[LETTERS TO THE EDITOR]Correcting misinformation

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[LETTERS TO THE EDITOR]Correcting misinformation

This is in reference to your article, “All English, little sleep for elite school’s students” (March 14), that outlined some of the rigor that the students at Hankuk Academy of Foreign Studies are experiencing. It presented some misleading information.
As first year students at Daewon Foreign Language High School who have friends at the Yongin school, we were eager to read about the all-English environment. However, we found the article flawed in a few areas.
First, the data regarding the average TOEFL scores of freshmen (269 out of 300) misrepresented the actual situation. Submitting a TOEFL score is not required on the actual application. It was optional, and there were students who did not submit their scores.
Secondly, the statement that “virtually every student here was at the top of his or her middle school” also misconstrues the truth.
The article failed to mention that 30 percent of the students at the school must be from Yongin due to an agreement with the government that also provides some financial support for the school.
Are we to assume that students from Yongin are among the best in the nation?
In addition, the article fails to include the point that the students have two classes where they don’t speak English: Korean language and Korean history class.
Most people would think that they have completely abandoned the language and with it a part of their native identity.
Lastly, we’d like to add a note about the pressure and stress that so many Korean high schoolers have to deal with.
It is the norm and not the exception for students to study into the wee hours of the morning at prestigious high schools.
We all recognize that these circumstances are something we have to unfortunately accept in order to assure ourselves of a secure and stable future.

by Jeon Woon-ki, Yoo Ji-roh, Lee Joo-hyung
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