Korean Americans and Korean Canadians can't speak English? Give...(Eng/Kor)
Posted: 2002/01/09 By: John (Views:4021)
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Korean Americans and Korean Canadians can't speak English? Give me a break....
I'm Korean American and I've been teaching in Korea for 4 years. I've heard stories about
institutes that treat K-A/C differently and that look exclusively for white faces. For school
that do that, you're making a big mistake.
Korea and Koreans, as all countries and cultures do, have many stereotypes and prejudices
about everything from what Japanese people are like to who would be the best person to teach
kids or adults English. Not hiring K-A/C or treating K-A/C differently is one that I can't
understand. I grew up in the US; I was educated in the US; I speak English with most of my
friends -- in what way is my English different from any other Westerner?
A previous posting raises several points to this: K-A/C can't speak English as well. K-A/C
don't understand Western culture. K-A/C hang out exclusively in their own cliches and don't
have a diversified experience. Therefore, K-A/C can be treated differently from other
Westerners. Exploited, in other words.
A person's "grasp" of the English language and their understanding of the culture depends
entirely on the individual's experience. Did they read a lot as a kid? What kind of student
were they? Did they enjoy the subject of English and Social Sciences, as many of my Asian
American friends did (we're not all Acura drivers nor are we all math geniuses). These will
determine a person's understanding of Western culture more than their surname.
For institute's that argue that their only doing what the mother's want -- I ask you: Who's
the so-called education "expert" here, you or the customer? Isn't a manager's job to act in
their customer's best interest and provide the best service for the student, regardless of if
that is a Korean face or not? And wouldn't a person well-versed in education theory be able to
explain to a customer that the "stereotype" doesn't apply and show the client what is important
-- the curriculum, the training, the evaluation testing, the standards of achievement, etc.?
I'm not suggesting that institutes need to be societal reformers. Just that if an institute
has its act together, it should be able to point out to its customers what is and isn't
important when it comes to ESL learning.
Many of the teachers I've interviewed and worked with have been K-A/C. Among those I've
interviewed, I've met K-A/Cs whom I didn't think would become great teachers and they weren't
hired. The ones whom I have worked with have been a very positive addition to the institute.
Most of the K-A/Cs I've worked with have had tremendous work ethic and dedication to their jobs
and to their kids. This is always the determining factor as to how a good a teacher he or she
is. They have been flexible and easy to work with. And contrary to what stereotypes might lead
you to believe, their English has been as good as any of the Western teachers I've worked with.
(Why would any institute hire an English teacher whose English wasn't good, be they K-A/C or
Westerner or whatever?) And of course, the institute I work at, in turn, has not demeaned or
devalued them by trying to offer them less money or by asking them to do more work, if they
The notion or stereotype that a white face means that the student will automatically learn
better should come to an end. It's the institute's curriculum, teacher training, and concern
for its students that matters much more than who the teacher's parents are. Let's stop buying
into the notion that K-A/C or non-American/Canadians are somehow intrinsically less effective
as teachers and therefore deserving of unequal treatment and put the fault of a student's not
learning where it really lies -- money-hungry, disorganized institutes that don't really care.
|Korean Americans and Korean Canadians can't speak English? Give...(Eng/Kor)||John||4021|
|I totally agree with your comment~!||Kim||843|
|I'm running into those stereotypes right now as we speak!!!||david||1170|
|Eye Opener for me||FaithNoMore||1305|