English language ideologies in Korea

interpreting the past and present

Research output: Book/ReportBook


This volume critically examines the phenomenon of “English fever” in South Korea from both micro- and macro-perspectives. Drawing on original research and rich illustrative examples, the book investigates two key questions: why is English so popular in Korea, and why is there such a gap between the ‘dreams’ and ‘realities’ associated with English in Korea? These questions are explored through the eyes of English-Korean translators and interpreters, who represent the professional group most intensely engaged in the zeal for English language mastery. Macro-perspectives focus on historical factors leading to the rise of English, with English-Korean translation and interpreting as a key theme. Micro-perspectives explore the dreams that individuals attach to English and the ways in which they imagine it can transform their lives, and contrast these dreams with the stark realities felt on the ground. The gaps between these dreams and realities are explored from various angles, which include commodification, gender and neoliberalism. The book thus offers fresh insights on how the phenomenon of “English fever” has been created, reproduced, and sustained from both historical and contemporary viewpoints.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer, Springer Nature
Number of pages181
ISBN (Electronic)9783319590189
ISBN (Print)9783319590165
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NameMultilingual Education
ISSN (Print)2213-3208
ISSN (Electronic)2213-3216


  • domestic English learners vs. overseas English learners
  • English and globalization
  • English as a global language
  • English language policy in South Korea
  • English-Korean translators and interpreters
  • history of English education in Korea
  • impact of English on South Korean society
  • neoliberalism and English

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