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The Association for Teachers of English in Korea provides the

following services to the general public, members and non-


members alike:
• Monitoring of proposed legislation and regulations which may affect non-
citizen English teachers in Korea.
• Translation of proposed and existing legislation and regulations (domestic
and international) and analysis of their possible effects on non-citizen English
teachers in Korea.
• Advocacy for English teacher concerns at the national and local levels.
• The English Teacher's Guide to Korea, which will be made available in PDF
for free download from our website (http://atek.or.kr).

ATEK provides the following benefits and services to members:


• Full access to ATEK's Employer Rating System, to make and review ratings.
• Access to the member forums.
• Access to professional development and lesson planning materials.
• Information on how to check to see if your employer is correctly reporting
your income, paying your taxes and making proper deductions from your
pay.
• Copies of labor, tax, pension, and health insurance complaint forms,
translated into Korean, and instructions about how to go about filing a
complaint.
• Local social networks (the Provincial and Metropolitan Associations that send
reps to our national council).
• Access to data from the ATEK Member Survey, which enables ATEK to track
average salaries and weekly hours by region and type of teaching job,
average level of satisfaction with various job types, average length of stay of
foreigners working in Korea, average pay and benefit increases when re-
signing for a second year, and much more. Want to know if your contract
offer is above or below the average salary for someone in your city and
education level? Get access.
• Advisories to the government based on ATEK Member Survey information
on non-citizen English teacher's problems and needs (does one particular city
have a higher rate of teachers reporting pay withholding fraud? That city's
government might want to know that.)
• An online application that translates letters home to parents into Korean, so
that you can communicate with parents and let them know how their child is
doing.
• Representation of member concerns to relevant government agencies and
other groups.
• Responses to media items of interest to non-citizen English teachers.

All these resources are available on our website at


http://atek.or.kr
The English Teacher's
Guide to Korea
Living, Working, and Thriving in Korea Sparkling

By
Tony Hellmann, M.Ed.
Tom Rainey-Smith
Jason Thomas, M.App.Ling.
Matthew Henderson

ATEK

Press
This book was designed and laid out entirely with open source software.
Individual sections copyright © 2009 by the respective authors, all rights reserved, except as
licensed below. Used by permission.
Published by ATEK Press, a division of the Association for Teachers of English in Korea.
Design and composition by Tony Hellmann. Copyedited by Jason Thomas
Cover: Art by Jeffrey Morabito. www.jeffreymorabito.com. Photo by Trey Ratcliff, www.stuckincustoms.com

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative


Works License
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and perform the work.
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author or licensor (but not in any way
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your use of the work).
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for commercial purposes.
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리 목적으로 이용할 수 없습니 No Derivative Works. You may not alter,
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 For any reuse or distribution, you
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license terms of this work. The best
개작, 변형 또는 가공할 수 없
way to do this is with a link to this
습니다. web page.
 Any of the above conditions can be
 귀하는, 이 저작물의 재이용이나 배포의
waived if you get permission from
경우, 이 저작물에 적용된 이용허락조건
the copyright holder.
을 명확하게 나타내어야 합니다.
 저작권자로부터 별도의 허가를 받으면
이러한 조건들은 적용되지 않습니다.
Limit of Liability/Disclaimer of Warranty: While the publisher and authors have used their best
efforts in preparing this book, they make no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or
completeness of the contents of this book and specifically disclaim any implied warranties of merchantability or
fitness for a particular purpose. No warranty may be created or extended by sales representatives or written sales
materials. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation. You should consult with
a professional where appropriate. Neither the publisher nor the authors shall be liable for any loss of profit or any
other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

This book is published in both print and electronic formats.

Printed in the Republic of Korea


10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
This book is dedicated to all the teachers:
those that have come before,
those that have gone on,
and those that remain,
at or far from home.

There is a Korean word, sinparam, that expresses


the pathos, the inner joy, of a person moved to
action not by coercion but by his own volition.
Param is the sound of the wind; if a person is
wafted along on this wind, songs burst from his
lips and his legs dance with joy. A sinparam is a
strange wind that billows in the hearts of people
who have freed themselves from oppression, re-
gained their freedom, and live in a society of mu-
tual trust.
--Cheong Kyeong-mo
FOREWORD
From its quiet beginnings in 1883, when the Korean
government opened up the first English language school
to train interpreters, teaching of English has developed
into a three trillon won a year industry. English
proficiency is required to be competitive in law, finance,
and many other professional fields. An English test is even
an entrance requirement to become a police officer today.
For the first 100 years, the teachers were looked up
to. Many were missionaries who, most Koreans feel, came
to help their forbears in a spirit of self-sacrifice. Later, in
the 1960s and '70s, they were young American Peace
Corps volunteers, many of whom, like the present
American Ambassador to Korea, Kathleen Stephens, went
on to contribute to the country in other ways.
Then, things seemed to get more difficult. I don't
know if this was the start, but I recall a howl or protest
about 25 years ago after a Frenchman wrote an article in
Le Monde, the French daily, describing how he had enjoyed
life in Korea, drinking, seducing women and teaching
language despite being completely unqualified. After this,
people started looking askance at foreign teachers, and the
authorities introduced regulations requiring them,
somewhat unnecessarily as many were just conversation
teachers, to have university degrees. As their image in the
media worsened, additional regulations followed, with the
introduction of fingerprinting for foreign residents (now
repealed, but still favored by some government officials),
and recently, the introduction of drug and HIV tests.
Ever since, it seems, despite their contribution and
the appreciation of colleagues and students, expatriate
teachers of English have had to contend publicly with
unfair accusations about their behavior, often backed with
completely misleading statistics and/or statements
reported in the press. The long-suffering English educator
community took this in stride, and they continued to come
to teach, dutifully meeting the requirements set for them.
However, they lacked a unified voice with which to
appraise the media and government of their needs.
Now, with the formation of their first association, I
sense that this situation is about to turn into something
more appropriate and professional. And, here in your
hands, is the first piece of evidence to support my
assumption. The English Teachers Guide to Korea was
conceived by the founders of the Association for Teachers
of English in Korea (ATEK) to help make the transition
from the normalcy of home to expatriate life a little easier.
And it does a very good job of doing so, with its practical
advice and historical lessons. It's better than anything else
we have produced so far in the expatriate community. But
that, I guess, that's how it should be. The writers are
teachers, after all.
--Michael Breen, author of The Koreans
PREFACE
Looking back on our experiences in Korea, there were
times when all of us lost time, money or sanity because we
were lacking accurate information. How many things have
each of us learned through trial and error? The English
Teacher's Guide to Korea was conceived of to help make
the transition to expatriate life a little easier.
When the ATEK founding directors were deciding
what benefits to offer members when ATEK launched, we
knew that our most valuable asset was information. We
developed concepts for wikis, directories, and this book.
Initially we were only going to offer it to members, but
after some discussion, we realized that holding this
information back from any English teacher just isn't right:
we need to offer something to everyone.
--The Authors
I would like to thank my better half, Wu Junjun, for
being patient and encouraging, even when my duties with
ATEK took me away from her. Ben Wagner, Professor of
Law at Kyung Hee University, very graciously dogged a
Korean prosecutor for a legal citation I needed, and his
tireless work for the rights of expatriates in Korea is
appreciated. I am forever grateful for his support. Alan
Timblick and Simon Hong at the Seoul Global Center have
provided ATEK with top notch business consulting, and
helped to find us the answers which we could not retrieve
on our own; for that I am also grateful. Heekyoung Han at

ix
the Seoul Global Center is chiefly responsible for the joint
ATEK-SGC publishing effort that resulted in 1,000 copies
of this book being made available free to English teachers
in Korea. Most importantly, I'd like to thank the other
authors: Tom, Jason, and Matt, for putting up with my
demands and working so hard on the material they
contributed. It shows, and I could not work with a finer
group of educators. My deepest appreciation and sincerest
thanks goes to them.
--Tony Hellmann
I’d like to thank all those people who encouraged
me to pursue the idea of ATEK, and all those who have
helped me out along the way. Whether it was Mr. Sung
first taking me out to lunch to discuss the idea of setting
up a teachers’ organization, teachers phoning me to talk to
me about the everyday issues they face, our legal counsel
who has encouraged us to pursue this idea in new and
novel ways, my friends at Amnesty International Korea
and G48 who have always provided me with encouraging
words and mental support, or those who worked with us
closely along the way, they all deserve my deepest
gratitude.
I would also like to say that ATEK has been very
fortunate to have some very impassioned and hard-
working people dedicating countless hours and resources
to this guide. Lastly, I’d like to thank my family here in
Korea and back in New Zealand, especially my loving
fiancé who has stood by me, helped with translation work,
withstood my moments of inspiration, and been my pillar

x
of strength and support and my truest confidant.
--Tom Rainey-Smith
My thanks to teachers Kim Seok-cho and Hwang
Hyeon-su for their comments on earlier drafts related to
ELT and co-teaching. Special thanks to every member of
the Korean Teachers Union for their tireless efforts to
change the status quo, and to my ATEK colleagues for the
same.
--Jason Thomas
I'd like to thank my wife for allowing me time away
from her and our baby son while I was writing my
contribution to this book. Thanks also to the Seoul
Metropolitan Government, the Seoul Metropolitan Rapid
Transit Corporation and the Korea Tourism Organization
for their excellent interactive online English language
maps and information systems. Thanks also to The
Yongsan City Government for their excellent handbook, A
Guide for Expats Living in Yongsan which is available for
free in the foyer at the Yongsan-gu office.
--Matt Henderson

xi
Contents
Foreword.......................................................................................................vii
Preface............................................................................................................ix
Introduction.....................................................................................................1
Chapter 1: Korea, Past and Present..............................................................3
Republic of Korea Country Profile.............................................................3
Demographics........................................................................................5
Socio-economic Situation.....................................................................6
Korean History at a Glance.........................................................................7
Korean Culture............................................................................................9
Diet............................................................................................................10
The Experience of Dining...................................................................11
Climate and Geography............................................................................14
Calendar Holidays.....................................................................................16
Other Calendar Celebrations (not holidays)........................................17
A Few Notes on the Korean Language.....................................................17
Romanization of Korean.....................................................................17
Origins of Hangul................................................................................18
Korean Language Today.....................................................................20
Major Differences Between Korean and English................................21
Chapter 2: Understanding the Korean Education System.......................23
A Brief History of Education and the Role of English in Korea..............23
Historical Education............................................................................23
20th Century Education.......................................................................24
English Education from Beginning to Present....................................26
The Korean Education System..................................................................40
Overview.............................................................................................40
Elementary Schools.............................................................................41
Middle Schools....................................................................................42
High Schools.......................................................................................44
Supplementary Test-prep Education...................................................44
Higher Education.................................................................................45
National Administration......................................................................46
Local Administration...........................................................................50
Accountability ....................................................................................50
Evaluation ...........................................................................................51
Teacher Evaluation .............................................................................51
Education System Strengths................................................................52
Education System Areas for Continued Development .......................53
Chapter 3: Obtaining Employment and Moving to Korea.......................57
Visas in Korea...........................................................................................57
Visa Types...........................................................................................57
Who Can Work in Korea?...................................................................57
How to Get a Visa...............................................................................58
Finding the Right Job................................................................................59
Job Types.............................................................................................59
Resumes and Interviews......................................................................61
Chapter 4: At Work......................................................................................69
Introduction to English Language Education in South Korea..................69
Communicating with Students, Coworkers, and Others...........................70
Teaching and Co-teaching...................................................................70
Why We Have Trouble Communicating with Koreans: High Context
and Low Context Sociolinguistic Differences.....................................79
The Korean Learner of English: English-Korean Cross-Linguistic
Challenges.................................................................................................83
Phonological Differences....................................................................83
Communicative Differences: An Example..........................................87
Differential Use of Vocabulary by Language......................................88
Planning Language Lessons......................................................................90
Learning Objectives............................................................................92
Activities.............................................................................................93
Chapter 5: Living as an Instructor in Korea............................................115
Reasons to Register with Your Embassy.................................................115
Alien Registration...................................................................................116
Daily Life................................................................................................117
Waste Disposal..................................................................................117
Paying Bills.......................................................................................121
Housing.............................................................................................122
Relocation Services...........................................................................125
Health Care.............................................................................................126
Overview...........................................................................................126
First Response (Ambulance).............................................................127
Medical Facilities..............................................................................128
Pharmacies........................................................................................128
Specialized Medicine........................................................................128
Services...................................................................................................130
Eye Care and Vision..........................................................................130
Postal.................................................................................................131
Banking and Money..........................................................................132
Mobile phones...................................................................................140
Internet..............................................................................................140
Telephone..........................................................................................141
Public Facilities.......................................................................................142
Public Baths and Toilets....................................................................142
Sports and Recreation.............................................................................143
Traditional Sports..............................................................................143
National Sports Leagues....................................................................144
Stadiums............................................................................................144
Other Public Recreational Facilities..................................................144
Bookstores and Libraries........................................................................144
Bookstores in Korea..........................................................................144
Libraries in Korea..............................................................................145
Korean Language Lessons......................................................................147
Courses..............................................................................................147
Korean Language Providers..............................................................147
Chapter 6: Knowing Your Rights..............................................................154
Legal Problems.......................................................................................154
Overview...........................................................................................154
Traffic Violations...............................................................................154
Non Traffic-related Criminal Charges...............................................154
Civil Action (Lawsuits).....................................................................156
Employer/Employee Disputes...........................................................156
Korean Criminal Law and You...............................................................156
Differences between Korean and Western Criminal Justice Systems
...........................................................................................................158
Legal Procedures...............................................................................161
Selections from the Immigration Control Act.........................................173
Important Articles for Instructors......................................................173
Pay and Deductions.................................................................................175
Taxes..................................................................................................175
Pension and Severance Pay ..............................................................178
Health Insurance................................................................................181
What to Do if You Suspect Withholding Fraud.................................182
Seeking Legal Support............................................................................182
Employment......................................................................................182
Criminal/Civil....................................................................................182
Chapter 7: Travel Inside and Outside of Korea.......................................183
Korean Immigration................................................................................183
Important Introductory Notes............................................................183
Immigration Contact Center..............................................................183
Services.............................................................................................184
Single Re-entry Permit......................................................................187
Multiple Re-entry Permit..................................................................187
Immigration Offices Nationwide.......................................................188
Foreign Embassies..................................................................................191
Australia............................................................................................191
Canada...............................................................................................191
Ireland ...............................................................................................191
New Zealand.....................................................................................192
South Africa.......................................................................................192
United Kingdom................................................................................192
United States of America...................................................................193
Public Transportation..............................................................................194
Intra-City Travel/Commuting............................................................194
Cross-Country (Intercity) Travel.......................................................228
Air and Sea Travel.............................................................................231
Appendices..................................................................................................239
Appendix 1: Survival Phrases for Living and Working in Korea...........239
The Basics.........................................................................................239
Numbers, Counting, and Dates.........................................................240
Emergency Situations........................................................................244
Getting Around..................................................................................246
Consumer Transactions.....................................................................248
On the Phone.....................................................................................262
Expressing Feelings...........................................................................264
Appendix 2: Korean Foods and their Approximate Nutritional Values. .269
Rice Dishes........................................................................................269
Rice Cakes (Ddeok)..........................................................................270
Kimchi...............................................................................................271
Soups.................................................................................................272
Stews.................................................................................................276
Vegetable Dishes...............................................................................278
Greens (Namul).................................................................................279
Tofu (Dubu) Dishes...........................................................................280
Noodles..............................................................................................280
Meat Dishes.......................................................................................281
Korean Barbecue...............................................................................282
Fish and Seafood Dishes...................................................................283
Side Dishes........................................................................................284
Vinegared Sides (Muchim)................................................................286
Dumplings (Mandu)..........................................................................287
Snacks................................................................................................288
Sweets................................................................................................289
Sauces and Condiments.....................................................................290
Beverages..........................................................................................291
Korean-Chinese Dishes.....................................................................292
Appendix 3: Sample Lesson Plan, with All Required Materials............293
Introductory Information...................................................................293
Lesson................................................................................................294
Guided Practice.................................................................................336
Independent Activity.........................................................................341
Feedback............................................................................................345
Closure..............................................................................................347
INTRODUCTION
Living and working in a foreign country where one
doesn't speak the native tongue presents significant
challenges. How does one access services? For that matter,
what services are available, and how do they compare and
contrast with services in one's country of origin? What
does one need to know in order to minimize potential
conflicts in a workplace with a substantially different set
of expectations and social mores? What does one who has
never taught before need to know before they step into an
English classroom as a teacher for the first time? The
questions are both substantial and without end.
This book is designed to help provide answers to
some of these questions, and to report good, accurate
information from reliable sources. Much of the
information in this guide is scattered across the Internet
on websites that cannot verify the truthfulness of
statements contained therein. Other information is
available only in Korean, and has been translated and
presented in this guide. Still other information is original
work written specifically for inclusion in this book. We
hope this guide makes expatriate life a little more
convenient, a little less perplexing, and generally better.
There is something in it for everyone.
Chapter One provides social, political, economic,
cultural, and historical facts about Korea, to give you a
sense of Korea's present situation, and how it has arrived
at it. It also presents some information on Korea's spoken
and written language.
Chapter Two explains the Korean education system,
beginning with a broad history of education in Korea, a
more specific look at the history of English education, and
then a detailed profile of the current Korean education
framework.
Chapter Three covers the visa system for English
teachers (and some others) in Korea and provides a
description of different types of jobs for English teachers.
Finally, an article is presented which provides information
on how to find a job, including what to look for, what to
watch out for, and what particulars you need to know
before signing a contract.
Chapter Four details things one needs to be aware
of when interacting with Koreans (both students and
coworkers) in a work setting. Cultural and communicative
differences are explained. There is an article on working
with a co-teacher which may be of particular interest to
public school teachers. There are resources for those
seeking information on how to actually teach, including
lesson planning, activity preparation, and classroom
management.
Chapter Five introduces a variety of goods,
services, and activities essential to (or convenient for)
daily living. The health care system is covered in greater
detail than most other guides (I interviewed a Korean
doctor for part of it). Transportation is covered in depth as
well.
Chapter Six attempts to explain everything a
foreign resident of Korea needs to know to understand
their rights as residents, as workers, and as immigrants
(whether temporary or otherwise). Criminal and traffic
law are covered in some detail, and civil law is touched
upon as well. Labor standards are also outlined.
Chapter Seven covers travel, detailing immigration
permits and procedures. It also provides information on
airports and airfields around Korea, and foreign
embassies.
Finally, the appendices provide additional
information of use: an extensive list of “survival phrases”
written in English and Korean is available; a great number
of Korean foods are listed, along with their macronutrient
compositions; and a detailed lesson plan is presented.
This guide is a work in progress, with the first
edition is a starting point. Future editions will expand
upon the information presented herein, and provide new
information as well. I and the other authors hope that
some of what we've written is of use to you.
--Tony Hellmann, Editor of the First Edition
The Association for Teachers of English in Korea provides the
following services to the general public, members and non-
members alike:
• Monitoring of proposed legislation and regulations which may affect non-
citizen English teachers in Korea.
• Translation of proposed and existing legislation and regulations (domestic
and international) and analysis of their possible effects on non-citizen English
teachers in Korea.
• Advocacy for English teacher concerns at the national and local levels.
• The English Teacher's Guide to Korea, which will be made available in PDF
for free download from our website (http://atek.or.kr).

ATEK provides the following benefits and services to members:


• Full access to ATEK's Employer Rating System, to make and review ratings.
• Access to the member forums.
• Access to professional development and lesson planning materials.
• Information on how to check to see if your employer is correctly reporting
your income, paying your taxes and making proper deductions from your
pay.
• Copies of labor, tax, pension, and health insurance complaint forms,
translated into Korean, and instructions about how to go about filing a
complaint.
• Local social networks (the Provincial and Metropolitan Associations that send
reps to our national council).
• Access to data from the ATEK Member Survey, which enables ATEK to track
average salaries and weekly hours by region and type of teaching job,
average level of satisfaction with various job types, average length of stay of
foreigners working in Korea, average pay and benefit increases when re-
signing for a second year, and much more. Want to know if your contract
offer is above or below the average salary for someone in your city and
education level? Get access.
• Advisories to the government based on ATEK Member Survey information
on non-citizen English teacher's problems and needs (does one particular city
have a higher rate of teachers reporting pay withholding fraud? That city's
government might want to know that.)
• An online application that translates letters home to parents into Korean, so
that you can communicate with parents and let them know how their child is
doing.
• Representation of member concerns to relevant government agencies and
other groups.
• Responses to media items of interest to non-citizen English teachers.

All these resources are available on our website at


http://atek.or.kr
THE ENGLISH TEACHER'S
GUIDE TO KOREA
Living, Working, and Thriving in Korea Sparkling

By
Tony Hellmann, M.Ed.
Tom Rainey-Smith
Jason Thomas, M.App.Ling.
Matthew Henderson

ATEK

Press
This book was designed and laid out entirely with open source software.
Individual sections copyright © 2009 by the respective authors, all rights reserved,
except as licensed below. Used by permission.
Published by ATEK Press, a division of the Association for Teachers of English in Korea.
Design and composition by Tony Hellmann. Copyedited by Jason Thomas
Cover: Art by Jeffrey Morabito. www.jeffreymorabito.com. Photo by Trey Ratcliff, www.stuckincustoms.com

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative


Works License
저작자표시-비영리-변경금지 2.0 대한민국
이용자는 아래의 조건을 따르는 경우에 You are free:
한하여 자유롭게 :
to Share – to copy, distribute, display,
이 저작물을 복제, 배포, 전송, and perform the work.
전시, 공연 및 방송할 수 있습
Under the following conditions:
니다.
Attribution. You must attribute the
다음과 같은 조건을 따라야 합니다 : work in the manner specified by the
author or licensor (but not in any way
저작자표시. 귀하는 원저작자 that suggests that they endorse you or
를 표시하여야 합니다. your use of the work).

Noncommercial. You may not use this


work for commercial purposes.
비영리. 귀하는 이 저작물을 영
리 목적으로 이용할 수 없습니
No Derivative Works. You may not
다. alter, transform, or build upon this
work.
변경금지. 귀하는 이 저작물을
 For any reuse or distribution, you
개작, 변형 또는 가공할 수 없
must make clear to others the
습니다. license terms of this work. The best
way to do this is with a link to this
 귀하는, 이 저작물의 재이용이나 배포의 web page.
경우, 이 저작물에 적용된 이용허락조건
 Any of the above conditions can be
을 명확하게 나타내어야 합니다.
waived if you get permission from
 저작권자로부터 별도의 허가를 받으면 the copyright holder.
이러한 조건들은 적용되지 않습니다.

Limit of Liability/Disclaimer of Warranty: While the publisher and authors have used their best
efforts in preparing this book, they make no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or
completeness of the contents of this book and specifically disclaim any implied warranties of merchantability or
fitness for a particular purpose. No warranty may be created or extended by sales representatives or written sales
materials. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation. You should consult with
a professional where appropriate. Neither the publisher nor the authors shall be liable for any loss of profit or any
other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

This book is published in both print and electronic formats.


Printed in the Republic of Korea
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
CHAPTER 1: KOREA, PAST AND PRESENT
REPUBLIC OF KOREA COUNTRY PROFILE
• Capital City: Seoul (10.1 million).
• Population: 48.46 million (2007).
• Language: Korean (Written form: Hangul).
• Currency: Won (notes issued in denominations of 1,000, 5,000,
and 10,000 (with a 50,000 won note to be issued in 2009).
• Foreign residents: 1.1 million.
• Tourism: 6,155,000 visitors (2005).
• National flag: Taegukgi (the circle symbolizes the harmony of
yin (blue) and yang (red) and the four trigrams represent
heaven, earth, fire and water).
• National flower: Mugunghwa (Rose of Sharon, blooms July
through October).
• Territory: 99,678km2 (South Korea only, which takes up 45%
of the Korean peninsula and is roughly the same size as
Portugal, Hungary or Iceland). 75% of the territory of Korea is
mountainous and 17,000km is formed by coastline.
• Highest mountain: Halla Mountain (1950m).
• Longest rivers: Nakdong River (521.5km), Han River
(481.7km).
• Major cities: Seoul (10.1 million), Busan (3.5 million), Incheon
(2.6 million), Daegu (2.5 million), Daejeon (1.5 million),
Gwangju (1.4 million), Ulsan (1.1 million).
• Climate: Temperate with four distinct seasons. Spring and fall
are typically short and dry due to a migratory anticyclone
weather pattern, summer is hot and humid (50-60% of the
total rainfall happens during summer), and winter is cold and
dry with snowfall. Average temperature of hottest month
(August): 23 – 26 degrees centigrade. Temperature during
coldest month (January): -6 – -7 degrees centigrade.
• Religion: According to a 2005 census, half the population
actively engages in religious practices. Buddhism (43.0%),
Protestantism (34.5%) and Catholicism (20.6%) are the three
most popular religions.
• Political System: Representative democracy with president
elected to a single 5-year term by direct popular vote. Division
of power among the executive, legislature (unicameral
National Assembly) and judiciary.
• President: Lee Myung-bak (2008).
• Suffrage: Universal at 19 years of age.
• Elections
Presidential: every 5 years.
National Assembly: every 4 years.
Local Councils: every 4 years.

SOURCES
Facts and Figures, Koreanet: The official website of the Republic of
Korea, http://www.korea.net/ (Retrieved 2/12/08)

Explore Korea Through Statistics 2007, Korea National Statistical


Office,
http://www.nso.go.kr/eng2006/emain/2007_explorekorea_e/co
ntent/print.pdf (Retrieved 2/12/08)

DEMOGRAPHICS
The World Health Organization, Regional Office for the Western
Pacific (2006) reports:
The population of the Republic of Korea as of 2006
was 48 297 184, with a density of 485 persons per
square kilometer. Fast population growth was once a
serious social problem in the Republic, as in most oth-
er developing nations. Due to successful family plan-
ning campaigns and changing attitudes, however,
population growth has been curbed remarkably in re-
cent years. The country saw its population grow by
an annual rate of 3% during the 1960s, but growth
slowed to 2% over the next decade. In 2006, the rate
stood at 0.33% and is expected to further decline to
0.01% by 2020.

A notable trend in the population structure is that it is


getting increasingly older. The 2006 population estim-
ate revealed that 9.5% of the total population was 65
years old or over, while the number of people in the
15-64 age group accounted for 71.9%. In the 1960s,
population distribution formed a pyramid shape,
with a high birth rate and relatively short life expect-
ancy. However, age-group distribution is now shaped
more like a bell because of the low birth rate and ex-
tended life expectancy. Youths (15 and younger) will
make up a decreasing portion of the total, while seni-
or citizens (65 and older) will account for some 15.7%
of the total by 2020.

SOCIO-ECONOMIC SITUATION
The Republic of Korea was once of the world's poorest agrarian
societies. In less than forty years, it has dramatically transformed the
economy. An outward-oriented economic development strategy,
which used exports as the engine of growth, contributed greatly to the
radical economic transformation. This is shown through the per capita
Gross National Income (GNI): in 1962 the average worker made US$
87 a year, while in 2005 the average worker made about US$ 16,291.
This amount of success is impressive, considering many other
countries with per capita GNI's similar to South Korea's in 1962 have
been unable to make these kinds of gains.
The World Health Organization, Regional Office for the
Western Pacific (2006) notes that:
The Republic of Korea has developed rapidly since
the 1960s, fueled by high savings and investment
rates and a strong emphasis on education. The nation
became the 29th member country of the Organization
for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
in 1996. With a history as one of the fastest growing
economies in the world, the Republic of Korea is
working to become the focal point of a powerful Asi-
an economic bloc during the 21st century. The North-
east Asian region commands a superior pool of essen-
tial resources that are the necessary ingredients for
economic development. These include a population of
1.5 billion people, abundant natural resources and
large-scale consumer markets.

KOREAN HISTORY AT A GLANCE


Archaeological findings indicate that the Korean Peninsula was
occupied by humans as early in the Lower Paleolithic period.
Korea began with the founding of Joseon (The name Gojoseon
is almost always used for this kingdom to prevent confusion with the
Joseon dynasty founded in 14th century; the prefix Go- means 'old' or
'ancient') in 2333 BC by Dangun, the mythical first King. Gojoseon
expanded until it controlled much of the northern Korean peninsula
and parts of Manchuria. After numerous wars with the Chinese Han
Dynasty, Gojoseon disintegrated, leading to the Proto-Three
Kingdoms of Korea period.
In the early centuries of the Common Era, Buyeo, Okjeo,
Dongye, and the Samhan confederacy occupied the peninsula and
southern Manchuria. Of the various small states, Goguryeo, Baekje,
and Silla grew to control the peninsula as the Three Kingdoms.
The unification of the Three Kingdoms by Silla in 676 led to
the North-South States period, in which the much of the Korean
peninsula was controlled by Unified Silla, while Balhae succeeded the
northern parts of Goguryeo. In Unified Silla, poetry and art was
encouraged, and Buddhist culture flourished. Relationships between
Korea and China remained relatively peaceful during this time.
However, Unified Silla weakened under internal strife, and
surrendered to Goryeo in 935. Balhae, Silla's neighbor to the north,
was formed as a successor state to Goguryeo. During its height,
Balhae controlled most of Manchuria and parts of Russia. It fell to the
Khitan Empire in 926.
After the North-South Period, successor states fought for
control during the Later Three Kingdoms period. The peninsula was
soon united by Wang Geon of Goryeo. Like Silla, Goryeo was a highly
cultural state and created the Jikji in 1377, a book made using the
world's oldest movable metal type.
The Mongol invasions in the 13th century greatly weakened
Goryeo. However, Goryeo continued to rule Korea as a tributary ally
to the Mongols. After the fall of the Mongolian Empire (Yuan
Dynasty), Goryeo continued its rule independently. After severe
political strife and continued invasions, Goryeo was replaced by the
Joseon Dynasty in 1388 following a rebellion by General Yi Seong-gye.
General Yi declared the new name of Korea as Joseon in
reference to Gojoseon, and moved the capital to Seoul. The first 200
years of the Joseon Dynasty was marked by relative peace and saw the
creation of Hangul by King Sejong the Great in the 14 century and the
rise and influence of Confucianism.
In the latter of the 16th century, Joseon was invaded by a
newly unified Japan. During the Japanese invasions of Korea (1592–
1598), centuries of peace had left the dynasty unprepared, and the lack
of technology and poor leadership from the Joseon government and
generals led to the destruction of much of the Korean peninsula.
However, continued Korean dominance at sea led by Admiral Yi Sun-
sin, the rise of local militias, and the intervention of Ming China put
Japan under great pressure to retreat in 1598. Today, Admiral Yi is
celebrated as one of Korea's foremost heroes and his turtle ships, used
with great success against the Japanese, are considered the world's
first ironclad warships, although lack of hard evidence of iron plating
sparks much debate.
During the last years of the Joseon Dynasty, Korea's
isolationist policy earned it the name the "Hermit Kingdom,"
primarily for protection against Western imperialism. In 1897, King
Gojong proclaimed Korea an empire, to reflect that it was no longer
under the protection of the Chinese Qing Dynasty. He oversaw the
partially successful modernization of the military, economy, real
property laws, education system, and various industries, until the
Empire of Korea was annexed by Japan in 1910, beginning a 35-year
period of Japanese rule.
After Japan's defeat in World War II the United States and the
Soviet Union agreed to temporarily occupy the country, with the
Soviet Union in the North, and the United States in the South. The
purpose of this occupation was to establish a Korean provisional
government which would eventually become independent. Though
elections were scheduled, the two superpowers backed different
leaders and two states were effectively established, each of which
claimed sovereignty over the whole Korean peninsula.
The Korean War (1950-1953) left the two Koreas separated by
the DMZ, remaining technically at war through the Cold War to the
present day. North Korea is a communist state, often described as
Stalinist and isolationist. Its economy collapsed in the 1990s. South
Korea went through a succession of dictators (until 1988) and
eventually became a capitalist liberal democracy. It is now one of the
largest economies in the world.

KOREAN CULTURE
Korea has a very diverse and distinct culture. It is important to
familiarize yourself with the customs, belief systems, and values so
that you can better understand the culture and find your own place
within it.
Korea has a long history of isolation and defending itself from
would-be foreign occupiers and is a relatively homogeneous society,
both ethnically and culturally. It is also important to remember that
democracy, which was fought long and hard for through the years of
Japanese occupation and subsequent military dictatorships, is
relatively new (Korea's first democratic election was in 1988) and
highly cherished. Multiculturalism is a relatively new concept, but the
growing number of foreign spouses and foreign workers is having a
large impact.
While Korea holds on to the many aspects of its traditional
culture, younger generations have grown up in a very different
society and are more receptive to social change. While Korea has
undergone huge progress since the days of military dictatorship, there
are many taboos that can prove exclusionary to different subsets of
the population. Gay men and lesbians are not well-accepted, but there
is a strong community that is gaining acceptance. The role of women
has also markedly improved, but there is still much room for
improvement.
Korean culture places much importance on formality and
hierarchy and this is reflected in the language with the careful use of
register when addressing people of different social status or age and
in body language; older people and those of higher social status are
more respected and spoken to in honorific language reflective of their
comparative rank.
Because of the importance of formality, it is important to
identify where a person fits in the social spectrum and what age they
are in order to address them correctly. Therefore it is usual for people
to inquire about your age and background when first getting to know
you.
Taking the time to understand Korean culture will help your
time spent here be much more enjoyable and rewarding. For a deeper
understanding of communicative differences between Koreans and
Westerners, see the sub chapter entitled Communicating with Students,
Coworkers, and Others on page Error: Reference source not found of
this book.

DIET
Koreans were an agricultural people long before their modern
industrious nature was brought forth, and many Korean dishes are as
distinctive as is wider Korean culture. Much of the food enjoyed in
Korea today has stood the test of time and can be traced back to far-off
origins which were in turn informed by Korea’s distinct seasons,
geography and cultural practices. Dining is also an integral part of the
culture as a whole, and the collective experience of sharing food is a
wonderful and informative experience for those new to the country.
The Korean diet consists largely of rice, meat and pickled
vegetables. There are a multitude of flavors and spices used in Korean
cooking and you are sure to find a favorite dish somewhere amongst
them. Red chili is an essential ingredient in many dishes and it may
take some time for your palette to become accustomed to the heat.
That said, there are many non-spicy dishes to whet your appetite.
THE EXPERIENCE OF DINING
Experiencing modern Korean cuisine can be described in the
following ways: many foods have regional differences and long
histories stemming from food prepared for the common people, that
reserved for nobility, or that traditionally served only to royalty; side
dishes are an essential component of Korean cuisine; dining itself is a
communal experience and dining etiquette is based on Confucian
culture; meals are eaten sitting around a low shared table on the floor;
grains such as rice are commonly included in and as an
accompaniment to many dishes; vegetarian dishes are somewhat rare
as meat and seafood are used as stock and key ingredients in most
dishes; and spices, seasoning, strong flavors and distinctive aromas
are key characteristics.
The most famous food is kimchi. The most common variety is
made from pickled cabbage and red chili sauce, but many kinds of
vegetables can be used to make kimchi. Most sauces are made using
seafood. Other popular dishes include bibimbap, a rice-based dish
served with vegetables, a fried egg and red chili paste (it can be made
with or without meat), bulgogi (Korean barbecue), and galbi (ribs).
One of the most popular dishes is a food adapted from the Chinese
called jajangmyeon. Its chief ingredients are black bean sauce and
noodles.
Korean food is served with a multitude of side dishes (usually
including kimchi and pickled radish). These dishes are shared by all
and are replenished for free at restaurants. Much food is thrown out
after meals as it is often nearly impossible to finish everything
available!

VEGETARIAN LIFE IN KOREA


It is important to start with the basics: Korea is by no means an easy
place for a vegetarian to live. The reality is that it can feel like an
almost daily struggle to keep meat in some form or another out of
your diet. The concept is not easily translated or understood, and it is
important to learn some basic expressions to explain your dietary
requirements or choices. That said, with a little knowledge and by
following some basic advice, living as a vegetarian or vegan in Korea
is totally achievable and, with a few adjustments, should not impact
your decision on whether to come to Korea negatively. This author is
vegetarian and has many friends who successfully live as vegetarians
here also. There will undoubtedly be frustrations at first, but these can
easily be incorporated into the experience of cultural adjustment that
everyone must go through – and that doesn’t include changing your
diet!

HOW TO ORDER VEGETARIAN FOOD


There is a range of vegetarian dishes available in Korea (see Food in
Korea for a sample), but there are also many ways that fish or meat
byproducts can be added to food without your knowledge. As the
concept of vegetarianism is not well understood in Korea, it is
important to specify exactly what you can and cannot eat. The best
way to avoid having any unwanted traces of fish or meat in your meal
is to explain that you are allergic to all meats and/or other food items
that you do not eat. It may feel dishonest at first, but it is simply the
safest and best way to ensure that no such food enters you diet.
Some common meals that can be prepared vegetarian include
kimbap, bibimbap, jjolmyeon, bibimguksu, doenjang-jjigae, and sundubu-
jjigae.

WHERE TO EAT VEGETARIAN


Many Korean Buddhists have adopted a vegetarian diet and therefore
Buddhist restaurants often offer a good selection of vegetarian and
vegan food. There are also many buffet restaurants that offer a wide
variety of fresh vegetables and cooked grains. While there are many
various vegetarian restaurants and food retailers around the country,
the best and biggest range is in Seoul due to its size. You can visit the
following websites for more information and links:
http://www.vege.or.kr/ (Hangul only).
http://seoulveggieclub.wordpress.com
http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/FO/FO_EN_6_6.jsp
http://animalrightskorea.org/vegetarianism/vegetarianism-in-
korea.html

TIPS FOR SURVIVAL


• Cook at home more often
• Follow recipes for Korean dishes and substitute tofu for meat
• Familiarize yourself with side dishes as many of these are
vegetarian
• Find a local vegetarian community and become a part of it
• Be very specific when ordering food
• Be tolerant and be prepared to explain that you need an order
to be made again from scratch when dining out
The Seoul Metropolitan government has a great Seoul
restaurant guide online at
http://www.visitseoul.net/jsp/english_new/food/food_main.jsp. See
Appendix Two: Korean Foods and their Nutritional Values on page Error:
Reference source not found for a list of many Korean foods and their
descriptions.

CLIMATE AND GEOGRAPHY


Korea becomes hot and humid in the summer and is cold and dry in
the winter. The four seasons each bring their own conditions with
spring and autumn (fall) typically being shorter than the longer
summer and winter months. Temperatures vary around the country,
and while summer brings the monsoon rains which often lead to
flooding in the southern regions, winter brings snowfall down to sea
level.
Yellow dust blows in from China to the north in the spring
and can make breathing somewhat unpleasant. Air pollution in the
northern, highly-populated cities can also be hazardous, particularly
around Incheon and Seoul.
Surrounded by sea, the peninsula is bordered to the north by
North Korea (itself bordered to the north by China and Russia) with
the West Sea (Yellow Sea) to the west and the East Sea (Sea of Japan)
to the east. Most of the country is covered with mountainous terrain,
and thus hiking is a favorite pastime for people of all ages.
CALENDAR HOLIDAYS
Date Celebration Name Days
off*
Jan 1 New Year’s Day – Sinjeong 신정 1
1st day of the Lunar New Year’s Day – Seollal 설날 3
1st lunar
month
March 1 Independence (Declaration) Day – Samiljeol 1
3-1-절
8th day of the Buddha’s Birthday – Seokgatansinil 1
4th lunar 석가탄신일
month
May 5 Children’s Day – Eorininal 어린이날 1
June 6 Memorial Day – Hyeonchung-il 현충일 1
August 15 Liberation Day – Gwangbokjeol 광복절 1
Literally means “restoration of light”
15th day of Korean Thanksgiving – Chuseok 추석 3
the 8th lunar
month
October 3 National Foundation Day – Gaecheonjeol 1
개천절
December Christmas – Gidoktansinil 기독탄신일 1
25
* Some holidays may fall on the weekend, in which case the number of actual working days off will be reduced. For
example, if Seollal falls on a Sunday, the three days of festivities will be Saturday, Sunday and Monday, so you will
only have one day off work.
OTHER CALENDAR CELEBRATIONS (NOT HOLIDAYS)
Date Celebration Name
July 17 Constitution Day – Jeheonjeol 제헌절

October 1 Armed Forces Day – Gukgunuinal 국군의 날


October 9 Hangul Day – Hangeullal 한글날

A FEW NOTES ON THE KOREAN LANGUAGE


While some scholars have tried to identify a connection between
Korean and Japanese, the Korean language is more often placed in the
Altaic language family alongside Turkic, Mongolic and Tungus-
Manchu languages. Chinese characters (hanja) were used to represent
the language up until the mid-15th century when a native system was
introduced by the monarch King Sejong.
While Korean is perhaps limited in its use as it is not widely
spoken outside of the country, 1 it is very useful to learn some basic
expressions and survival language during your time spent here. It is
also an important part of getting to know and understand the culture.
There are many academies, universities, and community and
government programs set up to teach the language to foreigners
inside Korea. See Appendix One: Survival Phrases for Living and Working
in Korea for phrases one may find useful.

ROMANIZATION OF KOREAN
George M. McCune was a doctoral student at the University of
California-Berkeley who was born in Korea and was a lifelong Korea
scholar. In 1937, Edwin O. Reischauer was on his way to China to
collect information for a paper he was writing in Japan. He stopped in
Korea and was then forced by political events in China to stay in
Korea for a couple of months. During this period McCune and
Reischauer began development of a Romanization system with
Korean linguists. Development continued after Reischauer left, until

1 At least 71 million people (roughly the population of North and South Korea when combined) speak the Korean
language, including in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Japan, the United States of America, the Philippines,
and Russia (including those states formerly part of the Soviet Union). In China, Korean is widely spoken in
Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture and is also widely spoken inside the large Korean communities
throughout the United States and Canada. It is currently the 16th most commonly spoken language in the world.
the McCune-Reischauer system was published in 1939, in that year’s
Transactions of the Royal Asiatic Society.
The McCune-Reischauer system, as it was called, became the
most common system in use outside Korea. In Korea, however,
debates raged and various systems were adopted by the government
at different times, some similar to the McCune-Reischauer system,
and others not, thereby causing much confusion. In 2000, the
government adopted Revised Romanization, which is the system in
use in this book. It is incrementally replacing the McCune-Reischauer
system over time.
The reason one sometimes see cities like Daegu and Busan
written as Taegu and Pusan, is because the latter is their correct
spelling in the McCune-Reischauer system. If you see Romanized
Korean with apostrophes or diacritic marks over the vowels, chances
are good it is McCune-Reischauer. At the time of printing of this book,
almost all major traffic signs are written in the government's Revised
Romanization, as well as all materials printed by the government after
2000. As the McCune-Reischauer system is becoming increasingly
obsolete over time, we don't recommend you learn it, unless you
specifically wish to read a book written in it.

ORIGINS OF HANGUL
The indigenous Korean alphabet Hangul2 was commissioned in 1443
by King Sejong the Great and developed in order to increase literacy
in the Joseon kingdom. Promulgated in 1446, Hangul is based on
phonological and metaphysical representations (Yin/Yang and heaven,
earth and man).3 Its symbols represent the position of the mouth and
tongue when they produce the corresponding sounds that make up
the language. It was originally made up of 28 graphemes (17
consonants and 11 vowels), or letters, but in its modern form consists
of 10 vowels and 14 consonants which are combined to form syllabic
sets. Originally called Hunminjeonguem, meaning ``proper sounds to
instruct the people," the modern word Hangul, literally meaning
“Korean language,” was first used in the 1910s.

2 Under Revised Romanization, Hangul is properly spelled Hangeul. However, it is considered a word in the
English language and in English the conventional spelling is as it appears in this book.
3 Baxter, David, “The Korean Language,” Korean Through English, Ed. Lee Sang-Oak et al., Seoul: Hollym, 1993,
pp. 113-27.
As the Korean language developed, so did discrepancies between the
spoken and written forms of the language; some words could not be
fully expressed using the writing system adopted from Chinese
characters (hanja) (this problem is known as eonmunichi).4 Thus the
need for a new writing system arose and was identified by King
Sejong.
According to the introduction of the Hunmin-Jeongeum (A Book
on Explanations and Illustrations of the Korean Alphabet), in his own
words, Sejong developed Hangul for the following reasons: 1) to
develop national5 identity through an indigenous writing system; 2)
create a written language that would be accessible to all; and 3) to
make the learning of foreign languages easier.6
Despite these honorable intentions, hanja remained the
preferred script of scholars and the upper classes, while Hangul
remained the preserve of women and the uneducated. In fact, its
development and dissemination faced strong opposition from the elite
and it was the subject of protest by Confucian scholars from as early
as 1444. Its use was banned outright in 1504, but revived again in
1527.7
It was not until the early 20th century that it achieved
predominance in all spheres of written Korean. While many scholars
believe that King Sejong developed Hangul single-handedly, there is a
lack of evidence to either confirm or deny this claim fully.8 Either way,
his legacy is a source of much pride to Koreans and will likely remain
so for many years to come.

KOREAN LANGUAGE TODAY


While the Japanese added a further barrier to its continuation by
attempting to entirely replace Korean with Japanese in the late 1930s,
Hangul has survived with its reputation intact. While its importance

4 Lee, Ki-Moon, “Hangul in the Perspective of Modern Times,” National Institute of the Korean Language, Jan 2008,
retrieved 19 Feb 2009, <http://www.korean.go.kr/eng_hangeul/short/003.html>
5 “Nation” is perhaps too modern a term to be used here and more likely refers to an identity for the Joseon
Kingdom and its inhabitants linking back to their recorded history.
6 National Institute of the Korean Language, “Short Writings on Hangeul,” National Institute of the Korean
Language website, Dec 1996, retrieved 19 Feb 2009, <http://www.korean.go.kr/eng_hangeul/short/001.html>
7 National Institute of the Korean Language, “Chronology of Hangul,” National Institute of the Korean Language
website, retrieved 19 Feb 2009, <http://www.korean.go.kr/eng_hangeul/supply/pop04.html>
8 King Sejong carried out much of his work in secret and employed his princes to work on this problem of trying
to develop the Hangul alphabet (Hunmin-Jeongeum), but it was only his second daughter, Princess Chongoi, who
was able to come up with a satisfactory solution. According to Lee (see above reference), he rewarded her with
hundreds of slave families.
as a written language had been understood by scholars in China and
Japan for hundreds of years, the earliest Western grammars and
dictionaries were not written until the late 19th Century,
corresponding to lack of contact with outside nations prior to this
period. In fact it was not really until the 1960s that the international
community began to recognize the ingenuity of the written Korean
language and accord it praise.9 More recently, UNESCO developed the
King Sejong Prize for Literacy in cooperation with the South Korean
government in 1989. This prize is awarded to governmental agencies
and non-governmental organizations that fight illiteracy, especially
through the promotion of indigenous languages in developing
countries.10
Modern Korean has continued to evolve, with the adoption of
many foreign language words, most noticeably those borrowed from
English. This is likely to increase as the role of English becomes more
important inside Korea. Hanja still persists in academic writing and in
newspapers and is also likely to remain a feature of the language for
many years.11
Korea celebrates its indigenous language every year on
October 9, known as Hangul Day.

MAJOR DIFFERENCES BETWEEN KOREAN AND ENGLISH


SPEECH LEVELS
The Korean language has a more developed system of register or
speech levels than any other language in the world. This means that it
is considered extremely important to take into account the age, gender
and social position of the person you are speaking to and to vary your
speech accordingly. There are up to 7 different speech levels used in
the language, and these are formed using different final verb endings.
While these can be understood in two main categories, 1) Formal
Speech and 2) Informal Speech, the range of levels means that these
can also be broken down into the subcategories of 1) Formal-High,

9 Kang, Chang-Seok, “Making Principals of Hangul and its Graphic Shapes,” National Institute of the Korean
Language website, Dec 1996, retrieved 19 Feb 2009, <http://www.korean.go.kr/eng_hangeul/short/004.html>
10 United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, “UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prizes -
Supporting Literacy in Multilingual Contexts,” UNESCO website, retrieved 23 Nov 2008
<http://portal.unesco.org/education/en/ev.php-
URL_ID=53673&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html>
11 Hanja is a compulsory subject at secondary school level and students of all ages work hard to prepare
themselves for the yearly Hanja examination, which can help them to enter better schools.
Neutral and Low, and 2) Informal-High and Informal-Low. Some
forms persist only in writing. It is common to mix forms of speech in
everyday conversation, but when in a formal situation or unsure of
one’s place, it is advisable to use the higher forms.12

PERSPECTIVE
As with many different languages, there are words and expressions
used in Korean that cannot be translated directly into English (and
vice versa). Baxter claims that while English can be viewed as a
language of the head, Korean should be viewed as a language of the
heart. He illustrates this point by explaining that by utilizing all of the
added components that the Korean language has on offer one can
describe colors by how they make the viewer feel rather than just as
they appear, something absent in English.13
The Korean language might also be viewed as less ego-centric
than English, not simply in the fact that from a grammatical
perspective the subject is frequently omitted without detriment to
meaning, but also in the way certain expressions are framed. An
example of this is when you visit someone’s home and it is referred to
as “our house” rather than “my house,” or when you are introduced
to someone’s wife and she is referred to as “our wife” 14 (not to be
taken literally).
Cultural perspective informs much of the language. It is
interesting to note that when a Korean gestures to indicate their mind,
they will usually point to where their heart is located.

12 Chang, Suk In, Hong Kyung Pyo and Ihm Ho Bin, Korean Grammar for International Learners, New Edition, Seoul:
Yonsei University Press, 2001, p. 199 – 212.
13 Baxter, David, The Korean Language, p. 126. This is an interesting observation given that Hangul is often praised
for being such a highly rational system.
14 Baxter, p. 127.
The Association for Teachers of English in Korea provides the
following services to the general public, members and non-
members alike:
• Monitoring of proposed legislation and regulations which may affect non-
citizen English teachers in Korea.
• Translation of proposed and existing legislation and regulations (domestic
and international) and analysis of their possible effects on non-citizen English
teachers in Korea.
• Advocacy for English teacher concerns at the national and local levels.
• The English Teacher's Guide to Korea, which will be made available in PDF
for free download from our website (http://atek.or.kr).

ATEK provides the following benefits and services to members:


• Full access to ATEK's Employer Rating System, to make and review ratings.
• Access to the member forums.
• Access to professional development and lesson planning materials.
• Information on how to check to see if your employer is correctly reporting
your income, paying your taxes and making proper deductions from your
pay.
• Copies of labor, tax, pension, and health insurance complaint forms,
translated into Korean, and instructions about how to go about filing a
complaint.
• Local social networks (the Provincial and Metropolitan Associations that send
reps to our national council).
• Access to data from the ATEK Member Survey, which enables ATEK to track
average salaries and weekly hours by region and type of teaching job,
average level of satisfaction with various job types, average length of stay of
foreigners working in Korea, average pay and benefit increases when re-
signing for a second year, and much more. Want to know if your contract
offer is above or below the average salary for someone in your city and
education level? Get access.
• Advisories to the government based on ATEK Member Survey information
on non-citizen English teacher's problems and needs (does one particular city
have a higher rate of teachers reporting pay withholding fraud? That city's
government might want to know that.)
• An online application that translates letters home to parents into Korean, so
that you can communicate with parents and let them know how their child is
doing.
• Representation of member concerns to relevant government agencies and
other groups.
• Responses to media items of interest to non-citizen English teachers.

All these resources are available on our website at


http://atek.or.kr
THE ENGLISH TEACHER'S
GUIDE TO KOREA
Living, Working, and Thriving in Korea Sparkling

By
Tony Hellmann, M.Ed.
Tom Rainey-Smith
Jason Thomas, M.App.Ling.
Matthew Henderson

ATEK

Press
This book was designed and laid out entirely with open source software.
Individual sections copyright © 2009 by the respective authors, all rights reserved,
except as licensed below. Used by permission.
Published by ATEK Press, a division of the Association for Teachers of English in Korea.
Design and composition by Tony Hellmann. Copyedited by Jason Thomas
Cover: Art by Jeffrey Morabito. www.jeffreymorabito.com. Photo by Trey Ratcliff, www.stuckincustoms.com

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Printed in the Republic of Korea
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
CHAPTER 2: UNDERSTANDING THE
KOREAN EDUCATION SYSTEM
A BRIEF HISTORY OF EDUCATION AND THE
ROLE OF ENGLISH IN KOREA
HISTORICAL EDUCATION
Korea's first national education system originated in 992 with the
establishment of 360 government-run provincial schools (hyanggyo)
across Korea.1 They served primarily children of the upper class
(yangban). Education focused on the national civil service
examinations (gwageo). Although such education was in high demand,
the hyanggyo were ultimately unable to compete with privately run
academies (seowon). The last remaining hyanggyo were officially closed
near the end of the Joseon Dynasty in 1894, but many were reopened
as public elementary schools in 1900.
Seowon were educational institutions of Korea serving upper
class pupils during the mid- to late Joseon Dynasty.2 They were
private institutions, and combined the functions of a Confucian shrine
and a preparatory school. Like the hyanggyo, seowon were primarily
focused on preparing students for the national civil service
examinations.
Most seowon were closed by an edict of the regent Yi Ha-eung
(commonly known as Daewongun). He banned the unauthorized
construction of seowon in 1864, and finally, in 1871, he ordered all but a
handful closed.3 The provincial yangban were outraged by these
measures, and this is among the reasons that the regent was driven
from power in 1873; however, the seowon remained closed.

1 Seoul National University Educational Research Institute, 한국교육사 Hanguk Gyoyuksa / History of Korean
Education, Seoul: Gyoyukgwahaksa (교육과학사), 1997.
2 Park, Eui-soo (박의수), Kang Seung-kyu (강승규), Jeong Yeong-su (정영수), Kang Seon-bo (강선보), 교육의 역사
와 철학 (Gyoyugui yeoksawa cheolhak, History of education and philosophy), Seoul: Dongmunsa, 2002, p. 70.
3 Lee, Ki-baik (tr. by E.W. Wagner & E.J. Shultz), A New History of Korea (Rev. Ed.), Seoul: Ilchokak, 1984, p. 262.
While hyanggyo and seowon served pupils from the yangban
families, education was available for the masses as well. Seodang were
private village schools providing elementary education during the
Goryo and Joseon dynasties. They were primarily occupied with
providing initial training in the Chinese classics to boys of 7-16 years
of age, but often served students into their twenties. 4 Not regulated in
any fashion, seodang could be freely opened by anyone. Widespread
during the Goryeo period, these flourished during Joseon times and
were the dynasty's most common educational institution. It has been
estimated that 16,000 existed at the end of the Joseon period.
The teacher or headmaster of the seodang was called the
hunjang. The teaching method emphasized rote learning by reading
and memorizing an assigned passage each day; after reading the
passage more than 100 times over, students would recite it to the
hunjang.
In the 20th century, many seodang were modernized and
known as "improved seodang" ( 개량 서당), and eventually accredited
as primary schools under the Japanese occupation regime.5 This was
part of a dramatic expansion of private education in this period; from
1883 to 1908, some 5,000 private schools were established in Korea.6
The first regulations instituted with respect to seodang were passed by
the Japanese occupation regime in 1908. Beginning in 1918,
regulations on education became much more stringent and repressive;
the number of seowon dropped sharply. A small number of seodang
operate today in South Korea as private academies providing
extracurricular instruction.

20TH CENTURY EDUCATION


During the period of Japanese occupation (1910–1945), the Japanese
occupiers strictly controlled the education system. While the numbers
of public schools increased during this period, educational
opportunities were restrictive and most Koreans were excluded from
the benefits. Despite this, national independence leaders continued to
educate for future independence. Independence from Japan was
followed directly by an American military occupation in the south.
The United States occupation established a US-style education system
4 Park, et. al., p. 72.
5 Lee, p. 368.
6 Park, et. al., p. 105.
consisting of six years of primary school, six years of secondary
school, and four years of higher education. This system persists in its
modernized form today.
Accompanying the staggering rate of economic and industrial
growth in Korea in the last 30 years, the development of education is,
in many ways, just as remarkable. Illiteracy, which was widespread
following the Japanese colonial period, was steadily eliminated
through the years of industrialization. Today Korea has nearly 100%
literacy. In fact, since 1948 South Korea has achieved more in terms of
measurable educational achievement than any other country of
comparable GDP.7
A recent report released by the Organization for Economic Co-
operation and Development8 asks the question, “Will the expansion of
tertiary education continue at this rapid pace, driven by an ever-rising
demand for the highly skilled?” This question has no better
respondent than Korea. According to this same report, 97% of people
aged 25 to 34 now finish an upper secondary education, placing Korea
in first place amongst OECD nations. 53% of people from this same
cohort complete a tertiary level of education, which means that
attainment levels have increased five fold in a 30-year period. Despite
the huge emphasis on educational achievement, which has been
accompanied by increasing rates of tertiary enrollment, it is
interesting to note that educational attainment does not translate
directly into increased benefits in future employment as employment
rates are lower among higher educated people in Korea, but higher
among the lower educated, when compared to other OECD countries.

ENGLISH EDUCATION FROM BEGINNING TO PRESENT


ORIGINS
Contact with the English language was minimal prior to the opening
of the first English language school near the end of the Joseon
Dynasty. Early Korean contact with western culture per se had come
about in the most part as a consequence of missionary, commercial
and diplomatic endeavors. More importantly, Korean contact with

7 Seth, Michael, “Letter to the Editor,” Korea Times Online, Oct 10 2008, retrieved 30 Oct. 2008
<http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2008/01/113_17113.html>
8 Education Directorate of the OECD, “Education at a Glance 2008: OECD Indicators,” OECD website, retrieved 19
Feb 2009 <http://www.oecd.org/document/9/0,3343,en_2649_39263238_41266761_1_1_1_1,00.html>
English speakers had been incidental and had not impacted education
in any meaningful way. This changed in 1883 when the Joseon
government opened the first English language school, heralding the
introduction of English language education to Korea.
The signing of the 1882 Korean-American Treaty and the 1883
Korean-Great Britain Treaty were the first formal diplomatic treaties
with Western nations, the former allowing the United States to set up
a legation in Seoul. At the time the Joseon government expanded its
administrative structure to include departments to deal with matters
of defense and international diplomacy and trade, and enlisted the
help of foreign advisors to these departments. As diplomatic and
commercial relations with the United States developed, so did the
need for interpreters who could speak the English language.
Under Chinese influence, the Joseon Royal Court decided to
open the Dongmunhak, or Common Script Learning, in December 1882
and it officially opened its doors in September 1883. Located in what
is today Jae-dong, Jongno-gu in Seoul, its mission was to train
interpreters within a one-year timeline in order to further economic
and diplomatic relations with foreign nations. Historically translators
had come from the jungin (“middle people”) class, but the
government declared that this school would consider admissions
based only on academic ability, regardless of applicants’ class
background. The school commenced with a student population of
around 40, producing 20 graduates within a few months of opening,
but was almost as quickly closed two years later with the introduction
of a formal school by the government in 1886.
Yugyeong Gongwon (Public Institute of Education), also known
as the Royal English School, opened on the 23 rd of September, 1886
and was located in Jeong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul. Former students of
Dongmunhak served as assistants to US instructors. This school was
established with cooperation from the United States, a conscious
decision made by the Korean government in order to reposition itself
away from Chinese influence and instead garner relations with the US
– esteemed as a progressive and modern country by Korean elites at
the time. This was an institution for the elite; King Gojong ordered
male relatives of high ranking public servants working for the Office
of Internal Affairs and Foreign Affairs officials to attend the new
school in order to learn English to enable them to conduct diplomatic
business in the language. In a very real sense, with the introduction of
English as the preferred language of the newly “modernised” Korean
elite, English became an avenue for gaining political position. One
note-worthy historical figure who attended this school, deeply
resented by Koreans today, is Prime Minister Yi Wan-yong who
helped draft the treaty that would cede control of Korea to Japan in
1910.
Despite Yugyeong instructors being cut from missionary cloth,
regulation imposed directly prior to the school opening (on
September 12, 1886) forbade the teaching of religion. Religion would
have to wait its turn, but it would be a very resilient vessel for the
passage of English in education in the years to come.
Classes at Yugyeong Gongwon initially focused on elementary
English, using English language instruction and texts, and as students
gained a better grasp of the language they were to be taught other
subjects (including math, natural science, geography, and economics)
through English. In May of 1889 the 3-year graduation period was
extended to a more comprehensive 7 years. Unfortunately, the school
suffered from a low attendance rate from those registered for classes
and a high drop out rate. After numerous issues with both students
and personnel, the school closed eight years after it opened. Factors
contributing to the school's closure include cultural ignorance by both
the foreign teachers and the Korean students; an inability of the
students—used to a privileged lifestyle—to adjust to rigorous
scholarly pursuits; and a misalignment of the students' and teachers'
vision of the school's purpose. Students saw it as a way to secure a
good government position; teachers saw it as a vehicle for providing a
well-rounded liberal arts education. Coinciding with the Gabo Reform
(see below), it closed in 1894 and was replaced by the new
government-sponsored English Language School, this time with
British instructors.
The same year the English Language School and the Japanese
Language School were merged to become the Foreign Language
School. The Chinese Language School was also set up in the same year
followed by the French Language School in 1896, and the German
Language School in 1898, all merging into the Foreign Language
School in the proceeding years. While they had previously been run
from different locations, in 1907 the schools were brought together
under one roof, before being closed down permanently in 1911.
For whatever reasons the graduation process was difficult to
complete and the English language school also bequeathed a low
completion rate. The first graduates of the English Language School
were not produced until 1903, and with 911 students having entered
the school from March 1896 to April 1910, less than 9% successfully
completed the program.
In 1897 a new joint English language program opened
between the Office of Education and Baejae Hakdang (today a
prestigious middle and high school). It lasted until 1902 when it lost
government backing and the language of instruction changed from
English to Korean. Baejae would offer English as a regular subject
from 1907.
In October 1900 the Government Middle School (today known
as Gyeonggi Middle and High School), the most advanced modern
educational provider in Korea of its time, opened its doors and
included the teaching of English in its curriculum.
Around this time, with the influence of the Enlightenment
Movement (as it was called), the opening of private schools including
those specialising in foreign language education spread rapidly. Many
proponents of the movement had received an English education
(including Syngman Rhee who had attended Baejae Hakdang in the
1890s). The “Independence Club” had been launched in 1896 and
produced a newspaper, the Tongnip (Independent), which alternated
its pages with print in both Hangul and English.

ROLE OF MISSIONARIES
As the Yugyeong Gongwon was opening its doors in Seoul, Methodists
and Presbyterians were establishing their own schools. There was an
important difference between the mission schools and the Yugyeong
Gongwon, though: instruction was offered to students regardless of
their social class or other status which might alienate them from
mainstream Korean society. The poor, orphans, and women could all
be educated at mission schools. Methodists set up a school in 1885
(which would come to be known as Baejae Hakdang), followed by
Ewha Hakdang (a prestigious women’s university today) in 1886,
while Presbyterians established Gyeongsin School in 1886 and
Jeongsin School in 1890. Instruction was in English and focused on the
teaching of the bible. Many of these institutions would go on to
widely expand their curricula. As the trend of establishing private
schools continued, up until the Japanese annexation of 1910, even
under increasing government control, missionary schools flourished,
numbering 796 in the year of annexation, and provided one of the few
remaining channels for English education.

GABO REFORM
Following the Japanese invasion of the Korean peninsula (then known
as the Kingdom of Joseon) in 1894, a pro-Japanese government was
formed, which began the Gabo Reform. Carried out under external
pressure from Russia, Japan and the United States who were
contending for influence inside the country, these reforms formally
separated Korea from Chinese control and abolished slavery.
Appointment to the government became based on merit alone (i.e.
children of yangban families no longer received appointments based
on their family background). Major reforms were also undertaken in
education. In 1894, the government announced the introduction of a
modern educational system and agreed upon the establishment of
primary schools, middle schools, professional schools, universities,
technical schools, foreign language schools, and ordinary schools.

JAPANESE ANNEXATION
In November 1905, Japan declared Korea a protectorate following the
Portsmouth Agreement of September 1905, whereby it gained
recognition from Russia of its dominance over Korea. So began the
government by the residency-general of Korea. The first Japanese
Resident-General, Ito Hirobumi, was placed directly under the Korean
sovereign; the residency-general began its operation in February 1906.
In 1906 many of the regulations that had come about as a
result of the Gabo Reform were repealed or replaced and Japanese
language was introduced in common schools as a compulsory subject
while their curricula were stripped of all other foreign languages.
While government-controlled schools lost their ability to run English
language courses, private schools flourished. The majority of these
offered English language instruction. In 1908 the ordinance for private
schools was promulgated, reducing the amount of control private
schools had over their own curricula.
In 1909 a revised ordinance was implemented which restricted
foreign language school admissions to common school graduates and
defined the scope of English language education. 12 hours of English
instruction were to be taught in a week, with only one hour dedicated
to English speaking skills.
The Treaty of Annexation, signed in 1910 by the Japanese
General Terauchi Masatake and Korean Prime Minister Yi Wan-yong,
formally made Korea a colony of Japan. The Japanese then went about
centralizing the Korean education system under the command of the
governor-general and splitting it in two: one for Koreans and one for
Japanese settlers. Control of education was viewed as an important
means of controlling the Korean population and that English
education was not encouraged as it played no part in serving this
purpose.
One of the policies the Japanese government adopted to aid
the colonization of Korea was the spread of the Japanese language,
and this policy was realized in the curriculum of common schools. In
accordance with the ordinance for common schools, Japanese was
introduced as a required subject, and other foreign languages were
eliminated from the curriculum.
While the government-controlled schools deprived their
students of English language education, private schools maintained
independent management and were unrestricted in their selection of
subjects, thus, offering a larger number of cultural subjects, such as
English language instruction. By the promulgation of the ordinance
for private schools in 1908, however, Japan began to exert its control:
the curricula of private schools were subject to Japanese regulation,
and a number of private schools established by Korean civilians were
forced to close under the pretext that they did not satisfy the
requirements stipulated by the ordinance. Mission schools, which
received less Japanese interference, maintained English language
education.
Advances in English education under Japanese rule were
closely tied to the prevailing education policies of the Japanese
administration, which shifted several times. Initially, Japanese became
a required subject and foreign languages (including English) were
eliminated from the curriculum. Mission schools (such as Yeonhi
Professional School and Severance Joint Medical Professional School,
which merged to become Yonsei University; and Ehwa Hakdang, now
Ehwa Women's University) were regulated less strictly and thus made
the most substantial contributions to the development of English
language education during colonial rule.
1919 was marked by the March First Movement where
Koreans took to the streets en masse to protest the Japanese colonial
occupation and the brutal suppression of it by Japanese forces. This is
turn marked a turning point in colonial policy where regulations were
relaxed somewhat, as the Japanese government took a new
conciliatory approach and adopted educational reform as its top
priority. The government's shift in educational policy brought about a
noteworthy improvement in English language education in the next
two decades. The government began to allow Koreans to attend
English teacher training programs in Japan, but this was a double-
edged sword: while it produced more English teachers in Korea (as
they became teachers at government or public schools upon their
return to their homeland), their Japanese-influenced pedagogy
exerted important, long lasting influence on English language
education in Korea. The grammar-translation method of instruction,
which requires students to memorize numerous grammatical rules
and exceptions as well as enormous vocabulary lists, was given the
most attention in class, and thus students were more likely to develop
passive language skills (such as reading) rather than active skills such
as speaking (Kim, 2008).
The last fourteen years of Japanese rule saw Japanese policy
changed again, beginning in 1931 when Japan invaded Manchuria and
a more militaristic faction came to power in the Japanese government.
Kim (2008) notes:
In contrast to the lenient “cultural policy”during the
previous decade, the new colonial government began
an era of harsh rule. Minami Jiro, an expansionist mil-
itarist, was appointed as the new governor-general in
August 1936 and sought the total assimilation of
Koreans. Under the slogan of ``Japan and Korea are
One Entity,'' he launched a sweeping campaign to
eradicate the Korean national identity. During the fi-
nal decade of colonial rule, Japan's primary goal was
to fully assimilate Koreans for the purpose of war. In
order to meet the increasing need for a labor force
that understood the Japanese language, Japanese lan-
guage education was given an unparalleled emphasis,
and the language was forced upon Koreans as their
daily means of communication.

In 1937, the governor-general ordered all instruction delivered


in Japanese and that students not be allowed to speak Korean (either
in or outside class). In addition, government-required worship at
Shinto shrines emerged as a critical issue: many missionaries viewed
Shintoism as idolatry. Mission schools that refused to observe the
mandate faced being closed: many did, or were transferred to
Japanese or Korean owners.9 In October 1940, the president of the
United States ordered the State Department to completely withdraw
all American expatriates in Korea. By 1942, all missionaries, along
with other Americans in Korea, had been repatriated. The positions
and school proprietorships that the American missionaries had
maintained were eventually taken over by the Japanese.10
In 1940, Japan began to use Korean students to aid their war
effort, dispatching Japanese soldiers to schools who began giving
military drills to students. A student-soldier system was instituted in
October 1943. Older Korean students were forced into military service
while young students were exploited as a labor force. In May of 1943,
the entire population of private-school students in Seoul was
mobilized for the backbreaking purpose of dredging a reservoir.11
Students in other regions were forced into munitions factories.
Consequently, classes were neglected or abandoned.
In March 1945, the government announced a suspension of all
classes; students were compelled to do more work at munitions
factories or for other military purposes. In May 1945, the government
announced a wartime educational ordinance that committed
education solely for the purpose of the execution of war. The schools

9 Kim, Eun-gyong, “English Education Under Japanese Rule (V),” Korea Times Online, 10 Aug 2008, retrieved 19
Feb 2009, <http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/include/print.asp?newsIdx=32370>
10 Kim, 2008.
11 Kim, 2008.
were converted into military structures, and all school training was
diverted for the purpose of producing food and military supplies.
Japan's brutal rule ended with the Allies' victory; Korea was
liberated on August 15, 1945. “Many of the drastic measures taken by
the colonial government...dealt debilitating blows to the development
of English language education, and the educational field therefore
suffered a sharp decline during the last decade of Japanese colonial
rule.”12

THE SYLLABUS PERIOD UNDER THE U.S. MILITARY ADMINISTRATION


(1946-1954)
This transitional period began directly following independence from
Japanese imperial rule. Until the first national curriculum appeared,
Korean education followed the educational system of the United
States. “K-12” education began in this period, with students enrolling
for kindergarten followed by up to twelve grades, at which time they
graduated high school. As in America at that time, twelve years of
schooling was not compulsory. The Basic Education Law was passed
in 1949, and provided for the creation of a unified system arranged as
6 years of compulsory free education beginning at age seven, three
years of non-compulsory tuition-based middle school, three years of
non-compulsory tuition-based high school, and four years of tuition-
based college. The transition from the multilevel secondary education
system of the colonial period to a unified 6-3-3 ladder system was
completed by 1951. The fact that Americans trained or influenced
Korean educators had a strong impact on educational policy-making
and administration.
The primary goal of this period was to replace the existing
imperial education system so as to foster Western-style democracy.
English education was greatly expanded during this period and in
subsequent periods. The occupation was keen to impose order on the
population and institute a government friendly to its interests in the
region. This meant in large part repopulating the bureaucracy and
police forces with Koreans.
When the American forces took effective control of the
country, English became the official language of the occupation; after
40 years of Japanese control and increasingly repressive language
12 Kim, 2008.
policies designed to exterminate the Korean national identity, another
occupier (albeit considered a much more benevolent one by many
Koreans of the era), introduced English as the language of rule. By the
time U.S. administration had spread to the provinces, it found that
People’s Committees had set up a number of schools in the
interregnum that followed the initial withdrawal of Japanese forces.
English-speaking Koreans had an obvious advantage if they wanted
to become a part of the US-controlled military government as it
assumed power from People’s Committees around the country.
Command of the English language was an asset at the time that could
help you further a career in the new political apparatus that was being
built up around the former Japanese colonial one.
In December of 1945 the Military English Language School
was set up to offer English language training to Korean military
officers who would go on to work for the constabulary. Many of those
who were chosen to make up the first class of the school would go on
to fill the top ranks of the Republic of Korea Army after 1948.

THE FIRST NATIONAL CURRICULUM (1955-1962)


The Korean War (1950-1953) destroyed the national economy. In
addition, ideological confusion between democracy and communism
existed. The government decided that this called for a strong
educational policy. The highest priority of this curriculum was to
ideologically “stamp out” communism and train skilled workers.

THE SECOND NATIONAL CURRICULUM (1963-1972)


The second national curriculum (that is, the first national curriculum
revision) appeared after a military coup deposed Rhee Syngman in
1960. Sensing a need to solidify its power, the new military
administration designed a policy which emphasized the establishment
of a national identity, the modernization of the state and the non-
communist unification of the North and the South Korea. These were
accepted as educational objectives. A number of important events in
the history of modern Korean education happened during this period.
In August 1968 the Ministry of Education decided to institute
a college entrance examination system to prevent unqualified high
school graduates from entering colleges and to restrict the chaotic
expansion of private universities and colleges. In 1969, middle school
entrance examinations were abolished, leading to the democratization
of middle schools. Prior to 1969, entrance exams allowing only the
best students to attend top-ranked middle schools. In The period from
1945–1970 witnessed a dramatic expansion of education and during
this time illiteracy was virtually eliminated. As a result, today South
Korea boasts one of the highest literacy rates in the world.
Among the many problems in Korean education identified at
that time were rapid expansion, shortage of available resources, large
class sizes, inadequate teacher education programs and relatively low
student achievement. Despite the recognition of modern educational
thoughts and methods, there were still problems with poor materials
and equipment, fragmented rote learning and outdated methods of
teaching. The Korean Educational Development Institute (KEDI) was
established in August 1972 with the support of the MOE for the
purpose of providing a nation-wide approach to a solution. KEDI was
established as an independent non-profit organization whose primary
function is to undertake comprehensive and systematic educational
reforms through a series of research and development programs. It
was funded for its first five years with a $7.5 million USAID loan.

THE THIRD NATIONAL CURRICULUM (1973-1981)


The second revision was accompanied by the amendment of the
national constitution, which was needed in order to maintain the
contemporary military dictator's rule of Korea. It was developed and
promulgated by the central government (not KEDI).
THE FOURTH NATIONAL CURRICULUM (1982-1988)
Unlike the former three periods of curricular development, this
curriculum was produced by KEDI, and not by the central
government. This reflected a public demand for Korea to stop
following foreign curriculum models and to produce its own
curriculum, which would be more appropriate. Thus, this curriculum
contained some fresh ideas. For example, the idea of curriculum
integration appeared for the first time in this curriculum document.
Private companies could produce textbooks and localization of the
curriculum was discussed. The purpose of this curriculum was to
establish a well-organized educational program emphasizing national
spirit, science and technology education, and education for the whole
person.

THE FIFTH NATIONAL CURRICULUM (1989-1994)


The curriculum during this era was not significantly different than the
fourth. The new president was a former four-star general. He ordered
a ceremonial reform of national curriculum, but wanted to maintain
the framework of the fourth-national curriculum, which had been
made by his predecessor. The goals of this curriculum were to help
educate people, attain subjectivity, autonomy, creativity, and morality.

THE SIXTH NATIONAL CURRICULUM (1995-1999)


In 1993, a new democratic government came to power. This
government aimed at the total reformation of the Korean school
system. In this period, the metaphor of the corporation appeared in
educational discourses for the first time. According to governmental
policy, which was characterized by introducing the idea of
globalization and free-market system, the epitome of school reforms
was focused on strengthening competitive power. Parents and
students were treated as consumers. The official objective of this
curriculum was to cultivate morality and creativity. The sixth national
curriculum was the first to see English instruction required in primary
schools (beginning in 1997). Since 1995, native speakers have been
hired to teach English in middle schools in an effort to enhance
English acquisition and prepare students for the "Age of
Globalization."
THE SEVENTH NATIONAL CURRICULUM (2000-PRESENT)
This curriculum was implemented gradually, beginning in 2000. In its
development, the Presidential Commission on Education Reform
advised that, in preparation for the 21st Century, the development of
creativity in elementary school, junior high school and high school
children should be given high priority. Responding to the
Commission's advice, the number of compulsory subjects was
decreased, and the importance of the optional subjects was stressed.
Also, the curriculum was diversified according to different
achievement levels. Consequently, this curriculum consists of two
parts: a national compulsory curriculum for grade 1 to 10 students,
and optional courses for students in grade 11 and 12. The national
compulsory curriculum is also being organized according to the
different levels of difficulty rather than by grade and year.
The well-educated Korean citizen promoted by this
curriculum is defined as a person who seeks to develop her/his own
individuality on the basis of well-rounded and wholesome
development; a person who demonstrates creative ability on the basis
of a solid grounding in basic knowledge and skills; a person who
explores career paths on the basis of broad intellectual knowledge and
skills in diverse academic disciplines; a person who creates new
values on the basis of understanding the national culture; and a
person who contributes to the development of the community where
she/he lives, on the basis of democratic citizenship.
Today families collectively spend around 3 trillion won on
private English education per year – half the total annual amount
spent on private education. Koreans students spend over 15,000 hours
learning English in the ten year period between middle school and
university. With 1.9% of GDP spent on private English instruction and
proficiency tests in 2006, English is considered not only an invaluable
skill to have in order to get ahead in life, but it is also seen as a
necessary one.

ADDITIONAL SOURCES
Cumings, Bruce, The Origins of the Korean War, Vol. 1 (Princeton:
Princeton University Press, 1981).
Cumings, Bruce, Korea’s Place in the Sun (New York: W.W. Norton,
2005).

Jeon, Hyo-Chan, Making an Efficient Investment into English Education.


Samsung Economic Research Institute, 21 Nov. 2006,
http://www.seriworld.org/01/wldContV.html?
mn=B&mncd=0101&key=20061121000001&sectno=

Kim, Eun-gyong, History of English Education in Korea, Parts 1 – 19,


serialized at Korea Times Online, www.koreatimes.com.

Lee, Yung-dug, Educational Innovation in the Republic of Korea


(Paris: UNESCO, 1874).
http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0001/000123/012319eo.pdf

THE KOREAN EDUCATION SYSTEM


OVERVIEW
In South Korea, primary education is compulsory and free. In some
rural areas this also applies for the three years of middle school. South
Korean students attend school for 220 days a year, the minimum
required academic year length for primary, middle and high schools.
In 2006 the Ministry of Education and Human Resources
Development introduced no school every other Saturday and as of
2007 schools follow a five day school week due to the growing
acceptance of the forty hour week. In 2008, the Ministry of Education
and Human Resources Development was merged with the Ministry of
Science and Technology to become the Ministry of Education, Science,
and Technology. As the name of the ministry has changed several
times in the last ten years, for the sake of clarity, this ministry will be
referred to simply as the Ministry of Education (MOE) in this article,
although other versions of the name apply at different points in
history.
Korea has a single-track 6-3-3-4 system (elementary school, 6
years; middle school, 3 years; high school, 3 years; university, 4 years).
In South Korea, a student's grade level designation is reset as the
student progresses through elementary, middle and high school.
Thus, a student in the first year of middle school (equivalent to 7th
grade in the United States) is referred to as "First grade in middle
school (중학교 1 학년)".
The academic year consists of two terms. Instructional hours
vary from 24 to 34 periods per week depending on the school level. In
2007, there were 19,865 schools in South Korea and of those 5,982 were
private. The MOE reported 11,883,628 students and 506,682 teachers.

ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
Elementary school consists of grades one to six, with students
entering at age six (western age) and finishing at age twelve. Students
learn subjects including, but not limited to, Korean, mathematics,
science, social studies, language arts, fine arts, and music. Usually, the
class teacher covers most of the subjects; however, there are some
specialized teachers in professions such as physical education and
foreign languages, including English. About 20 years ago, English
used to be taught first in middle school, but now students begin
learning English in the third year of elementary school. Many parents
choose to send their children to private educational institutions called
hagwon (학원) after school (see Supplementary Test Prep Schools on page
Error: Reference source not found). More schools in the country are
recruiting native English speakers to facilitate learning English.
Alongside public elementary schools there are a number of
private elementary schools in Korea, usually distinguishable by the
uniforms their students wear (public elementary school students do
not wear uniforms apart from physical education clothing). These
schools follow a similar curriculum as public elementary schools, but
often offer superior facilities, a higher teacher-to-student ratio, and
extra programs. They also usually offer a higher standard of learning.
Though highly desirable, they are prohibitively expensive for many
Korean parents.
South Korea has the lowest social expenditure on services for
young children in the OECD, as a percentage of GDP. Korea spends
6.1% of GDP on care for young children, while the OECD average is
11.2%. Expenditure on pre-primary educational institutions
(kindergartens only) as a percentage of GDP is 0.16%. The OECD
average is 0.6% of GDP.13

13 Education Directorate of the OECD, Starting Strong II: Early Childhood Education and Care, Paris: OECD, 2006, pp.
Elementary schools are called chodeung-hakgyo (초등학교). The
South Korean government changed the name in 1996 to the current
form from gukmin hakgyo ( 국 민 학 교 ) meaning citizens' school. This
was done as a gesture of restoring national pride. The word,
abbreviated from hwangguksinminui-hakgyo ( 황국신민의 학교), means
"school for the subjects of the imperial state" carried over from
Japanese colonial rule.

MIDDLE SCHOOLS
Middle schools are called jung hakgyo (중학교) in Korean, which
literally means middle school. They consist of three grades. Most
students enter at age twelve and finish at fifteen. These three grades
correspond roughly to grades 7-9 in the North American system and
2nd to 4th form in the British system.
Middle school in South Korea marks a considerable shift from
elementary school, with students expected to take studies and school
much more seriously. At most middle schools regulation uniforms
and haircuts are enforced fairly strictly, and some aspects of students'
lives are highly controlled. Like in elementary school, students spend
most of the day in the same homeroom classroom with the same
classmates; however, students have different teachers for each subject.
Teachers move around from classroom to classroom, and few teachers
apart from those who teach special subjects have their own rooms to
which students come. Homeroom teachers (dam im seonsaengnim: 담임
선 생 님 ) play a very important role in students' lives, and have
considerably more authority over and responsibility for their students'
than their western counterparts.
Most middle school students take six lessons a day, and in
addition to this usually have an early morning block that precedes
regular lessons and a seventh lesson specializing in an extra subject to
finish the day. Unlike with high school, middle school curricula do not
vary much from school to school. Maths, English, Korean, and science
form the core subjects, with students also receiving instruction in art,
PE, history, hanja (Chinese characters), ethics, home economics, and
computers. What subjects students study and in what amount may
vary from year to year. All regular lessons are 45 minutes long. Before
school, students have an extra block, 30-or-more minutes long, that

369-376.
may be used for self-study, watching Educational Broadcast System
(EBS) broadcasts, or for personal or class administration. As of 2008,
students attend school from Monday to Friday, and have a half-day
every 1st, 3rd, and 5th (calendar permitting) Saturday of the month.
Saturday lessons usually include Club Activity (CA) lessons, where
students may participate in extracurricular activities.
In the late 1960s the government abolished entrance
examinations for middle school students, replacing it with a system
whereby elementary school students within the same district are
selected for middle schools by a lottery system. This has the effect of
equalizing the quality of students from school to school, though
schools in areas where students come from more privileged
backgrounds still tend to outperform schools in poorer areas. Until
recently most middle schools have been same-sex, though in the past
decade most new middle schools have been mixed, and some
previously same-sex schools have converted to mixed as well.
As with elementary schools, students are promoted from one
grade to the next regardless of knowledge or academic achievement,
the result being that classes often have students of vastly differing
abilities learning the same subject material together. In the final year
of middle school, examination scores become very important for the
top students hoping to gain entrance into the top high schools, and for
those in the middle hoping to get into an academic rather a technical
or vocational high school. Otherwise, examinations and marks only
matter insofar as pleasing parents and teachers (or avoiding their
wrath). There are some standardized examinations for certain
subjects, and teachers of academic subjects are expected to follow
approved textbooks, but generally middle school teachers have more
flexibility over curricula and methods than do teachers at high school.

HIGH SCHOOLS
High schools are called godeung hakgyo (고등학교) in Korean, literally
meaning "high-level school." They consist of three grades, with
students beginning at age sixteen and commonly graduating at age 19.
High schools in Korea can be divided into specialty tracks in accord
with a student's interests and career path. For example, there are
science, foreign language and art specialty high schools which
students can attend after passing entrance examinations; these schools
are generally highly competitive. Other type of high schools include
public high schools and private high schools, both with or without
entrance examinations. These high schools do not specialize in a field,
but are more focused on sending their students to college. For
students who do not want a college education, vocational schools
specializing in fields such as technology, agriculture or finance are
available. Students are employable right after graduation.
Regarding the schedule of many high school students, it is not
abnormal for them to arrive home from school at midnight, after
intensive "self-study" sessions supported by the school. The
curriculum is often rigorous, with as many as eleven or more subjects.
Some students choose to attend private academies to boost their
academic performance. Core subjects include Korean, English and
math, with emphasis on social and physical science subjects. It is
critical to note that the type and level of subjects may differ from
school to school, depending on the degree of selectivity and
specialization of the school.
High school is not strictly mandatory, unlike middle school
education in Korea. However, according to a 2005 study of OECD
member countries, 97% of South Korea's young adults do complete
high school. This was the highest recorded percentage of any country.

SUPPLEMENTARY TEST-PREP EDUCATION


Most South Korean children spend their entire high school life
preparing for the all-important college entrance examination. The
College Scholastic Ability Test (CSAT), called suneung (수능) in
Korean, is the higher education exam accepted by all South Korean
universities. A large number of privately owned institutions, called
hagwon (학원) exist in order to provide after school instruction in
various subjects. As the university entrance exam is such an important
factor in education, many parents spend a significant portion of their
income to send their children to these institutes in order to prepare
them for the exam, many beginning hagwon instruction in elementary
school.
HIGHER EDUCATION
There are four categories of institutions for higher learning: (1)
colleges and universities with four-year undergraduate programs (six-
year in medical colleges), (2) junior colleges, (3) universities of
education and colleges of education, and (4) miscellaneous schools
like theological colleges and seminaries. Law schools are currently
being established at select universities and plan to begin admitting
students in 2010.
About 80 percent of all Korean institutes of higher education
are private. In accordance with the Education Act and the relevant
presidential and ministerial decrees, all institutes of higher education,
whether public or private, come under the supervision of the Ministry
of Education. The Ministry has control over such matters as student
quotas, qualifications of teaching staff, curricula, degree requirements,
and so on.
Higher education aims at teaching and studying fundamental
academic theories and their various application as necessary for the
progress and enlightenment of society and the global community,
with the aim of nurturing the nation's future leaders.
The unit for measuring the completion of each course is a
credit. Each university oversees the requirements for the completion
of each credit, the minimum credits necessary for graduation, the
standard credits and maximum credits required to be taken each
semester, the method to obtain special credit, and credits required for
the completion of preparatory courses on the basis of school
regulations.
Korea's public funding for higher (tertiary) education (as a
percentage of GDP) is the lowest in the OECD.14

NATIONAL ADMINISTRATION
South Korea’s education system has undertaken significant reform in
order to align the curriculum with the “knowledge based society” of
the 21st century. The Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology
(MEST) established in 2008 by restructuring the scope of the former
Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development, is the

14 Education Directorate of the OECD, “Education at a Glance 2008: OECD Indicators,” OECD website, retrieved 19
Feb 2009 <http://www.oecd.org/document/9/0,3343,en_2649_39263238_41266761_1_1_1_1,00.html>, Table B4.1.
central government body responsible for the formulation and
implementation of policies related to academic activities. Like other
ministers, the Minister of Education Science and Technology is
appointed by the president. They are mainly chosen from candidates
who have an academic background and often resign after a fairly
short term (around one year).
The Public Education Enforcement Plan, a component of the
seventh curriculum revision, was introduced in 2004 with the goal of
South Korea becoming a strong nation firmly grounded on knowledge
and information. “In 2005, South Korea changed to an ‘on demand’
curriculum revision system, which whenever there is a need for
curriculum or text book revision the appraisal is carried out
immediately and the necessary changes applied accordingly. This
flexibility helps to deliver knowledge that is up to date and alive...”15
South Korea has a highly centralized education system and
standardized educational content. The existence of a curriculum
evaluation system helps promote quality assurance.16 The evaluation
system is responsible for:
 Development and implementation of national level
achievement tests
 Participation in international comparative studies of student
achievement
 Development and implementation of diagnostic tests of basic
skills of elementary students
 Conducting studies on research and development in
educational evaluation and long term development planning
 Conducting training on educational evaluations.17

EDUCATIONAL AND CURRICULUM ORGANIZATION


The first ten years of school education from primary first grade to
high school grade are set as a national common basic education
period. During this period, students learn from a national curriculum.

15 Choi, E., Korean Educational Policies and Current Issues, Cheongju, Korea: Ministry of Education and Human
Resources Development, 2006, p. 6.
16 Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, “The School Curriculum of the Republic of Korea,” Ministry of
Education, Science and Technology website, 3 Dec 2007, Retrieved 2 Feb 2009 <http://english.mest.go.kr/data/upFile/
english/200712030350262417.doc>
17 Korea Institute for Curriculum Evaluation, Korea Institute for Curriculum Evaluation website, Retrieved 19 Feb
2009, <http://www.kice.re.kr/en/functions/curriculum.jsp>
In revising the national curriculum, the MEST judged that a flexible
level differentiated curriculum would address each student’s different
ability, interest aptitude and career direction; and also promote gifted
and talented education while satisfying the requirements of a
common basic education.18
The types of level differentiated curriculum include:
1) Step by Step Curriculum
Applied to the core subjects of mathematics and secondary level
English. Mathematics is taught step by step with a curriculum divided
into twenty levels for students in grades 1 – 10. The English
curriculum has eight levels, taught from 7th through to 10th grade.
2) In-depth and Supplementary Curriculum
This is for advancing or lagging students in the subjects of Korean
language (1st – 10th grade, social studies (3rd – 10th grade) and
primary English (3rd – 6th grade).
3) Elective Curriculum
High school students in grades 11 and 12 can choose from a number
of electives that reflect their differing abilities, aptitude, needs and
interests. Selection is made by students according to their ability and
career development.
Teachers at the start of the year are given a structured syllabus
of what should be taught. School text books and teacher training
support such syllabuses and there is regular testing to ensure that all
students are at or above the required standard. There is also a very
clear expectation that all students by the end of each year level will
have reached the required level of ability.
High schools are separated into two types: general (academic)
and vocational. In high school a flexible level-differentiated
curriculum is provided for second and third year students, choosing
from seventy nine electives. Electives are set by each
metropolitan/provincial education office and school with a minimum
of twenty eight units each, for up to fifty percent of students. Schools
are granted more autonomy in designing curriculum. Roles are
divided between the MOE, schools and metropolitan/provincial

18 Korean Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, 2007.


education offices in designing and operating the curriculum, so as to
ensure efficiency and educational quality.
Recent developments in educational and curriculum
organization include:
 Development of diversified text books
 A level-differentiated evaluation system
 Enhancement of teacher expertise through training programs
and lessened workloads in order to develop expert teaching
skills
 Improving the school environment to enhance level-
differentiated curriculum delivery through the provision of
teaching and learning materials for each level
 Improvements in the administrative and financial system
 English education development: As of 2006, English is taught
from primary first grade; one native English teacher will be
placed in every middle school by 2010; incentive points will
be given to English teachers of Korean nationality who
possess English certificates and qualifications and pilot based
English immersion education.
The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology
administers the national school curriculum and this is periodically
revised. Individual schools are given a degree of control over their
own curricula in accordance with regional guidelines and curriculum
standards. Seven curriculum revisions have taken place since the first
curriculum was introduced in 1954, with the Seventh Curriculum
coming into effect with implementation staggered from 1997 to 2004,
covering the first year of primary school through to the first year of
high school (ten years in total), and the Eighth Curriculum phase-in
beginning in 2009. It is made up of the Basic Common Curriculum
and the Selected Curriculum at the level of high school. After the 10th
grade, students are able to decide which courses they will take.
The latest national curriculum is student-oriented and is
designed to promote individual talent, aptitude, and creativity. It
defines the desired image of an educated person as a person who:
 seeks individuality as the basis for the growth of the whole
personality;
 exhibits a capacity for fundamental creativity;
 pioneers a career path within the wide spectrum of culture;
 creates new value on the basis of understanding the national
culture;
 contributes to the development of the community on the basis
of democratic civil consciousness.

LOCAL ADMINISTRATION
The school council system was first introduced in 1995 in 355 schools,
to enhance autonomy in creative school management and develop
education tailored to local characteristics and demands. In 1998, all
national primary and secondary schools were mandated to establish
school councils, and in 2000 all private schools were mandated to
establish school councils.
The school council has five to fifteen members according to
the school size with students and parents forming 40%–50%, teachers
30%-40% and local representatives 10%-30%. School principals are
automatically included in the committees as teacher members and the
president and vice president of the committee are elected from non-
teacher members.
Public school committees hold appraisal rights for the
establishment and revision of school charter regulations; budgetary
planning, which has strengthened the financial power of schools;
accounts settlement; curricular operations including selection of
textbook and educational material; after school and vacation classes;
other extra curricular programs; and the formation and management
of school committees, fees, school lunches, et cetera.

ACCOUNTABILITY
Although the delegation of power to schools has made schools more
autonomous, it does not give school management a free hand to do
anything it wants. As a school community has been empowered, it is
necessary to ensure the accountability of school education. An
external evaluation committee has been established with provincial
and metropolitan offices of education administering school
evaluations, usually on an annual basis but there are cases where the
evaluation occurs once every two years. Each office is responsible for
the preparation of evaluation areas, criteria, methods, and establishing
an evaluation committee. Schools are given a grade based on
evaluation fields and a final rankings list of all schools. The results of
school evaluations are used for supervision consultations and as a
basis for providing financial awards to well-performing schools.

EVALUATION
Previously most schools used a norm-referenced evaluation, meaning
students were ranked according to the average total score they
received by combining grades from all subject areas. Class instruction
was designed for students to achieve good grades on their test scores
at the expense of achieving the genuine goals and objectives of
education. As a consequence, it is reported that school education has
failed to develop student abilities to understand and think in
comprehensive and creative ways. In order to address this concern the
MOE introduced Diverse Student Evaluation Methods which is
aligned to the curriculum for a knowledge based society. A prominent
feature of this policy in relation to evaluation is the diversification of
the criteria for evaluating students.
Since 1998, in primary and secondary education performance
based evaluation methods are used to develop student’s abilities to
understand and think in comprehensive and creative ways. These
include written exams, oral tests, discussions, demonstrations, lab
experiments, interviews, clinical observations, written reports,
research papers and portfolios.

TEACHER EVALUATION
The OECD found that in Korea, evaluation on teacher performance
failed to provide systemic influence on their career development and
that the country lacked a tool to differentiate between teachers
according to their performance ability. The recommendation was to
set up an objective evaluation standard; and make use of the standard
as a tool for school development and improvement. The majority of
primary school teachers are graduates of four years of college
education. “Previously the principal evaluated teachers and reflected
evaluation results in teacher promotion.”19 Also, the MOE recognized
the growing need for the improvement of teacher quality and

19 Choi, p.11.
professionalism, in particular people’s trust for the teaching
profession through teacher evaluation that is both appropriate and
impartial. A survey conducted in 2005, revealed 77.4% of South
Koreans agreed that a teacher evaluation system was necessary.
“Previously, principals were appointed based on seniority.
Under the new policy in a trial commencing in September 2006,
principals will be selected partially through job offerings or open
competition so as to recruit those who possess good management
skills, in addition to expert knowledge in education.”20 “The whole
process of teacher selection and training is also under review.” 21 The
Korean proverb “One should not even step on the shadow of one’s
teacher,” highlights the degree of respect traditionally given to
teachers.

EDUCATION SYSTEM STRENGTHS


 South Korean people have a very high zeal for education and
believe that “human capital developed through education is
their most valuable resource.”22
 There is a strong after school learning program for students’
including arts, sports and foreign languages. This provides
learning opportunities for low income students. The student
participation rate in these programs is 60%.
 South Korean people have high respect for members of the
teaching profession and the salary of teachers at all levels in
South Korea is relatively high compared to other countries.
 Special education in South Korea has made great strides both
in number and quality of programs since the enactment of the
Special Education Promotion Act in 1977.
 Introduction of the ‘alternate school’ policy for students with
special needs.
 Promotion of educational development in remote areas and
educational programs for gifted students.
 A well developed and supported e-Learning focus.

20 Choi, p.12.
21 Choi, p.10.
22 Weidman, J., and Park, N., “Recent Trends and Developments in Education in the Republic of Korea,” World
Education News and Reviews, 2002, p. 1.
 In 2005 South Korea was ranked in first place in the OECD
rankings in terms of the number of younger people who have
completed an upper secondary education, leading a small
group of countries including Norway and Japan, where more
than 90% of students reach this level.
 The South Korean government spends about half the amount
on school students as the USA but its performance in maths is
much higher.
 South Korea has experienced a spectacular expansion of
higher education during the last five decades.

EDUCATION SYSTEM AREAS FOR CONTINUED DEVELOPMENT


 In recent times there has been a strong emphasis on teacher
evaluation; however school evaluation/accountability is still in
the process of development.
 Private education costs are high. For example, the main focus
in South Korea is in preparing students for college admissions
exams and subsequent enrollment into preferred universities.
This cost is one of the highest among OECD countries.
 There have been so many reform measures and laws
introduced within the last fifty years, educational policies in
South Korea are generally referred to as forever changing
policies.23
 Drift of children from wealthy families to educational
facilities outside South Korea. MOE recently promulgated an
independent private high school policy aimed at keeping
more students at home.
 The South Korean education system, despite its success in
achieving high test scores has been criticized for encouraging
students to conceive of themselves as being in fierce
competition with their friends and peers.
 “South Korea is probably the most education–orientated
country in the world. Seven out of ten students receive private
tutoring for an average of 6.8 hours a week, and private

23 Weidman and Park, p. 1.


expenditure for education accounts for an average 12.7% of
household expenses.”24
 Corporal punishment is still widespread in primary and
secondary institutions.25
 South Korea has a heavy reliance on summative assessment
(to the exclusion of other modes of assessment), and
specifically on discrete item testing.26

ADDITIONAL SOURCES
All documents were retrieved from the indicated websites in
November 2008.

South Korea’s Education Success, BBC News, 13 Sep. 2005,


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/4240668.stm

Card, James, Life and Death Exams in South Korea, Asia Times Online,
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Korea/GK30Dg01.html.

Donnelly, Kevin, What will it take to get a national curriculum off the
ground this time?, Online Opinion,
http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=585.

Kim, G., Education Policies and Reform in South Korea, (2002)

Kim, H., National Identity in Korean Curriculum, Canadian Social


Studies, Vol. 23, No. 3, (Canada: University of Alberta, 2004).

Lee, I., Park, J., Kim, O., Kim, O., A Study on the Development of
Model and Standards for Improvement of Teacher’s
Professional Competency in Student Evaluation, (Korea:
Korea Institute of Curriculum and Evaluation, 2004).

Park, J., Special Education in South Korea, Council for Exceptional


Children (2002).

24 Na, James, “The Asian Craze for Education,” Guns and Butter, May 2005, retrieved 25 Nov 2008
<http://gunsandbutter.blogspot.com/2005/05/asian-craze-for-education.html>
25 Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, “Concluding Observations on Second Report,” OHCHR
Committee on the Rights of the Child, 18 March 2003, CRC/C/15/Add.197, paras. 7d, 38 and 39
26 Dietel, R.J., Herman, J.L. and Knuth, R.A., “What Does Research Say about Assessment?,” Oak Brook, IL:
NCREL, FinchPark website, retrieved 19 Feb 2009, <http://www.finchpark.com/courses/assess/research.htm>
Education in South Korea, Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_South_Korea.
The Association for Teachers of English in Korea provides the
following services to the general public, members and non-
members alike:
• Monitoring of proposed legislation and regulations which may affect non-
citizen English teachers in Korea.
• Translation of proposed and existing legislation and regulations (domestic
and international) and analysis of their possible effects on non-citizen English
teachers in Korea.
• Advocacy for English teacher concerns at the national and local levels.
• The English Teacher's Guide to Korea, which will be made available in PDF
for free download from our website (http://atek.or.kr).

ATEK provides the following benefits and services to members:


• Full access to ATEK's Employer Rating System, to make and review ratings.
• Access to the member forums.
• Access to professional development and lesson planning materials.
• Information on how to check to see if your employer is correctly reporting
your income, paying your taxes and making proper deductions from your
pay.
• Copies of labor, tax, pension, and health insurance complaint forms,
translated into Korean, and instructions about how to go about filing a
complaint.
• Local social networks (the Provincial and Metropolitan Associations that send
reps to our national council).
• Access to data from the ATEK Member Survey, which enables ATEK to track
average salaries and weekly hours by region and type of teaching job,
average level of satisfaction with various job types, average length of stay of
foreigners working in Korea, average pay and benefit increases when re-
signing for a second year, and much more. Want to know if your contract
offer is above or below the average salary for someone in your city and
education level? Get access.
• Advisories to the government based on ATEK Member Survey information
on non-citizen English teacher's problems and needs (does one particular city
have a higher rate of teachers reporting pay withholding fraud? That city's
government might want to know that.)
• An online application that translates letters home to parents into Korean, so
that you can communicate with parents and let them know how their child is
doing.
• Representation of member concerns to relevant government agencies and
other groups.
• Responses to media items of interest to non-citizen English teachers.

All these resources are available on our website at


http://atek.or.kr
THE ENGLISH TEACHER'S
GUIDE TO KOREA
Living, Working, and Thriving in Korea Sparkling

By
Tony Hellmann, M.Ed.
Tom Rainey-Smith
Jason Thomas, M.App.Ling.
Matthew Henderson

ATEK

Press
This book was designed and laid out entirely with open source software.
Individual sections copyright © 2009 by the respective authors, all rights reserved,
except as licensed below. Used by permission.
Published by ATEK Press, a division of the Association for Teachers of English in Korea.
Design and composition by Tony Hellmann. Copyedited by Jason Thomas
Cover: Art by Jeffrey Morabito. www.jeffreymorabito.com. Photo by Trey Ratcliff, www.stuckincustoms.com

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative


Works License
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Noncommercial. You may not use this


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 For any reuse or distribution, you
개작, 변형 또는 가공할 수 없
must make clear to others the
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이러한 조건들은 적용되지 않습니다.

Limit of Liability/Disclaimer of Warranty: While the publisher and authors have used their best
efforts in preparing this book, they make no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or
completeness of the contents of this book and specifically disclaim any implied warranties of merchantability or
fitness for a particular purpose. No warranty may be created or extended by sales representatives or written sales
materials. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation. You should consult with
a professional where appropriate. Neither the publisher nor the authors shall be liable for any loss of profit or any
other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

This book is published in both print and electronic formats.


Printed in the Republic of Korea
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
CHAPTER 3: OBTAINING EMPLOYMENT
AND MOVING TO KOREA
There are several steps in the process of getting a job in Korea, which
involve a number of factors. These steps are covered in this chapter in-
depth.

VISAS IN KOREA
VISA TYPES
There are a number of different visas that foreign English teachers
come to Korea to work on. They are listed and described below:
Visa Length of Description
Stay
C-4 90 days Short-term employment. This visa is used for English
camp jobs. It is used not only for English teachers,
but short-term workers in many fields.
E-1 1 year Visiting professor. This visa is for those teaching at
universities.
E-2 1 year Foreign language instructor. This is the most
common visa issued to foreign English teachers.
F-2 1-2 years Residency. For those married to Korean citizens.
F-4 2 years Overseas Korean. This visa is for individuals of
Korean heritage who are citizens of Canada or the
USA.
F-5 Indefinite Permanent Residency.
H-1 1 year Working holiday. This visa is available to citizens of
Australia, Canada, and New Zealand only.

WHO CAN WORK IN KOREA?


Under the laws of the Republic of Korea as of this book's printing,
citizens of Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, the
United Kingdom, and the United States of America are permitted to
obtain C-4, E-1, E-2, F-2, and F-5 visas if they meet the other
requirements for the visa.
To work in Korea as an English teacher on a C-4 (camp job) or
E-2 (foreign language instructor) visa, one must possess a four-year
bachelor's degree, in any field of study, and be from one of the
following countries: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South
Africa, the United Kingdom, or the United States of America. To
obtain an E-1 (visiting professor) visa, one must possess a graduate
degree (masters or doctoral) in either the field one plans to teach, or in
education. Obtaining F series visas can be a complicated process, and
are beyond the scope of this book. Contact the Korean Immigration
Service for more information.

HOW TO GET A VISA


Different visa types require different types of documentation. This
documentation changes from time to time. One should obtain the
most up-to-date information from your prospective employer, who
should be able to tell you exactly what documentation you need to
gather. The basic process is the same for C-4, E-1, and E-2 visas
(although the required documentation is different):
Accept a job. Your new employer will either mail or email you
copies of your contract. Sign them and mail them along with all
required documentation back to your new employer. Your employer
will take the documentation to immigration, who will process the visa
request and issue a “visa issuance number,” which your new
employer will send to you. Take that number to your nearest Korean
consulate and fill out an application. You will leave your passport
with the consulate. When you pick it up, it will have your visa affixed
to it.
What is widely different between C-4, E-1, and E-2 visas is the
amount of paperwork required. At the time of this writing, C-4 visas
require only a copy of your degree, a copy of your transcript, and a
criminal background check. E-1 visas require degree and transcript
originals (or copies with an apostille), plus a letter from a previous
university or similar institution you taught at describing your duties
(if you taught university for-credit classes, that should be mentioned
in the letter), and a letter of transfer if you are currently working at a
Korean university. E-2 visas require degree and transcript originals (or
copies with an apostille), a criminal background check with an
apostille, and after one arrives in Korea, a drug test and medical
checkup. For specifics of what the E-2 documentation should look
like, ask your employer.

FINDING THE RIGHT JOB


Finding the right job is not dissimilar to finding the best orange in the
produce section at your supermarket. At first glance they all appear
similar. When looking more closely, you can see that some are larger
and some are smaller. Some have obvious blemishes and some have
blemishes you only see when you pick them up. Some are different
shades of orange. How do you know which one is the best?
The answer is: you can't know for sure until you arrive and
start working, just like you can't know about an orange for sure until
you peel one and eat it. However, you can approach looking for a job
with a critical eye, and that will reduce your chances of ending up in a
bad situation. Let's start with some basics about different job types.

JOB TYPES
UNIVERSITY JOBS
Universities typically offer low hours per week and long vacations;
twelve hours per week for 2.2 million won monthly with four months
paid vacation is considered by many to be a decent offer. Some
universities may offer more money for those hours. This is for a
departmental job (teaching in an English department, for example),
not a university language institute job. Many universities have
language institutes attached to them (dubbed “unigwan” by the
foreign teaching community) where they teach English to students
and/or to non-students. Often these university institutes require
higher hours per week and give substantially less paid vacation than
university departments.
The benefit of a university job besides the low hours and long
vacation is that the job is very stable: there is little likelihood that a
university will suddenly go out of business! Pay is on-time, proper
deductions are usually made, and many universities are on a private
pension system that is superior to the national pension scheme,
especially for people staying more than a single year (although some
university pension schemes take several years to “vest,” before you
are entitled to the money in them; check with each institution about its
policies).
Competition is high for many university jobs, with successful
applicants often having a graduate degree and several years
experience teaching in Korea. Many universities prefer to hire
someone already in Korea, so if you are applying from outside the
country, you may be at a disadvantage.

PUBLIC SCHOOL JOBS


Public school jobs typically require 22 teaching hours per week, and
usually require you to be at the job site 40 hours per week, from 8:30
to 4:30 Monday through Friday. Public schools usually offer between
ten and thirty days of vacation each year, and often have specific dates
that you are allowed to take vacation time, which revolve around the
school calendar (you will be asked to take vacation when students are
on breaks). The job is stable and pay is on-time. You will usually be
co-teaching with a Korean (see the section on co-teaching), though
some schools prefer that you teach on your own. Though salary levels
vary by province, a new teacher may receive about 1.9 million, while
someone with documented experience and a TESOL certificate may
receive 2.3 million or more. Jobs in rural areas pay slightly higher.

PRIVATE ACADEMY (HAKWON) JOBS


Hakwon positions are by far the most common type of job in Korea.
They vary widely in size, customer base, management style, pay, and
many other factors. Fairly common among hakwons are 10 to 15 days
paid vacation a year, and about 2.1 million won a month for someone
with no experience. Some hakwons are large chains, and many others
are small businesses. Some of the large chains are actually franchises,
so they too are run like small businesses; good or bad reports from
one franchised hakwon have no meaning for another, run by a
different owner. Teachers' experiences at hakwons are very different;
some have good experiences and form close relationships with their
bosses or the owner, while others have terrible experiences. There is
little government regulation of labor practices, so complaints from
English teachers are more common with hakwons than with public
schools or universities.
CAMP JOBS
Summer and winter English camps are common in Korea. Camps
usually employ teachers for about a month. They may front the
money for you to fly to Korea, and then deduct it from your pay, or
they may ask that you pay for your own flight. Salary is usually
around 2 million for a month for someone with no experience,
although some camps pay more. Expect to work long days (you may
have duties in the evenings) and take at least some of your meals with
the campers. Housing is often shared with another teacher. Camp jobs
are an excellent introduction to Korea for those unsure about
committing to a year.

RESUMES AND INTERVIEWS


When you answer a job listing, the employer or recruiter will ask for a
resume and photo. While submitting a photo may be unusual in your
home country, it is standard practice in Korea. If the employer is
interested in hiring you, you will be contacted for an interview. Most
phone interviews are very different from Western-style interviews;
they are short and will often not include many probing questions,
such as “What do you see as your greatest strength?” The prospective
employer wants to hear your English: is it clear, or heavily accented?
They may ask why you are interested in teaching English in Korea.
They will likely invite you to ask questions as well. Be prepared for a
job offer on the spot at the end of the interview: hakwon
managers/owners often interview foreign English teachers after
already deciding they want to hire them. You do not have to accept on
the spot. Remember that English teachers are in great demand, and
that you can negotiate salary, ask to see the contract, or make other
stipulations. They will either meet them, or they'll tell you why they
can't. If you get a bad vibe, just say no, as there are lots of other
employers all over Korea.

AVOIDING A POTENTIALLY BAD SITUATION


Ninety-eight percent of those taking a first job teaching English in
Korea will not have the ability to inspect their new workplace or
apartment before taking the job. This means that they are relying on
what their employers are telling them about the job, apartment, pay,
benefits, et cetera. If you cannot come and look around, then you must
gather as much information as you can (from as many sources as you
can) to make the best possible decision. Start by asking your
prospective employer some questions.

QUESTIONS TO ASK A PROSPECTIVE EMPLOYER


These questions will help you get a sense of what kind of employer
you may be working for. Also, they will show the employer that you
are an “informed” employee. If you are not extended a job offer after
asking all these questions, that may be an indicator that the employer
isn't doing everything legally and thinks you might make trouble. In
that case, passing on your application is doing you a favor.

WORKING HOURS
What are the working hours?
When do teachers prepare for classes?
How long do they prepare for classes?
How long are the rest periods?
How many classes will you teach per day?
How much time will you spend teaching per class?
What hours will you work during school breaks?
Will you work Saturday and/or Sunday? If so, what hours?

JOB DUTIES
Are there other job duties that are not written in your contract?
If so, how often will you perform these duties?

WAGES & OVERTIME


Does your employer always pay overtime wages?
Did your employer pay your wages in cash or deposit your wages into
your Korean bank account?
Are you able to set up an account anywhere, or is a particular bank
required?
How does your employer calculate overtime wages?

PAY RECEIPT
Does your employer provide pay receipts that clearly stated the date
of pay, pay period dates, overtime wages earned, monthly salary
including deductions from your monthly salary for ( 1 ) pension, ( 2 )
income tax and ( 3 ) health insurance?

HEALTH INSURANCE
When will your employer provide you with a health insurance card?

LIVING CONDITIONS
How big is the apartment?
What is it furnished with?

PAID ANNUAL LEAVE


When and how may you use your paid annual leave?

DISCIPLINE
What should you do if you have a problem with an uncontrollable
student in the classroom?

PAID SICK LEAVE


How do teachers use a paid sick leave day? Does your employer
require them to work another day to make up for the hours missed?

WORK ATTIRE
What are the work attire expectations?

PERFORMANCE EVALUATION
How are teachers evaluated?
How does the school handle it when a parent or student complains
about the teacher or teaching method?

CURRICULUM
Is there a curriculum, or will you be expected to set the curriculum?
If you are expected to set the curriculum, are there materials available
(books, etc.) to work with?

REFERENCE (VERY IMPORTANT)


How many foreigners have worked at this school before me? Are
there any current or former employees I can talk to? If the answer to the
former question is any number greater than zero, and the answer to the latter
question is “no,” for any reason, proceed with extreme caution.
Getting information about a job from only your prospective
employer is not dissimilar to asking a lion whether or not it is okay to
come into the lion's den. It will be important for you to get
information from at least one other source. A good source is often a
current or former English teacher at that school. Try to schedule an
appointment to speak to them over the phone, when they are not at
work. If they are at work, you may not get honest answers, as the
teacher is probably within earshot of their boss or coworkers. Don't
just listen to the content of the teacher's answers to your questions:. Is
there stress in their voice when they answer some questions? Which
ones don't they answer right away? Do they sound evasive or
guarded? What is the general feeling you get from the conversation?
Here are the questions. Note that some are the same as the questions I
suggested you ask your employer: the answers should be the same
too.

QUESTIONS TO ASK A CURRENT OR FORMER TEACHER


WORKING HOURS
What were your working hours?
When did you prepare for your classes?
How long did you prepare for your classes?
How long were your rest periods?
Did your employer allow you to use your rest period freely?
How many classes did you teach per day?
How much time do you spend teaching per class?
What hours do you work during school breaks?
Do you work Saturday and/or Sunday? If so, what hours?

JOB DUTIES
What job duties did you perform that were not written in your
contract?
How often did you perform these duties?

WAGES & OVERTIME


Did your employer always pay overtime wages?
Did your employer pay your wages in cash or deposit your wages into
your Korean bank account?
Were you able to set up an account anywhere, or did your employer
require you to use a particular bank?
How did your employer calculate overtime wages?

PAY RECEIPT
Did your employer provide pay receipts that clearly stated the date of
pay, pay period dates, overtime wages earned, monthly salary
including deductions from your monthly salary for ( 1 ) pension, ( 2 )
income tax and ( 3 ) health insurance?

HEALTH INSURANCE
When did your employer provide you with a health insurance card?
Did your employer pay contributions for both parties to the National
Health Insurance Corporation?
Did your employer respect your right to medical privacy?

TAXES/PENSION/SEVERANCE PAY
Did your employer always deduct the correct amount for income
taxes from your monthly salary?
Did your employer pay deductions from your monthly salary for
income taxes to the tax office?
Did your employer pay into the Korean Pension Plan?
Did your employer always pay severance pay upon completion of
your contract?

LIVING CONDITIONS
Was your apartment clean upon arrival?
Were you provided with all the furnishings as stated in your contract?
Were all the furnishings/appliances in working order when you
moved into your apartment?
Were the bills in your name or your employer's name?
If the bills were in your employer's name, did your employer deduct
the correct amount from your monthly salary for utilities?
Did your employer respect your right to privacy?

PAID ANNUAL LEAVE


When and how do you use your paid annual leave?
PROBLEMS
Has the employer ever been abusive towards students?
Has the employer ever been abusive towards teachers?
Has the employer ever done anything that made you feel uneasy,
concerned, or afraid?

PAID SICK LEAVE


Did you use a paid sick leave day? If so, how did your employer
react?
If teachers used a day of paid sick leave, did your employer require
them to work another day to make up for the hours missed?

TURNOVER
How long do teachers usually stay?
How many teachers have left since you came? Why did they go?
Why is the teacher I will be replacing leaving?

PERFORMANCE EVALUATION
How are teachers evaluated?
How does the school handle it when a parent or student complains
about the teacher or teaching method?
In addition to questioning your potential employer and
current or former employees, it is probably a good idea to post a
request for information on one or more websites serving English
teachers in Korea. Ask if anyone has any information good or bad
about a particular school. Mention the school by name and the boss by
name as well (sometimes schools change names if their reputations
come under fire, and sometimes bad bosses move to new schools).
The Association for Teachers of English in Korea provides the
following services to the general public, members and non-
members alike:
• Monitoring of proposed legislation and regulations which may affect non-
citizen English teachers in Korea.
• Translation of proposed and existing legislation and regulations (domestic
and international) and analysis of their possible effects on non-citizen English
teachers in Korea.
• Advocacy for English teacher concerns at the national and local levels.
• The English Teacher's Guide to Korea, which will be made available in PDF
for free download from our website (http://atek.or.kr).

ATEK provides the following benefits and services to members:


• Full access to ATEK's Employer Rating System, to make and review ratings.
• Access to the member forums.
• Access to professional development and lesson planning materials.
• Information on how to check to see if your employer is correctly reporting
your income, paying your taxes and making proper deductions from your
pay.
• Copies of labor, tax, pension, and health insurance complaint forms,
translated into Korean, and instructions about how to go about filing a
complaint.
• Local social networks (the Provincial and Metropolitan Associations that send
reps to our national council).
• Access to data from the ATEK Member Survey, which enables ATEK to track
average salaries and weekly hours by region and type of teaching job,
average level of satisfaction with various job types, average length of stay of
foreigners working in Korea, average pay and benefit increases when re-
signing for a second year, and much more. Want to know if your contract
offer is above or below the average salary for someone in your city and
education level? Get access.
• Advisories to the government based on ATEK Member Survey information
on non-citizen English teacher's problems and needs (does one particular city
have a higher rate of teachers reporting pay withholding fraud? That city's
government might want to know that.)
• An online application that translates letters home to parents into Korean, so
that you can communicate with parents and let them know how their child is
doing.
• Representation of member concerns to relevant government agencies and
other groups.
• Responses to media items of interest to non-citizen English teachers.

All these resources are available on our website at


http://atek.or.kr
THE ENGLISH TEACHER'S
GUIDE TO KOREA
Living, Working, and Thriving in Korea Sparkling

By
Tony Hellmann, M.Ed.
Tom Rainey-Smith
Jason Thomas, M.App.Ling.
Matthew Henderson

ATEK

Press
This book was designed and laid out entirely with open source software.
Individual sections copyright © 2009 by the respective authors, all rights reserved,
except as licensed below. Used by permission.
Published by ATEK Press, a division of the Association for Teachers of English in Korea.
Design and composition by Tony Hellmann. Copyedited by Jason Thomas
Cover: Art by Jeffrey Morabito. www.jeffreymorabito.com. Photo by Trey Ratcliff, www.stuckincustoms.com

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative


Works License
저작자표시-비영리-변경금지 2.0 대한민국
이용자는 아래의 조건을 따르는 경우에 You are free:
한하여 자유롭게 :
to Share – to copy, distribute, display,
이 저작물을 복제, 배포, 전송, and perform the work.
전시, 공연 및 방송할 수 있습
Under the following conditions:
니다.
Attribution. You must attribute the
다음과 같은 조건을 따라야 합니다 : work in the manner specified by the
author or licensor (but not in any way
저작자표시. 귀하는 원저작자 that suggests that they endorse you or
를 표시하여야 합니다. your use of the work).

Noncommercial. You may not use this


work for commercial purposes.
비영리. 귀하는 이 저작물을 영
리 목적으로 이용할 수 없습니
No Derivative Works. You may not
다. alter, transform, or build upon this
work.
변경금지. 귀하는 이 저작물을
 For any reuse or distribution, you
개작, 변형 또는 가공할 수 없
must make clear to others the
습니다. license terms of this work. The best
way to do this is with a link to this
 귀하는, 이 저작물의 재이용이나 배포의 web page.
경우, 이 저작물에 적용된 이용허락조건
 Any of the above conditions can be
을 명확하게 나타내어야 합니다.
waived if you get permission from
 저작권자로부터 별도의 허가를 받으면 the copyright holder.
이러한 조건들은 적용되지 않습니다.

Limit of Liability/Disclaimer of Warranty: While the publisher and authors have used their best
efforts in preparing this book, they make no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or
completeness of the contents of this book and specifically disclaim any implied warranties of merchantability or
fitness for a particular purpose. No warranty may be created or extended by sales representatives or written sales
materials. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation. You should consult with
a professional where appropriate. Neither the publisher nor the authors shall be liable for any loss of profit or any
other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

This book is published in both print and electronic formats.


Printed in the Republic of Korea
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
CHAPTER 4: AT WORK
INTRODUCTION TO ENGLISH LANGUAGE
EDUCATION IN SOUTH KOREA
English has been formally taught in Korea for 125 years, but demand
for the language was restricted to a relatively small group of
specialists until the mid-1990s, when “globalization” became a mantra
in major media and the administration of Kim Young-sam and English
was promoted as an essential element of globalization. Koreans now
spend 3 trillion won annually on private English lessons, far more
than any other nation.
Education culture is testing-oriented and has been for
centuries (though many teachers are attempting to change this). For
men in the yangban or elite class, social status was largely determined
by your position in the king’s bureaucracy, and you were not admitted
to this service unless you scored well on the gwageo, the civil service
examination, which was administered in Chinese. When Japan
colonized the peninsula early in the twentieth century, knowledge of
Japanese came to determine your position in the civil service.
This may help to explain the hostility toward English
expressed by some nationalists. Until 1945, an independent Korean
intellectual tradition had, in many respects, been stifled by the
dominance of foreign languages. Now, a foreign language once again
acts as a gatekeeper to academic and professional success in Korea,
and it is the language we are here to teach.
The government now requires universities to deliver some
content in English, and Korean professors are lecturing their Korean
students in English. City governments interview Korean applicants in
English. If you want to study Chinese literature or Korean history at a
top school, you need a good score on the English section of the
suneung, the college entrance test. English is seen everywhere. It is no
surprise that some feel that Korean, finally allowed to thrive, is again
under threat. Keep this in mind.
COMMUNICATING WITH STUDENTS,
COWORKERS, AND OTHERS
TEACHING AND CO-TEACHING
Collaborating with other teachers to deliver language lessons can be a
rewarding experience, but it isn’t always easy. This section explores
some of the problems and frustrations that foreign instructors in
primary and secondary schools report, and provides suggestions.

CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT
Many teachers report a more “relaxed” classroom culture than they
are accustomed to, and some are shocked when students continue or
even begin conversations with other students while a teacher is
addressing the class. There is a simple explanation for this:
conventional classrooms are text- and lecture-based, not activity-
oriented. Tasks based on a text are usually quite simple: listen and
repeat, listen and select item a) or b) and so on. Lectures focus on
some grammar point or vocabulary item that students might need for
the test but will not need to use. Simply stated, learners rarely need to
listen to the teacher in order to participate in a lesson. You may well
have other ideas about what you want to happen during class.
There is no single strategy that works for every teacher in
every classroom, so you’ll have to develop your own ways to get
students’ attention. Frequent use of activities that require students to
actually use target language will encourage students to pay attention
when target language is presented. This brings us to…

ACTIVITY PROCEDURES
Some teachers become frustrated when their co-teacher translates
activity directions. Why should learners listen to you, if your co-
teacher will immediately translate everything you say into Korean?
Here are your options:
1) Let your co-teacher translate the procedure. This certainly is
more efficient, especially for more complex and engaging learning
activities. After all, most learning happens during the activity itself (if
it is well-designed), not while learners are waiting for it to begin.
2) Let your co-teacher translate, but make sure they do not tell
students to begin the activity. Rather, repeat the directions yourself.
You may find that many students, once they have an idea of what
you’re telling them, will want to listen again! This can develop learner
confidence as well as comprehension skills.
3) Ask your co-teacher not to translate, but rather to ask
“comprehension check” questions. This can tell you what steps must
be repeated or modeled again. “Do you understand?” is the worst
possible comprehension check question. Teachers know this, but may
sometimes need to be prompted with an appropriate information
question, e.g. “What should student A do after filling in the gaps?”
Do not be discouraged if you find that learners often fail to
understand your directions. Delivering activity procedures effectively
in L2—especially to beginners—is probably the most difficult skill for
a language teacher to acquire.

LESSON PLANNING
Of course, activities work best when your co-teacher has a clear
understanding of what the activities are designed to accomplish, and
the goals of the lesson. Unfortunately, some teachers will take little
interest in your lesson plans and are content to be themselves directed
in the classroom, especially if they cannot see how your lesson is
related to the syllabus, i.e. the textbook.
If you can, try to insist on regular meetings with your co-
teachers. At these meetings, negotiate what it is that you and they
should actually do during class. Ideally, you will share the role of
directing lessons, rather than limit your co-teacher’s role to e.g.
monitoring to assist learners or to keep them on-task. If all they’re
doing is observing “your” lessons, they’ll naturally lose interest.
Finally, feedback is an integral part of professional
development. I know of one teacher who brings to weekly meetings
“two things I appreciated, one thing I have concerns about.” She asks
her co-teachers to do the same. This could be very effective, if done
with care.

UNDERSTANDING SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION


If you don’t know what “SLA” is, get thee to a bookstore! If you’re a
monolingual (or “natural” bilingual), then your knowledge of how
second languages are acquired will necessarily be abstract and
incomplete, and your co-teacher with their “poor English” way ahead
of you. This doesn’t necessarily mean that their way is the “best” way,
because there is no agreement on what the “best” way to learn a
language is. If you haven't already, do some research, start learning an
additional language, or both. Then you’ll be in a better position to
engage your co-teachers in informed discussion of approaches that
might work for your learners. I suggest that you read the aims of the
current curriculum carefully (see appendix) and base most of your
own goals on it.

ENGLISH-AS-SUBJECT VS. ENGLISH-AS-LANGUAGE


There is a tension, some might say a contradiction, present in nearly
every EFL classroom on the planet, and in South Korea it is impossible
to avoid. If you teach in a school, then English is a subject, like
mathematics or chemistry. And in any subject, students are to acquire
a body of knowledge particular to that subject area: vocabulary,
relations, formulas and patterns, and the like. Teachers are aware of
course that “knowledge” has an interesting yet annoying habit of
changing, as understandings and perceptions change. But in order to
plan and deliver a syllabus, and above all to assess students on uptake
of syllabus content, it becomes necessary to “freeze” knowledge.
Freezing knowledge of elementary algebra or inorganic
chemistry perhaps does not cause too many problems, but freezing a
living language does. Compare the following texts. Which text is
authentic, and which from a textbook? Which would you present to a
class of beginners?1
Text A
A: Excuse me, please. Do you know where the nearest bank is?
B: Well, the City Bank isn't far from here. Do you know where the
main post office is?
A: No, not really. I'm just passing through.
B: Well, first go down this street to the traffic light.
A: OK.
B: Then turn left and go west on Sunset Boulevard for about two
blocks. The bank is on your right, just past the post office.

1 Nunan, D., Teaching grammar in context, ELT Journal, 52 (1998), p. 105.


A: All right. Thanks!
B: You're welcome.
Text B
A: How do I get to Kensington Road?
B: Well you go down Fullarton Road--
A: --what, down Old Belair, and around...?
B: Yeah. And then you go straight--
A: --past the hospital?
B: Yeah, keep going straight, past the racecourse to the roundabout.
You know the big roundabout?
A: Yeah.
B: And Kensington Road's off to the right.
A: What, off the roundabout?
B: Yeah.
A: Right.
Many teachers will present text A to beginners, for the simple
reason that they can then teach the indirect question form, and then
assess its uptake. That the form is not always used by people when
asking for directions is, sadly, irrelevant. That the form is far too
complex for a beginner to use accurately is also irrelevant. It is a
pattern. It is easy to test. If you wanted to write test items for text B,
you’d need a map of London.
Ironically, the fact that English is a living language and, more
importantly, an international language beyond the control of any one
group of language users, suggests that you need not be overly
concerned by “mistakes” in textbooks. Languages change as they
travel. For example, uncountable nouns commonly become countable.
A Korean might say the following:
• Although it is a hard work, I enjoy it.
• An old man showed a great patience.
This same process also causes differences in the norms of so-called
standard varieties of English.
• ...iceberg lettuces are down in price
• Some small initial fall-off in attendances is unavoidable.
“Lettuce” and “attendance,” as seen in these examples taken from
British newspapers, can be countable in Standard British English, but
are uncountable in Standard U.S. English.2
You might not want to hear a student say something like the
following:
• My teacher like it when I use a subordinate clause correctly.
In fact, you might want to call attention to that absent morpheme '-s':
“She like it?” But if a speaker at an international conference in Karachi,
for example, used a similar construction, only a pedant would much
care about that absent morpheme. After all, you probably do not want
to hear that morpheme in these constructions:
• Does she like it? Did she like it?
• Would, could, should she like it?
• We suggest that she like it.
Do not imagine that the particular variety of English that you
are most comfortable with is the “best” or “most correct” or “the
standard.” There has never been “one English to rule them all,” no
matter what the Prince of Wales might believe, and there never can be.
Natural language users are too creative, and too practical, for this ever
to happen.

WORKSPACE
Some schools like to “show off” their foreign instructor or give them
office space that is easily accessible to students. Some instructors are
fine with this, others are not. A considerate school will ask you where
you would prefer to work when you’re not in the classroom.

YOUR CO-TEACHER
There may be times when you don't understand your co-teacher's
motivations for his/her actions, or the motivations seem territorial,
defensive, or resistant to change (even though you think your
suggestions are self-evident truths: doesn't EVERYONE know that
students will learn food words better if we make sandwiches in
class?). A brief look at what your co-teacher may be going through
and how Korean work culture affects their decision-making might
help.

2 Lowenberg, P., Assessing English proficiency in the expanding circle, World Englishes, (???) p. 21.
Before beginning a discussion about culture, it is important to
note that culture has no laws, only tendencies, and some people adopt
their culture's tendencies more than others. Of the ones who don't
march to the beat of the cultural drum, failures are often shunned as
deviant or stupid, and successes are often lauded as visionary or
brilliant. What are presented in this section are guidelines about
Korean tendencies toward thought and action, not hard-and-fast rules
for how all Koreans behave or how the Korean mind always operates.
Bear in mind that there are few absolutes in cultural analysis.
First of all, one significant difference between Korean and
Western work culture is that in the West, informing your boss of a
problem you had and how you solved it, demonstrates that you are
competent. In Korean culture, this is not necessarily so. If you to
report to a Korean boss that you've been having trouble with one of
your students, and you described an intervention that has reduced the
trouble, a Korean boss may think "Why does this worker have these
problems? I don't hear about problems from the other workers." This
kind of work culture means that you manage problems yourself and
do not report them upwards. Reporting a problem to your superior is
admitting you have a problem, which implies that you are not
competent. In a casual conversation about Korean work culture with a
director of a government center in Seoul, I was told “The worst time of
day for a Korean manager is right before it is time to go home. This is
the time when workers who have been trying all day to contain
problems that are beyond their abilities will report them to their
bosses, admitting that they couldn't solve the problems themselves.”
Add to this concept the idea that one is held responsible for
changes and new ideas that go poorly. I don't mean that a Korean
teacher may be formally disciplined when parents complain about a
new activity that she is conducting, but that the boss (and coworkers)
may think badly of her. This is something that all Koreans are aware
of. Making a change, or doing something new, is "sticking your neck
out," because your professional reputation is affected by the outcome.
For this reason, Koreans often will agree in private that a suggestion is
a good idea, but will only publicly throw their support behind a sure
thing: an idea that they think can't possibly go wrong.
Keeping in mind these cultural considerations, imagine that
you are a Korean teacher. This is not a two-year gig for you. This is
your career. You were born in this town, were a student in this town,
and expect to work your entire career in this town's school system.
You have been assigned a Western co-teacher. You are explicitly
charged with the following responsibilities: (1) make sure he
understands his duties; (2) help him understand our students and our
culture; (3) assist him with lessons in the classroom; and (4) be a
liaison between him and school management. You are also implicitly
expected to do the following: (5) ensure that he does his job properly;
(6) ensure that he has no problems or issues; (7) ensure he doesn't do
anything that will harm the school's reputation or upset the parents.
What are the consequences of failure to meet any of these duties?
You'll look bad. If you look bad often enough, that may harm your
chances for promotion, advancement, or cause special opportunities to
be offered to others, instead of you. It isn't realistic that you can
control all of these things, yet that's the way things stand.
Now Garrett, the new foreign teacher, has a master's degree in
TESL, and he seems to know a better way to do just about everything
in the classroom. If you follow even half of his suggestions, you'll be
teaching in a very different style than all the other teachers.
Management won't like it. Parents won't like it ("What do you mean
you're only teaching my son 30 new words per week? All the other
teachers teach 50 per week!) You tell Garrett that you don't think his
suggestions will work. "But why?" he asks. "The Communicative
Language Approach is exactly what the advanced seniors need. All
the TESL literature for the past 40 years says that grammar-translation
is the least efficient technique. I can show the principal hard research."
You say that it doesn't matter, but you have a hard time explaining
why, because all the cultural factors that come into play are things you
know intuitively, so they are difficult to define.
Of course, not every problem is because of cultural
differences. Some really are about personality or temperament,
however, try to give your co-teacher the benefit of the doubt, at least
in the beginning. The reason she gets testy about something may
come from the confluence of her culture and her work environment; it
may just be because she doesn't like you, because you make her life
stressful due to the pressures exerted upon her (by the school) as your
co-teacher; it may be because you unwittingly approach professional
or interpersonal conflict in a way that Koreans have a hard time with;
or it may simply be because either you or your co-teacher is inflexible,
unwilling to see the other side, or hard to get along with. You'll be
happier in the long run if you can gain some understanding of your
co-teacher. Have him or her read this article and tell you what he or
she thinks: maybe he or she thinks some parts are exactly right, and/or
other parts are utter nonsense. Either way, you'll have a better
understanding of what makes your co-teacher tick.

TEN RULES FOR CO-TEACHING


1. Do NOT correct a teacher in front of students. Ever. If you believe
that a particular language item is wrong or is being taught incorrectly,
discuss it with the teacher after class. They can always revisit and
revise the item in a future lesson.
2. Do NOT trash the textbook in front of students. It is no secret that
the national curriculum is inadequate, misguided, and wretchedly
dull. Teachers must deliver it.
3. Unless you are a radical egalitarian, DO use a title, either Ms./Mr. or
seonsaengnim.
4. DO listen carefully to suggestions from other teachers. Chances are
very good that they know the students better than you do.
5. DO allow students to “code-switch” or use some Korean, as long as
they remain on task. Research shows that “externalizing” mental
processes—working through a problem out loud—in collaboration
with others spurs cognitive/linguistic development.
6. DO involve your co-teachers in lessons. DO encourage them to
involve you as well. You should be more than a live supplement to the
CD-ROM.
7. Do NOT feel you must place your hand over your heart when the
Korean national anthem is sung at assemblies. Simply standing
silently is polite.
8. Do NOT participate in the physical or verbal abuse of a student.
Record names, times and places for particularly violent abuse, in case
police or parents later become involved. Do your documentation as
soon as possible after the incident.
9. At dinner-meetings, do NOT feel obliged to accept soju from the
vice-principal or anyone else, unless you want soju. A polite refusal
should offend no one.
10. DO have fun. If you’re not enjoying a lesson, it is safe to assume
that students aren’t enjoying it either.

WHY WE HAVE TROUBLE COMMUNICATING WITH KOREANS:


HIGH CONTEXT AND LOW CONTEXT SOCIOLINGUISTIC
DIFFERENCES
In Korean, much unspoken information is derived from context.
When a Korean says “Where are you going?” to another Korean, the
literal translation is “Where going?” and the subject is assumed to be
“you” from the context: there is only one person speaking to another,
so whom else could it be? If there were three people together, and one
person abruptly walked away, the same question “Where going?”
would mean “Where is he going?” and everyone would understand it
to mean that, from the context: there is only one person whose
destination is in question, therefore he must be the subject of the
question.
This is a simple example of what Hall calls a “high context”
language.3 In a high context language, the actual words may not
contain the entire message, yet the expectation is that the entire message
has been understood. Because of this, Koreans won't commonly correct
you nor explain things to you, because you are assumed to know what
everyone else knows. Park notes:
Since Koreans think that they are close to each other
in terms of what they have experienced or can share,
they are reluctant to jot down what does or does not
have to be done. On the other hand, the English dis-
course using a low context culture tends to be ex-
pressive because less information is assumed to be
shared across ethnocultural boundaries. Thus, speak-
ers of English at large need to provide detailed in-
formation as a common underlying bond for commu-
nication to be effective.”4
A problem between a Korean school and one of their English
instructors is an excellent illustration of this difference. When the

3 Hall, E.T., Beyond Culture, New York: Anchor Books, 1997


4 Park, M.S., Communication Styles in Two Different Cultures: Korean and American, Seoul: Han Shin Publishing,
1997, p. 24.
author of this article was employed at a private English academy
(hakwon) the branch manager hired a new native English instructor
from the United States. He sent his paperwork over and the manager
sent it to immigration. Eventually immigration sent his visa issuance
number, and our manager informed him of it through email.
However, the manager neglected to tell him that he now had to take
that number back to the Korean consulate where they will issue his
visa. He flew to Korea and started work. When the hakwon took him
to immigration to get his Certificate of Alien Registration, he was
asked for his visa, and he pulled out the visa issuance number he was
given. Upon inspection of his passport, it was learned that he entered
Korea on a three month tourist visa!
Hakwon management blamed him for the mistake; he should
have known that one must get their visa issued before coming to
Korea. His defense was “How was I supposed to know if you didn't
tell me?” The American, low-context language expectation was that
the person or entity who had all the knowledge would impart all of it
to the person whose knowledge was incomplete. After all, the hakwon
had hired other foreign teachers and understood the process. From a
Western perspective, it was clearly the hakwon's responsibility to
make sure a new teacher had all the necessary information to process
their visa.
When the American said “How was I supposed to know if
you didn't tell me?” the response from management was “How are we
supposed to know what you do and don't know? We can't tell you
everything. Did we need to tell you to get to the airport a couple hours
before your flight? No. Did we need to tell you that you have to go to
the ticketing counter before going to your gate? No. You already knew
these things and we didn't have to inform you. So how should we
know that you didn't know what to do with your visa number?”
As he had been technically teaching illegally, he had to
immediately take a trip to Japan to get a teaching visa, and the
hakwon made him pay for the trip, because it was “his fault.” When
he requested a meeting with the owner, branch manager, and foreign
manager to explain his position and protest having to pay for the trip
(which they were deducting from his pay), he was nearly fired. The
owner said “I think someone who doesn't know how to secure a
teaching visa is not qualified to do this job.”
According to Kim, in Korea, “it is indeed perceived by the
listener as an insult, violation, or intrusion into his personal space for
the speaker/writer to provide detailed information beyond what is
actually required.”5 Clearly, the entire problem revolved around the
interaction between a high-context culture (Korean) and a low-context
culture (American). The low context culture assumed that all
necessary information would be transmitted in the message. The high
context culture assumed that the other person already knew what
needed to be done, or would ask the right questions or do the research
to find out what needed to be done. The take-home message here: be
careful.
The high-context/low-context difference can also be seen
when trying to convey information through an interpreter. Often, a
foreigner from a low-context culture will say “Okay, please translate
exactly what I'm saying.” Immediately the Korean who is translating
is in a difficult situation, because in order to be clear (what would be
considered “clear” in a low-context culture) the foreigner starts at the
beginning, which may cover information that the receiver already
knows. So an exchange like the following may take place:
Foreigner (to apartment maintenance man, through a
translator):
Two days ago, my hot water stopped work-
ing, so I showed you and asked you to fix it.
You said that the hot water would be on in a
couple hours, but it wasn't, and then I could-
n't find you again to show you. Then yester-
day I finally found you and told you that the
hot water was still not working, and you told
me that it would be on by four o'clock. Then
it wasn't on by four o'clock. It still isn't on.
What's going on?
Translator (in Korean, to maintenance man):
Literally: Water still not working. Meaning:
Her hot water still isn't working.
Foreigner (to translator):
I asked you to translate exactly. That was

5 Kim, I.S., “Korean Language as Pragmatic Based Discourse,” Korean Language Education, 1 (1989), p. 19.
pretty short.
Translator, nodding to foreigner:
Yes, yes, he understands everything.
The foreigner is now exasperated because she is not able to
communicate in the way she is accustomed. Her manner of
communicating (going through the entire situation from the
beginning to the present) shows the listener that she has been
inconvenienced and that she is not happy about it. However, in a
high-context culture, this is assumed: the maintenance man knows
that she first complained two days ago and now that he has been
informed that her hot water is still not working, he knows that she's
been inconvenienced without having to be told. In his culture, to tell
him what he obviously already knows is somewhat rude. The
translator, being Korean, knows this, and is trying to balance the
foreigner's needs with the maintenance man's cultural needs.
The take-home message here is: be careful. The fundamental
assumptions which underpin how you communicate are different
from the people living all around you. Know that all human behavior
is purposeful (i.e., everyone has a reason for everything they do). If
you see something you don't understand or doesn't appear to make
sense, it in fact makes sense to the person performing the action, but
their fundamental assumptions are different from yours. When I see a
Korean do or say something that would appear irrational, ill-advised,
or even stupid if done in America, I don't think “That's stupid.”
Instead, I usually think “There is obviously something I don't
understand about what's happening here,” because I recognize that
my fundamental assumptions are likely different. Conversely, I
recognize that my communications may not always be received the
way I intend them, so if I have something important to say, or want to
say something about a subject that may be delicate, I usually seek
guidance from a close Korean friend about the best way to approach
saying it. A new teacher to Korea may not yet have a “sounding
board” for such situations, however, so exercise caution if that is the
case for you.
THE KOREAN LEARNER OF ENGLISH:
ENGLISH-KOREAN CROSS-LINGUISTIC
CHALLENGES
This section seeks to present some of the communication difficulties
faced by Koreans learning English, through exploration of some of the
differences between the Korean and English languages.

PHONOLOGICAL DIFFERENCES
Phonology is the study of sound as the human vocal apparatus
produces it. The sound system of English is so different from the
sound system of Korean that native Koreans learning English
encounter a multitude of phonological snares. English has a number
of sounds that do not exist in Korean, including:

Sound Common Substitution


f Korean learners of English tend to start with a "p" and
force air between their lips (as an interlabial fricative,
for those of you who have studied phonology). If you
close your eyes, and listen to the sound produced, it
sounds almost identical to an f. However, problems
arise when they pair the substitute sound with other
consonants, as in "free," which sounds markedly
different when pronounced using the common "f"
substitution discussed here. Other times they may
pronounce an "f" as an unmodified "p," so that the word
"coffee" comes out as "coppee."
v Korean learner of English often substitute a "b" sound
so that Vancouver comes out as "Bancouber."
θ "S" is often substituted so that "think" comes out as
(th as in "sink."
"third")
ð "D" is often substituted so that "this" comes out as "dis."
(th as in
"the")
ʒ "Z" and "ʒ" are both often pronounced as a vague "j" (dʒ)
(zh as in sound, so that "zip" comes out sounding like "jip" and "pizza"
vision) like "pija."
and z
The branch of phonology that deals with the restrictions on
possible phonetic combinations is called phonotactics. Korean
phonotactical rules allow for words to end only in vowels or a select
few consonants. As a result, when speaking English, Korean learners
of English have a tendency to add a vowel to an English word that
ends in a consonant that could not occur at the end of a Korean word;
for example, the plural "s" occurs frequently in English. but no words
end with the "s" sound in Korean. This is why you may hear Korean
learners of English say "Englishee," and "shirtsuh," instead of
"English" and "shirts." According to Park Myung-seok of Dankook
University, "Such superfluous vowels can be removed by practicing
letting the final consonant just fade away, rather than making it end
abruptly."6
Many of these substitutions are reinforced by standard
Korean pronunciation of foreign names; for example, the Hangul
spelling of Vancouver is 밴 쿠버 (Baenkubeo). Also, Korean-English
interlanguage, commonly called "Konglish," routinely makes
substitutions like the ones described in the above table. As a result,
many of the substitutions have been fossilized (deeply ingrained over
time) and must be "unlearned," so that new pronunciation habits can
be developed.7

HOMOLOGOUS PAIRS
Teaching students homologous pairs may greatly help their
understanding of English pronunciation. Two sounds are said to be
homologous when the mouth organs are moved exactly the same way
to make both sounds, the only difference being that the voice is used
Homologous Pairs in for one, and the other is made without
English and Korean use of the voice. A voiced sound cannot
be properly reproduced without using
Unvoiced Voiced one's voice, and an unvoiced sound
K G cannot be properly reproduced if one's
P B voice is used. One pair that occurs in
CH J
6 Park, M.S., p. 4.
7 T pp. 3-7.
Park, M.S., D
F V
S Z
SH ZH
both English and Korean is p/b and ㅍ/ㅂ. P is voiceless, while b is
voiced.
Both English and Korean have a number of
homologous pairs, so the concept can be taught first with native
Korean sounds, before being applied to English sounds. In the table to
the left, you can see the homologous pairs identified in both Korean
and English. You should observe that the first four pairs occur in both
English and Korean, while the next pair occurs exclusively in English
(f/v). The last two pairs are special: the unvoiced sounds occur in both
Korean and English, but the voiced sounds occur exclusively in
English. This means the students already know how to properly place
their vocal organs to accurately reproduce the "z" and "zh" sounds; the
teacher merely needs to train them to make an "s" or an "sh" sound
while engaging their voice, and good "z" and "zh" sounds will emerge.
Similarly, if a teacher can train students to make a proper "f" sound,
teaching "v" is just "f while using one's voice."
After learning these concepts and proper pronunciation of
these sounds, you may find your Korean students use the correct pair,
but still the wrong sound. "In Korean, voiced consonants are only
positional variants of corresponding voiceless ones: a consonant is
voiced when it comes between other voiced sounds...a Korean speaker
tends to use a voiced consonant instead of a correct voiceless one
between between voiced sounds; for example, 'Pick up' is often
pronounced like 'pig up.'" The source of this error is the Korean habit
of using voiced consonants in some positions and unvoiced ones in
others.8
There are other consonant situations that learners of English
often have trouble with, such as p, t, and k when they occur at the end
of a word (referred to as unvoiced stops). The "p" in stop phonetically
different from the "p" in "park," for example. This is confusing to
Korean learners of English. One of the most difficult is "t," which
sounds different in the words "ten" and "city." If you listen to many
American English speakers say "writing," it sounds like "riding." Thus,
it is common to see Korean learners of English substituting a "d" for
the "t" in words like "water."

8 Park, M.S. p. 4-5


Consonant clusters (like glimpsed, as the "e" is silent, or three-
twelfths) are also problematic, as Korean phonotactic rules don't allow
for sounds that begin to approach the pronunciation complexity of f
followed by θ followed by s without intermediary vowels as occurs in
the aforementioned twelfths. To mitigate consonant clusters, Korean
learners of English are likely to insert superfluous vowels, for example
pronouncing the "e" in "published" (Park, 1997). Professor Park notes
that it is extremely difficult for Korean speakers to read the following
stanza at normal speed:
Amidst the mists and coldest frosts
With stoutest wrists and loudest boasts
He thrusts his fists against the posts
And still insists he sees the ghosts.
English vowels also present difficulty to Korean learners of
English. Koreans have trouble with English diphthongs. A diphthong
(also known as a gliding vowel) is a vowel that experiences a change
in quality during its pronunciation, such as the word eye. Eye begins
with [a] (as in "father) and ends with [ɪ] (as in "be") with the tongue
gliding smoothly from the [a] to the [ɪ]. These kind of sounds do not
exist in Korean, so Korean learners of English commonly either leave
out the glide or pronounce the diphthong as two distinct vowels. In
fact, when a foreign word containing the [aɪ] diphthong is written in
Hangul, it is written as 아이: two distinct vowels. Korean learners of
English "cannot hear this glide and so cannot tell the difference
between the vowel [i] as in sit and the diphthong [iy] as in "seat" and
in reproducing both [i] and [iy] he tends to use the Korean [i] (이)
which gives an in-between effect. A native speaker of English cannot
tell whether the Korean speaker has said "it," or "eat." This is just one
example of several difficulties Korean learners of English have with
English vowels.

COMMUNICATIVE DIFFERENCES: AN EXAMPLE


Korean students have a very different classroom culture than their
Western counterparts. In Korean culture, when a teacher asks a
student a question, the student is expected to give the answer, and if
the student cannot give the answer, feels somewhat ashamed that they
failed to live up to the teacher's expectations. After all, the teacher
chose them to relay a piece of information to the whole class. Other
students who know the answer to the question may feel superior in
that moment, and the student who can't answer the question knows
this, hence contributing to that feeling of shame. Therefore, when the
teacher asks a question and the student doesn't know the answer, the
student will avoid eye contact and be silent. The teacher, recognizing
that the student doesn't know the answer, will ask another student,
thereby taking the focus off of the first student.
However, in Western culture, not having the answer to a
question doesn't carry so much stigma. A student asked a question to
which he or she doesn't know the answer, will simply say “I don't
know” and the teacher will likely ask someone else. Problems can
arise when you put a Western teacher in front of Korean students. The
teacher will ask a student a question, such as “What is this?” The
student, not knowing the answer, will study their book (or their desk)
intently and not respond. The Western teacher often thinks the
student either didn't hear or didn't understand the question, and so
they ask again “What is this?” The student again fails to respond, now
highly embarrassed. The teacher may ask a third time, because in
Western culture, the student may be perceived as ignoring the teacher,
which is disrespectful. This teacher and student are locked into a
vicious spiral, with the teacher demanding an answer so that he/she
can be respected, and the student declining to answer so that he/she is
not humiliated. The Korean student may be thinking “Everyone in the
room knows I don't know, so why force me to acknowledge my
ignorance out loud?”

DIFFERENTIAL USE OF VOCABULARY BY LANGUAGE


Does “see” mean the same thing in English as it does in Korean? You
would think so, but the correct answer is “sometimes.” Used as “to
view,” the meaning of the Korean word boda (보다) and its English
equivalent “to see,” are the same. However, in Korean, one can not
literally say “I'd like to see the manager,” as “see” in Korean only
means “view.” In English, the context tells the listener that in fact you
want to speak with the manager, but in Korean “see” is not used in
this manner. You need to say “I want to talk to the manager.” These
kinds of language-transfer issues work both ways, so be mindful of
this when you speak.
In addition to using words in ways Koreans would not use
them in their own language, native speakers of English use a ton of
idioms and metaphors when they speak, often more than they realize.
An idiom is any expression where two words, when used together,
have a a different meaning than they have when used separately. For
example, a Korean learner of English learns the word “up,” which is a
direction toward an elevated position. But “shut up” doesn't mean to
close something above you; “beat up” doesn't mean to hit something
above you, and “mess up” doesn't mean to make something untidy
above you. These are just a few; we have break up, crack up, trip up,
jack up, etc. Idioms are extremely confusing to someone trying to
learn to speak English. If one understands Latin roots, prefixes and
suffixes, and is faced with a word never before seen, one may be able
to decipher the meaning. However, there is no intuitive mechanism to
decipher the meaning of an idiom, no guide you can give your
students which will be of general use when learning them; idioms
must be memorized.
Native speakers of English, called upon to teach English as a
Second or Foreign Language, must pay close attention to their choice
of words, as idiomatic expressions occur so naturally and
automatically in their speech that they may not realize their students
have no idea what they are saying. For example, take this sentence:
Marcy had cold feet, so she called off the wedding.

Most native speakers would recognize right away that “cold feet” is
an idiom. However, did you notice that “called off” is an idiom as
well? When teaching beginning and intermediate students, take care
to speak plainly, and use idioms deliberately, not unconsciously.

PLANNING LANGUAGE LESSONS


Apparently, there are teachers who are able to walk into any
classroom and improvise learning activities that are interesting,
meaningful and memorable for their students. Such an ability (if it
really exists) would clearly require years or even decades of classroom
experience. As for us lesser beings, we will need to think about what
we want our students to accomplish in the time they spend with us.
If you're new to teaching English, and you find yourself
'winging it' on a regular basis, then you're doing a serious disservice
to your students. At bare minimum, when you walk into the
classroom, you need to at least have a goal in mind for that lesson,
meaning that you have a particular learning objective that you want
the students to achieve. Are you planning on improving
pronunciation of a particular English sound? Do you want students to
work on intonation when asking questions? Decide on a goal. Why?
Because while exposing students to a native English speaker who
doesn't have a clear idea of what he's teaching or how he's teaching it
is better than sitting them in front of an English-language TV show
and expecting them to learn speaking skills, it is just barely better.
Better than just having a learning objective in mind is having
an idea as to what methods we want to use to achieve the objective. If
it's writing, which genre will they write? Have they encountered
enough examples of the genre? How will they share their work, and
how will you provide feedback? If it's speaking, what roles will they
play, or what topics will they discuss? How will you make sure that
everyone is participating? If you want to include a language focus, at
what stage will you introduce (or revise) it?
Your students will expect you to have a plan that is carefully
grounded in their needs and interests. They're counting on you! You
don't have to be a slave to the plan, of course. You should take
advantage of learning opportunities as they arise--and if you've
established a good rapport with your students, you may find that
such opportunities appear frequently.
Writing a lesson plan, even if it is a brief sketch, allows you to
imagine the lesson before it happens. By taking the time to plan
beforehand, you are better able to:
• think critically about your material and ways of using it
effectively;
• organize learning activities and think ahead about grouping;
• anticipate potential problems and consider strategies for
working with them; and
• make the most of the limited time that your students are
exposed to live, interactive English.
There are many lesson plan models. Here is one possible format:
Description
Number and level of students:
Length of class:
Textbook:
Work done in previous class:
Pre-planning
Skills:
Grouping:
Supplementing the textbook:
Learning Objectives:
By the end of the lesson, students should be able to …
Materials and Equipment:

Activities, Timing and Directions:

Name of Time Directions


Activity

Assigned Work:

Comments:

Evaluation:
Let’s look at some of the features of a typical lesson plan.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES
While objectives sometimes take “detours” as a lesson progresses, you
should have a clear idea of what your objectives are: what, specifically,
learners should be able to do better, understand, and care about as a
consequence of their participation in that particular lesson. Here are
some examples:
• By the end of the lesson, students should be able to ask for
directions to a post office.
• By the end of the lesson, students should be able to identify
the features of a procedural recount.
• By the end of the lesson, students should be able to explain
some of the purposes of The War on Terror.

ACTIVITIES
WARM UP
Every good lesson begins with a brief warm up. You do not need to
lead the warm up activity yourself—in fact, it’s best to use an activity
that allows everyone to contribute, such as a class survey done in
pairs. The warm up should be related to the lesson content and
objectives in some way.
Here are some common warm up activities:
Brainstorm - This can be done in groups or whole class. You can sneak
a bit of vocabulary that students will need later into this activity.
Describe the picture - Show a picture and have learners take turns
saying something about it. Beginners can make simple observations
like "three people" while advanced students might invent a story that
goes with the picture. If they aren't allowed to repeat what someone
else has said, they will pay attention when each person speaks.
Class survey - Here students collect information from as many
students as possible. They should note responses and report their
findings to a group or the class.
Question of the day - Ask one or two simple questions. Have
students write a response then share it with a group or the class.
Sing a song - You may not have much of a singing voice, but singing
along with others is good fun in any language.
Twenty questions - One player is chosen to be the answerer. That
person chooses a person, place or thing but does not reveal this to the
others. All the other players are questioners. They each take turns
asking a question which can be answered with a simple "Yes" or "No."
This can be an engaging way to introduce a character or topic.
So your students have warmed up to the lesson; what comes
next? If you want to do an extended listening activity, then you’ll
probably need a pre-listening activity. If you want to do an extended
reading activity, then you’ll want—you guessed it—a pre-reading
activity. The activities outlined below will help your students get the
most out of the texts they hear and read.

PRE-LISTENING
Why do a pre-listening activity? Outside the classroom, it isn’t often
that we listen to something without having some idea of what we are
going to hear. When we’re listening to an interview with a famous
person, for example, we usually know something about that person
already. A waiter knows the menu from which a guest is choosing
their food.
In a second language, listening is not an easy skill to develop –
we’re dealing with unfamiliar sounds, identifying these sounds as
words, and linking these words together into thought structures, all at
once. This is even more difficult if we do not know the topic under
discussion, or who is speaking to whom. So, simply asking the
students to listen to something and answer some questions is a little
unfair, and makes developing listening skills much harder.
Many students are anxious about listening, and can be
discouraged when they listen to something but feel that they
understand very little. It is also harder to concentrate on listening if
you have little interest in a topic or situation. Pre-listening activities
can handle all of these issues: they can generate interest, build confidence
and facilitate comprehension.
AIMS AND EXAMPLES OF PRE-LISTENING ACTIVITIES
Establishing the context - This is the most important thing to do—
even formal proficiency tests give an idea about who is speaking,
where and why. In everyday life we normally have some idea of the
context of something we are listening to.
Generating interest - Motivating students is obviously a key task. If
they are going to do a listening about sports, looking at some dramatic
pictures of sports players or events will raise their interest or remind
them of why they (hopefully) enjoy sports. Personalization activities are
very important here. A pair-work discussion about the sports they
play or watch, and why, will bring them into the topic, and make them
more willing to listen.
Activating schemata or current knowledge - “We are going to listen
to a news report on China’s recent space flight.” This will set the
context, but if you then go straight into the listening, students will
have had no time to transfer or activate existing knowledge (schemata)
which may have been learned in Korean. What do they know about
China’s space program? What were the astronauts doing? What
problems did they face? Why is the flight important? What other
countries have active space programs and why?
Acquiring knowledge - Students may have limited knowledge of a
topic, so providing this will build their confidence for dealing with a
listening. This could be done by giving a related text to read, or, a little
more fun, a quiz.
Activating language items - Activating schemata is important, but so
is activating the language that may be used in the listening.
Knowledge-based activities can serve this purpose, but there are other
things that can be done. For example, if students are going to listen to
a dialog between a parent and a teenager who wants to stay overnight
at a friend’s, why not have your students role play the situation before
listening. They can brainstorm language beforehand, and then
perform the scene. When students have time to think about the
language needs of a situation, they are better prepared for a listening
activity.
Predicting - Once we know the context for something, we are able to
predict possible content. Try giving students a choice of things that
they might (or might not) expect to hear, and ask them to choose items
they think will be mentioned.
Pre-learning vocabulary - Large numbers of unknown words can
make a listening impossible, even if students are listening for “gist.”
Their confidence is certainly affected. Select some vocabulary items
for students to learn before the listening, perhaps by matching spoken
words to definitions, followed by a simple practice activity such as a
cloze (see page 37).
Your choice of pre-listening activity allows you to rank the
main listening activity for different ability levels. If you have a class
who are generally struggling with listening work, then they will
benefit from more extensive pre-listening work. If you wish to make
the listening demanding, you could simply do work on establishing
context. Thus, the same listening text can provide work for different
groups of learners.
Encouraging your students to bring their own knowledge and
skills to their listening work can only help them. These skills are as
much a part of listening as understanding pronunciation or listening
for details.

PRE-READING
The principles that apply to effective pre-listening activities also apply
to pre-reading activities. Pre-reading activities are sometimes called
enabling activities, because they provide a students with background
that organizes the activity and helps them comprehend the material.
These experiences involve understanding the purpose (or purposes)
for reading and building a knowledge base necessary to deal with the
content and structure of the text. Good pre-reading activities elicit
prior knowledge, develop schemata, and focus attention.

AIMS AND EXAMPLES OF PRE-READING ACTIVITIES


Accessing current knowledge. Also referred to as activating schemata,
these activities should prompt students to “re-assemble” what they
already know about the subject of the text they’re going to read. “Alex
the monkey is going to tell us about the rainforest that he lives in.
Ready? Let’s read!” won’t be very helpful. What do students know
about rainforests? How did they learn this? What are some things that
make rainforests interesting, special and unique? Most rainforests are
under threat. Why? Who works to protect rainforests? What do these
people do?
Writing your way into reading - With this activity, students write
about their experiences related to the topic. When planned carefully,
this is an effective way to personalize the material that they will read.
It can bring them closer to the text: if students are imagining
participating in some way with the text, it becomes more real (and
much more interesting) for them.
Asking questions based on the title or headline - This is self-
explanatory and involves asking questions that “follow up” student
responses . If an image accompanies the title, you could cover the title
and ask students to guess it based on the image.
Semantic mapping - Semantics refers, basically, to the structuring of
meaning. Semantic mapping is a strategy used to represent concepts
graphically. The majority of learners are “visual” learners, and
mapping assists these learners in particular. Semantic maps show the
relations or ideas that make up a concept. There are a number of
relationships between a concept and the knowledge that students
associate with the concept.
For any concept there are at least these three types of
associations:
• associations of class—the order of things the concept falls
into;
• associations of property—the attributes that define the
concept; and
• associations of example—exemplars of the concept.
A semantic map is created by students, with your guidance. Here is a
straightforward example:
You: Tell me some things that you think of when you hear the word
“transportation.”
Students: Cars. Bicycle. Bus. Running?
You: (listing words on board) Okay you've got some good
examples here. Where do people use bicycles and buses?
Students: The street! School! River! (laughter)
You: Well it might be difficult to ride a bicycle in a river. What’s an
easier way to travel in water?
Students: Boats. Canoes.
You: Right so we have water and “the street,” no streets in water,
streets are on land. We move in water, on land, where else?
In a conversation like this, it is almost inevitable that class, properties
and examples will emerge. Transportation means the movement of
people and objects. Transportation is exemplified by means of
transport such as ships and trains. One property of transportation is
the idea of medium, moving through or over something—land, water
or air. As the conversation proceeds, other ideas of these sorts of
relations might emerge and can then be rearranged on the board into
a proper semantic map:

Source: www.kidbibs.com

Making predictions based on previewing - Predicting is inherently


motivating. Again, try giving students a choice of things that they
might (or might not) expect to read, and ask them to choose language
items they think will be mentioned. If the text is a type of narrative,
ask students to predict the problem(s) that the protagonist(s) will
encounter.
Identifying the text type or genre - If your students are familiar with
the framework and features of common text types, then this will assist
them in reading comprehension (as well as in their own writing). It is
never too early to teach text type. The most common text types are:
• recounts (e.g. journal entries, news articles)
• information reports (e.g. encyclopedia articles)
• expositions (e.g. opinion essays, advertisements)
• explanations (e.g. science articles)
• narratives (e.g. short fiction)
• procedure (e.g. recipes, game instructions)
Skimming for general idea - Once a student successfully identifies
the “main idea” of a text, this can guide her as she reads. Skimming
entails: (1) reading the title, subtitles and headings; (2) looking at
illustrations; (3) reading the first and last sentence of each paragraph;
(4) letting your eyes skim over the text, taking in key words; and (5)
continuing to think about the meaning of the text.
Reading the introduction and conclusion - This activity isn’t much
fun if it is used with a narrative, but it can be a very useful strategy
when reading an exposition.
Writing a summary of the article based on previewing - This activity
combines prediction with identification of main idea and key words.

WHILE LISTENING/READING
Now that your students have completed their pre- activity, it’s time to
deliver the goods. So do you simply click “play?” Language teachers
disagree on the usefulness of assigning specific tasks for students to
complete as they listen or read. I believe that at least for the initial
listen, students don’t want too many distractions. Reading is of course
another matter, as students can pause and attend to reading tasks.
This brings us to an important question: should reading be
done aloud or silently? Some language teachers argue that “silence
kills a classroom.” While this is obviously the case for speaking- and
listening-oriented activities, silent reading is the best way to involve
all your students. It allows them to read for comprehension, at their
own pace. When a student reads out loud, she focuses on
pronunciation, stress and rhythm rather than on what she is reading
really means to her. And while one student reads, the rest do nothing.

POST-LISTENING AND POST-READING ACTIVITIES


Now that your students’ are hopped up with new and exciting
information, what should they do with it? Employ it, or it will not be
retained: speak it, write it, or lose it!
In a classic “communicative” lesson, two activities follow the
main reading or listening activity: the first activity provides guided
practice in the use of new language items and ideas, while the second
allows an opportunity for independent use of these items. Great! In a
90 or 120 minute lesson with adult learners, there is ample time for a
warm up, a pre-reading or listening activity, the main reading or
listening activity, two post-reading or listening activities, and a wrap
up. For those of us working with large groups of younger learners for
45 or 50 minutes, however, this is unrealistic, not matter how effective
your classroom management skills. You have time for one good
activity following the main reading or listening activity. How do you
make the most of it?

LEARNING AS PARTICIPATION
Time for a bit of theory. For tool-using social beings like us, learning
happens through participation in the world around us. Language is of
course the ultimate tool—in fact, language itself largely constructs the
world around us. More accurately, language constructs the world
within us. I don’t mean to be metaphysical here. All I want to say is
that the brain uses language to organize increasingly sophisticated
schemata or thought structures to explain the world of objects and
events that we encounter, that these objects and events are often
people and social situations, and that learning cannot happen without
them. This makes sense, and yet a great deal of language teaching
practice—what teachers do—fails to appreciate what this means for
language learning.
There are at least two competing (but not incommensurable)
metaphors for the goal of language education: that of acquisition, and
that of participation. We're all familiar with the first metaphor, where
language is seen as an evolving set of words and social practices
(these are usually called "pragmatics"). But the more powerful
metaphor for language learning is the one of participation: a proficient
language user is someone who participates in language situations
effectively.
This means much more than the tired functionalism of some
textbooks. A proficient language user does more than "invite," "offer
advice" and so forth. A proficient language user participates
meaningfully in communities—people and social situations—where
language is used. More, students learn through this participation.
Learning could not happen without it. Participation is both the goal
and the process of language learning.
What your students need, then, are activities or classroom
experiences that focus not on the transfer of knowledge from teacher
to student as if through an Ethernet cable, but on opportunities to
participate with and through language. These opportunities will
necessarily promote learner autonomy, responsibility, and
contribution (ARC).
Autonomy: you can and must provide the scaffolding, but
learning happens when students themselves do the constructing.
Autonomy means more than “learning how to learn,” though this is
an important element. Autonomy is promoted when student
experiences, cultures and language are considered necessary aspects
of classroom participation.
Participation is more tangible, “really real,” when students
accept responsibility both for their own learning as well as the learning
of others. Students must be responsible to both their peers and to
themselves in responding to the needs of their community.
Responsibility requires developing an understanding of what these
needs are (purpose) as well as how best to meet them (action).
Contribution shapes classroom practice in ways that include
students’ “lived experiences.” Contributions should not be made only
to you, the teacher, but to the community, i.e. their peers. Student
contributions must be valued by others, which requires the social
evaluation of contributions. It is extremely important, then, that you
work to build an environment of trust, care and support in the
classroom.

ARC IN PRACTICE
I. COOPERATIVE LANGUAGE LEARNING ACTIVITIES
Remember, no activity is right for every classroom situation.
Developing ARC requires creativity in lesson design. However, you
may find cooperative learning activities conducive to promoting ARC.
Here are some of the team-learning activities developed by Spencer
Kagan, with examples, where the teacher’s role is “guide on the side”
rather than “sage on the stage.”
Think–Pair–Share
During the first step, individuals think silently about a question posed
by the instructor. The question itself might emerge from a theme that
has arisen during a class discussion. Individuals pair up during the
second step and exchange thoughts. In the third step, the pairs share
their responses with other pairs, other teams, or the entire class.
Example: “Our perfect school day”
Form focus: first person plural, simple present
The instructor poses one of the following questions: “What do you do
in a perfect day at school?” or “What do you learn in a perfect day at
school?” Students gather ideas silently for 30 seconds. In pairs,
students then compare, negotiate, and co-construct ideas. Pairs could
then share their ideas with the class, or with another pair (this latter is
a Think–Pair–Square).
Autonomy: The teacher need not “approve” of content. Students
could create posters that illustrate their “perfect school day” and the
class could choose their favorites.
Responsibility: If students use “we,” they are responsible for
compromising with their peers and achieving consensus.
Contribution: Students ideas could be delivered to the director or
principal, or even to the Ministry of Education.
Jigsaw
Groups with 4-6 students are set up. Each group member is assigned
some unique material to learn and then to teach to his group
members. To help in the learning, students across the class working on
the same sub-section get together to decide what is important and
how to teach it. After practice in these "expert" groups, the original
groups reform and students teach each other.
Example: “We can make English interesting”
Form focus: modal auxiliary “can” or “could”
The instructor assigns one of the four language skills (speaking,
listening, reading, writing) to every student. Students are tasked with
developing ways to make that particular skill interesting to use.
Students across the class working on the same skill get together to
decide how their skill can be used or developed in interesting ways.
Students then return to their original groups and share their ideas.
Autonomy: Ideas need not be submitted to the teacher for approval,
though you could provide input as you monitor.
Responsibility: Students are responsible to both their original and
their expert groups.
Contribution: Student ideas can be used in future lessons
Circle the Sage
First the teacher polls the class to see which students have a special
knowledge to share. Those students (the sages) stand and spread out
in the room. The teacher then has the rest of the classmates each
surround a sage, with no two members of the same team going to the
same sage. The sage explains what they know while the classmates
listen, ask questions, and take notes. All students then return to their
teams. Each in turn, explains what they learned. Because each one has
gone to a different sage, they compare notes. If there is disagreement,
they stand up as a team. Finally, the disagreements are aired and
resolved.
Example: “Life with an older sister”
Form focus: Third-person
Here, the sages are those who live with an older sister. Questions
could be asked in Korean but responses should be recorded in English
(Korean-English dictionaries should be available). Sage accounts are
compared in the original groups.
Autonomy: The teacher is not the source of knowledge.
Responsibility: Students are responsible to their sage and to other
group members for accurate sharing of information.
Contribution: Students who might otherwise have few opportunities
to contribute to English lessons can share their knowledge and
experience with peers.
Team–Pair–Solo
Students do problems first as a team, then with a partner, and finally
on their own. It is designed to motivate students to tackle and succeed
at problems which initially are beyond their ability. It is based on a
simple notion of mediated learning. Students can do more things with
help (mediation) than they can do alone. By allowing them to work on
problems they could not do alone, first as a team and then with a
partner, they progress to a point they can do alone that which at first
they could do only with help.
Example: “I ran away”
Form focus: Simple past
At the class or team level, students develop a scenario for a short
story, e.g. about a young person who leaves her home. With a partner,
students develop the plot. What does the young runaway experience?
Students write the story individually.
Autonomy: Students develop content independently of the teacher.
Responsibility: Students should reach consensus with their partner.
Contribution: Stories could be posted around the room for students to
share. One could be selected for a school journal.

II. CLASSIC LANGUAGE LEARNING ACTIVITIES


More traditional language learning activities can be adapted to
promote ARC.
Pattern Drilling
Students can contribute some or even all of the content for forms that
are drilled. Instead of drilling a prescribed list, for example:
T: Why don’t we watch TV?
Ss: Why don’t we watch TV?
T: Why don’t we study English?
Ss: Why don’t we study English?
You can elicit and incorporate students’ ideas:
T: What shall we do?
S: See movie!
T: Yun-ju said ‘Why don’t we see a movie?’
Ss: Why don’t we see a movie?
Cloze
Cloze or ‘fill in the blank’ activities can be very effective and can be
created online in minutes.
The principal is a _________. He likes his _________. I hope he
_________. man succeeds car
Instead of providing the blanked words in a word bank, you can
encourage students to contribute their own ideas to construct a new
text:
The principal is a __bulldozer__. He likes his __church__. I hope he
_prays_.
A ‘mad lib’ is a cloze activity where words are chosen before the text is
read, usually with humorous effect:
1. noun: __knee__
2. noun: __rig__
3. intransitive verb: _extrude_
The prinicpal is a ___(1)_____. He likes his ___(2)____. I hope he
___(3)____.
Dictation
Students can contribute the topic or text, or even write the text to be
dictated. Dictoglosses, where students write as much as they are able to
recall from a text instead of writing as they listen, are also effective.
Surveys and Information Gaps
Students can be given opportunities to design and conduct their own
surveys. Information gap activities provide students an incomplete set
of information, where each student has some information other
students do not have. Students must communicate with each other to
fill in their missing information. For example, students working in
pairs might be provided a bus schedule, with some destinations and
times missing (but not missing from their partner's schedule).
Students need to ask each other questions to fill in the blanks on their
schedule, like “At 3:31, where will the bus stop?” and “What time does
the bus stop at the supermarket?”
Simulations and Role Plays
Simulations simulate ‘real life’ situations, while in role playing
students represent and experience/interpret some ‘character type’
known in everyday life. Students can take control of the process,
product and assessment of these activities which, when facilitated
carefully, will present very effective language learning opportunities.

WRAP-UPS
If you’re like me, you might not allow enough time for a wrap up at
the end of every lesson, but it’s an important habit to develop. It gives
you an opportunity to briefly review the language items that were
introduced in the lesson. It also allows students to comment on the
lesson as a whole—what they appreciated as well as what they did
not find very effective or interesting. Above all, a good wrap up
encourages your students to feel as though they have been
participating in an event worth remembering. A simple “We did this,
this and this. What did you think of this? What did you learn from
this?” will suffice to begin a wrap up. If the lesson was effective, your
students will likely use the opportunity to express their appreciation
—and if you did deliver a good lesson, then you will deserve it!

SAMPLE LESSON PLANS


Below are lesson plans that incorporate some of the activities
described in this chapter. It’s always a good idea to plan activity
directions carefully—any language teacher will tell you that it is not
always easy to give simple, clear directions, especially when you are
delivering them in English.

SAMPLE LESSON 1—WHAT’S IT LIKE?


Description:
Number and level of students: 35 students, middle school
year 2, beginner-intermediate
Length of class: 50 minutes
Textbook: none
Work done in previous class: unknown
Pre-planning:
Skills: integrated (speaking, listening, reading, writing)
Grouping: 4-6, mixed-ability; pairs
Supplementing the textbook: n/a
Learning Objectives:
By the end of the lesson, students should be able to better understand
the experience of travel to another country, and to imagine seeing
through the eyes of a traveler.
Materials and Equipment: board, chalk/marker, paper

Activities, Timing and Directions


Name of Time Directions
Activity
Warm Up 10 Circle the Sage: Identify students who
know someone who has lived abroad.
These students are the sages. Other
students circles them, and ask questions
either about the person who lived
abroad, or their experiences.
Pre-listening 10 Think-Pair-Share: Prediction: What did
the teacher experience on her first day in
Korea? What did she think?
Listening 10 “Teacher’s first day in Korea.” A recount
of your first day in the country. Tell the
recount twice. After telling it once, have
students compare their understanding
of the recount with a partner. During the
second telling, allow students to take
notes while you write 6-8 language
items on the board, e.g. “an endless
traffic light.”
Post-listening 15 With a partner, students write the
teacher’s recount (in the first person, if
this is feasible). In each pair, one student
is responsible for accurate content, while
the other student is responsible for
accurate form (simple past tense). This
should encourage collaboration.
Wrap up 5 Add a drawing to the written recount
and tape it to a wall. Students circulate
in order to recognize each other’s efforts.
The texts can be added to student
portfolios or to a class journal.
Assigned work: n/a
Comments:
 This lesson centers on a “dictogloss” activity.
 Encourage collaboration with peers throughout this lesson.
Research shows very clearly that all learners, whether
advanced or beginner, accomplish more when working with
sympathetic peers than they do when they work alone.
Evaluation:

SAMPLE LESSON 2—WHAT DO YOU DO ON


SATURDAYS?

Description
Number and level of students: 30-35, mixed-ability (low-beginner to
advanced) but most high-beginner
Length of class: 40 minutes
Textbook: n/a
Work done in previous class: unknown
Pre-planning
Skills: social: collaborating, surveying; linguistic: speaking, listening,
writing
Grouping: mixed-ability dyads (pairs)
Supplementing the textbook: n/a
Learning Objectives:
By the end of the lesson, students should be able to:
1. use habitual present to share (orally) their daily routines and
habits
2. participate and contribute, regardless of ability level
Materials and Equipment: handout below
Activities, Timing and Directions:
Name of
Time Directions
Activity
1. Ask “What does the teacher do on
Sundays?”
2. Write three Sunday routines on the
Warm-up:
board, only one of which is accurate. E.g.
What does
1. I play golf.
the teacher 5
2. I run 10km.
do on
3. I read a book.
Sundays?
3. Think-Pair-Share: Which routine is
accurate? What does the teacher really do
on Sundays?
Name of
Time Directions
Activity
1. Revise days of the week.
2. Distribute handout.
3. Mime an activity for each day of the
week. Students guess the activities and, in
mixed-ability pairs, fill in the first row of
the handout as you mime. Model the first
activity, with the handout.
On Mondays, “I watch TV.” (Mime
channel surfing with a remote-con.)
On Tuesdays, “I play tennis.”
(Mime etc. )
On Wednesdays, “I talk with
friends.”
On Thursdays, “I go to a fitness
center.”
Pre-
On Fridays, “I eat in a restaurant.”
listening: I
On Saturdays, “I see a movie.”
do this. 15
On Sundays, “I read a book.”
What do
5. Pairs report-back to confirm guesses.
you do?
Write correct guesses on the board for
Tuesday through Sunday.
6. Drill the verb phrases, or call-response,
e.g:
You: On Mondays, I—
Students: watch TV!
7. Brainstorm other activities. Put these on
the board.
8. Students now complete the second row
of the handout with activities they engage
in habitually. Explain that they should
write seven different activities. Check
comprehension then monitor to ensure
that students are on-task. Scaffold where
appropriate.
Name of
Time Directions
Activity
1. Explain that the next activity is a game.
The goal is to find other students who do
the same activities on the same days. The
winner is the student with the most
“matches” (one point per name).
2. Model the “game” with an advanced-
level student. E.g.
You: I watch TV on Mondays. And
you?
Student: I go to a hakwon (on
Mondays). On Tuesdays, I play tennis.
What about you?
You: On Tuesdays, I play
Listening:
5 computer games …
How to play
It may be necessary to ask two advanced-
level students to model the “game” as
well. Try to ensure that there will be a
“match,” i.e., a day when both speakers do
the same activity, and so can write each
other’s names on the handout in the third
row, in the appropriate column. You may
wish to provide the models with “fixed” or
fake handouts, in order to guarantee a
“match.”
Drill the language that the models use.
You may wish to use flash cards if you
have a number of struggling learners.
Name of
Time Directions
Activity
Students play the matching game (i.e.,
conduct a class survey). The survey should
be conducted in English. Find a fun way to
penalize students who show others their
handout—this is an interview
Post-
(speaking/listening) activity, not a reading
listening: 10
activity!
And you?
Monitor closely. If you find an interview
being conducted in L1, strike out one of
the boxes on the student’s handout, so that
they have one less routine to find a match
for.
1. Report-back. Identify and verify a
Wrap-up: “winner.”
5
Who wins? 2. Place the winner(s) handout(s) in the
Class Journal, if one is kept.

Assigned work: None


Comments:
 This is a PPP (Present, Practice, Produce) lesson.
 Be sure to ask lots of comprehension questions—nominate for
these if you know your students’ names or have a reliable
class list.
 The post-listening activity is somewhat complex, so be careful
with your modeling and directions. Go slow.
Future lessons. The habitual (or timeless) present is also used for
schedules. In the next lesson, students could do an information gap
simulation, where they are given a time and must talk to various
agents (plane, train, taxi, boat) in order to find the fastest route to a
particular destination.
Or students could conduct another survey, this time with a
more complex question form: “What do you do on Saturdays?” The
lesson could have an explicit research focus, with formal predictions
made before the survey is conducted, e.g. “I think that 5 students
play computer games on Friday.” Or, a survey activity could require
use of the third person singular, e.g. students could compile lists of
students who enjoy the same activity: Seok-jo plays soccer/likes to
play soccer. Seong-in eats mandu/likes to eat mandu. And so on.
A handout follows, entitled What We Do. Due to the size
limitations imposed by this book, it cannot be reproduced here. You
may find it online at http://atek.or.kr/documents/pdfs/I_watch_TV.pdf

SAMPLE LESSON 3—WOMYN IN KOREA


For a more elaborate lesson plan, suitable for a lesson with university
or adult learners, see Appendix Three: Sample Lesson Plan, with All
Required Materials on page Error: Reference source not found.

ADDITIONAL SOURCES
Ajideh, P., “Schema Theory-based Pre-reading Tasks: A Neglected
Essential in the ESL Reading Class,” The Reading Matrix 3(1), 3
Apr 2003, retrieved 19 Feb 2009,
<http://www.readingmatrix.com/articles/ajideh/article.pdf>

British Council, www.teachingenglish.org.uk.

ReadingQuest, www.readingquest.org.

For links to language teaching resources, visit: http://atek.or.kr/index.php/


efl-links
The Association for Teachers of English in Korea provides the
following services to the general public, members and non-
members alike:
• Monitoring of proposed legislation and regulations which may affect non-
citizen English teachers in Korea.
• Translation of proposed and existing legislation and regulations (domestic
and international) and analysis of their possible effects on non-citizen English
teachers in Korea.
• Advocacy for English teacher concerns at the national and local levels.
• The English Teacher's Guide to Korea, which will be made available in PDF
for free download from our website (http://atek.or.kr).

ATEK provides the following benefits and services to members:


• Full access to ATEK's Employer Rating System, to make and review ratings.
• Access to the member forums.
• Access to professional development and lesson planning materials.
• Information on how to check to see if your employer is correctly reporting
your income, paying your taxes and making proper deductions from your
pay.
• Copies of labor, tax, pension, and health insurance complaint forms,
translated into Korean, and instructions about how to go about filing a
complaint.
• Local social networks (the Provincial and Metropolitan Associations that send
reps to our national council).
• Access to data from the ATEK Member Survey, which enables ATEK to track
average salaries and weekly hours by region and type of teaching job,
average level of satisfaction with various job types, average length of stay of
foreigners working in Korea, average pay and benefit increases when re-
signing for a second year, and much more. Want to know if your contract
offer is above or below the average salary for someone in your city and
education level? Get access.
• Advisories to the government based on ATEK Member Survey information
on non-citizen English teacher's problems and needs (does one particular city
have a higher rate of teachers reporting pay withholding fraud? That city's
government might want to know that.)
• An online application that translates letters home to parents into Korean, so
that you can communicate with parents and let them know how their child is
doing.
• Representation of member concerns to relevant government agencies and
other groups.
• Responses to media items of interest to non-citizen English teachers.

All these resources are available on our website at


http://atek.or.kr
THE ENGLISH TEACHER'S
GUIDE TO KOREA
Living, Working, and Thriving in Korea Sparkling

By
Tony Hellmann, M.Ed.
Tom Rainey-Smith
Jason Thomas, M.App.Ling.
Matthew Henderson

ATEK

Press
This book was designed and laid out entirely with open source software.
Individual sections copyright © 2009 by the respective authors, all rights reserved,
except as licensed below. Used by permission.
Published by ATEK Press, a division of the Association for Teachers of English in Korea.
Design and composition by Tony Hellmann. Copyedited by Jason Thomas
Cover: Art by Jeffrey Morabito. www.jeffreymorabito.com. Photo by Trey Ratcliff, www.stuckincustoms.com

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative


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fitness for a particular purpose. No warranty may be created or extended by sales representatives or written sales
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This book is published in both print and electronic formats.


Printed in the Republic of Korea
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
CHAPTER 5: LIVING AS AN INSTRUCTOR
IN KOREA

REASONS TO REGISTER WITH YOUR EMBASSY


As you may know, you can register with your embassy as a foreign
resident of Korea. Many people think that registering with the
embassy is only important in countries with unstable governments,
where there might be a chance that your government may have to
evacuate all its citizens, and therefore needs to know your
whereabouts. In actuality, there are much more likely reasons than
that.
Reason #1: If you die, how will your parents or other family know?
Two weeks before this article was first penned, an American was
found dead in his apartment, of natural causes. The US Embassy was
duly notified by the Korean authorities. He had not registered with
the embassy, and so the embassy had no listing for his next of kin. It
took them two weeks of searching before they finally found his family.
Officers searched public directory listings and Google, among other
things. Many people think that their government has a huge database
that lists every person in the country, cross-referenced by next of kin,
but this just isn't the case. People (healthy and sick) die all the time.
Imagine your mother or father getting a phone call from the
government one day, saying “We regret to inform you that your son
died three weeks ago. We're very sorry, but he wasn't registered with the
embassy and we only just located you today.”
Reason #2: Embassies send out newsletters with topics of interest to
expatriates. You'll want to know about the new virus that has erupted,
anti-foreigner riots happening nearby, a new scam that targets
foreigners, or when the deadline is for voting in your home country.
These are the kinds of things that are contained in your embassy's
newsletter. And, if there is need for evacuation, there will likely be an
emergency email about that too.
ALIEN REGISTRATION
Application for your Certificate of Alien Registration (commonly
called the Alien Registration Card, or ARC) should be organized
within 90 days of your arrival in the country (the previous time frame
was 30 days from date of entry, but due to the new visa regulations
this period has been extended) – if you are working without a
registration card after that you are working illegally. Although many
employers will help you attain your registration card, you should be
aware that it is technically your responsibility. Every Korean citizen is
issued an identity registration number and all new residents are
issued an alien registration card. You will be asked to provide a
passport size photo for this (considering the complexity of the new
visa application requirements, it is always handy to have some
passport-sized photos at hand).
You should be taken to the nearest immigration office (the
jurisdiction of each immigration office is defined by geography, by gu,
and therefore it depends on where you live) and asked to fill out an
application form. The telephone line for the immigration department
has a multilingual service which will help you identify which office
you need to contact should you have any queries (dial 1345 to use this
service). The immigration office will hold your passport until the alien
registration card has been issued. This usually takes about one week.
If your employer does not make an attempt to get you a
registration card, you should contact the immigration office yourself
so that you do not end up working illegally. There is no legitimate
reason for your employer not to want you to be registered.
You need your registration card in order to be fully registered
with the immigration department and in order to claim medical
insurance (which will greatly reduce your medical costs). Besides this,
it is a good idea to carry your registration card with you at all times. It
will help you at the bank, video store and other places.
DAILY LIFE
WASTE DISPOSAL
There are four types of waste: recyclable, food, household, heavy
items. It important to become familiar with the waste regulations so
that you can avoid having to pay fines, which are imposed for
incorrect disposal of waste, and save yourself money by recycling a
large percentage of your waste. And, of course, it’s good for the
environment.

RECYCLING
Recycling is compulsory. It is also a cheaper option than having to
purchase waste bags, as recycling does not need to be packaged. All
recyclable goods can be put out on a particular day of the week for
collection (this differs by location). Some larger apartment complexes
have recycling areas where you are expected to separate out the
different types of goods that are to be recycled into piles. These are
glass, plastic, paper, metal (cans). If you do not recycle you are liable
for a heavy fine.
The following parameters offer good guidelines for what to do with
recyclable goods:
Recyclable Items Unrecyclable Instructions
Items
Newspapers, note- Plastic-coated Tie newspapers,
books, wrapping paper bags, calendars,
paper, corrugated plastic-coated magazines, or
cardboard, paper paper cups. notebooks in
Paper
bags, paper boxes, 30cm bundles
milk cartons. Items (ensure that car-
with paper. tons are clean be-
fore disposing).
Recyclable Items Unrecyclable Instructions
Items
Beer bottles, liquor Sheet glass, mir- Wine, beverage,
bottles, soda rors, heat-resist- and medicine
bottles, items with ant dishes, bottles must be
Glass glass. milky white cleaned before
bottles, cosmetic disposing.
bottles, china
dishes.
Beverage cans, Paint contain- Metal chairs and
spray can bottles, ers, oil contain- stainless steel
butane gas bottles, ers, or other should be placed
iron tools, iron containers of separately. Cans
wires, aluminum, toxic material. of beer, bever-
Metals
stainless steel ages, and
dishes. Items with powdered milk
iron or aluminum. should be com-
pressed before
throwing away.
Shock-absorbing Disposable Cleans these
materials for elec- dishes. items thoroughly
tronic products, to reduce smell.
Styro-
boxes used to
foam
transport fruits or
fish, clean instant
noodle containers.
Items with ‘PET, Writing instru- Detergent and
HIPE, LDPE, PP, ments, buttons, shampoo con-
PS, PVC, or OTH- sockets, electric tainers should be
ER’ recycle sym- heaters, toys, disposed only
Plastic
bols on the con- baby walkers, after rinsing with
tainer. phones, dispos- water.
able cameras,
etc.
Milk Milk packs Foil tops, con- Rinse before dis-
packs tainer labels. posal.
Recyclable Items Unrecyclable Instructions
Items
Fluor- Unbroken flores- Broken lamps or
escent cent lamps, light bulbs.
lamps bulbs.
Plastic bags. Instant noodle
Plastic
wrappers, dirty
bags
plastic bags.
NOT RECYC- Discharge at
Batter- LABLE designated spot
ies at each dong of-
fice.

DISPOSABLE WASTE
Disposal of other waste must be completed using specially-marked
council bags that can be purchased from supermarkets and mini
marts. Not all supermarkets or corners stores or mini marts sell the
official bags, which include the name of your area, so you will need to
make sure you purchase the correct bags. There is a large fine for
putting out rubbish in unofficial bags (e.g. shopping bags).
Potentially dangerous or loose goods such as glass from light
bulbs, plant matter and other inedible garden matter must be broken
down and first wrapped in a firm bag before being placed inside an
official refuse bag.

FOOD WASTE
Food waste needs to be packed into small bags and taken out at the
same time as other non-recyclable waste. Some apartments have their
own food waste collection bins. This will save you having to buy
official bags. These bins are periodically emptied and the food waste
is then taken and disposed of.
What qualifies as food waste? Everything that can be
consumed by animals should be considered food waste. Bear in mind
the following exceptions:
Do not include the following in your food waste
Fruit and Hard nut shells or outer coverings such as shells of
Vegetables chestnuts, walnut, peanut, acorn, coconut, pineapple,
coconut palm, cherry or grape stems, etc (although
citrus peels are okay).
Onion peels, roots of green onion, garlic peels, corn
husks, etc.
Meat Bones and/or feathers from beef, pork or poultry.
Fish and Shells of clam, abalone, sea squirt, crab, lobster, etc.
Seafood Swellfish innards, fish bones.
Others Tea bags, herb medicine residue, egg shells, etc

LARGE ITEMS
Large volume wastes such as refrigerators and furniture, which are
hard to dispose of, should be reported to the Sanitation Division of the
District Offices (or Dong offices) 3 days before disposal. A written
notice for the fee to be paid at the bank will be given. The fee is
determined according to the size of the article. Fees range from 3,000
won for a television or washing machine to 15,000 won for a large
wardrobe or a piano.

PAYING BILLS
There are two possible ways to pay your bills: by automatic payment
and through billing statements.

AUTOMATIC PAYMENT
If available, you can set up an automatic billing option when the
amount owed will automatically be payed from your bank account or
credit card periodically.

BILLING STATEMENTS (INVOICES)


Billing statements (called General Inter-bank Routing Orders –
GIROs) are a more common way for foreign instructors to pay their
bills. These are sent out monthly to your home or school address. You
should be clear where you would prefer them to be sent as they all
include a payment deadline which will be roughly a week after the
date of receipt.
Some apartments will consolidate your bills into a single
monthly payment. This probably means that they control your gas
and electricity suppliers and have contracted out to them. Otherwise
you may have to set up your own contracts with various providers
(for example, if you want to subscribe to cable television or the
internet) and will receive bills separately.

Bills can be paid at any branch of any bank. There are often
machines which are designed specifically to process invoices. If you
are able to use these they will deduct the money directly from your
debit card, or there is an option to place cash into the machine to cover
the cost of the invoice. Multiple invoices can be paid off in one
transaction. You will need to tear off the large part of the invoice and
feed it into the machine, and will keep the receipt for your own
records. There is often a friendly staff member who will greet you
upon entry into the bank – this person will often be able to show you
how to use the machine if you show him or her your invoice.
Otherwise, you can collect all your invoices together and take them to
a bank teller who will process them for free for you. It is worth
becoming familiar with using the automatic machines so as to save
time waiting in line.

HOUSING
Housing in Korea is relatively small compared to Western countries.
The majority of the population live in apartment blocks consisting of
uniform structures and standardized interiors. Apartment sizes are
measured in ‘pyeong’ – a pyeong is 3.35 square meters, which was
traditionally the space a Korean man took up when he laid down on
the ground with arms and legs outstretched. The smallest one-
bedroom studio apartment is about 7 pyeong. It is advisable to expect
somewhat cramped living conditions, although this is completely
relative to what you are used to in your home country. Housing tends
to get more expensive the closer to the center of the city you live.
Some schools in far-removed locations may offer you on-site
accommodation. It is worth confirming what kind of accommodation
comes with your job and whether or not you will be sharing living
arrangements with someone else (another instructor for example).
Most contracts offer either housing or a living stipend to cover
rent, although some do not offer either of these. During your first
teaching contract in Korea it is advisable to apply for a job that
includes housing. As always, ask to speak to an instructor currently
living in housing supplied by the employer – this will give you an
indication of what your living conditions will be like.
Please be aware that it is customary to leave one's home dirty
for the new tenants to clean. There is a prevalent belief that it is bad
luck to move into a clean house and therefore it is common to have to
clean your new home yourself when first moving in.

HOUSING FACILITIES
WATER SUPPLY
Tap water is adequate for drinking in many regions, but using a
filtration/purification system or purchasing bottled water is advisable.
The average amount used by a household in Seoul per month costs
3,380 won. For any inconvenience related to the water supply, you can
report it to your local waterworks offices or in Seoul dial 121. For hot
water information see Gas (below).

ELECTRICITY
In Seoul, an average household consumes 263 kw per month for a
charge of 25,000 won. Any inconvenience related to the supply of
electricity should be reported by dialing 123. The voltage used is 220V
/ 60hz, and most wall sockets require a European-style plug (some
buildings may have US-style sockets, but don't be fooled: it still
requires 220V, so plugging a 110V device in will guarantee your
device is damaged.

GAS (LIQUID NATURAL GAS)


Petroleum and gas are used for heating and cooking in many homes.
Hot water for domestic use, ondol radiant floor heating, and air
conditioning, all generally use LNG gas. If you want to connect your
utilities to the gas system, contact a real estate agency for assistance.

TELEPHONE / INTERNET / SATELLITE


Some providers offer package deals that allow you to purchase
multiple services from one provider (e.g. land-line, hi-speed internet
and satellite TV), potentially saving you money.
Land-line telephone service information is available from
Korea Telecom (KT) by calling 100 (On a mobile phone, dial 02-100),
Ext.#8. You can expect to pay 60,000 won for installation and a
monthly basic charge of 5,200 won.
There are three major companies offering internet services: KT
Megapass (tel : 02-100, toll free from a land-line) and Hana Fos (tel :
02-106). Initial cost of installation is around 30,000 won and monthly
service charges range from 25,000 to 30,000 won. There are also many
other (smaller) providers and be aware that some areas are only
covered by a single provider. Charges may differ somewhat.
Skylife is a representative satellite provider in Korea. A
foreigner can sign up for Skylife services by calling 02-1588-3002. For
English, send an email request to english@skylife.co.kr. To watch
satellite programs you need an antenna, receiver, smart card and
remote control. The Skylife staff will install this equipment. Monthly
rates vary depending on contract length and package selected.

HEATING
Many homes have traditional underfloor heating (although the floor is
now heated using modern technology rather than an underfloor fire!)
called ondol which can be regulated to keep the house warm during
winter.

AIR-CONDITIONING
Many people consider air-conditioning a necessity in the summer.
Standing and wall-mounted units are available at all appliance stores,
but can be expensive to purchase.

COOKING
All apartments include a two-burner range that can be used for
cooking food. It is very rare to find an apartment with an oven,
although microwaves are common and a relatively inexpensive
option.

RELOCATION SERVICES
This section is most relevant for those who have already stayed in
Korea and are looking to move from one location to another. There are
a number of different relocation services offered by professional
moving companies, starting from a basic “you pack” service to full
service. The cost of moving the contents of your home will vary
depending on provider and on the type of service you require (from
roughly 200,000 won to 1,300,000 won). The low-end services require
you to pack the contents and load the truck yourself, while the high-
end services will box everything, move everything, unbox everything
at the destination, and will even clean your new home for you. Some
services also include storage for those people who are not moving
from one place directly to another. It is best to avoid moving on a ‘no
spirits day’ (son-eobneun-nal), as many people choose these days to
move and fees are increased. These days happen up to six times a
month (they fall on the 9th, 10th, 19th, 20th, 29th and 30th days of the lunar
calendar), so it is best to check in advance with your provider.

HEALTH CARE
OVERVIEW
Regarding overall health care resources, according to the World
Health Organization there are 92,056 physicians in South Korea as of
2007, and 2,082 hospital-level health care institutions. The ratio of
physicians-to-people in Korea is comparable to Canada. The mortality
rate and life expectancy is comparable to the United States and other
industrialized nations.
It is important to know that in Korea, the English term
“hospital” is used for any physician's office, whether that be at an
urban general hospital, or a one-doctor clinic. When most Koreans ask
“Did you go to the hospital?” they generally mean “Did you see a
doctor?”
Make sure they have your alien registration number, so that
your insurance is being billed. Because the cost of medical care is so
low compared to some Western countries, foreigners sometimes think
they are paying the “insured” rate when in fact they are not. One
teacher went to see a doctor for the flu and was asked for 17,000 won
after the appointment. She thought that was the fee with insurance,
and was happy to pay such a low rate. She came to learn later that the
rate for her with insurance was 3,000 won! She had mistakenly given
her foreigner number incorrectly, and the clinic thought she had no
insurance since the number she gave didn't show up in the computer.
Some people have been asked to pay a foreigner “tax” or “fee”
when visiting a doctor. The government does not tax foreigners in this
way, and any fees levied are coming directly from the provider. Few
providers engage in this practice and it is usually easy to find another
provider who does not. Be advised a typical visit to a doctor's office
for a cold or flu-like symptoms usually costs between 3,000 and 5,000
won.
Doctors usually have the ability to communicate to their
patients in English, although this may be very limited (many Korean
medical terms are identical to the English terminology, although
pronunciation may be different). As it is very important to understand
your results or advice, please take a piece of paper for the doctor to
write on or the phone number of a Korean-speaking colleague or
friend. On the same token, having your symptoms written in Korean
for the doctor to see is also useful. See also Appendix One: Survival
Phrases for Living and Working in Korea at the end of this guide for
medical and illness related words and phrases in Korean.

FIRST RESPONSE (AMBULANCE)


Dial 119 for an ambulance. Ambulances in Korea respond quickly in
urban and suburban areas, but do not have the same level of
equipment or staffing as in many Western countries. Foreigners used
to a large truck staffed by two paramedics and a driver with the
training and equipment to treat a wide range of medical conditions
en-route to a hospital may be surprised to see a mid-size van with a
driver and one medical technician, with limited capability to do much
more than keep patients stable en-route to the hospital.

MEDICAL FACILITIES
Modern emergency medical services are available in every city with
250,000 people or more, and in many smaller cities as well. Many
doctors have some knowledge of English. Specialized non-emergent
medical care (such as care requiring a cardiologist, oncologist,
endocrinologist, or other specialists) is available in Seoul, Incheon,
Pusan, Daegu, Gwangju, Daejeon, Ulsan, and a few other large cities,
but is difficult to locate in some suburban and most rural areas.
The Seoul Global Center provides a free medical referral
service with foreign volunteers. If you are looking for information on
international clinics in Seoul, please contact the MRS team at 010-4769-
8212 or 010-8750-8212.

PHARMACIES
Pharmacies are well-supplied, though not all psychiatric medications
may be available, and insulin may not be available at some.
Pharmacies near major hospitals usually carry a wider range of
medications, including insulin. Virtually all pharmacies carry oral
contraceptives (birth control pills) and they are available over-the-
counter without a prescription. The Korean word for birth control pill
is 피 임 약 (pi-im yak). Emergency contraception (the morning after
pill), on the other hand, requires a prescription.

SPECIALIZED MEDICINE
GYNECOLOGY
Foreigners may receive the full range of diagnostics and treatments
they would expect from a hospital back home, including cervical
exams and pap smears. Those familiar with such services in their
home countries should be advised that the customs surrounding such
exams are a little different in Korea. For example, it is not uncommon
for the professional gathering your health history (including sexual
history questions) to do so at the front desk within earshot of
everyone in the waiting room. Women are advised to wear a skirt or
dress to their appointment; in Korea it is customary to receive
gynecological services such as pap smears, sonograms, and cervical
exams with one's underwear removed, but skirt on. Korean medical
professionals will assume you know this and will be startled and
embarrassed if they enter the exam room to see a foreigner naked
from the waist down.

CONTRACEPTION FOR WOMEN


Korea practices modern contraceptive methods including oral
contraceptives (most not requiring a prescription), intra-uterine
devices, sterilization, injectables, hormonal implants, and female
barrier devices. Virtually all pharmacies carry oral contraceptives
(birth control pills) and they are available over-the-counter without a
prescription.

ABORTIONS
Chapter 27 of the Criminal Code prohibits procuring and
administering abortions. However, in 1973, the Maternal and Child
Health and the Mother and Fatherless Child Health Acts established a
wide array of exemptions from this prohibition. Even though the
Korean legal system may punish those that procure and perform an
abortion, prosecutors rarely prosecute those that do so because of the
exceptions, the fact that doctors can fit their case into the exemptions,
and the fact that the attitude of Koreans towards abortion has
drastically changed since the imposition of the law. Today, a woman
that is pregnant in Korea that wishes to undergo an abortion usually
visits her local OB/GYN and the doctor usually performs the abortion
or the doctor refers the patient to a clinic that will perform the
abortion. In Korea, an abortion can usually be performed up to 28
weeks from conception, but at the 28-week mark, the abortion may be
detrimental to the health of the mother.

DIABETES
Diabetes is also widespread in South Korea, with more than two
million people suffering from the disease. Insulin is available with a
prescription. While not all pharmacies carry insulin, pharmacies near
major hospitals usually do. The Korean word for diabetes is dang nyo
byeong (당뇨병).

ASTHMA
Asthma treatment is fully modern in Korea. Asthma medication is
available with a prescription. Both “rescue inhalers” and longer term
dry powder inhalers (Seretide/Advair) are available with prescription,
for a modest fee (around 5,000 won).

MENTAL HEALTH
Living and working in a foreign country is stressful, and access to
Western-style mental health treatment is limited. Individuals suffering
from mental conditions that are exacerbated by stress may find Korea
a very difficult environment to live and work in. Not all psychiatric
medications are available in Korea. Western-style psychotherapy is
difficult to find, even in big cities, because mental health professionals
who are both qualified to conduct psychotherapy and fluent in
English are rare. There is a major stigma in Korean society associated
with seeing a mental health professional, so foreigners are cautioned
to use discretion (e.g. asking the English-speaking secretary at one's
work to help one find a psychiatrist may not be the best option).

SERVICES
EYE CARE AND VISION
CONTACT LENSES AND GLASSES
When purchasing wither contact lenses or glasses (spectacles), free
testing is provided to find the right vision correction for you.
Generally, no appointment or prior booking is necessary. Glasses are
also easily acquired and lenses are often cut on the spot. A range of
frames is usually available, starting at as little as 10,000 won for basic
frames to 200,000+ for designer brands. Complete spectacles can be
purchased for as little as 40,000 won.
Contact lenses are available without prescription over the
counter at all optical stores and can be purchased in hard or soft
forms, for long-term and single-use (disposable) wear. Costs vary
depending on brand and lens type.

POSTAL
Korea Post runs Korea’s national postal system. Post offices are open
from 09:00 ~ 18:00 Monday to Friday, and some offices are open on
Saturday mornings until 13:00. Visit their website for more
information: www.koreapost.go.kr. To post a letter, a postcard or a
small package, you may put it in one of the mail boxes on the street, or
visit a post office. For over-sized items, you have to visit the post
office. The following providers also offer courier and cargo services:

Cargo Service Tel URL


DHL Korea 82-1588-0001 www.dhl.co.kr
Fedex 080-023-8000 www.fedex.com/kr_english
UPS 82-2-1588-6886 www.ups.com/content/kr/en/
Hanjin Express 82-2-728-5114 www.hanjin.co.kr
EMS 82-2-1588-1300 www.epost.go.kr
Receiving Mail. Mail from outside of Korea can be addressed to you
in either Hangul or English.
Postal Codes. Visit www.koreapost.go.kr for a national directory of
postal codes.

BANKING AND MONEY


Korean won are issued in coins of 10, 50, 100 and 500 won, and in
paper denominations of 1,000; 5,000; and 10,000; with 50,000 won
notes to be issued in 2009. There are also “checks” which are issued in
denominations of 100,000 won (white) and 1,000,000 won (blue), and
are used like cash. They are called checks because they are issued by
banks, not by the government, but work just like cash. You can get
them in some ATMs and at banks.

ATMS
Some Korean ATMs have an English option, but many do not. Even
the ones that in English offer limited menus that may not offer all the
options available from Korean menus. The most frequently used are
withdrawal, deposit, and funds transfers, but lesser used functions
such as bill/utility payment, report lost/stolen card, and overseas wire
transfer may be useful to you as well. ATMs use various Korean
words for these functions, so the most common ones are listed below.
If one needs to use a Korean-language ATM, one also needs to
know that 최소 means “cancel” and 확인 means “confirmation” or
“confirm.” Often, after inserting your card or account book, the first
screen you see after choosing your transaction type will be
instructions admonishing you to use the ATM carefully, and warning
against fraud. It may look like this:
Push 확인 to continue.
Withdraw Cash

or
The button on the right literally says “Cash (Check) Withdrawal”
Note that 출금 means “withdrawal” and appears on both buttons.

Balance Inquiry

or

Electronic Funds Transfer

or or

Electronic funds transfers allow you to send money to anyone with a


Korean bank account instantly. After selecting this option, you will be
prompted to insert your card and enter your PIN number. Upon
completing this step you will see a screen that looks a something like
this:
This screen prompts you to select the payee's bank. 기타 means
“other.” Select that if the payee's bank does not appear on this screen.
You will be prompted to enter the bank code. Next, you will be
prompted to enter the payee's account number, with a screen similar
to this one:

After entering the payee's account number, you will be prompted to


specify the amount of money you wish to send, on a screen like this:

Note that you must specify how many man (만: 10,000) won and
cheon (천: 1,000) won separately. For example, if I wanted to transfer
314,563 won to someone, I would enter 31 만 4 천 563 원. Next, you
will get a transaction confirmation screen, like the one below:

Touch 학인 to confirm. You may get one more screen (not shown)
asking if you want a paper receipt or not. Touch 학인 if you want one,
or 취소 if you don't.
Passbook Update

Use this button to have the machine update your passbook. Open
your passbook as if you are reading it and insert it into the machine
open. The ATM will print an update in your book and return it to you.

Pay Bills

or
Note: The button on the right actually says “pay tax” but at some
ATMs, the bill paying menu is accessed with this button. Use this
button to pay any number of bills. Common options are:
KT (Phone, Cable, Broadband
Internet)

Power Bill

Pay Taxes

Paper Bill

Water Bill

Health Care*

National Pension*

Pay Traffic Fines

*English teachers should not be making health care or national


pension payments through an ATM. Their employers should be
deducting these from their monthly pay. These options exist for small
business owners and independent contractors.
After selecting one of the above buttons, you will see a screen
prompting you for your invoice number (not shown). Your invoice
number is printed on your bill/statement/traffic citation.
Pay Taxes

Sometimes the taxes button is separate from the bills button.


Pay Tuition

People can pay their university tuition through many ATMs.

Report Lost/Stolen Card or Passbook

Overseas Remittance

or
To send money overseas via ATM, one must register for this service
with their bank. Your registered account(s) will show on the next
screen.

Transaction without Card or Passbook


If you do not have your bank card or passbook, but know your
account number, you may select this option and enter your account
number to access ATM services for your account.
Some banks have special services for foreigners. See the ATEK
Products and Services Wiki for more information.

MOBILE PHONES
The major phone network companies have English speaking
representatives who can help you register for a phone and service
contract, or you can go into a store and sign up for a phone. You will
need to have your alien registration card, bank book, and passport
ready when you call or go in. There are several rate plans available for
those who wish to be billed monthly, and prepaid phones are
available too. Some prepaid services require users to purchase time on
a prepaid card which can be recharged or replaced by a new card
when the money runs out. Check the validation period on your
prepay cards as they will have an expiration date. See the websites of
the two main providers (below) for more information:
SK Telecom: www.sktelecom.com/eng/index.html LG Telecom:
www.lgtelecom.com

INTERNET
Korea is one of the world’s largest internet users per capita and also
boasts one of the fastest networks in the world. According to a
government poll taken in June and July of 2008, 77 percent of the
Korean population use the internet. From this percentage, on average
13.7 hours are spent online a week per person. This is easily visible in
the number of internet cafes that dot the landscape, whether in the
center of a large city or in a largely residential area. Internet access is
easy and the internet itself is efficient and relatively affordable. For
wireless users, it is useful to know that many cafes offer wireless
connection services free-of-charge to customers.

INTERNET CAFES (PC방)


As mentioned above, you can find these everywhere. They are called
PC bangs and are basically the same as internet cafes. Most PC bangs
charge a minimum of 1,000 won or more for 1 hour. Additional time
can be purchased and there are often incremental discounts the longer
you spend in one sitting. You pay after using the service. You will be
given a card with a code that you will need to enter in order to log on
to a computer and your time will be recorded by the computer so as to
charge you accordingly.

ADDITIONAL SOURCE
Jin, Hyun-joo, “77% of Koreans Use Web,” Korea Herald, 1 Oct 2008,
republished online at Asia Media: Asia Media News Daily,
http://www.asiamedia.ucla.edu/article.asp?parentid=98237
(retrieved 15 Oct 2008).

INTERNET AT HOME
Korea offers both dial-up and broadband services. You will need to
specify your needs when applying for your internet connection. It is
useful to ask co-teachers and/or colleagues to help you with these
matters. There are three major companies offering internet services:
KT Megapass (tel : 02-100, toll free from a land-line), Hana Fos (tel :
02-106, also toll free) and Powercomm (02-1600-7000). Initial cost of
installation is about 30,000 won and monthly service charges range
from 25,000 to 30,000 won. Not all three of these companies may be
available in a given area. There are also many other (smaller)
providers. Be aware that some areas are only covered by a single
provider. Charges may differ somewhat from one company to the
next.

TELEPHONE
Land-line telephone service information is available from Korea
Telecom (KT) by calling 02-100, Ext.#8. You can expect to pay about
60,000 won for installation and a monthly basic charge of 5,200 won.

INTERNATIONAL CALLS
There are multiple providers who allow you to use their service to
make a call to an overseas phone number. Be aware that when using
Korea Telecom’s (001) service you will be billed separately (others
should be included in your landline or mobile bill).
Korea Telecom (001) Dial 001 + Country Code + Area Code + Phone
number
LG Dacom (002) Dial 002 + Country Code + Area Code + Phone
number
Onse (00365) Dial 001 + Country Code + Area Code + Phone number
Serome (00770) Dial 00770 + Country Code + Area Code + Phone
number
SK Telecom (00700) Dial 00700 + Country Code + Area Code + Phone
number

INTERNATIONAL CALLING CARDS


You can also purchase international calling cards from most
convenience stores. Different cards are better suited for calling
different countries and/or global regions, so make sure you choose
one that allows you to call to the country you will be calling.

PUBLIC FACILITIES
PUBLIC BATHS AND TOILETS
Jjimjilbang ( 찜 질 방 , literally ‘fomentation rooms,’ but loosely
translated as ‘steam rooms’) are popular places among Koreans. Often
whole families will go together to bathe and enjoy the other facilities
available. They often include public baths which are segregated by
gender, as well as unisex areas that include sauna and cooling rooms
of differing temperatures, entertainment areas (for example: library,
mini-movie theatre, PC room), massage services, and a communal rest
area (which you can sleep all night in, if you don't mind sleeping on
the floor of a moderately lit room). If you are uncomfortable with
public nudity then you may wish to avoid the public baths. They are
usually open 24 hours and cost around 6,000 won for a day or 12,000
won for a night (prices will vary from place to place). If you are in
need of a cheap place to sleep, this is as cheap as it gets in Korea.
Western-style (sitting) toilets are commonly installed in homes
and in many public bathrooms, although the traditional (squatting)
toilet is still often found in public areas such as the subway,
restaurants, bars and cafes. It is advisable to carry toilet paper with
you at all times as many public toilets do not provide this. Vending
machines selling toilet tissue are commonly found outside public
toilets.
SPORTS AND RECREATION
There is a strong public awareness of fitness in Korea. Mountain
hiking is an extremely popular pastime and there are recreational
facilities available to the public free of charge. In the larger cities,
where the air is more polluted, it may not be recommendable to do
some forms of exercise like running outdoors, but there are plenty of
gyms and fitness clubs where you can do these things.
There are at least four major sports festivals held annually in
Korea: the Children’s National Sports Festival, National Sports
Festival (October), National Sports Festival for People with
Disabilities, and the National Winter Sports Festival (January).
Two events which helped promote and develop major sports
in Korea are the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympic Games and the 2002
Soccer World Cup, which was jointly held by Japan and Korea. The
former played a major role in opening Korea up to the international
community and the latter saw the development of many modern
sporting facilities around the major cities.

TRADITIONAL SPORTS
Taekwondo, hapkido and ssireum (often described as Korean wrestling)
are all popular forms of traditional martial arts still practiced and
taught today. Taekwondo has gained international popularity and is
often taken up by instructors living in Korea as a source of fitness or
simply as a fun recreational activity. There is likely to be a training
gym near your workplace, so ask a native teacher to help you register
if you are interested in joining.

NATIONAL SPORTS LEAGUES


Korea Professional Football League (K-League)
Korea Baseball Organization (KBO)
Korean Basketball League (KBL)
Korean Volleyball League (V-League)

STADIUMS
Stadiums are great recreational facilities. Because of the 2002 FIFA
World Cup, all of Korea’s major cities include a modern stadium.
Stadiums are often surrounded by running tracks, exercise
equipment, sports fields, climbing walls, and the like, and are
therefore excellent places for serious exercise or just a kick around.

OTHER PUBLIC RECREATIONAL FACILITIES


Exercise equipment can be found in many public parks, alongside
public walkways, and off mountain trails. There are also many
outdoor badminton and basketball courts around public walkways
and parks. Climbing is also popular in Korea and climbing walls can
be found in many parts of the country and are usually free to use
(although you will need to bring your own climbing equipment).

BOOKSTORES AND LIBRARIES


BOOKSTORES IN KOREA
There are a number of large bookstores in the major cities, many of
which include comprehensive sections for foreign language books, the
biggest of which will be English. Some of the larger bookstores are
listed below, but also included are some second-hand bookstores that
sell English language books. If you are in Seoul and have spare time,
there is the possibility of finding a nice little bargain amongst the
stacks of text books, art books, comic books, technical manuals and
novels (you name it) that line the pavement opposite the
Dongdaemun textile market, and wading through the piles can be a
pleasure in itself for book lovers.
What follows is a list of bookstores that contain English
language sections and/or specialize in English instruction material.
They are listed in alphabetical order. For further information visit
their websites (as listed below). Please visit ATEK’s online wiki for a
more comprehensive list recommended by other instructors living in
Korea.
Small Bookstores
English+: http://www.englishplus.co.kr/.
English Bookstore GLOVI: http://www.glovi.co.kr/.
Itaewon Foreign Bookstore: (No website) Tel: (02) 793-8249, Cell: 016-
711-8249, E-mail: itaewon@korea.com.
Seoul Selection: http://www.seoulselection.com/.
What The Book?: http://www.whatthebook.com/.
Large Bookstores
Yeongpung Bookstore: http://www.ypbooks.co.kr/.
Kyobo Bookstores: http://www.kyobobook.co.kr/.
Bandi & Luni's: http://www.bandinlunis.com/main.htm

LIBRARIES IN KOREA
According to the National Library of Korea there are over 600 public
libraries in the country. However, most do not contain a large number
of English language books. For this reason it is best to visit a major
public library if you have the time and access. Alternatively, university
libraries may offer a comprehensive range of books in the English
language, but access to them is limited to registered students.

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY LIBRARY


A relatively unknown gem is the National Assembly Library. Located
on Yeouido Island, Seoul in the National Assembly building, it is
primarily a resource for members of the National Assembly. Although
books cannot be withdrawn from the library, there are copying
facilities and areas inside the library that allow you to sit and read in
comfort. You will have to turn in your alien registration card and
obtain a pass at the desk before entering.

NATIONAL LIBRARY OF KOREA


The National Library of Korea is located in Seocho-gu, Seoul. Opened
in 1945, it contains a digital multimedia center, Northeast Asian
Collections Room, North Korean Collections Room, and an Old &
Rare Collection. For opening times (which vary according to section)
and further information, see their website at http://www.nl.go.kr/.

NATIONAL DIGITAL LIBRARY


You can visit the National Digital Library online at
http://www.dlibrary.go.kr/NEL_ENG/Index.jsp. As the most
comprehensive database for materials on pre-1950 Korea, it contains
sources and information from and on the Japanese Occupation period
including old newspapers (pre-1945), official gazettes (1894-1910),
periodicals (pre-1950), over 1400 Korean academic journals, and the
original images of Korean rare books and old maps are available
online through more than 70 databases of eight Korean national
libraries (including those mentioned above): the National Library of
Korea (국립중앙도서관), the National Assembly Library (국회도서관),
the Supreme Court Library ( 법원도서관), the KAIST Digital Science
Library ( 한국과학기술원 과학도서관 ), the Korea Institute of Science
and Technology Information ( 한국 과학 기술 정보 연구 원 ), the Korea
Education & Research Information Service (한국교육학술정보원), the
Korea Agricultural Science Digital Library ( 농촌진흥청 농업과학도서
관 ), and the Korea Knowledge Portal ( 국 가 지 식 포 털 ). In total, it
contains over 3,000,000 items.

ADDITIONAL SOURCE
Digital Resources for Korea Studies, Harvard College Library,
http://hcl.harvard.edu/research/guides/korean/ (retrieved 15
Oct. 2008).

KOREAN LANGUAGE LESSONS


As with much of this guide, the information provided below is not
exhaustive, but is intended as an outline for those interested in
developing their language skills without having to diminish their
savings. As these types of services will continually develop and spring
up around the country thanks to hard-working people, please see the
ATEK Products and Services Guide for Korean language lesson
providers in your area.

COURSES
Many of the major universities in Korea offer Korean language
courses. These may not be practical for most instructors, depending
on your teaching schedule and on your commitment to learning the
language. Many instructors are interested in developing their Korean
language ability through less formal and cheaper options. Many of the
major hakwon run Korean language courses at a reasonable price and
class times tend to be more flexible. For those who are interested in a
more intensive and tailored language course, private tutors are also
available, but will charge accordingly.
KOREAN LANGUAGE PROVIDERS
ANDONG
Andong National University
388 Songchon-dong, Andong-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
Tel: 54-820-5326 http://eng.andong.ac.kr/
Contact Person: Kim, Sang Hyo lang@andong.ac.kr

BUSAN
Busan Foundation for International Activities
1st Floor in City Hall 2001, Jungangno, Yeonje-gu, Busan
Tel : 865-0133 http://www.bfia.or.kr/english/foreigner3_2.html
Busan Metropolitan City Volunteer Center (Korean Language Program)
Busan Water Authority (10th F) 273-20bunji, Yangjeong 2-dong, Busanjin-gu, Busan
Tel : 864-1365 http://vt.busan.go.kr
Pusan National University Institute of International Exchange & Education
San 30bunji, Jangjeon 3-dong, Geumjeong-gu, Busan
Tel : 510-1982 http://international.pusan.ac.kr/new/english/sub/s4.asp
bangjy77@pusan.ac.kr
Pukyung University
Foreign language Education Center Daeyeon 3-dong Nam-gu, Busan
Tel : 620-6952 http://web.pknu.ac.kr/~flec/korean/school_regular.htm
Pusan University of Foreign Studies (Korean Language & Culture Center )
#314 Korean Language & Culture Center San55-1bunji, Uam 1-dong, Nam-gu, Busan
Tel : 640-3633 http://eng.pufs.ac.kr/html/00_main/
wy0200@pufs.ac.kr
Busan Campus of Youngsan University Korean Language School
249bunji, Bansong 3-dong, Haeundae-gu, Busan
Tel : 540-7104 http://www.ysu.ac.kr/eng/
kols@webmail.ysu.ac.kr
Dong-eui University Foreign Language Education Center
Central Library (6th F) San24 Gaya-dong, Busanjin-gu, Busan
Tel : 890-1770~2 http://language.deu.ac.kr
Dong-a University Office of International Affairs
Dong-a Univ. 840bunji Hadan 2-dong, Saha-gu, Busan
Tel : 200-6342 http://global.donga.ac.kr/english/lectures/lectures.html
global@donga.ac.kr
Silla University Korean Language Institute
Silla Univ. San 1-1bunji Gwaebeop-dong, Sasang-gu, Busan
Tel : 999-5755 http://www.silla.ac.kr/eng/
interpro1@silla.ac.kr
Korean Language Institute For Foreigners KLIFF
Geumjeong-gu, Jangjeon-1 dong, 388-12, Busan
Tel : 513-0131 http://www.kliff.co.kr
jennakang@hanmail.net
Association for Foreign Workers' Human Rights in Busan
Yusin Bldg.(4th F) 193-9bunji, Jeonpo 2-dong, Busanjin-gu, Busan
Tel : 802-3438 http://fwr.jinbo.net
noja@kornet.net
Korea-Japan Cultural Exchange Association
Byeogam Bldg. 1157-2bunji Choryang 3-dong, Dong-gu, Busan
Tel : 465-7323 http://www.kojac.or.kr
lesson@kojac.or.kr
International Friendship Program (PNUF)
Pusan National University Inmungwan Room 120
Tel : 019-9669-1123 http://cafe.daum.net/pnuf
pnufmail@daum.net

CHANGWON
Changwon National University Language Education Center
65 Sonamu 5-gil, Changwon-si, Gyeongnam
+82-55-279-8041 http://www.changwon.ac.kr/~lang/
Contact: Choi, Mi Kyung cielbleu03@hotmail.com

CHEONAN
Sunmoon University Korean Language Institute
381-7 Samyong-dong, Cheonan-si, Chungcheongnam-do
+82-41-559-1332 http://kli.sunmoon.ac.kr
Contact: Shin, Nyeong Mok ymshin62@daum.net

CHEONGJU
Chungbuk National University International Education Center
12 Gaesin-dong, Huengduk-gu, Cheongju
+82-43-261-3299 http://cie.chungbuk.ac.kr/
Contact: Hwang, Sun Young jiayou@chungbuk.ac.kr

CHUNCHEON
Hallym University Korean Language Education Center
39 Hallymdaehak-gil, Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do
+82-33-248-2973 http://www.klec.or.kr/eng
Shin, Jae Eun de2973@hallym.ac.kr
DAEJEON
Chungnam National University Language Education Center
220 Gung-dong, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon
+82-42-821-8804 http://www.cnu.ac.kr/~lang_res/korean/koreanlanguage_eng.htm
Roh, Hyun Seo flec@cnu.ac.kr
Hyechon College Korean Language Institute
333 Boksu-dong, Seo-gu, Daejeon
+82-42-580-6158 http://www.hcc.ac.kr/ (tno website for Korean Language Institute)
Cho, Yeon Gil atkorea@hcc.ac.kr

GWANGJU
Chonnam National University Language Education Center
333 Yongbong-ro, Buk-gu, Gwangju
+82-62-530-3630 http://language.chonnam.ac.kr/cnu_lec_eng/Curriculum/index01.asp
Contact: Moon, Ji Yul jymoon@jnu.ac.kr

INCHEON
Inha University Language Training Center
253 Yonghyun-dong, Nam-gu, Incheon
+82-32-860-8302 http://site.inha.ac.kr/ltc/
Kim, Mi Kyung mk0914@inha.ac.kr

JEONJU
Chonbuk National University Language Education Center
664-14 1 ga Dukjin-dong, Dukjin-gu, Jeonju
+82-63-270-2250
Lee, Bo Eun lec@chonbuk.ac.kr

NONSAN
Geumgang University Korean Language Program
14-9 Daemeong-ri, Sangwol-myeon, Nonsan-si, Chungcheongnam-do
+82-41-731-3043 http://glc.ggu.ac.kr/
Lee, Hak Yong leigh@ggu.ac.kr

SEOSAN
Hanseo University Institute of Language and Culture
360 Daegok-ri, Haemi-myun, Seosan-si, Chongchungnam-do
+82-41-660-1302 http://www.hanseo.ac.kr/eng/
Lee, Yoon Soo leeys95@hanseo.ac.kr

SEOUL
Chung-Ang University Korean Language Institute
221 Heukseok-dong, Dongjak-gu, Seoul
+82-2-820-6122 http://korean.cau.ac.kr/
Kim, Young Chan youngcha@cau.ac.kr
Dongguk University Center for Korean Language Education
Institute of International Education, 26, 3ga Pil-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul
+82-2-2260-3471 http://iie.dongguk.edu
Kim, Tae Hyung iie@dgu.edu
Ewha Women’s University Language Center
11-1 Daehyun-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul
+82-2-3277-3182 http://elc.ewha.ac.kr:1004/en/index.asp
Park, Hyun Sook kfl@ewha.ac.kr
The Hansung Institute of Language Education
389 3ga Samseon-dong, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul
+82-2-760-4374 www.hansung.ac.kr/~klp
Lim, So Young yerama@chol.com
Hanyang University International Language Institute
17 Hangdang-dong, Seongdong-gu, Seoul
+82-2-2220-1663 http://www.hyili.hanyang.ac.kr/eindexB.html
Choi, Il Yong hyili@hanyang.ac.kr
Korean Language & Culture Center at Korea University (KOLA)
1 5ga Anam-dong, Seongbuk-Gu, Seoul
+82-2-3290-1455 korean@korea.ac.kr
Oh, Hyun Joo http://kola.korea.ac.kr/klcc/index_english.html
Kyunghee University Institute of International Education (IEE)
1 Hoegi-dong, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul
+82-2-961-0081 khsd3040@khu.ac.kr
Park, Young Hui http://eng.iie.ac.kr/
Paichai University Educational Center for Korean as a Foreign Language
439-6 Doma-dong,Seo-gu, Daejeon
+82-42-520-5730 http://w2.pcu.ac.kr/~eckfl/en_index.php
Shin, Eun Kyung & Lee Eun Young eckfl@pcu.ac.kr
Seoul National University
The Korean Language Education Center (KLEC) Language Education Institute
San 56-1 Sillim-dong, Gwanak-gu, Seoul
+82-2-880-5488, 8570 http://lei.snu.ac.kr/english/pages/SD00009_00.jsp
Kim, So Young klp@snu.ac.kr
Sogang University Korean Language Education Center (KLEC)
1 Sinsoo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul
+82-2-705-8088~9 http://klec.sogang.ac.kr
Woo, Hak Geun ckss@sogang.ac.kr
Sookmyung Women's University International Institute of Language Education
52 Hyochangwon-gil, Chungpa-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
+82-2-710-9623 http://www.sookmyung.ac.kr/
Lee, Gil Im lingua@sookmyung.ac.kr
Sungkyunkwan University Language Institute Korean Language Program
53 3ga Myeongnyun-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
+82-2-760-1224 http://home.skku.edu/sli/korean_index_en.php
Cho, Yong Woo skkuinfo@hotmail.com
Yeungnam University Korean Language Program (KLP)
412-1 Dae-dong, Gyeongsan-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
+82-53-810-1628 http://cip.yu.ac.kr/cip/sub03_a.htm
Jeon, Woo Seok daniel@yumail.ac.kr
Yonsei University Korean Language Institute
The Institute of Language Research and Education
134 Sinchon-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul
+82-2-2123-3465 http://www.yskli.com
Lim, Bang Ul myshin@yonsei.ac.kr, yskli@yonsei.ac.kr
EKO Language center Co., Ltd
637-18 Woojin Bld. 2,3F Yeoksam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
+82-2-552-5155 http://www.ekolc.com
Lee, Sun Ok info@ekolc.com
Ganada Korean Language Institute
201-1 Seongdo Bld.3F.Donggyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul
+82-2-332-6003 http://www.ganadakorean.co.kr/eng/main.htm
Park, Kyung Hee ganada@ganadakorean.com
Korean Language Education Culture Center
619-2 Jeongjin Bld. 3F Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
+82-2 -511-9314 http://www.edukorean.com/English/index/index.asp
info@edukorean.com (Saito Chika), kecc@edukorean.com (Hye Jin Jung)
National Institute for International Education Development
181 Dongsung-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
+82-2-3668-1328~1329 (Day), +82-2-3668-1324 (Holidays, Nights) http://www.ied.go.kr
gyohak@moe.go.kr

SUWON
Ajou University Korean Language Education Center
San 5 Woncheon-dong, Youngtong-gu, Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do
+82-31-219-1675 http://wwwold.ajou.ac.kr/~afl/kor_s/
koli@madang.ajou.ac.kr
ULSAN
Ulsan University International Affairs and Education
San 29 Muger 2-dong, Nam-gu, Ulsan
+82-52-259-2079,2080
http://www.ulsan.ac.kr/eng/international/korean.aspx
Hyeon, Ji Hye _jh7@naver.com
The Association for Teachers of English in Korea provides the
following services to the general public, members and non-
members alike:
• Monitoring of proposed legislation and regulations which may affect non-
citizen English teachers in Korea.
• Translation of proposed and existing legislation and regulations (domestic
and international) and analysis of their possible effects on non-citizen English
teachers in Korea.
• Advocacy for English teacher concerns at the national and local levels.
• The English Teacher's Guide to Korea, which will be made available in PDF
for free download from our website (http://atek.or.kr).

ATEK provides the following benefits and services to members:


• Full access to ATEK's Employer Rating System, to make and review ratings.
• Access to the member forums.
• Access to professional development and lesson planning materials.
• Information on how to check to see if your employer is correctly reporting
your income, paying your taxes and making proper deductions from your
pay.
• Copies of labor, tax, pension, and health insurance complaint forms,
translated into Korean, and instructions about how to go about filing a
complaint.
• Local social networks (the Provincial and Metropolitan Associations that send
reps to our national council).
• Access to data from the ATEK Member Survey, which enables ATEK to track
average salaries and weekly hours by region and type of teaching job,
average level of satisfaction with various job types, average length of stay of
foreigners working in Korea, average pay and benefit increases when re-
signing for a second year, and much more. Want to know if your contract
offer is above or below the average salary for someone in your city and
education level? Get access.
• Advisories to the government based on ATEK Member Survey information
on non-citizen English teacher's problems and needs (does one particular city
have a higher rate of teachers reporting pay withholding fraud? That city's
government might want to know that.)
• An online application that translates letters home to parents into Korean, so
that you can communicate with parents and let them know how their child is
doing.
• Representation of member concerns to relevant government agencies and
other groups.
• Responses to media items of interest to non-citizen English teachers.

All these resources are available on our website at


http://atek.or.kr
THE ENGLISH TEACHER'S
GUIDE TO KOREA
Living, Working, and Thriving in Korea Sparkling

By
Tony Hellmann, M.Ed.
Tom Rainey-Smith
Jason Thomas, M.App.Ling.
Matthew Henderson

ATEK

Press
This book was designed and laid out entirely with open source software.
Individual sections copyright © 2009 by the respective authors, all rights reserved,
except as licensed below. Used by permission.
Published by ATEK Press, a division of the Association for Teachers of English in Korea.
Design and composition by Tony Hellmann. Copyedited by Jason Thomas
Cover: Art by Jeffrey Morabito. www.jeffreymorabito.com. Photo by Trey Ratcliff, www.stuckincustoms.com

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative


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Limit of Liability/Disclaimer of Warranty: While the publisher and authors have used their best
efforts in preparing this book, they make no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or
completeness of the contents of this book and specifically disclaim any implied warranties of merchantability or
fitness for a particular purpose. No warranty may be created or extended by sales representatives or written sales
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This book is published in both print and electronic formats.


Printed in the Republic of Korea
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
CHAPTER 6: KNOWING YOUR RIGHTS
LEGAL PROBLEMS
OVERVIEW
Foreigners who run afoul of legal problems in Korea face significant
challenges. Korean courts are of course conducted in Korean, and
most Koreans represent themselves pro se (that is, without a lawyer).
Unless one is fluent in Korean, it will not be possible to represent
oneself pro se in court, which means services of a lawyer may be
necessary. Criminal defense attorneys and civil lawyers are expensive,
usually requiring three to five million won up front as an initial
retainer. Labor lawyers are generally much more affordable, and may
work for as little as a few hundred thousand won, depending on the
complexity of your case.
Legal problems can be grouped into four categories:
 Traffic violations (which may or may not include criminal
charges)
 Non traffic-related criminal charges
 Civil action (lawsuits)
 Employer-employee disputes

TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS
Traffic violations are covered in depth later in this chapter. If a traffic
case goes to court, the other party is most likely to represent him or
herself pro se.

NON TRAFFIC-RELATED CRIMINAL CHARGES


Criminal charges are also covered in depth further on in this chapter.
Remember that in a case where private property is damaged or
someone is injured, a private cash settlement with the victim will be
taken into consideration, and can result in a reduced penalty,
suspended sentence, or even dismissal of the charges.
CIVIL ACTION (LAWSUITS)
Unlike in Western countries, it is common for Koreans to sue pro se
(without a lawyer representing them). This can be problematic for
foreigners, as retaining a lawyer to defend yourself will cost you a lot
of money, while suing you pro se won't cost the plaintiff much.
There is a persistent rumor in the foreign community that if
you lose a lawsuit and are ordered by the court to pay damages to the
plaintiff, you will be barred from leaving Korea until the damages are
paid. This is patently untrue. You can leave Korea whenever you like,
and the plaintiff has little recourse to recover his/her court ordered
damages. However, if you have fines resulting from criminal charges
or have tax problems, it is possible that you may be subject to an exit
ban.

EMPLOYER/EMPLOYEE DISPUTES
Foreign workers in Korea sometimes have disputes with their
employers, related to: contract disputes; disputes regarding pay;
problems related to tax, pension, and/or medical insurance; and a
number of other problems. If you feel your rights have been violated,
you may file a complaint with the relevant authority: the labor board,
the national tax service, or the national pension scheme.
The Association for Teachers of English in Korea has copies of
labor, pension, and tax complaint forms on their website, along with
English translations of the forms and their instructions, in the Member
Resource Library.

KOREAN CRIMINAL LAW AND YOU


The Constitution of the Republic of Korea, as amended and
promulgated October 29, 1987, states the following:
Article 12
1. All persons shall enjoy personal liberty. No person shall be
arrested, detained, searched, seized or interrogated except as
provided by Act. No person shall be punished, placed under
preventive restrictions or subject to involuntary labor except
as provided by Act and through lawful procedures.
2. No one shall be tortured or be compelled to testify against
oneself in criminal cases.
3. Warrants issued by a judge through due procedures upon the
request of a prosecutor shall be presented in case of arrest,
detention, seizure or search: Provided, That in a case where a
criminal suspect is an apprehended in flagrante delicto, or
where there is danger that a person suspected of committing a
crime punishable by imprisonment of three years or more
may escape or destroy evidence, investigative authorities may
request an ex post facto warrant.
4. Any person who is arrested or detained shall have the right to
prompt assistance of counsel. When a criminal defendant is
unable to secure counsel by his own efforts, the State shall
assign counsel for the defendant as prescribed by Act.
5. No person shall be arrested or detained without being
informed of the reason therefor and of his right to assistance
of counsel. The family, etc., as designated by Act, of a person
arrested or detained shall be notified without delay of the
reason for and the time and place of the arrest or detention.
6. Any person who is arrested or detained, shall have the right
to request the court to review the legality of the arrest or
detention.
7. In a case where a confession is deemed to have been made
against a defendant's will due to torture, violence,
intimidation, unduly prolonged arrest, deceit or etc., or in a
case where a confession is the only evidence against a
defendant in a formal trial, such a confession shall not be
admitted as evidence of guilt, nor shall a defendant be
punished by reason of such a confession.
Article 27
1. All citizens shall have the right to be tried in conformity with
the Act by judges qualified under the Constitution and the
Act.
2. Citizens who are not on active military service or employees
of the military forces shall not be tried by a court martial
within the territory of the Republic of Korea, except in case of
crimes as prescribed by Act involving important classified
military information, sentinels, sentry posts, the supply of
harmful food and beverages, prisoners of war and military
articles and facilities and in the case of the proclamation of
extraordinary martial law.
3. All citizens shall have the right to a speedy trial. The accused
shall have the right to a public trial without delay in the
absence of justifiable reasons to the contrary.
4. The accused shall be presumed innocent until a judgment of
guilt has been pronounced.
5. A victim of a crime shall be entitled to make a statement
during the proceedings of the trial of the case involved as
under the conditions prescribed by Act.

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN KOREAN AND WESTERN CRIMINAL


JUSTICE SYSTEMS
Reading the above sections of the Korean Constitution may lead one
to conclude that the Korean and Western legal systems are virtually
the same. Although this may seem so, there are a number of very
significant differences. The main point to remember is that a foreigner
in Korea is subject to Korean laws, not the laws of their home country
(although some foreigners may be subject to both; the citizens of some
countries are still subject to some or all of the laws of their country
even when abroad). Below are some of the particulars of the Korean
legal system.

ACCESS TO COUNSEL
A foreigner who is used to having his or her lawyer present at every
step of legal proceedings, may be disconcerted to find that under
Korean law an attorney need not be present during questioning of a
suspect by the public prosecutor's office. Police and public
prosecutors may also question a suspect without an attorney present.
However, the suspect may refuse to answer questions during the
police and public prosecutors' interrogations. In such cases, the
authorities will usually allow counsel to attend.

COMMUNICATION
Americans, British, and other foreigners accustomed to their "one
phone call" may be taken aback when Korean authorities do not allow
them that privilege. Under the Consular Convention, Korean police
officials must notify the Embassy as soon as a foreigner is arrested.
The Police may make this notification in writing, however, and it
might be a few days or more before the Embassy is apprised of an
arrest. In practice, if a foreign suspect taken into police custody has
relatives or an attorney in Korea, law enforcement is required to and
will notify the suspect's family and attorney of the arrest promptly.

DOUBLE JEOPARDY
Perhaps the most marked difference between foreign and Korean legal
systems is the possibility of double jeopardy in Korea. Having been
found innocent of a crime is no protection against being tried again
for the same offense. If the prosecutor feels the verdict is incorrect, he
may appeal that verdict and retry an already-acquitted individual.

BAIL
Bail is legally possible under Korean statutes. However, bail is
frequently not granted and may not be as readily available as in your
home country.

SMUGGLING AND OTHER CUSTOMS VIOLATIONS


Korean customs laws are as strict as, if not stricter than many Western
laws. Violators of these laws are subject to fines up to ten times the
normal customs duty, confiscation of the contraband, and jail
sentences of up to ten years.
Importing or exporting certain prohibited articles detrimental
to national security, public health or public morals (such as classified
government information or counterfeit money) is punishable by
imprisonment of up to 10 years or a fine of up to 20 million Won.
Importing or exporting goods which differ from those reported to
customs authorities or failing to report imported or exported goods
may result in imprisonment of up to 5 years prison or fine a fine equal
to the higher of 10 times the normal duty or the purchase price of the
goods.
Deliberately misstating the quantity of merchandise to evade
payment of duty can result in 3 years prison and fines of 500% of the
regular duty or purchase price of goods, whichever is higher. In the
past, confiscated merchandise has included gold ingots, jewelry and
unset precious stones, as well as bear bladders, deer antlers, and other
items used in Oriental medicine. It is also possible that the goods and
any vehicle or other articles used to bring the goods into or out of
Korea may be confiscated.

DRUGS
Drugs and drug abuse are governed by the Narcotic Substance
Control Act of 2000 as well as by the Criminal Act. These laws
regulate the import, export, manufacture, preparation, subdivision,
sale, intermediate sale or purchase, and purchase of narcotics, as well
as possession of narcotics for the purpose of import, export,
manufacture, preparation, subdivision, selling or purchase; serving as
an intermediary for buying and selling of narcotics. Provisions under
these laws mandate minimum prison sentences of one year.
Korean government policy is aimed at discouraging the use of
dangerous and habit-forming drugs in the country. Korean statutes
classify marijuana as a "dangerous narcotic." Parole is virtually never
given in drug-related cases. Recent legislation provides that
trafficking or abusing drugs may result in prison for an indefinite
term and confiscation of illegal proceeds and the illegal substance.

LEGAL PROCEDURES
QUESTIONING
Police officers are allowed to stop and question individuals who are
suspected of having committed crimes or who are considered likely to
commit crimes. However, police officers cannot force such
individuals to answer their questions. Public prosecutors and police
officers, before listening to statements from suspects, are required to
inform them of the fact that they can refuse to give statements.
Police officers should identify themselves by name, rank, and
agency (e.g. “I am Officer Kim with the Busan Metropolitan Police
Agency,”) but if they do not, you have the right to ask them for that
information. If you are questioned by a person who is in plain clothes
(such as a detective), they have an obligation to show you
identification and should do so without your having to ask. If a police
officer requests that you get in his/her car so that he/she may take you
to a police station for questioning (or for any other reason), doesn't
provide you with a clear reason, and you do not want to go, you have
the right to refuse. Simply put, if you are not being arrested, you do
not have to go. If the police officer insists, you can call 112 for help
immediately or contact the police inspection unit at the local police
station afterward. You also have the option of making a complaint to
your embassy. Sources inside a major metropolitan police agency tell
ATEK that they believe this to be a very effective method to ensure
fair treatment.
Lawyers must be present at trials but are not allowed to be
present during most phases of a criminal investigation. If you request
that your lawyer be present for questioning, your request may be
refused. However, you may refuse to answer questions without your
lawyer present or request help and advice from your embassy. If you
do so, the police will try to find a way to assist you with a lawyer. It is
important that you remain calm and make requests, as if you are
asking for their help. Making demands, threatening lawsuits or action
from your embassy, or displaying a belligerent attitude will mainly
just cause you problems.
Some phrases that you may find helpful include:
• Am I being investigated for a crime?
Je ga beomjweiro josada neun geongayo?
제가 범죄로 조사받는 건가요?
• What is the crime?
Jweimyeongi mweongayo? 죄명이 뭔가요?
• Am I being arrested?
Je ga chepodwi neun geongayo? 제가 체포되는 건가요?
• I need an English interpreter.
Yeongeo tongi pilyohamnida. 영어통역이 필요합니다.
• I would like to contact a lawyer.
Byeonhosawa mannago shipeoyo. 변호사와 만나고 싶어요.
• I don't understand what my rights are. Can someone please explain
them to me?
Jeoui gweoliga mueotinji ihaega andweiyo, dareun sarami jeoege
seolmyeongeun hejuseyo.
저의 권리가 무엇인지 이해가 안되요, 다른 사람이 저에게 설명을 해주
세요?
• I would like to talk to the police inspector.
Kyeongchal cheongmundamdanggwan hagoiyagihago shipeoyo.
경찰 청문담당관 하고 이야기하고 싶어요?
ARREST
A warrant is generally required before an individual can be arrested in
Korea. No warrant is required, however, for an individual caught in
the act of committing a crime. In addition, no warrant is required
where an individual is suspected of committing a serious crime if
there is a risk that evidence of the crime may be destroyed or that the
individual may try to escape.
There is a general right of arrest when one of the following
applies:
 a person is caught or pursued in the act of committing an
offense
 where it is suspected he/she is going to flee
 his/her identity cannot be established.
An arrested individual has the right to receive immediate
assistance from a lawyer. Do not request or demand a court-
appointed lawyer, as such lawyers are appointed after you are
arrested, charged with a crime, and brought before a judge. The court
makes the decision, and generally Korean courts only appoint lawyers
for people who are mentally incapacitated, over 70 years old, or
indigent.
Within the limits of the law, an arrested individual may
receive visits from a lawyer or other interested person, may receive
medical treatment, and may receive authorized medication.

THE ROLE OF YOUR EMBASSY IN AN ARREST


According to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (1963)
Article 36, your consulate has the following rights: (1) consular
officers shall be free to communicate with nationals of their State and
to have access to them. Nationals of the foreign State shall have the
same freedom with respect to communication with and access to
consular officers of the foreign State; (2) if you so request, the Korean
police shall, without delay, inform your consular post if you are
arrested or committed to prison or to custody pending trial or are
detained in any other manner. Any communication addressed to the
consular post by a person arrested, in prison, custody or detention
shall be forwarded by the authorities without delay. The authorities
shall inform you without delay of your rights under Article 36,
subparagraph 2; (3) consular officers shall have the right to visit a
national of their State who is in prison, custody or detention, to
converse and correspond with him and to arrange for his legal
representation. They shall also have the right to visit any national of
their State who is in prison, custody or detention in their district in
pursuance of a judgment. Nevertheless, consular officers shall refrain
from taking action on behalf of a national who is in prison, custody or
detention if he expressly opposes such action.
Please note that the term “consular post” used above applies
to both a consulate and an embassy (an embassy is actually made up
of several different entities, including a diplomatic mission, a consular
mission, and others). In other words, there is a consular post at your
embassy.
We have included specific messages for foreign nationals from
their respective embassies below. All these statements are taken from
embassy websites, retrieved August 15, 2008. Note that they all
conform to the Vienna Convention as enumerated above.

AUSTRALIA
“Consular staff cannot use their position to influence unduly or
bypass local laws or processes, even when these would appear by
Australian standards to be unfair or unnecessarily arduous. While
consular staff can sometimes use their knowledge and understanding
of the local environment to facilitate support, they must work within
the legal and administrative constraints applying in their host
country.”
Australian consular officials can provide assistance to you if
you are arrested, notify next of kin, provide a list of local lawyers,
conduct prison visits, and ensure an Australian receives the same
treatment as could reasonably be expected by the host country's own
citizens. Australian consular officials cannot provide funds to pay
your legal costs, represent you at legal proceedings or give legal
advice, cannot get you out of prison or obtain special treatment for
you in prison.”

BRITAIN
The British Consulate maintains a detailed booklet outlining help
available for British nationals who have been arrested or imprisoned
overseas, which can be found here:
http://ukinkorea.fco.gov.uk/resources/en/word/3059742/doc-consular-
prison-pack. Summary information follows:
“The British Consulate can answer questions about your
welfare and about prison regulations but not questions about legal
matters. You should ask your lawyer or the court these kinds of
questions. We can give you a list of English-speaking lawyers. When
a British citizen is arrested and detained in Korea the Korean
authorities must inform the British Embassy. This is usually done in
writing and normally takes a week to ten days to reach us. We may be
informed much more quickly by friends or relations. In Korea you do
not have the right to make a telephone call when you are arrested.
However you can ask the prison/detention officer to inform your next-
of-kin. He can do this direct or he can call the Embassy and ask us to
pass on a message. For reasons of confidentiality we are not permitted
to tell anyone that you have been detained or what the charges are
without your permission. The Embassy must have your permission to
discuss your case, or to confirm your detention, with anyone.
However, if your family becomes aware of the detention (e.g. via the
media) it will add to their distress if we cannot discuss the case with
them, so please consider your decision carefully about whether you
wish us to inform your family. N.B. If the prisoner is a minor (under
18), we must inform the next of kin.”
As soon as we have been notified (whether by family, friends
or officially) we will apply for a visiting permit and you will be visited
within two working days of us receiving the permit. Please note that it
can take seven to ten days for a permit to arrive although in most
cases it is quicker. We will send you information on the Korean
judicial system and ask your next-of-kin if they would like to receive it
too. We can also give your next-of-kin the address of the prison and
the prison bank account number in case they wish to transfer any
money to you, or tell them how to transfer money to you, without
bank charges, through the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in
London.”

How the British Embassy Cannot Help


“We cannot get you out of prison, pay fines or stand bail, or
interfere in local judicial procedures to get you out of prison or secure
you an earlier trial date; we cannot investigate a crime. We cannot
intervene with police or prosecutors except to assure that British
Nationals are treated no worse than Koreans would be under the
same circumstances. There are no British government funds to pay for
Lawyers, fines or other legal expenses. If a British National cannot get
funds to pay a Lawyer, he must rely on a court-appointed defender. If
he is held in Immigration Detention awaiting deportation, we cannot
supply a ticket home except through a repatriation loan when all
other possible sources of funds are exhausted. We cannot supply
British food, bedding, clothing or other amenities.”

CANADA
“We can contact, at your request, your relatives or friends and ask
them to send you emergency funds. If you are arrested, we can try to
ensure equitable treatment under local laws. At your request, we can
inform relatives and friends about your arrest and try to ensure that
legal rights and processes are extended to you consistent with the
standards of the host country.”

NEW ZEALAND
“The Embassy, by regulation, cannot enter any case; conduct any
investigation; or act as lawyers or mediators in any personal
professional conflicts experienced by New Zealand citizens. If you do
find yourself in need of an attorney, we can provide you with a list of
attorneys; however, we are unable to recommend any specific lawyer
from this list. We will attempt to answer all your questions or
complaints.”

SOUTH AFRICA
“The South African Embassy can contact and visit SA citizens arrested
or detained and, in certain circumstances, arrange for messages to be
sent to relatives or friends. South African missions abroad, and
Consular staff in particular, cannot: intervene in court proceedings;
get you out of prison; give legal advice or instigate court proceedings
on your behalf; get better treatment for you in hospital or prison than
is provided for local nationals; or investigate crimes.”
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
“The U.S. Embassy cannot assist prisoners with legal representation.
When a consular officer visits someone who has been arrested, we
provide a list of local attorneys who are known to speak English and
to have dealt with foreigners’ cases. In most cases, the Embassy is
promptly notified by Korean law enforcement officials of the arrest or
detention of any U.S. citizen. American Citizen Services (ACS) makes
every effort to make an initial visit to the detainee soon after the
arrest, with follow up visits periodically. Arrangements will be made
for more frequent visitation as circumstances warrant. Our job is to
ensure that the arrested U.S. citizen is being treated fairly under local
laws, understands the charges, has access to legal counsel, and has
any special or emergency needs met to the extent possible. The
Embassy can also keep a detainee’s relatives or friends informed of the
situation if that is the person’s wish.”

DETENTION
The police can detain individuals for up to 10 days before formal
charges are filed. At the end of this period, police must move the case
to the prosecutor’s office. A public prosecutor then has ten days after
in which to determine whether or not to indict the individual;
however, the public prosecutor may make a request to the court for an
additional 10-day extension. The courts normally grant these
requests. There is no formal arraignment procedure in the Korean
legal system.
Apart from detention in jail, foreigners may be forbidden to
leave the country if legal actions are still pending. Such individuals
may be held in immigration detention or may merely be subject to an
exit ban.

COMPLAINTS ABOUT THE POLICE


If one feels one was treated unfairly by the police, or is unsatisfied
with how they have handled a situation, one may contact the police
inspector's unit. Every local police agency in Korea has an Inspection
Unit that is charged with reviewing the agency's performance and
ensuring that police perform their duties correctly. Ask your local
police station for the number to the Police Inspection Unit, or to speak
with someone from their office. If one does not wish to lodge one's
complaint through the police department, one may also contact one's
embassy.

INVESTIGATION AND INDICTMENT


While one is in custody pending trial, the Public Prosecutor’s Office
(PPO) investigates the alleged offense. The PPO may interview the
accused and any witnesses and collect any evidence with the help of
the police. When there is enough evidence to open a prosecution, the
investigation stage is formally closed and the trial stage is opened.
The PPO must then produce an indictment which sets out the details
of the accused, the crime of which he is accused, when and where it
took place, the legal definition of the crime and the criminal laws
applicable to the case. When the judge receives the indictment, date(s)
for the trial will be set.

TRIAL
There are six kinds of courts in Korea:
•The Supreme Court,
•High Court,
•District Court,
•Family Court,
•Patent Court, and
•Administrative Court.
Trials are conducted at the District Court level. Courts are
required to complete a case within six months of receipt from the
public prosecutor’s office.

APPEALS
After sentencing, appeals may be submitted to the original court
within seven days. In some cases, further appeals to the High Court
and Supreme Court are possible. The prosecutor may also file
requests for appeal of verdict and/or sentence.

PAROLE
In Korea, the law makes a provision for the early release of prisoners
serving a sentence. The public prosecutor is obliged to consider
automatically whether you should be released when you have served
two-thirds of your sentence. In practice, however, a minimum of
approximately two-thirds (usually about 70%) of a sentence must be
served before parole is considered. Foreign inmates are usually
treated more leniently than Koreans by parole boards, but the same
policy of serving at least two-thirds of the sentence before parole is
granted still applies. Parole is never granted in drug cases. It is
common practice to deport prisoners on release.

BAIL
In certain circumstances the prosecutor may give you bail after being
detained for a certain period and before your court appearance for
sentencing. This is on the understanding that you will not flee the
country. You will then be moved from the detention/holding centre to
the nearest immigration centre. The prosecutor/immigration
authorities will want assurances from the embassy that you will not
flee the country. The embassy or the immigration authorities will hold
onto your passport. The embassy must have your written permission
from you to hold on to your passport until the outcome of your court
case.

LEGAL REPRESENTATION
Any individual who is arrested for anything more than a minor
violation is urged to obtain competent legal counsel promptly. The
court will appoint a lawyer for any accused individual who is a minor,
is over 70, is deaf, is mentally challenged or incapacitated, or cannot
afford a lawyer. Foreign nationals used to a vigorous public defender
should know that Korean public defenders are regular lawyers doing
pro bono work, and that the defense in such cases can be pro forma, with
little attempt to exonerate the accused.
You can employ a lawyer for yourself at any time after your
arrest. Normally, if you employ a privately-engaged lawyer, he or she
will ask for a large advance on estimated legal fees (which may be
very high) before he or she will take on your case. Your embassy
cannot pay legal fees or guarantee to a lawyer that you will pay them.
If you do not have a lawyer when you come to trial, the court
will appoint a legal-aid lawyer free of charge. If you cannot afford a
privately-engaged lawyer you can apply before the trial for a legal-aid
lawyer through the prison.
The court may also appoint a lawyer at the request of the
accused. The court will automatically appoint a legal-aid lawyer if the
offense is so serious or the case is so complicated that you will need
legal assistance to help defend yourself. The same applies if it is
obvious that you are not capable of handling your own defense.

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN CRIMINAL TRIALS


As of January 1, 2008, a new system which allows ordinary citizens to
participate in criminal trials as jurors has been introduced in Korea.
Upon the request of the defendant, the jury consisting of 5 to 9 citizens
attends a felony criminal trial along with professional judges and
provides advisory opinions. Jurors are required to independently
consider whether the defendant is guilty or not and reach a
unanimous verdict; failing that, they depend on majority vote. The
jury also presents individual opinions on sentencing after the
discussion with judges. However, the jury verdict and its view on
sentencing do not have binding power over the judges’ decision.

LIFE IN A CORRECTIONAL FACILITY


Foreigners are normally treated fairly by Korean correctional
authorities. Special sections are generally set aside for foreigners.
Medical treatment is available in all correctional facilities. Medical
problems a correctional doctor cannot handle are referred to local
hospitals. Correctional officials are generally interested in making
sure that foreigners in their custody are treated as humanely as
possible, without opening themselves to accusations of favoritism.
Inmates are allowed to read, listen to the radio and watch TV.
Inmates are not allowed to smoke or drink alcohol. But, they are
allowed to drink coffee and tea. Foreign inmates are sometimes kept
in solitary cells but they often get a chance to talk to other inmates if
they work. Meals are adequate. Foreigners sometimes cannot fully
adjust to the Korean diet, so they are often provided with western
food upon request. Inmates may earn money in the correctional work
program or have money sent by relatives. These funds can be used to
buy a small quantity of supplemental food.
Visitors are allowed but the number and length of visits are
strictly controlled. Incoming and outgoing mail is censored.
Telephone calls are permitted by inmates who have obtained 1st or
2nd ranks. Other inmates are able to make telephone calls only upon
permission by the wardens.
Many correctional facilities have workshops where some
inmates may be allowed to work at various trades and earn pocket
money. Prisoners who have special skills or who have demonstrated
good behavior may be given opportunities in prison by performing
tasks in fields where they have previous experience. Inmates are given
a ranking of 1-4 depending on behavior, participation in work
programs, and other relevant factors. Authorities consider this
ranking when deciding whether to grant parole.
Inmates may be corporally punished for assaulting or talking
back to guards, or for refusing to cooperate or follow instructions.
After inmates submit and act contrite, they are often again treated
kindly. Foreign inmates should not expect to be spared punishment if
Korean prisoners would be punished for the same behavior.

SOURCES
British Embassy, Information for British Nationals Detained/Imprisoned in
South Korea,
http://ukinkorea.fco.gov.uk/resources/en/word/3059742/doc-
consular-prison-pack (retrieved 30 Sep. 2008).

Personal correspondence with Ministry of Justice (March 2008).

Unpublished interview with Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency (Sep.


2008).

US Embassy, Teaching in Korea, http://seoul.usembassy.gov/teach.html


(retrieved 30 Sep. 2008).

SELECTIONS FROM THE IMMIGRATION


CONTROL ACT
URL of Entire Act:

http://unpan1.un.org/intradoc/groups/public/documents/APCITY/UN
PAN011498.pdf
IMPORTANT ARTICLES FOR INSTRUCTORS
■ ARTICLE 17 (SOJOURN AND ACTIVITY SCOPE OF FOREIGNERS)
(1) Any foreigner may sojourn in the Republic of Korea within the
scope of his/her status of sojourn and period of sojourn.
(2) No foreigner sojourning in the Republic of Korea shall engage in
any political activity.
(3) If a foreigner sojourning in the Republic of Korea is engaged in any
political activity, the Minister of Justice may order him/her in writing
to suspend such activity or may take other necessary measures.

■ ARTICLE 18 (RESTRICTION ON EMPLOYMENT OF FOREIGNERS)


(1) If a foreigner desires to be employed in the Republic of Korea,
he/she shall obtain the status of sojourn eligible for employment
under the conditions as prescribed by the Presidential Decree.
(2) No foreigner having the status of sojourn as referred to in
paragraph (1) shall work at any
place other than the designated working place.
(3) No person shall employ any person having no status of sojourn as
referred to in paragraph (1).
(4) No person shall mediate or solicit for any employment of a person
having no status of sojourn as referred to in paragraph (1).

■ ARTICLE 22 (RESTRICTION ON SCOPE OF ACTIVITY)


If it is deemed necessary for the public peace and order or important
national interests of the Republic of Korea, the Minister of Justice may
restrict the scope of residence or activities of foreigners, or determine
necessary matters to be observed by them.

■ ARTICLE 33-2 (PROHIBITION ON USING FOREIGNER


REGISTRATION CERTIFICATES AS MEANS TO SECURE FULFILLMENT OF
OBLIGATION)
(2) Any person shall be prohibited from committing the act falling
under each of the following subparagraphs:
1. The act of being provided with or coercing any foreigner to provide
his passport or foreigner registration certificate for the purpose of
using it as a means to secure a contract for job or the fulfillment of
obligation;

■ ARTICLE 81 (INVESTIGATION OF FOREIGNER STATE OF THINGS BY


IMMIGRATION CONTROL OFFICIALS, ETC.)
(1) In order to investigate whether or not any foreigner sojourns
lawfully in accordance with this Act or any order issued under this
Act, the immigration control officials or public officials belonging to
related agencies as determined by the Presidential Decree may visit
the foreigner, the foreigner's employer, representative of the
organization to which the foreigner belongs or foreigner's work place,
or those who provide the foreigner with accommodation, and to ask
them any question or demand them to present other necessary
materials.
(2) No person who is asked any question or is demanded to
present materials under paragraph (1), shall refuse it without
any justifiable reason.
PAY AND DEDUCTIONS
Workers in Korea generally have deductions made from their monthly
paychecks. There is a deduction for the National Health Insurance
premium, the National Pension Service, and the National Tax Service.
Sadly, withholding fraud is one of the most common types of
pay dispute reported by foreign workers in Korea. Some employers
will withhold funds from a worker's monthly pay, but not actually
deposit the funds where they should go. For example, they may
withhold a worker's pension payment, but not actually pay it into his/
her pension fund and match it. Or, they may tell a worker that he/she
is covered under the National Health Insurance program, when in
reality he/she may not be. Fortunately, there are ways to verify this
information.
All employers are legally required to complete a Receipt for
Wage & Salary Income Taxes Withholding form in February. Ask for a
copy of this document. It will have a registered signature stamp. Also,
be sure to ask your employer to detail which deductions they are
making from your wage and ask to see original documentation
detailing your membership to each of the above schemes.

TAXES
As is the case in any country, it is important to be aware of your tax
situation while in Korea and to keep abreast of any issues that may
arise related to taxation.1 This is an area that many teachers neglect to
consider thoroughly, but taking a few easy steps can help you to avoid
future problems. By equipping yourself with some basic knowledge
you can avoid the surprise of a smaller paycheck.
You may verify how much money your employer should be
withholding for tax purposes online, courtesy of the Korean National
Tax Service, here: http://www.nts.go.kr/eng/help/help_52.asp?
top_code=H001&sub_code=HS05&ssub_code=HSE2. To verify how
much has already been withheld, you may call the NTS foreign help
line at 02-397-1440.

1 For a history of the taxation system in Korea visit:


http://www.nts.go.kr/eng/data/KoreanTaxation2005(Part_1).pdf.
ARE YOU A RESIDENT OR NON-RESIDENT?
Domicile: the residence where you have your permanent home or
principle place of inhabitance and to where, if you decide to leave,
you intend to return to in the future.
Resident: A person who has a domicile in Korea, or, someone who has
a job that requires them to live in Korea for a year or more. A resident
is subject to being taxed from sources within and outside of Korea.
Non-Resident: A person who does not meet the residency criteria
above. A non-resident is only subject to income tax on income made
within Korea. Most E-2 visa holders fall into this category.
For tax purposes, an individual ceases to be a resident the day
following their departure from Korea or on the day when they acquire
a domicile in Korea. A non-resident becomes a resident on the last day
of the 1-year period of having a place of residence in Korea.

MONTHLY TAX WITHHOLDING


Regardless of whether you are a resident or non-resident, when you
receive employment income, your personal income tax is withheld
monthly by your employer. That is, an employer paying wage &
salary income must deduct income tax monthly from the earnings of
their employees based on the “Simplified Tax Withholding Table”
issued by National Tax Service (NTS) and the total of these deductions
is paid to the local district tax office by the tenth day of the following
month.
However, an employer who has no more than ten employees
on average from January to December of the preceding year may pay
taxes withheld to the government every half-year, after obtaining
approval of the district tax office concerned.

FILING YOUR YEAR-END TAX SETTLEMENT


Your wage & salary income tax liability for the year is settled and
finalized in February of the next year through a year-end exact tax
computation(Year-end Tax Settlement). Then, the total of your
monthly withholding (the amount withheld over the entire year) is
treated as a credit against the overall amount of tax payable for the tax
year.
While it the employer customarily files a year-end tax
settlement on your behalf in February of the following year, it is your
responsibility to see to it that the tax settlement is actually filed. If it is
not, and you file no tax return, you may be held liable. Schools
employing teachers illegally may not declare their tax situation
correctly, which can affect you. Protect yourself by being aware of the
tax year and filing time and ensuring that your employer is able to
provide you with the necessary documentation (see below) in the
event that you need to file on your own. If your employer withholds
this documentation for any reason, you have good grounds to suspect
that they are not following correct procedures. You are liable to pay a
penalty if you fail to file your own taxes in the event that your
employer will not do this on your behalf. Returns must be filed to
with the District Tax Office that has jurisdiction over your place of
residence.
If you are concerned that your employer is not paying your
taxes properly, contact the International Taxation Division of the
Korean Tax Office in Seoul at 02-720-4793 or 02-720-4222, the NTS
foreign help line at 02-397-1440, the nearest tax office branch, or visit
the National Tax Service of Korea online at http://www.nts.go.kr.
The latest (2008) English language guide is available online:
http://www.nts.go.kr/eng/korean/korean_04.asp?
top_code=K001&sub_code=KS04&ssub_code=KSC4.

DOES EVERYONE HAVE TO FILE AN INCOME TAX RETURN?


Residents must file an Income Tax Return annually in May. Alien
residents can be exempted from this process if one of the following
describes your situation:
• You received only wage and salary earnings from which your income tax was
withheld and paid by and through the employer or taxpayers associations.
• You received only retirement income from which your income tax was fully
withheld through the employer or taxpayers association.
• You received only interest income from which income tax was fully withheld.
• You received only dividend income from which income tax was fully
withheld.
• You received only other income from which income tax was fully withheld.2

2 EFL Law http://www.efl-law.com/tax.php (Accessed 16/02/08).


The latest (2006) English language guide is available online:
http://www.nts.go.kr/eng/korean/korean_03.asp?
top_code=K001&sub_code=KS03&ssub_code=KSB3.
Documentation needed for filing includes your Alien
Registration Card, your Report of Exemption & Deduction Income,
and your Receipt for Wage & Salary Income Tax Withholding
(obtainable from your employer), and any receipts or documents
necessary for calculating the total gross income amount less covered
expenses such as medical or moving expenses, or credit card interest
paid.

TAX EXEMPTION
Under Article 20 of the Korean Tax Code some non-citizen employees
are entitled to an initial two-year tax exemption. The exemption
applies to teachers working at government-run or government-
designated institutions, including national universities and university-
run institutes, those employed through government-run programs
(such as the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education), research centers
and other recognized educational institutions. The national tax office
should have a list of every such place of employment. Contact them
on the number provided below if in doubt. Please note that Canadians
are not entitled to this exemption.
Contact the Korean Tax Office in Seoul at 02-720-4793 or 02-
720-4222 for more information.

PENSION AND SEVERANCE PAY


As a non-citizen aged between 18 and 59 working and residing in
Korea you are covered by the national pension scheme if you are
working in a workplace covered by the scheme (see below for the
difference between workplace coverage options). It is important to
know which pension scheme you are paying into as this will help
determine whether or not you can claim severance pay (see page 28).
National Pension Scheme (Gukmin Yeongeum) - Most non-citizen
English language instructors pay into a pension scheme operated by
the National Pension Service and are therefore covered by severance
pay law. Under the National Pension Scheme, your employer
deducts 4.5% of your salary, matches it and deposits the entire 9% into
your pension account each month. You can request a statement which
indicates how much has been deposited to your account, Visit the
nearest National Pension Scheme office to request it. You can also call
02-1355 for more information.
Private School Pension (Sarib Hakgyo Yeongeum) - Private secondary
and higher education institutions may opt to provide pension
coverage through a private pension scheme. Unlike the National
Pension Scheme, these schemes are operated by insurance companies
and private foundations and this may exempt them from severance
pay law. Ask your employer to clarify which scheme you are covered
by and ask whether or not you are entitled to severance pay. Private
school pensions do not follow the deduction and matching system of
the National Pension Scheme (4.5% deducted and matched), so be
sure to find out how the compensation system works.

LUMP-SUM REFUNDS
A lump-sum refund is a complete refund of your pension premium
contributions made into the Korean National Pension Program. As
stipulated in the National Pension Act, lump-sum refunds are paid to
non-citizens who are nationals of those countries with either
reciprocal social security agreements between their country and Korea
(refer to Article 126 of the National Pension Act and Article 113 of the
Enforcement Decree of the National Pension Act) or nationals from
countries that have Social Security Agreements with the Korean
government. Here is a basic guide:3

Country Social Lump-sum Exempt from


Security refund NPS
Agreement contributions
Australia YES YES -
Canada YES YES -
Ireland YES NO -
New Zealand NO NO -
South Africa NO NO YES
UK YES NO -
US YES YES -

3 Based on and information available on the NPS website.


APPLICATION FOR LUMP-SUM REFUND
If you are applying in Korea (before departing the country) you will
need a completed application form, your passport, your Alien
Registration Card, your bank book, and a plane ticket showing
departure from Korea. You will need to visit your local NPS office to
carry out this process. See a list of regional offices at
http://www.npc.or.kr/apppage/english/contact/contact_01.jsp.
If you are applying after departure from Korea you will need
an application form (notarized from a notary agency of the country in
which you reside and attested to by the Korean Consulate or
Embassy), a copy of your passport, and a copy of your bankbook or
other such bank statement showing the account number and bank
routing number. When you apply for a lump-sum refund through an
agent in Korea, the application must be submitted by post mail.

SEVERANCE PAY
Called daechigeum (대지금) in Korean, most instructors are entitled to
severance pay, but make sure that you ask your employer (1) to clearly
define whether or not you are entitled to it; (2) if not, to explain why;
and (3) to show you where this is detailed in your contract. Better to
have this conversation before you sign the contract, rather than find
out when you go to buy the round-the-world ticket that you have
been saving for at the end of your contract and find you can’t afford it!

WHAT IS SEVERANCE PAY AND WHO GETS IT?


Severance Pay is basically an extra month of pay paid to an employee
by their employer at the completion of a 12-month contract (e.g. if you
work one day less than your 12-month contracted period you are no
longer entitled to severance pay). This is calculated by adding the
income earned over the 3 last months and dividing by 3, excluding
any bonuses received. Your employer should pay this to you within 14
days from the end date of your contract. As severance pay is subject to
different provisions of the Tax Code it may be hard to work out the
exact amount you will receive in advance.
You are not entitled to Severance Pay if you work under 15
hours a week or less than 60 hours per month, if your work for a
company that has 5 or fewer employees, or in some cases if your
employer pays into a private school pension scheme.
LABOR STANDARDS ACT, ARTICLE 34 (SEVERANCE PAY SYSTEM)
(1) An employer shall establish a severance pay system whereby an average
wage of more than 30 days shall be paid for each year of consecutive years
employed as a severance pay to a retired worker; however, if the worker was
employed for less than one year, this shall not apply.
(2) In establishing the severance pay system stipulated in paragraph (1), a
differential severance pay system shall not be permitted within one business.
(3) An employer may, at the request of workers, pay severance pay in advance
for the period of continuous employment of the worker concerned by
adjusting the balances of remunerations before his retirement, irrespective of
the provisions of paragraph (1). In this case, the number of years of
continuous employment for the computation of severance pay shall be
counted anew from the moment the latest adjustment of balances has been
made.
(4) In cases where an employer has enrolled in pension insurance program for
retirees or a retirement lump sum payment trust as prescribed by the
Presidential Decree (hereinafter referred to as “pension insurance, etc.”) for
workers, whereby workers, as the insured or a beneficiary, receive lump sum
payment at the time of retirement, or draw their pensions, it shall be deemed
that the employer has set up a severance pay scheme in accordance with
paragraph (1). The amount of lump sum by the retirement insurance, etc.,
however, shall not be smaller than that of severance pay pursuant to
paragraph (1).4

HEALTH INSURANCE
Every person enrolled in the National Health Insurance
system is issued a health insurance card, which folds up like a booklet
and is about the size of a passport. If your employer has not given you
a health insurance card, you may not be covered. Any doctor's office
in Korea can verify whether or not you are covered. Just give them
your Alien Registration Card number and they can check. Alternately,
you can call the National Health Insurance Corporation and verify
your enrollment (or complain about not being enrolled). Call 02-390-
2000.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU SUSPECT WITHHOLDING FRAUD


If your employer is withholding pay improperly and you are
unable to resolve the situation to your satisfaction by speaking with
your employer about the issue, you may want to consider legal
support.
4 English translation from Korea4Expats website at http://www.korea4expats.com/article-severance-pay-
korea.html (accessed 17/02/09). The website offers a full unofficial English translation of the Labor Standards
Act at http://www.korea4expats.com under Working & Business.
SEEKING LEGAL SUPPORT
EMPLOYMENT
If a dispute with your employer appears unresolvable, you may seek
the help of a nomusa (노무사), which is a labor attorney. A labor
attorney can help you negotiate a settlement with your employer, or
can file a complaint and represent you in a labor hearing. Nomusa
sometimes work on a contingency basis, only collecting a fee if they
recover a settlement for you. Others will ask for a retainer.
Be advised that retaining a labor lawyer and/or filing a
complaint with the labor board should be the last option, used when
all other methods of dispute resolution have failed, because such
activities will sour what remaining relationship you may have with
your employer.
The Seoul Global Center can provide you with legal resources
and answer questions related to the process of filing a complaint with
the relevant authorities.

CRIMINAL/CIVIL
If you require a criminal defense attorney, be prepared to pay a
retainer of 5 million won or more. If you are the recipient of a civil
lawsuit, do not fear: contrary to popular rumor, you will not be
detained in Korea until the suit is resolved, and if a judgment is
entered against you, you do not have to stay in Korea until it is paid
off. Your embassy and the Seoul Global Center can provide you with a
list of attorneys who may be able to assist you.
The Association for Teachers of English in Korea provides the
following services to the general public, members and non-
members alike:
• Monitoring of proposed legislation and regulations which may affect non-
citizen English teachers in Korea.
• Translation of proposed and existing legislation and regulations (domestic
and international) and analysis of their possible effects on non-citizen English
teachers in Korea.
• Advocacy for English teacher concerns at the national and local levels.
• The English Teacher's Guide to Korea, which will be made available in PDF
for free download from our website (http://atek.or.kr).

ATEK provides the following benefits and services to members:


• Full access to ATEK's Employer Rating System, to make and review ratings.
• Access to the member forums.
• Access to professional development and lesson planning materials.
• Information on how to check to see if your employer is correctly reporting
your income, paying your taxes and making proper deductions from your
pay.
• Copies of labor, tax, pension, and health insurance complaint forms,
translated into Korean, and instructions about how to go about filing a
complaint.
• Local social networks (the Provincial and Metropolitan Associations that send
reps to our national council).
• Access to data from the ATEK Member Survey, which enables ATEK to track
average salaries and weekly hours by region and type of teaching job,
average level of satisfaction with various job types, average length of stay of
foreigners working in Korea, average pay and benefit increases when re-
signing for a second year, and much more. Want to know if your contract
offer is above or below the average salary for someone in your city and
education level? Get access.
• Advisories to the government based on ATEK Member Survey information
on non-citizen English teacher's problems and needs (does one particular city
have a higher rate of teachers reporting pay withholding fraud? That city's
government might want to know that.)
• An online application that translates letters home to parents into Korean, so
that you can communicate with parents and let them know how their child is
doing.
• Representation of member concerns to relevant government agencies and
other groups.
• Responses to media items of interest to non-citizen English teachers.

All these resources are available on our website at


http://atek.or.kr
THE ENGLISH TEACHER'S
GUIDE TO KOREA
Living, Working, and Thriving in Korea Sparkling

By
Tony Hellmann, M.Ed.
Tom Rainey-Smith
Jason Thomas, M.App.Ling.
Matthew Henderson

ATEK

Press
This book was designed and laid out entirely with open source software.
Individual sections copyright © 2009 by the respective authors, all rights reserved,
except as licensed below. Used by permission.
Published by ATEK Press, a division of the Association for Teachers of English in Korea.
Design and composition by Tony Hellmann. Copyedited by Jason Thomas
Cover: Art by Jeffrey Morabito. www.jeffreymorabito.com. Photo by Trey Ratcliff, www.stuckincustoms.com

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative


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Limit of Liability/Disclaimer of Warranty: While the publisher and authors have used their best
efforts in preparing this book, they make no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or
completeness of the contents of this book and specifically disclaim any implied warranties of merchantability or
fitness for a particular purpose. No warranty may be created or extended by sales representatives or written sales
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This book is published in both print and electronic formats.


Printed in the Republic of Korea
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
CHAPTER 7: TRAVEL INSIDE AND
OUTSIDE OF KOREA
KOREAN IMMIGRATION
IMPORTANT INTRODUCTORY NOTES
Korean Immigration advises that all non-citizens carry a form of
identification on their person such as a passport or alien registration
card at all times.
All services can be acquired by visiting your local
immigration office in person. If you are unsure of the contact details of
your local immigration office, please check the list in this chapter or
call the free Immigration Contact Center phone service provided by
the Korean government (see below). All the following services except
for Foreigner Registration and Reissuance of Foreigner Registration
Card can be applied for via e-application. In many cases an appointed
agent (which could include your employer) can carry out the process
for these services on your behalf. It is also useful to schedule an
appointment at your local immigration office in advance to avoid long
waiting times. E-applications are accepted until three business days
before the expiration of the applicant’s status. An appointment for
visitation can be reserved until a day before the desired date of
appointment as long as it's within your permitted term of stay.
Visit http://www.hikorea.go.kr/pt/CvlapplInfoPageR_en.pt?
locale=en to fill out an e-application form or to book an in-person
appointment over the Internet.

IMMIGRATION CONTACT CENTER


This free government service is available from 9am~6pm on weekdays
only. Dial 1345 anywhere, from a local or cellular phone to access this
service and follow the automated voice prompts (3 for English), as
follows: Press 0 to speak directly to a counselor. Press 1 for
immigration office locations, jurisdiction and service hours. Press 2 to
inquire about the result of a pending visa application.
SERVICES
FOREIGNER REGISTRATION
Necessary Documents
Professorship (E-1)
• A Copy of Business registration certificate Foreign Language
• Passport
• Application form for foreigner registration
• One color photo (3cm x 4cm)
• KRW 10,000 (Government Revenue Stamp)
Instructor (E-2)
• A Copy of Business registration certificate
• Original copy of Health Examination for Employment
obtained in Korea (includes TBPE drug test and HIV test)
issued by a Public Health Center, General Hospital, National
Hospital or Public Hospital.
• Passport
• Application form for foreigner registration
• One color photo (3cm x 4cm)
• KRW 10,000 (Government Revenue Stamp)

REISSUANCE OF FOREIGNER REGISTRATION CARD


Alien registration cards are issued at the Immigration Office
appropriate to you. See our list of Immigration Offices on page 9 to
discover which one you should visit. Application for re-issuance must
be made within 14 days and cards will be reissued for the following
reasons: registration card was lost or stolen, damaged, lack of space
for necessary items to be displayed, changes in details on the existing
card (name, sex and nationality).
Necessary Documents
• Passport
• Application form for re-issuance of Foreigner Registration
card
• Document stating reason for re-issuance application (where
lost)
• One color photo (3cm x 4cm)
• Old registration card (if existing card is rendered useless from
wear/tear, lack of space, or change of details arise as per
Article 35 Section 1 of the Immigration Act)
• KRW 10,000 (Government Revenue Stamp)

REPORTING CHANGE OF ALIEN REGISTRATION INFORMATION


The following changes must be reported to your local immigration
office within 14 days of being made or you will be considered in
breach of Immigration Act Article 35, and liable to be fined:
• Name, sex, date of birth or nationality
• Passport number, date of issuance or expiration date
Necessary Documents
• Passport and Foreigner Registration card
• Application form of Report on changes of particulars of
Foreigner Registration card

EXTENSION OF STAY
Note: E-2 visa holders must visit their local immigration office in
person to complete this process, whereas E-1 visa holders are able to
apply via e-application.
Permission for Extension of Stay must be acquired before
expiry of current permission of stay. Therefore, it is important to check
the expiration date of you alien registration card, which usually
expires before your actual teaching contract ends. Even if you have
decided to leave the country, in order to extend your stay legally for
up to 30 days and avoid fines, you will need to visit your local
immigration office before the date of expiry. It is advisable to do this a
couple of weeks before to avoid any last-minute rush. For those who
plan to extend their stay for longer periods, Korean Immigration
states that you must apply before 2 months from the date of
expiration. When applying for the extension after the expiration date,
you will pay the penalty according to Article 25 of Immigration Act.
Necessary documents
Instructor (E-2)
• Passport and foreigner registration card
• Application forms for the extension of stay
• An employment contract
• Original copy of Health Examination for Employment
obtained in Korea (includes TBPE (drug) test and HIV test)
issued by a Public Health Center, General Hospital, National
Hospital or Public Hospital
• Issuance of proof of (lack of) criminal records (the records
must be affixed with the relevant nation’s Apostille)
※ Nationals of countries that have not signed the Apostille
treaty, (Canada, China, etc) must get their records verified by
their local Korean consulate or their consulates in Korea, and
those already in Korea who were issued their criminal records
from their consulates in Korea have no need for an Apostille
※ The Korea Immigration Service will not recognize criminal
records issued by online web services or E-mail and
notarized by a consulate in Korea as valid
※ Canadian citizens applying for a visa from within Canada
must submit a criminal background check which
includes a "Vulnerable Sector Screening"
※ Exempt: Native instructors invited by the Ministry of
Education
• A copy of registration of educational institute establishment
and operation
• A copy of business registration
• A reference
• KRW 30,000 (Government Revenue Stamp)

STANDARD OF THE REVIEW OF PERMISSION FOR EXTENSION OF STAY


1. Reasonableness of continuous activity to teach foreign
language
2. Foreigners that fit the descriptions listed below shall be
limited:
※ A foreigner with no qualification;
※ A foreigner personally teaching foreign language in the
place other than educational institute or educational
organization;
※ A foreigner with unsteady domestic stay status such as
frequent change/addition of place of employment or
duplicated employment.
SINGLE RE-ENTRY PERMIT
Single re-entry permit may be applied for at the airport immigration
offices on the date of departure. This can be used for a single re-entry
and is valid for up to one year.
Necessary Documents
1. Passport and Foreigner Registration Card
2. Application for Re-entry Permit
3. KRW 30,000 (Government Revenue Stamp)

MULTIPLE RE-ENTRY PERMIT


Multiple re-entry permits are valid for multiple re-entries and are
valid for up to two years.
Necessary Documents
1. Passport and Foreigner Registration Card
2. Application for Re-entry Permit
3. KRW 50,000 (Government Revenue Stamp)

SOURCES
Hi Korea: e-Government for Foreigners,
http://www.hikorea.go.kr/pt/main_en.pt (retrieved 10 Nov
2008).

Korea Immigration Service, http://immigration.go.kr/HP/IMM80


(retrieved 10 Nov 2008).

IMMIGRATION OFFICES NATIONWIDE


HEAD OFFICE
Immigration Bureau, Government Complex, 1, Jungangdong,
Gwacheon, Gyeonggido, Ph: 02-2110-3433

REGIONAL OFFICES
Busan Immigration Office, 17-26, Busan Immigration Office,
Jungangdong 4-ga, Jung-gu, Busan Gamcheon Branch Office, Busan
Ph: 051-461-3021 International Fish Market, 761,
Amnamdong, Seo-gu, Busan
Ph: 051-254-3917~8
Busan Immigration Office, UlsanCheongju Immigration
Branch Office, 139-16, Processing Center, 148
Maeamdong, Nam-gu, Ulsan Mipyeongdong, Heungdeok-gu,
Ph: 052-261-7545 Cheongju, Chungcheongbukdo
Cheongju Immigration Office, Ph: 043-290-7511
791 Bihadong, Heungdeok-gu, Chuncheon Immigration Office,
Cheongju, Chungcheongbukdo Ph: 709-10, Hyoja 2 dong, Chuncheon,
043-236-4901 Gangwondo
Ph: 033-244-7351
Chuncheon Immigration Office,
Donghae Branch Office, Dongin
Bldg. 4F, 847 Cheongokdong,
Donghae, Gangwondo
Ph. 033-535-5721
Chuncheon Immigration Office, Gwangju Immigration Office,
Goseong Branch Office, Mokpo Branch Office, 982-2,
Sacheonri, Hyunnaemyeon, Ogamdong, Mokpo, Jeollanamdo
Goseonggun, Gangwondo. Ph: 061-282-7294
Ph: 033-680-5100
Chuncheon Immigration Office, Gwangju Immigration Office,
Sokcho Branch Office, 53-3, 366-1, Hwajeong 3 dong, Seo-gu,
Dongmyeongdong, Sokcho, Gwangju
Gangwondo. Ph: 033-636-8613 Ph: 062-381-0015
Daegu Immigration Office, 1012- Hwaseong Immigration
1, Geomsadong, Dong-gu, Daegu Processing Center, 238-7,
Ph: 053-980-3511 Madomyeon, Hwaseong,
Daegu Immigration Office, Gyeonggido Ph: 031-355-2016
Pohang Branch Office, 58-13, Incheon Immigration Office, 1-31,
Hanggudong, Buk-gu, Pohang, Hangdong 7-ga, Jung-gu, Incheon
Gyeongsangbukdo Ph: 032-890-6300
Ph: 054-247-2971
Daejeon Immigration Office, 16-8,Incheon Airport Immigration
Jungchondong, Jung-gu, Daejeon Office, 2172-1, Unseodong, Jung-
Ph: 042-254-8811 gu, Incheon..
Daejeon Immigration Office, Ph: 032-740-7013
Daesan Branch Office, Hanseong Incheon Airport Immigration
Bldg. 3F, 197-8, Daesanri, Office, City Air Terminal, 159-6,
Daesaneup, Seosan Samseongdong, Gangnam-gu,
Chungcheongnamdo Seoul Ph: 02-551-6922
Ph: 041-681-6181
Gimhae Immigration Office, 2350,Incheon Airport Immigration
Daejeo 2 dong, Gangseo-gu, Busan Office, Gimpo Branch Office, 712-
Ph: 051-979-1321 1, Bangwhadong, Gangseo-gu,
Seoul Ph: 02-2664-6202
Jeju Immigration Office, 673-8, Seoul Immigration Office, 319-2,
Geonipdong, Jeju Ph: 064-722-3494 Sinjeong 6 dong, Yangcheon-gu,
Jeonju Immigration Office, San27, Seoul Ph: 02-2650-6212
Hoseongdong 1-ga, Deokjin-gu, Seoul Immigration Office,
Jeonju, Jeollabukdo Sejongno Branch Office, SK Hub
Ph: 063-245-6161 Bldg. 2F, 89-4, Gyeongundong,
Jeonju Immigration Office, Jongno-gu, Seoul Ph: 02-732-6214
Gunsan Branch Office, 49-32, Suwon Immigration Office, 919-6,
Jangmidong, Gunsan, Jeollabukdo Guundong, Gwonseon-gu, Suwon
Ph: 063-445-2581 Ph: 031-278-3311
Masan Immigration Office, 2-6, Suwon Immigration Office, Osan
Wolpodong, Masan, Branch Office, Songtan, P.O. Box
Gyeongsangnamdo 3, Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggido Ph:
Ph: 055-222-9272 031-666-2677
Masan Immigration Office, Geoje Suwon Immigration Office,
Branch Office, 535-5, Majeondong, Pyeongtaek Branch Office, 570,
Geoje, Gyeongsangnamdo Manhori, Poseung-myeon,
Ph: 055-681-2433 Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggido Ph: 031-
Masan Immigration Office, 683-6937
Sacheon Branch Office, 44-5, Uijeongbu Immigration Office,
Donggeumdong, Sacheon, Seoyoung Bldg, 493-8, Uijeongbu 2
Gyeongsangnamdo dong, Uijeongbu, Gyeonggido Ph:
Ph: 055-835-4088 031-828-9499
Masan Immigration Office, Yeosu Immigration Office, 944,
Tongyeong Branch Office, 171-10, Hwajangdong, Yeosu, Jeollanamdo
Donghodong, Tongyeong, Ph: 061-684-6971
Gyeongsangnamdo Yeosu Immigration Office,
Ph: 055-645-3494 Gwangyang Branch Office, 1359-5,
Jungdong, Gwangyang,
Jeollanamdo Ph: 061-792-1139
Adapted from: Korea Immigration Service website,
http://seoul.immigration.go.kr/.
FOREIGN EMBASSIES
AUSTRALIA
Seoul: Embassy
Telephone: 02-2003-0100
Address: 11th Fl, Kyobo Building, 1 Jongno 1-Ga, Jongno-Gu, Seoul
Website: http://www.southkorea.embassy.gov.au/

CANADA
Seoul: Embassy
Telephone: 02-3783-6000
Fax: 02-3783-6239 (General & Administration)
02-3783-6112 (Consular)
02-3783-6113 (Public & Cultural Affairs)
02-3783-6114 (Immigration)
Address: 16-1, Jeong-dong, Jung-gu, CPO Box 6299, Seoul, Korea 100-662
Website: http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/world/embassies/korea/

IRELAND
Seoul: Embassy
Telephone: 02-774-6455
Fax: 02-774-6458
Email: seoulembassy@dfa.ie
Address: 13F. Leema Building, 146-1 Soosong-dong, Chongro-gu, Seoul, Korea 110-140
Website: http://www.irelandhouse-korea.com/

NEW ZEALAND
Seoul: Embassy
Telephone: 02-3701-7700
Fax: 02-3701-7701
Email: nzembsel@kornet.net
Website: http://www.nzembassy.com/home.cfm?c=8
St. Address: Kyobo Building, 15th Floor, 1 Jongno 1-ga, Jongno-gu, Seoul,
Republic of Korea
Postal Address: KPO Box 2258, Seoul, 110-110, Republic of Korea

SOUTH AFRICA
Seoul: Embassy
Tel: 02-792-4855
Fax: 02-792-4856
Address: 1-37 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul 140-885, Seoul, South Korea
Website: http://www.southafrica-embassy.or.kr/index.php

UNITED KINGDOM
Seoul: Embassy
Telephone: 02-3210-5500
Fax: 02-725-1738
Address: Taepyeongno 40, 4 Jeong-dong, Jung-gu 100-120, Seoul
Website: http://ukinkorea.fco.gov.uk/en
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Seoul: Embassy
Tel: 02-397-4114
Fax: 02-397-4101
Website: http://seoul.usembassy.gov/
Korean: http://korean.seoul.usembassy.gov/
E-mail: seoul_acs@state.gov
Address: 32 Sejongno, Jongno-gu, Seoul 110-710, Republic of Korea
Busan: American Presence Post
Tel: 051-863-0731
Fax: 051-863-0734
Website: http://busan.usconsulate.gov/
Korean: http://korean.busan.usconsulate.gov/
Address: 32 Sejongno, Jongno-gu, Seoul 110-710, Republic of Korea
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
INTRA-CITY TRAVEL/COMMUTING
SUBWAY
The Seoul subway system is one of the safest, cleanest and most
efficient in the world. It is a great way to avoid the traffic congestion
of such a busy city. The Seoul system currently consists of twelve
lines which will take you just about anywhere inside and outside the
greater Seoul metropolitan area. Some of these lines are still under
construction, and will be completed within the next few years. Busan,
Daejeon, Daegu, Gwangju also have two or three lines each.
Each line is color-coded and in Seoul the most common lines
are numbered 1 to 8. All the subway stops are numbered, and have
their name written in English. At your departure station you can
either buy a ticket from the ticket office (shown below), which is
usually manned, or you can use the ticket vending machine. The fare
will vary depending on how far you want to travel, but there will
usually be a large subway map up on the wall near the ticket office
which will display all of the stations and the fare required to get there
from your location.
PAYING WITH CASH

If the ticket office is manned, simply tell the office person your
destination, and hand your money over. To use the vending machine,
just press the button for the number of tickets you want, then press
the button for the fare amount for your destination, and feed in the
displayed amount of notes or coins. The ticket and any change will
pop out of the bottom.

To enter the subway, feed your ticket into the slot on the
turnstile machine and walk through. Make sure that you collect your
ticket when it pops out at the top of the machine, because you will
need it again when you get to your destination! Some turnstiles only
accept T-money, but don't worry, at least one of the turnstiles at the
entrance will take your ticket.

If you travel further than the amount allowed for on your


ticket, an alarm will sound as you exit the turnstile at your
destination. Don't panic! Just look around for a ticket office, and pay
the extra 100 won or so. The staff are usually very cooperative and
understanding, even if they don't speak English. Some stations have a
machine near the turnstiles where you can “top-up” your ticket before
you exit.
In Seoul, you can also buy a 30-day/60-trip pass which start at
around 40,000 won, but these are limited to certain lines and may not
be as flexible as you would like.

PAYING BY T-MONEY IN SEOUL (AND SOON NATIONWIDE)

The T-money card system is a very efficient and convenient way to


pay for your public transport. You can buy a T-money card at any
subway station ticket office, or any convenience store displaying the
T-money logo. Simply say, “Ti meo-ni ka-deu juseyo.” (티 머니 카드 주
세 요). They cost about 2000 won. To load credit onto it, hand the
card and cash to the person at the ticket office and say “Ka-deu chung-
jeon hae juseyo” ( 카드 충전 해 주세 요 ). They will recharge your card
for you. Then you just have to wave your card over the sensor on top
of the turnstile (the sensor has the T-money logo on it) and you're on
your way. Because these cards use radio-frequency technology, the
sensors can read the cards through a wallet or handbag, so you don't
even have to take the cards out to use them.
As well as being very convenient, the T-money system has
the added advantages of allowing you to get a 100 won discount per
ride, and you can transfer between buses and the subway system and
vice-versa up to four times (five rides) for no extra charge (as long as
you do so within 30 minutes – or 60 minutes between 9pm and 7am).
If you pay cash, you have to buy a new ticket when you transfer
between the buses and subway.
Some taxis also have a T-money sensor, which is handy – but
be aware that some drivers may not want to use this facility either
because they don't know how to operate the machine or they want
you to pay cash so that the tax man can't keep track of it.
One thing to watch out for with T-money cards is that they do
seem to wear out after a few months. They can often still be read by
the train turnstile sensors, but become unreliable with the bus sensors.
The best bet would be to buy a new card, and get someone at a
subway ticket office to transfer any remaining balance to your new
card. If you get stuck on a bus with a broken T-money card and no
cash, the driver will probably take pity on you and let it slide. If he's
in a bad mood, you'll need to bail out at the next stop.
Another small hassle with T-money is that sometimes the
display on the turnstile gets a broken LED and displays what looks
like an incorrect remaining balance on your card. You may think that
the system has ripped you off,when actually everything is OK. Before
you jump to conclusions, check your card on a different turnstile the
next time you use the subway, or get someone at the ticket office to
check your balance on their machine.
You may also want to be careful about how much money you
load onto your T-money card at one time. Although it's a bit of a
hassle to recharge your card too often, you'll be pretty upset if you
lose or break your card and it's still got 50,000 won remaining on it. It
might be a good idea to just put enough on it to last you a week or so.
You should also write your phone number on it with a name-pen so
that a good Samaritan can contact you if you lose your card. That
Samaritan may be less tempted to keep the card if the balance is low,
too!
A variation on the T-money theme is to get a Korean credit
card with an integrated T-money chip. This has the added advantage
of not wearing out, and never needing to be recharged; the
accumulated fares are simply added to your monthly credit card bill.
Most of the major credit cards in Korea have this facility.

FINDING YOUR WAY AROUND


Every subway station has a large map near its ticket office where you
can work out your location and find your destination. You should
also find yourself a subway map and keep it with you. Many of the
subway offices will have a free map in English (although it's pretty
large!) Many of the free expat magazines have a smaller subway map
that you can cut out and keep in your wallet or purse.
When you enter a station (or transfer between stations) make
sure that you're going the right direction before you commit to going
through a turnstile. Some of the older, poorly designed stations do
not allow you to easily change to the other direction if you make a
mistake. If this happens, you may have to re-swipe your card or buy
another ticket. As a foreigner, you may get away with simply
jumping the turnstile, but don't count on it; it may be embarrassing to
try and explain to a subway official why you appear to be trying to
ride for free! The best plan will be to try and catch the attention of
someone in the ticket office, and most of the time they will just let you
through.

TIMETABLES
The SMRT website can show you detailed timetables
(http://www.smrt.co.kr/Eng/index.jsp) but in general the subway runs
between 5.30-45 am and 12.30-45 am during the week, and closes
around midnight on weekends and holidays unless there's a special
event such as a big sports game. Be patient if stuck in a popular
nightspot after midnight, because taxi drivers become very picky and
you may have a difficult time getting home.

ESTIMATING TRAVEL TIME


A good rule-of -thumb for estimating your traveling time is to allow
roughly two minutes per stop, plus 5 to 10 minutes for a transfer.
Many stations have a sign on the columns between the platforms
which show how much time it will take to get you from your current
location to every other station on that line. You can generally estimate
your time very accurately this way.

KEEPING TRACK OF YOUR PROGRESS WHILE ON THE SUBWAY


All of the subway lines have an announcement in Korean and English
for each station, but the train is often pretty noisy, so you have to
listen carefully for your stop. This is generally only a problem on the
old lines where there is no visual display to back up the
announcements. The newer lines have electronic displays in the
subway cars which clearly show the upcoming stations and transfer
points in Korean and English. The newest trains have a traveling light
display which clearly highlights the train's position in relation to the
other stations. If you are on an old train with small windows and no
electronic signs you will have to pay careful attention to your
surroundings if you don't want to miss your stop. Keep an eye out of
the window as the train enters a station and try to spot the station
name in English. The sign will usually show the next station on the
line, too. Above every door on the subway is a map of either the line
you are on or the whole subway network. You can look at this map
and count how many stations until your stop. This is a bit of a clunky
solution, but if you pay attention you should have no problems.

TRANSFERS
Getting to your destination may involve the need to transfer between
subway lines, and this can sometimes be a little confusing, especially
in Seoul. Try to plan your route before you go, rather than trying to
work it out on-the-fly. There are some good route-planning tools
listed below. A station with a transfer point will have large color-
coded signs that clearly point the way to transfer to the other line.
Some also have large color-coded stripes on the wall that you can
follow. You will often need to climb up or down stairs to get to the
new line and sometimes the signage is not very clear, so go carefully
and pay attention. You can always transfer without having to get a
new ticket, so if your way is blocked by a turnstile you'd better re-
trace your steps and go back the way you came until you can see
where you should have gone. Don't be afraid to ask someone if you
get lost; most twenty or thirty-something Koreans will be able to
understand you well enough to point you in the right direction.

EXITING THE SUBWAY


Most stations have several exits, and some of the larger stations with
one or more transfer points can be a bit confusing. When you exit the
train onto the platform, look above for signs showing the exit number
you need. On some older stations an exit can only be accessed from
one end of the station, and if you come out on the wrong side you'll
have to either pay to re-enter the station, or climb up to the surface
and find your way at street-level. Every station should have a map of
the local area on the platform and near the ticket office which will
show you the exits and what is around their immediate vicinity.
These maps also show bus numbers which may help you work out
where to transfer to a bus. Be careful you don't end up taking a bus in
the wrong direction, though!

LOST AND FOUND


If you leave something behind on the subway and you notice as soon
as you disembark, report to the station where the item was lost or at
your arrival station.
Lost and found office operating hours:
Korail Lines and Seoul Lines 1~4 : Weekdays: 9:00 am ~ 6:00 pm (and
until 5:00 pm in winter), Saturdays: 9:00 am ~ 1:00 pm. (Closed
Sundays)
Seoul Lines 5~8 : Weekdays: 9:00 am ~ 6:00 pm (Closed Saturdays &
Sundays)
Incheon Line: Weekdays/Holidays: 5:30 am ~ 12:30 am (7 days a week)
Lost and found offices:
Korail Lines
Guro Station (Suwon Line): 02-869-0089
Daegok Station (Ilsan Line): 031-965-8516
Seongbuk Station (Jungang and Gyeongchun Lines): 02-917-7445
Ansan Station (Gwacheon Line): 031-491-7790
Seolleung Station (Bundang Line): 02-568-7715
Byeongjeom Station (Cheonan Line): 031-234-7788
Seoul Lines 1 and 2
City Hall Station: 02-753-2408, 2409
Seoul Lines 3 and 4
Chungmuro Station: 02-2271-1170, 1171
Seoul Lines 5 and 8
Wangsimni Station: 02-6311-6765, 6768
Seoul Lines 6 and 7
Taereung Station: 02-6311-6766, 6767
Incheon Line
Bupyeong-gu Office Station (Within the station office): 032-451-3650
Airport Express Line
Gimpo Airport Station: 032-745-7777

CROWDING TIPS, SAFETY AND ETIQUETTE


If have to wait for the train at a busy platform, or you want to buy a
ticket from a busy station office, it may be necessary to wait in line.
Many Westerners are surprised to learn “queuing culture” is not the
same in all countries. You may find yourself feeling upset if someone
older than you cuts in front of you in the line. Elderly riders are
allowed to take a free ticket from the ticket office counter, and will
often go straight to the window to help themselves to a ticket and be
on their way – they won't hold you up, so don't worry!
When you are waiting on the platform for the train to arrive,
make sure that you stay behind the yellow line. This will ensure that
you're far enough away from the edge of the platform that you won't
accidentally fall onto the tracks in front of an oncoming train, or fall
between the cars as the train comes into the station. It is possible for
someone to be pushed onto the track by someone else when things get
crowded, so keep your wits about you. Some stations have been fitted
with sliding doors which is helping to reduce the numbers of suicides
and accidents, and is also improving the air quality and lowering the
noise levels, but there are still many stations with open platforms and
it's better to give the edge of the platform a wide berth.
When on an escalator please make sure that you stand on the
right-hand side and leave the left side clear for people in a hurry to
get past you. If you are with a friend, don't stand together. There has
recently been a campaign to get people to stay-put on the escalators
for safety reasons, (the campaign advertisement actually refers
specifically to children, drunk or elderly people! If you are not in one
of these categories, you can safely ignore those guidelines and walk
up or down the escalators as long as you're careful). If someone is in
your way, a polite “Jam-kkan man-yo” (잠깐만요) (Excuse me, please)
will usually get them out of your way. If not, a more assertive “Bikyeo
juseyo!” (비켜 주세 요) (Move, please!) will probably do the trick.
Don't be tempted to run in the subway station. If you miss
your train, don't worry - there'll be another one along in a minute or
two; it's not worth risking your life for. Subway stations are made of
hard and sometimes slippery stone floors, stairs and sharp corners
and if you fall down you may not be getting up again.
When you go through the turnstile, try not to follow too
closely behind the person in front of you; sometimes the sensor will
detect two people trying to slip through on one ticket and set off an
embarrassing alarm.
Koreans often do not walk in a straight line, and you might
find that people are cutting you off or barging into you as you try to
make your way around the station. Try not to let this get to you;
Korean people think nothing of this if it is done to them, so it isn't
personal. One way to minimize this if someone is coming towards
you is to pretend that you're not looking where you are going. If you
look as if you are glancing off to the side, the oncoming person will
magically and mysteriously avoid you, whereas if you are looking
ahead, you will somehow become a magnet for any and all comers.
Try it, it really works!
Don't sit with your legs sticking out or with your knees
splayed out to the sides - it takes up too much room, and is considered
to be bad manners. Keep your knees together as much as possible and
tuck your feet in so that the people standing won't trip over them.
If you're on the subway with a friend, it's often a good time to
chat. Don't forget, however, that you are not alone on the subway, and
some of your fellow passengers may be quite good at English,
especially in Seoul. Don't say anything that you wouldn't want
someone standing next to you to hear; that is, if you're a generally
polite person and usually try not to offend strangers. Also, in Korea it
is considered bad manners to speak loudly on public transportation,
whether that be to a friend sitting next to you, or on your cellphone.

EMERGENCY EVACUATION AND FIRE


In February 2003 an arsonist set fire to a subway car in Daegu
resulting in the deaths of 198 people. 147 people were also injured, 1
but suffice it to say that if you find yourself in an emergency situation
you need to take fast action to help yourself and others if you want to
live.
Many changes were made to all of Korea's subway systems
after this tragedy (such as removing foam cushions from the seats), so
things are much improved today, but it's better to be safe than sorry,
so here are some things you can do to improve the odds if you are
faced with an emergency:
 There is an emergency intercom system at each end of every
car on the front and back walls with a red call button and a
microphone that can be used to communicate with the driver
in an emergency. Unless your Korean is good enough you'd
better delegate this task to a likely looking Korean passenger.
Just say to them, "Bisang imnida!" ( 비 상 입 니 다 !) (There's an

1 “Daegu Subway Fire,”,Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, retrieved 19 Feb 2009


<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daegu_subway_fire>
emergency!) Then point to the end of the car and say, "Kigwan
sa bulleo juseyo" (기관사 불러 주세 요) (Call the driver!) If you
prompt people around you this will usually snap them out of
their state of torpor and they'll take action. If you do nothing,
then they may not either, until it is too late.
 There is a fire extinguisher at each end of the subway car
situated in a little recess on the front and back walls. You will
need to detach the extinguisher from its retaining strap,
remove the pin, point the extinguisher nozzle at the base of
the fire (not the flames!) and squeeze the lever slowly. Using a
sweeping motion, move the fire extinguisher back and forth
until the fire is completely out. Operate the extinguisher from
a safe distance, and then move towards the fire once it starts
to diminish. Do not wait for someone else to take action! If
you do, you may not survive.
 To operate the emergency door release once the car has
stopped, look for a small box on the floor under the seats next
to the car doors. It has a red flap. If you open the red flap on
the box and turn the lever inside, the pressure system holding
the doors closed will be released. You can then pry the doors
apart by hand and exit the car. If you exit at a station with the
double set of doors you will need to manually press the
emergency release handles on the inside of the platform
doors.
 If you exit the car in the middle of a tunnel there will be a
large-ish drop down onto the rails, so don't be surprised by
that. Make your way along the side of the tunnel until you
get to a station. Don't worry about being hit by another train;
as you can see from the picture below there is enough room
for a train to pass you as long as you stick close to the side of
the tunnel.

 If there is smoke in the tunnel try to stay as low as possible


and take the shortest route to safety that the situation allows.
Depending on the amount of crowding and resultant
mayhem, it might be a good idea to make your way to the end
of the train before you try to get out (as this may protect you
from smoke or fire in the tunnel), but if it's too crowded then
just get out any way and anywhere you can.

Here are some things you can do to minimize the problems


caused by overcrowding on the subway:
1. Ty to travel at a less busy time of day wherever possible.
With the exception of the morning rush hour, the rest of Korea
doesn't really get going until after mid-day (especially on
weekends) so if you get up early you can often beat the
crowd. However, even at really busy times you can usually
squeeze your way onto the train.
2. If you are with a group of friends and your destination is not
far away, it may be just as economical for you to share a 3,000
won taxi ride than to shell out 1,000 won each for the subway.
3. Try to make your way to a door well before you get to your
stop so that you don't have to crowd-surf your way through.
Every time the train stops and someone gets out you should
be able to wiggle you way a little further towards the door.
Try to work out which side of the car the door will open on -
the newer trains have computerized signs in English which
tell you what side to disembark on, but on the older lines
you'll need to listen carefully for the announcement and look
out of the window as the train arrives at the platform.
4. If you're not planning to get off the train for a while, try to
make your way to the middle of the car; that will make life
easier for other people trying to get on and off the train.
5. If you're sitting down and you see a very elderly person or a
pregnant woman standing up, please offer them your seat.
It's an easy way to be a good ambassador for your culture and
show the people on the train that Westerners are not so bad.
You may also be able to set a good example for other people
on the train who have no manners.
6. At very busy stations you may see people crowding the door
trying to get in as you are trying to get out. If you are in a
situation where you are not able to get out of the train because
people are in your way trying to push their way on, say, “Bi-
kyeo juseyo!” ( 비 켜 주 세 요 !) (Move, please!) This should
shame one or two of them enough to give you some room to
squeeze out.
GET WITH THE 21 CENTURY
ST

Of course there are a lot of high-tech ways to find your way around
these days, and your first point of call will be the Internet. The Seoul
Metropolitan Rapid Transit Corporation has a very helpful and
informative website where you can view a subway map (and print it
out):
http://www.nsubway.co.kr/korea/seoul/seoulsubwaymapen.htm
They also have an interactive map which allows you to click
on the stations you want to go from and to, and it will automatically
calculate your traveling time and your transfer points. You can also
get it to calculate a route that will minimize the number of transfers,
although that journey may take more time. The map also has
information on what time the last train leaves, which could be vital if
you don't want to take an expensive taxi home after a night of
partying!
http://www.smrt.co.kr/Eng/index.jsp

ROUTE INFORMATION ON YOUR MOBILE DEVICE


If you have a PDA or PDA-style mobile phone or device, an excellent
freeware program called “MetrO” is available. It has data on the
public transport systems of 400 cities around the world (including
Seoul, Busan and Daegu), and easily allows you to calculate journey
times and transfer points:
http://www.nanika.net/metro/
Downloads are available for Palm, PocketPC, Smartphone, BlackBerry,
iPhone and others. There's also an on-line version available for mobile
devices capable of web access whilst on the move.

BUSAN, DAEGU, DAEJEON, & GWANGJU SUBWAY INFORMATION


Busan: The Busan subway system has a good English-language
website which should have most of the information you need at http://
www.subway.busan.kr/ english/main/ There's also a Wikipedia entry
for the Busan Subway at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Busan_Subway
Daegu: Daegu's subway system also has an English-language website
at http://www.dtro.or.kr/index.html?eng.
Daejeon: Daejeon's subway system website appears to be only in
Korean at this stage, at http://www.djet.co.kr/index.do. However
Wikipedia comes to the rescue with a basic rundown of the facilities at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Daejeon_Subway_Line_1
Gwangju: Gwangju's subway system has a website in English,
however you have to go to the Korean-language site first at
http://www.subway.gwangju.kr/ then click on the tiny "English"
section at the very top, right of the page.

BUSES
GENERAL BUS INFORMATION
Paying by Cash. When you get on the bus, drop your money into the
clear plastic hopper next to the driver. If you need change and the
driver isn't paying attention to you, just politely remind him for the
change. For example if you want 400 won change, you would say,
“Jan don sa baek won juseyo” ( 잔 돈 사 백 원 주 세 요 ). Don't
expect the driver to give you change for a 10,000 won note – that's a
great way to make an enemy! If you don't have any change you can
always break a 10,000 won bill by buying some gum or a bottle of
water at a local kiosk or convenience store beforehand. If you don't
know how much the fare should cost, simply tell the driver your
destination, and he will tell you the fare (usually in Korean).
Paying by T-money. When you climb onto the bus you will see the T-
money sensor mounted around waist-level near the driver. Just wave
your card near the sensor and you will hear a single beep, and see the
fare flash up briefly on the sensor's display. If the sensor can't read
your card it will beep 2 or 3 times and play a recorded message in
Korean. Try again. If it doesn't work after a few tries, then either your
card has run out of credit, or it is not working properly (see the
subway section above, “Problems with T-money” for more
information). In this case you'll have to pay cash for your fare, (no
100-won discount today, sorry) plead for mercy to the driver, or get off
at the next stop.
You can also pay for a friend with your T-money card. When
you get on the bus say to the driver, “Ajeossi/Adjummani, du saram
imnida” ( 아저씨 두 사람입니다) (Mister/Ma'am, two people please.)
then wait until the driver sets up the transaction before you swipe the
sensor. It will beep and display the number of fares you requested
when it's ready to go. Your friend probably won't be able to transfer
to a subsequent mode of transport for free, however.
When you get off the bus just swipe your T-money card again
(at the sensor by the back door), and the sensor will beep once. If you
have traveled more than 10 km the sensor may display an additional
charge which has been automatically deducted. If you don't swipe
your card you will not be able to transfer for free to another mode of
transportation.
Finding Your Way Around. Each bus stop has a color-coded
signboard which lists every bus that stops there, the routes and
approximately how often they come. Most of the route will be in
Korean only, however some major locations also have their names
written in English. It would really help to learn to read Korean if you
can't already – it only takes a few hours, and will drastically improve
your ability to get along in Korea - especially since some stop names
are "Konglish", such as the Hamilton Hotel in Itaewon.
A bus stop sign for the little green neighborhood buses.
Timetables - Bus timetables vary depending on the bus, the time of
day, and whether it's a week-day, a weekend, or a holiday. Check on
the sign board at your bus stop for the timings of each bus. Check the
“Get with the 21st Century” section below for a more user-friendly
way to get timetable information.
Estimating Travel Time - Unlike trains, buses are affected by traffic
congestion problems so it's difficult to always accurately estimate how
quickly a bus will get to it's destination. Although the introduction of
bus-only lanes is making bus travel quicker and more efficient, there
can always be delays – especially in areas where subway construction
is being undertaken. A very rough rule-of-thumb might be to estimate
4 or 5 minutes per stop. Check the “Get with the 21st Century”
section below for a more user-friendly way to estimate traveling time.
Keeping Track of Your Progress While on the Bus - Once you're on
the bus, just like on the subway, most buses have an announcement
before each stop. They will usually also mention the next stop, which
allows you enough time to prepare to disembark. Announcements for
major centers are often made in Korean and English, but don't count
on that. The buses always have a route map on the edges of the
ceiling which you can use to check your progress as you go.
Transfers - Just to recap, you can transfer to or from the subway or
another bus for no extra charge in Seoul if you use a T-money card.
The only exception is that you cannot transfer to another bus with the
same number - that will incur a new, full fare. Don't forget to swipe
your T-money card when you disembark.
Exiting the Bus - When you want to get off the bus you need to press
one of the red 'stop' buttons which are located in various positions
around the interior of the bus. This will set off a buzzer and inform
the driver that you want to get off. You should try to exit from the
rear door of the bus unless it is so crowded that you cannot easily
make your way to the back. Watch carefully for crazy motorcyclists
when you exit the bus as they often overtake on the inside and show
little consideration for the safety of others or themselves. Several
people have been killed or injured being hit by motorcycles while
getting off buses.
Every now and then you may be in the situation where either
you forgot to press the button, or the driver is not paying attention,
and the bus is just about to pull away from your stop without letting
you out. In that case you can shout, “Ajeossi! Nae ryeo juseyo.” (아저씨
내려 주세 요!) (Mister, open the door!).

CROWDING TIPS, SAFETY AND ETIQUETTE


Korea is one of the more densely populated countries in the world
and more often than not the buses get very crowded. Sometimes a
bus gets so crowded that it is too full to let any more people on, and
you have to wait for the next bus. Here are some things you can do to
minimize the problems caused by overcrowding:
 Ty to travel at a less busy time of day wherever possible.
With the exception of the morning rush hour, the rest of Korea
doesn't really get going until after mid-day (especially on
weekends) so if you get up early you can often beat the
crowd.
 Some stops are busier on a route than others. Sometimes the
bus can be almost empty at the stop before or after your usual
stop on a route. Planning to catch the bus down the road or
around the corner from your regular stop can often make the
difference between getting a seat or standing, or even getting
on the bus at all.
 If you are with a group of friends, it may be just as economical
for you to share a 3,000 won taxi ride than to shell out 1,000
won each for the bus. If time is of the essence, it may also be
better to just bite the bullet and grab a taxi.
 Some buses take different routes, but end up at the same stop.
You may be able to experiment with taking different buses to
your destination and see which one is quicker. Check out the
“Get with the 21st Century” section below for some
suggestions on how to analyze your bus routes and maximize
their efficiency.
Being on a crowded bus can try one's patience, and it's often
very frustrating to be jammed into a crowded bus with a bunch of
people. So how can you make the experience a bit less painful?
 Try to make your way to the back door well before you get to
your stop so that you don't have to crowd-surf your way
through. Every time the bus stops and someone gets out you
should be able to wiggle you way a little further to the back.
If the bus is so full that you can't move, then it's OK to stay
near the front door and dive out there when you get to your
stop. Everyone else does it.
 Even if you're not planning to get off the bus for a while, try
to make your way to the back of the bus anyway. That will
make life easier for other people trying to get onto the bus.
 Be careful with shoulder bags and backpacks on the bus. If
you swing your bag around too quickly on a crowded bus
you may take out some poor defenseless old grandfather, or a
pregnant woman. It happened to one of the authors!
 If you have to stand on the bus try to hold on tightly to
something. Bus drivers in Korea aren't renowned for their
smooth driving skills, and you can quickly become a human
pinball if the driver suddenly brakes or accelerates and you're
not prepared for it.
 If you're sitting down and you see a very elderly person or a
pregnant woman standing, it is customary to offer them your
seat. As mentioned before, it's an easy way to be a good
ambassador for your culture. If there's nobody pregnant or
over 60 on the bus, then it's every person for themselves!
 At busy bus stops you may see people trying to get on the bus
through the back door as other people are trying to get out.
You may even be tempted to do this yourself if there's a
chance you won't make it on via the front door. Don't do it.
 If you are in a situation where you are not able to get off a bus
or train because people are in your way trying to push their
way on, say, “Bi-kyeo juseyo!” (비켜 주세요!) (Move, please!).

AN OVERVIEW OF THE SEOUL BUS SYSTEM


The Seoul Metropolitan Government introduced a new bus system in
2004. It was met with much public outcry, mainly from those who like
to maintain the status-quo, although to be fair to them the changes did
include a fare increase. These changes allowed the bus system to
become much more efficient and easy to understand, as well as
integrating the fare structure into the subway system. Additionally,
the Seoul Metropolitan Government has been progressively
introducing bus-only lanes into Seoul's city streets which have
noticeably reduced traveling times, allowing buses to rival the subway
system for reliability, simplicity and convenience.
The bus numbers go from 1 to 7 depending on their routes,
and are color-coded to indicate their type.
 Red buses are for long-distance express travel, typically
between Seoul and the outlying cities. Some express buses
are also white. Fares start at 1,800 won.
 Blue buses are for medium-distance travel and link suburban
areas to downtown Seoul. Their routes are fairly direct. Fares
start at 1,000 won.
 Big Green buses link the blue bus routes and subway lines.
These routes are generally more circuitous than blue bus
routes Fares start at 1,000 won.
 Small green buses called “town buses” have a single-digit
number. They are for shorter-distance travel; they generally
tootle around within a particular neighborhood. Fares start at
700 won.
 Yellow buses circle within the downtown area of cities taking
in key sub-districts, business centers and shopping areas.
Fares start at 800 won.
All fares are discounted by 100 won if a T-money card is used.
100 won is added to the fare for each additional 5km traveled. You
can transfer up to 4 times (5 rides) if a T-money card is used, as long
as you do so within 30 minutes. The districts around Seoul are
numbered from 1 to 7 radiating around clockwise from the North:

Central Incorporates Jongno, Jung-gu and Yongsan.


Seoul
District Incorporates Dobong, Gangbuk, Seongbuk and Nowon,
1 and radiates out to Uijeongbu, Yangju and Pocheon.
District Incorporates Dongdaemun, Jungnang, Seongdong and
2 Gwangjin, and radiates out to Guri and Namyangju.
District Incorporates Gangdong and Songpa, and radiates out to
3 Hanam and Gwangju.
District Incorporates Seocho and Gangnam, and radiates out to
4 Seongnam and Yongin.
District Incorporates Dongjak, Gwanak and Geumcheon, and
5 radiates out to Anyang, Gwacheon, Ulwang, Ansan, Gunpo
and Suwon.
District Incorporates Gangseo, Yangcheon, Yeongdeungpo and
6 Guro, and radiates out to Incheon, Bucheon, Kimpo
(Gimpo), Gwangmyeong and Siheung.
District Incorporates Eunpyeong, Mapo and Seodaemun, and
7 radiates out to Paju and Goyang.
The number of a bus will generally be made up of three parts;
it's starting zone, it's finishing zone, then a route number. So for
example, blue bus number 263 starts in Majang-dong in Seongdong-
gu (District 2) and finishes up in Yeouido in Yeongdeungpo-gu
(District 6), and blue bus 110 starts and finishes in Jeongneung-dong
in Seongbuk (District 1). This system is pretty consistent, but it's a
little different for the red buses which have an extra number
preceding the starting zone. (For more detailed information on bus
routes see the links at the end of this section.)

GET WITH THE 21ST CENTURY


Sponsored by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, the Seoul Public
Transportation System Guide is an interactive map in English which
can be used to calculate your traveling times and transfer points. It
also tells you which buses you should take to get to your destination
most efficiently. You can also get it to incorporate the subway so that
it will give you information on a combined bus/subway journey. The
beauty of this system is that you can click on your starting point on
the map, then click on the destination, and it will immediately show
you the best way to go - something that would be extremely difficult
to work out via conventional means. You may well find a bus or
combination of buses that will take you from door-to-door faster than
you imagined possible - remember that when you take the subway
you have to clamber up and down several flights of stairs, as well as
walking to and from the stations, and that time all adds up - whereas
the bus you need may well be running right past your front door.

Screenshot of the Seoul Public Transportation System Guide

http://bus.congnamul.com/SeoulRouteWebApp/view_english/map.jsp
If you hover your mouse over a bus stop symbol near a station
it may show the station name in a little pop-up control tip. In any case,
this graphical representation of the city will help you to get your
bearings and learn your way around very easily, so it is highly
recommended!
There is an automated call system which utilizes GPS
technology to let you know how far away the next bus is from your
stop. At the top of the bus stop sign there's a number to call, then you
can enter the stop number. This system might be useful if you're
running late and are tossing up whether or not to get a taxi.
The Korean tourist organization also has a website for
calculating traveling times, etc. It has a very crisp and clear
interactive map in English, as well as a whole raft of information on
all kinds of transport both in Seoul and cities in other parts of Korea.
This site is pretty-much one-stop shopping for all of your
transportation questions.
http://traffic.visitkorea.or.kr/Lang/en/

GYEONGGI BUS SERVICE


The Korea Tourism organization website has bus information for local
buses in Gyeonggi province. Take a look at their website for more
information:
http://traffic.visitkorea.or.kr/Lang/en/Bus/index.asp?CID=1&SMenu=1

TAXIS
Taxis are a very flexible and convenient mode of transport in Korea. A
taxi can generally be found on almost any street at any time of the day
or night. There are several kinds of taxis available out there, and they
vary in price, comfort and level of service:

DELUXE (BLACK) TAXIS


These cars cater mostly to the business market. Most of them are
owner-operated and the drivers are courteous and professional. Their
standard of driving and safety should be reasonably high. All this
comes at a premium, however, as flagfall (known as “the drop” in the
USA) starts at around 5,000 won, and after the first 3km it will cost
you a further 200 won every 205 meters that you travel. The good
news is that they do not charge a premium between midnight and
4am.
GENERAL (REGULAR) TAXIS - PRIVATELY OWNED
These are usually modern, mid-sized sedans with a good level of
comfort. Like the black taxis, they are owner-operated. This means
that the standard of driving and safety should be reasonably good.
They are likely to be more courteous and cooperative than the lower-
quality company taxis described below. Flagfall will start at around
1,900 won, and after 2km it will cost you a further 100 won every 168
meters that you travel. A premium of 20% is added between
midnight and 4am. You can identify a privately owned taxi by the
"Gaein" (개인) sticker on the side of the car.

GENERAL (REGULAR) TAXIS - COMPANY OWNED


These are often (but not always) older mid-sized sedans which are
owned by a taxi company, not the drivers themselves. Because of this
the level of comfort, safety and service can vary widely. A good rule-
of-thumb would be to avoid any taxi that is too old, or looks beaten-
up; good drivers will usually take care of a newer car and drive it (and
you) around more carefully.

"CALL" TAXIS
These are handy if you live in a remote area and can't just hail a taxi
outside your door. They may also be useful on cold or rainy days, or
if you need to get somewhere very early in the morning. Taxis will
generally arrive within 10-15 minutes, however you will incur an extra
1,000 won charge over and above the normal rate. The fare may be
higher if the taxi has had to travel a long way to pick you up.
Here are some Seoul call taxi company phone numbers:
• Green Call Taxi: (02) 555-5858
• Deluxe Call Center: (02) 3452-5830
• K.T. Deluxe Call Taxi: (011) 760-4041
• Power Call Taxi: (02) 555-5555
• Limousine Call Va Taxi: (010) 9869-0081

HAILING A TAXI
To hail a taxi just step to the edge of the sidewalk and raise your arm.
If the taxi is available it will pull over and stop for you. How can you
tell whether it's available? There will usually be a little red sign lit up
behind the front windshield which reads bincha ( 빈 차 ) (empty car).
Sometimes the drivers forget to switch this off when they have a
passenger, so it doesn't hurt to check the back seat of an oncoming taxi
to see whether there's someone already in there.
If you know the direction you will be going, try to get on the
correct side of the road before you hail the taxi. Sometimes a driver
will have to go quite a long way in the opposite direction before they
can find a place to turn around. This may cost you extra time and
money. Of course, if the weather is bad you may want to ignore this so
you can get out of the rain as quickly as possible.

NIGHT SPOTS
Taxi drivers become very picky close to popular night spots after the
trains have stopped running, and it can often become very difficult to
get a driver to agree to pick you up; they're only interested in a long-
distance fare, and they will keep cruising up and down the street,
wasting gas and refusing the patrons crying desperately to them
through the window until they find a worthy fare. In this kind of
situation it may be better to try and take a bus anywhere away from
that neighborhood and try to find some nicer taxis in the next
neighborhood.
Another alternative may be to get your friends to chip in for a
motel if the buses have stopped running, otherwise you might be
waiting a long time! Sometimes it may just be better to stay out until 6
am when the subways re-open.

BARGAINING
If you have to travel a long distance it may be worth trying to bargain
with the driver for a better deal. You can sometimes get the driver to
agree on a set price, and he will take you to your destination without
turning on the meter.

GETTING INTO A TAXI


Be careful getting into a taxi - drivers may stop in a precarious
position with scant regard for the road rules or safety, so do a quick
scan of the area around the taxi before you get in to make sure that
your taxi isn't about to get wiped out by a dump truck, or that you
aren't about to be wiped out by a passing motorcycle.
You must get into the taxi from the curb side of the vehicle,
and it's acceptable for passengers to use the front seat in Korea. Don't
try to get in on the other side; that door is usually locked for safety
reasons. If there are several of you, you may have to get in at the curb
side one-by-one and then scoot across the back seat to make room for
the others.

SEAT BELTS
An advantage of using the front seat is that you can use the seatbelt
(wearing your seat belt is actually is legally required for all passenger
cars in South Korea, but not the rear), as there may not be a belt
available in the back seat. You may sometimes be able to dig the belt
out from between the cushions at the back of the seat, but don't count
on it.
A driver may sometimes try to dissuade you from wearing a
seatbelt (“I'm a good driver!”) but don't let your concern for his
feelings sway you; it's better to be safe than sorry.

DIRECTIONS
Once you're settled in the driver will ask you where you want to go,
"Eodi ka se-yo?" ( 어 디 가 세 요 ?) Say your destination clearly, loudly
and slowly, followed by "ga juseyo". ( 가 주 세 요 .) (Take me to...).
Downtown is "Shi-nae." (시내.) If you don't know how to say your
destination in Korean it may be a good idea to call a Korean friend
and get them to talk to the driver. If you just want to get home, you
can show the driver the back of your Korean ID card if it has your
home address in Korean. When you get to your destination tell the
driver, "Yeogi imnida" (여기입니다.) (“Here”) and he will pull over for
you. See Appendix One: Survival Phrases for Living and Working in Korea
on page Error: Reference source not found for more phrases of use
with a taxi driver.

PAYING
Taxi drivers prefer cash. Some taxis have T-money terminals fitted,
however one can't always use them because some drivers may not
know how (or are unwilling) to operate them. Cash always works.

GETTING A RECEIPT
If you need to get a receipt for work, just say to the driver, "Yeong
sujeung juseyo" (영 수증 주세요).

EXITING A TAXI
Just like when the driver stopped to pick you up, when he goes to
drop you off he may well stop in a precarious place, so be careful
when you get out. Check over your shoulder to make sure that there
are no kamikaze motorcyclists trying to pass on the inside or you may
get your arm ripped off, or worse.

SMOKING
It may be okay for you to smoke in the taxi, but please ask the driver
for permission before you light up.

TRANSLATION SERVICE
Some taxis have a translation service that will enable you to speak to
an English-speaking operator, which can be helpful in a situation
where a driver has no idea what you're saying. If there is a sign in the
taxi indicating that a translation service is available, just say, "English
translation" and the driver will call up his company's English-
language operator and hand his phone over to you.
In the odd occasion where a driver is being particularly
obtuse it may just be better to bail out of that car and try your luck
with a different one.
THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR
Crazy Driving - You may find that your driver is goosing the throttle -
making you feel sea-sick, or suddenly slamming on the brakes. He (or
sometimes she) may also be veering wildly through the traffic at high
speeds and running red lights. You may find this enjoyable, but if
you're not comfortable with this style of driving you could try saying,
"Cheoncheonhi ga juseyo" (천천히 가 주세요.) (Slow down, please).
Being Taken to the Wrong Place - From time to time a driver will mis-
understand your directions and take you to the wrong place. This can
be compounded if you aren't familiar with the destination yourself
and don't realize until it's too late. He's probably not trying to rip you
off; it's almost always due to an honest mistake, and drivers are
usually very apologetic and try their best to rectify the situation. In
fact, when they do finally deliver you to the correct destination they
may only charge you what the original fare would have been - you
can negotiate this with the driver. Even though it's frustrating, please
try to keep calm and remain polite; you will get things resolved more
smoothly if you keep your cool.
Not Being Taken all the Way to Your Destination - You may
occasionally end up with a driver who will refuse to take you all the
way to your door. This can sometimes happen if you live in an older
neighborhood with crowded, narrow streets. The driver will stop on
a main road near your destination and tell you to get out there. The
reason for this may be that it difficult for him/her to navigate through
your neighborhood, or the driver may think that he or she is less
likely to pick up a new fare quickly at your destination. While this
can be annoying, especially if it is raining or you have a lot of heavy
groceries to carry, you have few options. You can argue with him, but
the meter will continue to run. You can get his name and number
from the ID card displayed on the dashboard, then complain to the
company. Don't refuse to pay, as this could end up taking a lot of time
to resolve, and the police may be called - which could go either way.
Driver Trying to Pick up Extra Passengers - A practice you may see is
a driver stopping to pick up another fare with you already in the car.
He will still expect you to pay your regular fare even though the other
passenger will pay him, too. This can be pretty frustrating if you are
in a hurry. You can try to dissuade the driver by saying, "Hajimaseyo!"
( 하지 마세 요! Don't do that!) or "Ppali ga juseyo" ( 빨리 가 주세 요!
Hurry, please!)
If you're not in a hurry just go with the flow. A Korean friend
once scolded one of the authors when he complained about this
practice; she told him that taxi drivers are very poor and he shouldn't
be getting on his high horse about such a small thing. She was right.
Criminal Behavior - There have been some extremely rare cases of
abduction and even murder perpetrated by taxi drivers in the past.
The cases have mostly involved young women trying to get home
from nightclubs and bars well after midnight. Common sense will
always be the best way to prevent something like this happening to
you, but keep these points in mind, too:
• Women should never travel alone after 10pm.
• Choose a reputable-looking owner-operated taxi.
Chatterboxes and Inappropriate Questions - You may sometimes get
a driver who wants to chat with you, and usually it's a pleasant
enough way to pass the time and improve understanding between
two cultures. Sometimes, though, you may simply not be in the mood
to chat, or perhaps the driver's questions are too rude or invasive.
What can you do in this situation? You can tell the driver, "Mal hago
sipji anha yo" (말하고 싶지 않아 요) (I don't want to talk), but a more
Korean way to handle it is to just be silent and not answer questions.
One of the authors likes to just pretend to fall asleep.

CROSS-COUNTRY (INTERCITY) TRAVEL


INTERCITY AND EXPRESS BUSES
If you live outside of the Seoul Metropolitan area or you want to travel
between Korea's towns and cities you can take either an Intercity bus
for traveling between regional centers, or an Express bus for traveling
to main centers.
If your area isn't listed below, don't worry - almost every town
and city has an Express Bus terminal, "Go-sok teomineol" (고속 터미널)
and/or an Intercity Bus terminal "Si-oe teomineol" (시외.터미널). For
example, if you lived in Pohang and wanted to go to Seoul, you'd
catch a bus from the Express Bus Terminal, but if you wanted to pop
across to Gyeongju for a day's sight-seeing you'd go to the Intercity
Bus terminal.
For more detailed information on bus schedules and pricing
visit the Korean National Tourism Information Website:
http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/1041_Transportation.jsp They have
an on-line route search function that should get you started.

SEOUL
Seoul has several express bus terminals:
Seoul Express Bus Terminal and Central City Terminal - Located in
Seocho-gu near Kangnam, the Seoul Express Bus Terminal runs
services to Gyeongsang-do and Gangwon-do. Right next door is the
Central City Terminal which runs services to Jeolla-do and the
southern coastal area. An easy way to get to there would be via
subway lines 3 and 7. Get off at the Express Bus Terminal station and
take the underground walkway to the terminals. Line 3 has an easier
route there than line 7.
Nambu Bus Terminal - Also located in Seocho-gu, this terminal is
near Nambu Bus Terminal subway station on line 3, exit 5. It runs
services to dozens of towns in Gyeongsang-do, Gongju, Buyeo,
Nonsan, Dangjin, Seosan, Taean , Yongin, Anseong , Pyeongtaek ,
Incheon, Jeolla-do, Cheonan, Asan, Yesan, Daecheon, and
Chungcheongbuk-do.
Dong-Seoul Bus Terminal - Is located in Guui-dong, Gwangjin-gu
near Gangbyeon subway station on line 2, exit 4. It runs services to all
the major cities as well as dozens of towns in Gyeonggi-do, Gangwon-
do, Jeolla-do, Gyeongsan-do and Chungcheong-do.
Sangbong Bus Terminal - Is located in Sangbong-dong, Jungnang-gu
near Sangbong subway station on line 7, exit 2. It runs services to
Cheongju, Daejeon, Jeonju and Gwangju as well as dozens of towns in
Gangneung, Uljin, Wonju, Gimhwa, Cheorwon, I-dong , Wasuri,
Sokcho, Geojin, Hongcheon, Yanggu, Chuncheon, Hwacheon and
Hyeolli.

BUSAN
Busan Bus Terminal Complex and Busan Dongbu Gyeongnam
Intercity Bus Terminal - This complex contains both the express and
intercity bus terminals under the same roof, although they have
different ticket counters. It is located in Nopo-dong, Geumjeong-gu
near Nopo-dong subway station line 1. An underground walkway
leads to the terminals. The express bus terminal runs services to Seoul,
Uijeongbu, Incheon, Seongnam, Gyeongju, Daegu, Daejeon,
Cheongju, Jinju, Suncheon, Yeosu, Gwangju and Jeonju.
The intercity bus terminal runs services to just about everywhere else.
Busan Seoubu Intercity Bus Terminal - Is located in Gwaebeop-dong,
Sasang-gu near Sasang subway station on line 1, exit 1. It runs services
to Geoje, Masan, Jangmok, Jangseungpo, Jillye, Jinyeong, Jinhae,
Changwon and Tongyeong as well as dozens of towns in Geochang,
Hapcheon, Uiryeong, Namhae, Hadong, Honam, Jinju , Samcheonpo
and Namwon,

TIPS FOR USING INTERCITY AND EXPRESS BUSES


 When you arrive at the terminal you can purchase a ticket at
the counter. If you don't speak much Korean just say the
name of your destination and hand over your money.
 The bigger terminals are pretty well signposted as to when
and where your bus will leave from, and the smaller terminals
are quite simply laid-out - just walk out the back where you'll
see a row of buses lined up with their destination displayed
on a sign inside the front windscreen. Simply walk onto the
bus and the driver will collect your ticket, either as you walk
in, or he will check your ticket just before departure. You will
probably need to keep your ticket and hand it back at the end
of the trip, so don't lose it! Some buses require you to sit in an
assigned seat, so make sure you check for a seat number on
your ticket before you sit down.
 Every hour or so on your journey the bus will probably stop
at a service area (highway restaurant and bathroom facility)
for 10 to 20 minutes where you can stretch your legs, grab a
bite, get some air and freshen up.
 It may be hard to get a comfortable temperature on the bus -
they're often stifling hot both in winter and summer. You can
try getting the driver to turn the air conditioning up or the
heater down - it sometimes works - but you'd better come
dressed for the occasion, and be prepared to add on or strip
off layers of clothing as the situation demands.

SEOUL AIRPORT LIMOUSINE BUS


These buses go to and from strategic points around the Seoul
metropolitan area and Gimpo and/or Incheon airports. They are
generally very comfortable, however there aren't many bus stops so
you may have to take a taxi or a local bus to or from the limousine bus
stop nearest your house. Fares range between 8,000 to 14,000 won and
you can generally use T-money, although if you take the bus from the
airport you will probably need to buy a ticket from the kiosk on the
sidewalk outside the arrivals terminal. Take a look at the Korea
Tourism Organization website (above) for detailed information on
airport buses.

AIR AND SEA TRAVEL


AIR TRAVEL
The following is a list of airports in Korea, by city. Be advised that this
listing of destinations was current when this book was published, but
routes may change. Please contact the airport directly (or your airline)
for an updated list if you are planning to travel.
Cheongju: Cheongju Airport (CJJ)
Domestic Destinations: Jeju
International Destinations: China, Hong Kong
http://cheongju.airport.co.kr/eng/info/information.jsp
Daegu (Taegu): Daegu Airport (Taegu Airport) (TAE)
Domestic Destinations: Jeju and Incheon
International Destinations: Cambodia, China, Hong Kong,
Philippines, Taipei, Thailand, Vietnam
http://daegu.airport.co.kr/eng/flight/fly_schedule.jsp
Seoul: Gimpo International Airport (GMP)
Korea's largest domestic airport, serving Seoul and Incheon
Domestic Destinations: Busan, Gwangju, Jeju, Jinju/Sacheon, Muan,
Pohang, Ulsan, Yeosu
International Destinations: China and Japan
http://gimpo.airport.co.kr/eng/index.jsp
Gwangju (Kwangju): Gwangju Airport (KWJ)
Domestic Destinations: Jeju, Seoul (Gimpo)
International Destinations: None
http://gwangju.airport.co.kr/eng/info/information.jsp
Incheon: Incheon International Airport (ICN)
Korea's largest international airport, serving Seoul and Incheon
Domestic Destinations: None scheduled at the time of publication.
International Destinations: Austria, Australia, Bali, Brazil, Canada,
Cambodia, China, Czech Republic, Dubai (UAE), Egypt, Fiji, Finland,
France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy,
Japan, Kazakhstan, Macau, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Nepal,
Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Saipan,
Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Taipei, Thailand, Turkey, United
Kingdom, USA, Uzbekistan, Vietnam
http://www.airport.kr/eng/airport/
Jeju (Cheju): Jeju International Airport (CJU)
Jeju serves the sub-tropical Jeju island off the south coast of Korea and is a
popular holiday spot for Koreans.
Domestic Destinations: Busan, Cheongju, Daegu, Gwangju, Gunsan,
Jinju, Seoul-Gimpo & Incheon, Ulsan, Wonju, Yeosu
International Destinations: China, Japan, Taipei
http://jeju.airport.co.kr/eng/index.jsp
Muan: Muan International Airport (MWX)
Muan airport serves Gwangju and Mokpo, and opened in 2007.
Domestic Destinations: Daegu, Jeju, Seoul (Gimpo),
International Destinations: China, Hong Kong, Macao, Taipei
http://muan.airport.co.kr/eng/intro/introduce.jsp
Busan (Pusan): Gimhae International Airport (Kimhae Int'l) (PUS)
Domestic Destinations: Jeju, Seoul-Gimpo & Incheon, Yangyang
International Destinations: Cambodia, China, Germany, Hong
Kong,Japan, Philippines, Russia, Saipan, Taipei, Thailand, Vietnam
http://gimhae.airport.co.kr/eng/info/information.jsp
Yangyang: Yangyang International Airport (YNY)
Yangyang services the Gangwon-do region and provides access to Seorak
Mountain.
Domestic Destinations: Busan
International Destinations: None scheduled. Occasional charters to
China, Japan, and Taipei.
http://yangyang.airport.co.kr/eng/info/information.jsp
The following is a list of civil airfields (smaller than airports)
that serve just a couple domestic destinations. If you live close by, they
might be convenient.
Gunsan: Gunsan Airport (KUV)
Destinations: Jeju
http://gunsan.airport.co.kr/eng/info/information.jsp
Pohang: Pohang Airport (KPO)
Destinations: Seoul (Gimpo)
http://pohang.airport.co.kr/eng/info/information.jsp
Sacheon/Jinju: Sacheon Airport (HIN)
Sacheon airport serves Sacheon, Jinju, and Jiri cities in
Kyungsangnam-do.
Destinations: Jeju, Seoul (Gimpo)
http://sacheon.airport.co.kr/eng/index.jsp
Ulsan: Ulsan Airport (USN)
Destinations: Jeju, Seoul (Gimpo)
http://ulsan.airport.co.kr/eng/info/information.jsp
Wonju: Wonju Airport (WJU)
Wonju airport services Wonju in Gangwon-do.
Destinations: Jeju
http://wonju.airport.co.kr/eng/info/information.jsp
Yeosu: Yeosu Airport (RSU)
Yeosu airport serves Jeollanam-do.
Destinations: Jeju, Seoul (Gimpo)
http://yeosu.airport.co.kr/eng/info/information.jsp

TIPS FOR FLYING IN KOREA


International Flights
 Make sure that you arrive at the airport two hours before your
scheduled departure time. Although check in doesn't begin
until 90 minutes before the flight, this will give you plenty of
time to deal with any unexpected delays, such as those listed
below.
 If you plan to travel abroad during your time in Korea and
you're on an E-2 or F-2 visa, you will need to get a re-entry
permit from the Immigration Department before you leave
Korea. This can either be done at your local Immigration
Department office, or at the Immigration Department office at
an international airport. Check out the airport websites listed
above for information on the location of the airport
Immigration offices. A single re-entry permit will cost you
30,000 won, and a multiple re-entry permit will cost you
50,000 won. If you leave Korea without getting a re-entry
permit you may void your visa.
 If your old passport has expired during the term of your
current visa make sure that you bring your expired passport
with you to the airport. This will save you some delays at the
airport Immigration office when they can't find your current
visa in your new passport.
 If you are traveling internationally from a regional airport
make sure that you go to the correct terminal. You are
unlikely to find your international flight at the domestic
terminal, and by the time you work this out you may have
missed your plane!
Domestic Flights
 Even if you're only flying domestically within Korea you will
still need to show your passport. All domestic passengers
both Korean and expatriate are required to show ID before
they get on a plane, so don't get caught out.
 Some regional airports are also military airbases, so don't take
pictures there, even if you see something cool out of the
window. Remember, South Korea is still technically at war
and they may not take too kindly to you snapping that
Apache gunship sitting on the tarmac.

FERRIES
Korea has a comprehensive domestic and international ferry network
servicing most major coastal cities. Taking the ferry may be a good
option for people who can't afford to fly, or those who want to
experience something different. Ferries may also be a good backup in
the event that your travel agent leaves you stranded somewhere as
happened to one of the authors and his pregnant wife one weekend in
Jeju!
Ferries in Korea may not be the same as you are used to in the
West, however - they're generally pretty basic; you may be required to
share a floor with hordes of soju-drinking, shouting peasants, and
cook your own ramyeon. Some ferries do have more comfortable
motel-style cabins available and whilst they're a little expensive they
may be a good option for an overnight trip... unless you want to
experience the local culture up close and really personal!
Check out the Korean Tourism Organization website for
information on domestic and international ferries in Korea:
http://traffic.visitkorea.or.kr/Lang/en/Ship/

BUSAN
The Port of Busan has a website in English that may be useful for you.
It has links to the companies which operate ferries out of Busan,
although they may not be in English:
http://www.busanferry.com/ja_service?id=en_index The Panstar Ferry
Line which operates between Busan and Osaka has an English-
language website: http://www.panstarline.com/EN/index.html

INCHEON
The port of Incheon has a website (mostly in Korean) which has links
to the companies that operate ferries out of Incheon, although they
may not be in English: http://www.incheonferry.co.kr/. Weidong Ferry
which operates services from Incheon to Weihei and Qingdao in
China has a website in English: http://www.weidong.com/
The Association for Teachers of English in Korea provides the
following services to the general public, members and non-
members alike:
• Monitoring of proposed legislation and regulations which may affect non-
citizen English teachers in Korea.
• Translation of proposed and existing legislation and regulations (domestic
and international) and analysis of their possible effects on non-citizen English
teachers in Korea.
• Advocacy for English teacher concerns at the national and local levels.
• The English Teacher's Guide to Korea, which will be made available in PDF
for free download from our website (http://atek.or.kr).

ATEK provides the following benefits and services to members:


• Full access to ATEK's Employer Rating System, to make and review ratings.
• Access to the member forums.
• Access to professional development and lesson planning materials.
• Information on how to check to see if your employer is correctly reporting
your income, paying your taxes and making proper deductions from your
pay.
• Copies of labor, tax, pension, and health insurance complaint forms,
translated into Korean, and instructions about how to go about filing a
complaint.
• Local social networks (the Provincial and Metropolitan Associations that send
reps to our national council).
• Access to data from the ATEK Member Survey, which enables ATEK to track
average salaries and weekly hours by region and type of teaching job,
average level of satisfaction with various job types, average length of stay of
foreigners working in Korea, average pay and benefit increases when re-
signing for a second year, and much more. Want to know if your contract
offer is above or below the average salary for someone in your city and
education level? Get access.
• Advisories to the government based on ATEK Member Survey information
on non-citizen English teacher's problems and needs (does one particular city
have a higher rate of teachers reporting pay withholding fraud? That city's
government might want to know that.)
• An online application that translates letters home to parents into Korean, so
that you can communicate with parents and let them know how their child is
doing.
• Representation of member concerns to relevant government agencies and
other groups.
• Responses to media items of interest to non-citizen English teachers.

All these resources are available on our website at


http://atek.or.kr
THE ENGLISH TEACHER'S
GUIDE TO KOREA
Living, Working, and Thriving in Korea Sparkling

By
Tony Hellmann, M.Ed.
Tom Rainey-Smith
Jason Thomas, M.App.Ling.
Matthew Henderson

ATEK

Press
This book was designed and laid out entirely with open source software.
Individual sections copyright © 2009 by the respective authors, all rights reserved,
except as licensed below. Used by permission.
Published by ATEK Press, a division of the Association for Teachers of English in Korea.
Design and composition by Tony Hellmann. Copyedited by Jason Thomas
Cover: Art by Jeffrey Morabito. www.jeffreymorabito.com. Photo by Trey Ratcliff, www.stuckincustoms.com

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Printed in the Republic of Korea
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
APPENDIX 1: SURVIVAL PHRASES FOR
LIVING AND WORKING IN KOREA
(F) = Formal/polite (for someone of equal or higher status, or someone
you don't know well).

THE BASICS

BASIC EXPRESSIONS

English Hangul Pronunciation

Yes. 네. Ne.

No. 아니요. Aniyo.

Thank you. 감사합니다. (F) Kamsahamnida. (F)

I am sorry. 미안합니다. (F) Mianhamnida. (F)

GREETINGS
English Hangul Pronunciation

Good morning.
안녕하세요? Annyong haseyo?
Good afternoon.
안녕하십니까? (F) Annyong hashimnikka? (F)
Good evening.

안녕히 가세요. Annyonghi kasayo.


Good-bye.
안녕히 가십시오. Annyonghi kashipshiyo.
(to person leaving)
(F) (F)

Good-bye. 안녕히 계세요. Annyonghi kyesayo.


(to person staying) 안녕히 계십시오. Annyonghi kyeshipshiyo.
(F) (F)

안녕히 주무십시 Annyonghi jumushipsiyo.


Good night.
요. (F) (F)

How do you do?


처음 뵙겠습니다. Ch'oum poepgetsumnida.
(meeting for the
(F) (F)
first time)

저는 ___ 입니다.
My name is _____. Chonun ______ imnida. (F)
(F)

How are you? 어떠십니까? (F) Ottoshimnikka? (F)

Hello?
여보세요? Yoboseyo?
(on the phone)

Do you speak 영어를 할수 있어 Yeongeorul malsum halsu


English? 요? isseoyo

NUMBERS, COUNTING, AND DATES


Korean has two sets of cardinal numbers, depending on the situation.
One set has a Chinese root, and the other set has a Korean root. Use
the Korean forms for the number of items (1-99) and age (2 children, 5
bottles of beer, 27 years old). Use the Chinese forms for dates, money,
addresses, phone numbers, and numbers above 100.
Most Asian counting systems have a single word for “ten
thousand,” and this changes the way they group large numbers. In
English, 100,000 is represented as “a hundred thousands” or “a
thousand one hundred times.” However, in Korean that number is
represented as “십만” with 십 meaning “10” and 만 meaning “10,000.”
This can be confusing for those converting numbers between English
and Korean.
NUMBERS NUMBERS
Pronunciation Pronunciation
Hangul Chinese-root Hangul Chinese-root
(Korean-root) (Korean-root)

일 십오 ship-oh
1 il (hana) 15
(하나) (열다섯) (yol-tasot)

2 이 (둘) ee (tul) 십육 shim-yuk


16
(열여섯) (yol-yosot)
3 삼 (셋) sam (set)
십칠 ship-ch'il
4 사 (넷) sa (net) 17
(열일곱) (yol-ilgop)
오 shi-p'al (yol-
5 oh (tasot) 18
십팔
(다섯) (열여덟) yodolp)
육 ship-gu
6 yuk (yosot) 19
십구
(여섯) (열아홉) (yol-ahop)
칠 ee-ship
7 ch'il (ilgop) 20
이십
(일곱) (스물) (sumul)
팔 p'al sam-ship
8 30
삼십
(여덟) (yodolp) (서른) (sorun)
구 sa-ship
9 gu (ahop) 40
사십
(아홉) (마흔) (mahun)
10 십 (열) ship (yol) 오십 oh-ship
50
십일 ship-il (yol- (쉰) (shween)
11
(열하나) hana) 육십 yuk-ship
60
십이 ship-ee (yol- (예순) (yesun)
12
(열둘) tul) 칠십 ch'il-ship
70
십삼 ship-sam (이른) (irun)
13
(열셋) (yol-set) 팔십 p'al-ship
80
십사 ship-sa (yol- (여든) (yodun)
14
(열넷) net)
NUMBERS MONTHS
Pronunciation English Hangul Pronunciation
Hangul Chinese-root
(Korean-root) Jan 일월 ilwol

구십 gu-ship Feb 이월 eewol


90
(아흔) (ahun)
Mar 삼월 samwol
100 백 baek
April 사월 sawol
200 이백 ee-baek
May 오월 ohwol
1K 천 ch'eon
June 유월 yuwol
10K 만 man
July 칠월 ch'ilwol
100K 십만 ship-man
Aug 팔월 p'alwol
1 Mil 백만 baek-man
Sept 구월 guwol
100
억 eok Oct 시월 shiwol
Mil
Nov 십일월 shibilwol
WEEKDAYS
Dec 십이월 shibeewol
Hangul Pronunciation

Sun 일요일 ilyo-il

Mon 월요일 wolyo-il

Tues 화요일 hwayo-il

Wed 수요일 suyo-il

Thur 목요일 mogyo-il

Fri 금요일 kumyo-il

Sat 토요일 t'oyo-il


EMERGENCY SITUATIONS

EMERGENCIES
English Hangul Pronunciation

Help! 도와줘(요)! Dowajueo(yo)!

Look out! 조심하세요! Joshim haseyo!

Please help me. 도와주세요 Dowa juseyo

응급차를 부르세
Call an ambulance! Eunggubcharul bureuseyo

I need a doctor. 의사가 필요해요 Euisaga pal haeyo

There's been an
사고가 났어요 Sagoga nasseoyo
accident.

Please hurry! 서둘러요! Seodulleoyo!

Are you ok? 괜찮아요? Goaenchanayo?

다들(모두) 괜찮아 Dadeul (modu)


Is everyone ok?
요? goaench’anayo?

I'm/We're lost. 길을 잃었어요 Gileul ileosseoyo

I can't find my ... ...을 못 찾겠어요/ …eul mot chagesseoyo/


잃어 버렸어요 ileo beoryeosseoyo

keys 열쇠... Yeolsoi…


passport 여권... Yeogwon…
cellphone 핸드폰... Haendeupon…

I've lost my ... ...를 잃어 버렸어


…reul ileo boryeosseoyo

laptop 노트북컴퓨터... Noteubuk keompyuteo…


wallet 지갑... Jigab…
purse 핸드백... Haendeubaeg…
cellphone 핸드폰/휴대폰... Haendeupon/Hyudaepon
bag 가방... …
camera 카메라... Gabang…
Kamera…

CRIME/FIRE
English Hangul Pronunciation

Stop, thief! 도둑이야! Dodugiya!

Call the police! 경찰을 불러요! Gyeongchaleul bulleoyo!

My ____ has been


내 ____을(를) 도 Nae____eul(rul)
stolen. [Laptop]
둑맞았어요 [노트 dodukmajasseoyo
[wallet] [purse]
북컴퓨터][지갑] [noteubuk keompyuteo]
[cellphone] [bag]
[핸드백][핸드폰] [jigab] [haendeubaeg]
[money]
[돈] [haendeupon] [don]

I'd like to report a 절도신고를 하고 Jaldoshingoreul hago


theft. 싶은데요 shipeundeyo

My apartment has 내 아파트에 강도 Nae apateue


been robbed. 가 들었어요 gangdogadeuleosseoyo

That man/woman 저 남자(여자)가 Jeo namja (yeoja) ga nal


hit me. 날 때렸어요 ddaeryeosseoyo

I'd like to report a


도둑을 신고하려 Dodukeul
theft.
고요 singoharyeogoyo

I've been mugged. Gangdoreul


강도를 당했어요
danghaesseoyo
Gonggyeogeul
I've been attacked. 공격을 당했어요
danghaesseoyo

Please leave me
그냥 혼자 있게 해 Gonyang honja itgae hae
alone.
주세요 juseyo

Go away!
저리 가세요! Jeori gaseyo!

I'm calling the 경찰에 신고하겠 Gyeongchale


police! 어요! singohagesseoyo!

Fire! 불이야! Buliya!

Call the fire


소방차를 불러! Sobangchareul bulleo!
department!

GETTING AROUND

DRIVING DIRECTIONS
English Hangul Pronunciation

Please go to ... ... 에 가주세요. ... ai ga-jusaeyo.

I'm in a hurry. 급해요. ku-p'haiyo.

급하게 가지 않아도 kup'hagae gaji ahnado


There's no hurry.
되요. dwaeyo.

Please drive 좀 더 ... 운전해 주세 Jom deo ... unjeonhae


more ... 요. juseyo.

slowly / quickly 천천히 / 빨리 ch'eonch'eonhee / bbali

Go straight
똑바로 가주세요. Ddokbaro ga-jusaeyo.
ahead.

... 으로 돌아가 주세
Turn ... ... uro dolla ka-juseyo.
요.
left / right 왼쪽 / 오른쪽 wen-jjok / orun-jjok

Turn left/right at 교차로에서 좌회전/ Gyocharoeseo gwahoijon/


the intersection. 우회전 해주세요 uhoijon hae juseyo

Near [landmark]. 근처요 geuncheoyo

Get in the 좌측/우측 차선으로 Jwacheug/ucheug


left/right lane. 붙으세요 chaseoneuro buteuseyo

이 차선을 타고 쭉 가 I chaseoneul tago jjuk


Stay in this lane.
세요 gaseyo

Jgeu, eongddunghan
You are going the 지금 엉뚱한 곳으로
goseuro gago
wrong way. 가고 계시는데요
gyeshineundeyo

Take this road. 이쪽 길로 가주세요 I jjok gillo ga juseyo

Stop here, please. 여기서 내려 주세요. Yeogiseo naeryeo juseyo.

How much is the


요금이 얼마예요? Yogumee alma-yeyo?
fare?

ON THE STREET
English Hangul Pronunciation

Where is ...? ...는 어디 입니까? ...neun odi imnikka?

How do I get ...에는 어떻게 갑니 ...aenun ottok'ae


to ...? 까? kamnikka?

airport 공항 gonghang
bus station 버스 터미날 bosu t'eomeenal
train station 기차역 kich'a yeok
subway station 지하철역 chihach'eol yeok
CONSUMER TRANSACTIONS

REPAIRS
English Hangul Pronunciation

...ga gojangnan
I think … is out of
...가 고장난 것 같습니다. geot
order.
gatseumnida.

mobile phone / laptop hyudaepon /


휴대폰 / 노트북 / 라디오
/ radio notbuk / radio

I can't see the monitor Moniteoga jal an


모니터가 잘 안 보여요.
screen well. boyeoyo.

Soriga
The sound is
소리가 들렸다가 안 들렸 deulryeotdaga an
sometimes on and
다가 해요. deulryeotdaga
sometimes off.
haeyo.

I can't start the Jeonwoni an


전원이 안 켜집니다.
computer power. kyeojimnida.

Tteoleotteuryeose
I dropped it and it o
떨어트려서 깨졌습니다.
broke. kkaejyeotsseumni
da.

Keompyuteoga
It turns on but it 컴퓨터가 켜지긴 하는데, kyeojigin
doesn't boot. 부팅이 안돼요 haneunde, buting-
ee andwaeyo

I'd like to register. 접수해 주세요. Jeopsuhae juseyo.

Wonini
What is the reason? 원인이 무엇인가요?
mueotingayo?
Surihaneun de
How long will it take 수리하는 데 시간이 sigani
to get fixed? 얼마나 걸리나요? eolmana
geolrinayo?

Suribiyongeun
How much will it cost 수리비용은 얼마나 듭니
eolmana
to get fixed? 까?
deumnikka?

Musang seobiseu
Is it under the free 무상 서비스 기간에 해당
gigane
repair period? 되나요?
haedang doinayo?

When should I come Eonje chajeureo


언제 찾으러 오면 되나
back omyeon
요?
to pick it up? doinayo?

Choidaehan bbali
Plaese, fix it as fast as 최대한 빨리 수리해 주세
surihae
you can. 요.
juseyo.

AT THE BANK
English Hangul Pronunciation

Gujwareul
I'd like to open an 구좌를 개설하고 싶
gaeseolhago
account. 습니다.
sipseumnida.

I'd like to …20,000 Imanwon ...


2 만원 ... 해주세요.
won. haejuseyo.

deposit / wire transfer ipgeum / songgeum /


입금 / 송금 / 인출
/ withdraw inchul

How much do you Songgeum


송금 수수료는 얼마
charge for susuryoneun
입니까?
a wire transfer? eolmaimnikka?
How much is the 이자는 얼마나 되나 Ijaneun eolmana
interest? 요? doinayo?

Gonggwageumeul
공과금을 납부하고
I'd like to pay my bill. napbuhago
싶습니다.
sipseumnida.

AT THE BEAUTY SALON OR BARBER SHOP


English Hangul Pronunciation

I'd like to get my Meorireul ... hae


머리를 ... 해 주세요.
hair ... , please. juseyo.

cut 잘라 jalra

permed 파마 pama

dyed 염색 yeomsaek

straightened 스트레이트 seuteureit

highlighted 브리지 beuriji (bridge-ee)

Apmeoriman
Please, trim only the 앞머리만 조금 다듬어
jogeum
forehead 주세요.
dadeumeo juseyo.

...eun kkakji
Please, don't cut… ...은 깎지 마세요.
maseyo.

너무 많이 자르지 마세 Neomu mani jareuji


Don't cut too much.
요. maseyo.

Neomu
Don't make it too 너무 곱슬거리지 않게
gopseulgeoriji
curly. 해주세요.
anke haejuseyo.

Take this much off Imankeum jalla


……이만큼 잘라주세요
the... juseyo
Top 윗머리 Weot-meori
Sides 옆머리 Yeop-meori
Back 뒷머리 Dweot-meori
Bangs 앞머리 Ap-meori

Gunin
I'd like a soldier 군인머리처럼 짧게 잘
meoricheoreom
haircut. 라주세요
jjalge jalla juseyo

IN A RESTAURANT
English Hangul Pronunciation

Please give me a
메뉴 좀 갖다주세요. Maenu jom kattajuseyo.
menu.

I'd like one order of ... 일 인분 부탁 합니 ... il-inbun put'k


... 다. hamnida.

Don't make it hot Maepchi ahngae


맵지 않게 해주세요.
(spicey). haechusaeyo.

Please bring me
물 좀 주세요. Mul chom chuseyo.
some water.

Please bring me the 여기 계산서 좀 가져 Yogi kyesanso chom


check. 오세요. kacho-oseyo.

Please give me a Yeoungsujeungeul


영수증을 주세요.
receipt. chusaeyo.

AT THE HOSPITAL
English Hangul Pronunciation

My _____ hurts. ... 아파요. ... apayo.


head 머리가 meoriga

tooth 이빨이 ippali

stomach 배가 baega

ear 귀가 gwiga

throat 목이 moki

I have ... ... 예요. ... yeyo.

cramps 생리통 sangritong

constipation 변비 byeonbi

diarrhea 설사 seolsa

indigestion 소화불량 sohwabulryang

독감에 걸렸어 Dokgame


the flu
요 geolryeotsseoyo

감기에 걸렸어
a cold Gamgie geolryeotsseoyo

자꾸 콧물이 나
a runny nose Jakku konmuri nayo

a stuffy nose 코가 막혔어요 Koga makyeotsseoyo

Is it serious? 심각한 건가요? Simgakan geongayo?

What is the name of the Byeongmyeongi


병명이 뭔가요?
disease? mwongayo?

What is the name of 이 약 이름이 뭔 I yak ireum-ee


this medicine? 가요? mweongayo?

How often should I 하루에 몇 알을 Haru-e myeot areul


take this medicine? 먹어야 하나요? meogeoya hanayo?
몇몇 약에 알레
I am allergic to some Myeot-myeot yak-e
르기가 있습니
drugs. algereugiga isseumnida.
다.

ADDITIONAL TERMS: GENERAL BODY PARTS


English Hangul Pronunciation English Hangul Pronunciation

body 몸 mom wrist 팔목 palmok

head 머리 meori elbow 팔꿈치 palkkumchi

머리카
hair meorikarak hand 손 son

face 얼굴 eolgul wrist 손목 sonmok

fore
이마 ima palm 손바닥 sonbadak
head

eye 눈 nun fist 주먹 jumeok

eye
눈썹 nunsseop finger 손가락 songarak
brow

eye-lid 눈꺼풀 nunkkeopul thumb 엄지 eomji

eye- index
속눈썹 songnunsseop 검지 geomji
lashes finger

ring
ear 귀 gwi 약지 yakji
finger

finger
cheek 볼 bol 손톱 sontop
nail

nose 코 ko breast 가슴 gaseum

nostril 콧구멍 kogumeong breast 유방 yubang

mouth 겨드랑
입 ip armpit gyeodeurangi

lips 입술 ipsul side 옆구리 yeopguri

ton-gue 혀 hyeo back 등 deung

neck 목 mok waist 허리 heori

nape of
ab-
the 목덜미 mokdeolmi 배 bae
domen
neck

throat 목구멍 mokgumeong navel 배꼽 baekkop

buttoc
tooth 이 i 엉덩이 eongdeongi
ks

gum 잇몸 inmom leg 다리 dari

chin 턱 teok thigh 허벅지 heobeokji

shoulder 어깨 eokkae knee 무릎 mureup

arm 팔 pal foot 발 bal

heel 뒤꿈치 dwikkumchi ankle 발목 balmok

skin 살갗 salgat toenail 발톱 baltop

muscle 근육 geunyuk bone 뼈 ppyeo

ADDITIONAL TERMS: INTERNAL ORGANS


English Hangul Pronunciation English Hangul Pronunciation

heart 심장 simjang pancreas 췌장 chwejang

gall-
liver 간 gan 담낭 damnang
bladder

lungs 폐 pye bowels 장 jang

stomach 위 wi womb 자궁 jagung

appendix 맹장 maengjang brain 뇌 noe


kidney 콩팥 kongpat anus 항문 hangmun

AT THE POST OFFICE


English Hangul Pronunciation

I'd like to send ...로 이 소포를 보내 ...ro i soporeul bonaego


this parcel ... 고 싶어요. sipeoyo.

to America 미국으로 migukeuro

by airmail 항공우편으로 hanggongupyeoneuro

by express
속달로 sokdalro
delivery

How long will it Baesonggiganeun


배송기간은 얼마나
take to be eolmana
걸리나요?
delivered? geolrinayo?

Where can I get 우표는 어디에서 팔 Upyoneun eodieseo


stamps? 아요? parayo?

What's the zip


이 주소의 우편번호 I jusoui upyeonbeonhoga
code for this
가 뭐예요? mwoyeyo?
address?

IN A STORE
English Hangul Pronunciation

점장 (메니저) 과 얘 Jeojang (menijeo) gwa


I'd like to speak to
기를 나누고 싶습니 aegireul nanugo
a manager.
다. shipsumnida.

Do you have...? ... 있나요? ... innayo?

shirts 셔츠 syeocheu
pants 바지 baji

caps 모자 moja

shoes 신발 sinbal

Do you have this


이거 ...로 있나요? Igeo ...ro innayo?
in...?

red 빨간색으로 ppalgansaegeuro

large 큰걸로 keungeolro

small 작은걸로 jageungeolro

size 95 95(구십오) 사이즈

I'm looking for... 전 ...를 원해요. Jeon ...reul wonhaeyo.

something mwonga teukbyeolhan


뭔가 특별한 것
particular geot

something large 뭔가 큰 것 mwonga keun geot

something small 뭔가 작은 것 mwonga jagun geot

something
더싼것 deo ssan geot
cheaper

Where can I
...는 어디 있나요? ...neun eodi innayo?
find...?

apples 사과 sagwa

tomatoes 토마토 tomato

tuna fish 참치 chamchi

beer 맥주 maekju

How much is this? 이거 얼마예요? Igeo eolmayeyo?

I will pay with a 신용카드로 지불하 Sinyongkadeuro


credit card 겠습니다. jibulhagetsseumnida.
one-time payment 일시불 ilsibul

pay over 3 months 3 개월 할부 samgaewol halbu

Could you give a


좀 깎아주세요. Jom kkakgajuseyo.
discount?

Please give me a Yeoungsujeungeul


영수증을 주세요.
receipt. chusaeyo.

Please, put it in
봉투에 담아 주세요. Bongtue dama juseyo.
the envelope.

Could gift wrap it Seonmul pojanghae


선물 포장해 주세요.
please? juseyo.

Give me a refund. 환불해 주세요 Hwanbulhae juseyo.

I'd like to
교환해 주세요. Gyohwanhae juseyo.
exchange this.

Give… ... 주세요. ... juseyo.

1 geun / 2 geun
[Korean
measurement- 1근/2근 hangeun / dugeun
1 geun=600
grams]

100 grams / 200 baekgeuram /


100 그람 / 200 그람
grams ibaekgeuram

five thousand won


오천원어치 ocheonwoneochi
worth

AT THE HOTEL
English Hangul Pronunciation

Do you have...? ... 있나요? ... innayo?


any vacancies 빈방 binbang

a single room 싱글 룸 singgeul rum

a double room 더블 룸 deobeul rum

a suite 스위트룸 seuwit rum

I'd like to extend ... deo mukko


... 더 묵고 싶습니다.
the stay... sipseumnida.

one more day 하루 더 haru deo

two more nights 이틀밤 더 iteulbam deo

a couple more
며칠 더 myeochil deo
days

Put me on the
대기자 명단에 올려 Daegija myeongdane
waiting list,
주세요. ollyeo juseyo.
please.

I'm calling from


여기 206 호 인데요. Yeogi ibaegyuko indeyo.
room 206.

It's so ... in here. 여긴 너무 ...해요. Yeogin neomu ...haeyo.

hot 더워요 deowoyo

cold 추워요 chuwoyo

messy 지저분해요 jijeobunhaeyo

smelly 냄새나요 namsaenayo

noisy 시끄러워요 sikkeureowoyo

AT THE REAL ESTATE OFFICE


English Hangul Pronunciation

I am looking for 5 천만원에 ...를 구 Ocheonmanwone ...reul


…with
50 million won 하고 싶습니다. guhago sipseumnida.
key money.

lease of a house
[room]
전세 jeonse
on a deposit basis
(key money)

monthly rent 월세 wolse

studio 원룸 wonrum

house 단독주택 dandokjutaek


apartment 아파트 apateu
business section 상가 sangga

I'd like to take a 한번 둘러보고 싶은 Hanbeon dulreobogo


look. 데요. sipeundeyo.

지하철 역에서는 거 Jihacheol yeokeseoneun


How far from the
리가 georiga eolmana
subway station?
얼마나 걸리나요? geolrinayo?

I'd like to have …이 ..개 있는 곳을 ...i ..gae ineun goseul


(number) … 워합니다. wonhamnida.

(3) rooms / (2) bang (se)gae / yoksil


방 (3)개 / 욕실 (2)개
bathrooms (du)gae

I'd like to have an


(Sam) cheung isang
above the (3rd) (3)층 이상 베란다가
berandaga ineun
floor with a deck/ 있는 곳을 원합니다.
goseul wonhamnida.
balcony.

Bojeunggeumeun
How much is the 보증금은 얼마나 되
eolmana
deposit money? 나요?
doinayo?

I like to check the Geonmul


건물 등기부등본을
building deunggibudeungboneul
확인하고 싶습니다.
registration hwakinhago sipseumnida.
certificate.

ON THE PHONE

CONVERSATIONS
English Hangul Pronunciation

Hello. 여보세요. Yeoboseyo.

Who's calling,
누구세요? Nuguseyo?
please?

Could I speak to ... ... 씨와 통화할 수 있 ... ssiwa tonghwahal su


, please? 을까요? isseulkkayo?

Can I talk to ... , ... 씨 좀 부탁드립니 ... ssi jom


please? 다. butakdeurimnida.

Hold on, please. 잠시만 기다리세요. Jamsiman gidariseyo.

죄송하지만 ... 씨가 Joesonghajiman ... ssiga


I'm afraid ... isn't
잠시 자리를 비웠습 jamsi jarireul
in at the moment.
니다. biwotsseumnida.

... ssiege dasi


Do you want ... to ... 씨에게 다시 전화
jeonhwaharago
call you back? 하라고 할까요?
halkkayo?

Could I take a 메시지를 받을수 있 Mesigireul badeul su


message? 을까요? itsseulkkayo?

Would you like to


메시지를 남기시겠 Mesigireul
leave
어요? namgisigetsseuyo?
a message?

The line is busy. 통화중입니다. Tonghwajungimnida.

Could you repeat 다시 말씀해 주시겠 Dasi malsseumhae


that, please? 어요? jusigetsseuyo?
Could you speak Jom deo keuge
좀 더 크게 말씀해
up a little, malsseumhae
주시겠어요?
please? jusigetsseuyo?

I will call you 제가 다시 걸겠습니 Jega dasi


back. 다. geolgetsseumnida.

언제쯤 통화가 가능 Eonjejjeum tonghwaga


When can I call?
할까요? ganeunghalkkayo?

ORDERING A PIZZA OVER THE PHONE


English Hangul Pronunciation

Pijareul jumunhago
I'd like to order 피자를 주문하고 싶은
shipeundeyo.
pizza (for delivery). 데요. (배달해 주세요)
(baedalhae juseyo)

I'd like [number] 피자 …개를 주문하려 Pija …gaereul


pizzas. 고요 jumunharyeogayo

Hananeun
One with pepperoni 하나는 페퍼로니 피자
pepeoroni pija

Two combination 두 개는 콤비네이션 피 Dugaeneun


pizzas 자 kombineisyeon pija

Hananeun
One only-cheese 하나는 치즈만 넣어주
chijeuman neoheo
pizza 세요
juseyo

What is your Jusoga eoddeoge


주소가 어떻게 되세요?
address? dwaeseyo

My address is: 주소는…. Jusoneun…

How much is the Jeonbuda


전부다 얼마예요?
total cost? eolmayeyo?
Baedalweon-ee uri
Can you have the 배달원이 우리 집에 도 jib-e
driver call me when 착하면 전화해 줄 수 있 dochakhamyeon
he arrives? 나요? jeonwha hae jul su
isseoyo?

EXPRESSING FEELINGS

FEELINGS
English Hangul Pronunciation

(나는) (당신 (Naneun) (dangsineul)


(I) …(you)
을) ..해요 ..haeyo.

love 사랑해요. Saranghaeyo.

like 좋아해요. Joahaeyo.

hate 미워해요. Miwohaeyo.

detest 증오해요. Jeungohaeyo.

dearly love 사모해요. Samohaeyo.

Thank you. 고맙습니다. Gomapseumnida.

Thank you. 감사합니다. Gamsahamnida.

I am sorry. 미안합니다. Mianhamnida.

I am very sorry. 죄송합니다. Joesonghamnida.

I feel (am)… 나는 ..해요 Naneun ..haeyo.

angry 화가나요. Hwaganayo.

sad 슬퍼요. Seulpeoyo.

happy 기뻐요. Gippeoyo.

merry 즐거워요. Jeulgeowoyo.


excited 신나요. Sinnayo.

depressed 우울해요. Uulhaeyo.

afraid 무서워요. Museowoyo.

nervous 불안해요. Bulanhaeyo.

thankful 고마워요. Gomawoyo.

sorry 미안해요. Mianhaeyo.

puzzled 황당해요. Hwangdanghaeyo.

confused 당황스러워요. Danghwangseureowoyo

pleased 만족스러워요. Manjokseureowoyo.

disappointed 실망이예요. Silmangiyeyo.

excited 흥분되요. Heungbundoeyo.

surprised 놀라워요. Nolrawoyo.

happy 행복해요. Haengbokaeyo.

unhappy 불행해요. Bulhaenghaeyo.

lonely 고독해요. Godokaeyo.

lonely 외로워요. Oerowoyo.

refreshed 상쾌해요. Sangkoaehaeyo.

unpleasant 불쾌해요. Bulkoaehaeyo.

comfortable 편해요. Pyeonhaeyo.

falsely accused 억울해요. Eogulhaeyo.

shameful 부끄러워요. Bukkeureowoyo.

ashamed 창피해요. Changpihaeyo.

stuffy (or difficulty


답답해요. dapdapaeyo.
in breathing)
bored 지루해요. Jiruhaeyo.

painful 아파요. Apayo.

It is … (그것은) ..해요 (Geugeoseun) ..haeyo.

inconvenient 불편해요. Bulpyeonhaeyo.

hard 힘들어요. Himdeureoyo.

difficult 어려워요. Eoryeowoyo.

easy 쉬워요. Swiwoyo.

interesting 재미있어요. Jaemiisseoyo.

mystic 신비해요. Sinbihaeyo.

charming 매력적이예요. Maeryeokjeokiyeyo.

admirable 훌륭해요. Hullyunghaeyo.

stylish 멋있어요. Meositsseoyo.

pretty 예뻐요. Yeppeoyo.

beautiful 아름다워요. Areumdawoyo.

cute 귀여워요. Gwiyeowoyo.

complicated 복잡해요. Bokjaphaeyo.

simple 단순해요. Dansunhaeyo.


The Association for Teachers of English in Korea provides the
following services to the general public, members and non-
members alike:
• Monitoring of proposed legislation and regulations which may affect non-
citizen English teachers in Korea.
• Translation of proposed and existing legislation and regulations (domestic
and international) and analysis of their possible effects on non-citizen English
teachers in Korea.
• Advocacy for English teacher concerns at the national and local levels.
• The English Teacher's Guide to Korea, which will be made available in PDF
for free download from our website (http://atek.or.kr).

ATEK provides the following benefits and services to members:


• Full access to ATEK's Employer Rating System, to make and review ratings.
• Access to the member forums.
• Access to professional development and lesson planning materials.
• Information on how to check to see if your employer is correctly reporting
your income, paying your taxes and making proper deductions from your
pay.
• Copies of labor, tax, pension, and health insurance complaint forms,
translated into Korean, and instructions about how to go about filing a
complaint.
• Local social networks (the Provincial and Metropolitan Associations that send
reps to our national council).
• Access to data from the ATEK Member Survey, which enables ATEK to track
average salaries and weekly hours by region and type of teaching job,
average level of satisfaction with various job types, average length of stay of
foreigners working in Korea, average pay and benefit increases when re-
signing for a second year, and much more. Want to know if your contract
offer is above or below the average salary for someone in your city and
education level? Get access.
• Advisories to the government based on ATEK Member Survey information
on non-citizen English teacher's problems and needs (does one particular city
have a higher rate of teachers reporting pay withholding fraud? That city's
government might want to know that.)
• An online application that translates letters home to parents into Korean, so
that you can communicate with parents and let them know how their child is
doing.
• Representation of member concerns to relevant government agencies and
other groups.
• Responses to media items of interest to non-citizen English teachers.

All these resources are available on our website at


http://atek.or.kr
THE ENGLISH TEACHER'S
GUIDE TO KOREA
Living, Working, and Thriving in Korea Sparkling

By
Tony Hellmann, M.Ed.
Tom Rainey-Smith
Jason Thomas, M.App.Ling.
Matthew Henderson

ATEK

Press
This book was designed and laid out entirely with open source software.
Individual sections copyright © 2009 by the respective authors, all rights reserved,
except as licensed below. Used by permission.
Published by ATEK Press, a division of the Association for Teachers of English in Korea.
Design and composition by Tony Hellmann. Copyedited by Jason Thomas
Cover: Art by Jeffrey Morabito. www.jeffreymorabito.com. Photo by Trey Ratcliff, www.stuckincustoms.com

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative


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efforts in preparing this book, they make no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or
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This book is published in both print and electronic formats.


Printed in the Republic of Korea
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
APPENDIX 2: KOREAN FOODS AND THEIR
APPROXIMATE NUTRITIONAL VALUES
The following list provides the names and descriptions of some of the
more common Korean foods. Basic nutritional information is also
included. Bear in mind that this information is a general guideline:
recipes can vary. The nutritional information is a rough estimate
intended to give you a reference point as to the general
macronutritional makeup of the each food. If you are calorie counting
or on a strict diet that calls for very specific amounts of carbs, fat, and
protein, consult another source.
THE ENGLISH TEACHER'S GUIDE TO KOREA

Srv.
Name Description Nutrition
Size

RICE DISHES
484 kcal
김밥 Rice rolls with vegetables 300 73.81 g carbs
Kimbap and ham. g 12.1 g protein
15.6 g fat
476 kcal
볶음밥 214 74.97 g carbs
Fried rice.
Bokkeumbap g 13.09 g protein
12.69 g fat
536 kcal
비빔밥 Rice bowl with meat, 420 80.4 g carbs
Bibimbap vegetables, and egg. g 22.78 g protein
13.7 g fat
삼각김밥-소고기고 172 kcal
Triangle shaped kimbap
추장 100 27.09 g carbs
with beef and hot pepper
Samgak Kimbap – g 8.17 g protein
paste filling.
Sogogi Gochujang 3.44 g fat
삼각김밥-참치김치
161 kcal
매운맛 Triangle shaped kimbap
100 24.15 g carbs
Samgak Kimbap – with spicy tuna-kimchi
g 8.05 g protein
Chamchi Kimchi filling.
3.58 g fat
Maeun Mat
428 kcal
오징어덮밥 Fried squid and vegetables 239 78.11 g carbs
Ojingeo Deopbap in sauce, served over rice. g 21.4 g protein
1.9 g fat

6
KOREAN FOODS

394 kcal
콩나물비빔밥 Rice bowl with bean
350 72.89 g carbs
Kongnamul sprouts, vegetables, and
g 13.79 g protein
Bibimbap meat.
5.25 g fat

RICE CAKES (DDEOK)


239 kcal
가래떡 100 52.58 g carbs
Long, cylindrical rice cakes.
Garae Ddeok g 4.18 g protein
0.8 g fat
271 kcal
간장떡볶이
153 48.78 g carbs
Kanjang Rice cakes in soy sauce.
g 8.13 g protein
Ddeokbokki
4.52 g fat
193 kcal
감자떡 Glutinous rice cake with 43.43 g carbs
90 g
Kamja Ddeok potato starch. 3.86 g protein
0.43 g fat
142 kcal
떡꼬치 Glutinous rice cakes served 29.11 g carbs
58 g
Ddeok Ggochi on a stick. 2.13 g protein
1.74 g fat
226 kcal
떡볶이 108 47.46 g carbs
Rice cakes in spicy sauce.
Ddeokbokki g 4.52 g protein
2.01 g fat
234 kcal
무지개떡 Rainbow colored glutinous 100 53.24 g carbs
Mujigae Ddeok rice cake. g 3.51 g protein
0.78 g fat

7
THE ENGLISH TEACHER'S GUIDE TO KOREA

234 kcal
백설기 100 51.48 g carbs
White glutinous rice cake.
Baekseolgi g 3.51 g protein
0.78 g fat
시루떡 (붉은팥고 205 kcal
물) White glutinous rice cake 100 42.54 g carbs
Siru Ddeok (Red with red bean topping. g 5.64 g protein
Bean Topping) 0.68 g fat
236 kcal
찹쌀떡 100 50.15 g carbs
Sweet glutinous rice cake.
Chapssal Ddeok g 4.72 g protein
1.57 g fat

KIMCHI
110 kcal
김치볶음 94.5 2.2 g carbs
Stir-fried kimchi.
Kimchi Bokkeum g 5.23 g protein
8.92 g fat
16 kcal
깍두기 3.08 g carbs
Cubed radish kimchi. 50 g
Ggakdugi 0.6 g protein
0.14 g fat
11 kcal
동치미 Chopped radish kimchi in 100 2.26 g carbs
Dongchimi served in water. g 0.5 g protein
0 g fat
11 kcal
배추김치 Common (napa cabbage) 1.51 g carbs
60 g
Baechu Kimchi kimchi. 0.99 g protein
0 g fat

8
KOREAN FOODS

10 kcal
백김치 Cabbage kimchi without 1.25 g carbs
50 g
Baek Kimchi hot pepper. 0.88 g protein
0.17 g fat
12 kcal
열무김치 Baby radish (leaf only) 1.74 g carbs
50 g
Yeolmu Kimchi kimchi. 1.26 g protein
0 g fat
16 kcal
총각김치 Baby radish (leaf and root) 2.6 g carbs
50 g
Chonggak Kimchi kimchi. 1.08 g protein
0.14 g fat

SOUPS
167 kcal
Beef stew with clear
갈비탕 250 12.23 g carbs
noodles (includes water
Galbi Tang g 12.23 g protein
weight).
7.68 g fat
112 kcal
Potato soup with
감자수제비국 200 20.27 g carbs
dumpling-noodles
Kamja Sujebi Guk g 5.68 g protein
(includes water weight).
0.91 g fat
80 kcal
Egg-drop soup with green
계란파국 1.6 g carbs
onions (serving weight is 52 g
Kyeran Pa Guk 5.8 g protein
dry weight).
5.51 g fat
129 kcal
닭곰탕 Chicken soup (serving 250 5.48 g carbs
Dalk Gom Tang weight includes water). g 12.26 g protein
6.31 g fat

9
THE ENGLISH TEACHER'S GUIDE TO KOREA

69 kcal
동태무국 120 3.45 g carbs
Pollack radish soup.
Dongtae Mu Guk g 12.08 g protein
0.69 g fat
111 kcal
두부된장국
123.5 8.49 g carbs
Dubu Doenjang Bean paste soup with tofu.
g 9.63 g protein
Guk
4.28 g fat
432 kcal
떡국 430 79.92 g carbs
Rice cake soup.
Ddeok Guk g 12.96 g protein
5.76 g fat
420 kcal
만두국 Dumpling soup (includes 400 32.24 g carbs
Mandu Guk water). g 20.58 g protein
23.19 g fat
54 kcal
무된장국 93.5 5.72 g carbs
Bean paste soup.
Doenjang Guk g 5.17 g protein
1.16 g fat
55 kcal
미역국 Seaweed soup (includes 250 3.99 g carbs
Miyeok Guk water). g 4.95 g protein
2.02 g fat
32 kcal
미역오이냉국
Seaweed and cucumber 109 5.07 g carbs
Miyeok Oi Naeng
soup, served cold. g 1.54 g protein
Guk
0.58 g fat
65 kcal
배추된장국
Bean paste soup with napa 119 3.58 g carbs
Baechu Doenjang
cabbage. g 8.61 g protein
Guk
1.81 g fat

10
KOREAN FOODS

125 kcal
북어콩나물국 Bean sprout soup with
250 0.94 g carbs
Bugeo Kongnamul dried pollack (serving
g 20.31 g protein
Guk weight includes water).
4.31 g fat
137 kcal
새알미역국 19.52 g carbs
Seaweed soup with eggs. 53 g
Saeal Miyok Guk 6.51 g protein
3.5 g fat
77 kcal
쇠고기무국 Beef soup with Korean 80.6 2.5 g carbs
Soegogi Mu Guk radish. g 7.32 g protein
4.19 g fat
60 kcal
시금치된장국
Bean paste soup with 127 4.65 g carbs
Shigeumchi
spinach. g 5.4 g protein
Doenjang Guk
2.2 g fat
79 kcal
시래기국 109 6.72 g carbs
Radish leaf soup.
Shiraegi Guk g 8.49 g protein
2.02 g fat
85 kcal
어묵국 105 11.11 g carbs
Fish paste soup.
Eomuk Guk g 7.29 g protein
1.27 g fat
148 kcal
우거지해장국
121 15.28 g carbs
Ugeoji Haejang Greens in a thick broth.
g 15.28 g protein
Guk
2.86 g fat
148 kcal
유부된장국
Bean paste soup with fried 127 10.21 g carbs
Yubu Doenjang
tofu. g 10.99 g protein
Guk
7.02 g fat

11
THE ENGLISH TEACHER'S GUIDE TO KOREA

205 kcal
육개장 Beef soup with sprouts and 169 8.51 g carbs
Yukgae Jang vegetables. g 22.91 g protein
8.82 g fat
64 kcal
조개탕 107 2.29 g carbs
Fresh clam soup.
Jogaetang g 7.58 g protein
2.72 g fat
64 kcal
조갯살된장국
Bean paste soup with clams 6.51 g carbs
Jogaessal 56 g
(shelled). 6.51 g protein
Doenjang Guk
1.32 g fat
42 kcal
콩나물국 Bean sprout soup (serving 250 5.15 g carbs
Kong Namul Guk weight includes water). g 4.1 g protein
0.09 g fat

STEWS
123 kcal
감자찌개 157 14.36 g carbs
Potato stew.
Kamja Chigae g 6.33 g protein
4.47 g fat
57 kcal
김치찌개 116 5.66 g carbs
Kimchi stew.
Kimchi Chigae g 4.37 g protein
1.87 g fat
171 kcal
돈육감자탕
166 19.67 g carbs
Donyuk Kamja Potato stew with pork.
g 10.26 g protein
Tang
5.7 g fat

12
KOREAN FOODS

114 kcal
돈육김치찌개
137 3.02 g carbs
Donyuk Kimchi Kimchi stew with pork.
g 10.46 g protein
Chigae
6.68 g fat
100 kcal
동태매운탕
Spicy seafood stew with 173 8.83 g carbs
Dongtae
pollack. g 13.6 g protein
Maeuntang
1.14 g fat
139 kcal
된장찌개 150 11.22 g carbs
Bean paste stew.
Doenjang Chigae g 12.65 g protein
4.83 g fat
110 kcal
두부된장찌개
131 11.11 g carbs
Dubu Doenjang Bean paste stew with tofu.
g 8.61 g protein
Chigae
3.46 g fat
Army Base Stew – stew
made of miscellaneous 272 kcal
부대찌개 odds and ends; usually 188 20.2 g carbs
Budae Chigae includes some kind of g 18.09 g protein
canned meat. Originally 13.21 g fat
made from US Army MREs.
95 kcal
쇠고기두부찌개
93.5 6.65 g carbs
Soegogi Dubu Firm tofu stew with beef.
g 7.36 g protein
Chigae
4.33 g fat
204 kcal
순두부찌개 300 4.59 g carbs
Soft tofu stew.
Sundubu Chigae g 17.34 g protein
12.92 g fat

13
THE ENGLISH TEACHER'S GUIDE TO KOREA

109 kcal
우럭매운탕 A type of spicy seafood 162.5 8.99 g carbs
Ureok Maeuntang stew. g 14.99 g protein
1.33 g fat
199 kcal
참치김치찌개
121.7 7.46 g carbs
Chamchi Kimchi Kimchi stew with tuna.
g 12.94 g protein
Chigae
13.05 g fat
117 kcal
청국장찌개
140 8.19 g carbs
Cheonggukjang Fermented bean paste stew.
g 11.41 g protein
Chigae
4.29 g fat
136 kcal
콩비지찌개 220 11.9 g carbs
Okara (soy pulp) stew.
Konbiji Chigae g 8.84 g protein
5.29 g fat
128 kcal
표고버섯전골
Shiitake mushrooms stew 140 11.33 g carbs
Pyogo Beosot
with glass noodles. g 10.34 g protein
Jeongol
4.59 g fat

VEGETABLE DISHES
133 kcal
감자조림 Steamed or stewed potatoes 126.2 14.96 g carbs
Kamja Jorim with gravy. g 2 g protein
7.24 g fat
161 kcal
감자햄볶음
Stir fry of julienned 118.1 10.06 g carbs
Kamja Ham
potatoes and ham. g 4.83 g protein
Bokkeum
11.27 g fat

14
KOREAN FOODS

69 kcal
미역줄거리볶음
Stir fried stalks of sea 96.3 3.97 g carbs
Miyeok Julgeori
vegetables. g 1.21 g protein
Bokkeum
5.37 g fat
44 kcal
오이도라지생채
Cucumber and bellflower 81.5 8.66 g carbs
Oi Doraji
salad with spicy dressing. g 1.17 g protein
Saengchae
0.52 g fat
44 kcal
호박조림 Braised or steamed 88.7 7.74 g carbs
Hobak Jorim pumpkin with onions. g 2.01 g protein
0.55 g fat

GREENS (NAMUL)
36 kcal
가지나물 Cooked eggplant with 82.1 3.72 g carbs
Gaji Namul dressing. g 1.02 g protein
1.9 g fat
50 kcal
고사리나물 Fernbrake with mild 81.5 4 g carbs
Gosari Namul dressing. g 3 g protein
2.44 g fat
20 kcal
미역나물 78.8 2.59 g carbs
Seaweed salad.
Miyeok Namul g 1.34 g protein
0.48 g fat
54 kcal
시금치나물
Wilted spinach with mild 3.82 g carbs
Shigeumchi 86 g
dressing and sesame seeds. 2.34 g protein
Namul
3.26 g fat

15
THE ENGLISH TEACHER'S GUIDE TO KOREA

37 kcal
취나물 Wilted aster leaves with 4.63 g carbs
78 g
Chui Namul dressing. 2.59 g protein
0.9 g fat
123 kcal
취나물볶음
Stir fried aster leaves with 83.8 3.69 g carbs
Chui Namul
dressing. g 2.15 g protein
Bokkeum
11.07 g fat

TOFU (DUBU) DISHES


125 kcal
두부양념조림
Fried tofu with soy sauce 102.4 1.25 g carbs
Dubu Angnyeom
dressing. g 9.69 g protein
Jorim
9.03 g fat
113 kcal
마파두부 Fried tofu with a sweet and 119.1 7.25 g carbs
Mapadubu spicy sauce. g 9.23 g protein
5.23 g fat

NOODLES
409 kcal
Somen-type noodles,
국수 350 72.6 g carbs
served in broth. Serving
Guksu g 18.41 g protein
weight includes liquid.
4.54 g fat
425 kcal
Homestyle (hand-torn)
수제비 400 78.63 g carbs
dumpling-noodles in
Sujebi g 15.94 g protein
shellfish soup.
5.19 g fat

16
KOREAN FOODS

Glass noodles with 178 kcal


잡채 julienned meats and 109 31.15 g carbs
Japchae vegetables. Also spelled g 4.01 g protein
“chapchae.” 4.15 g fat
458 kcal
쫄면 Noodles in a spicy sauce, 256 76.72 g carbs
Jjolmyeon with leafy vegetables. g 19.47 g protein
8.14 g fat
476 kcal
칼국수 Knife-cut noodles in 520 79.73 g carbs
Kalguksu seafood broth. g 19.04 g protein
8.46 g fat

MEAT DISHES
248 kcal
닭강정 Chicken in a sweet sticky 107.9 19.22 g carbs
Dalk Gangjeong red sauce. g 13.02 g protein
11.57 g fat
151 kcal
Stewed chicken, usually
닭다리조림 6.8 g carbs
dark meat, with an 92 g
Dalkdari Jorim 12.08 g protein
aromatic sauce.
8.05 g fat
171 kcal
Chopped marinated
닭불고기 115.1 8.12 g carbs
chicken, with vegetables in
Dalk Bulgogi g 12.4 g protein
spicy sauce.
9.5 g fat
166 kcal
닭야채볶음
Stir fried chicken and 184 12.04 g carbs
Dalk Yache
vegetables. g 16.19 g protein
Bokkeum
5.9 g fat

17
THE ENGLISH TEACHER'S GUIDE TO KOREA

297 kcal
돼지고기섭산적
Slices of sausage-like pork, 145 6.68 g carbs
Dwaeji Gogi
possibly on skewers. g 20.79 g protein
Seobsanjeok
20.79 g fat
161 kcal
불고기 100 9.9 g carbs
Sliced marinated beef.
Bulgogi g 13.56 g protein
7.46 g fat
166 kcal
소세지야채볶음
Sliced sausage stir-fried 7.76 g carbs
Sausage Yache 89 g
with vegetables. 6.47 g protein
Bokkeum
12.12 g fat
358 kcal
양념치킨 Fried battered chicken with
123.6 10.74 g carbs
Angnyeom a sticky red sauce, either
g 20.59 g protein
Chicken mild or spicy.
25.86 g fat
193 kcal
제육볶음 Stir-fried pork in a spicy 106 11.58 g carbs
Jeyuk Bokkeum sauce. g 13.99 g protein
10.08 g fat
220 kcal
햄버그스테이크 Ground pork patty with 140 17.6 g carbs
Hamburger Steak gravy. g 14.3 g protein
10.27 g fat

KOREAN BARBECUE
566 kcal
갈비구이 254 9.91 g carbs
Grilled marinated beef.
Galbi Gui g 39.62 g protein
38.99 g fat

18
KOREAN FOODS

187 kcal
돼지갈비찜 Grilled pork marinated in 133.5 11.69 g carbs
Dwaeji Galbi Jjim galbi sauce. g 13.09 g protein
9.56 g fat
671 kcal
삼겹살구이 201.5 0 g carbs
Grilled pork (fresh bacon).
Samgyeopsal Gu-i g 35.23 g protein
57.41 g fat

FISH AND SEAFOOD DISHES


102 kcal
갈치구이 0 g carbs
Pan-fried cuttlefish. 72 g
Galchi Gui 12.5 g protein
5.33 g fat
215 kcal
고등어조림 Braised mackerel, often 147 4.3 g carbs
Godeungeo Jorim with Korean radishes. g 14.51 g protein
14.57 g fat
156 kcal
삼치조림 123 3.12 g carbs
Braised or stewed mackerel.
Samchi Jorim g 14.82 g protein
8.67 g fat
185 kcal
삼치튀김 3.7 g carbs
Fried battered mackerel. 83 g
Samchi Twigim 13.88 g protein
12.54 g fat
297 kcal
생선까스 170 21.01 g carbs
Fried breaded fish cutlet.
Saengseon-kkaseu g 16.56 g protein
16.3 g fat

19
THE ENGLISH TEACHER'S GUIDE TO KOREA

126 kcal
어묵볶음 111 13.86 g carbs
Stir-fried fish paste.
Eomuk Bokkeum g 6.93 g protein
4.76 g fat
177 kcal
오징어볶음 167.2 14.75 g carbs
Spicy squid fried rice.
Ojingeo Bokkeum g 14.75 g protein
6.55 g fat
97 kcal
조기구이 Baked yellow corvina 0 g carbs
72 g
Jogi Gui seasoned with hot pepper. 13.58 g protein
4.31 g fat
해물동그랑땡 225 kcal
Haemul Seafood pancake with 12.38 g carbs
80 g
Donggeurang vegetables. 15.75 g protein
Ddeng 12.5 g fat

SIDE DISHES
92 kcal
Steamed egg dish, similar
계란찜 1.15 g carbs
to omelet or cheese-less 65 g
Gyeran Jjim 6.44 g protein
quiche.
6.44 g fat
14 kcal
김구이 Toasted laver (nori) with 0.67 g carbs
3.5 g
Kim Gui sesame oil. 0.67 g protein
0.96 g fat
40 kcal
Cooked marinated shiso
깻잎조림 92.3 3 g carbs
(occasionally translated
Ggaesip Jorim g 2 g protein
“sesame”) leaves.
2 g fat

20
KOREAN FOODS

17 kcal
Marinated shiso
깻잎찜 15.5 1.57 g carbs
(occasionally translated
Ggesipjjim g 0.85 g protein
“sesame”) leaves.
0.81 g fat
56 kcal
다시마부각 5.74 g carbs
Fried kelp (dry weight). 12 g
Dashima Bugak 0.28 g protein
3.55 g fat
2 kcal
단무지 0.25 g carbs
Sweet pickled radish. 20 g
Danmuji 0.25 g protein
0 g fat
120 kcal
Acorn jelly (info from
도토리묵 300 27.3 g carbs
Pumuone brand dotori
Dotori Mok g 2.4 g protein
mok).
0 g fat
147 kcal
땅콩조림 10.29 g carbs
Braised peanuts. 35 g
Ddangkong Jorim 4.78 g protein
9.64 g fat
31 kcal
무생채 Julienned radish with spicy 78.9 5.58 g carbs
Museongche dressing. g 0.85 g protein
0.59 g fat
61 kcal
무장아찌 13.27 g carbs
Dried radish in spicy sauce. 70 g
Mujeong Ajji 1.53 g protein
0.2 g fat
98 kcal
버섯볶음 128 3.92 g carbs
Stir-fried mushrooms.
Beosot Bokkeum g 6.86 g protein
6.1 g fat

21
THE ENGLISH TEACHER'S GUIDE TO KOREA

90 kcal
탕평채 189 11.93 g carbs
Bean jelly with sprouts.
Tangpyeongchae g 5.18 g protein
2.4 g fat

VINEGARED SIDES (MUCHIM)


15 kcal
김무침 Chopped kim (laver) tossed 0.84 g carbs
4.5 g
Kim Muchim with dressing. 0.84 g protein
0.92 g fat
56 kcal
낙지무침 Chopped octupus salad 139.5 5.92 g carbs
Nakji Muchim with spicy dressing. g 6.92 g protein
0.52 g fat
24 kcal
단무지무침 Sweet pickled radishes with 3.48 g carbs
60 g
Danmuji Muchim red pepper dressing. 2.52 g protein
0 g fat
66 kcal
단배추된장무침
Bok-choy-like cabbage with 5.23 g carbs
Danbaechu 96 g
bean paste dressing/ 3.56 g protein
Doenjang Muchim
3.42 g fat
87 kcal
도라지무침 Bellflower with mild 92.9 17.92 g carbs
Doraji Muchim dressing. g 1.81 g protein
0.9 g fat
86 kcal
도토리묵무침
Acorn jelly and leaf lettuce 198.9 18.36 g carbs
Dotori Mok
salad. g 1.78 g protein
Muchim
0.6 g fat

22
KOREAN FOODS

39 kcal
오이무침 Cucumbers in spicy 4 g carbs
80 g
Oi Muchim dressing. 0.98 g protein
2.12 g fat
100 kcal
오징어채무침 Thin strips of dried squid
3.5 g carbs
Ojingeo Chae and vegetables in spicy 31 g
13.5 g protein
Muchim dressing.
3.22 g fat
47 kcal
우뭇가사리무침
Jelly noodle salad with 2 g carbs
Umutgasari 70 g
chopped vegetables. 4.23 g protein
Muchim
0.47 g fat
26 kcal
참나물무침
An anise-like herb in spicy 3.77 g carbs
Chamnamul 72 g
dressing. 1.76 g protein
Muchim
0.43 g fat
98 kcal
청포묵무침
168 10.29 g carbs
Cheongpomuk Bean jelly side dish.
g 5.39 g protein
Muchim
3.92 g fat
38 kcal
콩나물무침
Stir-fried bean sprouts with 2.47 g carbs
Kong Namul 77 g
dressing. 3.99 g protein
Muchim
1.35 g fat

DUMPLINGS (MANDU)
111 kcal
Fried dumplings, usually in
군만두 61.6 12.21 g carbs
a half-moon shape (noodle-
Gun Mandu g 5.55 g protein
type shell).
3.82 g fat

23
THE ENGLISH TEACHER'S GUIDE TO KOREA

67 kcal
김치만두 Dumplings stuffed with 12.96 g carbs
42 g
Kimchi Mandu kimchi. 1.89 g protein
0.84 g fat
85 kcal
비빔만두 Fried dumplings with spicy 42.25 11.35 g carbs
Bibim Mandu sauce. g 3.25 g protein
2.96 g fat
98 kcal
Large steamed dumplings,
왕만두 10.29 g carbs
usually in a round shape 50 g
Wang Mandu 4.9 g protein
(noodle-type shell).
4.03 g fat

SNACKS
234 kcal
고구마튀김 Fried battered or breaded 114 34.52 g carbs
Goguma Twigim sweet potatoes. g 2.93 g protein
9.1 g fat
217 kcal
마른오징어 3.26 g carbs
Thin strips of dried squid. 60 g
Mareun Ojingeo 42.86 g protein
3.62 g fat
151 kcal
부침개 Savory pancake with mixed 106 17.25 g carbs
Buchimgae vegetables. g 5.89 g protein
6.49 g fat
367 kcal
뻥튀기 A type of sweet dry rice 100 83.49 g carbs
Bbeongtwigi cake. g 8.26 g protein
0 g fat

24
KOREAN FOODS

253 kcal
순대 Bean curd and sprout 168 25.3 g carbs
Sundae sausage in pork casing. g 11.39 g protein
11.81 g fat
70 kcal
오뎅 Boiled fish paste, often on a 8.93 g carbs
50 g
Odeng stick. 5.95 g protein
1.09 g fat
207 kcal
파전 Savory pancake with green 131 25.88 g carbs
Pajeon onions. g 9.32 g protein
7.36 g fat
176 kcal
해물파전 Savory seafood pancake 146 10.56 g carbs
Haemul Pajeon with green onions. g 15.84 g protein
7.82 g fat

SWEETS
126 kcal
계란빵 Sweet bread topped with 7.88 g carbs
80 g
Gyeran Bbang egg. 7.88 g protein
6.86 g fat
160 kcal
깨찰빵 23.6 g carbs
Sweet, chewy sesame roll. 60 g
Ggaechal Bbang 3.6 g protein
5.51 g fat
164 kcal
꽈배기도너츠 Conical/spiral shaped 21.32 g carbs
42 g
Ggwabaegi Donut traditional donut. 2.05 g protein
7.84 g fat

25
THE ENGLISH TEACHER'S GUIDE TO KOREA

355 kcal
꿀꽈배기 Crunchy donut twists, 15.09 g carbs
75 g
Ggul Ggwabaegi served with honey. 7.1 g protein
29.58 g fat
110 kcal
붕어빵 Fish-shaped pastry filled 25.3 g carbs
50 g
Bungeo Bbang with red bean paste. 2.2 g protein
0 g fat
231 kcal
찹쌀단팥도너츠
Ball-shaped donuts filled 25.99 g carbs
Chapssal Danpat 58 g
with sweet red bean paste. 3.47 g protein
Donut
8.98 g fat
Sweet azuki bean paste
over shaved ice. Typical
361 kcal
toppings include fruits,
팥빙수 200 71.3 g carbs
gummy candies, sweet rice
Patbingsu g 4.51 g protein
cakes, chocolate sauce, fruit
6.42 g fat
sauce, or sweetened
condensed milk.
245 kcal
호떡 Pancake doughnut with 150 45.94 g carbs
Hoddeok sweet nut filling. g 4.29 g protein
4.9 g fat

SAUCES AND CONDIMENTS


33 kcal
고추장 6.52 g carbs
Hot pepper paste. 15 g
Gochujang 0.99 g protein
0.33 g fat

26
KOREAN FOODS

40 kcal
쌈장 3.73 g carbs
Spicy seasoned bean paste. 22 g
Ssamjang 2.13 g protein
1.84 g fat
46 kcal
초고추장 Hot pepper sauce with 21.5 9.2 g carbs
Cho Gochujang vinegar. g 1.38 g protein
0.41 g fat

BEVERAGES
막걸리 150
Fermented rice liquor. 69 kcal
Makgeolli g
Instant coffee with milk and
42 kcal
sugar. This is typically what
밀크커피 115 5.78 g carbs
you get when offered
Milk Coffee g 0.53 g protein
“coffee” in Korea, outside
1.87 g fat
of bars and coffee shops.
Draft beer, domestic
생맥주 500
(serving size is one 500cc 190 kcal
Saeng Maekju g
glass).
소주 Clear rice spirits (serving
45 g 64 kcal
Soju size is one shotglass).
208 kcal
식혜 200 45.76 g carbs
Sweet rice drink.
Sikhye g 4.68 g protein
0.23 g fat
49 kcal
Yogurt-derived probiotic
야쿠르트 11.52 g carbs
drink (serving size is one 65 g
Yakult 0.74 g protein
small bottle).
0 g fat

27
THE ENGLISH TEACHER'S GUIDE TO KOREA

KOREAN-CHINESE DISHES
266 kcal
Mixed vegetables, meat,
양장피 208.5 19.02 g carbs
and seafood tossed in a hot
Yangjangpi g 21.08 g protein
mustard sauce.
11.73 g fat
Chopped seafood and 473 kcal
쟁반자장 vegetables in black bean 317.5 67.4 g carbs
Jaengban Jjajang sauce (not including rice or g 7.1 g protein
noodles). 19.45 g fat
674 kcal
Chopped meat and veg in
자장면 450 114.58 g carbs
black bean sauce, over
Jajang Myeon g 18.54 g protein
noodles.
15.73 g fat
494 kcal
자장밥 Chopped meat and veg in 370 86.45 g carbs
Jajang Bap black bean sauce, over rice. g 12.35 g protein
1.1 g fat
127 kcal
짬뽕국 152 7.49 g carbs
Seafood hot-pot style soup.
Jjambbong Guk g 13.87 g protein
4.61 g fat
308 kcal
탕수육 Deep-fried pork strips with 151.4 26.18 g carbs
Tangsuyuk a sweet and sour sauce. g 14.63 g protein
15.74 g fat
162 kcal
Mixed seafood and
팔보채 145 4.86 g carbs
vegetables in a spicy sweet
Palbochae g 17.42 g protein
and sour sauce.
7.56 g fat

28
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http://atek.or.kr
THE ENGLISH TEACHER'S
GUIDE TO KOREA
Living, Working, and Thriving in Korea Sparkling

By
Tony Hellmann, M.Ed.
Tom Rainey-Smith
Jason Thomas, M.App.Ling.
Matthew Henderson

ATEK

Press
This book was designed and laid out entirely with open source software.
Individual sections copyright © 2009 by the respective authors, all rights reserved,
except as licensed below. Used by permission.
Published by ATEK Press, a division of the Association for Teachers of English in Korea.
Design and composition by Tony Hellmann. Copyedited by Jason Thomas
Cover: Art by Jeffrey Morabito. www.jeffreymorabito.com. Photo by Trey Ratcliff, www.stuckincustoms.com

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative


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Printed in the Republic of Korea
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
APPENDIX 3: SAMPLE LESSON PLAN,
WITH ALL REQUIRED MATERIALS

INTRODUCTORY INFORMATION
1. TITLE
Womyn in Korea

2. SOURCE
Produced with public domain content from the Internet. Contact
ajasonthomas@yahoo.ca for sources of specific information or images.

3. LEARNER PROFILE
Number of Students: 8
Age/Grade: 24-54/University graduates
Proficiency:
 speaking: intermediate-mid to advanced-low
 listening: intermediate-mid to advanced-low
 reading:intermediate-high to advanced-mid
 writing: intermediate-mid to advanced-low

Type/Length of Class: an eight-week teacher training course; the class


meets for 90 minutes, twice a week
Motivation: to be better EFL teachers
Language Experience: primary school through university

4. LESSON CONTENT
Tasks/Functions: composing group and individual opinions
Grammar: noun clause/certainty frames: be sure that, think that,
assume that, wonder if, doubt that
Lexis: womyn, matriarchy

5. LESSON OBJECTIVES
By the end of the lesson, students should be able to:
 examine questions and statements about the status of womyn
in Korea;
 evaluate, judge and report on the opinions of others about the
status of womyn in Korea; and
 negotiate and compose opinions about the status of womyn in
Korea
In pairs and individually with little to no teacher assistance.

6. MATERIALS
PowerPoint® file, handouts, computer, projector, large screen, small
whiteboards, markers, pencil, bell

LESSON
It is not customary for a teacher to script an entire lesson, so do not
consider the following lesson as part of a traditional written lesson
plan. This is solely to demonstrate how a lesson is conducted.

Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

WARM UP

“Hi everyone,
Greet Ss it’s good to see Greet T “Hi.”
you.”

“Today we’ll
have some fun
Lower affective “Fine/Good/Ti
with a serious Respond
barriers red” etc.
topic. How is
everyone?”
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

will vary, e.g.


e.g. “S, how Answer “It wasn’t bad,
Personalize
was your open the I prepared my
introduction
class?” question students
well.”

“Great! Today I
want to look at
Give feedback the status of will vary, e.g.
Ask Ss womyn in “Womyn have
Give an
referential/ope Korea. What do almost no
opinion
n question you think about power in
Rephrase topic the power Korea.”
womyn have?
S?”

“You think that


[e.g. womyn
have almost no
power]. What
Recast response will vary, e.g.
do you think
with target “Womyn get a
about the
content Give an raw deal, my
situation for
language opinion aunt is
womyn in
Rephrase unhappy …”
Korea? What
question etc.
about the older
womyn you
know? Your
aunts? S?”

Ask question to “Do you think


Answer a [If “yes” or
activate content the situation is
question “no” then:]
schema improving, S?”
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

[“Please use a
[Ask S to
complete [Answer
respond with a “I think that
sentence—start a
complete …”
with ‘I think question]
sentence]
that’”]

“S, do you
Ask S to ask S “S, can you ask S asks S
think the
the same S the same the same
situation is
question question?” question
improving?”

Give an “I think that


Observe Ss
opinion …”

“[e.g. Good.]
Let’s hear more
opinions.
Number ones,
think of three
ways that the
Offer feedback
situation for
Give
womyn has
instructions for
improved.
a numbered
Number twos,
heads activity
you will think
Number Ss
of three
problems or
challenges
womyn still
have. One two
one [etc.]”
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

“We will think


of three ways
Check task
“What will you Answer a the situation
comprehension
think of, S?” question for womyn
(1)
has
improved.”

“We will think


Give feedback
“Yes. What will of three
Check task Answer a
you think of, challenges
comprehension question
S?” womyn still
(2)
face.”

Give feedback
“Good. You
and time for
have two
task
minutes.”
completion

Do the
numbere
Observe Ss
d heads
activity

Ask for and “Number twos,


give feedback what kinds of Give an
will vary
Nominate if challenges did opinion
necessary you think of?
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

“That’s
interesting.
Ask for and
Number ones,
give feedback Give an
what kinds of will vary
Nominate if opinion
victories did
necessary
you come up
with?”

e.g. “They are


Show visual “Look at this nationalists.”
and ask display picture. Who Answer “They are
questions to are the womyn? the womyn.”
activate content What are they question “They are
schema doing?” marching for a
free Korea.”
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

“Today we’re
going to talk
about the status
of womyn in
Give feedback Korea. “Today / we’re
State the topic Everyone, going to talk
of the lesson please you Choral about / the
Ask Ss to repeat the repetition status of
repeat in topic: ‘Today / womyn / in
chunks we’re going to Korea.”
talk about / the
status of
womyn / in
Korea.’”

Give feedback “Good.”


Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

PRESENTATION

“Now I’m
going to give
you a short
Give
quiz about
instructions for
womyn in
reading and
Korea. We will
responding to
use the ‘Golden
the text
Bell’ system. So,
Give an
you will see
example of the
some questions.
activity type
With your
Use gestures
partner, write
and realia to
the answer.
facilitate
When you hear
comprehension
the bell, you
will raise your
board like this.”

“We will take


“Please
a quiz. We
Check summarize Sum-
will write the
comprehension what you will marize
answers on
do, S.”
the board.”

“Yes. And “We will show


Give feedback
when will you Answer a our answer
Check
show your question when we hear
comprehension
answer, S?” the bell.”
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

Womyn in Korea

Final Lesson Plan


Methodology 2
SMU-TESOL
Fall 2005

Give feedback.
Introduce
target content
“Good. Now S, S answers “I don’t know
language to
why is ‘womyn’ the why it’s
activate
spelled with a question spelled with a
bottom-up
‘y?’” (TSST) ‘y.’”
processing and
linguistic
schema

“S, can you ask S asks S


Ask S to ask S “Why is it
S why ‘womyn’ the
the same spelled with a
is spelled with question
question ‘y?’”
a ‘y.’” (TSST)

S answers “I have no
the idea why it’s
Observe Ss
question spelled with a
(TSST) ‘y.’”
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

“Why is
Ask S to ask “S, can you ask S asks the
‘womyn’
you the same me the same question
spelled with a
question question?” (TSST)
‘y?’”

Model the
answer
Use board to “I assume that
facilitate it takes ‘men’
comprehension out of
Use target ‘womyn.’”
content
language

Use visual to
activate
linguistic “What do you
Answer a “She is a
schema and aid think her job
question pilot.”
comprehension is?”
Ask a display
question
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

Give
“A pi′lot? No,
[presumed]
she’s a ′pi-lot. Choral
feedback “′Pi-lot.”
Everyone repetition
Drill preferred
repeat: ′pi-lot.”
pronunciation

The first woman pilot was:

“Good. Here is
Give feedback
the first
Present text
question.”

The first woman pilot was:

Kim Hae-In in 1898

Park Gyeong-Weon in 1928

Yun Sim-Deok in 1948

Han Bi-Ya in 1978

“Here are your


Present text Select
choices. Write
Instruct Ss to and write
your answer.
choose a
You have 10
response response
seconds.”
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

Ring bell Raise


“What is your
Ask for white-
answer?”
feedback board

The first woman pilot was:

Park Gyeong-Weon in 1928

“Congratulatio
Present text ns [S, etc.]. Park
Provide Gyeong-Weon
feedback was the first
Rephrase female pilot in
Korea.”

My friend says …

“I wonder if her family and


friends supported her.”
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

“I asked a
friend to talk
Present text
about the quiz.
Describe text
This is what she
said.”

Draw visual on
whiteboard
(see Line of “I wonder if”
Certainty
visual on p. 57)

“Does she
know that Park
Ask
Gyeong-Weon’s Answer a “No, she
comprehension
family question doesn’t.”
question
supported her?
S?”

“Exactly. She
Provide wonders.
feedback Maybe she
Explain use of wants to know,
target language but she doesn’t
know.”
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

Use visual to
activate [If: “I don’t
linguistic know the
“Now, what is Answer a
schema and aid word in
this place, S?” question
comprehension English”
Ask a display then:]
question

[Ask S to query [“Could you [Ask S a [“What is this


S] ask S?”] question] place?”]

[Answer “It’s the


[Observe Ss] a National
question] Assembly.”

“Yes. Everyone
Give feedback
repeat: Choral “National
Drill lexical
‘National repetition Assembly.”
item
Assembly.’”
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

“Good. S, can e.g. “The next


Give feedback
you guess what question will
Ask S to
the next Predict be about
predict the next
question will womyn in
question
be?” politics.”

Give feedback “Let’s see.”

The National Assembly has 299


members. How many are womyn?

“In other
Present text words, 299
politicians meet
Rephrase to in the National
make input Assembly. How
more many of the
understandable politicians are
womyn?”
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

The National Assembly has 299


members. How many are womyn?

39

150

260

Present text Select


“Here are your
Instruct Ss to and write
choices. Write
choose a
your answer.”
response response

Ring bell Raise


“What is your
Ask for white-
answer?”
feedback board

The National Assembly has 299


members. How many are womyn?

39
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

Present text
“Nicely done
[S, etc.]. There
Provide
are 39 womyn
feedback
in the
Assembly.”
Rephrase

My friend says …

“I assume that males never


vote for womyn.”

Present text on
whiteboard
(see Line of
“I assume that”
Certainty
handout on p.
57)

“My friend
Rephrase text assumes that
“No, she
Ask men don’t vote Answer a
doesn’t
comprehension for womyn. question
know.”
question Does she know
this, S?”
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

“Right. But she


Provide
says that
feedback
probably men
Explain use of
don’t vote for
target language
womyn.”

“Yes. Now,
Use visual to
what’s going on
activate
here? It’s a
linguistic Answer a “Is it a
special event.
schema and aid question wedding?”
Can you tell me
comprehension
what’s
Ask a question
happening, S?”
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

“Yes! This is a
photo of a
wedding party
Provide
in Indonesia. “They’re
feedback
The bride is Answer a going to
Preview text
going to collect question collect the
Check
her man, the groom.”
comprehension
groom. Where
are they going,
S?”

“Right. In
Korea, who
collects whom? “No, the
Give feedback Does the Answer a groom collects
Ask a question woman come to question the bride in
the man’s Korea.”
house, like in
this photo? S?”

What is matriarchy?
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

“Ah, ok. The


next question is
about
matriarchy.
Provide
Please repeat:
feedback
‘matriarchy.’ Repeat “Matriarchy.”
Well, what is
Present text
matriarchy?
Let’s look at
some
examples.”

What is matriarchy?

A man moves to his new wife’s


house or town.

“A man moves
Present text “Please read
Read text to his new
Ask S to read the first
aloud wife’s house
example example, S.”
or town.”
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

“Good. This is
what is
Give feedback
happening in
the
Refer to visual
photograph. So,
to assist
these womyn
comprehension
live in a
matriarchy.”

What is matriarchy?

A man moves to his new wife’s


house or town.

When parents die, daughters


get the house and money.

“When
Present text “Please read parents die,
Read text
Ask S to read the second daughters get
aloud
example example, S.” the house and
money.”

“Yes. If there is
no daughter, “Sisters,
Offer feedback
then maybe a nieces and
Elaborate
female relative maybe
Ask a question Answer a
will get the cousins are
to check question
property. What examples of
comprehension
are examples of female
of elaboration
female relatives.”
relatives, S?”
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

What is matriarchy?

A man moves to his new wife’s


house or town.

When parents die, daughters


get the house and money.

Children use their mother’s


family name.

Give feedback
“Good. Please “Children use
Present text Read text
read the last their mother’s
Ask S to read aloud
example, S.” family name.”
example

Provide
“Yes. What is will vary, e.g.
feedback
your mother’s Answer a “My mother’s
Personalize to
family name, question family name is
facilitate
S?” Han.”
comprehension

“So, if Korea
Check were a e.g. “My
comprehension matriarchy, Answer a family name
of what would question would be
personalization your family Han.”
name be?”
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

Matriarchies exist in every area


except:

“Correct. Now
here is the next
Provide question. There
feedback are
Present text matriarchies
Rephrase everywhere
except one of
these places.”

Matriarchies exist in every area


except:

Asia

Africa

Europe

North America

Present text Select


“Here are your
Instruct Ss to and write
choices. Write
choose a
your answer.”
response response
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

Ring bell Raise


“What is your
Ask for white-
answer?”
feedback board

Matriarchies exist in every area


except:

Europe

“Congratulatio
Present text ns [S, etc.]. Yes,
Provide there are no
feedback matriarchies in
Rephrase Europe right
now.”

My friend says …

“I doubt that men want their


children to have their
mother’s name.”
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

Present text on
whiteboard
(see Line of
“I doubt that”
Certainty
handout on p.
57)

“To doubt is the


opposite of to
know. If I
doubt, I
question what
is true. My “Your friend
Define and friend doubts says ‘doubt’
explain use of that men want because she
target language children to doesn’t think
Sum-
Elaborate have their men want
marize
Rephrase text wife’s name. their children
Ask S to She thinks that to have their
summarize men don’t want mother’s
to use a name.”
womyn’s name.
S, please
summarize
how my friend
uses ‘doubt.’”
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

Provide
“An excellent
feedback
summary. Now.
Present visual “A forum is a
A ‘forum’ is a
to preview text Repeat public
public meeting.
Define meeting.”
What is a
Ask S to repeat
‘forum,’ S?”
the definition

“Yes. The
World
Economic
Forum is a
meeting. The
Give feedback richest and
Repeat
Define most powerful
the “They talk
Describe people in the
descrip- and drink.”
Ask S to repeat world meet
tion
the description every year in
Switzerland to
talk and drink.
What do they
do when they
meet, S?”
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

“Ok. S, please
as S to give two
“Who might
Ask S to ask S examples of
attend the
for names of people who Ask a
World
typical might attend question
Economic
attendees the World
Forum?’
Economic
Forum.”

will vary, e.g.


“Two people
might attend
Give
Observe Ss are the king of
examples
Jordan and
the president
of GE.”

“Those are
good examples.
This year, the
Forum
Give feedback apparently
Preview text talked about
inequality
between
womyn and
men.”
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

World Economic Forum Launches New


“Gender Gap Index” Measuring Inequality
between Women and Men in 58 Countries
16 May 2005 - Geneva, Switzerland

REPORT FINDS SWEDEN AND OTHER NORTHERN


EUROPEAN COUNTRIES DO BEST – THE UNITED
STATES (17), SWITZERLAND (34), JAPAN (38), BRAZIL
(51), INDIA (53) AND TURKEY (57) DO LESS WELL

Present text
“Let’s look at
Elaborate
this word,
Use visual
‘inequality.’
(board) and Answer a “The word is
What’s this
morphemes to question equal.”
word, the base
make input
or main word,
comprehen-
S?”
sible

“Equal means
Ask for a “What’s a
Give a two or more
definition of definition for
definition values are the
‘equal’ ‘equal,’ S?”
same.”
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

“Great. –ity
makes it a
noun,
something to
Elaborate with
measure. And
visual (board)
in- means not
and Answer a “Yes, you can
or without.
morphemes question see it.”
Here is another
Use an example
example:
Ask a question
visible. If I say
the moon is
visible, can I
see it, S?”

“Yes. But if the


Give feedback moon is
Conclude invisible, I can’t “Inequality
example see it. It’s not means
Define
Ask for visible. Can ‘without
definition of you tell me the equality.’”
‘inequality’ meaning of
inequality, S?”
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

“Great. Not
equal.
Different. The
World
Provide
Economic Paraphra “They
feedback
Forum se the measured the
Rephrase
measured purpose difference
definition
inequality of the between
Rephrase text
between WEF womyn and
Ask S to
womyn and study men.”
paraphrase
men. Can you
paraphrase
what they did,
S?”

“Yes. In how
“It was
Give feedback many countries Answer a
measured in
Ask a question was it question
58 countries.”
measured, S?”

“Including
South Korea.
Preview text How well did
South Korea
do?”
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

What is South Korea’s rank, out of


58 countries, in the fight against
gender inequality?

“First rank
means that the
Define ‘rank’ country is the
within context most equal for
womyn and
men.”

What is South Korea’s rank, out of


58 countries, in the fight against
gender inequality?

34 th

38 th

54 th

58 th

Present text Select


“Here are your
Instruct Ss to and write
choices. Write
choose a
your answer.”
response response
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

Ring bell Raise


“What is your
Ask for white-
answer?”
feedback board

What is South Korea’s rank, out of


58 countries, in the fight against
gender inequality?

54 th

“Congrat-
Give feedback
ulations [etc.]”

INFORMATION

South Korea is behind China and India in


its efforts to make the country more equal
for men and womyn.

Sweden is 1s t and Egypt is 58th, according


to the report.

will vary, e.g.


“Did you hear
“No, I didn’t
people talk Answer a
Personalize hear this
about this, in question
discussed at
May, S?”
all.”
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

“Well, it’s not


Provide about export
feedback markets. So,
Preview text what does my
friend think?”

My friend says …

“I think that Korean men


don’t care about gender
inequality.”

Present text
(see Line of
Certainty “I think that”
handout on p.
57)

“Does my
Ask
friend know Answer a “No, she
comprehension
that men don’t question doesn’t.”
question
care, S?”

“Right, but she


Provide
thinks it’s true.
feedback
She is saying
Elaborate on
that this is her
use of clause
opinion.”
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

“How do these
Preview text will vary, e.g.
womyn feel? I
Use target Answer a “I think they
assume they’re
content in question feel
angry. What do
context wronged.”
you think, S?”

Ring bell Raise


“What is your
Ask for white-
answer?”
feedback board

Provide “You were right


feedback [S etc.]”

Present text
(see Line of
Certainty “I’m sure that”
handout on p.
57)
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

“She is sure. So,


Rephrase target
she strongly
language
believes this.
Answer a “Yes, she
Does she want
Ask question does.”
to punish the
comprehension
people
question
responsible, S?”

“Yes, I’m sure


Give feedback
she does.”

“Here are some


Present text words we’ve
Drill some new seen. Please “Womyn / are
Choral
words repeat: still fighting
repetition
Chunk lexical “Womyn / are for / ” etc.
sets still fighting for
/ ” etc.
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

“So now you


are familiar
with my
Distribute
friend’s views. I
handout
will show you “We will try
Chunk
more of her to match the
instructions for
views. Try to ideas with
think pair share Para-
match these how certain
matching phrase
ideas with the she feels
activity
certainty or about each
Ask S to
‘knowing’ she idea.”
paraphrase
feels for each of
instructions
the ideas. Use
this chart. What
will you do, S?”

“Yes. Work
alone for one
Give feedback
minute, then
Elaborate on
work with your
instructions
partner for one
Instruct Ss to
minute. Ready?
begin activity
Here are more
of her views.”

My friend also says …

___________ almost all school principals are men


___________ everyone wants to have a male son
___________ most womyn do not expect to have
the ‘best’ jobs
___________ most Korean womyn want only
male leaders
___________ Korea will be a matriarchy some
day, but not soon
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

Do think
pair
Observe Ss share
matching
activity

“Your friend
is sure that
“What is my Give an
Ask for almost all
friend sure opinion/
feedback school
about, S?” infer
principals are
men.”

“Your friend
“And what thinks that
Give an
Ask for does my friend Korea will
opinion/i
feedback think is true, have a woman
nfer
S?” president
some day.”

[“What does
“S, please ask S
Jay’s friend
Ask S to ask S what my friend Ask a
assume is …
for feedback assumes is question
please help
true?”
me.”]

[“Listen to how
“What does
[Model the I ask: ‘What
[Ask a Jay’s friend
language, if does Jay’s
question] assume is
necessary] friend assume
true?”
is true?’”]
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

“His friend
assumes that
Give an
most womyn
Observe Ss opinion/
do not expect
infer
to have the
best jobs.”

“Ok S, ask S “What does


Give feedback
what my friend Ask a Jay’s friend
Ask S to ask S
wonders question wonder
for feedback
about.” about?”

“She wonders
Give an
if everyone
Observe Ss opinion/
wants to have
infer
a son.”

Give feedback “Ok, S, ask S “What does


Ask a
Ask S to ask S what my friend Jay’s friend
question
for feedback doubts.” doubt?”

“Jay’s friend
doubts that
Give an
most Korean
Observe Ss opinion/
womyn want
infer
only male
leaders.”
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

Give feedback “Good. Are [Ask a [will vary]


on response there any question]
Ask for questions about
feedback on the quiz, or
presentation about what my
friend said?”

GUIDED PRACTICE

Now, share your ideas


about womyn in Korea …
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

“Now it’s your


turn to share
ideas about
womyn in
Give
Korea. In pairs,
instructions for
you will answer
the “vicious
three questions.
voting” activity “We must say
For each
Use gestures how certain
question, you Answer a
and chunking we feel when
can be as question
to make input we answer the
certain, or as
comprehensibl questions.”
uncertain, as
e
you want, but
Check
you must say
comprehension
how certain
you feel. S,
what must you
say?”

“Right. After
“In pairs, we
you answer, I
Give feedback will answer
will ask the
Elaborate three
class to raise a Para-
Ask S to questions and
hand to show if phrase
paraphrase we must say
they agree with directions
directions how certain
you. Please
we feel about
paraphrase the
the answers.”
activity, S.”
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

“Great. Use
different
language for
Give feedback
each question.
on summary
The team with
Elaborate
the most votes
has no
homework.”

“The questions
are about
womyn and
work, politics,
Preview
and society.
questions
You will have
five minutes to
prepare your
ideas.”

“How much
Check Answer a “We will have
time will you
comprehension question five minutes.”
have, S?”

“You got it. S,


Provide
please work
feedback
with S [etc.].
Assign Ss to
Here are the
teams
questions.”
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

What do you think?

1. Are there any jobs womyn


should not have?

2. When will Korea have a woman


president?

3. Why is Korea not a matriarchy?

Present the “Remember to


questions use three of
Repeat these certainty
Instruct Ss to frames on the
begin the handout. Please
activity start.”

Do the
Observe Ss and
vicious
assist where
voting
appropriate
activity

will vary, e.g.


“Time’s up. S
“We wonder if
and S, what’s
Ask for Give an womyn
your response
feedback opinion should work
to the first
in a men’s
question?”
bathhouse.”
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

will vary, but


must use
appropriate
certainty
expression
accurately, e.g.
“We assume
Ask for and that the first
give woman
“Well said.
appropriate president will
Who agrees?
feedback on be a post-op
Raise your
responses of tranny,
hand if you feel Give an
every team for because men
the same way. opinion
each question only listen to
Ok, S and S,
(possible only other dicks,”
what do you
with a small or “We
say?” etc.
group of wonder if
learners!) Korea is not a
matriarchy
because it
carries Joseon
like a rigid,
mummified
corpse on its
back.”
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

“Good work
everyone. It
looks like S and
S received the
most votes, but
Ask for and I think they will
provide enjoy the
[Provide
feedback for homework [will vary]
feedback]
vicious voting anyway, ha ha.
activity Are there any
questions about
the activity?”

INDEPENDENT ACTIVITY
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

“Well we’ve
heard some
great ideas, but
Introduce
now I want you
independent
to be more
activity
critical. That
Encourage Ss
means, ask
to embrace Give an
difficult will vary
conflict for the opinion
questions and
independent
give thoughtful
activity
answers. It’s
Ask S for
more
opinion
interesting.
What do you
think, S?”
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

“Write a
difficult
question about
womyn and
Korea on the
handout here,
then do a “You want us
Paraphra
survey. Ask to write a
Give directions se the
different people difficult
for survey instructio
the question. question
activity (form, ns for the
How certain are about womyn
topic, language independ
people about in Korea, then
focus) ent
their answers? ask people the
activity
Encourage each question.”
other. Don’t
hide behind
English. What’s
my idea, S?
Please
paraphrase.”
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

“Great. Please,
don’t write
Give feedback every word you
Give directions hear. Take
(purpose, point-form “We should
audience, notes, like this. take notes for
language focus) You’re writing Sum- ourselves, and
Use board to just for marize listen for
illustrate form, yourself. Listen differences in
audience, topic, for differences language.”
purpose and in the language
language focus others use.
Please
summarize, S.”

Set time limit to “You have [ten]


activity minutes to
Invite Ss to complete your
begin the survey. Please
survey activity begin.”

Do the
Observe Ss survey
activity
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

FEEDBACK

“Wonderful.
You really
made an effort
Praise Ss efforts
to use the
if target content
certainty
language was
language, and
used accurately
it really helps
and
people
appropriately
understand
Comment on
you. S, you [e.g.
individual
did a good job
efforts
questioning
people’s
answers].”

Ask for
feedback on “Did you enjoy Provide
will vary
independent the activity? S?” feedback
activity

“[Response.]
Give feedback What was the
on feedback most Provide
will vary
Ask for interesting part feedback
feedback of the activity,
S?”
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

“[Response.]
Give feedback
What was the
on feedback Provide
most difficult will vary
Ask for feedback
part of the
feedback
activity?”

“[Response.] If
Give feedback
you did the
on feedback Provide
activity again, will vary
Ask for feedback
what would
feedback
you change?”

Give feedback
[Response.]
on feedback
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

CLOSURE

“I assume that
you will
remember to
frame your
ideas with
language like
this, any time
you are having
Inform Ss of a meaningful
ways to use the discussion. I’m
target content sure that it’s
language more polite
beyond the than simply
classroom stating an idea
like a fact. And
we’ve practiced
using different
language, so try
to use this
variety when
you speak and
write.”
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

e.g. “You
think that we
should frame
our opinions
Ask S to “S, can you
Para- with the
paraphrase paraphrase my
phrase language
extension advice?”
we’ve
practiced
today, because
it’s polite.”

e.g. “It’s
wonderful to
have you with
Give feedback
us, advanced-
low proficiency
level S!”
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

“Your
homework will
be to write a
one-paragraph
“We should
summary of
write a
your survey.
paragraph
Also, write a
about the
Assign paragraph
survey, and a
homework about the Para-
paragraph
Ask S to future of phrase
about the
paraphrase womyn in
future of
Korea. Give
womyn with
reasons and
reasons and
examples to
examples.”
support your
opinion. What
is the
homework, S?”
Teacher Target
Teacher Talk Tasks
Instruction Response

Give feedback “Great. We will


Inform Ss that return to the
the class will status of
return to the womyn in
topic of the Korea in a
lesson future class.”

Thank Ss and “Thank you.


end the lesson Good bye.”

1. Place my friend’s statements on this “line of certainty”:

She is sure that …


KNOWING

She thinks that …

She assumes that …

She wonders if …

NOT
KNOWING
She doubts that …
2. Interview three people about womyn in Korea.
Example: Why has Korea never had a woman president?
Seun-hi thinks that modern Korea still shares many of the Joseon period's
values and beliefs.

Question:
Name
________________________________________