Early literacy policy and practice in Korea

Authored by: Jeung-Ryeul Cho

The Routledge International Handbook of early Literacy Education

Print publication date:  March  2017
Online publication date:  March  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138787889
eBook ISBN: 9781315766027
Adobe ISBN: 9781317659204


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Korean students rank top in the international comparisons of students’ performance in reading, maths and science (PISA, 2012). In Korea, as in other Asian countries, this accomplishment might be related to early literacy education as well as parents’ high expectations for their children’s educational attainment from a young age (e.g. Lee et al., 2000). This chapter begins with a description of the key characteristics of the Korean language and writing, followed by a description of early literacy provision, policy and practice. Note that Korea is divided into two: South and North. Both Koreas use the same language and script ‘Hangul’ although their usage has been changed since they were separated after the Korean War (1950–1953). Only the literacy education and policy of South Korea is reviewed in this chapter.

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