English education in Korea is a top priority for most Korean parents. Korea prioritizes learning the English language as there are tens of thousands of English Hagwons (Korean private learning centers) in South Korea. However, most English learning centers focus on memorization and not so much on creativity. Online you will find a lot of complaints from foreign teachers about the amount of pressure and work given to their students. Young Korean students are trained to study hard from as early as kindergarten. Therefore, this has led to a generation of followers in Korea instead of innovative thinkers in the Korean workforce.

Many Korean students develop strong skills by just taking English-based tests. When students in Korea only focus on high grades and high test scores for university admissions, they lack true passion and a dream goal. In 2022, well-educated university students in Korea will have difficulty finding a job. With the rise in AI and machine learning, more and more technical jobs will soon be obsolete. Therefore, Korea must do something to support young people in Korea to find their true passion and pursue entrepreneurship. 

This starts with English Hagwons, who need to change their old structured teaching style in Korea. Most children in Korea go to an English Hagwon at some point. Therefore, these hagwons must promote creativity, communication skills, and lateral thinking to succeed in 2022 and beyond. 

Coronavirus Changed English Education in Korea

Korean hagwons, as well as public and private schools in Korea, have changed due to Covid-19. For one, many smaller hagwons have gone out of business. Many students in Korea have gotten used to learning online. Many Korean startups have come up with innovative learning solutions to tackle the issues that the Coronavirus brought. Moving forward, Covid-19 will continue to impact Korea’s trajectory of learning innovation and digitization.

Look for more education apps in Korea and platforms that allow Korean students to learn via live streams. Furthermore, Koreans already have access to 5G technology as 5G continues to expand in 2022. This will allow students in Korea to embrace digital education in a range of formats. Educational influencers will be in high demand, and they will be able to teach students in a VR environment. This means creating immersive experiences using virtual technology.

English Education in Korea Through the Metaverse

English Education in Korea

The Metaverse is the hottest tech trend in 2022. As technology grows, it brings us new immersive and imaginary worlds. This offers an excellent opportunity to use this new technology to educate future generations. The Metaverse infrastructure is still in its infancy in South Korea. However, there remains a huge potential for the Metaverse to be used as an interconnected, immersive, and real-time online space for students in Korea. It has always been said that if you truly want to master a language, you need to be fully immersed in it. The Metaverse offers the chance for students in Korea to meet other students from around the world in the virtual world. Or simply go to the United States without having to leave the classroom. The possibilities are endless.

Training Koreans to go Global

English Education in Korea

The new generation of college graduates in Korea needs to be more creative and curious. The key is for these young future employees to ask the right questions without fearing their employer. The Korean office culture is a very structured system where those below you can not question decisions or new strategies. This is killing the top corporations in Korea and many Korean startups. A company will only succeed if it can innovate and create new ideas. These ideas need to be vetted by the CEO and the company as a whole.

Korea will benefit significantly if there are entrepreneurs starting companies in Korea and creating a workforce that inspires those within to start their own companies. Korean hagwons focus mainly on getting youths in Korea into top universities. What if there was a hagwon that focused on actual skills for entrepreneurship and leadership? Hagwons should be training future entrepreneurs and expanding their creative minds to find the right solutions for the future. The best tech tool to inspire young minds is VR technology

English Education in Korean Using VR Technology

When we think about the last revolution in education, we look at PCs, the internet, and apps and how they have been incorporated into education. However, when you look at most Hagwons in Korea, they don’t use the computer or the internet to their full capability. Sure the teacher might have access to the internet, and he/she can pull up something on their screen to show the class. However, the future of education in Korea will be for all students to have access to PCs, the internet, and VR headsets.

Most Korean Hagwons do not allow their students to have their personal computers or smartphone in class. This will change as technology becomes more and more interconnected in our everyday lives. Hagwons that continue to restrict students from accessing these devices when learning will get left behind by innovative hagwons that use them to offer students a more immersive learning experience. 

Furthermore, gone will be the days when a teacher with a group of 20-30 students just listens to the teacher. Technology will allow for more one-on-one mentorship. How? Many education startups in Korea are looking into creating intelligent robots to make learning more accessible to more people and tailor them to the student’s needs. 

VR will play a key role in teaching English Education in Korea.

English Education in Korea with VR

A Korean Hagwon that can utilize VR and supplement this technology into their English curriculum will be very successful in Korea. The future of English education in Korea is in VR. Many think that coding is the future of education. However, coding is just one digital skill. Creativity, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking are skills that can never be automated. Korean hagwons need to rethink the educational paradigm. We now live in a hyper-connected world, and the crucial question is what Hagwons in Korea will do with that. It has been proven that retention is 70% higher in virtual reality. This will have a significant impact on learning and the retention of facts.

VR has the potential to transform the way children will learn. However, Korean hagwons have not fully embraced VR in their educational settings due to the high cost of implementation. However, having VR in the classroom doesn’t mean going out and getting over a hundred Samsung Gear VR headsets. Hagwons can invest a small amount into low-cost cardboard headsets that can be attached to a smartphone. 

Big companies like Google, Samsung, LG, Apple, and Facebook are already looking into VR applications for the classroom. Below are some innovative things you can do once you incorporate VR into Korean hagwons.

Virtual Field Trips Around the World – Google Expeditions

VR expeditions

Most Korean children have not been outside of Korea. Only a handful of Korean youth even gets to travel outside of Asia. VR will allow for virtual field trips to take students in Korea outside of Korea and see the world. In addition, VR can take children across space, deep into the ocean, and even back in time! Imagine the possibilities. Google Expeditions are just one example of big corporations using VR technology to expand the way we learn. It is a free app that is a teaching tool in virtual reality. It is designed for classroom use, and it allows teachers to act as guides to their students in the virtual world. 

Hagwons in Korea Need to Utitilzie Google Expeditions

VR Hagwon in Korea

Hagwons in Korea can benefit from Google Expeditions. It has over 300 HD image expeditions you can view with even a simple cardboard VR headset for your smartphone. It is easy to install and perfect for teachers looking to guide their students through a VR journey. Some educational expeditions include The Moon, The Great Wall of China, Mount Everest, Space, Underwater Sharks, The San Diego Zoo, and Mount Fuji, just to name a few.

Great for Teachers

Teachers have access to scripts to use as a guide. Therefore it is a guided experience that makes it easier to correlate the Expedition with instructional objectives. Make sure the smartphone has a gyroscope and accelerometer. In addition, Google Expedition should be used for children older than 7. Adult supervision is necessary because some children can feel dizziness and motion sickness.

As a teaching tool for students in Korea, it is perfect because students will be able to see physical spaces in ways that are not possible with a textbook or a flat photo description. Even videos on Youtube do not offer the immersive experience of VR. Therefore, students will feel a part of that place as if they are there physically. Think of these expeditions as mini-field trips without having to move the children out of the classroom physically. These expeditions are not used as stand-alone lessons but as supplement learning pieces. The best part is that Google Expeditions constantly adds to its library and will only grow with time. Furthermore, it will become stronger as teachers worldwide add more and more of their lesson designs to share on the platform.

Connect Virtually with other students around the world

The best way for children in Korea to learn English is actually to speak to an English-speaking child. VR technology will allow children in Hagwons to connect with people from not just the US and UK but worldwide. Hagwons can build partnerships with other learning centers worldwide for a cooperative partnership to spend a few minutes a day where children can practice their language skills. These global learning institutions will benefit by exposing their students to South Korea and Korean culture. This is a win/win for both parties.

VR Hagwons in Korea can Teach Trade Skills

VR barista

Trade skill jobs in Korea are not going away anytime soon. VR technology will allow children in Korea to experience what it is like to be a pilot, barista, or chemist. Students can learn from realistic scenarios without the risk of injury or property damage. Students can interact with items and potentially dangerous elements or situations in a safe and controlled environment in these learning situations. VR training has proven to be more effective, and students learn at a much faster rate while at the same time making fewer mistakes. English education in Korea should focus on VR technology to take advantage of these risk-free immersive experiences. 

Hagwons in Korea can allow for VR Online Classes

A Hagwon in Korea attracts students that live nearby. This is why there are so many hagwons in Korea. Imagine if a Hagwon offered an online service using VR technology. For example, if a hagwon can create an online VR phonics program delivered entirely through VR, there will be households all across Korea lining up to join the service. These online classes can incorporate game-based learning activities to increase engagement and motivation. A hagwon in Korea can charge a base fee for their phonics program, and after graduation, there is a high likelihood that they will want to join the Hagwon offline. 

Offer Virtual Tours of your Hagwon

Korean parents will no longer have to go to the Hagwon to see what the Hagwon is like. Virtual Reality Hagwon tours will allow Hagwons to connect with parents on a much larger scale. These tours will showcase what the Hagwon offers and what it would be like to attend the Hagwon. In addition, parents will be able to see the Hagwon at 360-degree angles, giving them a feel of what a Hagwon that uses VR technology will feel like for their children.

The Future of English Education in Korea

VR English Education in Korea

These days, it is becoming more and more challenging to motivate students in Korea. Most Korean children have access to a smartphone at a very young age. Their intense focus on technology devices means that they are already bored once they enter a typical classroom in Korea. VR can change this and motivate them to learn while being entertained simultaneously. A scientific study shows that it is easier for students to remember experiences and information given to them in more than one sense. This is why video format is more effective than just reading. VR technology will allow students to see and hear and interact. Therefore this creates an intellectual connection that will last longer than any other form of media for learning.  

English education in Korea is very competitive and tough on students. Hagwons in Korea have taken the fun out of learning English. Therefore, the best way children will learn is if they enjoy learning. No matter what you think about VR, one thing it is not is boring. VR has the power to bring images to life. Students can interact with their surroundings. Therefore, the potential of VR for English education is immense. In 2022, you will see many Korean companies incorporating VR. There is VR all across Seoul, from VR cafes to VR gaming centers. It is only a matter of time before a Korean hagwon fully embraces this technology. VR learning and the Metaverse is coming; which Hagwon will jump on it first?


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