"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

A suggestion for increasing English proficiency in Korea

A suggestion for increasing English proficiency in Korea
Sent to the Korea Herald, October 10, 2012

According to one parent, many Korean families pay about a half million won per month (about US $450) for private English lessons for their children. Meanwhile, a Korean provincial government spent 10 billion won (about US $10 million) to support the establishment of new international school. International schools serve a tiny percentage of Korea’s students and charge high fees (“Foreign schools show Korea’s social divide,” Oct. 10).

I have a suggestion: Invest the 10 billion won in English-language public libraries, accessible to everybody, filled with exciting books and magazines that young people really want to read.

Study after study tells us that the amount of self-selected reading young people do is the best predictor of their scores on standardized English tests. Those who read more for pleasure read better, write better, know more vocabulary, spell better, and have better control of complex grammatical constructions. Studies done in Korea by Prof. Kyung Sook Cho of Busan National University of Education demonstrate that English classes that include interesting reading produce significantly better results than traditional instruction.

The major barrier to increasing English reading is the fact that affordable English books are difficult to find.

Providing easy access to interesting reading material is a necessary and very powerful step toward increasing English proficiency.

Stephen Krashen

“Foreign schools show Korea’s social divide,” Korea Herald, Oct. 10). http://view.koreaherald.com/kh/view.php?ud=20121009000585&cpv=0

No comments:

Post a Comment