April 05, 2004

English teachers as economic migrants

Scott Sommers (here, here, here and here) and Kerim Friedman have been discussing English teachers in East Asia as economic migrants. Scott writes: "I estimate that almost a million foreign teachers have been employed in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan since 1990." I wonder what the balance of teachers, so to speak, has been? Have countries like the U.S. and the U.K. exported more language teachers than they've imported? One major difference, I think, is that few foreign-language teachers in the U.S. are recruited directly from overseas, as opposed to being hired from the pool already living locally. Presumably this in turn is because of differences in immigration patterns and policies.

Posted by Mark Liberman at April 5, 2004 08:33 AM