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Simwon Middle School
With the advent of globalization, the emergence of new national and international orders has
posed linguistic challenges at various levels. Three competing trendshomogenization,
heterogenization, and hybridizationare reshaping language situations within and between
nations. At a national level, in some Western multilingual countries, linguistic justice has been
increasingly argued for by minority groups, whether indigenous or immigrant, against the
centripetal forces of the ideology of one nation one language, as is clear in the recent !nglish"
only movement in the #$. %n the multilingual third world, many countries have been struggling
to create linguistic identities out of their ethnic languages and former colonizers languages. &n
the other hand, at a global level, the phenomenal spread of !nglish is considered by some to be a
major threat to other ethnic languages in the world and by others to facilitate participation in
international communications.
%n this conte't, $outh (orea has recently witnessed recurrent proposals for !nglish as an
&fficial )anguage *!&)+ as a language policy for meeting the demands of globalization. %n
response, another competing force, nationalism, has formed strong reactions to these proposals,
thereby opening up heated debates in the media and publications. ,onsidering that $outh (orea
is a monolingual society, not a multilingual one, that enjoys a very high degree of congruity
as a speech community *,oulmas, -...+ and that it is an !'panding ,ircle country *(achru,
-./.+, where !nglish is learned as a foreign language, the proposal for !&) in $outh (orea is
an e'treme case that focuses only on the need for international communications without critical
consideration of its potential effects on domestic language situations. Thus, e'ploration of this
case is valuable to an understanding of how the pressures of global communications within the
process of globalization are so powerful as to threaten an already established national language
even in a monolingual society.
Second Language Studies, 23*0+, $pring 0112, pp. -"33.
4y critically e'amining public discourses surrounding the issue of !&) in the $outh (orean
intellectual community, this paper attempts to reconceptualize linguistic nationalism, the
ideology of one nation, one language, in a monolingual country, within the discipline of
language planning and policy *)55+.
Also, it e'plores several general theoretical 6uestions in )55. 7irst, by discussing the tone of
mass media coverage of the issue, it attempts to show how dominant ideologies of globalization
and !nglish as a global language are reproduced and opposed in media discourse, a potentially
powerful manager of public opinion. $econd, it attempts to conceptualize a democratic language
policy"ma8ing process from the bottom up, while attending to public opinion formulation
processes reflected in public opinion polls on the issue.
According to 9icento *0111+, )55 as a subfield of sociolinguistics underwent paradigm shifts
from its beginning stage of asserting the Western notion of positivism and neutrality in the
structuralist tradition, to its later stages with the critical and poststructuralist perspectives. :uring
its shifts, the research focus moved from the description and process of a universal version of
)55 to the analysis of how and why a certain )55 was enforced in relation to broad social,
economic, and political conte'ts, and the analysis of its effects. A similar distinction is made by
Tollefson *-..-+ in what he terms the neoclassical approach and the historical"structural
approach to language planning. %n addition, there emerged the ecology of languages paradigm
*first coined by Tsuda, -..3, and elaborated by 5hillipson and $8utnabb"(angas, -..;<
$8utnabb"(angas, 0111, etc.+ that promotes linguistic human rights *$8utnabb"(angas, -../,
0111< $8utnabb" (angas, 5hillipson = 9annut, -..3+ in view of discourses of linguicism *first
coined by $8utnabb"(angas, -./;+ and linguistic imperialism *5hillipson, -..0+. At the same
time, however, poststructualists problematize the essential notion of language in )55. 7or
e'ample, 5ennycoo8 *0110b, p. -1/+ argues for the need to >move away from an understanding
of language policy as the imposition or denial of particular languages? to viewing >language
policy in terms of governentality?, and warns against an assumption that more enlightened
language policies would necessarily entail less control, even though it does not imply that state
intervention needs to be denied. @ence, the issue is >how debates around language, culture, and
education practice produce particular discursive regimes? *5ennycoo8, 0110b, p. .0+ in relation
to )55, while being aware of the political nature of )55.
This change in the )55 research tradition points to possibilities and limitations of )55 in
reorganizing relationships of power for social justice. $pecifically, concerning the role of )55 in
dealing with the global spread of !nglish, responses seem to vary. To most liberal linguists, the
dominance of !nglish in the era of globalization is a done deal outside the control of )55. 7or
e'ample, in his boo8, Eng"is# as a G"o$a" Language, ,rystal *-..A, p. -B.+ asserts that >the
!nglish language has already grown to be independent of any form of social control?. Wright
*0113+ is also s8eptical of the capability of )55 to relocate power and resources by saying that
>whether or not the desire to learn !nglish is the product of hegemonic processes or the
outcome of rational choice it will be impossible to deflect peoples determination by legislation
and policy? *p. -A1, emphases in original+.
4y contrast, to critically motivated researchers such as Tollefson and 5hillipson, )55 cou"d
and s#ou"d transform pree'isting power differentials within and between nations. To Tollefson,
>while language planning reflects relationships of power, it can also be used to transform them?
*-..-, p. 010+, and to 5hillipson, >for !nglish to be a force for democracy and human rights ...
ClDanguage policy cou"d and s#ou"d play an important role in such a transition? *0111, p. -10,
emphases added+.
Although it is debatable which description or judgment does )55 justice, it is a'iomatic
now that )55 is intrinsically connected to e'isting power relationships and has dual potentials to
be constrained by e'ternal forces to a great degree and to create new power relationships as well.
%n this conte't, 5ennycoo8s *011-, p. 2;, emphasis added+ call for >a critical view of language
in relation to a critical view of society and a political and et#ica" view of change? for critical
applied linguistics is well ta8en.
7or an ethically driven language policy, it is important to e'plore how democratic decision"
ma8ing procedures can be accomplished in )55. Although language policy has been inherently
repressive and undemocratic because of its tendency to change behavior top"down, as 4rumfit
*0110+ points out, it does not invalidate the necessity of democratic )55< rather it seems
important to e'plore to what e'tent democratic procedures are possible in )55. Also, as $cholte
*0111+ points out for policy in general, bottom"up democratic policy ma8ing may not be
impossible any more with the help of the technologies of globalization, e.g., electronic
communication for public debates.
Two 8inds of concerns can be discussed for democratic decision"ma8ing procedures in )55E
concerns for >the inclusion of a broad participation base? *(aplan = 4aldauf, -..A, p. 22+, and
concerns for >e'plaining how individuals manage language in communication? *Fernudd, -..B,
p. -B3+ for bottom"up approaches to )55.
@owever, it is in 6uestion whether the inclusion of broad participation and actual language
use automatically leads to democratic procedures in decision ma8ing in )55. 7rom the vantage
point of critical social theory, peoples needs and behaviors need to be critically e'amined in
relation to pree'isting power relationships in broad social, economic, and political conte'ts. The
reason is that false consciousness, hegemony as domination by consent *Gramsci, -.A-+, or
ideological power constituted by ta8en"for"granted practices *7airclough, -./.+ may operate
among people in supposedly democratic decision"ma8ing processes. %n other words, the
constraints of social structures and dominant ideologies on individual choices cannot be
dismissed as completely irrelevant. @aving said that, Tollefsons *0110+ argument can provide
insights into how to address the issue. @e argues that >scholars and students in language policy
studies should develop their ability to critically >read? language policies, that is, to understand
the social and political implications of particular policies adopted in specific historical conte'ts?
*p. 3, emphasis in original+. This critical eye can apply to individuals at local levels who can
participate in the decision ma8ing process of language planning. 5ossibly, educational settings
are the best site where the ability to read discourses in policy debate and where the ability to
assess potential effects of a language policy can be fostered. ,ritical pedagogies of !nglish
*5ennycoo8, -..3+ may be good candidates for developing a critical eye for discursive
intervention into )55 on the part of students at local levels. 5erhaps it is after this pedagogical
intervention from the bottom up is guaranteed that a democratic policy"ma8ing process can be
Development of Linguistic Nationalism in Korea
%n many multilingual third world countries, the !uropean model of linguistic nationalism,
one nation, one language for creating an imagined community *Anderson, -./B+ was adopted
as a homogenizing strategy for nation building to increase domestic communication with one or
two western colonial languages as official languages *refer to Wright, 0113 for further
%n (orea, however, ethnocultural nationalism was 8indled and maintained through resistance
against ,hinese influence and Fapanese imperialism during nation building, and >language has
played a crucial role in this endeavor? *,oulmas, -..., p. 31/+. %n addition to (orean in general,
Hangu", the (orean writing system, in particular, has played an essential role. Although Hangu
was invented in the -2th century to brea8 away from dependency on ,hinese characters, it was
not promoted actively and used e'tensively until the present century *,oulmas, -...+ because of
strict class stratification in the past with the nobility favoring the use of ,hinese characters. %t
was not until the early twentieth century, the period of Fapanese rule in (orea, that the use of
(orean, especially the use of Hangu", became a visible symbol of resistance to Fapanese
linguistic assimilation policy *,oulmas, -...< (aplan = 4aldauf, 011B+. As (aplan and 4aldauf
Fr. *011B+ mention, >Fapanese rule became a catalyst for (orean cultural and linguistic
nationalism? *p. B0+.
%n short, the invention of Hangu" to brea8 away from dependency on ,hinese characters, and
the active use of (orean and Hangu" against Fapanese imperialism contributed to the formulation
of linguistic nationalism in (orea to a large degree. @ence, (orean linguistic nationalism can be
said to have been reinforced by inner forces rather than adopted from outside as in many
multilingual third world countries. The present language situation in $outh (orea is that it is a
monolingual society that enjoys a very high degree of congruity of speech community *,oulmas,
The Status of English in South Korea
$ome literature provides a starting point for guessing the status of !nglish in $outh (orea.
$outh (orea is an !'panding ,ircle country *(achru, -./.+ along with ,hina and Fapan, in
which !nglish is learned as a foreign language and has no official role. %t does not belong to the
group of countries that give special status to !nglish *,rystal, -..A+ but is a country where
!nglish is learned as the global lingua franca *HcArther, -../+. The increasing importance of
!nglish in $outh (orea as an !'panding ,ircle country is implied by Hc(ay *0110, p. --+, who
says that the !'panding ,ircle is >where there is the greatest potential for the continued spread
of !nglish?, although the status of !nglish in the !'panding ,ircle is lower than the &uter
,ircle. @owever, $outh (orea still does not belong to a group of countries that is in transition
from an !7) conte't to an !$) conte't *Graddol, -..A+. %n short, the literature shows that
!nglish is still a foreign language in $outh (orea, but its importance is presumably rapidly
@owever, all the categorizations above do not refer to the specific historical conte't of $outh
(orea. %t is said that the influence of !nglish in $outh (orea has become salient because of
strong dependency on the #.$. for international politics and economy since its independence in
-.32 and the (orean War in the -.21s *@. $hin, 0113+. !nglish even enjoyed the status of an
official language in government business in $outh (orea during the presence of #.$. troops from
-.32 to -.3..
The importance of !nglish in $outh (orea is reflected in language policy for foreign
language education. $ince the second national education curriculum was proclaimed in -.;B,
!nglish has been the first foreign language *$him = 4ai8, 0111+, which is also true for Fapan,
%ndonesia, and Taiwan in the 5acific 4asin *(aplan = 4aldauf, 011B+. %n the early -..1s,
proliferating discourses of globalization have increased the importance of !nglish as a global
language. The (im Ioung $am Administration articulated a national globalization project,
Seg%e#&a, part of which is the promotion of !nglish for national competitiveness through
!nglish education *(aplan = 4aldauf, 011B< $him = 4ai8, 0111+. ,onse6uently, in -..3 e'tra"
curricular !nglish education started for 3
, 2
, ;
graders in elementary school, and in -..A,
!nglish became a mandatory subject for B
graders in elementary school in the national
educational curriculum *$him = 4ai8, 0111+. %n 011-, with the launching of the seventh national
education curriculum, the Hinistry of !ducation recommended an !nglish"only policy in !nglish
education for third and fourth graders in elementary schools and seventh graders in junior high
school with the policy affecting one higher grade each year *@. $hin, 0113+.
@owever, while the recent language policies in foreign language education seem to reflect the
growing importance of !nglish in the age of globalization, varying degrees of resistance are also
reported. Fung and Jorton *0110+ reported difficulties in the school implementation of the
elementary !nglish program policy and some negative sociocultural impact of it on other
subjects, especially (orean, from teachers points of view. @. $hin *0113+ also reported teachers
resistance, this time against the !nglish"only policy in !nglish education, and argues for the need
for critical pedagogy, while challenging the native spea8er myth.
Emergence and Recurrence of Proposals for English as an Official Language in South Korea
$ince the government"initiated Seg%e#&a drive in the early -..1s, discussions of the
possibility of enacting !nglish as an official language *!&)+ in $outh (orea have become active.
4ased on a review of mass media coverage and publications surrounding the issue, % present a
time"line for the development of !&) discourses as follows.
ul! "##$% The pu&lication of 'Ethnic Languages in the (ge of a )lo&al Language* +,o-.
"##$/. and a su&se0uent review of the &oo- in The 1hosun 2l&o newspaper that triggered
heated de&ates in the media and pu&lications3 %n the year -../, a self"described liberal and
novelist named 4o8 wrote a provocative boo8 entitled Et#nic Languages in t#e Age o' a G"o$a"
Language, which contains a proposal for !nglish as an &fficial )anguage *!&)+ in $outh (orea.
4o8s main argument is that ethnic languages will die out soon because people have realized the
power and prestige of !nglish as the present global language, and therefore, that the $outh
(orean government should ta8e the initiative to adopt !nglish as a co"official language with
(orean for the time being and, in the long run, establish !nglish as the one and only official
language in $outh (orea. Thus, his proposal for !&) was based on subtractive bilingualism.
&n Fuly B, -../, 4o8s boo8 was reviewed in #e C#osun I"$o, a (orean newspaper company
that enjoys the largest sales in $outh (orea *0-K in -../< $.W (im, 0113+, which triggered
heated debates on the issue of !&) among intellectual communities in the media and
Decem&er "###% Novelist 1onference on EOL co4hosted &! National Economic
(ssociation affiliated Li&eral 1orporation 1enter +L11/. and Korean Novelist (ssociation
+KN(/3 %t was around the turn of the century that the issue of !&) in $outh (orea received
revived attention from the media. %n the Jovelist 7orum on !&), co"hosted by ),, and (JA,
#l 4yung Fung, president of (JA, asserted, >Throughout history, (orea has been a country with
a lac8 of information, and without diplomacy, and this has much to do with the pain that foreign"
language"insensitive countries are li8ely to suffer ... we need to learn from $ingaporean
bilingualism? *$eoulLIonhap Jews, -...+.
anuar! 5666% apanese Prime Minister. O&uchi*s advisor! &oard '5"st apanese Pro7ect*
proposed EOL in apan. which re-indled the de&ate on EOL in South Korea3 At the beginning
of a new millennium, Fapans consideration of !&) in Fapan as one of the strategies for
globalization fueled the !&) debate in the media again. The apparent similarity of Fapan to
$outh (orea, both as relatively monolingual countries and economically competitive countries,
provided another rationale for !&) in $outh (orea. @owever, the proposal in Fapan was
different from that in $outh (orea, in that it was more focused on additive bilingualism, rather
than the replacement of Fapanese by !nglish *7unabashi, 011-+.
566" to the present% Recurrent announcements of government4initiated economic
development plans. part of which is the active promotion of English in designated areas3 $ince
011-, there have been moves to actively promote the use of !nglish by the central and regional
governments. %n Hay 011-, the government announced a plan to adopt !nglish as an official
language in ,heju %sland as an international duty free city. %n April 0110, the government
announced the (orea as the 4usiness ,enter of Jortheast Asia project with $pecial economic
zones, where !nglish will be used as an official language. %n Harch 0113, the $eoul
metropolitan government announced the :aily use of !nglish in $eoul project. Arguments and
counter"arguments have flooded the media on each move, and so far no proposals or
announcements have been successfully implemented because of opposition from many fields,
especially from the academic and cultural worlds, and nongovernmental Hangu"-(e"ated
%t is 6uestionable whether all the four phases of !&) discourse can be grouped under the
general term !&) debates. 7or the present, there is much confusion that needs to be cleared up
about the debates, e.g., the notion of official language especially in a monolingual country, the
scope of applicability in implementation, etc. @owever, one common thread of the proposals is a
call for the realization of the rapidly growing importance of !nglish in the era of globalization.
&n the other hand, counter"arguments to the proposals also seem to converge on one general
stance, which is deep rooted in the essential notion of nationalism and the importance of an
ethnic language in (orean nationalism. Therefore, it can be said that opinions have been
polarized into two e'treme positions, a globalization camp versus a nationalism camp, while
sometimes the two ideologies intersect with other ideologies, and middle grounds are
sporadically found. This phenomenon demonstrates that the issue of ideology may affect the
process of the formulation of a language policy in relation to larger environments.
%t is found that there are considerable parallels between the debate in the intellectual
community in $outh (orea and the one in applied linguistics on the politics of !nglish in
general. To understand the comple'ities of the debates surrounding the issue and how different
ideologies underlie each debate point, % will present and discuss pro"!&) discourses one by one
along with anti"!&) discourses. % translated all of the e'cerpts from (orean publications in the
following sections.
)lo&ali8ation is Real. and Nationalism is on the 9ane +)lo&ali8ation versus Nationalism/
&ne of the rationales for !&) in $outh (orea that proponents of !&) provide is the rise of
globalization. 4o8 *-../a, -../b, 0111, 011-, 011B+ consistently argues that globalization as
homogenization and standardization is real and that, even if it is #$" initiated,
accommodation to this phenomenon is a minimum survival s8ill. &ther proponents of !&)
e6uate globalization with cosmopolitanism and reject nationalism as inherently closed *I @.
(im, -...< (o, -../+.
@owever, nationalist opponents of !&) *I ,hoi, -...< I @an, -../< :. Feung, 011-< Fin<
-...< I H. (im, 011-< Jam, -../< $ung, -...< Iun, 011-+ criticize the widespread discourses
of neo"liberal globalization, and highlight the positive effects of nationalism in (orea. What
they argue in common is that the ideology of a neo"liberal mar8et economy should not provide a
rationale for a language policy such as !&) and that power disparities among nations in the
contemporary globalization as a homogenizing process should be critically understood.
The Spread of English is Natural. Neutral. and ,eneficial +Reproduction of Discourses of
English as a )lo&al or 2nternational Language :ersus Resistance to 2t/
To demonstrate that the global spread of !nglish is inevitable, 4o8 puts forward Hetcalfes
)aw, which he e'plains is that >the value of a certain networ8 is proportionate to the s6uare of
its users? *011-, p. -0.+. 4o8 argues that every language forms such a networ8 and that once a
certain language starts to enjoy the largest networ8 of users, its users will 8eep multiplying until
it becomes a global language. 4o8 further argues that >the dominance of !nglish is due to
globalization ... this means that !nglish is relatively independent of the political clout of the #$
or the #( that spea8s it as a national language, and that the future of !nglish is bright? *011B, p.
0.+. @owever, many opponents of !&) *e.g., I H. (im< 0111< Iun, 011-+ criticize the position
of the !&) proponents as naive and blindly assimilationist, and argue that what seems to be
natural to them is in fact the result of power differentials among countries.
This sharp contrast between the two camps demonstrates a dramatic instance of the discourse
and counter"discourses that many critical linguists have provided in relation to the global spread
of !nglish. To those critical linguists, 4o8 may be seen as blind to the deliberate efforts of the
#( and the #$ to spread !nglish not only as a commodity, but also as an ideological tool to
disseminate their values to newly independent countries *5hillipson, -..0+. %n addition, he
perhaps ignores the historical process by which !nglish has become associated with neutrality
and modernity as part of colonial discourses *5ennycoo8, -..3, -../+. I H. (im *0111+ aptly
points out that !nglish is not only a global language but also the American language.
%n addition, 4o8s application of Hetcalfes )aw to a language issue seems to parallel a
liberal position on the spread of !nglish in that >!nglish is achieving a hegemonic critical mass?
*Wright, 0113, p. -2;+ and reinforces his assumption on language in terms of economy and
efficiency only. &n one occasion he admits that he chooses not to ma8e value judgments while
following the frame of economy *-../b+. %t can be inferred that 4o8 thin8s that any value
judgment will ma8e the issue ideological rather than neutral, not admitting that any assertion
of neutrality is already political. %n this sense, 4o8s position can be labeled as what 5ennycoo8
*011-+ calls liberal ostrichism.
2ndividuals 9ill 1hoose English over Korean ,ecause The! Know the Power of English
+2ndividual 1hoices as the Outcome of 'Rational* 1hoice versus the Product of ';egemonic*
4o8 as8s a mind"blowing 6uestionE >%f you have a new born baby, and if he or she can
choose between !nglish and (orean as a mother tongue, which would you recommendM? *011-,
p. -3;+. 4o8 assumes that every (orean will answer !nglish if they are true to their hearts
without being misguided by romantic nationalism. What is interesting is that 4o8s conclusion
seems to agree with general sentiment on !&). $ince 4o8 started a debate on !&) in the media
in -../, public opinion polls have been conducted on the issue by the media, the results of which
show that agreement with !&) increasingly e'ceeds disagreement over time *see p. 00+. 4o8
interprets this tendency as the result of more and more people realizing the importance of
!nglish as a global language.
To most of the !&) opponents, however, those individual choices are the result of voluntary
colonialism *Iun, 011-+ through a process of American hegemony. %n this interpretation, the
laissez"faire liberalism *5ennycoo8, 011-+ of the !&) proponents shows instances of
colonization of the consciousness *7anon, -.;A+ and hegemonic processes *Gramsci, -.A-+,
and reproduce part of colonial discourses without considering any possibilities of articulation of
counter discourses *5ennycoo8, -..2+ that potentially helps to reorganize the e'isting power
>CWDhether or not the desire to learn !nglish is the product of hegemonic processes or the
outcome of rational choice? *Wright, 0113, p. -A1, emphases in original+, @. @an *0111+ and I.
H. (im *0111+ find a logical flaw in 4o8s argument, which they thin8 misleads public opinion.
Their point is that even though individuals realize the importance and power of !nglish for
globalization, they do not realize the fact that !&) does not guarantee the improvement of their
!nglish proficiency. Therefore, the most serious problem with 4o8s point is his unfounded
belief in the causal lin8 between !&) and !nglish language proficiency.
)lo&ali8ation 1alls for 'One* )lo&al Language at the E<pense of Ethnic Languages +The
'Diffusion of English Paradigm* :ersus an 'Ecolog! of Languages Paradigm*/
4o8s understanding of languages as operating on the :arwinian principle of the survival of
the fittest is clear in the following statementE >#ltimately !nglish as a sole international language
will be used everywhere in every society in the world. The rise of !nglish will shrin8 space for
ethnic languages, which will ma8e them lose their vitality and be out of daily use. 7inally, ethnic
languages will disappear ... and remain as a )useu) "anguage* *011B, pp. B1"B-, emphasis in
%n fact, it is this particular view of language that first triggered all the !&) debates because it
presupposes the disappearance of (orean. That is, 4o8s version of !nglish as an official
language is just an interim policy for !nglish as the official language in $outh (orea in the long
run. This position is in contrast with a proposal for !&) in Fapan that emphasizes peaceful
coe'istence of Fapanese and !nglish as co"official languages by promoting complementary
bilingualism *7unabashi, 011-+. These arguments fit well into two contrasting language
paradigms, termed by Tsuda *-..3+, the :iffusion of !nglish 5aradigm and an !cology of
)anguages 5aradigm *see also $8utnabb"(angas, 0111+.
This debate is analogous to the classic debate of translatability across languages or the
incommensurability of languages in Whorfs linguistic relativity principle. According to
(ramsch *-..B+, both of the arguments are e'treme, but a wea8 version of Whorfs hypothesis,
especially concerning cultural differences in semantics, is generally accepted nowadays.
(ramsch e'plains that >the theory of linguistic relativity does not claim that linguistic structure
constrains what people can thin8 or perceive, only that it tends to influence what they routinely
do thin8? *-..B, p. -3, emphases in original+.
Therefore, what seems to be one of the most serious problems with 4o8s proposal for !&)
is that it is based on subtractive dominant language learning, not the additive one that is
defended by $8utnabb"(angas *0111+. With this said, the productive mode of !nglish as a
language of opportunity can be justified as long as it does not subtract from ones mother tongue.
Additionally, the active promotion of foreign languages other than !nglish in educational
settings that $. Feongs *0111+ advances deserves attention because of its potential to brea8
ta8en"for"granted Anglicist cultural values as well as to reflect ones cultural bias in a more
balanced way.
EOL is Possi&le in South Korea +Possi&ilit! of EOL in an E=L or E<panding 1ircle 1ountr!/
%n order to demonstrate that !&) as a replacement of (orean is possible, 4o8 *-../, 011B+
ta8es the linguistic shifts of the Fews and the %rish as e'amples, and interprets them as implying
that people can often decide on their language on the basis of utility. According to $. Feong
*0111+, however, they did not change their languages voluntarily several times< rather they had
no other choice in order to survive. $ung *-../+ also says that the instances of language shift
cannot justify the loss of a mother tongue if we thin8 bac8 to the oppressive situation of the
Fapanese language assimilation policy in (orea. These counterarguments echo $8utnabb"
(angas *0111+ comment on the relationship between linguistic and cultural diversity in the cases
of the %rish and the FewsE
That language loss has happened on a large scale *even if the languages themselves are still
alive+, and people survived, does not mean that it is something that should be recommended.
Hany of those people who have themselves e'perienced this ... bear witness to possible
negative effects *p. 02B+.
Another related discussion centers around the notion of an official language. While
e'amining language situations in many other countries, $. F. (im *011-+ e'plains that an official
language is a notion that is re6uired only in multilingual countries and that, since (orea has been
a monolingual society throughout history, there has been no need for the discussion of an official
language. 9ather, the only concern in language policy in (orea has been the standardization of
the (orean language. The e'ceptions were Fapanese as the official language that was enforced
during the Fapanese rule and !nglish as a co"official language under the #$ administration from
-.32 to -.3.. Therefore, one or two conditions should be met to enact !&) in $outh (oreaE
changing $outh (orea into a multilingual country, admitting that $outh (orea is a colony of an
!nglish spea8ing country, or both. $. F. (im goes as far as to say that !&) is practically
impossible without the genocide of all (oreans. @ong *-...+ also clarifies this point by saying
that !&) is a daydream unless !nglish 8eeps being imposed upon (oreans as Fapanese did in
the colonial period. @. @an *0111+ also points out that !&) is impossible without the bac8up of
6uality !nglish education. .
EOL 9ill Provide E0ual Opportunities to Learn English +'Democrati8ation of a =ormerl!
Elitist Resource* :ersus 'Social 2ne0ualities E<acer&ated &! a Linguistic ;ierarch!*/
4o8 *0111+ asserts that !&) will promise linguistic e6ualities by providing e6ual access to
!nglish with e'posure to it outside of the classroom, which will in turn help to solve the problem
of e'isting societal ine6ualities in $outh (orea. %n response, some !&) opponents *,hae, 0111<
$. Feong 0111+ assert that !&) will aggravate the present ine6ualities because the !nglish divide
will be institutionally legitimized by !&). %n other words, the lin8 between material conditions
and !nglish proficiency will be strengthened because of the upgraded status of !nglish, while
serving the interests of already socially and economically dominant groups.
According to @. @an *0111, p. B1+, however, whether or not !nglish ability for everybody
may entail the democratization of a formerly elitist resource *7ishman, -..;, p. A+, the point is
whether or not !&) as a language policy will lead to !nglish proficiency for everybody in
$outh (orea. %t can be said that as long as the latter is not clear, !&) cannot democratize the
situation. %n this sense, the possibility of !&) contributing to social and economic e6ualities in
$outh (orea is closely related to the 6uestion of whether !&) is ever possible in $outh (orea as
an !'panding ,ircle country.
Another related issue is whether !&) will lead to bilingualism, and if so, what 8ind of
bilingualism it will be. (o *-...+ predicts that if !&) is enacted, the language situation in $outh
(orean will be close to a diglossia where (orean is used for private purposes and !nglish is used
in public domains, but he does not bother to consider the ideological implications of >liberal
complementarity? *5ennycoo8, 011-, p. 2;+ or >an ideological naturalization of sociolinguistic
arrangements? *Woolard = $chieffelin, -..3, p. ;.+ in an asymmetric diglossia. Although (os
version of !&) is more moderate than 4o8, this sentiment is still in sharp contrast with the
proposal for !&) in Fapan in 0111.
%n Fapan, Fapanese 5rime Hinister &buchis advisory board for the 0-st Fapanese 5roject in
0111 was specific about the status of !nglishE >%n the long run, !nglish as a second official
language needs to be considered, but consensus among people is necessary. At the moment we
need to do all we can to ma8e !nglish as a practical language? *cited from Ii, 011-, p. B10,
emphasis added+. %n a similar vein, 7unabashi *011-+, one of the members of the board and
active proponent of !&) in Fapan, e'presses his proposal that >!nglish should be a second
official language ... upgraded in status from a foreign language... . @ere, a fundamental tas8 is
not to )a+e ,a-an a .icti) o' an Eng"is# di.ide* *p. 0-A, emphasis added+.
&nce again, as long as it is not decisive whether !&) will guarantee full !nglish competence
for every (orean spea8er, the designation of an e6ual or higher status to !nglish is not li8ely to
achieve socioeconomic e6uality. This echoes $ungs *-...+ argument that government
intervention to support a powerless language is needed more, the assumption of which parallels
the linguistic human rights paradigm in )55.
:espite all the competing discourses on !&) in $outh (orea by the intellectual community
in the media and publications, public opinion polls on the issue show a different picture of the
situation as follows.

Figu(e /0 9esults of 5ublic &pinion 5olls on !&) from Fuly -../ to Hay 0113
$ources of the newspaper articles in this section are attached as an appendi'.
Generally, the proportion of anti"!&) opinions has e'ceeded that of pro"!&) ones in public
debate, especially in publications, but public opinion polls from various sources indicate that
public sentiment has been increasingly favorable to !&), e'cept at the last poll on the :aily use
of !nglish
project proposed by the $eoul Hetropolitan Government in 0113.
,oncerning the general increase of the percentage of agreement, different interpretations
followed. 4o8 *0111+ says that this turnover to more than fifty percent agreement is a reflection
of (oreans realization, as a result of the economic crisis of the %H7 intervention into (orea in
-..A and the rapid spread of the %nternet, that !nglish has been consolidating its status as a
global language. @owever, @. @an *0110+ argues that most of the results of the polls do not
reflect the point that !&) will not automatically lead to the improvement of !nglish proficiency.
Also, he adds that if people polled had been informed of this point, the results would have been
different. That is, the results show the growing needs of individuals to ac6uire !nglish
proficiency, but they do not justify !&). Thus, the missing lin8 between !&) and !nglish
proficiency is not clearly reflected in the opinion polls.
%n addition, many other !&) opponents *e.g., I H. (im, 0111< @. @an 0110+ point out the
sensational journalism of #e C#osun I"$o, a newspaper company that fueled the !&) debate in
Fuly-../ by ma8ing a favorable review of 4o8s boo8, Et#nic Languages in t#e Age o' a G"o$a"
Language *-../+. The newspaper also drove the >!nglish is competitiveness? campaign in 0111,
when Fapan started to consider !&). ,onsidering the status of #e C#osun ""$o as a newspaper
company that enjoys the largest sales in $outh (orea *0-K in -../, and 0;./K in 011B< $. W.
(im, 0113+, it is very li8ely that they have e'ercised a potentially huge influence on the
formation of public opinion since they have powerful media discourse control that >may lead to
preferred models *as persuasion can be understood+? *van :ij8, 0111, p. A/, emphasis in
original+. %n this conte't, the anti"!&) camp suspect that behind their aggressive promotion of
!nglish and !&) lur8s a profit"ma8ing motive because they have been mar8eting a (orean"
made !nglish test called T!5$ *Test of !nglish 5roficiency developed by $eoul Jational
#niversity+. %n short, the hidden agenda of a leading newspaper company made a happy
rendezvous with the discourses of !nglish as a global language in the age of the dominant mar8et
ideology"driven globalization.
&ne possible e'planation for the outlier is that the aggressive development"oriented administration of the $eoul
Hetropolitan government is e'tensivelycriticized in the media *e.g., I. F. (im, 0113+.
Discourses of EOL in The Chosun I!o
To demonstrate how the ideology of neo"liberal globalization is manifested in line with the
discourses of !nglish as a global language in #e C#osun I"$o, % will present an analysis of
articles that represent the tone of the #e C#osun I"$o in promoting !nglish, mostly in the
!nglish is competitiveness campaign in 0111, while ta8ing the assumptions of ,ritical
:iscourse Analysis that >discourse is both socially constituti.e as well as socially shaped?
*7airclough = Woda8, -..A, p. 02/, emphasis in original+ and that >ideology is the prime means
of manufacturing consent? *7airclough, -./., p. 3+. % translated all of the articles in the following
sections, and tried not to change the general tone of each article while editing it for the
clarification of its gist whenever necessary. % also italicized words or phrases that are the focus of
%n #e C#osun I"$o, more than anything else, as the following headlines of articles show, the
association of !nglish and individual and national economic growth, and the importance of
!nglish for cross"national business transaction in globalization *5ennycoo8, -..3< 5hillipson,
-..0+ is celebrated as a matter of course, while other competing issues such as potentially
negative influences of !nglish on the (orean language, cultural identity, social e6uality, etc. are
never addressed.
>Want g(o&t#1 $pea8 !nglishN? said an American leading economist 5aul (rugman in
Fo(tune in April, -.... *#e C#osun I"$o, -..., :ecember B-+
>!nglish raises your sa"a(%? *#e C#osun I"$o, 0111, Fanuary 0+
>7altering !nglish often spoils $usiness t(ansactions? *#e C#osun I"$o, 0111,
Fanuary -B+
The general economic message penetrates most of the articles while it is intricately related to
other specific issues. %n the following article, !nglish is considered a major contributor to
economy"oriented national interests.
>The low !nglish proficiency of (orean elites leads to huge loss in nationa" inte(ests*
*#e C#osun I"$o, 0111, Fanuary 0+
%n the evening on :ecember 03, -..A, when the %H7 crisis in $outh (orea just began,
there was a conference, The economy of (orea and her financial standing at A!% in
Washington... . A Jew Ior8 Times reporter as8ed one of the (orean government
officials, >The (orean government reportedly as8ed %H7 to provide 22 $i""ion do""a(s0
:o you thin8 this will be enough to alleviate the crisisM? The official answered twice, >%
dont 8now?. Iim, the then Hinister of 7inance and !conomy, had already announced the
re6uest of the aid of 011 billion dollars from %H7 four days before. The official ended up
lying because of the miscommunication.
Another reporter as8ed, >@ow is it possible that you dont 8nowM % dont understand?, and
added, >@ow do you believe the %H7 intervention would change the status of the 4an8 of
(oreaM? The official gave an irrelevant answer by saying, >% have never thought of my power?.
#is de)onst(ates one o' t#e e3a)-"es &#e(e "ac+ o' Eng"is# -(o'icienc% dest(o%s t(ust in t#e
!o(ean go.e(n)ent0
%n the above article, the low proficiency in !nglish is directly connected to the loss of trust.
While it is acceptable that better or perfect !nglish proficiency would have made the
communication better, it is 6uestionable to what e'tent the miscommunication destroyed trust
because part of the communication brea8down was due to misinformation, i.e., 22 $i""ion
do""a(s0 Hore than that, it also needs to be as8ed why the officials did not consider relying on
interpreters for better communication. @owever, these 6uestions are never as8ed in the article.
Accordingly, the message that "ac+ o' Eng"is# -(o'icienc% dest(o%s t(ust in t#e !o(ean
go.e(n)ent is naturalized as a matter of common sense.
&ne specific theme in the campaign is to learn from other countries as in the following
>!nglish is a living language in ai&an0 Taiwanese spea8 !nglish without difficulty?E
Taiwanese elites lead the miracle of !nglish. *#e C#osun I"$o, -..., :ecember B-+
>!ven F(ance e3-"o(es t#e -ossi$i"it% of !nglish"7rench bilingualism.? *#e C#osun
I"$o, 0111, Fanuary 3+
*!ditorial+ %t is time to learn from ,a-anese )o.e to adopt !nglish as an official
language... . The reason for the move is that it is absolutely necessary as one of the 0-
century national strategies for Fapan... . &nly when !nglish is enacted as an official
language or spo8en as a practical language will !nglish proficiency follow. *#e C#osun
I"$o, 0111, Fanuary -.+
@ere, cross"national comparisons are made to provide justifications for the global status of
!nglish and !&) in $outh (orea. @owever, whether the comparisons are based on facts or not,
no reference is made to other countries where !&) is e'ercising negative effects, especially
many multilingual third world countries. Horeover, even in the three countries, Taiwan, 7rance,
and Fapanese, !&) is yet to be enforced. 7rance just e3-"o(es t#e -ossi$i"it% and Fapan just made
a )o.e0 Fust the possibility, however, gives #e C#osun I"$o opportunities to promote the
importance of !nglish and !&).
Another salient pattern is the reproduction of colonial discourses of !nglish, i.e., dependency
on native spea8ers norms *Amin, -..A< Auerbach, -..B< ,anagarajah, -...a< ,oo8, -...<
5hillipson, -..0< 9ampton, -..1+ and the self"stigmatization of the values of nonnative !nglish
>!arly !nglish education needed?
#e C#osun I"$os >!nglish is competitiveness? campaign is becoming more convincing
with the recent proposal for !&) in Fapan... . The younger a student is, the more chances
they need to have to learn from nati.e s-ea+e(s000 . !o(eans4 "ac+ o' eti5uette derives from
that of the understanding of foreign languages. *#e C#osun I"$o, 0111, Fanuary 0B+
This article shows a dramatic instance of dependency on the native spea8er myth or
fallacy, i.e., >the ideal teacher of !nglish is a native spea8er? *5hillipson, -..0, p. -.B+ for
early !nglish education slides into the stigmatization of (oreans as non"civilized 6!o(ean4s "ac+
o' eti5uette70 This mechanism is consistent with $8utnabb"(angas *0111, p. -.;+ identification
of the reproduction of une6ual power relationships through the glorification of the dominant
group, the stigmatization of subordinated groups, and the rationalization of their relationship.
Horeover, the native spea8er myth and the self"stigmatization is generalized and reinforced by a
reference to the case of Fapan as follows.
5rofessor Toshi8o Har' is saying, >Fapanese people at international meetings are famous
for three $sE $ilence, $leeping, $mile... . Fapanese prime minister spea8s Fapanese often
without clear subjects. @e says a lot, but e'cept some meaningful words, there is not#ing
to t(ans"ate000 .? *#e C#osun I"$o, 0111, Harch 0+
>Fapan sets out to construct !nglish infrastructure?
$uzu8i A8ita, a dean of a Fapanese university said, >Fapanese peoples low !nglish
proficiency is parallel to the wonder of !gyptian 5yramids.? ... %n Fapan, it is almost
impossible to find a Hc:onalds in its aut#entic -(onunciation0 Hany Fapanese people do
not understand it unless pronounced as Ha"8u"do"na"ru"do... . *#e C#osun I"$o, 0111,
Fanuary -B+
All the stigmatization of nonnative spea8ers points to colonization of the consciousness in
7anons *-.;A+ terms. %t is also consistent with Iun *011-+s internalized colonialism, and I H.
(ims *0111+ 8Saedae C#ui4 *$erving the Great+ in the previous public debate. Horeover, the
connection of the ruling elites in a small country with the Great countries discussed by I H.
(im *0111+ is evidenced by the following contributions by (orean elitesE
,ontribution by Fin $eop Ieom, 9(esident o' Ya#oo !o(ea: >Without shift in our
paradigm toward !nglish, will our future ever e'istM? *#e C#osun I"$o, -..., :ecember
>!arly !nglish education urgently needed? by Iun :ae !o 6Dean o' !o(ea Uni.e(sit%7:
>)earning !nglish hard and using it as a daily language does not threaten the subjectivity
of a nation? *#e C#osun I"$o, 0111, Fanuary 01+
>%ts time to actively consider !nglish as a second official language? by $u Gil Iang,
DECD E)issa(%: >Generally, (orean public employees are ine'perienced in free
discussions and lac8 !nglish ability? *#e C#osun I"$o, 0111, 7ebruary -;+
%n addition to the ideological control of !nglish as described above, the glorification of
native spea8er norms is also closely to tied to mar8et ideology, which shows one aspect of
!nglish itself as a world commodity *5hillipson, -..0+.
>!nglish is a living thing. )isten and repeat all the timeN?, advises D(0 Co(ne"ius, who has
recently visited (orea... . :uring an interview, he said, >There was an interesting study in
Congo0 A person who had never learned !nglish before mastered !nglish in t#(ee
)ont#s0 He sounds "i+e a nati.e s-ea+e(*, and concluded >that was possible because of
African oral traditions?. That implies the importance of learning a foreign language ;ust
"i+e c#i"d(en do000 . :r. ,ornelius has developed many !nglish learning programs so
far... . Jow he is 5resident of 7aith, which is an inte(nationa" Eng"is# education
co(-o(ation0 *#e C#osun I"$o, 0111, April 01+
@ere, :r. ,ornelius gives a rather e'aggerated and disputable e'ample that may not be
applicable to average !nglish learners in other conte'ts. @owever, his position as a native
spea8er e'pert helps to give much more credibility to the case than his nonnative counterpart,
since his judgment of nativeness is considered as such. Accordingly, the discourse of !nglish
success 6He sounds "i+e a nati.e s-ea+e(7 within a short period of time 6t#(ee )ont#s7 with the
help of a magic method 6;ust "i+e c#i"d(en do7 promoted by native e'perts 6D(0 Co(ne"ius7 are
not problematized, but reproduced and naturalized in the article. Horeover, the words
inte(nationa" Eng"is# education co(-o(ation indicate how mar8et ideology is easily connected to
an e'treme version of !nglish success stories.
All of the above e'amples reveal how ideologies as >particular ways of representing and
constructing society which reproduce une6ual relations of power? *7aircough = Woda8, -..A, p.
0A2+ are manifested in #e C#osun I"$o0 The case of #e C#osun I"$o shows seemingly
contradictory aspects of media discourse. &n one hand, #e C#osun I"$o is passive in that >the
media so seldom ta8e the initiative for social change? *van :ij8, -..B, p. 0/0+ by reflecting and
confirming the dominant mar8et ideology in globalization. &n the other hand, it becomes
aggressive as long as dominant ideologies fit their private interests, i.e., selling the !nglish test,
T!5$. Although we still need to be careful in deciding to what e'tent the discourses in #e
C#osun I"$o might have affected the public opinion polls and in considering the possibility of
>different discourse interpretations? *Widdowson, 0111, p. 00+ on the part of discourse
participants, the newspaper readers, the dominance of mar8et ideology in neo"liberal
globalization in the media, and the profit"ma8ing motive of #e C#osun ""$o cannot be dismissed
as irrelevant in the discussion of the process of the public opinion formulation in !&) in $outh
1ounter4discourses to EOL% =ocus on the 1ase of ;an-!oreh
%n contrast to #e C#osun I"$o, some other competing newspaper companies show a varying
range of resistance to !&) in $outh (orea and provide more diverse perspectives, as the
following headlines indicate.
>!&) is a crazy idea? *!%ung#%ang S#in)un, 011B, :ecember 0;+
>Ta8e off a white mas8, blind reverence for the West? *Han+%o(e#, 0113, 7ebruary 0B+
>!nglish imperialism in the %nternet era? *#e Donga I"$o, 0111, 7ebruary 03+
>Ha8ing $eoul a republic of !nglishM> *Han+%o(e#, 0113, April 02+
>The power of !nglish and !nglish imperialism? *#e Han+oo+ I"$o, -..., August 03+
>,ommunication s8ills determine !nglish proficiency? *#e Han+oo+ I"$o, 0111,
Jovember B1+
Among the newspaper companies, Han+%o(e# has been consistently the most critical about
the sensational journalism of #e C#osun I"$o in the promotion of !nglish in relation to !&). %t
debun8s the hidden agenda of #e C#osun I"$o as followsE
>Huch Ado about !&)?
The mass media is now ma8ing a fuss about !&) in $outh (orea, arguing that we need to
learn from the Fapanese 0-st century project... . )ac8 of !nglish proficiency is due to its
uselessness in (orea... . 4ehind !&) lur8s a -(o'it-)a+ing )oti.e in the guise of
globalization... . #e C#osun I"$o has already made a big profit out of T!5$, and now is
trying to ma8e the whole nation an !nglish school by the promotion of the !nglish is
competitiveness campaign... . *Han+%o(e#, 0111, 7ebruary /+
$pecifically, in reporting the issue of !&) in Fapan in 0111, the tone of the following article
in Han+%o(e# is in sharp contrast with that of #e C#osun ""$o0
>The debate of !&) in Fapan getting hotter... . :isagreements heard in the academic and
cultural worlds?
:espite the wide acceptance of the importance of !nglish as a practical language,
disagreements are e'pressed in various fields in Fapan... .? The reason why $ingapore,
5hilippines, %ndia, etc. adopted !&) is that they needed !nglish as a governing language
because they were !nglish spea8ing countries co"onies and )u"ti"ingua" settings. Fapan
has no reason to adopt !&)? said $ato Tadashi, who is an educator and used to be a
preliminary school !nglish instructor... .? %t is hard to understand why discourses of !&)
are widespread in a monolingual society li8e Fapan. The government should give its
Eng"is# education a top priority? said &8ino Ana, a 7rench literature e'pert... . There is
no advanced country with uni5ue cu"tu(e that considers !&), which is a flippant
e'pression of "ac+ o' su$;ecti.ities* said 5rofessor Ioshida Iashiho8o... .*Han+%o(e#,
0111, 7ebruary 0-+
The article is focused on voices that were unheard in #e C#osun I"$o, who had reported
only the voices in favor of !&) in Fapan, ta8ing the power of !nglish for granted and
stigmatizing Fapanese values. This shows that although there are competing voices on the issue,
#e C#osun I"$o and Han+%o(e# are very selective in ma8ing the voices of Fapanese people
heard by the public, which suggests the importance of a critical eye to reading media discourse
on the part of readers. Heanwhile, the voices that were missing in #e C#osun I"$o are
foregrounded in the Han+%o(e# article. The need for conte'tual considerations of the issue is
e'pressed in co"onies, and )u"ti"ingua" settings, while the importance of Eng"is# education as a
top priority is provided as an alternative other than !&) to improve !nglish competence among
Fapanese people. Also, strong national sentiment is clear in the phrases uni5ue cu"tu(e and "ac+
o' su$;ecti.ities0 This essential notion of cultural nationalism echoes (ubotas *0110, p. -A+
discussion of ni#on;in(on, >a discourse that celebrates the uni6ueness of Fapanese culture and
The critical stance that Han+%o(e# ta8es is e'tended to the >There is something the matter
with !&) in $pecial economic zones? series, which critically e'amines the governments plan
for (orea as the 4usiness ,enter of Jortheast Asia with $pecial economic zones, where
!nglish would be used as an official language.
<Eng"is# is ;ust a "ingua '(anca*0.. According to Fo :ong %%s definition, a lingua franca
is a language that people with different mother tongues spea8 widely for interaction ... %t
is nonsensical for a *monolingual+ country with a national language to adopt !nglish as
an official language when Eng"is# does not en;o% t#e status as an o''icia" "anguage e.en
in t#e US000 . !ven ,hina, the first in ma8ing special economic zones ... has not ever
considered !&) in the area... . *Han+%o(e#, 0110, April A+
>5lace for (orean?E %n the recent report of World map of dying languages, ...
#J!$,& pointed out that ... the disa--ea(ance o' "anguages means losing human
intellect and 8nowledge embedded in it... . *Han+%o(e#, 0110, April /+
>,ompetitiveness comes within?E ... !o(ean s-eci'ic Eng"is# education should be
developed... . ,ompetiveness should to be based on ones uni6ue culture, art, traditions,
and creativity, and language is the 8ey foundation. *Han+%o(e#, 0110, April .+
7rom the ways that various issues are addressed above such as a definition of official
language 6"ingua '(anca in 0110, April A+, language ecology 6disa--ea(ance o' "anguages in
0110, April /+, and a localized pedagogy 6!o(ean s-eci'ic Eng"is# education in 0110, April .+, it
is clear that Han+%o(e# is more critically oriented to the issue than #e C#osun ""#o0 5articularly
in addressing !nglish education, they advance its importance as a better alternative to !&),
while #e C#osun ""#o thin8s of it as part of !&) as the following articles *previously
introduced+ imply.
>!arly !nglish education urgently needed? by Iun :ae !o *:ean of (orea #niversity+E
>)earning !nglish hard and using it as a dai"% "anguage does not threaten the subjectivity
of a nation? *#e C#osun I"$o, 0111, Fanuary 01+
>!arly !nglish education needed? #e C#osun I"$os >!nglish is competitiveness?
campaign is becoming more convincing with the recent proposal for EOL in Fapan... .
The younger a student is, the more chances they need to have to learn from nati.e
s-ea+e(s 000 (oreans lac8 of eti6uette derives from that of the understanding of foreign
languages. *#e C#osun I"$o, 0111, Fanuary 03+
Horeover, in conceptualizing good !nglish education, Han+%o(e#4s espousal of a localized
version of !nglish education is in contrast with #e C#osun I"$o4s over"emphasis on the
importance of e'posure to !nglish 6a dai"% "anguage7, which 5hillipson *-..0, p. -/2+ terms the
ma'imum e'posure fallacy, and on native spea8er norms 6nati.e s-ea+e(s70 This difference is
deep rooted in different assumptions about the relationship between language and power, the
former envisioning a shift in power relations potentially through a pedagogy of possibility
*5eirce, -./.+ and pedagogies of appropriation *,anagarajah, -...b+ and the latter ta8ing
pree'isting power differentials for granted and thereby perpetuating the status 6uo through what
might be called a pedagogy of assimilation.
Generally spea8ing, Han+%o(e# is much more critically concerned about the issue of !&)
than #e C#osun I"$o0 @owever, the strong nationalist tone of Han+%o(e# as opposed to the neo"
liberal globalist position of #e C#osun I"$o sometimes falls bac8 into an essentialist notion of
(orean culture and the (orean language, something similar to ni#on;in(on as cultural
determinism *(ubota, -...+ as the following articles indicate.
>,ompetitiveness comes within?E ... (orean specific !nglish education should be
developed... . ,ompetitiveness should to be based on ones uni5ue cu"tu(e, art, traditions,
and creativity, and "anguage is t#e +e%'oundation000 . *Han+%o(e#, 0110, April .+
> Ha8ing $eoul a republic of !nglishM? ... the $eoul metropolitan government is
planning to carry out a large scale project of :aily use of !nglish for $eoul citizens and
government wor8ers, until 011; when the percentage of proficient !nglish spea8ers in
$eoul reach up to A1 percent as in $ingapore ... the $eoul metropolitan government says
that :aily use of !nglish is a prere6uisite for $eoul to become a central city of
Jortheast Asia, and attract much foreign investment ... however, it still asserts that it is
different from !nglish as an foreign language in $eoul ... %n response, Hangu" Acade)%
recently made a statement $top !&) in $eoul, protesting, >... the policy would be to
admit to the world that &e a(e an inca-a$"e -eo-"e0 What is more important is to ma8e
good guideboo8s, good things to enjoy, and hospitality?. 6Han+%o(e#, 0113, April 02+
To sum up, the discourses in #e C#osun I"$o and Hang+%o(ae show contrasting tones in
dealing with the issue of !&) in $outh (orea. Fust li8e the debate by the intellectual community,
different ideologies permeate discourses and counter"discourses in each newspaper companys
ways of addressing the issue, and compete for acceptance among readers in the process of the
formation of public opinion. While a direct causal lin8 cannot be claimed between the tone of
each newspaper and the formation of individual opinions on the issue of !&), it is very li8ely
that #e C#osun I"$o has e'ercised much more influence than Han+%o(e# and other newspaper
companies, recalling that the former enjoys the largest sales, and that their private interests fit
perfectly into already dominant discourses of !nglish as a global language in the neo"liberal
globalization era.
The analysis of the debates on the proposal for !&) in $outh (orea in the present study
demonstrates how language itself is implicated in power and how various ideologies come into
play in the discussion of a particular language policy. While dominant discourses of neo"liberal
globalization and colonial discourses of !nglish are manifested in the governments promotion of
globalization and in the tone of a giant newspaper company with a private motive, counter"
discourses mostly based on critical perspectives on language are also made by other newspaper
companies and the intellectual community in publications. $ince !&) in $outh (orea is just a
proposal rather than an actual policy, it is impossible to precisely depict its potential effects
through the debate at the moment. @owever, the case of !&) poses some important 6uestions
that need e'ploration on the basis of conte'tual understandings of a given situation and provides
implications for ways to conceptualize the democratic language policy ma8ing processes on the
basis of >a critical view of society and a political and ethical vision of change? *5ennycoo8,
011-, p. 2;+ as part of the whole project of critical applied linguistics.
Strategic >se of Linguistic Nationalism
As indicated in the discussion of the !&) debate, the overriding controversy derives from the
globalization thesis versus the nationalism one. While globalization and nationalism can be
defined in various ways, the !&) proponents and opponents ta8e particular views to their
advantage. 5arado'ically enough, even the globalists are not free from nationalism when they
argue for open nationalism or pragmatic nationalism and national interests. @owever, this
seeming tension can be e'plained when we heed $eos *-../+ remar8 that nationalism is not
necessarily the antithesis of globalization and Appadurais *-..1, p. 0.2+ comment that >CtDhe
central problem of todays global interactions is the tension between cultural homogenization and
cultural heterogenization?. At the same time, the specific historical conte't of (orea as a nation"
state based on ethnicity that strived to brea8 away from ,hinese influence and Fapanese
imperialism shows a reason why strong nationalism has been developed in $outh (orea. @ere, it
seems important to distinguish between the nationalism by big powers that developed into
imperialism and the nationalism of those countries which were invaded by imperialist powers *I
$hin, 0111+.
A similar argument can be made about linguistic nationalism in (orea. The use of the (orean
language, especially Hangu", as a resisting symbol against the Fapanese colonial assimilation
language policy calls for considerations of the conte'ts embedded in the development of (orean
linguistic nationalism. @owever, one of the biggest challenges to this argument is that the notion
of linguistic nationalism, i.e., the ideology of one nation, one language in )55 is much
criticized for its potential threat to linguistic diversity of languages andLor dialects with its
centripetal force *Hay, 011-< 5iller, 011-< Woodlard, -../< Wright, 0113+. %n terms of its
homogenizing tendency at the cost of linguistic diversity, there are considerable similarities
between linguistic nationalism at a national level and !nglish linguistic imperialism at an
international level. 7or e'ample, while inferring that 5hillipsons linguistic imperialism seems to
propose linguistic nationalism as a combating strategy, Wright *0113, p.-A-+ mentions that >CinD
the contest between the evils of *linguistic+ nationalism and the evils of *linguistic+ globalisation,
the choice would not seem to be as clear cut as 5hillipsons solutions suggest?
@owever, it seems problematic to e6uate linguistic nationalism to linguistic imperialism
across all conte'ts because the e'tent to which the repressive power of linguistic nationalism is
e'ercised varies across conte'ts. To illustrate, !nglish"only movements in the #.$. are an
e'emplary e'pression of the one nation, one language ideology to the detriment of language
rights of numerous linguistic minority groups inside the country, which shows that linguistic
nationalism in multilingual countries is inherently oppressive. Also, even highly linguistically
homogeneous countries such as Germany with romantic linguistic ethnic nationalism >adapted to
support the Jazi philosophies? *Wright, 0113, p. 2.+ and Fapan with the !o+ugo *national
language+ ideology of one nation, one language, and one people developed during the Heiji
period *Ii, 011-< ,oulmas, 0110+ provide historic e'amples in which linguistic nationalism
e'ercised oppressive effects on neighboring countries when its uni6ueness was connected to
imperialism. @owever, the linguistic situation in $outh (orea is that it is a monolingual society,
and its linguistic nationalism developed as resistance to e'ternal forces to foster the security of
its people rather than having been imposed by the !uropean model of )55. Therefore, the
manner in which power relations are manifested in the formation of linguistic nationalism must
be considered.
Another possible counter"argument to the uni6ueness of (orean linguistic nationalism is
that, in either seemingly multilingual or monolingual countries, linguistic nationalism is an
ideology *from the false consciousness view of ideology+ and not a fact of life. %t is true that the
essential notion of a monolingual nation is a social and political construct because )55 as a
political enterprise usually intervenes into actual language use to promote one language that is
uni6ue to its people during nation building *Wright, 0113+. Also in the case of $outh (orea, it is
true that in addition to resistance to imperialist powers, linguistic homogeneity is achieved partly
because of political efforts to create an imagined community *Anderson, -./B+, which
prevented dialects from diverging into different languages. %n this sense, the distinction between
dialects and languages is fuzzy, which in turn ma8es the essential distinction between
multilingualism and monolingualism at a national level untenable.
@owever, once again, the rejection of linguistic nationalism as an ideology does not mean
that it is e6ually oppressive in every conte't all the time. %n some conte'ts, it can be less
oppressive and rather strategically used as a counter"discourse to colonial discourses. :uring the
Fapanese rule in (orea, it was used as a counter"discourse to discourses of the Fapanese
assimilation language policy that derived from discourses of the Great !ast Asian ,o"
5rosperity *(aplan = 4aldauf, 011B+. What is important here is how power is organized,
resisted, and reorganized in and by discourses. %n this sense, linguistic nationalism can be
conceptualized as a discourse in a 7oucaultian sense rather than an ideology from the false
consciousness point of view.
Thus, the argument that % advance here points to the reconsideration of the specific historical
conte'ts of $outh (orea on the basis of power operations instead of the simplified rejection of
linguistic nationalism as false consciousness. )inguistic nationalism can be strategically used as
a counter"discourse to discourses of the spread of !nglish as a global or international language in
some conte'ts
@owever, the strategic use of linguistic nationalism in (orea also means that we need to be
aware of the inherent problems that are discussed above. Thus, >there are times to strategically
essentialize, and times to strategically problematize? *5ennycoo8, 0110a, p. 02+ linguistic
nationalism for >a political and ethical vision of change? *5ennycoo8, 011-, p. 2;+. A language
situation in any country is not fi'ed, but is ever changing with its spea8ers actively engaging in
its transformation. 7or the present, $outh (orea can be said to be a monolingual society, but the
increasing flow of globalization will pose more linguistic challenges at various levels.
:omestically, a steady increase of language minority groups, foreign wor8ers, and immigrants,
will challenge (oreans firm belief in monolingualism. At the same time, increasing participation
in international communications at individual and national levels will accelerate the use of a
global language, !nglish, and possibly other foreign languages. This 8ind of change in a
language situation is detected in Fapan, and its recognition is reflected in the offering of
languages other than !nglish in more and more secondary schools *(ubota, 0110+. Therefore,
(orean linguistic nationalism should be defended as long as !nglish e'ercises oppressive power,
but should be problematized for possibly ever increasing linguistic and ethnic diversity
domestically, and for the growing need for global participation.
Another rationale for the strategic use of linguistic nationalism in $outh (orea is implied in $ungs *-...+
argument for a need to maintain the same national identity with Jorth (oreans for the preparation of the
reunification of the two (oreas.
Pedagogical 2ntervention into Language Polic!4Ma-ing Process
Through the analysis of the debate on the issue of !&) in $outh (orea by the intellectual
community, the e'treme aspects of the proposal have been unraveled in several ways. While
most of the debaters on the issue seem to agree that !nglish is important in meeting the demands
of globalization, some opponents point out the potentially negative effects of !&), and others
6uestion the supposed causal relationship between !&) and !nglish proficiency and emphasize
good !nglish education as a possible alternative for the improvement of !nglish ability. @ere, a
big challenge is presented to !nglish education in relation to a language policyE a pedagogical
need to help students ta8e up their subject positions among competing discourses on !nglish"
related language policies that will affect them, while improving !nglish proficiency at the same
@owever, although the need for good !nglish education is widely discussed in the !&)
debate, it seems that it still remains at the level of the discussion of language proficiency, and
the necessity of discussing the ideological implications of a language policy in education settings
is unheard even among the critically oriented debaters of !&). @. @an *0111+, for e'ample,
aptly points out that !nglish education is the 8ey to the improvement of !nglish proficiency, and
argues that the agreement rates in most of the public opinion polls are just a result of the
sensational journalism of #e C#osun I"$o, which made individuals believe that !&) would
automatically lead to !nglish proficiency. %n addition, he proposes a reform of !nglish education
through the development of (orean"specific !nglish education and through 6uality control of
!nglish teachers language proficiency, e.g., on the basis of T&!7) scores. @owever, his concern
is still confined to the 6uestion of how to improve !nglish proficiency only without additional
considerations of the politics of !nglish. This is clear in his proposal for the (orean specific
!nglish education that focuses on the contrastive analysis between native spea8ers norms and
(orean learners deviations that derive from the (orean language system, and in his emphasis
on T&!7) scores only for good !nglish teachers.
With that said, @. $hins *0113+ call for the reconceptualization of !nglish education in
$outh (orea is well ta8enE >what 8ind of !nglish (oreans need to learn and what 8ind of !nglish
education (orea should strive for? from the perspective of critical pedagogy to actively engage
in the demands of globcalization *9obertson, -..2+ that globa-ity and locality is in a synergic
relationship. %ndeed, the present trend, gloca-ization, challenges !)T professionals to actively
and critically address issues surrounding !)T in broader social and political conte'ts. 7or the
present study, language policy is no longer separable from !)T, and critical discussions of a
particular language policy in school become important in order to help students develop their
ability >to critically read language policies, that is, to understand the social and political
implications of particular policies adopted in specific historical conte'ts? *Tollefson, 0110, p. 3,
emphasis in original+.
This 8ind of pedagogical intervention into language policy"ma8ing process on the basis of
critical pedagogy of !nglish may be e'pected to ma8e the process more democratic. Although
we should be careful not to jump to the conclusion that people polled on the issue of !&) in
$outh (orea are duped by the dominant ideologies of global capitalism and manipulated by
the media, the caution does not seem to invalidate the justification for critically oriented
pedagogical intervention. A democratic language policy"ma8ing process is more li8ely to be
implemented by individuals at the grass roots level who have become critically aware of the
implications and potential effects of a language policy than by those e'posed to a limited number
of dominant discourses only.
%t is in this respect that critical pedagogies of !nglish can intervene in the process of ma8ing
!nglish"related language policy democratic. @ere, being democratic not only means involving all
the parties in the process of decision"ma8ing, but also incorporating their voices into it. The
notion of voice in critical pedagogy summarized by Guilherme *0110+ is in sharp contrast with
4o8s liberal one.
Ovoice is not in essence a singular or unitary e'pression of a particular individual entity, be
it the individual or the nation. &n the contrary, it reflects the interaction between several
elements in transitory positions. %nformed by this notion of voice, empowerment consists of
the critical awareness of the ongoing power relations and the critical capacity to challenge
them, and therefore, constitutes an indispensable element for the e'ercise of a critical
citizenship *pp. 21"2-+.
4o8s assertion of !&) on the basis of the liberalist notion of voice as individual choice
fails to capture its connectedness to e'isting power relationships within a broad social structure,
and thereby ma8es a democratic language policy"ma8ing process less li8ely to happen.
%n addition to the need to help students find their voices by providing alternatives,
postcolonial performativity *5ennycoo8, 0111+ framewor8 for understanding the global role of
!nglish also provides pedagogical implications. While not ta8ing the structural power of
!nglish as irrelevant, 5ennycoo8 argues
it *postcolonial performativity+ also ac8nowledges that !nglish may have effects in terms of
the cultural baggage that comes with !nglish, but it suggests that this can have no absolute or
necessary effects, that it will always be c#anged, (esisted, t&isted into other possibilities. And
it as8s not merely whether ideology is imposed or resisted, but what is produced in such
relationships *p. --/, emphases added+.
This concern with the discursive effects of !nglish presupposes that students actually
e'ercise agency against the potential manipulation of consent by dominant ideologies in public
discourse, and suggests that we need to critically e'amine students actual language use at local
levels to inform macro"level language policy"ma8ing process from bottom up.
New Roles and Responsi&ilities of English Teachers
The need of pedagogical interventions into language policy"ma8ing process points to new
roles and responsibilities of !nglish teachers. !ggington *-..A+ cogently advances the new roles
of !$) teachers in implementing, developing, evaluating, altering a language policy, and
informing students of its potential effects on them. As 9icento and @ornberger *-..;+ point out,
>CoDne way or another, all !)T professionals play a role in reaffirming or opposing language
policies that affect not only our students future lives but the lives of our communities and
nations as well?. 4eyond simple involvement, as change agents in language policy"ma8ing
process, !nglish teachers need to be transformative intellectuals *Girou', -.//+ beyond
technicians. They need to inform students of potential effects of a particular language policy in
relation to larger social and political conte'ts, and help them to articulate their voices while
being aware of forces that may affect their choices in participating in public debate on a language
policy. At the same time, teachers themselves need to actively and critically participate in
language policy"ma8ing process with 8nowledge of their students language use at local levels as
ethnographers and action researchers in the classroom *Junan, -./.+.
With the pedagogical interventions discussed so far, ways to increase !nglish teachers
critical involvement in language policy"ma8ing process should be e'plored. Hore than anything
else, !nglish teacher education needs to be reconceptualized in accordance with !nglish
teachers new roles and responsibilities as critical educators in order to help them to be
culturally and critically empowered teachers *(anpol, -..3+ who can articulate their
multilayered voices. At the same time, it is essential for teachers themselves to find ways to
ma8e themselves heard to language planners. %n the !&) debate in $outh (orea, !nglish
language teachers voices are almost absent in the media and publications. This absence of voice
is strange, given that !nglish teachers are li8ely to be most affected by !&), but it is also
natu(a", considering that >differences of power between different groups are reflected in their
differential access to public discourse? *van :ij8, 0111, p. AB+. %n other words, teachers in $outh
(orea have far more limited access to media and scholarly discourse than government officials,
company owners, scholars, etc. because they are yet to be empowered. %n this situation, a
grassroots teacher development group can be a good candidate for power together of !nglish
teachers. ,ho *011-+ witnessed the empowerment of !nglish teachers in the (orean !nglish
Teachers Group at a grassroots level, and this possibility for empowerment is potentially li8ely
to ma8e !nglish teachers collective voices heard in public discourse if the empowerment is
connected to the role of critically reflective teachers *4arlett, -..1+ as members in a larger
The competing discourses of !&) in $outh (orea that are e'amined in this paper show how
)55 is intricately related to the issue of language and power and how ideologies underlie the
process of language policy"ma8ing. 5rovided that !nglish in the era of globalization e'ercises
the dual modes of power, oppressive and productive *Tew, 0110+, on non"!nglish spea8ing
countries li8e $outh (orea, the point at issue is how to ta8e full advantage of !nglish while
being aware of its ideological implications. Host of the pro"!&) arguments based on
technocratic rationality and laissez"faire liberalism close down possibilities for a democratic
language policy"ma8ing process because they lac8 a critical understanding of the politics of
!nglish and conte'tual considerations of the language situation in $outh (orea. 4y contrast,
many of the anti"!&) arguments also provide potentially problematic interpretations of the
situation in that they tend to romanticize the mother tongue while disregarding the productive
mode of !nglish in globalization. $till other arguments present a middle ground between the two
e'tremes, but fail to conceptualize the importance of !nglish education as a site to reconstruct an
alternative language policy"ma8ing process.
%n this paper % have argued that considerations of specific historical language conte'ts are
indispensable for the language policy"ma8ing process and that, for that reason, the strategic use
of linguistic nationalism in $outh (orea cannot be rejected as inconsistent with the discussion of
!&). % have also argued that in addressing the ideological implications of !nglish in
globalization, )55 at a macro level and critical pedagogy of !nglish at a local level should
inform each other to meet the demands of globalization for a political and ethic vision of
,ritical pedagogy of !nglish provides insights into democratic language policy ma8ing
processes. $tudents that are critically informed of the politics of !nglish are e'pected to voice
informed opinions in !nglish"related language policy ma8ing from bottom up rather than being
swayed by the influence of dominant ideologies, and being, passively polled on the issue without
a critical understanding of its implications. These critical perspectives can be applied to other
!nglish related policies in various settings at various levels such as in wor8places, in schools,
and in nationwide public domains.
%t seems impossible to precisely predict how !nglish will challenge the future of ethnic
languages in each country in the future. @owever, rather than assuming that !nglish will be or
will not be the global language, or assuming that ethnic languages will persist or disappear, we
need to strive to discover implications within broader conte'ts, as well as the effects of a related
language policy on individuals involved at local levels in order to inform alternative language
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competitivenessE Want GrowthM $pea8 !nglishD. 9etreived from
-..., :ecember B-. Yeong-eoga g%eong;aeng"%eog-ida: Yeong-eoneun saeng#&a"-eo, dae)an-
indeu" su"su" C!nglish is competitivenessE !nglish is a living language in ai&an0 Taiwanese
spea8 !nglish without difficultyD. 9etrieved from
-..., :ecember B-. Yeong-eoga g%eong;aeng"%eog-ida: Ya#u+o"i-a Yea) ,inseo$ sa;ang gigo
C!nglish is competitivenessE !nglish is competitivenessE ,ontribution by Finseob Ieom,
5resident o' Iahoo (oreaD. 9etrieved from
httpELLwww.chosun.comLsvcLnewsLwwwLviewArticle.htmlMidP -...-0B-2-.-
0111, Fanuary 0. Yeong-eoga g%eong;aeng"%eog-ida: %eongeo ;a"#ae%a 8)o)ga-4o(eunda
C!nglish is competitivenessE !nglish raises your salaryD. 9etrieved from
0111, Fanuary 0. Yeong-eoga g%eong;aeng"%eog-ida:;idoc#eung ;;a"$-eun %eong-eo tas-e gug-ig
+eun -i#ae C!nglish is competitivenessE The low !nglish proficiency of (orean elites leads to
huge loss in national interestsD. 9etrieved from
0111, Fanuary 2. Yeong-eoga g%eong;aeng"%eog-ida: !otdae no-eun -eu(angseudo %eong$u(eo
$%eong%ong )osae+ C!nglish is competitivenessE !ven F(ance e3-"o(es t#e -ossi$i"it% of
!nglish"7rench bilingualismD. 9etrieved from
0111, Fanuary -B. Yeong-eoga g%eong;aeng"%eog-ida: seotun $i;euniseu %eong-eo"o sangda)
)ac#igi i"ssu C!nglish is competitivenessE 7altering !nglish often spoils $usiness t(ansactionsD.
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0111, Fanuary -B. Yeong-eoga g%eong;aeng"%eog-ida: ,a-an 8Yeong-eoin-eu"a* guc#ug noseo
C!nglish is competitivenessE Fapan sets outs to construct !nglish infrastructureD. 9etrieved from
0111, Fanuary 01. Yeong-eo-ui gong-%ong-eo"on C!ditorialE !nglish as an official languageD.
9etrieved from httpELLdbl.chosun.comLcgi"binLgisaLart7ullTe'tcgiMwhereP5:P01111
0111, Fanuary 01. Si(on: Yeong-eo;ogig%o-%ug )i"u"su eo$sda C,ommentE !arly !nglish
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whereP5:P01111 -01=%:P111-011A1-
0111, Fanuary 03. Yeong-eo;ogig%o-%ug-i"-%o C!arly !nglish education neededD. #e C#osun
I"$o0 9etrieved from httpELLdbl.chosun.comLcgi"binLgisaLart7ullTe't cgiM
0111, 7ebruary -;. YangSu Gi" GECD daesa: Yeong-eo;e-igong-%ong#&a ;eoggeug geo)to#ae-
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<;idoc#eung %eong-eosi""%eog-i gugga g%eong;aeng"%eog* C!nglish is competitivenessE
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)un$eo$$oda saeng#&a", )u;ogeon deudgo tta"a#a"a C!nglish is competitivenessE :r.
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11A111111L0111L11A11111101111 -010-3-100.html
0111, April A. Yeong-eogong-%ong#&a)un;e-itda -. Yeong-eoneung%otong-eo-i"--un CThere is
something the matter with !nglish as an official language -. !nglish is just a lingua francaD.
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0110, April .. Yeong-eogong-%ong#&a)un;e-itda B. G%eong;aeng"%eog-eun an-eseo naonda
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