For a while a local TV station broadcast the English language version of the Korean Arirang network on a subchannel. What struck me was the number of Koreans who speak English with no discernible accent. Of course we could expect the on-air talent to do do so but apparently a large proportion of the general public is similarly talented.

At first I thought that perhaps the US military presence could be partly responsible but I dismissed that hypothesis. A much larger percentage of native speakers of European languages (e.g. French, German, Spanish) I perceive to have at least slight accents.

Do Korean kids typically start learning English in primary school? What level of English do they achieve when they finish secondary school?

  • I have not observed the same thing among ESL Koreans that I know, though I haven't interacted a lot with Korean communities so perhaps my experience is not representative. – Dark Malthorp Feb 13 at 17:51

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