[KS] Updates on Hanja Testing at School and Work in Korea

Lee JooBai jblee6952 at hotmail.com
Mon May 24 16:44:18 EDT 2004


There are several news updates regarding Chinese language
education in Korea, in both the educational and the business

First, SNU is going ahead with reintroducing Chinese
characters in their general education curriculum.  And as
in most western universities where the first two years of
Chinese language education are conducted in traditional
characters, with the switch-over to the simplified-characters
in the third year, SNU is also likewise maintaining the
traditional characters.

SNU has already put into effect a school-wide testing for
hanja-competence, this after some pre-test prepping of the
students, and the results are essentially nothing outside
the expectation, especially given that Hanja is simply not
a part of the admission requirement and that it is essentially
nowhere seen.

SNU Hanja Test
Daily Economist 2004-04-09

There was one noteworthy observation by one of the professors
who participated in the examination.

He noted,

"½Å¹®¿¡ ÀÚÁÖ ³ª¿À´Â Á¤Ä¡ °ü·Ã ÇÑÀÚ¾î´Â Àß Àд ÆíÀ̾úÁö¸¸ ¸·»ó
½Ç»ýÈ°¿¡ ÀÚÁÖ ¾²ÀÌ´Â ÇÑÀھ ¸ø Àд ÇлýµéÀÌ ÀÇ¿Ü·Î ¸¹¾Ò´Ù.¡±

(While the students tended to be able to read those
Chinese-character words related to politics and
which "appear frequently" in newspapers, there were
surprisingly many students who seemed to be unable to
recognize Chinese-character words which are part of their
daily life.)

On the business front, recent survey of Korean companies by
an employment agency suggests that Chinese-character testing
may well become a necessary part of becoming employed by
Korean corporations.

"76% of big corporations to use Chinese character employment test"
newsis.com 2004-05-20


While the formal institution of Chinese character testing
as part of the employment process has the appearance of
being an unsettled issue, in actual fact, the matter
may be an already settled one.

It would now appear that one has a better chance of becoming
employed by a Korean corporation is one is already a Chinese
than one is a Korean.  Chinese characters would appear to be
the least of the issue.

Here are some articles that show that the "Company Hanja Testing"
is a lagging-indicator of economic trend, and not the news it
appears to be.

Lost jobs to China: 60 thousand lost in a year
ÀÏÀÚ¸®µµ Áß±¹¿¡ »¯°å´Ù ±¹³»¼± ÇÑÇØ 6¸¸°³ ÁÙ¿©, Korea Economist, 4/05/04

China: Blackhole of World Business
¼¼°è±â¾÷ ºí·¢È¦` Â÷À̳ª¡¦Çѱ¹°æÁ¦ È­µÎ·Î, Digital Times 2004/04/12

BusinessWeek, Asian Cover Story, March 29, 2004
Korea's China Play : They're partners now...
(The established Korean conglomerates are coming to be seen as the
most successful vehicle for global investors to participate in China Boom)


JooBai Lee

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