Well, if economics can predict the future, there will definitely be an addition to the supply of English instructors in Korea for the next 2 years through 2010. The following story shows how the Korean government decided to open up the Immigration standards to allow Indian citizens to teach English in Korea as long as they have an English related degree or have a teacher’s license. In the past couple of years, there has been a decrease in the number of applicants from the normally accepted countries of the U.S., Canada, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and South Africa due to heightened Immigration requirements which include a somewhat difficult to obtain (in some locations) Criminal Record check. (the check isn’t always the difficulty, but sometimes the Apostille or official notarizations have complicated matters)
From the JoongAng Daily:
December 29, 2008
In a bid to get more native English-speakers in English teaching jobs at Korean public schools, the justice and education ministries yesterday announced that Indians with an English-related college degree and teacher’s license will soon eligible for the positions.
So far, the Education Ministry has hired native English teachers from countries where English is the mother tongue – the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and South Africa.
To make the eligibility official, the Justice Ministry is currently discussing a bilateral trade deal with the government of India, where English is an official language.
A Justice Ministry official said the measure will provide a breakthrough “in placing more eligible native English-speaking teachers in public schools in farming and fishing villages that don’t have enough such teachers.”
The program aims to hire up to 1,050 teachers for public elementary and middle schools as soon as next year, and for high schools by 2010.
According to government statistics released in November, there are a total of 4,332 native English-speaking teachers in public schools. Of them, 1,812 are from the U.S. and 1,295 are from Canada. Foreigners from the seven English-speaking countries with college diplomas of two or more years are eligible for the jobs.