These days award-winning reporter Kang Shin-who is writing a series about illegal foreign English tutors. Part two, titled "Crackdown on Illegal Tutoring Ineffective," is typical of the biased reporting and bad journalism that earned him the nickname on this site "the worst journalist in Korea's English-language media." As you read the article, which I'll paste below, see how many cases of illegal foreign English teachers you find.
Many students take private English lessons for writing and speaking to prepare for the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and TOEFL test for admission to U.S. universities. But many of those teaching are doing so illegally.
The education authorities have no immediate measures planned to crack down on illegal private tutoring by foreigners.
"It is hard to control tutoring due to privacy matters, especially when it comes to foreigners. Moreover, many of those who seek out such tutoring are well connected, leaving little room for authorities to uncover their illegal transactions," said Kim Chul-woon, director of the Private Institute Monitoring Team at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.
Kim lamented, "We can't just barge into every house, without a warrant, where foreigners are suspected of giving lessons."
About 1,720 suspected illegal tutoring cases have been reported to the authorities. Only 368 cases were subject to punishment, all of which involved Korean tutors.
No foreign tutors have been caught by the authorities for violation of the Private Education Law, the ministry said.
More than 15,000 tutors have registered their activities to the appropriate education office since the government introduced programs to reward informants on illegal tutoring last July.
In Seoul alone, 11,967 cases of private tutoring have been registered with education offices in the city. Among them, 76 have been made by foreigners holding F-series visas such as the F-2 (spouses of Koreans), F-4 (ethnic Koreans) and F-5 (permanent residence). Most of them are teaching English.
Under the Immigration Law, foreigners with other visa types are not allowed to offer private tutoring to make money, except for those with student status, who can do so with restricted hours upon approval from their professors. Otherwise, foreign nationals are subject to fines and deportation.
In the meantime, the ministry has delivered official documents to public and private universities as well as elementary and secondary schools, requesting them to ensure their native English-speaking teachers are not involved in illegal tutoring.
Now, go back through and see how Kang tries to make the tenuous connection. Basically, "many" Koreans getting private English lessons---pretty much every Korean teacher I've ever met was doing it themselves or putting their children through it---and "many" are getting them illegally. In the article he first demonstrates that most of the offenders were Koreans, and later writes that all the cases subject to punishment involved Koreans, yet he remains focused on foreign tutors without the proper visa. I'm not going to pretend there aren't E-2 visa holders teaching on the side, but not only is the "crackdown on illegal tutoring ineffective," apparently so are the articles trying to demonstrate its frequency or its relative harm.
In part one of the series, Kang wrote that "Korea Is 'Heaven' for Illegal Private English Tutoring":
Many foreigners are unaware that private tutoring is illegal. Under the Immigration Law, E-2 visa holders and foreigners on tourist visas are banned from making money through giving private lessons.
In the case of F-visa holders such as F-2 (spouses of Koreans) and F-4 (ethnic Koreans), the holders are permitted to offer private lessons for money, but are required to report them to city or provincial education offices.
In reality, however, a large number of foreigners are giving private English lessons, with many of them already fulltime English teachers at schools or private language institutes. Often, they meet up with parents and students through online communities or are introduced by their friends.
Illegal is illegal, and foreign teachers earning money illegally are perhaps newsworthy, even though this "problem" is widespread among Korean teachers and, especially, Korean parents. Nonetheless throwing around "many" and "often" in lieu of facts and objectivity is irrersponsible, and we ought to expect more from "An Influential English Daily in South Kroea," even if we don't expect anything else from the notorious Kang Shin-who.