The fact that a significant amount of time, money and efforts is invested to acquire English proficiency suggests a need to assess English education in terms of resource allocation. This study looks at investment in learning English from an economic resource allocation perspective and then evaluates the equity and efficiency of English education in Korea.
The problem in terms of equity is the gap in English proficiency observed between classes and regions. In the gap of educational investment in English, a systematic difference is found in the amount of cost for private education during school years according to the educational background and income of parents. Even in the case of little difference in income levels, the degree of students’ exposure to English varies due to the English-related environmental gap among different regions. Such gap in educational investment serves as a significant factor that causes a gap in English skills. Another gap between classes and regions is found in English scores in the National Aassessment of Educational Achievement or TOEIC scores.
The reason that the gap in English skills harbors particular attention, even when a similar gap between classes and regions exists in scores of other school subjects, is that the environmental factors have an enormous determinant power in learning English as a foreign