South Korean Government to Ban English Teaching in Early Education Classes

Via a reader tip comes news that English education will soon be banned in early education classes in South Korea:

The Ministry of Education (MOE) plans to ban English classes at daycare centers and kindergartens, following its recent controversial decision to scrap afterschool English classes at elementary schools.

In December, the ministry said it will abolish afterschool English classes for first and second graders when the 2018 term begins in March.

Officials believe starting English at a young age has little benefit and claim that it creates a great deal of stress for children.

“There are two main reasons the ministry is working to get rid of the program. Many experts believe the process of learning English is too stressful and less effective for young children.” said Kwon Ji-young, a director of early childhood education, at the MOE. “Secondly, English will be provided in classes starting in the 3rd grade, so English classes before this only become early preparation for elementary school.”  [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link, but it seems to me a kid learning a foreign language at a younger age is better than waiting until they are order and possibly not as comfortable with learning a foreign language.

I also wonder if this has anything to do with trying to reduce education costs for parents by deemphasizing English education?  The costs for private English tutoring can be very expensive.  If this is the case then English testing in national exams needs to be deemphasized as well.



I am a US military veteran that has served all over the world to include in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Korea. I have been blogging about Korea, Northeast Asia, and the US military for over 10 years.


  1. My wife says that’s good. It takes a lot of pressure off those young children.

  2. The pressure is applied by parents wanting to make sure their preschooler will get into the “right” college.

  3. I heard that English will be eliminated in the early grades, but Chinese will be allowed.

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