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  • sleepy
  • Veteran

    • 175

    • April 02, 2013, 03:05:44 pm
Korea lifts English education ban for first, second graders
« on: March 14, 2019, 03:27:31 pm »
http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2019/03/181_265365.html

Quote
Lawmakers have approved an amendment to revert the policy banning English education for first and second graders at elementary schools.

The National Assembly passed the amendment Wednesday to allow first and second graders to learn English in after-school classes. The move comes only a year after the policy came into force to prohibit all English classes for children "too young to learn a foreign language."

After introducing the policy, the Ministry of Education was criticized by teachers and parents alike. Many said the policy would only deepen the English gap between the rich and the poor, who cannot afford expensive private education.

Given that English is not a regular subject for first and second graders, if they want, they will be allowed to learn English in after-school classes from next semester.

Initially, the ministry defended the policy, saying it was in line with the Constitutional Court's 2016 ruling that found its ban on intensive English education for first and second graders constitutional. The court said teaching them Korean and English simultaneously could hinder their development of Korean proficiency.

But many scholars were skeptical, saying learning a foreign language at an early age outweighs its negatives ― if there are any ― in the long term.

I miss teaching the 'young uns'


Re: Korea lifts English education ban for first, second graders
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2019, 04:53:05 am »
I never understood the back and forth on this issue. Koreans send 3 year olds to private English kindergartens for 800,000W and up a month. After three years they are pretty fluent at reading/writing/speaking in English. Korea is a pointlessly competitive place to raise a kid and parents who can't afford these fees are expected to wait until their kids are in 3rd grade to learn English. So most urban kids have 6 years of English education by the time that rural kids start to learn the English alphabet, often in classes of 30 kids where the teacher can really only teach the kids who go to hagwons because they're the only ones who care or who can do the lessons. Most of the other kids just don't care and don't put any effort into learning English because they don't see the point. There are good kids who don't go to hagwons but they are still so behind the ones who do. So I understand why these parents want their kids to get as much free English as possible.

On the other hand, I taught English to 1st and 2nd graders in public schools (winter/summer camps and afternoon classes) and it was pretty pointless because most of the time it was me trying to corral a bunch of feral kids with no Korean co-teacher in the room. I did have one 2nd grade class at a winter camp at a rural school who were amazing though, very respectful and eager to learn.

If they would get Korean co-teachers into these classes then they would work. Otherwise it's just a bunch of feral kids running around on top of desks and refusing to do anything but watch Youtube and do coloring.
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Quote from: Mr.DeMartino on Yesterday at 01:40:32 PM

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  • Piggydee
  • The Legend

    • 2546

    • October 15, 2013, 07:32:43 am
    • South Korea
1st and 2nd grade no longer banned to teach.
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2019, 09:45:07 am »
So I was informed this morning that I would be teaching 1st and 2nd grade one day a week.  Not happy about this change in my schedule.  I asking around and from what I hear the rule on no longer teaching 1st and 2nd grade has been lifted.  Anyone else having to teach them again.  :-[


  • Kayos
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1223

    • March 31, 2016, 07:13:57 pm
    • NZ
Re: 1st and 2nd grade no longer banned to teach.
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2019, 09:58:52 am »
So I was informed this morning that I would be teaching 1st and 2nd grade one day a week.  Not happy about this change in my schedule.  I asking around and from what I hear the rule on no longer teaching 1st and 2nd grade has been lifted.  Anyone else having to teach them again.  :-[

This was asked to the education office of Jeollanamdo last week, and we got told:
It's still illegal to teach 1st and 2nd graders if you are on an E-2 visa. If you are on an E-2, and it gets put onto your schedule, first, let the school know it is still illegal and that you don't want to risk your job over it, if the school insists on making you teach it, contact your co-ordinator at the education office of your province, and they will contact your school about it, because all schools should know that it is illegal.
(I'm not sure about other visa's though, but E-2 was mentioned from our province's education office)


  • thunderlips
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1422

    • June 07, 2012, 10:01:55 am
    • South Korea
Re: 1st and 2nd grade no longer banned to teach.
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2019, 10:36:28 am »
So I was informed this morning that I would be teaching 1st and 2nd grade one day a week.  Not happy about this change in my schedule.  I asking around and from what I hear the rule on no longer teaching 1st and 2nd grade has been lifted.  Anyone else having to teach them again.  :-[

This was asked to the education office of Jeollanamdo last week, and we got told:
It's still illegal to teach 1st and 2nd graders if you are on an E-2 visa. If you are on an E-2, and it gets put onto your schedule, first, let the school know it is still illegal and that you don't want to risk your job over it, if the school insists on making you teach it, contact your co-ordinator at the education office of your province, and they will contact your school about it, because all schools should know that it is illegal.
(I'm not sure about other visa's though, but E-2 was mentioned from our province's education office)

Apparently the law has been changed to allow for after-school nownext semester for gr 1 &2, not sure if it is official yet though.

https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2019/03/181_265365.html
« Last Edit: March 18, 2019, 10:38:19 am by thunderlips »


  • Kayos
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1223

    • March 31, 2016, 07:13:57 pm
    • NZ
Re: 1st and 2nd grade no longer banned to teach.
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2019, 10:54:54 am »
So I was informed this morning that I would be teaching 1st and 2nd grade one day a week.  Not happy about this change in my schedule.  I asking around and from what I hear the rule on no longer teaching 1st and 2nd grade has been lifted.  Anyone else having to teach them again.  :-[

This was asked to the education office of Jeollanamdo last week, and we got told:
It's still illegal to teach 1st and 2nd graders if you are on an E-2 visa. If you are on an E-2, and it gets put onto your schedule, first, let the school know it is still illegal and that you don't want to risk your job over it, if the school insists on making you teach it, contact your co-ordinator at the education office of your province, and they will contact your school about it, because all schools should know that it is illegal.
(I'm not sure about other visa's though, but E-2 was mentioned from our province's education office)

Apparently the law has been changed to allow for after-school nownext semester for gr 1 &2, not sure if it is official yet though.

https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2019/03/181_265365.html

Ahh interesting, based on that it passed on Wednesday, which was when another teacher asked the Jeolla education office about it.
It looks like it won't start again until semester 2, which means, teaching 1 and 2's might still be illegal this semester?
I'd assume it is, until you get official word from the education office. Better to be safe and all that. :p


  • Piggydee
  • The Legend

    • 2546

    • October 15, 2013, 07:32:43 am
    • South Korea
Re: 1st and 2nd grade no longer banned to teach.
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2019, 11:46:15 am »
I was told the new class will go into effect next month.  I guess on the bright side I will have a co-teacher in the room.  I can't with kids cryings, running around, and fighting all the time. 


  • sleepy
  • Veteran

    • 175

    • April 02, 2013, 03:05:44 pm
Re: 1st and 2nd grade no longer banned to teach.
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2019, 06:22:56 pm »
http://www.waygook.org/index.php?topic=116767.0

I broke the news first. I thought I made the title clear for everyone.  :P



  • thunderlips
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1422

    • June 07, 2012, 10:01:55 am
    • South Korea
Re: 1st and 2nd grade no longer banned to teach.
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2019, 09:53:00 pm »
http://www.waygook.org/index.php?topic=116767.0

I broke the news first. I thought I made the title clear for everyone.  :P

If itís any consolation you and dopey and grumpy are my favorite dwarves.   :-*


  • sleepy
  • Veteran

    • 175

    • April 02, 2013, 03:05:44 pm
Re: 1st and 2nd grade no longer banned to teach.
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2019, 06:27:04 am »
Next up, daily kindergarten lessons!


  • Piggydee
  • The Legend

    • 2546

    • October 15, 2013, 07:32:43 am
    • South Korea
Re: Korea lifts English education ban for first, second graders
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2019, 07:18:44 am »
I never understood the back and forth on this issue. Koreans send 3 year olds to private English kindergartens for 800,000W and up a month. After three years they are pretty fluent at reading/writing/speaking in English. Korea is a pointlessly competitive place to raise a kid and parents who can't afford these fees are expected to wait until their kids are in 3rd grade to learn English. So most urban kids have 6 years of English education by the time that rural kids start to learn the English alphabet, often in classes of 30 kids where the teacher can really only teach the kids who go to hagwons because they're the only ones who care or who can do the lessons. Most of the other kids just don't care and don't put any effort into learning English because they don't see the point. There are good kids who don't go to hagwons but they are still so behind the ones who do. So I understand why these parents want their kids to get as much free English as possible.

On the other hand, I taught English to 1st and 2nd graders in public schools (winter/summer camps and afternoon classes) and it was pretty pointless because most of the time it was me trying to corral a bunch of feral kids with no Korean co-teacher in the room. I did have one 2nd grade class at a winter camp at a rural school who were amazing though, very respectful and eager to learn.

If they would get Korean co-teachers into these classes then they would work. Otherwise it's just a bunch of feral kids running around on top of desks and refusing to do anything but watch Youtube and do coloring.

+1 this!  Seriously every elementary teacher I ran into either had extreme headaches with teaching these kids or were the type of teachers who would let the kids just run around and knock into each other to encourage 'free range' teaching.  Whatever that means!  When I taught 1st graders two years ago they were exactly how you described them.  Feral, running around, no respect, not listening.  Now that I have them as 3rd graders I'm glad to see that they have mellowed out for the most part, but I can see with a lot of them they didn't soak up the alphabet the first time I taught them (which was partly due to them not being in their seats the whole time) and because most of them don't go to hakwon.  One girl kept busting out into tears anytime I opened my mouth so her homeroom teacher decided it was best for her to get another class in place of my English class.   Needless to say, she is looking at the alphabet with fresh eyes now.  Thankfully she doesn't cry anymore when she sees me or when I talk to her.  Having a co-teacher in a room would really have corrected these behaviors and given me the ability to ACTUALLY TEACH and not have to be an ant wrangler. 


Re: Korea lifts English education ban for first, second graders
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2019, 07:50:56 am »
One girl kept busting out into tears anytime I opened my mouth so her homeroom teacher decided it was best for her to get another class in place of my English class. 
Reminds me of this time a kid started bawling when she saw me in a park in Seoul. Seriously, she was inconsolable. Her mom was super embarrassed and apologized profusely - but the damage was done :laugh:


  • APH
  • Adventurer

    • 70

    • November 17, 2018, 12:32:33 pm
    • Seoul
Re: 1st and 2nd grade no longer banned to teach.
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2019, 02:49:30 pm »
I don't understand this, did this law only apply to public schools?

I've been teaching everything from 3 year old kindergarten students (western age) all the way through to 13/14 year olds since I arrived in Korea. So I've taught kindergarten kids and grades 1 & 2 every day. I work at a Hagwon though so did the ban only apply to public schools?


  • thunderlips
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1422

    • June 07, 2012, 10:01:55 am
    • South Korea
Re: 1st and 2nd grade no longer banned to teach.
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2019, 02:54:28 pm »
I don't understand this, did this law only apply to public schools?

I've been teaching everything from 3 year old kindergarten students (western age) all the way through to 13/14 year olds since I arrived in Korea. So I've taught kindergarten kids and grades 1 & 2 every day. I work at a Hagwon though so did the ban only apply to public schools?

Yes only public school ban. The law was most likely pushed hard for by the hagwon association.


Re: 1st and 2nd grade no longer banned to teach.
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2019, 11:17:19 am »
Just another example of poor system management in Korea.  I used to teach grades 1 and 2 after school programs every year until last year when it was quote unquote illegal/banned.   I thought how odd of a law that was because it made no sense.  I opposed that change internally because as foreign teachers, we have no say in the matter and it's not like we can go to the education ministry and question them (but I wanted to).   One year later, they go back on that law and restore it to what it was and I'm feeling like "I told you so".    Sometimes they just don't make any sense.