Occidentalism
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A Novel Marketing Technique

December 14th, 2006 . by Gerry-Bevers

Many English language institutes in South Korea try to promote their schools by advertising that their staff includes “native English speakers,” but the people at the Jong I Jo Language Institute are using a different approach. They promote themselves by advertising that they do not hire “Native Speakers.” If you are wondering how that could promote their school, then read their ad, which I have posted below, together with my translation:

 

The reasons Native Speakers are not hired:

  1. Most are only short-term visitors and, therefore, lack a sense of responsibility and duty.
  2. They have no concept of teaching and, therefore, have absolutely no sense of duty or professionalism.
  3. They are untrained in education.
  4. They are absolutely not high-quality personnel (most graduate from no-name technical schools and 2-year colleges.
  5. It is impossible to check what kinds of people they are or what their characters are (ex. drug user, homosexual, convict, AIDS patient, sex offender).
  6. They only just barely teach their classes and do not invest any time in managing students.
  7. They have no burning passion for the students.
  8. They do not agonize at all over improving the student’s skills.
  9. Legitimate native speakers are rare.
  10. It is impossible for parents to easily consult with them anytime they want.

* I want to specify that the above applies to only some foreigners.

I would just like to point out that many of the things mentioned can also apply to Korean teachers. Why not just say that your school hires teachers who are trained, professional, concerned, and dedicated, and are people who are not drug addicts, homosexuals, convicts, AIDS carriers, or sex offenders?


16 Responses to “A Novel Marketing Technique”

  1. comment number 1 by: hls

    Just another case of ethnocentrim and zenophobia by Koreans…
    It is so often found that Koreans blame others for whatever is not favorable to them. Where there is no self-criticism there is no progress; an advice from my college day professor.

  2. comment number 2 by: Matt

    Gerry, I think that 三물다 is just a blurred version of 드물다.

  3. comment number 3 by: Gerry-Bevers

    You’re right, Matt. The original says 드물다. When I translated it, I was looking at my copied version, in which the letters were blurred. I have removed that comment in the post.

  4. comment number 4 by: Darin

    While I can understand the point they are trying to make (just because someone is a native speaker, it doesn’t mean they are qualified as a teacher), the execution didn’t go well at all now did it. They would have been better off to say that “we don’t just hire any random white guy off the street, we take pride in hiring the best of staff for all position, from instructors to the front desk.”

    I know of one company in Japan that makes an effort to hire non-native speakers (who of course speak at a native level) because they believe that since the majority of people in the world who speak English are themselves not native speakers, chances are you’re going to speak to non-native speakers frequently, so it will be important to be able to understand what people are saying regardless of their accent.

  5. comment number 5 by: seouldout

    If deciphering tricky accents is the goal then only drunken Scotsmen should be hired. Figure out what they’re saying and you’ve got all the other accents covered.

  6. comment number 6 by: Travolta

    * I want to specify that the above applies to only some foreigners.

    How many Korean parents will read that and then think “Oh OK. I thought all foreigners were like that but this clearly states that only some are.” The message here is “Foreigners are bad, they could have AIDS or take drugs or even be GAY!!”. That is the only part which most people will pick up from this crap.

    Some might point out that the things in the ad are often true.
    What if an American company had this as part of an ad:

    We don’t hire Koreans because:

    They might be gay, take drugs or have AIDS.
    They like to eat kimchi which is very smelly.
    Most of them like to drink very heavily.
    Many Koreans eat dogs.
    Korean university students generally mess around and drink very heavily so a Korean university degree holds little water and no Korean university ranks in the top 100 in the world.
    The vast majority of Koreans can’t speak English for shit.

    That’s all true right?
    This hagwon is spreading straight up racism any way you look at it. I taught in Korea for a few years in a few different places. While i would say most foreigners I met there are fuck-ups personality-wise the majority also liked their kids and tried to do a good job. There are a lot of stories about how this and that foreigner did some messed up jive but overall I would say it’s a case of a few making the rest look worse (even worse?).

    If bosses took a few hours of their precious time to really interview foreigners, check them out, ask about their references, check the validity of their degree (hiring someone to teach off a 2 year technical college degree is fucking illegal dip shits, thats on you) then the vast majority of problems with native teachers would end. If someone hires a moron for their business because they’re too lazy to check out said moron first when they know there are a lot of frauds out there they ultimately only have themselves to blame.

    I don’t really care if hagwons hire foreigners or not, its up to them. But stating the reasons as this racist xenophobic shit it just wrong.

  7. comment number 7 by: kojibomb

    although these reasons are offensive to native English speakers, some of them are very true. Korea/Japan very different. In Japan, foreigners get their background/resume checked before they can even apply to get a job, but in SK, they can just directly apply. Problem is that many of them write bs down on their resume but Hagwons have no way to check them so…

    but you guys must agree about…

    It is impossible to check what kinds of people they are or what their characters are (ex. drug user, homosexual, convict, AIDS patient, sex offender).

    one about using drugs though…

    In Korea,, even smoking marijuana is like… a big problem when in US or Canada, no one really cares. Actually, most people probably tried it. When foreigners have nothing to do in Korea, they start smoking cheap pot from China and start partying becoming sex maniacs watever. This actually happened to a friend of mine lol… so I think many foreigners in SK is like this.

    Although its very racist, some are very true. If they can get a job in their country, why do they go all the way to SK to get a job? Most of these people can’t… why? obvious

  8. comment number 8 by: ponta

    Although its very racist, some are very true. If they can get a job in their country, why do they go all the way to SK to get a job? Most of these people can’t… why? obvious

    No objection? anybody?

  9. comment number 9 by: Matt

    Although its very racist, some are very true. If they can get a job in their country, why do they go all the way to SK to get a job? Most of these people can’t… why? obvious

    The metropolitician gives a good answer to that here.

  10. comment number 10 by: GarlicBreath

    In Korea,, even smoking marijuana is like… a big problem

    By big problem, do you mean a big social problem or against the law? Its against the law but clearly not a social problem.

    when in US or Canada, no one really cares.

    Ok, then go sell it. Go smoke dope in a bar. Go ahead. I think you will be arristed in 20 minutes and your dorm room will be searched. Pot is not legal in the USA or Canada.

    Actually, most people probably tried it.

    And what is your point? You mean most American or Canadian people? If that is true, then why do you say the following?

    When foreigners have nothing to do in Korea, they start smoking cheap pot from China and start partying becoming sex maniacs watever

    .

    ahhh… here is the Korean. If what you said earlier is true, the Americans and Canadians are dope smoking sex maniacs???? North America is the envy of Korea ( where Korean people pay 10,000 Canadian dollars for immigration packets to live in the wild Canadian tundra). Sex maniacs?

    Thie whole dope smoking =sex maniac went out with the 50s. But not for anti-american/ Canadian, koreans like you .
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Killerdrug.jpg

    This actually happened to a friend of mine lol… so I think many foreigners in SK is like this

    .

    I have no doubt your Korean friends have sexual problems, or rape women, but this does not mean that Americans or Canadians are that wa becaue of pot. If he blames his sexual problems on pot, you should think twice about his character.

  11. comment number 11 by: ponta

    kojibomb
    I think as a whole you are very balanced, but it is just that the statement could be insulting to those who came to Korea to teach English.

  12. comment number 12 by: kyopou.s.

    the problem with koreans are they don’t know what a multi-cultural society or what a melting pot is. koreans only think that white people speak real or native english. there are so many asian-americans that want to go to korea to help korea and enjoy a good experience korea, but korean hawgwons are too closed minded and narrow minded that they always reject asian-americans. korean hawgwons would rather hire white people who are high school dropouts instead. asian-americans are AMERICAN. meaning born, raised, and educated in North America. It means that Asia-Americans speak NATIVE ENGLISH. even a kyopo from U.S.A. wrote a letter to the korea herald how racist koreans are to their own ethnicity. go to this website.
    http://www.koreaherald.co.kr/SITE/data/html_dir/2006/12/06/200612060011.asp

  13. comment number 13 by: dogbert

    http://www.koreaherald.co.kr/SITE/data/html_dir/2006/

    LOL…Das Leiden des jungen Kyopos

  14. comment number 14 by: hardyandtiny

    I’m a drug user.

  15. comment number 15 by: kojibomb

    Garlicbreath:
    i m not sure about native koreans… but surely Koreans who recently come to US or Canada do not smoke weed. They get scared for some reason… so I guess it is big social problem and against the law.

    In US/Canada, it is against the law and police will arrest you if you
    1 sell them
    2 grow them
    but if you smoke them… they usually don’t care.
    Socially also… almost no caucasians say ” oooo you can’t do that that’s wrong!” it would be more like ” oooo lets blaze”
    If I offended any caucasians here… I m sorry but I guess I can’t really compare Koreans and Caucasians since I know many different kinds of Caucasians but just like my Korean part of my family and some of my friends from highschool/uni etc. I did not intend to say ‘all’ though…

    I thought I said… most Canadians/Americans who go to Korea to teach are like that since just like what I said… I have a friend. He is so bored that his behaviour way worse in Korea.
    I was just talking about the English teachers in Korea…

    +++ about all the sex maniac thing I said becoming
    Garlicbreath, you always try to accuse of me of being a liar/a racist asshole lol

    I did not mention anything abouut Korean man being sex addict etc because that was out of topic. Korean parents get scared since drug is considered to be really bad in SK including my mom. actually all asians
    . I know Koreans also hav a lot of problems but I thought it would be irrelevant mentioning them here.

    I m sorry to all the passionate English teachers who actually went to Korea to teach.

    I was too busy working?! to reply… got a sweet job at a local mountain as part time instructor hehe. my whole body ache from snowboarding right now.

  16. comment number 16 by: tbag

    Kojibomb,
    You say that it seems like garlicbreath is always accusing you of being racist, the fact is, you obviously are racist if you making a generalized opinion of all English teachers. You are actually defending this schools outrageous advertisement, I just don’t see any merit behind your defense, you say

    but you guys must agree about…

    It is impossible to check what kinds of people they are or what their characters are (ex. drug user, homosexual, convict, AIDS patient, sex offender).

    and then you go on to say that English teachers get bored and start smoking weed and become “sex manics whatever”

    first of all, weed does not make you become a sex maniac, for many people it actually makes them much lazier

    second, you are right that smoking weed is not as big a deal in Canada or America, in Canada its actually decriminalized, and used by many to help treat health problems, but that by no means, means that MOST have tried it.

    regardless im getting away from my point here,
    my point is that just because weed is more available in Canada or America does not mean that the English teachers in Korea are drug addicts. First of all, because in order to be an addict you must be addicted to something, and weed is not addictive. Second, even if the English teacher applying for a job has smoked weed, it does not make them any less of a teacher. And third, if it is so illegal in Korea, how would they be getting it here anyway.

    and it is not impossible to check what kinds of people we are, an employer has every right to check references and thoroughly interview a potential employee, most are just to lazy to do so, my last boss didnt even speak to me or interview me before i was hired, but instead, simply had the leaving teacher find my resume on a web site, send me an email with a job offer and a plane ticket.

    Simply put, the schools advertisement is not just offensive, its racist, and so are you for supporting them.
    Smoking weed is not a social problem, if it was, it would have never been decriminalized or perscribed to patients for medial treatment
    A social problem is something that causes conflict withing a society, such as racism.

    and if anything in this country causes the English teachers to start acting a lil crazy, its most likely not weed(that seems impossible to get) but maybe SOJU, that is usually introduced to us by our directors, who want us to spend an entire night with them doing shots.