English Education in Korea: Is it Worth It?

1299 Words6 Pages
Why English Education in Korea? I often find choosing a topic for an open-ended report challenging because there are so many interesting topics from which to choose. Thankfully, after choosing East Asia as the general area of my studies in this assignment, I was able to narrow my focus down to English education in Korea because my sister Mikaela has been teaching English in Korea for over two years, so she is a good casual research guide and primary source. However, once I began researching, I soon found that even the relatively narrow-seeming topic of English education in Korea is more complex and contentious than I thought because the emphasis on the English language has different meanings and implications, depending on the article I read on the topic. That is, different scholars have contrasting views on the true causes and effects of English’s prominence in Korea. Before delving deeply into these disparate perspectives, though, the following is some background information on South Korea. Background on Korea Located near Japan, Russia, and China, South Korea is a hub of the modern world. It is extremely advanced in certain very visible ways. Namely, its economy is very strong and growing. With high average income for its citizens, it is the tenth largest importer while also being the sixth largest exporter, producing cars, ships, semiconductors, and information/communication technology, especially for two of its major companies, LG and Samsung. Although there is concern over eventual effects of the growing elderly population and current low birth rates, the socioeconomic situation on average looks pretty good, with unemployment relatively low at 2.8% (Republic). Regarding politics, Korea is democratic, electing a president ever... ... middle of paper ... ...trating purposes. Kirkpatrick describes manifestations of Eurocentric cultural hegemony and promotes the recontextualized, regionalized use of a “global language” by Asians. Take-Aways About Globalization The fact that people dispute whether English education in Korea is truly an “artifact of globalization” speaks to the complexity and fascinating nature of this topic. Also apparent in reading the literature is the ability of members of the global academic community to respectfully yet vociferously disagree. Thus, my favorite lesson from this enlightening research process is that we as students and citizens can be empowered to join the discussion by informing ourselves on current “unsolved” global issues and controversies such as this. By understanding the implications and consequences of a given policy as well as the parties involved, we can make the best decisions.

More about English Education in Korea: Is it Worth It?

Open Document