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Volume 17 Number 3, Autumn 2020, Pages 758-1157 PDF Download

Emerging Language Identities in a South Korean Vocational University

    Michael Rabbidge

Although commonly thought of as a monolingual nation, South Korea, under the influence of globalization, is in the midst of a change that could see this dominant monolingual discourse challenged. To reveal and understand this potential challenge, the current study uses the constructs of investment, capital, ideologies and identity to see how the ideology of neoliberalism has influenced the language learning identities of university students studying English in a single South Korean vocational university. This is done by taking into account the perspectives of both university instructors and university students. By employing narrative frame data collection methods, coupled with asynchronous interviewing techniques, the qualitative study reveals that the symbolic capital that English embodies for students is potentially changing how the language identities of these students should be understood. Such a change has a number of implications for English education within South Korea in terms of generalized designations such as EFL and non-native identity markers.

Keywords: identity, investment, ideologies, narrative frames