Korea: More Students Choosing Foreign Language High Schools

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
Thu Mar 8 15:49:53 UTC 2007

More Students Choosing Foreign Language High Schools

MARCH 08, 2007 06:42

Amid growing interests in special-purpose high schools, more students from
middle schools in Gangnam, Nowon, Seocho, Songpa, and Yangcheon-gu
(district) in Seoul are going to six foreign language high schools in
Seoul. The number is growing year by year. Also, Koreas top four middle
schools that send their graduates to special-purpose high schools are all
located in Mok-dong, Yangcheon-gu. This is the result of Dong-A Ilbos
survey on 8,627 new students at six foreign language high schools in Seoul
from 2004 to 2007.

Middle schools in Nowon-gu have sent 878 students, the highest number, to
foreign language high schools for the last four years. Yangcheon-gu sent
676 students, Gangnam-gu sent 629, Songpa-gu sent 433, and Seocho-gu sent
313. Schools in the five districts produced 38.6 percent of all new
students to foreign language high schools. This year, students from
Nowon-gu accounted for 2.36 percent of new students of foreign language
high schools, followed by Gangnam-gu at 2.11 percent, Yangcheon-gu at 1.93
percent, Seocho-gu at 1.60 percent, and Songpa-gu at 1.20 percent. As
foreign language high schools in Gyeonggi Province are getting more
popular, and admission dates were the same between schools in Seoul and
Gyeonggi, the number of students from Gyeonggi Province going to schools
in Seoul is decreasing by the year. The ratio decreased from 27.1 percent
(579) in 2004 to 23.4 percent (504) the following year, and 20.5 percent
(452) last year.

The number of middle schools which sent graduates to foreign language
schools increased from 879 in 2004 to 931 in 2007. Interest and enthusiasm
for the schools are spreading throughout the country. The top four middle
schools which sent the most number of students to foreign language schools
are Wolchon (137), Shinseo (116), Shinmok (104), and Mokil (101). Last
year, Wolchon sent 43 students to foreign language high schools, followed
by Shinseo at 37, Shinmok at 31, and Mokil at 26. More than 20 students
from each school chose Myung Duk foreign language school, which is nearby.
Among the top 10 schools that sent the most students to special-purpose
high schools, five are in Mok-dong, four in Goyang City of Gyeonggi
Province, and one in Nowon-gu. Schools in Gangnam-gu ranked 11th and 14th.

Schools in Yangcheon-gu and Nowon-gu were able to send many students
because the private education environment improved and the enthusiasm for
education there is comparable to that of the Gangnam region. Also,
students from cities such as Goyang and Seongnam prefer schools in Seoul.
For the last four years, among the 629 students from Gangnam-gu who went
to foreign language schools, 55 percent or 346 students chose Daewon
Foreign Language School. In Nowon-gu, 52.7 percent chose Seoul Foreign
Language High School and 28.4 percent chose Daeil Foreign Language High
School. Students in Gangdong-gu and Songpa-gu prefer Hanyoung Foreign
Language School, Yangcheon-gu and Ilsan-gu Myung Duk Foreign Language
School, and Gangnam-gu and Seocho-gu Daewon Foreign Language School.

Taking into account that the quorum of foreign language high schools has
not changed, schools in the five districts are sending more and more
students to the schools, while those in other regions are sending less.
The reason why the new students are concentrated in certain areas is that
the competition among talented students raises the level of their academic
achievement, talented students form network with each other, and many
private institutions provide high-level private education. Private
institutions are concentrated in Gangnam-gu, Yangcheon-gu, and Nowon-gu,
and apartment prices are soaring in these regions. More people choose to
live in these regions, and a middle school in Mok-dong has 16 to 17
classes on average.

More students are favoring special-purpose high schools because a special
admissions policy change for students from special schools will take
effect starting in 2008. More students choose these areas to go to a
prestigious university first and then advance to a law school or medical
school. As there are various ways to go to medical and law school, foreign
language high schools are getting more popular. Parents who used to be
interested only in the Daewon Foreign Language School are now showing
interest in other foreign language schools, said Kim Seong-yeong, a
41-year old parent.



N.b.: Listing on the lgpolicy-list is merely intended as a service to its members
and implies neither approval, confirmation nor agreement by the owner or sponsor of
the list as to the veracity of a message's contents. Members who disagree with a
message are encouraged to post a rebuttal.


More information about the Lgpolicy-list mailing list