Do you need to see a doctor to speak better English? A small group of people in Korea think so. These people believe that Korean children have naturally shorter tongues than Americans, and this stops them from correctly pronouncing English sounds. These parents are so worried that their children won’t speak correct English that they bring them to the doctor to get an operation on their tongue. These operations are called frenectomies. During frenectomies, the doctors cut the tissue under the tongue. This is supposed to make the tongue more flexible and more able to pronounce English sounds.
What do you think? Is a doctor the answer for English learners? There are a lot of crazy ideas about how to learn English out there, but this is maybe the craziest. If Korean children really had a problem with their tongues, then Koreans born in America would also have trouble with their English pronunciation. Of course, this isn’t true. There are over one million Korean-Americans in the US and I’m sure all of their children speak perfect English. Just like all children around the world, they learn by speaking a lot and listening a lot. Their tongues have nothing to do with it.
Unfortunately, this silly operation doesn’t just happen in Korea. Recently a young British college student who is studying Korean had a reverse operation on her tongue to help her learn to speak better Korean! What do you think about this operation? Let us know in the comments.
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