Most South Korean office workers are stressed about being proficient in English regardless of whether their work requires use of the language, a survey showed Thursday.
Of 713 surveyed workers, 86.1 percent said they are stressed about English while working, said Hunet, an online education service.
While some 38.7 percent said their stress level could be rated as “average,” nearly half, or 45.6 percent, said they were “quite stressed” or “very stressed.” Only 2.5 percent said they felt no pressure.
They answered that they felt most stressed when required to write emails or converse in English. Some (29.2 percent) said they felt stressed when their line of work was restricted due to their English ability, or when watching their coworkers get promoted or recruited due to their good command of English (10.8 percent).
The actual use of English while working, however, was not as common, with 62 percent saying they sometimes or almost never used English at work.
Nonetheless, 75.4 percent said English was very or somewhat important. Almost all or 94 percent said they plan to study English more.
Most of the respondents paid less than 50,000 won ($43) to study English a month on average, while 10.9 percent said they spent more than 100,000 and less than 150,000 won a month.
English was placed as the priority second language, identified as being important by 87.7 percent of respondents, followed by Chinese (66.3 percent), Japanese (11.6 percent) and Spanish (4.8 percent). Multiple choices were allowed.