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ERIC Number: EJ1087374
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1534-8458
A North Korean Defector's Journey through the Identity-Transformation Process
Kim, Myonghee
Journal of Language, Identity, and Education, v15 n1 p3-16 2016
The current study examined how a North Korean defector attending a college in South Korea transformed her identity while learning English. This study was grounded in the notion of second language learning as a struggle of a socially constituted being in which the language learner constantly structures and restructures his or her social identity. Data were collected through journals and interviews with the defector. Data analysis revealed that the North Korean defector experienced an identity transformation: from being a resisting North Korean who wanted to maintain her North Korean identity by consciously ignoring English education to being a struggling English learner who eventually yielded to the need for English learning; then an active learner who found English learning valuable and meaningful; and finally, a visionary who aimed to care about those in need, particularly English learning needs. During the identity transformation process, the defector constantly negotiated her identities in response to multiple social factors. Based on these findings, the present study offers pedagogical suggestions for English education for North Korean defectors.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North Korea; South Korea
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A