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December 29 , 2008

Teaching English in Korea: The Party's Over


The much needed book `Teaching English in Korea – The Party’s Over’ gives a voice to the sentiment felt by many if not most of those working in the English teaching industry in Korea.
The book focuses primarily on what draws most people to Korea to teach, and what keeps most people signing contract after contract – MONEY.
Graham Alexander explores whether teaching English in Korea is as good as it used to be and asks whether it will get any better in future?
With an eye on the present circumstances in Korea, the book examines the very fabric of the society in which YOU the foreigner, YOU the waygook live. It is a book that doesn’t pull any punches and examines the economic, social, technological and generational situation from an unemotional standpoint.
Korea is a wonderful country that is full of fascination, intrigue, cultural wonders and amazing people and Graham Alexander acknowledges this but keeps these distractions away from his analysis. While he openly admits that some of the information may shock readers, this book has been written to elicit responses from the ESL community and generate discussion on this very important topic.
Many people come to Korea with a lust for travel but stay for year after year and this becomes a habit. The reader’s focus is repeatedly trained on the very real threats to:
*standard of living
*job quality and prospects
*economic viability of Korea
*the growth of technology
The simple question of `Should I stay or should I go?' is approached from these and many other different angles.
Having spent over twelve years on the peninsula teaching in Seoul, Gyeonggi-do and Mokpo, from hagwon to rural high school to big city university campus, Graham Alexander reached the pinnacle of the profession in Korea – the university professor’s job only to find the view from the top is not quite as rosy as it used to be.
If you are settled into a nice university position, you may be fooled into thinking that this is it for you. That you’ve made it and life is going to be sweet from here on out, this is perhaps one of the biggest problems addressed in the book, and the question asked is simple – `What else can you do?’
By logically analysing the trends that are affecting the world, the peninsula and the ESL /English teaching industry, uncomfortable but necessary truths come to light.
Factors such as:
*the holes in the pension system
*the loss of part time work
*the inevitable fall in wages
*the loss of status for you the foreigner as a teacher in Korea
are just some of the many topics woven into a coherent examination of the changing landscape of the ESL profession.
While `Teaching English in Korea – The Party’s Over’ examines hard truths, Graham Alexander addresses these truths and offers valuable insights into how to stay or go with the most possible power behind you. With sage advice to make yourself indispensible to the profession, Graham Alexander highlights different ways you can improve your employment options in ESL and protect yourself and your family into the future.
If you are thinking about leaving Korea, this book will also help you to start the often long process of decision making and prepare you for life elsewhere in ESL or any other field.

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