Jeffrey Miller

A Writer's Life

Stalking English teachers in South Korea

Came across an interesting article in the LA Times today about English teachers being stalked in South Korea. This topic has been making the rounds a lot on expat blogs in South Korea since it first appeared and for it to be written about outside of Korea gives one the impression that it is quite serious. It’s all about this Anti-English Spectrum and the rumors that have been spread about English teachers in South Korea. This should be mandatory reading for anyone who is seriously thinking about coming to Korea to teach English.


  1. Wow. Interesting article! I currently teach English in Japan. We aren’t stalked in the sense that a person is investigating us but particularly in the suburbs and countryside areas we tend to stick out, both visually and socially.

    Although there are, of course, exceptions.

    That article makes teaching in Korea sound terrible. But in a way I can see the idea of letting only the best of foreign teachers of English into the the industry. The only question is how such “behaviour” is checked within Korean teachers…

  2. I’m a teacher in South Korea, and generally I have only been treated with the greatest kindness and acceptance in this country.

    I can’t imagine and Koreans behaving in such a violent way, saying they’ll kill whites, and most of them are so grateful we, as English first language speakers are here teaching them to speak English.

    I haven’t personally heard of any racism towards foreigners in Korea and as a teacher I find that I’m treated with so much respect.

    Perhaps it’s the area I live in, it is very secluded and a tiny town. There are less than 300 foreigners in this town.

    Maybe in the bigger towns where foreigners are more prevalent, the Koreans are more anti-foreigners because of the ridiculous ways a few foreigners tend to behave.

    All I can say is my experience has been amazing so far. I would recommend this job to anyone as long as you’re qualified about the job, open-minded to the culture and willing to accept people for who they are.

    • Tasha,

      I totally agree with you.

      I have been teaching English in Korea for almost 20 years and I have not had any major problems. A lot of this surfaced a few years ago when some teachers started giving the profession a black eye, not to mention a bad name by their unruly behavior.

      Thank you so much for your comments.

  3. No matter where you go there will be wing nuts. We have them here, I’m sure we’ll run into them there too. It sounds like most people are curious, not hateful.

    • Ain’t that the truth. I have seen my share here and in recent years, there have been more. Not like it was 20 years ago when I first came to Korea.

  4. Wow, thanks for bringing this to our attention. I myself teach in Korea and have heard of small parties having a dislike for foreigners. But I did not realise it was so serious that LA Times should pick it up.
    I have been discriminated by my looks before, but more so on the fact that I do not look like the Korean’s stereotypical English teacher, which I dislike but unfortunately in this business having a teacher that can meet those standards can mean more students. But I have never had anyone threaten me in all my time here.

    Please take the time to have a look at my blog.

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