Kim Jong-il enjoys looking at stuff

March 31st, 2010 · North Korea, Photos · 0 comments

Via Andrew Sullivan, and pivoting off of Obama Looking at Stuff, the world has now produced Kim Jong-il Looking at Stuff.

Filipina English teachers tell of discrimination

March 30th, 2010 · Education and ESL · 0 comments

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.

Face of the Day

March 30th, 2010 · Photos · 0 comments

A diver prepares to go down to search for survivors of the sinking of the Cheonan, the ROK Navy vessel that sank under mysterious circumstances in the West Sea.

Brother of Choi Jin-shil commits suicide

March 30th, 2010 · Accidents, Crimes and Scandals, Entertainment · 0 comments

When he was supposed to be taking care of her children, effectively orphaned by her own suicide a year ago. I don’t foresee the same outpouring of grief for her brother as there was for her. Currently only the Korea Times has the story in English.

UN advising Korea about hagwons

March 30th, 2010 · Education and ESL · 0 comments

Original article.

On March 25 the Ministry of Science, Education, and Technology (교육과학기술부) confirmed that our government has received from the United Nations an advisory to restrict the operation of nighttime classes for children.

According to the Ministry, in October of last year the Constitutional Court approved the restrictions on hagwon operation times recommended at the 55th meeting on November 19, 2009 of the UN’s Economic, Social, and Cultural Management Committee, and our government has been advised to restrict nighttime lessons.

The Ministry accepted the UN advisory and pledged to take active measures at the city and provincial level to restrict nighttime hagwon lessons.

On the same day the Ministry also held a conference at the Cheonan Office of Education attended by hagwon committees from city and provincial offices of education where restrictions on hagwon lessons held after 10pm were considered.

Lesson times are already restricted to 10pm in Seoul, and the Ministry had intended that by the end of this month every city and province would amend their rules, but Busan and other areas which currently allow lessons to continue until 11pm or even midnight will not be making the changes.

At the conference on the same day the Ministry also considered the issues of detecting and handling crimes committed by foreign instructors and the copyrights of school exam questions.

Face of the Day

March 30th, 2010 · Photos · 0 comments

Hyo-ri appears in a promotional photo for her new album, H-Logic. This is one of those moments where you don’t know what to do. I mean, I’m happy, but I’m sad.

See Brian’s blog for the usual entertaining commentary.

Solution to Dokdo at hand?

March 29th, 2010 · Health and Environment · 0 comments

Recently an island, the ownership of which was disputed by Bangladesh and India, was swallowed up by the sea. Since it hasn’t been done already, Page F30 translated the story into Korean.

Face of the Day

March 29th, 2010 · Photos · 0 comments

Asada Mao eyes Kim Yu-na from the winner’s stand after taking gold at the World Championships. Asada put in a flawless version of her long program from the Olympic, while Kim fell during her skate.

Sinking of South Korean ship prompts violence

March 28th, 2010 · Accidents, Crimes and Scandals, North Korea · 0 comments

Family members of sailors killed in the recent sinking of the Cheonan due to causes unknown assaulted the car carrying Lt. Major Choi Won-il, who had been attempting to explain the situation to them. It is unknown whether the sinking was due to North Korean attack.

Most-Read Naver Articles of the Week — March 28, 2010

March 28th, 2010 · Stories of the Day/Week/Year · 0 comments

Top 10 in society.

1. New graduates of four-year universities say the minimum salary they would accept is 2.19 million won per month.

2. An interview with the “iPhone girl” Kim Yeo-hui.

3. An article on disabled people and motorcycles.

4. A high school girl is to be the first Korean – in fact, the first foreigner – to attend medical school at Tokyo University in Japan.

5. An analysis of the KBS drama “Chuno”.

6. A Girls Generation member will attend KAIST.

7. Same as #6.

8. An article about placing restrictions on how late hagwons for young students may stay open. I translated it earlier this week.

9. The Constitutional Court ruled it is not a denial of free speech to arrest protestors for blocking traffic illegally.

10. A whopping 8.5 million Koreans attempted to legally change their names in the past decade.