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Korea’s EFL Education is Failing, But What Can Be Done About It?

Is Korea’s EFL teaching failing? This question was asked by Groove Magazine in its March issue. The article was a comprehensive account of the history of Korea’s attempt to make its population more competitive by making English language skills key to a child’s education. I thought that the answer was pretty straight forward. Yes. Korea’s EFL instruction programme is failing. But maybe it was an easy question.

Of course it’s important to set out from the beginning to establish the fact that you’re talking about the governments drive to instil native speaker capabilities among the populace. And it’s important to know that whenever you read an argument like this you have to remember that opinions have already been forged on the barstools of waegdom, so convincing any new comers to the discussion will allow for short work.


K-pop, Celeb Spotting, and Fangirls: My Inkigayo Experience

Last week, Korea welcomed its ten millionth tourist with a ceremony at Incheon International Airport.  Tourism in Korea has grown exponentially in recent years, partly due to the improvement of tourism policies and the measures taken by the government to make travel around the peninsula more convenient for foreigners.  Still, there's a more obvious catalyst for the sudden boom in tourism: Hallyu, a combination of soap operas, movies, and, of course, K-pop.

This Wave Probably Won’t Crash American Shores

Here’s the latest effort from Girls’ Generation (all English version):


Quick Hits: Chris Gohomely, Samsung Firing Back and the USA RSVP

Maybe now he can finally pursue that degree in Korean women’s studies

I assume he was struck by lightning just moments prior


The Curious Case of Chris Golightly


One of these things is not like the others

Over the past couple years, Korea really got bit hard by the reality/audition “become a star” type show that has been sweeping the rest of the world for a while now. One of the first to bring this wave upon 대한 was SuperstarK on Korean cable’s M.net. This near carbon copy ofAmerican Idol has also been one of the most popular shows, despite stiff recent competition from network audition programs, and many top competitors have been able to have some success on the Kpop scene following their time on the show (probably thanks in no small part to M.Net‘s powerful music label).


비 비 Go Away, Come Again Another Day (in 21 months)

 

Alright, lame title (EDIT: is the new alternate title any better?) I know but it’s the best I could come up with for a subject that none of you readers are likely all that interested in. On Friday, South Korean mega-everything star 비 (Rain) announced he would finally begin his mandatory military enlistment on Oct. 11th. For those of you outside Korea, you may have seen him as Taejo in the awful Speed Racer movie, or perhaps even as Raizo in the also awful, but awful in an amusing way, Ninja Assassin. I would hope you’ve,  at the very least, seen his absolutely hilariously dance-off with Steven Colbert, but if not see it here.

I would argue these appearances make Rain, by far, the most successful South Korean star to enter Western entertainment. I also believe, probably more than any other star, 비 has also been the most successful branching out in different areas of South Korean media and that said I can say I am a fan of his work. First off, he’s an absolutely incredible dancer (I would rank him right up with Michael Jackson in his prime) and very engaging as an actor. I would recommend any Korean drama newbies to watch Full House (풀하우스), really a staple of the genre and what took Rain from a popular singer to megastar status. Finally, I would literally kill for those abs (and guys out there, be honest with yourself, you would too).


2NE1 and Ugly

 


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