Native English Speakers Promised for All Middle Schools

      May 29, 2005 21:22

      Every middle school in Korea will have at least one native speaker as English instructor or teaching assistant by 2010, the Ministry of Education has decided.

      Evaluations of students in elementary, middle and high school English classes will place priority on students’ communication skills like listening and speaking.

      Under a five-year plan to improve English education announced on Sunday, the ministry will drastically increase the number of native English-speaking teachers at middle schools from the current 221 to at least one for each of Korea’s 2,850 middle schools. It will also boost the number of native speakers at elementary and high schools -- currently totaling 236 and 244 respectively – depending on local authorities’ budgets. The new English teachers will be taught Korean culture and basic Korean before being let loose on the students.

      Meanwhile, the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education has been working on its own English education measures since March, which include sending additional native speakers to 100 elementary and middle schools this year and hiring another 920 native speakers by 2009 for elementary and middle schools in the capital.

      (Yang Geun-man
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