"Patience, sir": 200 years of foreigners teaching English in KoreaAnyone can attend the symposium, with pre-registration costing 10,000 won for members and 15,000 won for non-members, and on-site registration costing 15,000 won for members and 20,000 won for non-members. The turkey dinner costs 25,000 and everyone must pre-register for it.
From the first-recorded English lesson in 1816 to Lee Myung-bak's promises of a "native speaker in every school," English has played many different roles in Korea's history, from its use in Korean attempts to preserve its sovereignty and Japanese efforts to present Korea as a 'failed state' at the turn of the last century to the radical expansion of the study of English as a foreign language over the past twenty years. This presentation will look at the experiences of those teaching the language, including missionaries, Peace Corps Volunteers, 'beeper cowboys' and even World War II prisoners of war. At the same time, while the Korean government has perceived mastery of English as necessary for Korea to compete in a globalized world, it has also shown distrust of the culture attached to the language, a wariness which stretches back to the days of the Joseon Dynasty, and manifestations of both the desire to learn the language and the distrust of the accompanying culture - and the teachers who embody it - will also be examined.
The registration link can be found here. I look forward to meeting anyone who can make it out!