Elite Korean Institutes of Science and Technology

Elite Korean High Schools

Korean Ministry of Education

Projects by the Ministry of Educatin, Science and Technology

Korea Education Development Institute

The Eight Trigrams

Improving South Korean Education

National English Ability Test

The National English Ability test was perhaps the most sound up-to-date attempt by the Korean government at reducing the English Proficiency Gap (of the GPA Wall Hypothesis - p.7) by substituting the English portion of the current College Scholastic Ability Test (Essentially, a multiple choice English skills test: Not testing for speaking and writing skills - only listening and reading skills.), however, the plan did not materialize as was proposed in the year 2012 since it didn't receive enough support.
 
 
 
Purpose of test: (for domestic use)

National English Proficiency Test (NEPT)
-Standardized English Test for Job Preparation (Level 1)
 
National English Ability Test (NEAT)
-Standardized English Test for College Preparation (Level 2 & 3)
-four Skills (Direct speaking and Writing) 



Assessment

-Anchor items
-Item Response Theory

Whole/Skills-based score A,B,C,F
(If you miss a level your level goes down one level, regardless of which level you missed.)


Listening/Reading
-Normal-referenced Test

Speaking/Writing
-Criterion referenced test





NEAT is is to be implemented as follows:

 
 
Constitution of NEAT
 

 

Question

Time Limit

(except break time)

Level 2

Level 3

Listening

32

32

35 min

Reading

32

32

50 min

Speaking

4

4

15 min

Writing

2

4

35 min

Total

70

72

135 min

 (Kim, 2011)
 
Realm of NEAT
 

Realm

Level 2

Level 3

Listening

Factual Information

60%

68%

Inference

40%

42%

 

Reading

Factual Information

32%

44%

Inference

56%

48%

Comprehension

12%

8%

  (Kim, 2011)
 
_____________________________________________________________________________________________
 
 
 
NEAT Listening
 

Level 2

Level 3

Type of Item

Ratio (%)

Type of Item

Ratio (%)

Appropriate Response

10-15

Appropriate Response

15-20

Main Idea, Purpose, Opinion

30-35

Main Idea, Purpose, Opinion

25-30

Factual Information

35-40

Factual Information

35-40

Chart, Map

15-20

Chart, Map

15-20

  (Kim, 2011)
 
NEAT Speaking
 

Level 2

Level 3

Type of Item

Item

Type of Item

Item

Series of 4 Questions

1

Type of Item

1

Problem Solving Q

1

Series of 4 Questions

1

Picture Description

1

Problem Solving Q

1

Presentation

1

Picture Description

1 (sub 3)

Total

4

Presentation

4

(Kim, 2011) 
 
NEAT Writing
 

Level 2

Level 3

Type of Items

 Number

Type of Items

Number

 

Structured and Guided Essay

1

Optional Picture Description

1

Picture Description in Detail

1

Essay

1

e-mail

1

Picture Description

1

Total

2

Total

4

(Kim, 2011) 
 
Since NEAT would continue to be based on the current curriculum, should it be implemented, students active output (Writing and Speaking) would still take a distant seat behind the passive skills (Reading and Listening) as is the case in the current KSAT. Therefore, NEAT does not appear to go far enough in changing the present structure of testing in order to help students become more active language users.
 
Should the test be implemented as proposed by the Korean Ministry of Education Science and Technology (MEST), it would follow the proposed plan, as outlined in the chart below:
 
 
Progress of NEAT
 

 

 

 

Levels

2-3

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

Preliminary Test

Pilot Test

Pilot Test

General Implementation

General Implementation

General Implementation

General Implementation

3 times

twice

3 times

10 times

12 times

20 times

24 times

(12 million)

 

Decision on Abolition of English in KSAT

Noticing Period

Effectuation of 2012’s Decision

 (Kim, 2011)
 
The above charts on NEAT are based on the seminar presentation of Professor Kim Jeong Ryeol of Seoul National University of Education, president of the Korea Association of Primary English Education, on Cambridge Day 2001 at Sukmyung Woman's University, Seoul, South Korea.
 
 

 

Effectively, the South Korean MEST hopes that through the introduction of NEAT they could eliminate a considerable portion of Korean parents' collective financial burden which stems from the need to ready their children, via private education, for the KSAT, TOEIC and TOEFL tests, the scores of which are widely accepted by Korean universities for entrance evaluation purposes.

 

Under the proposed plan, NEAT would allow science students, for instance, to be tested via a method that would require lower levels of active English language production than would be expected of those students entering majors that require more actual language production. - As such, Level 3 of the NEAT would be more appropriate for assessing students entering science majors, while Level 2 would be more appropriate for students entering a major such as International Studies, demanding a high level of active English proficiency.

 

Overall, the Korean MEST plans to implement this domestically manufactured testing system (NEAT) to replace those developed abroad (TOEIC; IELTS, TOEFL) so as to make it more customised for the needs of South Korean students and universities alike. 

 

 

Language Key:

 

TOEIC:     Test of English for International Communication

IELTS:      International English Language Testing System

TOEFL:    Test of English as a Foreign Language


 
 
 



Academic Essays and Education Magazine Articles


1) Jambor, Paul Z., 'Favourable Teaching Approaches in the South Korean Post Secondary Classroom', Department of Education - The United States of America: Educational Resources Information Center, 2009

2) Jambor, Paul Z., 'Teaching Context: "Synthetic and Analytic Syllabuses" in a South Korean University Setting' Department of Education - The United States of America: Educational Resources Information Center, March 31, 2006

3) Jambor, Paul Z., 'The Changing Dynamics of PhDs and the Future of Higher Educational Development in Asia and the Rest of the World' Department of Education - The United States of America: Educational Resources Information Center, September 26, 2009

4) Jambor, Paul Z., 'Why South Korean Universities Have Low International Rankings - Part II: The Student Side of the Equation', Academic Leadership: Volume 7 - Issue 3, August 10, 2009

5) Jambor, Paul Z., 'Why South Korean Universities Have Low International Rankings', Academic Leadership: Volume 7 - Issue 1, February 20, 2009

6) Jambor, Paul Z., The Reluctance of Korean Education in The Face of Change, Academic Leadership: The Online Journal (Volume 8; Issue 3)

7) Jambor, Paul Z., 'Sexism, Ageism and Racism Prevalent Throughout the South Korean System of Education' Department of Education - The United States of America: Educational Resources Information Center, 2009

8) Jambor, Paul Z., 'LEARNER ATTITUDES TOWARD LEARNER CENTERED EDUCATION AND ENGLISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE IN THE KOREAN UNIVERSITY CLASSROOM',The University of Birmingham: CELS, March 2007

9) Jambor, Paul Z., 'Teaching Methodology in a 'Large Power Distance' Classroom: A South Korean Context', Department of Education - The United States of America: Educational Resources Information Center, 2010

10:a) Jambor, Paul Z., 'Slide and prejudice', Times Higher Education, December 10, 2009

10:b) Jambor, Paul Z., 'South Korea: Pay discrimination fallout', Education World - The Human Development Magazine, February 5, 2010 (Excerpted and adapted from 'Slide and Prejudice’ - THE)

11) Jambor, Paul Z., Lingua Frankly, Times Higher Education, February 11, 2010

12) Jambor, Paul Z., Protectionism in South Korean Universities, Academic Leadership, 2010 Spring Edition)

13) Jambor, Paul Z. 'English Language Imperialism: Points of View', Journal of English as an International Language, April 2007 - Volume 1, pages 103-123

14) Jambor, Paul Z. 'The Foreign English Teacher a Necessary Danger in South Korea', Department of Education - The United States of America: Educational Resources Information Center, 20

Education, The United States of America: Educational Resources Information Center,

2012

16) Jambor, Paul Z., 'English Language Necessity: What It means for Korea and Non-English Speaking Countries',Department of Education - The United States of America: Educational Resources Information Center, 2012

17) Csizmazia, Roland A., Jambor, Paul Z., 'Korean Higher Education on the Rise: Time to Learn From the Success - Comparative Research at the Tertiary Education Level' International Journal of Academic Research in Progressive Education and Academic Development, Volume 3, Issue 2 (March, 2014)

 
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