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The paradox of prohibiting English after-school classes

Posted January. 05, 2018 09:32,   

Updated January. 05, 2018 09:50


Children have amazing abilities. Many children gifted in language appear on the TV show called “Finding Genius.” A nine-year-old child who is attending a school in Goseong, Gangwon Province, imitates his older sister studying English and now shows amazing skills in English, even good enough to win the first prize in a national English speaking contest. There is even a seven-year-old child who has been learning English for nine months through storybooks, but listens to CNN News and even pass English listening test for high school seniors.

Even in the United States, an article was released on The New York Times in 2006 that foreign language education for children at age 5 or under has been generalized, as much as education in art or music. U.S. President Donald Trump showed a video of his granddaughter. Arabella Kushner, during his visit to China in 2017. In the video, Arabella was singing a Chinese song and recited ancient poems in Chinese, and was loved by the Chinese people. Ivanka, Arabella’s mother, has taught her Chinese since she was three years old.

The Korean Ministry of Education has set the direction to prohibiting English after-school classes at kindergartens and day care centers. The ministry has decided that it will take such an action in the aspect of consistency, given that extra-curricular English classes for first and second graders in elementary schools are now prohibited starting in 2018. It is difficult to say which age is the best to start learning foreign language. The opinion that if a child learns foreign language before learning his or her native language, it may cause difficulties in learning the native language does have a point. But it is also understandable that parents prefer bilingualism, in which children learn foreign language, even if he or she learns the native language a bit later.

The problem lies on a uniform restriction. Let alone the prohibition of English classes in national and public elementary schools, it even forcefully prohibited English classes in private elementary schools, and now the ministry is trying to even trying to prohibit English classes after kindergartens or day care centers after drafting self-regulated pre-school education process under the Nuri Education Process, which spent a large amount of government money. Private English institutions are the only happy ones, and the common people are the ones who will suffer, as they have to pay extra money for their children’s English lessons at private institutions. After school classes were originally created to absorb private education. It is difficult to explain this ridiculous paradox that the education with equalitarianism by the progressive government is actually encouraging private education.