as only having a high school diploma, drug addicts, US soldiers, and even dancers, and harmful effects like fraudulent education and disordered private lives have appeared. However, 'brokers' who provide even fake diplomas and hagwons which are aware of this but overlook it have degenerated into firm supporters of unqualified instructors. The controversy over disparaging Korean women has stirred [awareness of] the unqualified English instructor problem. We report on the realities of unqualified instructors who are treated well only for their English.
Here is a summary of the 15 minute report:

 "Korea is a paradise"

Our friendly announcer tells us that "Foreign native speaking instructors call our country a paradise. This is because it's a country which treats them as teachers and where they can earn money just for speaking English." He then brings up their "disordered private lives" and their [lack of] sense of ethics brought to light by a recent scandal over them denigrating Korean women.

We're then shown images of a "western style club in Sinchon [sic] last Friday night" where "western men and Korean women" dance, and outside the crowd is half Korean, half foreign. We're shown several images of western men and Korean women embracing or walking together (in Hongdae).

We're then told that "We met a Canadian English instructor. He taught privates to our country’s women."
Instructor, over the phone: "In two years? Maybe 20 girls? Not many I don’t think, in two years."
The translation says 'I slept with 20 girls in two years.'
Among his students are housewives in their 30s.
"I was introduced to her, and I started tutoring her for maybe one month."
"You just slept with the girl only two times?"
"Yeah, because she was feeling guilty because she had a husband."
"Did you love her?"
"Did I..? No, just for… sex for pleasure."

We're then told that foreigners, in particular English instructors, who often used an employment site, posted photos from a bar in Sinchon [sic] of western men and Korean women at first without mosaics.

 We're then shown someone walking into Mary Jane Bar. If you're curious where it was, the sign for the Queen's Head (at it's old location) can be seen on the left (or just look at the map here).

There is then a short interview with a female victim who says that she is in a complete panic, and like the other girls has been cloistered since friends, family, coworkers, and school friends have seen the photos.

We're then told that due to criticism of the lewd party, the site was taken down. However, the problem has not ended – some foreign instructors are fooling around with teens and children. At a foreign instructor site, instructions on how to harass students were posted:

We're then told that, "The anger of netizens exploded. A site criticizing foreign instructors was formed."

We're then shown members of the Anti English Spectrum cafe having a meeting. Some of them are kind enough to appear on camera (this was before Lee Eun-ung joined).

One member is quoted as saying, "That neighbourhood drips saliva and rotten things can be seen."

We're then told by a hagwon owner that foreign native speaking instructors from places like the US, Canada, or Australia need an E-2 visa, for which a 4-year university degree is required. We're also shown someone from a recruiting agency asking someone on the phone, "Could you just tell me a little bit about her?"

A foreign instructor then brings it up in class.

Teacher: "I heard about that, it’s just, I don’t believe it."
Student: "I believe it."
Teacher: "Because we’re bad, right?"

One foreign teacher then shows another an offending post (perhaps the 'mollest' post):

"Note the expression of this teacher who reads it," we're urged.

Male teacher: "I saw this on Daum."
Female teacher: "Wow – that’s pretty bad."
Gerald (the male teacher): "If I met him, he’s probably going to be teaching illegally. And if someone’s teaching illegally, I have a moral obligation to report them."

We then meet an instructor in Sinchon who says that his coworker had a fake degree.

Jesse: "Yeah, he told me it was a fake one. That was the only fake diploma I’ve actually seen. Though I’ve met several other teachers who’ve confessed to me that they didn’t have… The most shocking thing was one person was trying to avoid gangsters who wanted to kill him in Canada and he came to Korea to escape the person who wanted to hurt him or kill him for some drug-related-"

They then interview a recruiting agency owner to find out about about these instructors and their private lives, and how instructors with no qualifications try to pick up women: "They'll learn some Korean on their own and then approach a women and get to meet her but after 1-3 months they become sex partners. There are also cases of several instructors dating the same girl."

We're then shown this letter they got ahold of written by a foreign instructor which shows how they pick up women, saying things like 'If you have time, I'd like to teach you English and learn Korean.'

"When they date, after a week goes by almost all the time they visit and eat together and do whatever else together." "This really happens a lot?" "A lot."

(One of  many interviews in dark rooms.)

We're then shown a shot of the immigration office and told how teachers get jobs. A former recruiter says that "I've heard every year 30,000 people are needed, but actually it's not possible to find 30,000 native speaking instructors who have 4 year degrees in Korea." Since there isn't a supply, people look elsewhere. "Filipinos or Indians are used part time." "How much is the recruiting fee? "One million won for males, 1.2-1.5 million won for females. When we take on a foreigner, usually if we put their information up, 20 or 30 people will contact us."

Another recruiter: "These people can be a bold as they like and bounce around from place to place. If they quit here today, they can find another job right away the next day, or at any time." "How much is their annual salary?" "If you combine everything together, 36 million won a year."

But hagwons aren't so interested in English ability. The former recruiter adds that "To put it plainly, in this market, the instructors who are most in demand are... if they're blond, pretty women, they're unconditionally okay. Even if they can't speak English... There was a Canadian woman instructor, but she was from Quebec. Because Quebec's native tongue is French, she couldn't speak English well."

About the hiring of foreign instructors, an Australian teacher says: "I have seen a boss looking at resumes saying 'Oh my god, he’s black. I didn’t know. Don’t hire him.' Because they need to show the white face."

Another recruiter says that around half of the instructors who come to Korea are thinking of earning money, that most want to pay back university tuition.

They then look at one American youth who applies for jobs with 'community college' written on his online application. One hagwon rejects the application, saying that though it would be practical to run a hagwon that way, they would bear a considerable threat to their business if they did. Not all hagwons are so careful however. A hidden camera follows the applicant into an interview.

Hagwon owner: "James? Nice to meet you. You look so nice. What kind of visa do you have?"
James: "I have a D-2 visa. It's a student visa."
Though you can't teach on a D-2 visa, the hagwon owner doesn’t care, and seems happy when James tells him it can be extended indefinitely. He then asks about teaching experience, and James says private teaching and, "My father was a teacher growing up so …" "You learned from him?" "I inherited it, I suppose."
The hagwon owner tells him he can work part time, share a nearby apartment with another teacher, and will still have time to study. When James tells what seems to be an Irish recruiter over the phone that he only has a 2 year degree, he is told it's "no problem whatsoever," and that the owner likes him.

We're then told that some teachers get fake diplomas.
Jesse: "I've never seen one, but I think if you want to make a fake diploma it’s not that difficult to do."

Note that the subtitles have Jesse saying instead, "you can get one for $50-$100 on the internet."

Websites provide fake diplomas and even transcripts for 300,000 won, and people with them almost never get caught. The former recruiter notes that if there is a transcript, authorities can't tell if they're authentic or not.

Foreign instructors also get lots of perks. A recruiter tells them that as long as they have a passport and can come to Korea, they get a house, plane ticket, they can get a girlfriend, and after three months if they don't like her they can change. "Some foreign instructors think of Korea as an easy mark."
Another recruiter adds that "They get everything." "Almost like a king?" "That's right. Even if they've just graduated from university, if they come to Korea they're treated like a honoured guest."

Some foreign instructors also do private lessons. These are illegal. At one private institute, 10 students learn English from a foreign instructor in one room. They've all come to know of the class through word of mouth only. Students describe what they learn from an American teacher there.
"I thought that this teacher was really smart and that he would teach us well, but if we do 20 pages, the next week he just tears through 26 pages more." "I know how to fill in the blanks. It's his own language, so why can't he explain it well?

"If there's the word 'prevent,' originally E came after V. There are also cases where you use A. Oh - I'm so embarrassed, I thought it was the another line." [Note, the person above (wearing blue) is speaking Korean.]

There was sexual talk, too.

Student: "I just heard a little and it made my face turn red, and just hearing a bit of it made me feel uncomfortable."

A mother interviewed apparently in her living room says, "Sometimes I think I'm wasting money," and that the kids are just playing around.

Finally, an English education professor warns against the blind faith placed in native speaking instructors who teach children.

The segment ends with menacing electronic music playing over scenes of foreigners on the streets of Hongdae, while the narrator speaks of the need for awareness of both foreign instructors who believe Korea is a paradise, and of the current state of English education fever.

So, to sum up, we're shown images of clubs in Hongdae to set the scene (decadent western culture!) and of western men and Korean women embracing, which is followed by a guy who admits to having sex with 20 Korean women, including a housewife - for pleasure. The foreign teachers also take photos of Korean women in bars and put them on the internet, which leaves the women in a complete panic. Thus a message is sent to Korean women (and everyone else around them) that this is the true face of the enemy western male. Of course, no mention is made of why the women in the photos were in such a panic (ie. netizens and media reprinting the photos constantly, and netizens - particularly members of Anti English Spectrum - harassing them), so we're left to think that it's the foreign teachers' fault. They also try to molest students, and the anger due to this leads to the heroic sausage party, Anti English Spectrum, trying to do something about it. We then have interviews with foreign teachers who agree that foreign teachers (though not themselves) are shocking frauds. Recruiters then line up to decry the same people they make money off of for horrific offenses like trying to date adult students (Fiends!), and the show paints them as unqualified people who have no ability and yet who can be hired due to high demand and are treated like kings here (incredibly the show manages to not condemn the hagwon owners who hire them, because the fault lies with the foreigners, you see). The show prompted articles the next day with titles like "Foreign instructor: "In two years I slept with 20 Korean women" and "Viewers shocked by shameless acts of unqualified foreign instructors," a prescriptive title if ever there was one.

Unlike the KBS report, which portrayed the women in the photos as victims of netizens and left Anti English Spectrum members sulking for days, this report, which portrayed foreign instructors' corrupt nature and the overly kind treatment they get as the root of the problem, got a thumbs up from AES, who took credit for it on their site. This was but their first collaboration with network television news, however; far worse broadcasts would follow soon enough.

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