Learned Through Labour: The Discursive Production of English Speakers in South Korea

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Korea has long been recognized as host to an English 'fever' (Kim, 2013; J. K. Park, 2009; Shim & Park, 2008), the intensity of which is such that 'the entire nation, from the president to average citizens, is emotionally and discursively invested in globalization and English language education' (Lee, 2011: 146). Many universities have minimum TOEIC/TOEFL scores as a graduation requirement (J. S. Y. Park, 2009: 42), and of Koreans who took the TOEIC exam in 2016, more than eight out of ten were re-taking the test (Educational Testing Services, 2017). It was estimated that by 2006, Koreans were spending up to $752 million a year on English proficiency tests alone (Song, 2011: 38). The question of who is able to speak English is clearly not a trivial one.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-35
Number of pages6
JournalEnglish Today
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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