The Jeollanam-do provincial Office of Education is offering remote English courses from [March 22nd] The teachers are located in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.
Some 2 thousand students will benefit from the program. These include those studying at sixty-six mini schools on five islands and 52 schools with less than 60 students.
The program has been offered every year since 2009. Last year about 1,300 students learned from native English teachers.
One native teacher handles five students with the assistance of one Korean sub-teacher. Classes will be offered one hour a week for a year.
This blog has done a few posts on similar programs done throughout the country that use teachers in the state of Wyoming and other rural areas to teach Korean students via videoconferencing. Elutian, a Wyoming-based company, had the bright idea to both "insource" jobs to rural America and meet the demand of reduced-cost native speaker English teachers [NESTs] in South Korea, a place turning to robot English teachers, certified Indian teachers, and domestic instructors to cut costs. It has been working with the nearby Gwangju Metropolitan Office of Education since 2010, says a September 2010 article attributed to Yonhap:
GMOE disclosed Sep. 30 that, “Surprisingly, over 31,600 students are using the video class service for English conversation with U.S public school teachers.
The project began in earnest the latter part of June and by the end of August 22,300 elementary school students, 7,300 middle school students, and 2,070 high school students are engaged in the service.
Moreover, it is reported that 5,356 students from smaller schools in the farming areas, as well as Education Welfare schools, many of whom need special social consideration, are using the service.
Participating students also study English by directly conversing with the native English speaking teachers one-on-one through their school’s internet video system after school (7:00~11:00 PM).
Early this year GMOE selected 146 instructors from a pool of former and current school teachers, mostly based in Wyoming, US, [Eleutian Technology] for the service. A number of other Korean school district offices of education are now also using live native English video for regular classes, but GMOE is the first one to utilize the service for one-on-one sessions after school hours as well.
While there continues to be a large demand for native English speaking teachers in Korea, there has also been much controversy over the hiring of unqualified instructors. The ongoing GMOE project, however, is recognized as both very cost effective and effective at helping to improve the quality of instruction, as well as student results, through utilizing experienced US public school teachers.
Youtube has examples of the TV teacher in action:
The local office of education has also been operating remote teaching programs with native speaker English teachers from within the province since 2009. For information and teacher-created resources, see the Jeollanamdo Online Program board on Waygook.org.