Busan to start full-scale construction of a global English-speaking city

Image: City of Busan
Image: City of Busan

Busan to start full-scale construction of a global English-speaking city

haps Magazine Korea

The city of Busan City took the first step toward becoming a global English-speaking city.

It held the ‘2nd Busan Future Innovation Conference’ at 10:30 am yesterday and had time to discuss with various public and private experts about the promotion strategy of a global English-speaking city.

Held monthly, the ‘Busan Future Innovation Conference’ is a meeting in which the public, private, and academia participate together in order to preemptively respond to the current issues of municipal administration, regulatory innovation, and conflict resolution, and to seek strategic initiatives through broad discussions. 

At yesterday’s meeting, about 20 people including local academics and experts from various fields participated and discussed the creation of a world-class English education environment and English communication environment.

Participants included the Busan Metropolitan Office of Education, Busan English Broadcasting Foundation, Busan Design Promotion Agency, Busan International Foundation, Busan Human Resources Lifelong Education Promotion Agency, representatives of universities, school sites, and English-related organizations.

The meeting started with Mayor Heong-joon Park’s remarks, followed by the presentation of four strategies for creating a global English-speaking city of Busan, a business agreement ceremony, and a hearing and discussion.

The four strategies to create Busan, a global English-speaking city announced were:

— innovation of Busan-style English public education

— reinforcement of citizens’ English competency

— creating infrastructure and environment for an English-speaking city

— leading the public sector in an English-speaking city.

(Educational Innovation) Busan-type English public education innovation

First, in order to innovate Busan-type English public education, Busan-type English education program development and support, enhancement of professionalism of English teachers, securing and managing native-speaking teachers, and revitalization of English education inside and outside the curriculum.

In addition, it plans to expand the English experience program by supporting the operation of English clubs and international exchanges.

(Citizen’s Competency) Strengthening of Citizen’s English Competency

Long-long education programs by English level and occupation are operated for citizens within a 15-minute living area, and children’s English experience classes are also operated at all times using a children’s complex cultural space, such as in and out.

In addition, expansion of English lectures at local colleges, activation of internships in the UK and the United States, operation of volunteer groups for seniors and young people who are fluent in English and expansion of social jobs, operation of local community-based English programs such as civic groups will also be promoted to strengthen citizens’ English competency.

(English Environment) Creation of English commercial city infrastructure and environment

To establish English education infrastructure, creating base education centers such as global villages by region (promoting collaboration with education offices, such as using closed schools), creating global learning spaces such as opening an English education e-platform, and attracting and establishing world-class prestigious foreign educational institutions such as foreign schools will be promoted. 

In addition, in order to create an environment free from inconvenience for global companies and foreigners in economic activities, residence or tourism, road signs and public facilities are written in English, expand the English use environment for public transportation such as English taxis, commercial facilities such as hotels, restaurants, and shops support for expansion of English notation of foreign language-friendly institutions, promotion and promotion of foreign language-friendly organizations, and activation of foreigner support centers.

(Public Service) Leading the public sector in English commercial cities

Lastly, by commercializing English in the provision of public services, the city of Busan plans to increase public awareness and secure a global city brand image.

It plans the production and distribution of English version of commercial documents and English guidelines, to provide service at all times by operating an English-only communication window, expanding recruitment of public officials who are fluent in English, expanding English service for public relations promotions such as Busan City’s website and official social network (SNS), promoting the regularization of English-language newspapers and global media in English broadcasting in connection with the English Foundation and local broadcasting companies.

In addition, the city of Busan and the Busan Metropolitan Office of Education held a business agreement ceremony for Busan, a global city for commercial use of English and a city for English education.

At the business agreement ceremony, the city and the city office of education promised to cooperate to develop a Busan-style English education program, strengthen the faculty and manpower capacity, expand the experience program, and to create an English learning space for each base.

“The English commercial city is the first step towards a ‘global hub city of Busan’ that will be built on the occasion of the 2030 Busan World Expo. To this end, it is necessary to preemptively create an environment free of inconvenience for overseas businessmen and tourists to work and live. We will make Busan a global hub city by making it a city where businesses flock freely and a convenient and good city for foreigners to live,” Park Heung-joon, Mayor of Busan, said.

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