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Volume 3 Number 4, Winter 2006, Pages 1-225   

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Professionalization of TEFL in Korea: The Roads behind and ahead

    Joo-Kyung Park

TEFL in Korea has gone through many changes and challenges driven by the societal needs and expectations from within and beyond Korea. The emergence of English as a global language has also led to reshaping its goals and approaches to achieve them. This paper discusses what has been done and needs to be done for development of TEFL, focusing on the teacher education programs as they are the key to realization of the curriculum rhetoric and to professionalization of TEFL in Korea. The results of a questionnaire survey on Korean teachers' perception of 'good English teachers' and professional development are discussed along with the perception of TEFL as a profession. Major issues of teacher education programs including curriculum, trainers and trainees, and evaluation are examined in order to see how successfully they fulfill their educational goals and missions: professional development and teacher empowerment. The emerging issues in regard to recruiting the native English speakers as classroom instructors and teacher trainers based on the myths are also discussed. Suggestions are made on how to turn the myths and the curriculum rhetoric into a positive reality.