Wednesday, 09 January 2008

Number of Native English Teachers Doubled

The number of native English speaking teachers has almost doubled over a year. According to the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development, Tuesday, 3,808 foreign nationals were teaching at elementary and secondary schools across the country as of September, 2007. It marks a nearly double-fold gain from 1,909 in 2006.

Among them, about 1,700 are teachers at elementary schools, some 1,400 at middle schools, and about 650 at high schools.

The ministry wants to hold steady the total number of foreign teachers at schools for the time being. But it will increase the number at middle schools up to 1,850 by the end of the year, further to 2,400 by 2009 and to 2,900 by 2010.

Regional schools had fewer foreign teachers than those in Seoul areas. More than half of schools in Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi Province have secured foreign teachers, while less than 20 percent of schools in North Chungcheong Province and North Gyeongsang Province have them.

US Teachers Biggest Group

By nationalities, teachers from the United States formed the biggest group with 1,602, or 42 percent of the total. Canada came second with 1,150, followed by the United Kingdom with 336, New Zealand with 218, Australia with 207 and South Africa with 166.

In 2006, Canadians formed the biggest group with 737, Americans came next with 684, followed by New Zealand with 140, Australia with 133 and U.K. with 131.

According to the Ministry of Justice, E-2 visas have been issued to 7,022 Americans, 5,319 Canadians, 1,688 British, 683 Australians and 734 New Zealanders.

The statistics show that almost 30 percent of E-2 visa holders from Australia and New Zealand taught at schools while about 23 percent of those in the same category from the United States and Canada did so. The rest are worked at private language schools or other institutes.

"We have not analyzed the trend yet but we assume that teachers from Australia and New Zealand prefer to work at schools rather than private language institutes," ministry official Kim Han-joo said.

Native English speakers who have bachelor degrees can get E-2 visas and education offices in cities and provinces or schools hire them.

By Kang Shin-who
Korea Times Staff Reporter

*This article was copied from the Korea Times website. I copy it in order to add my own formatting and also because it's happened before that I linked to the site only to find that the page moved or removed. For the original page, try this link

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