CPIK (Chinese Program in Korea) about to begin

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Many who have taught in Korea before or have friends there who have know about the EPIK program, whereby English speakers with degrees (not specifically teaching degrees) come to Korea to assist in teaching in public schools on one-year contracts. Korea is now beginning something similar for Chinese, which is interesting as I had wondered for some time whether such a program would actually be necessary. The reason: China is just an hour or less away by plane (Qingdao is about 40-50 minutes), and there are a lot of ethnic Koreans in China that can obtain residency quite easily and, one assumes, also get jobs teaching Chinese.

On the other hand, Korea does love setting up ambitious national programs for just about everything, so perhaps this is not much of a surprise. The information in Korean is here (and almost a month old). According to that page:

- Work on this began November last year during a Korean-Chinese international cooperation meeting in Beijing
- 200 Chinese teachers to be brought over this year; 140 in April, 60 in September
- The teachers will have degrees in teaching Chinese (i.e. the so-called 'a degree in anything and a pulse' does not get one a job teaching in Korea)
- 94% of those coming in April have a master's or higher

And some other information not really worth translating. It will be interesting to see if this program grows over time, or whether the number of teachers officially invited remains in the hundreds and Koreans seriously interested in the language simply choose to take the hour-long plane ride to learn it directly during school vacation and other time off. I haven't paid much attention to this program over the past few months so I'll have to keep an eye on it.


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