[OP8] The Future of English Education in Korean Public Schools

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[OP8] The Future of English Education in Korean Public Schools

Post  Jongwoo on Mon Jun 02 2008, 23:25

To date, most of the English language instruction in public schools has been oriented around reading and grammar skills. How do you think the next generation of teachers in Korea could ensure that teaching approaches incorporate a more even balance (and integration) of skills?



Since the very beginning of the English education in Korean public school, the classical method that emphasizes bilingual translation and grammar instruction has prevailed even up to this day. Even though English has become grown to be a vital means of international communication, Korean public schools still focus on teaching non-practical English knowledge for sheer academic purposes. In the near future, however, the focus of the language classes in Korean public schools will shift to developing practical language skill, and this will be achieved through teaching English in English along with improved teachers' training and certificate exam.

Recently the Korean government announced their plan that every English class in Korean secondary schools would be conducted only in English by 2012. Conducting English language classes entirely in English does not mean that the medium of instruction is changed while the content remains the same. The main reason for teaching English in English is to increase students interactions in English, which leads to the acquisition of communicative competence. It would be meaningless if teachers stick to the sophisticated grammar instruction and bilingual translation no matter how well they speak in English. Teaching English in English presupposes the communicative approach of language teaching. With the commencement of the new TEE policy, learners will be able to foster speaking, writing, and listening abilities, which have been neglected in Korean public education, and a more even balance of skills will be acquired.

In addition to the TEE policy, the teachers' exam is going to be changed in the way that reflects practical English skills and pedagogical applications. This change in the teachers' exam will lead to the curricular adjustment of teacher training programs. At this point, the curriculum at teachers' colleges still focus on the memorization of complicated linguistic knowledge and the translation of classic literatures. In order to prepare their students for the new teachers' exam, English education departments throughout the country will begin to offer courses and programs that teach practical language skills and pedagogical applications. Consequently, the next generation of English teachers will be trained to implement more balanced approaches.

As we have observed, English education in Korean public schools is ready to move to the next level in which students will be taught to be more balanced user of English. The next generation of English teachers will be conducting their language classes only in English with emphasis on the development of communicative competence. Expected changes in the teachers' exam and their training programs will also ensure that students will learn to develop listening, speaking, and writing abilities, and instructions on reading and grammar will be centered around practical usage of the English language. As of today, English education in Korean schools is still oriented around reading and grammar skills, the next generation of English teachers will be guiding Korean young people to develop a more even balance and integration of skills.
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Re: [OP8] The Future of English Education in Korean Public Schools

Post  Sera Jung on Fri Jun 13 2008, 08:10

When I read your essays, I always feel that your essay is so clear that I can understand your points very easily. Words and phrases that you choose are also so great. Could you tell us your strategies or specific methods to improve writing skill ? I think many of us are curious about that ! Wink
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Me too.

Post  Seyoung Yoon on Fri Jun 13 2008, 12:31

I can read your essay very eaxily and fast compared with others' works. I think you organize your thought orderly and express them smoothly. Actually at first, I thought that that's thanks to your experience of English writing or speaking, but I think there are something more than that! Anyway, it was a great chance for me to read your essay in this class for I learned a lot from your essay!
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