Competition is forcing English into kindergartens

October 27, 2008

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA–More than nine out of 10 private Korean kindergartens are disregarding the curriculum determined by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and are teaching English to their students. Teaching English in kindergarten is illegal under the Early Childhood Education law. In South Korea, the kindergarten curriculum is under the jurisdiction full story  related story

‘English’ city lies at heart of Jeju’s development plans

October 24, 2008

JEJU, SOUTH KOREA–First there were English villages where Korean students could go to practice their language skills. Now there are plans to build an entire city where the lingua franca, including the medium of instruction, will be English. It’s a highly ambitious plan and one fraught with challenges, especially given the uncertainty of the global economy. But, if it works, full story

‘Salad Bowl’ of English Teaching

October 22, 2008

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA–Diversity has been the chief buzzword in education across the globe over the past 30 years. Few would challenge the benefits of a broader perspective, of social inclusion, of representative sampling. On the other hand, aspects have been hotly contested, such as affirmative action and desegregation. full story

1-7 international students are So. Korean

October 20, 2008

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA–Students from South Korea make up nearly 15 percent of international students at U.S. colleges and universities, the U.S. government says. The Korean Times reported Saturday that the 115,852 South Koreans studying in the United States account for 14.9 percent of all the international students in American schools. full story

Ethnic Koreans Face Tougher Screening

October 20, 2008

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA–The authorities are moving to require ethnic Koreans to submit documents proving they have no criminal record and undergo drug testing when they apply for English teaching positions here.  “We understand hagwon (private language institutes) and after-school programs lack the system of weeding full story

Quality Education, Qualified Teachers

October 17, 2008

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA–There is a general assumption that one of the problems with English education in Korea is the poor quality of English teachers. Is this true? How do we decide who is a “quality teacher?” How do we define “qualified?” I distinctly remember a conversation I had many years ago. I was with other native-speaker English teachers at a nightspot in Seoul. full story

English Teachers Bring Drugs to South Korea

October 10, 2008

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA–When Jason Glunt quit working for his grandfather’s floral business in Sacramento, Calif., he decided the next job must be, at the least, adventurous, if not different. A business major from San Diego State University, the 26-year-old’s many Korean-American friends pointed him toward a decent paying job, with the added bonus of a fun and wild life full story