A foreigner was arrested Saturday during South Korea's win over Greece at the World Cup. Samuel Kigens, 26, was held on one charge of indecent clothing. According to Chief Director of Police, Lee Dae Min, he was "not wearing red to a Korean football game."
An additional charge is pending against Kigens for "not knowing the chants and songs" that everyone was singing around him. Although the chants and rhythms are not taught anywhere in English, it is still expected of all people watching South Korea soccer.
"I don't know what I did wrong," Kigens was quoted as saying. "Everyone around me was wearing red, but I didn't realize I needed to as well. Is that really a law?" Kigens, an English teacher in Korea for a month, had not realized that Koreans only take sports seriously when there's a chance of them winning.
Photo credit: BuzzPlay
With the rise of the beer market in Korea, several well-known brands of foreign beer will soon be appearing in Korean supermarkets. Pabst Blue Ribbon, Natural Light, and Milwaukee's Best have began plans to export their beverages to compete with the Korean beers.
"We had no idea how the survey would turn out, but we knew the results would be interesting."
So says Lee Woo Min, the psychologist behind a study of the locks around N Seoul Tower. A popular tourist destination in Seoul, literally thousands of Korean couples have attached a lock to part of the tower's fences to 'lock' their love in place. Lee's study, funded by the Ministry for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs, was conducted in an attempt to find out what happened to the couples behind the locks. Although many couples write their initials on the lock itself, it was a daunting task to find these couples.
"After a number of calls and e-mails, we've decided to offer bonus points for getting a residency-based visa", an official from Korean Immigration said.
The F-2-S visa offers foreign workers in Korea the chance to become a Korean resident - if you gather enough points. The system offers points for education, income, Korean language ability, and so on. Unfortunately, even long-term English teachers with Master's degrees and advanced Korean language skills don't have the points necessary to qualify for the visa. This announcement includes the possibility for bonus points - the list includes the following:
It looks like English teachers may have a shot after all. A recent announcement by Immigration offers a number of bonus points for 'cultural-based activities' - things that Koreans do that should also be done by foreign residents.
"Of course we're a school," Kim Jun Hwa, the founder of English Power Worldwide (EPW) Academy. "EPW was founded on providing exactly what the parents want - nothing more, nothing less. In fact, another meaning of EPW is Everything Parents Want. If they want it, we do it."
The popular hagwon chain currently has 191 branches open across Korea, with 129 of them across Seoul. "We've initiated a plan to have 1,000 branches open by the beginning of 2012. So what if the Mayans think it's the end of the world? Our world is just starting," says Kim.
Much like other hagwon, or private schooling, the academies offer a variety of classes, but the main focus is on learning English and using it in daily conversation. To that end, EPW has developed an unusual schedule.
It sounds like a parents dream: a chain of hagwon deeply interested in everything parents want.
UPDATED 22 Feb 2010 - don't panic, but the satire may actually come true in this case. This Chosun Ilbo story suggests bilingual education starts in the womb. From the real news story:
"They've been two of my best customers for months," the coffeeshop manager said. "When ten police officers stormed through the front doors I assumed they got a tip about a murderer or rapist. Instead, they just wanted this guy."
The student, a 23-year-old Korean woman, was shocked. "I had no idea he was wanted for... what was he wanted for again? Teaching private lessons? Oh...", as she trailed off and snuck out the back door.
Following a tip from an anonymous citizen, police arrested an unnamed foreign English teacher in the Gangnam area coffeeshop, sitting next to a Korean woman. The teacher and student were spotted in a local coffeeshop with a notebook and electronic dictionary on the table. "We're not precisely sure if there was actually any teaching going on, or if it was just a date," one Seoul police officer stated. "Whatever it was, it sure looked like teaching to me. It had to be stopped."
Source: Reach to Teach Recruiting
Back in December, the Korean government indicated
it may require foreign English teachers to take cultural lessons before beginning their teaching careers here. After careful consideration of which cultural elements to include in the curriculum, the following statement has been released by the National Institute for International Education (NIIED):
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - In a press conference yesterday, Ewha Womans University has announced a lawsuit filed against 'Avatar' producer James Cameron. They claim that the name of the goddess 'Eywa' was inspired by their school, and that the pronunciation is essentially the same.
Dokdo is Ours
(two excellent satirical websites on Korea), you may have heard of The Geureat Kechupi ploject
- otherwise known affectionately as the 'Great Gatsby Project'. If you live in Korea or have been to Korea, you may known how poorly some signs are written, or how badly English is used in the country. This project has a little bit of fun with it.
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