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There's also a free PDF version of this lesson, with extra information and examples, on the YouTube PDFs page (link at top).
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I owe you the story of yesterday's dinner, we went out to have dinner with my sis' boss and his guest; a German girl who thought Korean things in German where better than in Korea, we went to have Vietnamese Shabu shabu, for me, it was my 1st Vietnamese style shabu shabu, luckily for us, they were playing a video with the instructions on how to eat it -lol-, the food was good, I liked Vietnamese style, they had 3 kinds on sauces and they were all spicy, my sis' boss was only focused on eating while the German girl was focused on how bad was I doing my summer rolls....I swear, she was also focused on how in Germany things are different, the kimchi is better, the korean everything is better.... to be honest, I can't deal with that kind of people, they annoy the F-out of me, you can't go to another country to learn about their culture and critize everything because in your town's K-town things are different, plus, she kept telling me "I know what you are doing wrong with your roll...want me to tell you?"....hmm... excuse me, DID I ask you??, ugh, I love food and I know sometims there's a way to eat it, but well.. as long as you enjoy it,,,, fuck everything else.... lol ---sorry!!!, just thinking about her upset me again-.
Today (or yesterday?...friday!), was a good day, I got to teach some classes, talk to my boss, sign up to Volunteer next week and then we (me and my sis) were supossed to meet some girl-friends for a night out, we wanted to go to a bar and just meet new people, our friend ditched us, but we decided to stick to the plan, we had a kebab in Itaewon and then moved to a bar, we decided to go to Seoul Pub because my sister wanted to mingle with other foreigners (that's a first), she thought it would be better to find another place but we've been to that bad before and we knew there were foreigner, plus, it's not very expensive and it's close to the subway lol... 3 minutes after walking to the bar and talking to the owner who wouldn't sell us some beer because my sis' didn't have an ID, she found a pic of her passport and we were allowed to drink, as soon as they brought the 1st pitcher, a guy came to us, he seemed nice and spoke spanish, then his 2 other friends came and we ended up having a nice chat and meeting new people, I like meeting new people because is always nice to make new friends, but I hate it when they tell you "I'm not trying to pick you up" when they clearly are doing so....
Aaaaaaaanyway, it was a crazy week, this weekend we have 2 weddings to attend, 1 of them is outside of Seoul so, we will be doing some traveling, next week we are volunteering and i'll try to sneak into 2NE1's afterpary -lol- and the 2nd week of march we are going back to Osaka, so, looks like we are having some crazy weeks ahead and I'll be blogging about it...
For now, I think that's it....
Did I mention last night I dreamed about G-dragon being my best friend???, I should stop listening to his music lmao.
Lets Speaking Engrish
I don’t quite know why I enjoy bad English written on important looking signs so much. Perhaps it’s the awkward placement of the words, the total disregard of grammatical structures, or maybe I’m just a thoroughly immature wanker. Hmm. Well, anyways… Plastered all over this page are a few badly taken shots of the Engrish I’ve encountered over the years. Please to enjoy:
A disclaimer for the humourless: I know, I know. For a common denominator, Engrish ranks pretty low. And my Chinese, Korean, and Japanese are absolutely nonexistent. I’m no more able to nail up a sign, let alone write a compressible sentence in any language other than English (and if you’ve ever read the site, you might question that ability!). Nevertheless, I can’t help but crack a smile whenever I encounter some Engrish. They’re almost like a play on words. And it’s the words themselves that are the joke, and obviously, not the people that wrote them.
I went to a palace themed coffee shop in Hongdae, Seoul, Korea called 공주가 사는 궁전같은 카페 (“Where a princess should live”). The coffee shop has individual tables sort of hidden away, mostly meant for couples, but I saw a few groups of females there as well. Drinks are a bit expensive (e.g. lattes 8,000₩ and cocktails 9,000₩) but aesthetically pleasing.
I like themed cafes. I think they’re fun when meeting people. It serves as a conversation starter, and it’s also a good place to explore (or take selcas, as the Koreans often do). This isn’t the sort of place you go to by yourself. There is a smoking section, but it doesn’t smell bad in the non-smoking area.
Address: 364-1 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Phone number: 02-3143-1536
About the girl
Thank you so much for visiting and reading.
I know it doesn’t help in making this article any more credible, but I would like to start by pointing out one fact: I am a finicky person! I am hard to please in certain arenas, and as a result, I have flipped from one work place to the next in a scatter-gun fashion. This kind of behaviour is commonplace in the context of ESL teaching in South Korea, and I find that the “business” of education that I feel so passionate about is in a desperate state of affairs. Maintaining my zeal and passion is difficult at times, and this is the most feasible excuse I can muster, for someone who has stuck with her feeble career in the same industry for a couple of years now…
In Korea, we have long surpassed the moment in which teaching and learning itself was manipulated into a business model, as with anything else in this capitalist society. I wonder sometimes where I can find those teachers with untainted enthusiasm and in turn, a willingness to feed the curiosity of students. In the same fashion: how on earth can we find the students who are eager to learn for the sake of learning? This is extremely difficult in this Korean age, an age in which people believe wholeheartedly that proficiency test scores and certification degrees somehow equate to knowledge. Quite frankly, they do not!
Education. I know it sounds cheesy, but some of the lectures I have seen over the internet or been to in person (with regards to education), have made my heart flutter, my eyes tear up, and my head nauseous. All of a sudden I have been enthused with a sense of passion and determination. The sheer realization that education has so much to offer the underprivileged, to those less fortunate, to the miserable, and yet, the helping hand remains tightly cramped into a very dirty pocket.
I was not cut out for the teaching profession, I can say this for sure, and even now I am skeptical as to whether my classroom techniques are good enough. Nevertheless, my decision to take up this trade, in this educational setting, has got me this far down the road in terms of financial security and personal interest in linguistics.
So here I am, still having faith in the power of learning, rather naively. I have to say though, that the career I have built so far has proven to be quite contradictory to my ideals. Let me be blunt: English teaching in Korea in general, is not teaching. It should be categorized separately and thus dealt with in a cautious and precise manner. If real teaching were to take place in this country, from my experience, it would be met with antagonistic complaints from mums and the students. These people are the ultimate customers after all. In this arena, three types of teaching exist:
a. Teaching English in Korean (focusing primarily on school grammar – drilling the test skills and instilling them into a student’s brain, and hence guaranteeing the attainment of high marks on the exam. This means that he or she can apply to a better school than his or her neighbour. That folks, is the meaning of life here in South Korea.
b. Teaching English in English by a Native Speaker or by a so-called gyopo.
c. Teaching English in both languages (which can wind up being somewhat haphazard when misguided by the principal of the school).
At first, the English teaching industry sprung out of a need to boost the students’ exam grades. Later on, this was combined with a national desire to shorten global communication barriers, and therefore resulting in a hatchet job of trials and errors. Whatever the case may be, one ambiguous question prevails: why can Koreans still not speak English!
Why can’t they, when they pour an infinite amount of dollars into this business and draw in tremendous amounts of English speakers into the market? Why can’t they, when they pump the vocabulary books for days and days on end and attain high test scores? ESL in Korea is a genuinely lucrative business and that cannot be disputed. In actual fact: it is one of the most popular business platforms in the land, a land in which you can pretty much get paid as much as you want depending on your qualifications. It’s time to face the facts, education in Korea has been raped of its original purpose and spirit. I have to ask the question, where is the customer satisfaction and where is the end result? I am sure that any native teacher who has taught in my country could not have helped but notice the amount of youngsters suffering at the hands of this system. So, all in all, the customers are facing severe psychological pain for a particularly expensive service. What the hell is this, masochism?
I have seen students pushed to the brink of insanity, literally, writhing in class, shaking their feet or hands uncontrollably at times. There is a mental disorder that is airborne here in Korea, and the root cause is English language acquisition. It would be classified as a psychological disorder, but then again: my country does not even recognize those does it?
The only hope is for those investors in this industry to relinquish their privileges and take a time out in the corner to think deeply about the future of this next generation. We can only hope.
I have a whole list of resources for you to read through at the bottom of this post, but they are all saying the same thing. They are not really discussing the real problem of the LOR.
Let us get down to some basics:
1. No institution is LEGALLY required to write a LOR.
2. Immigration REQUIRES a LOR for visa transfer to a different sponsor. You obviously don’t need one to get a NEW E-2 (E-1) visa.
I just called Immigration on 1345 (3 * 0) and asked an officer there, under the pretense that I am hiring an E-2 visa holder, but that the other hagwon is not willing to write a LOR unless we “compensate” that school. The answer was, “It is Immigration Law”. I requested from her to tell me which law exactly, which book, which chapter, etc … The officer in question could not answer, even after consulting her colleagues, and requested if she could call me in 30 mins. I always love it when people say it’s the law, but when you ask which one, where is it written down, when was it ratified, a lot of people realize they have no basis for the information they spread.
My contention is that it violates The Korean Constitution, Chapter 2 Article 12 (1), which states:
Article 12 [Personal Liberty, Personal Integrity]
(1) All citizens enjoy personal liberty. No person may be arrested, detained, searched, seized, or interrogated except as provided by law. No person may be punished, placed under preventive restrictions, or subject to involuntary labor except as provided by law and through lawful procedures.
I believe that the LOR is a direct violation of this specific part of the Korean constitution.
Let me explain. When you sign a contract, you fall under civil law, which, in case of trouble, needs to be fought in civil court. Civil court is expensive. When you start working for someone, you fall under Labor Law, now labor law falls under criminal court. To start a criminal investigation is for FREE. The visa restrictions fall under Immigration Law, and are at the discretionary power of the Immigration officers.
Immigration referred me then to the following site: http://www.law.go.kr/main.html, too bad it is in Korean. They told me to look at Immigration restrictions, Article 26/2. Isn’t it strange that a law concerning immigration cannot be found in another language.
I called immigration again, and the only answer I get is: “If the person did not finish the contract, he or she needs a LOR to be able to change visa sponsor.” In effect, the teacher, under the discretion of his hagwon owner, cannot just terminate his contract and find new employment, which in effect, is in direct conflict with the Korean Constitution, since you are either forced to finish your contract or have to pay off your hagwon boss to get the LOR. Indentured servitude is still being practiced in South Korea, and supported by Immigration, it seems. I kept asking for anyone to send me an English version of the Immigration restriction article 26/2. After 2 hours of searching, I still don’t have it.
Even 1345 could not give me the clear information, the agent on the phone even had the gall to say “whatever.”, after I thanked her for effort. Which ended in; go to Immigration office (where no one speaks English) and get your information there, which will be exactly the same: ”It’s the Law.” Funk that! What about your constitution! I am not sure what 1345 is supposed to achieve, window dressing?
So people, if ANYONE that reads this can find the English version of Article 26/2 under Immigration restrictions, PLEASE send it to me so we can open up this can of worms.
Well, the reason for us to meet was because he was kind enough to come with me to pick up what would be my new bed, some of you don't know but we only had 1 bed and it was in my sis' room, I was used to sleeping on the floor (I had enough blankets don't worry^^), ever since we flew to Japan, I've been sleeping on the floor (or tatami!) and it was kinda nice since winter is really cold over here, so, sleeping on a toasty floor was nicer that sleeping on a bed.
Anyway, we went to pick the sofa-bed all the way to Sindorim, I was actually worried because we live on the 4th floor and having to bring it upstairs (we have no elevator) seemed complicated, specially because it's been proven that Oppa isn't very...handy -lol-, when we got home we had a bit of a trouble to get it out of the van and Oppa hurt his finger, it was bleeding but him being very Macho wouldn't let me take a look at it, we brought it to the 4th floor very fast, I was amazed it only took like 5 minutes, poor oppa was breathless and I thought he was gonna pass out -again lol-, since he was busy he had to leave right away and I was still deciding if the sofa bed would go to my room, I left it in the living room and later when I came back home that night, I had a nice bed set up in my room (Thanks to my sis!!), I felt awkward and uncomfortable sleeping on my new bed and it was COLDER than sleeping on the floor, the moment I uncovered my arm I got super cold and I woke up a million times u_u
Hopefully tonight I will sleep better, although, I don't know why, tonight is SUPER cold....funny thing is, yesterday my boss offered me another Sofa-bed, should we take it?, in case we have company?? haha.
Today we had dinner with my sis' boss, but, it's late now and I'll leave that story for tomorrow...
This weekend we have 2 weddings and 1 of them is in Sokcho, so, we'll be traveling with Sally and Unnie to my friend's wedding^^