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Volume 18 Number 3, Autumn 2021, Pages 745-1070   

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L2 English Reading Fluency in Korean Elementary Schools: Analyses of National English Curriculum and Textbooks

    Jeong Mi Kim & Alex Ho-Cheong Leung

Reading fluency (RF) is considered one of the crucial factors for successful reading. However, in S. Korean context, it has been less acknowledged and thus little delivered particularly in elementary school level. This study investigated the national English curriculum and authorized textbooks for Korean elementary schools in terms of RF. The national curriculum is investigated in accordance with the classification of the lower- and higher-level reading processes. Next, in order to examine the textbooks, 10 years of RF empirical studies were reviewed; reading texts and activities of the textbooks were then compared to those of the empirical studies which played a role as guidelines for reading texts and activities for RF in Korean Elementary School level. The analysis of the national curriculum revealed its bias towards the higher-level reading process without first developing students' RF, and the comparison of the textbooks and the empirical studies demonstrated insufficient text and reading activities to develop RF of young learners. Based on the findings, several suggestions, implications for teachers and directions for future research are offered.

Keywords: L2 reading fluency, Korean elementary school, National English Curriculum, English textbook, reading material