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N. Korea teaching children English starting in kindergarten Updated: 2021-01-26 16:23:07 KST

This North Korean kindergarten has been teaching both Korean and English since last April when it created a series of English-language cartoons.
A report last week on the the North Korean propaganda website Naenara highlighted English at pre-schools as a growing trend.
Experts say it's taught there for the same reasons it's taught around the world.

"Growing number of couples in the North are choosing to have just one child. So those parents invest a lot in their children's education."

Learning English also aligns with the education goals of leader Kim Jong-un, who has said he wants to cultivate talented people.

"One of the areas Kim Jong-un has been highlighting is education. He also emphasizes science and technology. The regime cannot keep up with the world in these areas without learning English."

Plus, in its propaganda, the regime wants to prove to the world that it's "normal."

"By teaching foreign languages, they're trying show that they're a normal country and that they're open-minded."

In the North Korean regime's early years in the 1950s, its schools emphasized learning Russian in view of its close ties with the Soviet Union.
Nowadays, on top of English being taught at an earlier age, the North is putting a new emphasis on education, even teaching how to use an abacus in kindergarten.
Kim Dami, Arirang News.
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