The city of Busan announced that it would establish and implement the basic plan for “Easy to speak English” to build a ‘Global Hub City with the World’, which was the 8th civil election pledge project.
This basic plan consists of 16 projects in 4 fields with the purpose of reducing the burden of English education for citizens by establishing a world-class English education and communication environment and strengthening competitiveness as a global hub city by creating a convenient environment for foreigners to settle down.
It is planned to invest a total budget of 7.2 billion won during the term of office.
Looking at the details
For the first field, ‘Civil Consensus Formation’, Civil Opinion Gathering through Visiting Briefings, a Citizen Advisory Group and Citizens’ English Communication Center, a Citizens’ Advisory Group and Citizens’ English Communication Center, Preservation of Hangeul, such as avoidance of unnecessary use of foreign languages in public documents, are planned to be carried out concurrently.
Promotion to secure public consensus
Visiting briefings for district residents and parents, awareness surveys to collect various opinions from citizens, and citizen meetings will be held.
Operation of citizen advisory group and ‘Citizen English Communication Center’
A total of 40 citizens from home and abroad are selected to operate an advisory group that collects and reflects complaints about inconveniences in living in a city where English is easy to speak, typographical errors such as signs, and policy suggestions.
In addition, ‘Citizen English Communication Officers’ are selected for citizens who want to volunteer and donate their talents using their English skills so that excellent activists can be awarded with mayor commendations and linked to jobs. They are also looking for ways to support English learning clubs at the city level.
Expansion of Hangeul-related businesses
Regarding concerns about disregarding the Korean language when promoting policies, various measures are being pursued to avoid the unnecessary use of foreign languages in public documents. They plan to check the ratio of foreign language use in various press releases, disclose the rankings, and expand the operation of the Korean language manager. While checking the Hangeul notation of outdoor advertisements, it also conducts research on the Busan dialect and compilation of local language dictionaries.
For the second field, ‘Creating an English learning environment for citizens, it plans on reducing private education expenses by strengthening after-school schools, the expansion of English education using public facilities such as drop-in and drop-out, providing English lectures to companies, attracting specialized domestic and foreign educational institutions, operating “English 119” and facilitating citizens’ accessibility to English education and increase opportunities to use English by focusing on seven projects, including the operation of free counseling centers and the expansion of exchange events for Koreans and foreigners.
Reduction of private education expenses through after-school reinforcement
An excellent after-school English education school will be designated as a model and the program will be expanded throughout the city, and support for native-speaking teachers will also increase significantly. In addition, it plans to develop a Busan-style after-school English education program and reinforce professionalism by introducing a teacher certification system.
Provide customized English education
It also plans to increase accessibility to English education for various age groups, such as ‘In and Out’, complex cultural spaces, public libraries, and district lifelong learning centers, providing visiting English lecture services to companies, and actively promote overseas educational institutions such as the Royal Russell School in England, which is currently in progress. It will also expand opportunities for citizens to learn English, such as attracting children.
Establishment of an online platform for a city where English is easy to speak
It aims to improve citizen convenience by establishing an online platform where all services can be provided at once. It is divided into two areas, Korean and foreign, so that various information such as policy guidance, English learning, job information, and opinion collection can be easily shared by age, purpose, and service.
Implementation of ‘English 119’ service
They plan to provide free counseling services by actively utilizing experts from related organizations so that they can be useful in situations where urgent English-related help is needed, such as directions and document preparation.
Expansion of exchange events for locals and foreigners to promote opportunities for citizens to use English and form a consensus on creating a ‘city where English is easy to speak’.
For the third field, ‘Improvement of the residential environment for foreigners’, they plan to add the inspection of English notation in public facilities through fact-finding surveys on the English usage environment, the expansion of consultation service for foreign residents, production and dissemination of customized English expressions, expansion of internships for foreign students and holding of job fairs. Through this, they plan to create conditions for foreign students to work and settle in Busan.
Conduct a fact-finding survey on the English-speaking environment in Busan
While checking the current status of information boards for major facilities such as tourist attractions by district, lodging and restaurants in English and Korean, a survey of English-related inconveniences targeting 500 foreigners is conducted to improve the overall Korean/English transcription of public facilities.
Expansion of inconvenience counseling service for foreigners
While strengthening public relations and increasing manpower for foreigner counseling services, it provides Busan’s unique and convenient English service by integrating and operating the ‘English 119’ service.
Production and dissemination of customized English expressions for each situation
The city will strive to strengthen citizens’ English skills and improve the welcoming environment for foreigners by identifying demand for private taxis, buses, and tourism service workers, and producing and distributing booklets and YouTube content for each situation.
Expansion of employment opportunities for international students
Foreign student internships currently running in 9 public institutions will be expanded to major public institutions in Busan and 16 districts and counties. In addition, it plans to strengthen the link between ‘study, employment, and settlement’ by holding small and medium-sized business job fairs for international students.
For the fourth field, ‘enhancement of English competency in the public sector’, they hope to identify the current status of English use and demand for English education by public officials, establish a plan to support English education based on this, and place dedicated English personnel in public institutions to provide interpretation services. and plans to expand the provision of various administrative services.
Expansion of English proficiency support for public officials
The city plans to establish a demand-based support plan based on the results of surveying the status of the use of English at work by public officials in Busan, satisfaction with and necessity of English education.
Placement of English-only personnel in public institutions
This is a project to provide administrative service guidance by arranging English-speaking personnel in public institutions. Based on the results of a demand survey for foreigners and a fact-finding survey by district, it will be expanded to all public institutions after the pilot operation from institutions visited by many foreigners.
In order to further materialize the project based on this basic plan, the city operates a consultative body composed of experts and related organizations and continues to collaborate with various organizations such as city-related departments, districts and counties, education offices, and universities. The service will be entrusted to the agency.
In addition, through the operation of an advisory group composed of domestic and foreign citizens, holding citizen meetings and visiting briefings, they will continue to collect citizens’ opinions and materialize projects based on them, thereby creating an “English-speaking city” together with citizens.
“We will create an environment where citizens can receive English education conveniently anywhere in the city by relieving the burden of private education. We will create a Busan without worrying about English education. We will create a city that can communicate, secure its status as an international city, and lay the foundation for the successful hosting of the 2030 Busan World Expo, further strengthening Busan’s global competitiveness,” said Mayor Park Heong-joon.