Today's Herald has an article on the problems with ESL in Korea. The article covers no new ground regarding the problems but tries to offer a way to solve them.
I've been here long enough to know that problems exist but I don't think they are as widespread as is claimed. Perhaps I have been lucky in mostly avoiding bad hagwons and mostly working at some very good ones. YoungeoNara in Masan, Masan FLI, and O-Dong-dong ELI in Masan were all good and BCM in Seokchon Dong, Seoul was very good. ETC in Baekam, Kyounggi-do was bad to very bad but my wonderful wife saw the signs and we left just before it collapsed. Kwandong U. is a great place; it is mentioned in some old blacklists but the problems seem to be solved and I am very happy here.
Was I a problem while I gained experience? Yes, I would say so. I wouldn't describe the 1997 Kwandongbrian as a terrible teacher but he did have a lot to learn and the '98 Kwandongbrian earned his salary and more. I had spent a little time in Asia before '97 and so was able to appreciate the conveniences Korea offered; I called it Asia-lite and probably adjusted a little quicker then the fresh-from-uni recruits.
Anyway, there is now a new (to me, anyway) forum online called englishteachingkorea. It can sit beside Dave's ESL and others; hopefully not beside the old englishspectrum.
I am not a full member of KOTESOL but I do attend some meetings and see some value in it. It seems to be the established ESL forum for Korea; why do we need a new group? It seems the new group is merely splitting the vote.