[EDLING:1653] Re: Korea: Quality of English Teaching Appears to Be Diminishing

Bessie Mitsikopoulou mbessie at ENL.UOA.GR
Thu Jun 8 06:48:28 UTC 2006

Hi could you please remind me how one could join the group and be added to 
the mailing list?

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Francis M. Hult" <fmhult at dolphin.upenn.edu>
To: <edling at ccat.sas.upenn.edu>
Sent: Thursday, June 08, 2006 6:59 AM
Subject: [EDLING:1651] Korea: Quality of English Teaching Appears to Be 

> The Korea Times
> http://times.hankooki.com/lpage/opinion/200606/kt2006060717004354050.htm
> School English Classes
> Quality of Teaching Appears to Be Diminishing
> English teaching at primary and secondary schools here appears to be
> diminishing. According to a recent survey, a growing number of Korean 
> teachers
> of English conduct their classes in Korean only, contrary to efforts in
> creating an environment in which students can be better immersed in 
> English.
> The number of teachers presenting English-only classes in elementary, 
> middle
> and high schools for an hour each week has declined, according to a 
> Chonbuk
> National University research survey.
> Education authorities have emphasized the importance of teaching practical
> English that is useful in daily conversation and aimed to enhance 
> students'
> interest in English. However, their efforts seem to have brought no 
> tangible
> results. The number of teachers using only English in class was 22.3 
> percent
> in 2003, but fell to 19.9 in 2004 and 17.6 last year. Meanwhile, the ratio 
> of
> those using only Korean in class rose to 12.9 percent last year from 10.7
> percent in 2004 and 9 percent in 2003.
> We believe there are many reasons why teachers use more Korean than 
> English in
> their classes. Foremost is their lack of ability to speak English 
> fluently.
> Attending short-term training programs is the only means of improving
> teachers' ability to speak English. Last year, 16,330 or 22.2 percent of
> 74,463 Korean English teachers throughout the country took part in
> Englishrelated job training.
> However, an increasing number of high school teachers are unwilling to 
> take
> part in training programs, saying the programs are not helpful in teaching
> students preparing for entrance exams. Moreover, we are skeptical about 
> the
> effectiveness of the training programs in enhancing their ability to 
> conduct
> classes in English. Ten years have passed since English classes were
> introduced in elementary schools here. However, we don't think the system 
> has
> made much of a contribution to raising English speaking ability among 
> primary
> school students.
> The Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development revealed its 
> plan to
> offer language training for 25,000 middle and high school English teachers
> over the next five years. But we don't think it will be much help in 
> enhancing
> their general capabilities. The ministry should consider offering them
> overseas training programs for more stable domestic English education. It 
> is
> also asked to invite as many native English speakers as possible to have 
> them
> teach at schools.
> Our miserable teaching environments are causing people to send their 
> children
> to study overseas. Some 188,000 Korean students went to study abroad in 
> 2004
> alone, spending about 23 billion won. The infrastructure for English 
> education
> should be strengthened at a time when English is positioning itself as the
> global language.
> 06-07-2006 17:00

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