The Impact of Globalization on the English Teaching in Korea: Representation in Korean EFL Textbooks
Choi Shin, Leejin (University of Hawaii, Manoa)
Globalization has became the most significant and widely used term over the two decades, implying contradictory force of global homogenization and local hybridity, and global domination and resistance (Arnason, 1990 ; Kellner, 1999). Since the process of globalization has brought immense changes in Korea, especially in the field of English language teaching, recent studies have attempted to explain the relationship between globalization and English education in Korea. Theses studies, however, fail to conceptualize the complex process of globalization and its impact on English education in Korea, focusing on the process of Americanization and neglecting its counterpart process of nationalism.
In this paper, I discuss how the globalization and its ambivalent homogenizing process of Americanization and nationalism affect to English teaching and learning in Korea, under the influence of the globalized discourse of segyewha (internationalization) which blends Americanization with nationalism. Recently, Kubota (2002) warns that the discourse of internationalization in Japan can make a rigid barrier between American and Japanese, and mislead language learner to have an essentialist perspective. Drawing the insight from his claim, this paper also demonstrate how the globalized discourse of segyewha (internationalization) in Korea which blends Americanization with nationalism, and its conflicting discourses of Americanization and nationalism infuse into the government policy, curriculum and classroom. To illustrate these claims, I analyze the five government-approved 10th grade English as a foreign language (EFL) textbooks in Korea. Along with thorough examination of the general phenomena of English education under the influence of seguewha discourse, it provides the detailed examples and analysis of the genuine tendencies of English education in Korea which has been reflected on the EFL textbooks.
In problematizing these two homogenizing discourse in Korea, this paper provides the pedagogical implications by highlighting the role of teaching, which can enhance the multicultural and multilingual understanding of students for leading a new hybrid form of culture and diversity in the world.
Arnason, J. (1990). Nationalism, globalization and modernity. In M. Featherstone (Ed.), Global culture : Nationalism, globalization and modernity (pp. 295-310). London, UK: SAGE.