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For the last decade or so, Koreans have been obsessed with learning english. In many ways, one's ability to speak english symbolizes wealth, status, superiority and even hipness. For example, english words and phrases are often used to advertise designer goods and luxury items, and can even be heard in Korean pop songs. Clearly, the Republic of Korea has a fascination with the english language. However, despite the fact that South Korea, an advanced, developed country, spends so much time, money and resources trying to make english its unofficial second language, it has failed to see legitimate results. Year after year, when the results for TOEIC and other internationally standardized english tests become available, Korea still lags near the bottom despite their committed investment. This research article will take a brief look at the status of english as a second language in Korea, and based on the material presented in the ITTT lecture notes, offer some insight as to what could be improved in order to help Koreans obtain their goal of becoming first rate english speakers. From a young age, most Korean children spend countless hours attending an english hagwon (academy), while some even pay to have their own private english tutor. Education is immensely important in Korea, and english is one of the most important subjects. Competition to enter the elite universities in Seoul is fierce, so from an early age, parents seek to gain some sort of advantage over their neighbours and fellow countrymen, and this often consists of sending their children to as many academies as the academy can afford. Being able to send one's children to several academies is something the growing middle class can afford. And while an english academy is one of the most expensive academies one can attend (paying for foreigners to move to Korea), it is likely the most popular type of academy in the country, thus casing the private industry to flourish financially. However, despite the average Korean's unwavering commitment to having their children learn english as a second language, the system is incredibly flawed and in despite need of nationalization and improvement. First, and partly due to Korea's Confucian roots, the english academies are very rigid in their approach. teachers are highly respected, but are often given too much authority. Furthermore, students are taught that they should not question their teachers. This Confucian combination makes english lessons way too teacher centric. More often than not, the educator spends most of the time speaking, writing and explaining, while the students are left with the short end of the stick and do not get the amount of time needed to experiment and practice freely with speech. Moreover, things like group activities and pair work are frowned upon, and in all of my time in Korea, I don't think my assigned lesson plan has called for a group activity. In contrast, the ITTT lecture notes list various types of teaching styles that a teacher can use (moderator, facilitator, tutor, prompter, assessor, etc.) so that he/she is not always dominating the class. In addition, the ITTT lecture notes endorse the ESA methodology which often calls for students to work and communicate with each other while the teacher switches roles and takes a back seat. However, in Korea, it is believed that if and when the teacher assumes a role other than the controller or manager, it allows the students too much freedom, and that the teacher lacks authoritativeness. Another major reason why hagwons fail to provide Koreans with a well rounded english education, is due to the fact that too much class time is spent on time consuming bureaucratic affairs that eat into valuable time lost speaking and leaning with a native teacher. I work for one of the largest english language institutes in Korea. I believe that there are over fifty institutes in Korea, along several in china, the philippines, canada and the united states. Due to the sheer size of the company, there are many strengths, one of them being able to publish their own material: course books, workbooks, book report portfolios, reading logs and student books. Aside from the story books that fill the library, my hagwon is able to have an independent curriculum for students of all levels. However, I believe that they have gone overboard and the curriculum and have the students doing too many things outside of class, for which the teacher must spend time checking in class. For example, students will have two or three pages of homework that need to be checked at the beginning of class while they write a daily test. Moreover, on top of checking the homework, the teacher must check their student books to see if they have completed the rewrites for all of their tests from the previous week, plus some other bureaucratic affairs. For this reason, teachers are spending anywhere from 15-25 minutes of a 45 minute class doing paperwork. In my mind it is completely ridiculous for the teacher to be wasting class time on these affairs, and not spending more time teaching or allowing the children more time to speak. My opinion has deepened since taking the ITTT tesol course and has made me much more critical of the system I am employed in. In short, Korea is a very wealthy and tech savvy nation where everyone has a cellular phone and access to the fastest Internet connection in the world. More often than not, Korean academies are outfitted with state of the art equipment and a plethora or resources that making teaching and learning easy and enjoyable. Moreover, Korean pupils are very hardworking, clever and respectful. However, due to its uncompromising Confucian roots, english teachers are given too much authority and have a hard time breaking away from the standard teacher as a controller role. Moreover, the rigorous Korean work ethic places too much stress on homework and production, rather than allowing students more time to talk freely and experiment with the english language. More often than not, more emphasis is placed on quality over quality in order to appease parents who want to see production rather than practice. Ultimately, too much time is being spent giving arbitrary grades and approaching the study of english as if it were some type of math. In order for Koreans to maximize their investment, a major overhaul of the public school and private academy english curriculum is greatly needed. Contracting ITTT to implement their philosophies and methodologies would be a good start.