“It’s not so much English teachers, it’s the idea of English teachers.”

I came across an interesting article in the Korean Herald the other day.

It was about the Association of Teachers of English in Korea, a group of foreigners trying to better the reputation of us foreign teachers in the eyes of the Korean public. The article described the public’s image of English teachers as “promiscuous party animals.” Ouch.

Of course not every Korean person feels this way about English teachers, but apparently enough do that they’ve made it a law for all English teachers to be tested for HIV before they can get a visa. Interesting indeed…

I just wanted to share a few more quotes…

“National Communications Officer Rob Ouwehand of the Association of Teachers of English in Korea believes that the regulatory testing stems from both the fear of English teachers and HIV, both of which can be cured with knowledge.”

“To reconnect with the public, Ouwehand believes they need to put themselves out there, swapping scary thoughts of English teachers with positive images.

The perceived reputation of foreign English teachers in Korea, fueled by the Anti-English Spectrum group and perpetuated by the media, had long been one of drinking, drug abuse, sexual promiscuity and disease.

It is speculated that the efforts of the vigilante group helped push the ministry’s institutionalization of the testing in 2007.

‘It’s not so much English teachers, it’s the idea of English teachers,’ he said.”

“ATEK agrees that teaching is a really intimate relationship. The teacher-student relationship requires a lot of trust and respect, fortunately HIV and AIDS has never been transmitted through trust and respect.

HIV cannot be transmitted through saliva, tears, sweat or casual contact.”

Good thing we’re all going to be replaced by robots soon anyways!
Rolling Eyes Smiley

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