Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Study Two: Teacher's age

>>>Full Study<<<
Over a period of two weeks, seven identities were created and placed online in Korean job boards. Three of the identities were women, ages 22, 36 and 40 years. The other four identities were men, ages 22, 26, 36, and 65 years. With the exception of the 22 year old female, who was assigned a Bachelor of Science degree, all of the identities possessed Bachelor of Arts degrees. The aim of this particular study was to determine the most preferred age of each sex for foreign ESL teachers in Korea.

The following information was gathered: Click images to enlarge.

















In general, females are favored over males as ESL teachers, regardless of age. The total difference for Korean Employers preferring females to males was nine percent (See chart: Total Comparison between Male and Female Number of Email Replies). On individual school contacts, where no recruiter is used by the institution, females are preferred over males by 30 percent. This number is significant for two reasons. The constant demand for and turnover of foreign ESL teachers in Korea would suggest any gender bias would impede the success of private institutions by unbalancing the order of supply and demand. If individual schools possess a preference for female candidates this suggests the balance of supply and demand for ESL teachers is healthy enough at present for it to not warrant a change in employment practices by private institutions. But this may not be the case. Korea’s high salaries are a sign of its struggle to attract foreign teachers away from the emerging and increasingly competitive ESL markets in Taiwan and China. Over time this bias will possibly dissipate as the balance of supply and demand is increasingly strained by these other markets.

The advantage females enjoy in garnering more employment opportunities disappears with their age. Employers who prefer female teachers prefer young, inexperienced candidates. The youngest female profile is 22 years old (lady #3), and her response rate close to doubled most of the other profiles.
With exception of the 65 year old man, Korean employers prefer men who are slightly older, more mature teachers. However, schools tend to contact almost all age ranges for male candidates. Other Country Responses is the only category young male teachers are preferred over young female teachers. For example, China favors younger men than women. Further, it seems that the female teachers receive “special offers” not extended to their male counterparts. Examples of these offers include proposals for ‘friendship’ upon their arrival in Korea. This it seems is a common occurrence, where a man, not necessarily a school or recruiter, contacts the woman for friendship. The intentions of this proposal are unknown.

Lady 3, the 22 year old and youngest profile in the survey, received university and editing job offers. Her education profile included a BSc (Bachelor of Science). The offer for an editing position is thus confusing since a person with a BA in English Literature (one of whom was included in the survey, Man 1 and 2) would seem better fit for this position. As well, a person with a B of Ed (Bachelor of Education) seems better suited for the English Instructor as the university. This discrepancy between the candidates’ qualifications and the proper experience and education required of the positions offered, which this candidate both lacks, suggests Korean employers are less concerned with future job performance than with the appearance of having a young English speaker at their institution.
The next study will be a survey of websites. The sites will be judged on the volume of responses as well as the quality of those responses. (taking the result of the current study, I will choose a young female for which to test the market) She will have several email accounts, one for each website tests.

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