English as an International Language: A Functional Role in South Korea

Simon James Nicholson


In South Korea English as an International Language (EIL) is neither neutral, imperialistic nor democratic but rather functional and pragmatic and inherently linked to the country’s development. It is not a language being used internally for communicative purposes. Rather, it is an additional linguistic skill being learnt for the purposes of international business communication and academic advancement both contributing to South Korea’s rising presence in the international arena. This paper examines the role of English as an International Language in South Korea and the roles played by language in society and culture. It looks at the implications that this has for teaching English in South Korea and the need to focus on interpretability to expose students to as many varieties of English as possible to prepare for the linguistic diversity that they are likely to encounter in their own locale.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jsel.v3i1.7201


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