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Executive Summary

If you are a licensed teacher in your home country and are going to the Republic of Korea (ROK) with the idea of actually teaching English, you will be greatly disappointed. The English Program in Korea (EPIK, GEPIK and SMOE) contracts clearly state that you are a Foreign Language Assistant Teacher (FLAT); this is the same for all foreign teachers no matter what their qualifications may be. As an assistant, you will be under the immediate supervision of a Korean English teacher (KET) and subject to their direction at all times. Should the KET have a "business trip" or be off during the time you are scheduled to have a class, you will not be permitted to teach a class and will probably be required to make the class up at a later date. KETs do not understand standards based education (SBE) since the grammar translation method (GTM) avoids SBE. A Korean type of college scholastic ability test (CSAT), also known as Suneung (Korean SAT) or Ipsi, is a multiple-choice type of test given to Korean high school seniors and is accepted by all South Korean universities. Tests have proven that given a multiple-choice test, students who simply select answers without reading the questions will average a 25% correct score out of 100 questions. Korean students have been taught to rely on the best guess method in passing the CSAT since "bell curve" scores are assessed and measured on how well the student performed compared to other Korean high school students; all students are far left of the English speaking center, "Students who can't speak English (passing scores) down to those students who really can't speak English (failing scores)." In the Korean Education culture, KETs do not speak English and therefore Korean students have learned nothing in English communication. From this it is easy to see why Koreans were rated as the worst English communicators among 12 Asian countries.

However, the ROK is a great opportunity to live and work in a safe foreign country while earning and saving a substantial amount of money. Koreans' spend 14.3 trillion Won (1 million Korean Won (KRW) = $844,897.1046 USD (December 2009)) every year taking private English classes and another 700 billion Won testing their English proficiency.

 

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