What’s the point of teaching English in North Korea?
Journalist, Suki Kim takes us inside a North Korean university where she writes about how mind blowing it was for her English students to come up with simple essay topics, express ideas, and develop their arguments.
In a country where students are brought up with a one-sided view of history and nothing is questioned… the art of writing an essay makes little to no sense.
“Their entire system was designed not to be questioned, and to squash critical thinking. So the form of an essay, in which a thesis had to be proven, was antithetical to their entire system. The writer of an essay acknowledges arguments opposing his thesis and refutes them. Here, opposition was not an option.”
If only the North Korean students that Miss Kim taught could park their biases and America bashing during her classes… imagine the creative writing blocks they’d overcome?
Perhaps a steady entourage of shiny, happy, English teachers landing in North Korea might improve diplomatic relations between the North and the West and change the course of history forever…
But that would depend on who’s writing the North’s history, wouldn’t it?