Lawmakers in South Korea have approved an amendment to lift the policy banning English education for first and second graders at elementary schools.
The National Assembly passed the amendment Wednesday to allow first and second graders to learn English in after-school classes. The move comes only a year after the policy came into force to prohibit all English classes for children "too young to learn a foreign language."
After introducing the policy, the Ministry of Education was criticized by teachers and parents alike. Many said the policy would only deepen the English gap between the rich and the poor, who cannot afford expensive private education.
Initially, the government said teaching children Korean and English simultaneously could hinder their development of Korean proficiency. But many scholars were skeptical, saying learning a foreign language at an early age outweighs its negatives.
after-school class：名詞，課後班。例句：Many parents in Taiwan forced their children to take after-school classes.（許多台灣家長強迫孩子上課後班。）
come into force：動詞片語：（使法律、規則）生效，開始執行。例句：The new law will come into force on January 1st, 2020.（新法將自2020年元旦起生效。）
simultaneously：副詞，同時地、同步地。例句：The two students answered the teacher’s question simultaneously.（這兩名學生同時回答老師的問題。）