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ERIC Number: EJ1136020
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-2161-7252
Korea's "Model Minority": A Case Study of an American-Korean Bilingual Student's Challenges Learning English in South Korea
Schenck, Andrew D.
Journal of International Education and Leadership, v3 n3 Fall 2013
In contemporary South Korean society, there is a strong emphasis on cultural homogeneity and, simultaneously, the development of English proficiency as a human resource. Since language is inextricably linked to identity, bilingual learners from English speaking countries may feel pressure to conform to Korean cultural and linguistic norms, leading to negative identity practices that discourage the use of English. Like the "model minority" stereotype which has been assigned to Asian learners in the United States, the pervasive belief that learners from English speaking countries are highly proficient in English may have adverse effects on students who do not meet the conceptualized standard. To explore educational problems associated with the English-Korean bilingual learner, a case study was conducted on an American-Korean elementary school student. Results revealed that the learner avoided speaking English in public, learning English in formal contexts, and talking about American ethnic traditions, which has resulted in significant deficiencies in English pronunciation and literacy. The avoidance of explicit instruction appears to have precluded the development of cognitive and metacognitive strategies useful in overcoming language deficiencies in an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) context. Recommendations for educational reform have been suggested.
Journal of International Education and Leadership. 432 Rittiman Road, San Antonio, Texas 78209. Tel: 210-519-9870; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Korea
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A