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Poor Korean Proficiency

Posted July. 06, 2005 00:37,   


According to a survey, companies found the Korean proficiency of their new employees unsatisfactory. Newly hired employees’ ability in the Korean language is worse than their ability in English.

Therefore, jobseekers would do well to increase their chance of landing jobs by improving their Korean ability through reading a variety of books.

According to the survey conducted on Tuesday by Jobkorea, an online recruiting company, of 728 people in personnel management who were asked what the poorest skill in need of improvement, 5.6 percent of respondents replied “Korean ability” and 5.1 percent said “foreign language ability.”

“Korean proficiency” came in third as the area that new employees have to improve in, following “business expertise” (48.2 percent) and “personal relationships” (31.9 percent).

Of the respondents, 39.7 percent said among Korean abilities, “expression skill such as writing and speaking” needs the most improvement. Other areas in need of improvement are creative linguistic ability (20.6 percent), logical thinking ability (17.7 percent), grammar (13.0 percent), comprehension ability (6.6 percent) and Korean language related cultural knowledge (1.9 percent).

Among business skills involving the Korean language, “the ability to make a project plan and report” was found as the poorest ability as more than half (53.2 percent) of the respondents replied. In addition, conversation ability (31.6 percent), presentation ability (12.8 percent) and e-mail writing ability (1.6 percent) were found in need of improvement.

A mere 11.5 percent of respondents said they found the Korean proficiency of new employees satisfactory. On the contrary, 65.4 percent said “not bad” and 23.1 percent replied “unsatisfactory.”

Accordingly, 43.8 percent of those in personnel management replied they saw the need to conduct Korean proficiency tests when recruiting employees.

Hyo-Lim Son aryssong@donga.com