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  • Cyanea
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1368

    • September 04, 2016, 01:48:24 pm
    • Las Vegas
Low birthrate threatens foreign teacher jobs.
« on: August 21, 2017, 10:16:59 pm »
Elementary / Hogwon jobs are vanishing.

Unless there is a sudden boom in adult ESL.. then Korea will become unviable for most of us in the years to come.

How much longer do we have left?

Quote
Low birthrate threatens teaching Jobs in Korea

For aspiring elementary school teachers, this is bad news. Many people preparing for education careers have expressed worry and anger

Korea’s shrinking birthrate, which has been below 1.5 over the past two decades, is a threat not just to workers in elementary schools but also to those in all schools, including universities.

http://m.koreatimes.co.kr/phone/news/view.jsp?req_newsidx=234128
Catch my drift?


  • gogators!
  • Waygook Lord

    • 6507

    • March 16, 2016, 04:35:48 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Low birthrate threatens foreign teacher jobs.
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2017, 09:04:12 am »
Tide and time wait for no man.


  • Moonlight03
  • Explorer

    • 7

    • June 06, 2017, 01:27:38 pm
    • Gyeonggi, South Korea
Re: Low birthrate threatens foreign teacher jobs.
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2017, 09:09:34 am »
They are not completely vanishing. I see the same amount of ads for jobs in hagwons as I did last year. This is the slow time of year, wait till March or February. You will see more job. While the birth rate does affect us, I think eventually something will be done in terms of helping to increase it. Maybe they will listen to the mothers instead of implementing plans without doing a study group like they have done in the past. We shall see.


  • maximmm
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1447

    • September 05, 2013, 11:02:44 am
Re: Low birthrate threatens foreign teacher jobs.
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2017, 09:24:03 am »
Yeah, I don't think THAT is what's threatening foreign teacher jobs. 
The gov. can cut all our jobs to nil anytime it wants regardless of how high or how low the birthrate may be. 

It's interesting - I've traveled all around Asia and I've noticed that Koreans have become big tourists all over Asia.  One common complaint that I get from the locals is that Koreans can't speak English. 

Not long ago, I've met one of my top students who is now in the middle school.  That student can now barely string two English words together.  Basically, everything that we teach in the elementary school gets COMPLETELY undone in the middle/high school and when they travel abroad, they turn into the typical 'Me, no English!' tourists.

Who gets blamed for that?  We do and whose jobs are being cut?  Ours.  It's funny how that works. 


  • Moonlight03
  • Explorer

    • 7

    • June 06, 2017, 01:27:38 pm
    • Gyeonggi, South Korea
Re: Low birthrate threatens foreign teacher jobs.
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2017, 09:31:05 am »
If they only let us teach the way English should be taught, as a second language, instead of as a foreign language. They would possibly retain more. Also if 학원s would stop applying their own curriculum...which honestly was probably strung together by an unqualified native English speaker, it would be much better to ask an actual person who has a degree in education or even research themselves. That's too much work though. I have a masters of education in TESOL, but it doesn't matter to some people because I'm not Korean. One of my co-teachers was grossly unqualified, but because she was Korean she got the reigns, and they wondered why her class didn't succeed.


Re: Low birthrate threatens foreign teacher jobs.
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2017, 08:37:53 am »
Let's hope less and less teachers come over here.  We haven't heard too much about any more foreigner cutbacks beyond what they already are.  Cuts seemed more in the news a few years ago.  Numbers have stabilized?  You see jobs here and on Dave's quite a bit for public?  Much more than before.  Guess numbers going down a bit are no prob if the number of waygook teachers coming to Korea has also dropped.  Many going back home, gone on to China, etc. 

The children are getting pretty good at English.  The next generation may be able to teach English well.  But, I think many kids and parents still want us around.  It's why we are still here.  Politicians are still politicians and will go in whatever direction they think they have to in order to get votes.  Very few of them have a Trump like ability to not care about opinion polls or approval ratings.  Ha ha. 

There'll still be jobs here.  Now raises and inflation might be another factor.  Wages can be had at a higher rate, but we still lose when inflation factored in.  Next decade will prob be another story.  We're not Japan yet; at least not for another few or several years.  When they get rid of housing and all flights as well as outsource the public jobs to scummy dispatch companies, then it's time to get out. 


  • CJ
  • Super Waygook

    • 463

    • November 15, 2010, 08:11:00 am
    • Down south
Re: Low birthrate threatens foreign teacher jobs.
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2017, 09:25:18 am »
Yeah, I don't think THAT is what's threatening foreign teacher jobs. 
The gov. can cut all our jobs to nil anytime it wants regardless of how high or how low the birthrate may be. 

It's interesting - I've traveled all around Asia and I've noticed that Koreans have become big tourists all over Asia.  One common complaint that I get from the locals is that Koreans can't speak English. 

Not long ago, I've met one of my top students who is now in the middle school.  That student can now barely string two English words together.  Basically, everything that we teach in the elementary school gets COMPLETELY undone in the middle/high school and when they travel abroad, they turn into the typical 'Me, no English!' tourists.

Who gets blamed for that?  We do and whose jobs are being cut?  Ours.  It's funny how that works.

Several of the other teachers in my three schools who are in their 20s can speak English so they can easily travel abroad. It's the middle aged and older ones that struggle, hence many go on package tours.

I think if an elementary student supplements their English by learning with a foreign teacher in a hagwon, they might retain their English skills. However, you're correct in saying that middle and high school students' speaking level drops off after elementary school, as speaking pretty much goes to the bottom of their care factor; it isn't  really assessed in any meaningful way apart from basic speaking tests, which are just memorized anyways. The focus becomes memorizing vocab and boring grammar.

I can see Korea going the way of Japan in the future. Both the private and public sector seems to have a salary ceiling of 2.7 which is chump change in Korea these days. It's only the extras that are worth coming here as long as one gets their pension back. A 400k housing allowance doesn't get you much, and that combined with the non-existent salary increases will mean this will always be an entry-level job.

Saying that, the entire industry is stagnant; salaries in the ME aren't so great any longer, and IELTS prep in SE Asia is largely paid by the hour, so people who talk those places up have probably never worked there themselves. I've said it before; Korea is not a bad deal for the tim being.

Bottom line, milk this for all you can and have a plan B and C.


Re: Low birthrate threatens foreign teacher jobs.
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2017, 10:28:53 am »
The writing's been on the wall for years.  Get into a market that is growing.  If you want to stay abroad, I recommend looking into tech (being able to work remotely) or get a teaching license to break into international schools.  There are great jobs out there, you just have to up your game with hard skills and more credentials.  The days of "westerner with a pulse and BA falling into good jobs in Asia" are ending.


  • CJ
  • Super Waygook

    • 463

    • November 15, 2010, 08:11:00 am
    • Down south
Re: Low birthrate threatens foreign teacher jobs.
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2017, 11:51:04 am »
The writing's been on the wall for years.  Get into a market that is growing.  If you want to stay abroad, I recommend looking into tech (being able to work remotely) or get a teaching license to break into international schools.  There are great jobs out there, you just have to up your game with hard skills and more credentials.  The days of "westerner with a pulse and BA falling into good jobs in Asia" are ending.

Yes, I agree.

However, taking a year or more off to study is not really an option for older folk. When one factors in missing a years' worth if salary( if you don't do it online), plus living costs and the cost of the course,, which MIGHT allow one to get a sweet international school job, one has to do some serious number crunching to see if it's worth it. If you're in your 20s to mid 30s, go for it, but, if you're in your 40s, a pen and paper and a calculator is required to see if it's worth it.


  • dandred
  • Super Waygook

    • 281

    • March 28, 2012, 11:24:32 am
    • Bucheon
Re: Low birthrate threatens foreign teacher jobs.
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2017, 10:31:13 am »
My home school has never been busier.

The uni I work for has just opened a second campus and admissions have been increasing for the last three years.

« Last Edit: September 09, 2017, 07:29:39 pm by dandred »
20 years teaching experience. CELTA, DELTA, MA TESOL, PhD slave  / on hold. Thank you.


  • stan rogers
  • Expert Waygook

    • 577

    • August 03, 2015, 04:16:11 am
    • Jeju Island
Re: Low birthrate threatens foreign teacher jobs.
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2017, 11:18:05 am »
There will always be demand for good teachers who are qualified and experienced. Schools that are properly managed with good programs and solid curriculum have nothing to worry about.

Crappy schools will close and crappy teachers will no longer be wanted. The demographic changes are a good thing because it will make it easier to separate the wheat from the chaff.


Re: Low birthrate threatens foreign teacher jobs.
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2017, 09:41:15 pm »
The writing's been on the wall for years.  Get into a market that is growing.  If you want to stay abroad, I recommend looking into tech (being able to work remotely) or get a teaching license to break into international schools.  There are great jobs out there, you just have to up your game with hard skills and more credentials.  The days of "westerner with a pulse and BA falling into good jobs in Asia" are ending.

Yes, I agree.

However, taking a year or more off to study is not really an option for older folk. When one factors in missing a years' worth if salary( if you don't do it online), plus living costs and the cost of the course,, which MIGHT allow one to get a sweet international school job, one has to do some serious number crunching to see if it's worth it. If you're in your 20s to mid 30s, go for it, but, if you're in your 40s, a pen and paper and a calculator is required to see if it's worth it.

The "worth it" factor may have less to do with money and more to do with personal job
satisfaction,  but that is up to each individual to decide.

I've heard of teachers going well past retirement age, not because they needed the money
but because they loved their job.   

To each his/her/ its own I suppose.