The government will review plans to hire more native-speaking English teachers and introduce video teaching, in a bid to strengthen language education in elementary schools.
The Ministry of Education also announced Tuesday the launch of a 19-member consultative body, composed of school teachers, parents and professors, to work with Korea Institute for Curriculum and Evaluation in reviewing such plans and coming up with an improvement proposal by the end of the year.
While the ministry was criticized for banning afterschool English classes for first and second graders in elementary school, it said it aims to ensure the government takes charge of English education, which starts in third grade.
The consultative body and the ministry will look into ways to expand the hours of exposure to English for students, and plans to hire more native English teachers. They also will review introducing a remote video education system to connect to overseas schools for educational language exchanges.
The ministry’s move to hire more foreign teachers is a turnabout from its earlier position. The number of native English teachers in public elementary, middle and high schools had drastically fallen from 7,790 in 2013 to 3,260 in 2015 -- mainly due to budget restructuring.
Other ways to boost English language education in schools include providing support for international connections between schools here and those abroad, and recommending book reading programs, the ministry said.
Education Ministry will provide the largest financial support for the operation of English camps running during school holidays and afterschool for students living in rural and remote areas.
The consultative body and the ministry said they will come up with a proposal for improving English education in public schools by October and finalize the plan in December.
By Jo He-rim (firstname.lastname@example.org)