Skip to main content

English language teaching research in South Korea: A review of recent studies (2009–2014)

  • Ian Moodie (a1) and Hyun-Jeong Nam (a2)

This article reviews recent studies on English language teaching (ELT) in South Korea, where a great deal of research has been produced in recent years in local journals. In this article we review 95 studies from a pool of some 1,200 published between 2009 and 2014 on English language teaching and learning, focusing on research within the public school context. Using themes from the national curriculum as an organizing principle, the review covers selected studies in the following areas: (1) second language teacher education, (2) communicative language teaching, (3) language use and interaction in classrooms, (4) co-teaching with native-speaking English teachers, (5) curriculum and materials analysis, (6) treatments of teaching methods, and (7) assessment, testing and washback. We include commentary on the research undertaken in each area and conclude by discussing the limitations of the review and summarizing ideas for future research directions, perhaps the most important of which is questioning whether or not there is enough research of reasonable quality being produced to sustain roughly 60 journals publishing articles on English education in South Korea.

Hide All
Given space limitations, titles and some journals are given in the original language only. Readersinterested in their English translations should contact the second author at .
Ahn, B. K. (2011). The effect of an intensive in-service English teacher development program on teaching performance. English Language Teaching 23.2, 123.
Ahn, H. S. & Kim, H. R. (2011). 2008년 개정 교육과정에 따른 초등영어 3, 4학년 교재의 챈트 분석 연구. Primary English Education 17.3, 91117.
Ahn, K. (2009). Learning to teach within the curricular reform context: A sociocultural perspective on English student teachers’ practicum experience in South Korea. Ph.D. dissertation, The Pennsylvania State University.
Ahn, K. (2010). EFL teacher development through a graduate seminar: A narrative inquiry into a teacher learner's journal entries. Korean Journal of English Language and Linguistics 10.1, 5384.
Ahn, K. (2011). Learning to teach under curricular reform: The practicum experience in South Korea. In Johnson, K. E. & Golombek, P. R. (eds.), Research on second language teacher education: A sociocultural perspective on professional development. New York, NY: Routledge, 239253.
Ahn, K. (2013). 예비 영어교사의 영어 학습 및 영어 능력 신장: 영어 학습일지 활용 사례 연구. Modern Studies in English Language & Literature 57.1, 139166.
Bae, C. W., Kahng, Y. K. & Sohng, H. S. (2012). The effects of a phonological awareness instruction with phonetics on the oral and aural English proficiency. English Language & Literature Teaching 18.1, 122.
Bae, J. Y. & Lee, D. H. (2012). 초등영어교과와 통합한 TPRS 활용이 초등학생의 영어 리터러시 발달에 미치는 영향. 교과교육학연구 16.3, 749770.
Balanyk, J. (2012). Perceptions of co-teaching as shaped by differing educational discourses. TESOL Review 4, 3363.
Chae, C. H. & Lee, S. (2010). 패턴 시를 활용한 초등영어 읽기 및 쓰기 지도. Journal of the Korea English Education Society 9.3, 275297.
Chang, K., Jung, K., Hayes, D., Yeon, J., Kim, W. & Lee, B. (2010). In-service English teacher training program evaluation. English Teaching 65, 129165.
Chang, K. & Lee, S. (2012). 교생실습이 초등영어 예비교사 교육에 미치는 영향에 관한 연구. English Language Teaching 24.2, 241267.
Cho, C. H. & Moon, J. H. (2010). 라벨지를 활용한 역할극 대본 구성 활동이 초등 저학년 영어 학습자의 말하기, 읽기 능력에 미치는 효과. 영어영문학21 23.3, 209233.
Chung, H. I. & Jeong, D. B. (2010). 초등학생의 영어받아쓰기 활동이 듣기와 쓰기 학습 성취도에 미치는 효과. The Journal of Modern British & American Language & Literature 28.1, 287317.
Edge, J. & Richards, K. (1998). May I see your warrant, please?: Justifying outcomes in qualitative research. Applied Linguistics 19.3, 334356.
EPIK (English Program in Korea) (2013). EPIK: English Program in Korea.
Eun, J. Y. & Park, S. J. (2014). 초등교사 임용시험 체제의 진단과 개선 방안. 열린교육연구 22.2, 6795.
Hayes, D. (2012). Mismatched perspectives: In-service teacher education in South Korea. In Tribble, C. (ed.), Managing change in English language teaching. London: British Council, 99104.
Huh, G. (2014). 양뇌활용 초등영어 수업모형 개발 및 수업모형의 효과에 관한 연구. 교육과학연구 45.4, 187209.
Hwang, S. S., Seo, H. S. & Kim, T. Y. (2010). Korean English teacher's disempowerment in English-only classes: A case study focusing on Korea-specific cultural aspects. The Sociolinguistic Journal of Korea 18.1, 105135.
Jeon, E. G. & Min, C. K. (2009). 영어 저널쓰기에서 교사의 피드백 유형이 학습자의 쓰기능력 신장에 미치는 영향. English Language Teaching 21.4, 293313.
Jeon, E. Y. & Jeon, B. M. (2012). Investigating the level appropriateness of listening tasks in middle-school English activity books. English Teaching 67.4, 107130.
Jeon, I. J. (2010). Exploring the co-teaching practice of native and non-native English teachers in Korea. English Teaching 65, 4367.
Jeon, J. H. (1997). 의사소통 중심의 영어교육을 위한 주요 이슈. Journal of the Applied Linguistics Association of Korea 13.1, 223236.
Jeon, J. H. (2009). Key issues in applying the communicative approach in Korea. English Teaching 64.4, 123150.
Jeon, M. (2009). Globalization and native English speakers in English Programme in Korea (EPIK). Language, Culture and Curriculum 22.3, 231243.
Jeon, Y. J. (2010). COLT 수업관찰 분석법을 통한 학교 현장의 의사소통중심 영어 수업 분석. English Language & Literature Teaching 16.3, 339363.
Jeong, Y. U. & Oh, S. R. (2009). The effect of schema on reading comprehension of literary and history texts. The New Studies of English Language & Literature 44, 267282.
Jo, E. J. (2011). Washback of the CSAT English on the high school students’ language learning. M.A. thesis, Keimyung University, Daegu, South Korea.
Jo, I. H. (2011). ‘영어로 진행하는 영어수업(TEE)’에 대한 개념적 혼란: 설문조사 문항에 나타난 개념상 불일치를 중심으로. Modern English Education 12.1, 221243.
Johnson, K. E. (2006). The sociocultural turn and its challenges for second language teacher education. TESOL Quarterly 40.1, 235257.
Jung, K. A. & Choi, H. K. (2011). 초등영어 교육실습 현황과 예비교사들의 인식. Primary English Education 17.2, 3159.
Jung, S. K. & Norton, B. (2002). Language planning in Korea: The new elementary English program. In Tollefson, J. W. (ed.), Language policies in education: Critical issues. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 245265.
Jung, Y. H. & Kim, H. O. (2012). 스토리텔링을 활용한 영어수업이 초등학생의 영어 듣기 말하기 능력 및 정의적 영역에 미치는 효과. Journal of Educational Studies 43.1, 6389.
Kang, B. R. & Cho, Y. K. (2012). 중학교 영어과 수준별 수업이 학업 성취도에 미치는 영향. Modern English Education 13.2, 101120.
Kang, D. M. (2008). The classroom language use of a Korean elementary school EFL teacher: Another look at TETE. System 36, 214226.
Kang, J. Y. & Lee, S. H. (2014). 중등영어교사임용시험 듣기문항의 변화 추세 분석 연구. Studies in English Education 19.2, 151175.
Kang, S. W. (2011). 초등영어교육에서 역동적 평가의 적용. Modern English Education 12.2, 7499.
Kim, Da Hee & Lee, Jin Hwa (2014). 고등학교 영어 사교육 경험에 대한 대학생들의 인식. 현대영어교육 15.3, 241262.
Kim, E. G. (2009). Teacher policy: Procurement and disposition of qualitative teachers (8 vols.). Seoul: Korean Educational Development Institute.
Kim, E. G. (2011). Teacher policy: Recruiting and retaining effective teachers. In Kim, T. W. (ed.), Brief Understanding of Korean Educational Policy. Seoul: Korean Educational Development Institute, 145159.
Kim, E. H. & Seong, G. B. (2012). 초등학교 영어수업의 팀티칭 파트너쉽 사례 연구. Korean Journal of English Language and Linguistics 12.4, 655685.
Kim, E. J. (2011). Ten years of CLT curricular reform efforts in South Korea: An activity theory analysis of a teacher's experience. In Johnson, K. E. & Golombek, P. R. (eds.), Research on second language teacher education: A sociocultural perspective on professional development. New York, NY: Routledge, 225238.
Kim, E. J. (2012). 국가영어능력평가시험(NEAT)에 대한 중등교사들의 인식. English Language Teaching 24.2, 205224.
Kim, Hae Young (2009). Vocabulary selection and modification in English textbook production. Foreign Languages Education 16.1, 101121.
Kim, Hyun Jin (2010). 예비 영어 교사의 외국어 학습 불안감 및 교수 불안감. Modern Studies in English Language & Literature 54.1, 5172.
Kim, Hyun Jung (2012). Developing a rating scale for assessing young language learners’ speaking performance. Foreign Languages Education 19.4, 125.
Kim, H. R. & Park, Y. W. (2010). 초등 예비교사 영어수업 컨설팅 적용 연구. Primary English Education 16.1, 3163.
Kim, I. O., Kim, K. S., Kim, D. K. & Lee, S. B. (2011). 교육대학교 실용영어강화지원 사업 운영 사례 연구. Studies in Linguistics 19, 1737.
Kim, I. S. & Kim, B. G. (2012). 중학교 영어회화수업 강화를 위한 학교 영어교육 과정분석 및 효과성과 만족도에 관한 연구. Foreign Language Education 19.4, 425450.
Kim, J. Y., Gu, S. Y. & Jeon, J. H. (2010). Effects of teaching and learning using edutainment on children's learning English. Modern English Education 11.1, 1835.
Kim, M. (2010a). A narrative inquiry of a Korean English teacher's first journey through co-teaching. English Teaching 65, 179207.
Kim, M. (2010b). How do native English-speaking teachers perceive co-teaching? Korean Journal of Applied Linguistics 26, 213249.
Kim, S. A. (2009). Re-examining the role of reading in the era of communicative language teaching. English Language Teaching 21.4, 4974.
Kim, S. J. (2010). 디지털 스토리텔링 기법이 초등학교 학생들의 영어 듣기와 문법, 정의적 영역에 미치는 영향. Korean Journal of English Language and Linguistics 10.2, 299319.
Kim, S. Y. (2002). Teachers’ perceptions about teaching English through English. English Teaching 57.1, 131148.
Kim, S. Y. (2008). Five years of teaching English through English: Responses from teachers and prospects for learners. English Teaching 63.1, 5170.
Kim, S. Y., Kim, H. R., Lee, S. Y. & Woo, K. J. (2010). 초.중등 영어교사 관점에서 본 장기 심화연수 프로그램의 효과. English Teaching 65.2, 199224.
Kim, Seong Hoon (2014). 일반계 고등학생 영어 학업 성취도의 분석. 교과교육학연구 18.4, 12611280.
Kim, Seong Hye (2014). 2015 통합형 수능 영어 시험 도입에 대한 학생 인식. 현대영어교육 15.2, 157176.
Kim, Sun Woong & Lee, Ju Ho (2010). Private tutoring and demand for education in South Korea. Economic Development and Cultural Change 58, 259296.
Kim, Y. C., Shim, J. W. & Kim, N. Y. (2013). A Rasch analysis of standardized achievement test items for 5th grade elementary school children. Studies in English Education 18.1, 87105.
Kim, Y. H. (2013). 국가영어능력평가시험 도입에 따른 학교 현장의 영어 쓰기 교육 실태 연구. Studies in British and American Language and Literature 107, 185211.
Kim, Y. M. (2010). 국가영어능력평가시험(NEAT)의 문항 유형의 개발과 선별 원리 및 검사지 구성의 원칙. English Teaching 65.4, 313342.
Kim, Y. M. & Kang, M. K. (2012). 수준별 영어 시험 검사지 구성을 위한 외국어 영역 문항 유형의 외적 타당성 분석. Modern English Education 13.4, 239270.
Kim, Y. S. & Yi, J. Y. (2010). 예비영어교사의 수업일지 작성을 통한 반성적 성찰의 효용성: 결정적 사건 분석을 중심으로. English Teaching 65.4, 373402.
Kim, Y. S. & Ma, J. H. (2012). Text readability of the College Scholastic Ability Test and high school English II textbooks. English Teaching 67.4, 195218.
Ko, Y. R. (2012). 2008 개정 교육과정에 따른 4학년 영어 교과서 파닉스 (Phonics) 지도내용 분석. Journal of the Korea English Education Society 11.2, 81103.
Kwon, B. Y. (2009). Bridging the gap between research in linguistics and English teaching pedagogy: Focusing on English pronunciation education. Journal of the Korean Society of Speech Sciences 1.4, 7384.
Kwon, O. (2000). Korea's English education policy changes in the 1990s: Innovations to gear the nation for the 21st century. English Teaching 55, 4791.
Lee, B. C. (2013a). 2014 수능의 실용영어와 기초학술영어 분류체계에 대한 제언: 교육과정기반 문항 분석을 중심으로. Modern English Education 14.1, 267296.
Lee, B. C. (2013b). 수능 영어영역의 실용·기초학술영어에 대한 소재 명세화. English Language & Literature Teaching 19.2, 291313.
Lee, M. W. (2011). The influence of the current national curriculum on pre-service English teacher education in Korea. Journal of the Korea English Education Society 10, 123.
Lee, N. E., Lee, H. J. & Jang, D. S. (2010). 쉐도윙(Shadowing) 학습법이 중학생의 영어 구어 능력 향상에 미치는 영향. The Journal of Modern British & American Language & Literature 28.4, 89108.
Lee, S. (2010). 초등학생들의 고안철자를 통한 초등 영어 철자 지도에 관한 연구. Foreign Languages Education 17.1, 235256.
Lee, S. (2012). TEE 수업능력 신장을 위한 예비 초등영어 교사교육에서 효과적인 모의수업 방안에 대한 연구. Foreign Languages Education 19.1, 157185.
Lee, S. H. & Chung, H. Y. (2012). 초등교사의 영어 수업전문성에 대한 인식 변화 탐색. Journal of Educational Studies 43.3, 85104.
Lee, Y. J. & Lee, J. H. (2014). 중등 영어과 예비교사들의 임용시험 대비 사교육 실태 및 인식. Studies in English Education 19.2, 207229.
Lee, Y. J. (2012). 기초학력과 기초학력 미달 초등학생들의 국가수준 영어과 학업성취도 평가 수행 비교. Primary English Education 18.1, 525.
Lee, Y. S. (2012). The status quo of Korean secondary English education in the new millennium. Journal of the Korea English Education Society 11.1, 4969.
Li, D. (1998). “It's always more difficult than you plan and imagine”: Teachers’ perceived difficulties in introducing the communicative approach in South Korea. TESOL Quarterly 32, 677703.
Lim, H. W. (2011). Concept maps of Korean EFL student teachers’ autobiographical reflections on their professional identity formation. Teaching and Teacher Education 27, 969981.
Lim, S. B. (2014). 2008 개정교육과정에 따른 초등학교 6학년검정 영어교과서에 대한 교사들의 만족도 분석. 언어학 22.2, 199218.
Lincoln, Y. S. & Guba, E. G. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications.
MEHRD (Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development) (2015). 2007개정 초중등학교 영문 교육과정 (영어) Proclamation of the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development: #2007 – 79 [separate volume 14].
MEST (Ministry of Education, Science and Technology) (2008a). 외국어과 교육과정(I): 교육과학기술부 고시 제 2008 – 160호 별책 14.
MEST (Ministry of Education, Science and Technology) (2008b). 초,중등학교 교과용도서 국,검,인정 구분 수정 고시: 교육과학기술부 고시 제2008 – 147호.
MEST (Ministry of Education, Science and Technology) & KEDI (Korean Educational Development Institute) (2010). Brief statistics on Korean education. Seoul: MEST.
Miles, M. B. & Huberman, A. M. (1994). Qualitative data analysis: An expanded sourcebook (2nd edn). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
MOE (Ministry of Education) (1998). 제 7차 중학교 교육과정 해설 (V). Seoul: Korean Textbook Publisher.
Moodie, I. (2015). Grounded narrative inquiry into language teacher cognition: Stories and case studies of English language teaching in South Korea. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.
Moodie, I. & Feryok, A. (2015). Beyond cognition to commitment: English language teaching in South Korean Primary Schools. The Modern Language Journal 99.3, 450469.
Moon, J. H. & Pyo, K. H. (2010). 원어로 진행되는 영어수업에 대한 비판적 재고. Journal of the Korea English Education Society 9.2, 135156.
Nam, K. S. (2011). A critical look at interaction in a Korean middle school classroom: Its role in the development of students’ communicative abilities. English Language Teaching 23.1, 129151.
National Research Foundation of Korea (2015a). 학술지 등재제도 관리지침.
National Research Foundation of Korea (2015b). KCI Statistics.
Oh, M. (2010). 초등예비교사들의 교실영어구사력 신장을 위한 수업모형 개발. The Journal of Modern British & American Language & Literature 28, 259285.
Park, H. S. & Kim, Y. K. (2011). 영어로 진행하는 영어수업(TEE)을 실행하는 중등교사의 수업 동기와 방법. English Language Teaching 23.3, 103126.
Park, J. K. (2009). ‘English fever’ in South Korea: Its history and symptoms. English Today 25, 5057.
Park, J. S. Y. (2009). The local construction of a global language: Ideologies of English in South Korea (24 vols.). New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
Park, O. H. (2012). 국제어로서의 영어 문화내용 분석 연구: 7차 개정 초등영어 5, 6학년 교재를 중심으로. Primary English Education 18.1, 5581.
Park, S. H. & Choi, K. U. (2013). UCC 제작 및 활용 수업모형 적용을 통한 초등학생 영어 듣기·말하기 능력 신장 연구. Korean Journal of Applied Linguistics 29.2, 131164.
Park, S. W. (2014). 현직교사교육 연구 동향 분석: 특징과 과제. 한국교원교육연구 31.2, 227254.
Park, S. Y. & Cho, Y. S. (2012). 초등영어 수업에서 실생활 듣기와 말하기 능력향상을 위한 문제중심학습(PBL)의 적용 효과. 교과교육학연구 16.3, 689708.
Park, Y. Y. (2009). 모의수업을 통한 예비 초등영어 교사의 반성적 교수활동 분석. The New Studies of English Language & Literature 42, 203230.
Seth, M. J. (2002). Education fever: Society, politics, and the pursuit of schooling in South Korea. Honolulu: HI: University of Hawaii Press.
Shin, G. H. (2010). ‘영어로 진행하는 영어교육’의 실태분석과 개선방안 모색. Studies in Linguistics 18, 7999.
Shin, S. K. (2012). ‘It cannot be done alone’: The socialization of novice English teachers in South Korea. TESOL Quarterly 46, 542567.
Shin, Y. R. & Lim, H. W. (2011). 장르 기반 접근법을 통한 초등학습자들의 영어 쓰기 능력 및 장르 지식의 발달. Foreign Language Education 18.1, 4573.
Song, H. S. & Rha, K. H. (2009). 2007 개정 교육과정에 의한 고등학교 1학년 영어교과서의 읽기지문 분석. Modern Studies in English Language & Literature 53.2, 4976.
Song, H. Y. & Park, E. S. (2012). 외국어고등학교 학생들의 영작문 오류 분석. Korean Journal of English Language and Linguistics 12.3, 425449.
Song, J. J. (2011). English as an official language in South Korea: Global English or social malady?. Language Problems & Language Planning 35, 3555.
Song, J. J. (2012). South Korea: language policy and planning in the making. Current Issues in Language Planning 13, 168.
Yang, S. Y. (2009). A study of the intensive in-service English teacher training program in Korea. English Teaching 64.3, 175194.
Yeum, K. S. (2012). A qualitative evaluation of an INSET program. Studies in English Education 17.2, 141.
Yim, S. H. (2009). South Korean teachers’ perceptions of TBLT. TESOL Review 1, 2950.
Yim, S. Y. & Yu, Y. L. (2011). Validating the English learning anxiety scale for primary school students in Korea. English Teaching 66.2, 101122.
Yim, S. Y. (2012). Implementation of team teaching: Perspectives from native English speakers. Foreign Languages Education 19, 109131.
Yoo, B. & Lee, E. J. (2010). 초등영어 교사용 지도서 활용 실태 및 개선 방안을 위한 기초 연구. Journal of the Korea English Education Society 9.2, 239267.
Yook, C. M. (2010). Korean teachers’ beliefs about English language education and their impacts upon the ministry of education-initiated reforms. Ph.D. dissertation, Georgia State University.
Yoon, H. J. & Kim, H. J. (2012). Investigating high school students’ perceptions about high-stakes English tests: Do psychological factors make a difference?. Korean Journal of English Language and Linguistics 12.4, 801823.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Language Teaching
  • ISSN: 0261-4448
  • EISSN: 1475-3049
  • URL: /core/journals/language-teaching
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 37
Total number of PDF views: 668 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 1595 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 26th September 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.