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Ideological Dimensions of English Language Policy in South Korea

  • Modern English Education
  • Abbr : MEESO
  • 2018, 19(3), pp.1-10
  • DOI : 10.18095/meeso.2018.19.3.01
  • Publisher : The Modern English Education Society
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Language Teaching
  • Published : August 31, 2018

Kathleen (Kathy) Lee 1

1고려대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

South Korea’s English language policies have addressed the acquisition of English as a foreign or additional language. This kind of language planning, known as acquisition planning, concerns how the language users will acquire the language (Cooper, 1989). Understanding language plan- ning issues provides insights into language ideologies related to English, the discursive construc- tion of English, and the assumptions about language education, namely how those in authority perceive English and manage the language behaviors of students and teachers. Specifically, this paper examines the Seventh National Curriculum, the Teaching English in English (TEE) policy, and the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education’s implementation of TEE. A discourse analysis of these policy documents uncovers the ideologies underlying this kind of acquisition planning. The analysis is also complemented by participant observations and interviews with Korean English teachers at an English-training facility to gain their perspectives on TEE and the certification process. The findings shed light on the discourses of globalization and neoliberalism that fuel the study and teaching of English, serving both the state and the public’s perceived needs. Teachers also reveal their support of the TEE policy but suspect the policy and certificate serve to support economic and political agendas rather than improved English education.

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