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July 25, 2013

Republic of Korea | Opinion

Cultural understanding key to English learning

English-Teaching-in-KoreaYoon Seon-joo, country manager of EF Education First Korea, writes this week in The Korea Herald about the role of culture in learning English.

When I was little, I had a great opportunity to live in the U.S. with my family for almost two years, which is when I first learned English and made foreign friends. I attended ESL or English as a second language classes at school with other international students whose parents were graduate students there like mine. During the first few days, the most difficult flash card to remember was “bread and butter” because, for me, “bread,” “and” and “butter” were three “unassociated” words instead of one like “apple” or “grapes” on other flash cards. Seeing others eat bread together with butter and doing so myself, however, I was soon able to remember this phrase, as eating bread with butter quickly became as natural as eating rice with kimchi. This was a 7-year-old Korean girl version of “living the language” and learning language by linking it to culture.

Read the full article from The Korea Herald.

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