Annyeong! Let’s speak English

It has made great strides in technology and is the world’s most wired nation, yet the new focus for South Koreans is to learn English as they see its indisputable dominance globally.

South Korean students are simply committed to studying English.

They spend much more time studying the language than their peers in other OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) nations, and students learn English throughout the 12 years they spend in elementary, middle and high school, not to mention kindergarten.

And as the language continues to be a priority even after they enter college since it is a a prerequisite for landing decent jobs after graduation, most university students here take an English course for one or two years alongside other major subjects.

Many undergraduates are now required to complete certain credits in English and to acquire high scores on English proficiency tests, such as TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication) or TOEFL ((Test of English as a Foreign Language) in order to receive a degree from their respective universities.

The trend has spurred more and more public and private universities to offer courses conducted entirely in English.

“One key driver of this trend is that Korean universities are increasingly concerned about their roles in a globalised world,” Sohn Dong-young, an associate professor in the department of media and communication at Hanyang University, told The Korea Herald.

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