“Learning English, Imagining Global”: The Narratives of Early English Education Experiences in South Korea

By Jisook Paik.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This study examines how the macro-level globalization discourses and processes can penetrate into daily lives of local people and community through the example of early English language education practices in South Korea. The globalization in Korea, propagandized through the government-driven globalization campaign in the mid 1990s, highlights the importance of English language as an inevitable component to survive in the global society. In addition, as English has gained increasing popularity as linguistic capital in the global market, commercial English education services have grown into a billion-dollar education market in Korea. In this process, parents’ educational planning and investment, particularly in English language education, are considered more critical than ever to prepare their children for socio-economic achievements in the unpredictable future. Through the voices of mothers regarding their investment and expectations for their children’s English education, this study investigates how they make sense of and respond to the fast changing socioeconomic and cultural dynamics of the society. Furthermore, the study discusses how educational individualism and stratification have been deepened in the process of current educational practices in the society.

Keywords: Globalization, Early English Education, Educational Individualism, Educational Stratification

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 15, Issue 10, pp.71-78. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 532.223KB).

Dr. Jisook Paik

Full Time Lecturer, English Language and Literature, Soongsil University, Seoul, South Korea

Dr. Paik is a full time lecturer at Soongsil Univeristy in South Korea. She received Ph.D degree at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the U.S. majoring in Educational Policy Studies. Dr. Paik’s field of research is comparative and international education. Her research interests and focus are bilingual and multicultural education and internationalization of higher education.


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