illegal

A modest proposal for visa reform

If there's anything that Kang Shin Who's recent pieces have demonstrated, it's that the market forces of supply and demand trumps the law, whether well-intentioned or not. Whether illegal or not, there are more than enough bootleg DVD sellers to satisfy one's need for the latest movie. Whether illegal or not, people will seek out any edge they can to be better than the competition. The same goes for English lessons - whether illegal or not, people will seek out that edge.

On stalking, following, and this man


Source: L.A. Times

Crimes by foreigners going up?

If I had a dollar for every time Korea can't statistics to agree with itself, I wouldn't need to be writing / looking at stories such as these. From the Korea Times:
The number of crimes involving foreigners has risen sharply so far this year, the Justice Ministry said Monday.

About one third of the total were traffic violations, followed by felonies and fraud.

According to the statistics submitted by the Ministry of Justice to the National Assembly, the total number of crimes committed by foreign nationals reached a record high of 34,108 last year, nearly a three-fold increase from 12,821 in 2004.

In 2005, the number rose to 13,584 and surged to 17,379 the following year.

Crimes by English teachers going down?

This post by Gusts of Popular Feeling almost got by me over the weekend (original story in Korean):

[T]he National Assembly’s Council of Education, Science and Technology
member Lee Gun-hyeon of the GNP announced on September 24 the number of native speaking English teachers who have committed crimes over the past three years. Over three years the total is 274, with 114 in 2007, 99 in 2008, and 61 up to
August of this year.

By type, at 84, most were arrested for violence, 57 for drugs, 17 for ‘intellectual crimes’ (likely forgery), 10 for rape, and 7 for theft. As for violence, cases had risen from 22 in 2007, 38 in 2008, and 24 to August this year.

"English Teachers Complaining About Hagwons, Media Portrayal"

The Korea Beat has recently translated a story that begins to explain a lot of the negative media attention to English teachers. Interestingly enough, the article (originally from the Chosun Weekly) used one of Korea Beat's stories and several comments to try and get the word out - in Korean. The more Koreans see foreigners as people trying to do a job and be treated fairly, the more credible we as a group look when one-off stories on 'unqualified' teachers run.

A couple highlights from the translated article:
The problem is that most media reports focus only on “trouble-causing
native speaker teachers”, portraying all teachers as being like those in the
articles. Every time major news media raise doubts about native speaker teachers

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