For one I don't really want to talk about stuff I know nothing about, and two it seems most people wright with fear as their reaction. After I read through several blogs that are mashing up the hot topics I start to believe that my job is doomed and that I am a worthless teacher. I don't know why but there seems to be this mania out there that makes my head spin. Yet I can't pull away from it.
And now there is the new controversial topic of the Education Ministry hiring 100 Indian (From India) English teachers.
Right away the Chosun Bimbo asks:
Are jobs for NESTs from "The Big 7" being outsourced to India?Which is fine to ask really. Sure this is what it sounds like, perhaps 100 of those jobs would of gone to a NEST from a country other than India.
And then things spiral into that they reported the motive to hire Indian teachers is because the NEST's from the other countries have been deemed mostly as "unqualified."
But if they are going to pay any individual less for teaching English out here than of course this comes as an omen to what may come. Chosun Bimbo says:
Hmmmmm. To be honest that would probably be the best thing for Korea. But the reality is something completely different. The first thing that comes to mind is about wages. Initially I can see English teacher pay taking a nose dive in the face of South Asian teachers willing to teach for considerably less and who are probably more inclined to live together (In smaller apartments) than there American, Canadian, British, Australian, South African and New Zealander counterparts.My reaction to this is that I can't help but see the person in charge thinking to themselves: If I hire the Indian teacher we won't have to pay as much as hiring the Canadian, America, South African...etc...teacher.
And who knows then maybe local governments will start to think about it this way: Why are we paying these western country kids more money than the Eastern Asian folks? We should revise the pay scale so that it is equal.
Wait I know!!!! Why don't we just pay everyone what they are worth! (But what are we worth?)
As you can see this little bit of news caused a big splash in the expat pond.
And of course many can't help but feel that Indian teachers would logical be undesirable due to their accent.
This gets my head spinning and I hate to sound idealist but this is just wrong and unfair. I believe that teaching EFL effectively has no correlation with one's accent.
Accent is only a marker of one's origins. So folks if you have some time check out this NPR Talk of the Nation radio show. It is about how English travels and what defines our accents.
Here for you are some short quotes:
In the end folks is there any way to think about all this in a positive way? When the government meddles with our job sector does it always have to mean doom?
CONAN: And to begin with, how do you define your accent?
(Soundbite of laughter)
Mr. CRYSTAL: I wish I could. Well, you know, an accent reflects where you've been, where you've been brought up. And most people these days don't spend their whole lives in one place. So, whereas once upon a time it was quite easy to almost predict where somebody had come from just by listening to them, you listen to somebody like me and what you hear in this voice you're hearing now is the first 10 years of my life living in Wales - living in Wales it would have been that sort of accent then. And then the next 10 years of my life living in Liverpool, well, everybody knows the Beatles. The Beatles accent, you know. And there was that sort of accent mixed in with it. And then I lived for 20 years down in the south of England and there was a kind of, you know, southern accent that came on top of the other two. And they've all mixed together to produce what you're hearing now.
I wrote on Chris's comment board that perhaps with this influx of Indians it might help a xenophobic Korea change and give non-white people a chance for better treatment.
**Three posts in one day ~ ><**