Filipina English teachers tell of discrimination
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Filipina English teachers tell of discrimination

The writer of this article took time to ask Filipina ESL teachers what they dislike about the Korean scene.

Hat tip to Gusts of Popular Feeling.

Children’s  English hagwons are now using English instructors from The Philippines to offer high-quality English education. Because The Philippines is an English-speakign country like the UK and USA, many people there can speak English well. Their ability is being recognized and they are working as English instructors in hagwons.

Because of past problems in English education these teachers were given an opportunity, but the teachers say they face several problems. At the occasional parent-teacher meetings, they said, the parents mainly ignore them, preferring to be near the American instructors. People in our country, they said, seem to prefer white people and discriminate against south Asians.

They also said it was difficult to adapt to Korean life in the beginning. One was harangued by a neighbor who didn’t like the strange smell of the Filipino food she made in her apartment when pregnant, and when she went to the supermarket the clerks stared at her and, invariably, spoke to her in rude language (banmal).

Hagwon instructors are mainly Americans, Australians, and Canadians, but some of them are unqualified, they said. Even so, Koreans not infrequently tend to give preferential treatment to white people and particularly Americans, they said. Hagwon owners were doubtful of them in the beginning and would only hire them if they could speak as fluently as white people.

We should reflect on our tendency to ignore certain countries and think too highly of others.