A 10-year-old girl from Changsha in Hunan refuses to study English and insists on learning Korean because of her love for South Korean pop idols, local media report. The girl told her mother that Korean was the only foreign language she wanted to learn, even though English is compulsory and essential for entry into most mainland universities, Xiao Xiang Chen Ba o reports. The girl has an encyclopedic knowledge of Korean pop stars, and her greatest interest was talking about South Korean dramas and music with her friends, the report quoted her mother as saying. Her parents had banned her from using the internet and watching television at home so she caught up on her favourite shows when she stayed with her grandparents on the weekend, her mother said. She spent almost all of her pocket money on pop star merchandise, from postcard albums to expensive sneakers. Her parents had hired an English tutor to prepare the girl for middle school entry tests but she had made little improvement, her mother was quoted as saying. South Korean pop culture is hugely popular on the mainland, especially among the young, who diligently follow every trend in food, fashion and music that emerges from the country.