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Goals and Contents of English Language Teaching in North Korea: Insights From High School Textbooks

  • Modern English Education
  • Abbr : MEESO
  • 2016, 17(2), pp.91-109
  • Publisher : The Modern English Education Society
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Language Teaching
  • Published : May 31, 2016

Eun Sung Park 1 Yu Kyoung Shin 2

1서강대학교
2한림대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The current study attempts to shed light on the status of English education in North Korea – one of the most isolated countries in the world – by examining the most recent high school English textbooks currently accessible. Specifically, we examine the goals and contents of English textbooks used in North Korean high schools (Grades 10-12) by analyzing their prefaces and core reading passages. The reading passages from each grade level were categorized into six content categories, which were then cross-referenced with the pedagogical goal outlined in the preface of each textbook. The current results illustrate how the textbooks are manipulated to support and idolize Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, and how the contents of the reading passages are used to inculcate the Communist ideology which pervades English classrooms in North Korea. In light of the increasing number of North Korean defectors studying in South Korea and elsewhere, the results are discussed with implications for teachers with these students in their classrooms.

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