hagwons

The Troubling English Obsession in South Korea: How Foreign ESL Teachers Can Be Part of the Solution



As of 2013, there are thought to be nearly 20,000 first-language English speakers working for public schools and privately owned language programs (hagwons) in South Korea.  Korean parents regularly shell out as much as a third of their household income to get their children in an after school program with these foreign instructors.  As a result, hagwon profits have soared, surpassing US$7 billion in 2009.


Kindergarten Goodbye

Last weekend, my students graduated kindergarten–a two-hour ceremony that featured caps and gowns, song and dance acts, and a re-imagined version of The Blind Men and the Elephant, for which I constructed a miniature elephant from cardboard, felt, and packing tape–the same tape I used to seal up the three boxes I shipped home to Canada.

This week, while I begin my travels through India, my students will begin Grade 1 and the start of a long road through Korea’s education system: days in public school, afternoons in hagwons, and evenings spent studying, often until they sleep.


market and classroom

I started a tumblr a few weeks ago (liking the hi-res photos and simple layouts) and have since been neglecting this ol’ wordpress. Being pretty lazy about blogging as it is I imagine that this site might not get updated much since I’ll be committing my scant resources and time to the new flavor of the week. That said I will attempt to keep here an abridged collection of photographs and other digital nonsense which I find amusing.

a few new things


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