Wednesday 16 September 2009

Korea to Create New English Test So It Can Lead World Rankings

In the face of criticism over relying too heavily on other countries' and companies' measurements for English ability -- the TOEFL, the TOEIC test, for example -- and in light of the economic potential of keeping all those test-writing fees in Korea, rather than sending them overseas, Korea has decided to create a special, domestic linguistic capability test, specially designed for Koreans' particular test-writing and English usage needs.

"Koreans love comparing with other countries, but it has been an international shame for us to constantly rank near the bottom of the TOEIC and TOEFL international test scores," said Kang Hyung-Mi, mother of twelve-year-old "Suzy," whom she forces, like thousands of other middle school parents, to write the TOEIC test every month. "I can't imagine why."

Jan, a 35-year-old Swede applying for an overseas Masters' program, was also at a loss, "I don't know why Koreans score so low. Their masters' program applicants must be have a high rate of failure." Monique, an ambitious 24-year-old French woman who also wrote the last TOEIC test, also expressed amazement. "I wonder how their diplomatic corps handles other languages: that's why I took the test. I want to be accepted into my nation's embassy training program." Kwang-ja, a 38-year-old housewife who barely studies English except watching English speakers on Misuda, but takes the TOEIC test every month out of boredom, and an idle bet with her neighbor, was also baffled at Korea's low ranking. "Samsung is number one TV company, but why is the Korea can't get better score?" Another housewife, Dongja suspects a more sinister reason: "They must be skewing the questions with lots of vocabulary questions that favor the Japanese like 'Name the sea between Korea and Japan' and spelling Kimchi kimUchi." Dongja has never taken the test.

However, the ministry of Groupthink, Hyper-Standardization and Meaningless Tokens of Status has good news for such Koreans: a special English test designed for Korean culture and Korean needs is in the works. A spokesperson for the Ministry of Groupthink etc. explained the need for the test, saying, "Korea have no natural resources, and many people, so very competitive. Please understand. So for education is make best in competition and then get into SNU or Korea University or study hard go America. So now we have international test for make better score Korea!"

How would the test be different from TOEFL and TOEIC tests? "First of all, unlike lazy IBT, we will have our test every Wednesday and Saturday. For people who can't stand to wait days for their TOEFL and TOEIC scores, we've decided, after careful deliberation, to make the entire test multiple choice, so that we can provide immediate results by scantron. Secondly, we will give detailed results in several English skill areas, like grammar, vocabulary, grammar, vocabulary, listening is hard, fill-in-the-blanks, apologizing because my speaking is poor, and International Standard America English, so No Strange British Words Like Lorry, to allow for more detailed comparisons. Also, the minimum score on the test will by 900, so everybody can feel good about themselves, but we will use complex algorithms and many decimal places in the scoring to make sure no person who wrote the test has the exact same score as another writer: this way comparing scores will ALWAYS show who is better and who must feel shame."

"The test will include more English familiar to Koreans, for example, 'cutty boy' 'I'm genie for you boy,' 'just one ten minutes' 'how about your weekend' 'sorry but I love you' and 'fuck fuck motherfucker'; also abbreviations and buzzwords like 'birus' 'topia' and 'story' (all synonyms for shop and/or marketing plan). This will help Koreans get higher accuracy scores."

Any other plans for the test? "We plan to send this test out as an international competitor to the IBT monopoly, of course. However, we are confident that Korea's international comparative scores in this test will be higher than our current low rankings in the IBT tests. In fact, I predict that, even if the new Korean Test To The Best English Speeching Test Like Native Speaker Yes!" test is implemented in many more countries, Korea will stay at the top of the rankings."

The questions will be written in Korean.


Chris in South Korea said...

Hilarious as usual - great job on this one.

I especially love the questions written in Korean.

Anonymous said...

Industry biased of course, but I think this post is the best one so far!

Thank you! I really enjoyed that.

Mightie Mike's Mom said...

you have totally topped yourself~! Fantastic!!

Brian said...

I don't get it. This isn't satire, it's true. Basically.

Jason said...


Its punny caus its tlue!

light? ip you cun unerstan me you are vwery blight


danielle said...

LOVE it. Especially the Ministry of Groupthink, Hyper-Standardization, and Meaningless Tokens of Status. I had to laugh through my nose with my hand over my mouth because my husband is already asleep. It was so hard not to bust out with a good belly laugh, man.