According to Kang Shin-who reporting in the The Korea Times, "Koreans spend a lot of energy and money on studying English but their efforts seem futile as they always remain at the bottom of tests measuring English capability compared with other countries."
As I argued before, when the same issue came up with TOEFL test scores, what this tells us is probably not that Koreans' efforts are futile, but that their proclivity for language test consumption outstrips their abilities in the language. I suppose it also tells us that, for better or for worse, the British Council seems to be doing a great job of selling their tests to Koreans. As far as Korea's English-language ability in comparison to that of Japan, Germany, or the other countries mentioned goes, I don't think we're any the wiser.
Because I was considering teaching English as a foreign language I perused Swan's practical English Usage (130 common mistakes) on the subject: I am surprised to learn I have apparently being speaking my native language incorrectly all these years. Oh, dear. Guess I had better scotch my TEFL plans.
Or maybe, just maybe, if these "mistakes" are so common, perhaps it may not be such terrible usage after all?
I am a bit surprised to see the title of the blog, as I recently built a website called SayJack, for those who want to learn Japanese, American English, Chinese and Korean (that's why SayJACK).
Check it out? http://www.sayjack.com
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