UPDATE : 2021.10.11 Mon 08:57
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"Your Korean Sucks, But Your English is pretty good?"View of A Foreigner

A new semester has once again descended down upon us. As students, instructors, and faculty, we can not help but begin each new semester with some small sense of optimism and hope. As an instructor, you can not imagine how many days and hours I have spent in churches, synagogues, temples, and pretty much anywhere where any God might by chance listen to my pleas. At the beginning of each semester the prayers are always the same, “Please, God, this semester let me have students whose English is better than last semester.”

To teach you grammar, vocabulary, listening, reading, writing, along with countless other subjects. They all represent a large chunk of investment. Yet the payoff seems nominal at best.

On the other hand, the time, money, and efforts invested in acquiring your Korean language is almost always proportionally less than acquiring English. Perhaps you have spent only fraction of your elementary school years in Korean language acquisition. I have heard many times, as an excuse to explain away a lack of proficiency, “English is not our first language”. Well, it should be. In light of this stark difference the question that begs to be asked is: “Why doesn’t your Korean suck? Why isn’t your English better than your Korean?” If you spend more years studying Language A, compared to Language B, it stands to reason that you will have a better grasp of Language A, and that you would struggle with Language B.

I read a recent study that surveyed many modern, industrialized countries. The study tried to determine the amount of energy put into learning English as a second language. It turns out that Korea consistently ranks one of the highest in terms of basic knowledge of the language. However, most disturbingly, at the same time, Korea consistently ranks lowest in terms of actually USING the language, the actual application of the language (ie. speaking). In terms of self-confidence and positive self-image related to one’s speaking abilities, Korea flounders abysmally.

President Lee Myung-bak has made it one of his goals to improve the quality of English spoken by Koreans and move this country further into the global community. If this is in fact the Korean consensus, so much has to change. It seems apparent inability of master this particular language should be viewed national goal, similar our drive to land on the moon. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. God bless Korea, this continual struggle with the language will keep me perpetually employed. If Korea ever figures out how to actually learn English effectively, I would have to pack and look for a different career. Thank you, Korea, with a grain of salt.

‘Corbit wells’ is a name as a writer not real name.

Corbit wells  -

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