February 2005 Archives
I followed a link from an ESL website to an article claiming to be a guide by a paedophile teacher in Korea on how to seduce underage girls. The link had been posted by someone who was shocked and outraged, but thought that people should know about the danger. In reply, someone else suggested that it was most probably a posting by a nationalist attempting to denigrate ESL teachers as paedophile fifth columnists. The poster argued that the author had supplied a translation and made a number of mistakes in English. I cannot comment on the quality of the translation, though don't see why the author couldn't have learnt the language, especially if he had stayed there a long time. The English was full of mistakes, but they were the kind of mistakes that a native speaker could make when typing, and the ESL profession has many unqualified teachers whose grasp of the language is not what it should be. On another forum, I saw a case where a teacher had been accused put down to police corruption, which could be true as it was in a notoriously corrupt country.
I recently came across the MissionFinder.org website and saw adverts to 'Use ESL to help plant churches among unreached Muslim peoples.' I found this rice missionary approach a little troubling; I see no reason to see a culture and religion as rich as Islam as 'unreached' and worry about the idea of abusing ESL in this way. Missionaries masquerading, as ESL teachers are nothing new; Mormons, generally honest about their intentions, and evangelical Christians, among others, poured into post-war Japan offering English lessons, while trying to make converts, and South Korea was also targeted. Little headway was made in Japan, but South Korea has a huge evangelical Christian population. Now they are heading for 'unreached' Muslim countries as well as refugees in the USA and other western countries.
I recently followed a Google ad link to a site offering the secrets to becoming 'an ace at teaching'. It claims to be the 'only teaching guide written by an actual teacher who has spent a lifetime of work "in the trenches" teaching every grade and every subject over the course of a lifetime'. At this point my suspicions were aroused, as I see nothing particularly unusual in a book being written by a practising teacher, and no need for the use of 'actual'. The writer gives three reasons to believe what she says, the first of which starts 'In case you don't already know me, my name is ...'. In over twenty years of teaching, I'd never heard of her, so I decided to have a little sniff around the internet.