Education and teaching

Suki Kim: Without You, There Is No Us. Rider / Penguin Random House, 2015, 291pp I always come to books about the DPRK with a certain amount of reluctance, because there are far too many of them and I wonder what each successive book will have to say that is new. I approached this one […]

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2015 Travel Diary day 8: Back to school, back to Seoul

by Philip Gowman 5 June 2015
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Sancheong-gun, Friday 5 June Today I am due to say farewell to Sancheong again, but before I leave there is a treat in store: a school visit. Mr Yoon’s wife happens to teach in a primary school in Dangye Village, and she thought it might be nice for her pupils to meet a foreigner. And […]

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British Council signs teacher training deal in DPRK

by Philip Gowman 26 June 2014
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Yesterday the British Council were in Pyongyang signing a letter of understanding on English teaching and teacher training, according to KCNA. The DPRK’s press operation is clearly quick off the mark, as there’s nothing on the British Council website about this yet. To be honest, I’m not sure what’s new here, as the British Council […]

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A visit to the British Museum’s Samsung Digital Discovery Centre

by Shouvik Datta 3 March 2014
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“There are few museums in the world who are doing work with young people on the scale we are doing:” Shouvik Datta discovers how Samsung is helping the British Museum to engage with a younger audience. I was recently checking the website of the British Museum, when I came across with interest and surprise the […]

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BBC Panorama on Pyongyang University of Science & Technology

by Events Editor 3 February 2014
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Tonight’s BBC documentary on PUST is already generating column inches. The Independent calls the university, which is backed by South Korean and US charities, a “Trojan Horse”, though some regard such language as unhelpful. A long trailer article for the programme is now up on the BBC website. After its 8:30pm screening tonight it will […]

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NLCS Jeju featured in the Telegraph

by Philip Gowman 16 November 2013
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This week the Daily Telegraph featured the Jeju campus of North London Collegiate School: a piece of Stanmore in Seogwipo. The boarding school has now been running for two years. You can’t help but be inspired by the enjoyment, enthusiasm and confidence of the students, even though they are being taught in what, to them, […]

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An Introduction to North Korean Children’s Literature

by Philip Gowman 4 November 2013
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There’s fascinating insight into North Korean children’s literature by Christopher Richardson over on SinoNK. Do give the article a read. And then try Sonia Ryang’s excellent Reading North Korea which looks at adult literature and film in North Korea. That’s a book I’ve now read three times in the hope that I’ll get around to […]

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Extreme School? Teenage education exchange on the TV

by Events Editor 18 March 2013
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I’m not sure that it’s appropriate to call the particular school in South Korea “extreme”. Pupils showing respect and working hard shouldn’t be regarded as extreme. Rather, wouldn’t it be nice if the behaviour of the two Swansea kids was regarded as extreme? On CBBC, 21 March at 4:30pm Extreme School: South Korea Two year […]

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What the British Say… and what they mean

by Philip Gowman 19 February 2013
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This has been doing the rounds on the internet for a while, but deservedly: a very accurate dissection of the differences between what the British say, what they actually mean and what the non-native-English-speaker, or indeed anyone not British, might understand. Although the table suggests it relates to the British, it’s probably most accurate of […]

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Looking back at 2012: Domestic news

by Philip Gowman 26 January 2013
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In our final round-up of Korea-related stories which caught our eye in 2012, we look at domestic and business news. Modern Life and how to escape it. Korea came 24th out of 34 leading countries in an OECD quality of life index, coming bottom of the class in job security and gender income inequality and […]

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On Pyongyang University of Science and Technology

by Shouvik Datta 25 February 2012
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My time in Korea as a British English teacher was all spent in South Korea (or Republic of Korea). In the South, North Korea is a land no one talks about (although many still have family in) which became divided from the South as a result of the 1950-3 war. I decided to attend the […]

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A slice of North London in Seogwipo

by Philip Gowman 4 October 2011
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A slice of North London in Seogwipo: North London Collegiate School opens overseas campus in Jeju-do http://t.co/waEFr82X, 26 September 2011.

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Korea aims to impose studying curfew at 10pm

by Philip Gowman 27 September 2011
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The mission of Seoul’s hagwon inspectors: to find children who are studying after 10 pm. And stop them. Interesting article on Korean education in Time magazine. http://t.co/s77wkiRh

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Obama lauds South Korean education

by Matthew Jackson 25 April 2011
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Most people who have had contact with South Korean culture, especially in a teaching context, know that Koreans take education seriously. I asked a Korean friend for chapter and verse on this, and she told me the following. Elementary schools start at 8:30 and finish between 12:30 (first grade) and 2:30 (sixth grade). Pupils usually […]

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Dulwich College to open an outpost in Seoul

by Philip Gowman 12 March 2010
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Dulwich College is opening an outpost in Seoul, and is already accepting applications. # The opening of the college is a significant milestone for expatriates in the city as it represents the first kindergarten to 12th grade school offering a British education. The existing British School has no high school facility. Source: Korea Times

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History of scapegoating English teachers

by Philip Gowman 17 November 2007

English language teachers are never out of the press for long. Most recently there’s the Canadian paedophile who was teaching in Korea, and then a fairly familiar story about teachers being busted for smoking cannabis. The thing that struck me most about the cannabis story is the price. I knew that English teaching in Korea […]

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Brits need not apply

by Philip Gowman 14 August 2007

Or Aussies or Kiwis for that matter. A full-page ad in the current issue of Seoul Magazine seeks to satisfy Korea’s seemingly insatiable appetite for English language teachers. The ad starts: Thousands of College Graduates are going to South Korea to teach English to pay off their student loans and to gain international experience. The […]

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