SBS Looks at ESL Teachers

September 7th, 2007 · Foreigners · 6 comments

Via a blog here, we can see some vidcaps of an episode of the SBS show “I Want to Know That”. These were posted on August 19 so they’re not from the most recent flap over marijuana, but you can get the basic gist of these kinds of reports. I’ve put five of the vidcaps here with translation.

Most of the teachers teach too much slang and even when I answered in class… He had schizophrenia so he was in treatment but he was a flight risk. He had a poor credit rating and declared personal bankruptcy. I brought the grammar book and opened it and showed it to him and said, look, you’re wrong and this book is right.

This man complains about the racial discrimination of hagwons seeking only to hire white people.

Here the broadcast accuses the government of knowing all about these problems but doing nothing about them, and says that foreigners often have sex with two or three new women every week, at least 50 per year. We also get a look at an excerpt from the phrase book “Making Out in Korean” (which I purchased at the Bandi & Luni’s in Jongno).

Continuing in that vein we get some kind of advice for foreigners but obviously not written by an English speaker. The second panel says foreigners try to molest little girls by offering them food and alcohol. The bottom two appear to be an interview with a foreign instructor at a university in Suwon, and he says before that he worked in a recycling plant.

The guy being interviewed lying down says that he’d like to be a teacher in Canada but that he has no qualifications, which are required in Canada.

Several other teachers agreed to be interviewed for this report and I wouldn’t mind slapping them upside the head.


  • I would say that a slice and dice editing job is more to blame than the teachers being interviewed, knowing Korean media and their penchant for spin. The truth is boring and doesn’t generate much ad revenue.

    I’d like to see an expose on Korean media and how they sell out and spin, just to vie for those ad contracts. “Well, as you know, real estate in Korea is bery, bery expensive. And my childrens private tuition is bery, bery, expensive. Living in Korea is bery hard. I’m so hard. So we have to sometimes make a little extra spin on the story, to make sure we have advertising and we have jobs. As for the comments about foreigners sleeping with 3 new girls a week, I admit that was an in-joke that me and Korean co-workers made up, while we are at a room salon on Monday night. Oops, I mean, the anma we went to on Tuesday. Wait, a minute. I’ve lost track of days. I was at the barber shop on Tuesday night, so that means the anma must have been on….hmmm”

    Galbijim · September 7th, 2007 at 12:13 PM

  • The “Making Out in Korean” books are not only in Korean. It’s a tongue-in-cheek series done in different languages.

    Also, a person’s previous jobs are usually irrelevant, as long as they can teach. Some of the best and hardest teachers I’ve had did strange jobs before they got their teaching gigs. One was a dolphin trainer.

    And OMG, who the hell is trying to seduce little girls? And who is having sex with 50 women a year? And who are these women?

    There are a lot of weird wayguks here, but please back up these accusations, SBS.

    ZenKimchi · September 7th, 2007 at 12:17 PM

  • Oh yeah, and at least we don’t sleep with fucking dolls.

    Galbijim · September 7th, 2007 at 12:17 PM

  • Ah, that’s a classic episode. It took me a second to be sure, but the top-right photo here confirmed it – it’s the February 19, 2005 episode which came out in the wake of the English Spectrum uproar. It begins by re-enacting selections from this, which was posted at and goes from there – very responsible journalism. A report from that time about the show is here.

    Now that I’m thinking about it, if I find time this weekend I’ll post it on youtube.

    bulgasari · September 8th, 2007 at 2:16 AM

  • Whoops – “re-enacting selections from this.”

    bulgasari · September 8th, 2007 at 2:19 AM

  • I can’t believe that book teaches them the secret phrases of ‘turn off the lights’ and ‘don’t be shy’. I’m just glad they didn’t teach them how to say ‘make yourself comfortable’ or the users of the book would have been simply unstoppable.

    Mithridates · September 8th, 2007 at 1:36 PM

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