North Korean defectors struggle with English language in South

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One out of three North Korean defectors who attend university in South Korea are considering a leave of absence, or dropping out, because of language barriers.

While Koreans on both sides of the divide speak the same language, English words are commonly used in the South Korean vernacular, and English is often a required second language in educational settings, which may not be the case in the North.

The findings from government-run Korea Development Institute indicate nearly a third of defectors enrolled in universities would like to suspend their studies because they struggle with English. Not all defectors, however, are considering permanently dropping out of school. About 30 percent of those surveyed said they would like to take time off to study English.

Others may be struggling economically in South Korea: About 29 percent said they would like to leave school in order to “keep up with the cost of living,” while about 12 percent said they “cannot keep up with the course content.”


This entry was posted in by Grant Montgomery.

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