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ERIC Number: EJ928026
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 25
ISSN: ISSN-1367-0050
The Promise of English: Linguistic Capital and the Neoliberal Worker in the South Korean Job Market
Park, Joseph Sung-Yul
International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, v14 n4 p443-455 2011
English is often assumed to be a key to material success and social inclusion, and this belief commonly works to justify the global dominance of English, glossing over and rationalizing broader social inequalities. This paper extends the discussion of this fallacy of "the promise of English" to the domain of the South Korean job market, where skills in the English language play a major role in determining one's access to white-collar jobs. Since the 1990s, different modes of English language testing have emerged as popular means for evaluating job applicants for Korean corporations, constantly upgrading the criteria for "good English". Through a discussion of how such changes are linked with the conception of self in the neoliberal workplace and how evaluation of linguistic competence is always a matter of social and ideological interpretation, this paper demonstrates why, in the Korean job market, the fulfillment of the promise of English is constantly deferred. (Contains 2 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Korea