ERIC Number: EJ704664
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Aug-6
Reference Count: 23
The Culture of Children's Reading Education in Korea and the United States
Childhood Education, v80 n5 p261 2004
Reading specialists, as well as members of the general public, have long sought to understand why so many children in the United States read below grade level and why so many of its adult citizens are illiterate. While problems associated with reading are not unique to the United States, it is noteworthy that some nations do not experience major problems in this area. In the Republic of Korea, for example, only 8.2 percent of students in primary schools experience difficulty reading texts written at their grade level (National Institute of Educational Evaluation, 2001), and adult literacy is 99.9 percent (Ministry of Education, 2001; UNESCO Statistical Yearbook, 1996). This article reports on the culture of teaching literacy and literacy activities in one nation, Korea, and analyzes why it has been so successful in increasing the nation's literacy. Korea was selected because it has been successful in virtually eradicating illiteracy in a relatively brief period of time--20 years. In 1970, the illiteracy rate was 8.8 percent; in 1980, 7 percent; and in 1990, 0.1 percent (Korean Educational Development Institute, 1990). These data are consistent with those published in UNESCO's Statistical Yearbook (1996) and The World Factbook (2001). The author acknowledges that the United States and Korea have different cultural beliefs and practices that are not easily adapted or changed but believes that some of Korea's practices in reducing illiteracy can be useful in the United States.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Adult Literacy, Reading Instruction, Literacy Education, Illiteracy, Parent Attitudes, Reading Achievement, Parent Responsibility, Parents as Teachers, Learning Activities, Young Children
Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI) Subscriptions, 17904 Georgia Ave., Suite 215, Olney, MD 20832. Web site: http://www.acei.org.
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Korea; United States