Filipino… world’s budget English teacher?

Teaching English in Korea

The BBC reported on its news website that the Philippines is the world’s budget English teacher. That’s because the fees in the Philippines aren’t as high as that of the other destinations for English education. When it comes to quality, it must be one of the reasons that there are more foreign students in the country now who want to learn the language.

One of the most popular posts on my blog is about teaching Koreans the English language. Thousands of Koreans travel to the Philippines to learn English every year. During the summer and winter vacations, Korean school children are sent to the country by their parents so they could experience English immersion classes.

Not a few of online English teaching jobs in Korea are outsourced to the Philippines. Online English teaching is made through the phone or the internet. Skype is a very popular medium among freelancers, while English education companies have their own softwares. I am not exactly sure how much do Koreans pay the education companies nor do I know exactly how much these companies pay the Filipino English teacher. Do you guys know?

In Korea, Filipinos employed by phone teaching companies are paid from 30,000 per student and as much as 120,000 won. They spend ten minutes a day per student for five days a week. That’s a total of 20 ten-minute sessions per month. Filipino English teachers in hagwons or private language academies, are paid anywhere from 15,000 won to 50,000 won per hour. Unfortunately, Korean moms here are skeptical of the Filipino “accent” because of what they hear from Filipinos who are usually interviewed on TV. In short, it isn’t easy to get hired by hagwons here. One needs to prove that she (as most employers prefer female teachers) could sound “American”.

Right now, Korea isn’t importing Filipino teachers. The only Filipinos I know who can work as English teachers here are those who are immigrant spouses, students and those hired by universities as professors. Yup, there are a number of Filipino professors teaching at Korean universities ;p

23 thoughts on “Filipino… world’s budget English teacher?

  • November 13, 2012 at 9:38 am
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    To be able to have a certain American or British English accent, one student should be in an international school wherein he/she can literally communicate and have the exposure of the the real accent through his/her classmates. In school, you can only learn the right grammar and meaning, but what is accent if you can’t sustain once you’re out of school. Korean families speak their own language at home. It’s like us Filipinos learning Spanish but because English is widely used, it did not serve the purpose. Versatility counts, like us, once exposed or be in America or Europe, we can immediately adapt the accent because we know how to speak English.

    Reply
  • November 14, 2012 at 10:19 am
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    I used to work in Korean academies in Alabang. Students usually come here for summer and winter vacation to study English. A lot of my students told me that it is very expensive to study English in Korea so their parents send their kids here for it is way cheaper. I was surprised when they told me that their English teachers were paid $50 dollars per hour. In our case, we were paid Php 75- 100 per hour depending on our expertise and experience in teaching students. It’s about roughly Php 550 to Php 800 a day which was not a bad thing. You just have to be patient and caring enough to teach them. They stay here for 3 months and usually we, teachers, were the people who see them and talk to them everyday. We act like their second parents in the Philippines. 🙂

    For me, 9 months teaching these kids was a memorable one. I’ve got to have “little” friends who also taught me their Korean culture. It was also a two way learning process. 🙂

    Reply
  • November 14, 2012 at 10:28 am
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    In my case I totally understand english,. but sometimes hard to speak on this language specially when you grew up speaking pure province language…I envied people fluent in english..

    Reply
  • November 16, 2012 at 9:31 am
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    I wonder if Koreans are more interested in accent more than the ability to express themselves in the language.

    From the NET boards I have seen, many NETs said that their students who went to for short trip to study English in the Philippines are able to communicate in English (regardless of the grammar) but then, that is the point of learning a language.

    If Korea just keeps hiring NETs, paying them big bucks but with slow progress on English ability, then they’re missing a big opportunity just because they are “scared” of Filipino English accent.

    Reply
  • November 19, 2012 at 12:10 pm
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    Yes guys you are really correct but, i think accent is not quite important for me, yes i can utter english words with the right accent but as long as i can state my sentences correctly without correct accent, you guys can still understand me right? Filipinos have the capability to easily adapt the way one’s language being spoken and how words being constructed, that’s us! But koreans are like just primary grades students in english language, yes we should teach them the correct accent but for me, the most important thing is to communicate well and to be understood by all. that’s only my point. don’t get me wrong. Thank you and Godbless! 🙂

    Reply
    • August 21, 2014 at 5:08 am
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      I would just like to say that accent is as important as grammar and sentence structure..It’s one of the fundamental aspects of a language. Imagine an American guy speaking grammatically fluent Filipino but with a detectable odd foreign accent. Sure, we can understand him but there are just some words that he might utter that couldn’t be understood well. Remember that the American accent is very unique and if not followed correctly it might cause some communication barriers when talking to a Native speaker. I’ve heard Filipinos talking to a Native speakers using the “filipino english” accent and let me tell you, the Native speakers kept on asking them to repeat what they said. I could understand what they were saying being a Filipino myself but to a Native speaker they just sounded odd. Trust me, accent plays a big role in communication and the very purpose of these students in learning the English language is that they want to study and work abroad and communicate with Native speakers. So to fellow teachers please do not disregard any aspect of the language, may it be accent, or grammar or spontaneity in speaking. They have the same weight of importance. Filipinos have been branded as having the “filipino english” because we are so reluctant to excel in and perfect the said American accent.Yes, Filipinos are smart, excellent, effective and passionate English teachers but we have to have neutral/American accent as well. Let’s start and change these notions about us then perhaps these ESL students will start importing Filipinos who can speak perfect English with American accents and ESL companies in the Philippines may start increasing the salary rate as well

      Reply
  • December 2, 2012 at 10:45 am
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    For me, Filipino teachers have the passion in teaching. They are not just concern about the subject being taught but also for the welfare of their students, thus, making us Filipino teachers way apart from other foreign teachers. Hiring Filipino English Speaking teachers is a great resort. Really. I am teaching in a hagwon right now and still hoping to step in SK and to teach English there.

    Reply
  • January 8, 2013 at 2:26 am
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    teaching english to korean online or just contact me by email!leyheart@yahoo.com

    Reply
  • January 13, 2013 at 11:57 pm
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    I taught some Korean students last year.. We were paid like 60 Php per hour.. That’s how cheap the academy I worked at.. Kidding aside, I don’t think an accent has a big role in learning English.. Sure, it’s a plus.. But what’s the use of it if the student himself can’t make sensible sentences?

    I have to find myself a Korean husband just so I could work there.. LOL

    Reply
    • January 14, 2013 at 1:24 pm
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      Awww! That’s really low. And yeah, find yourself a Korean husband so you could work here ;p

      For wonjangnims, there are some who don’t care whether a teacher could make a sentence that’s grammatically perfect. They just want that the teacher sounds like an American ;p

      Reply
  • February 20, 2013 at 12:37 pm
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    I am one of those “fad” native English speaking teachers mentioned in the comments above. I am married to a dedicated and fully qualified Filipino teacher, who speaks English with a near perfect accent.

    Unfortunately many (most?) Filipinos teaching abroad or in the Philippines do not speak English well, their English is poor and their accent is only understood by other Filipinos. I wish this was not true as my wife would not encounter prejudice when looking for work, but sadly the only reason Filipinos are hired instead of native speakers is because they are considerably cheaper.

    Reply
  • February 22, 2013 at 11:17 pm
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    My fiancé is a korean… And we’re getting hitched a month later
    😉 been a nurse for more than 4yrs and shifted gears to become an ESL teacher. In the academy where I was previously connected with, I taught Sparta courses and handled the AAT or American accent training. Can anyone enlighten me on the possibilities that I have? Been surfing the net but I’m having trouble putting the pieces together 🙁 thank u sa inputs!

    Reply
  • April 8, 2013 at 7:39 pm
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    maybe they are not exporting because they are not willing to fly anyone from the Philippines for this job. But what if I am already here in korea and I attempt to apply for this job. I can confidently say that I dont have their so called for us “filipino english tone” because I used to be a call center agent in Philippines.
    If these are my capabilities, can I apply in hakgwons?
    Can anyone give an answer?

    Reply
  • July 15, 2013 at 11:22 am
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    they want english teachers with american accent, even if they’re not grammatically correct– so now i understand why, during my TESOL training, we were taught and encouraged to practice the American accent and so shocking that most Filipinos training for TESOL are not really that good in English… so from most of what I’ve heard– it’s very important to speak whatever English you’ve got IN AMERICAN ACCENT– so you’ll qualify as English Teacher for Koreans, is that it?

    Reply
  • July 15, 2013 at 11:38 am
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    hi betchay,
    can you please give me some infos or ideas or anything to help me… with regards to a possibility of a Filipino putting up a small business in Korea?… and also putting up a center for teaching English? do you think that could be possible?… if it is, what are the first steps to take?

    Reply
  • July 18, 2013 at 10:41 am
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    There are a lot of English institutions like this one – http://talkshop.ph/ that offers not just grammar mastery but also personality development – something that OFWs need especially if they are in the field of teaching.

    Reply
  • October 17, 2013 at 10:29 pm
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    We just launched a platform to teach Turkish students English online at affordable prices. Please send me an e-mail with your ESL experience to start working with us at firat@nowenglish.com.

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Best,
    Firat

    Reply
  • August 21, 2014 at 5:13 am
    Permalink

    I would just like to say that accent is as important as grammar and sentence structure..It’s one of the fundamental aspects of a language. Imagine an American guy speaking grammatically fluent Filipino but with a detectable odd foreign accent. Sure, we can understand him but there are just some words that he might utter that couldn’t be understood well. Remember that the American accent is very unique and if not followed correctly it might cause some communication barriers when talking to a Native speaker. I’ve heard Filipinos talking to a Native speakers using the “filipino english” accent and let me tell you, the Native speakers kept on asking them to repeat what they said. I could understand what they were saying being a Filipino myself but to a Native speaker they just sounded odd. Trust me, accent plays a big role in communication and the very purpose of these students in learning the English language is that they want to study and work abroad and communicate with Native speakers. So to fellow teachers please do not disregard any aspect of the language, may it be accent, or grammar or spontaneity in speaking. They have the same weight of importance. Filipinos have been branded as having the “filipino english” because we are so reluctant to excel in and perfect the said American accent.Yes, Filipinos are smart, excellent, effective and passionate English teachers but we have to have neutral/American accent as well. Let’s start and change these notions about us then perhaps these ESL students will start importing Filipinos who can speak perfect English with American accents and ESL companies in the Philippines may start increasing the salary rate as well

    Reply
  • December 2, 2016 at 12:09 pm
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    I am looking for Filipino to teach in school in Chuncheon. How can I contact them?

    Reply
    • December 2, 2016 at 3:24 pm
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      Hi! If you could send me the details I could post it Filipino Facebook groups.

      Reply

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