Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Roboseyo Media Blitz: The Korea Herald AND Times in one day!

Hello.

Today, I am in two of Korea's English language newspapers.

The Korea Times published my letter to the editor, about that ugly stereotyping letter.

the Korea Herald's Expat Living section is publishing a best-of list I made by compiling the results from my recent "So What Really ARE The Ten Things Foreigners Like About Korea?"

If you're a new reader to this blog, take a look around. I hope you like what you see. I like living in Korea quite a lot, and one way I show it is by learning about Korea and writing about it.

More later, when I have the time to properly update this post.

9 comments:

HLee said...

congrats! btw, has anyone got any reply back from jkim? i'm pretty sure she's a gyopo.

extrakorea said...

One possible factual error in you Korea Herald piece: according to Kushibo, Jon Huer does live in Korea:

"His comfy office is at the University of Maryland, in Yongsan Garrison in central Seoul."

extrakorea said...

1. Correction: "One possible factual error in your Korea Herald ..."

2. If he does live in Yongsan Garrison, then he probably has a very different experience from other expatriates. Basically, he would be living much more like an American in America than an American expatriate in South Korea.

Stafford said...

No Chocopies.

Disappointing.

MKM said...

Good list!

I'm going to make my own list of things we *should be* complaining about.

Cheery!~

M.

aallen said...

I enjoy your blog, but I thought you could have done better w/ your response in the KT. Clearly there is a love/hate relationship with the western teachers and Korean parents. Clearly Ms. Kim had some trouble addressing this. How do you find common ground?

Roboseyo said...

aallen:
the common ground should be a focus on the education of kids, of course.

my original letter called the Korea Times to task for printing stuff like that, because I think a major part of the problem is the media's irresponsible, race-baiting coverage of the English teachers in Korea, which exacerbates every other problem. Of course, they cut that part out.

the problems come down to:

1. the media's irresponsible reporting of English teacher behavior, which is no better or worse statistically than other populations

2. Koreans' lack of faith in their public education system

3. the focus of all elementary, middle and high school's academic endeavor into one high-school ending test

4. the competitiveness that a test culture creates, where all are seen as rivals to be beaten, and the fear of falling behind (which leads to the perceived need to send kids to hogwans)

5. lack of regulation in the hogwan industry

6. opportunistic profiteering in the hogwan industry (wherein they'll here the cheapest, instead of the best teacher)

7. the people who DO come to Korea to extend college for another year, and act like idiots, not realizing they're representing their country

8. I'm sure there's more than that, but basically, English education is a big miasma with so many systemic flaws, and so much money and status at stake, that it's going to take a long, long time, for the whole morass to be fixed up. This is one reason why many long-time English teaching expats get so cynical. A letter helps, because one area that COULD be fixed without TOO much trouble, is holding the Korean media more accountable for their part in creating that us vs. them conflict. Parents, business leaders, and English teachers should at least see each other as partners working toward similar goals, while the media often makes English teachers out to be opportunistic trash looking to profit while corrupting Korea's youth....and so it goes.

aallen said...

Just one question - regarding "the media's irresponsible reporting of English teacher behavior, which is no better or worse statistically than other populations"; I've read this on other blogs but I've never seen any actual statistics supporting this claim. It would seem to me that such stats would pretty well quash Ms. Kim's poorly written editorial. Have the KT publish a simple pie chart, broken out by nationality (and adjusted for population size of course) - the facts will speak for themselves.
The only problem, I suspect, will be that this approach wouldn't account for the misbehavior of American soldiers; however, that is another problem unto itself.
In any event, as I said, I'd like to see someone produce some numbers.
Thanks

Roboseyo said...

ROK Drop is a good place to look for that: they're pretty up on statistics that demonstrate that foreigners, statistically, actually have a lower crime rate than the Korean population at large; ATEK would be another good place to look.

Happy hunting: the statistics are not hard to find (predictably, certain types of expat LOVE to flash them around)

good luck getting the KT to publish those kinds of statistics though, given that their main audience are Koreans using the KT to practice their English.