Friday, July 13, 2007

Language and Fun

As I've already mentioned several times, in Korea English is not just a foreign language to learn how to speak but a purpose itself to use to achieve a higher social status. So it's so easy to find yourself surrounded by flood of ads of English schools (for private institutes, we call them 'hakwon'). But, as you can see in the photo, this ad in a metro station is exceptional and that's because it is in Itaewon, foreign district, where there are many types of entertainment particularity for foreigners due to its location next to the US military base but now tries to blend with the local community.

Anyway, besides the ad copy, I couldn't help laughing at the picture as this shows some way we learn English: Sitting alone at a desk on the corner of a silent library, and blank paper and a pen. But, how can you learn speaking a language under these circumstances unless you are writing something? Right before heading to this station, I was at Irish Chamber of Commerce's meeting and one of the topics we talked about was Korean people's insufficient English proficiency compared to a huge investment in English education. And it turned out the main reason is lack of exposure to English-speaking environment. We should go beyond English classes and enjoying learning itself. However, I'm aware there are some barriers against realising this. Oh, I always have too many things to say when it comes to English.


travelphilippines said...

there are lots of korean here in the philippinesmostly are learning english.. but i want to go to seoul to learn korean and eat kimchi hehe

Sunkyoung said...

Hey, thank you for your comment. One of my friends has been to the Philippines for the purpose as you said above.

Please come to Seoul and I'll be happy to help you with those two you'd like to do.:)

Lavenderlady said...

I enjoyed reading your post about learning to speak English. You have some excellent points...learning to speak English is not as easy as one might imagine . I teach English as a Second Language here in Sequim. It is a constant challenge to put students in a situation where they get to practice what they learn.

Sunkyoung said...

Thanks very much indeed, lavenderlady. If you say, even in the US, the English-speaking country, you meet the challenge, you can easily imagine what the situation is like here. Because of this, millions of students are heading to all the countries that speaks English during their summer break. I think you already have Korean students in your class or may meet any soon.:)