Koreans have their own very adequate language which serves all their domestic and social needs. They still need to learn the language that is the acknowledged as the global language of 18moa commerce and trade. Korea has made phenomenal progress as a leading industrial economy with a world presence. Therefore Korean people need access to the language that plays a vital role in world trade and commerce. People who are competent and teach English in Korea can help them.

When a teacher has worked for a number of years in a local school he enters a comfort zone. People will have accepted him in a certain role. New student will accept without question that he belongs where he is, and his personal traits may even have become part of the school folklore. This comfortable zone may also be seen as a backwater in a person's professional career. Without the rush of fresh challenges and new ideas a teacher may stagnate.

A spell in Korea will be especially beneficial for mature and experienced teachers who feel the need to refresh their professional ideas. Meeting new people, seeing how different systems work and facing new challenges will benefit and strength his professional prospects. He will see himself and his students in a new perspective and be forced to re-examine his assumptions. Many teachers choose to renew their contracts after on year, and this is an indication of their enjoyment.

The high demand of Koreans to learn English creates many positions for new teachers. This may be good for people seeking a job, but create problems for recruiters. Many positions are filled by young graduates from Britain or the old colonies such as Australia, South Africa and Canada. Many of them are natural teachers, but many are not professional teachers. Rather they are seeking adventure and the opportunity to make some money. They may lack professional experience.

One experienced teacher in a South African school was amazed to hear that some of his past students were teaching in Korea. From teaching them he knew that they had extremely limited competency themselves, and little feel for the English language. In one case a teacher was not even a native speaker himself, but an Afrikaans speaker who could communicate in English.

Professional training is not the be all and end all of teaching. Most people know of well qualified people who have been 'bad' teachers. But personality may be important in teaching without having much to do with professional expertise. In fact someone who may seem to be a good teacher because he has a pleasant personality may actually transfer improper attitudes and knowledge about his subject.

Young people intending to teach in Asia often complete short courses in teaching English as a foreign language. These may be under the auspices of a body such as the British Council and completed in three weeks with some practical teaching survival tips taught. Such courses are a qualification but do not equate with professional training. People who are not trained in the discipline of English, or perhaps not even mother tongue speakers may complete them without themselves being competent.

In most educational course run for short term qualifications 'failure' is not an option because significant costs are involved. Some people may drop out voluntarily but usually everyone ends with a certificate despite some testing times during the course. Such short courses may be fun and informative but they do not equate with professional training involving three or fours years of discourse and close reading. Classroom experience is probably even more instructive than training, so there are quite big differences between professionally trained teachers and graduates with a short term certificate.

Professional English teaching should involve a lot more than following a course book. A teacher should bring to the book professional appreciation of the language, competence in it and a good speech model. There are many varieties of English, some more acceptable than others, but a teacher should have a fine appreciation of idiom and of what is appropriate and what is not. Mature, experienced and professionally trained people who teach English in Korea will give the best service to their students.