It’s no secret that Koreans are leading the global education investment scale in both dollar terms and number of hours spent studying. An average Korean high school student spends as much as 16 hours studying every day.
Korean parents want the best for their kids, so they spend hundreds of dollars a month on private education, specifically on English classes, as they believe learning English is the key to getting into a leading university and ultimately, their ticket to success.
In fact, Korean government and private spending on English education per capita is the highest globally. But recently educators and parents have been voicing some concerns over the effectiveness of the investment. Korea ranks lower in English proficiency levels than other countries in much of Asia and Western Europe, and has not improved its ranking in recent years.
One concern is that the Korean approach to education places emphasis on teacher-centered frontal lectures and memorizing. This approach does not encourage communication-based learning, which would provide students with opportunities to use their developing language skills in meaningful contexts.
Another concern has been linked to the quality of foreign teachers. The Korean government encouraged thousands foreign, native-English speakers to work in Korea as English teachers. This tactic has not been successful. Many of these teachers received no formal training and had little more qualification than a high school degree. Love magic
So in fact, while parents have been spending more on expensive English classes, they have been receiving a very questionable return on their investment, with unqualified and frequently changing hagwon teachers.
Change is on its way now. Dong-A publishing has been investing in its DOOIT English Academy brand together with Time To Know’s learner-centered technology. At DOOIT hagwons, all classes are fully digital, and teach according to DOOIT’s special Time To Know software that helps students develop communicative competencies: listening, speaking and pronunciation, as well as reading and writing skills. Learning with Time To Know is a fun and interactive experience this way. The combination of enhanced technology and proven methodology has contributed to better pedagogical results.
More importantly, all DOOIT teachers go through special pedagogical training required to work with the technology, and designed to make sure every child is taught at his own level and receives personal attention. This way – every child enrolled in the DOOIT academy enjoys the learning experience; parents get progress reports and eventually a proper return on their investment.