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Week 5 Article Responses

C&T 598

Dr. Cho


Choi: Acknowledging the reality that English has become a lingua franca in

international business, virtually all Korean people are committed to learning English.

The problem is that most of them wind up getting disoriented in pursuing the true goal of

learning English and keep only one goal in mind, i.e. obtaining as high an EFL test

score as possible.

This quote really summarizes how I feel English is being treated like at

Kyunghwa, and from it, I feel that it sort of deadens the purpose of forcing them to learn

English a little bit. Of course interaction in the international business stage is important,

but I feel that learning a language should be about much more than tests and

standards. I also feel that this trend of teaching for standardized tests is well in the

American education system as well, especially after the NCLB act, with schools

everywhere placing more and more emphasis on good test results rather than making

sure that students are actually learning what we teach them.

Question: In what ways can EFL teachers promote conversation and fluency

skills within the current Korean education system?

Byean: Opposed to a one-size-fits-all pedagogy (cf. Freire, 1970), the direction

should be from the students to the curriculum, and this change will make possible

autonomous learning in which the students actively participate in lessons. That is,

lessons which are designed with topics concerning the students interests and
community, and delivered in a problem-posing approach, can promote dialogue among

them, leading 876 TESOL QUARTERLY them to feel the ownership of class. This

dialogical approach can also enhance their critical eye on social and political issues

occurring in their communities.

In a perfect world, this is really what Id like English education to look like in

Korea. Student centered activities rather than teacher centered ones I feel really

empower students and can raise their confidence as well as their competence in

English. Unfortunately, as the article talks about, the current economic and social

structures in South Korea place too high an emphasis on international business

relations for this to be possible. High-level, society wide transformations are something

thats out of most teachers hands, but something has to change in the Korean

government for learners to get a more solid education.

Question: What can EFL teachers do to shake up the teaching for test mentality

in the classroom?