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Volume 12 Number 1, Spring 2015, Pages 1-168   

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Participants' Perceptions on a Multi-goal Oriented English Language Education Policy: A Case of Talk (Tech and Learn in Korea)

    Jihyeon Jeon, Jin Sook Lee, Hee-Kyung Lee

This study examines the perceptions of participants in a government-initiated program, TaLK (Teach and Learn in Korea), that aims to provide children in rural areas with English education opportunities with native-speaking instructors. The main goals of TaLK are 1) to lessen the English divide that exists in Korea by increasing English language proficiency among students in rural areas; 2) to offer opportunities for foreign college students to learn Korean language and culture; and 3) to offer Korean college students with opportunities to enhance their intercultural competence by interacting with foreign college students. Based on survey responses from 851 TaLK participants, 280 foreign college students, 398 Korean college students, and 173 English teachers, the analysis focused on the participants' perceptions of how well the implemented program reached its proposed goals and whether there was a difference in the perceptions across the three groups. Results show that TaLK was perceived by all participants to be somewhat successful, although the intense focus on the needs of foreign college students left the other participants desiring more support. The findings provide significant insights for how implementation of such native-speaking English teacher recruitment programs can be further improved and extended to other Asian EFL contexts.

Keywords: English divide, English as a foreign language education, TaLK program, policy outcomes, participant perspectives