Change of the National English Curricula in Korea and Considerations for the Next Curriculum

Insuk Han


This study investigates the national English curriculum, social and academic culture, roles and positions of (English) teachers and students, and their changes in Korean history. Based on this exploration, the author discusses considerations to advance the current Korean English curriculum and where the next curriculum is to be headed in the era of the fourth industrial revolution (4IR). Given that the 4IR welcomes people who have high qualities in complex problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, management, collaboration, decision-making and negotiation, significant changes in teacher and student roles and teaching practice are needed. The Korean pedagogical background of teacher-led practice, text- or grammar-based learning, test-preparation lessons and pursuit of competition in English education should not be obstructions for these changes. Thus, the author suggests the application of AI programmes and problem-based learning for the realisation of more learner-centred, democratic, and constructive learning. This study will provide educators in East Asian countries as well as in Korea with several rationales to deliberate for their next curriculum design.

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Journal of Curriculum and Teaching ISSN 1927-2677 (Print) ISSN 1927-2685 (Online)  Email:

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