Cultural Differences in EFL Teaching Methods between Korean and Non-Korean Teachers

  •  Thomas S. Jeffery    


This study investigates key cultural differences in teaching between Korean and “western” teachers, and analyses these via questionnaires given to 35 Korean teachers and 36 non-Korean teachers followed by selected interviews. A significant finding was the emphasis Korean teachers place on testing compared to the “Western” teachers. The relevant literature explains this through Korea’s socio-cultural Confucian context. This study also shows that verbal immediacy, power-distance, uncertainty avoidance and face saving are key elements in Korea’s educational culture compared with western approaches to education. 
Finally, qualitative data shows a strong preference by Korean teachers to move away from more traditional aspects of the classroom environment toward an approach where creative and critical thinking can be enabled.

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