OWL Magazine Korea

“Kim Soo-bong’s ‘How I Taught English to Get into Top US Universities'”

While Korea is a country where English is not commonly used in daily life, it shows remarkable interest in English education. Thanks to this, schools also pour considerable attention into English education, and English proficiency is required for admission to universities. Even in the process of employment after graduation, English plays an important role, and English proficiency greatly affects promotions in the workplace.

On the flip side, it can be said that there are many benefits to being good at English in Korea. Especially in South Korea, which has a high education fervor, many parents show exceptional interest in English education.

“A Book Unveiling Parents’ Experiences in English Education for Their Children, How I Taught English to Get into Top US Universities.”

The book titled “How I Taught English to Get into Top US Universities” by Kim Soo-bong is exactly what it sounds like—a book revealing experiences in children’s English education.

Kim Soo-bong was an ordinary office worker, but he gained his own expertise in English education and eventually used it to get his daughter admitted to one of the Ivy League universities, “Duke University,” one of the prestigious universities in the United States.

In this book, he unfolds the events and know-how he encountered while educating his children in English.

“A Book Reflecting the Warmth of a Father”

The book mainly delves into experiential content rather than discussing English education theories. It introduces many experiences the author had while educating his daughter in English, as well as various episodes that arose during that process. Therefore, it’s also a book where one can glimpse the warmth of a caring father.

One memorable aspect was the content about the parent-child relationship. It revealed the father’s efforts to help his daughter achieve her goals and dreams. Particularly, there’s a scene where, while watching TV with his daughter, she says, “I’m going to be an IOC member when I grow up.” Instead of dismissing it, the father actively looks into what it takes to become an “IOC member” with his daughter and contacts relevant organizations, leaving a lasting impression.

“Curriculum for English Study”

While the book mainly focuses on anecdotal experiences, Kim Soo-bong also summarizes his philosophy on English education. He introduces an “English education curriculum” that can be simplified as follows:

“Step-by-Step Curriculum for Mastering Advanced English”

  1. Stage 1: Getting Familiar with English (Grades 3-4)
  2. Stage 2: Mastering Pronunciation and Rhythm (Grade 5)
  3. Stage 3: Memorizing English Storybooks (Grades 5-6)
  4. Stage 4: Core of Comprehension, Syntax (Grade 6 – Grade 2 of Middle School)
  5. Stage 5: Mastering Listening, Fill-in-the-Blanks (Grade 1 of Middle School – Grade 2 of High School)
  6. Stage 6: Practice! Speaking English (Grade 6 – Grade 3 of High School)
  7. Stage 7: Writing & Essay Writing (Grade 3 of Middle School – Grade 3 of High School)
  8. Stage 8: Comprehensive English, Presentation (Grade 2 – Grade 3 of High School)

Looking at the curriculum presented in the book, it’s notable that English education starts much later than learning English in kindergarten before entering elementary school.

Although the educational environment for English may have changed significantly since the book was published in 2006, it still remains a recommended read for its serious discussion on children’s education.

“How I Taught English to Get into Top US Universities.”

  • Author: Kim Soo-bong
  • Publication Date: January 10, 2006
  • Yes24: Link