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The Journal of English Language and Literature , Vol.66, No.4, 807 ~ 847, 2020
Investigating Changing Trends in College English Education Before and After the Introduction of the Jeoldaepyeongga System to the KCSAT English Section
이용원 Yong-won Lee , 정한별 Hanbyul Jung , 양영유 Youngyu Yang , 이종우 Jong-woo Lee , 배현 Hyun Pae
In recent years, the English section of the Korean College Scholastic Ability Test (KCSAT English) has undergone significant changes, including the introduction of the “jeoldaepyeongga” (or absolute grading, AG) system. Given the considerable span of time that has passed since the implementation of the AG system, there is an urgent need to investigate the intended and unintended consequences of this system for English education, particularly at college/university levels. With this as background, the purposes of the current study are to collect data that can show the changing trends in college English education in pre- and post-implementation years of jeoldaepyeongga and to examine whether there are any noteworthy patterns of changes that can be linked to the “jeoldaepyeongga” implementation. Analyses of quantitative and qualitative data provided some meaningful results. First, test score data revealed that the percentages of test takers who achieved higher score bands increased in post-implementation years while those who achieved lower ones decreased. Second, the percentage of first-year students attaining the highest score band (Band 1) at a selected national university declined whereas those achieving Score Bands 2, 3, and 4 rose. Third, a college instructor survey showed that instructors of general English courses in colleges are pessimistic about the future of English education in Korea and identify the implementation of the jeoldaepyeongga system to be a prime reason for the diminished status, and gloomy future, of English education. Finally, a focus group interview provided some new insights. Implications of these findings are discussed along with future directions for further investigation.
Key Words
English education, college admissions, KCSAT, jeoldaepyeongga, absolute grading system
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