Current English Education in Korea
Current English Education in Korea
  • Observer
  • 승인 2006.11.11 00:00
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▲ Noh Bo-young, JuniorDept. of English

Whenever and wherever we go these days, we can easily find a countless number of English education institutes and their alluring signboards with catching phrases. On top of that, what about all those book stores? If you drop by a book store, you can encounter a wide variety of books for learning English ranging from those for conversations to TOEIC and TOEFL. As a result, it is a well-known fact that English itself is basically regarded as the most necessary language to be mastered in Korean society. Along with this socially prevalent trend, the domestic market of English education has been rapidly growing with the astronomical profits for recent decades in Korea despite the economic depression.

In this English-focused society, I had a valuable opportunity to think of the English language education system of Korea while reading the previous cover story of The Yeungnam Observer. Especially, I realized the impending problems of studying and teaching English in Korea.

In my view, the competition-centered educational system in Korea impedes students from making progress in English. Nowadays, it appears true that the test-oriented educational system enables students to rely on getting high scores even though they cannot speak English at all. The reality in Korea is that the purpose of studying English is not communication in English but to get higher scores in English tests. Thus English itself is only used for figuring out grammartical errors by circling a multiple choice answer in tests. To make matters worse, this method to study English results in the unjust tendency that misleads students' avid enthusiasm toward English into a variety of English tests such as TOEIC, TOEFL, and even TEPS.

In conclusion, I insist that it is time to change English educational system in Korea. Korea's education authority should take progressive measures in concentrating on improving students' writing and speaking skills as well as learning grammar.

All in all, on the verge of the globalization all over the world, we regrettably take it for granted that English remains priority. At this junction, I hope that we think twice about why we are struggling to study English. If we set our own goals to achieve in regards to English, I definitely believe that we can learn English to the fullest.

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