KT: Korea's lavish spending on English backfires

Second Semester is Here Forums Discussion Forum Korea News KT: Korea's lavish spending on English backfires

This topic contains 3 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Andy 2 years ago. This post has been viewed 395 times

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  • #1303
    DrKnow
    DrKnow
    Keymaster
    • Total Posts: 492

    http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2017/10/181_237687.html

    Articles like ths always irritate and depress me. First of all, could they provide a link, perhaps? Well, I can obviously (here’s the pdf: https://www.ets.org/s/toeic/pdf/ww_data_report_unlweb.pdf) but there are two people on this story and they can’t be bothered to even mention, say, the authority of the report?

    Korea ranked below such less-developed, non-English-speaking countries as the Czech Republic and Argentina.

    Okay, that’s true. Korea ranked the highest in Asia, at 19th, whereas Taiwan and Japan (which ususally spend a lot more than Korea) placed 40th and 41st, respectively. I’m a little suprised that that wasn’t the nut of the article, but I guess an agenda is an agenda.

    In Korea, English has been mandatory from elementary school since 1997. English is not so heavily enforced or emphasized in the [less-developed, non-English-speaking] Czech Republic or Argentina.

    This point, while it may be true, seems genuinely non-sequitur, unless the authors were sneakily cherry-picking the only two higher-ranked countries of the 18 about which that can be said. I’m also not sure it’s true. According to this Grauniad article https://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/mar/10/argentina-economic-stability-english-language:

    the barrio of Belgrano, the Chelsea of Buenos Aires, the up-market streets are lined with dozens of bilingual schools. The Language Faculty at the University of Buenos Aires offers three times as many classes for beginners’ English than it does for neighbouring Brazilian Portuguese.

    For the record, this article is #1 most read story on the Korea Times site English version at time of writing.

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  • #1325

    Andy
    Keymaster
    • Total Posts: 91

    Well they certainly know how to drive page views on their English language page. Anecdata, to be sure, but I feel like there has been a huge change in the English ability of the average Korean person in the fifteen years or so that I have been here.

    Also not mentioned in the article is how both the Czech Republic and Argentina have large amounts of foreign tourism and how both are much less culturally homogenous than Korea is. But they got our clicks, I guess.

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    • #1369
      DrKnow
      DrKnow
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      • Total Posts: 492

      Wait, so “anecdata” is a word, but “bibimbap” isn’t?

      Not trying to start a fight, but the folks at Merriam-Webster don’t agree.

      And I’m kinda with them. Anecdata suggests “anecdotal evidence” which is more or less a story that supports your point. One piece of data. AKA datum.

      So if anything, the word should be “anecdatum”.

      That is all.

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    • #1370

      Andy
      Keymaster
      • Total Posts: 91

      Dictionaries that accept anecdata as a word: Google, Dictionary.com, Oxford, Macmillan, Wiktionary.

      I’m not really making a claim that it is or isn’t a real word, but I am more of a descriptivist than anything, and anectdata is definitely a word that is used and understood. For that matter, so is bibimbap, but I reserve the right to contradict myself. I contain multitudes.

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