|▲ CEO Kang Sook-ja|
English is very important in Korea. It affects one’s school record, entrance of university and getting a job. For this reason, Korean parents want their children to learn English as early as possible. The recent trend tells us that the ‘soon’ has gone down to as soon as they start speaking. It is reported that a child costs around $881 to $1,762 a month for privately learning English in Korea. Apart from parent’s burden, it is questionable whether the education is worth that much. <Power Korea> met Kang Sook-ja, CEO of Saengdong Education.
Self-learning and humanitarianism
Saengdong Education started with development of Listening Toeic in May 1993. The company expanded the contents to children English, Korean, math and social studies which have been released in 3.5 floppy disks, CDs and the current digital format in accordance with technical progress.
“I’ve focused on the methods that can be alternatives for private teachers and institutes. Self-learning can reduce parents’ financial burden significantly and motivates children to be independent. Many of our materials also focus on raising the awareness on social behavior and decorum” says Kang.
Saengdong Education is established based on Hongik Ingan meaning to broadly benefit humanity and human welfare. As part of this effort, some materials are designed to help foreigners communicate easier with Koreans, and people from different cultural background.
“All Saengdong Education materials are made for fun and excitement. We have won numerous prizes including gold prize at the 1995 Dacom Soft Contest, Ministry of Science and ICT prize at the 2000 Educational Multimedia Contents, runner-up prize at the 2000 Seongnam City Educational S/W Contest, and the educational contents prize at the 2000 Korea Software.”
Saeng Saeng Talking Pen: the native speaking pen
The Saengdong Education’s brainchild Saeng Saeng Talking Pen reads the texts in its native language when the user puts the pen in any sentence. It also records the sound and has an earphone input through which the user can check the recorded pronunciation and accent.
The Korean package, for example, is made of 5 books and audio file and it is designed to learn consonants and vowels, vocabulary, short sentence and writing; the audio file lets the learner to learn world languages including English, Chinese, Russian, Mongolian and Cambodian.
The Fun Fairytale, for another example, helps children improve their vocabulary, thinking power and creativity through 20 fairytales while the Bible Series help them acquire languages through the Bible story. Happy Wisdom Gift in particular is focused on social behavior and decorum and it help children to have right attitude and manners of speaking. If learners are foreigners, these books also will be fun to learn Korean culture through reading, writing and speaking of the contents.
“We will keep working hard to introduce more cost-effective and high quality educational contents so that more children and foreigners can easily acquire languages and knowledge” says Kang.
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