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Language Planning and Language Issues: South Korea - Research Paper Example

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Language Planning and Language Issues: South Korea

This research aims to evaluate and present Korean as a language at least 5000 years old and it is spoken by about 67 million Koreans, both in North and South Korea. As recently as in 1945, though, after independence of South Korea from Japan, was an official national language policy formulated. The central thrust of this policy has been to rid Korean writing of Japanese and Chinese characters, with a view to creating a “patriotic conscience through a language of identity” but currently the challenges to language policies in South Korea relate more to the effects and necessities of globalisation than to the need to preserve cultural heritage. Being able to use Chinese effectively, for example, is currently a distinct advantage for South Koreans: they are then able more easily able to become involved in South Korean investment in China. The China-Korea association is important for South Korea given the increasingly important position of China in the world economy. And still, the Chinese language it is claimed by Lee and Ramsey still reflects intellectual achievement and the individual’s level of education in South Korea. Thus on both academic and economic fronts, South Korea cannot afford to have a “protectionist” policy regarding economics or linguistics, certainly in terms of relations with the Chinese. Strong opponents to elements of the incorporation of Chinese characters into written Chinese, however, propose that the kind of regional cooperation developing between China and South Korea, may lead to a “Japanization”, and take South Korea back into its Colonial past. (Poonosamy, 2009, p.1). Thus it is that South Korea has to ensure that the decolonisation process begun in 1945 – see language policies referred to above – does not fail in light of the trend of globalisation. Additionally South Korea wants to preserve its cultural and linguistic heritage and still build economic and cultural ties with its powerful neighbours in the Asian region. But it is not only the Chinese (or Japanese) political, economic or linguistic influences faced by South Korea. Globalisation implies that South Korea has also to incorporate the powerful English language, acknowledged to be the global language (Herd, as cited by Poonosamy, 2009, p.4) and one which would imply that South Korea had entered the global world. It remains, though, that South Koreans would have to reach ...Show more

Summary

The study gives challenges within South Korean education. It is concluded that wide-ranging and fundamental reform in South Korean education is essential if the country is to produce citizens who are able to complete on equal footing in an increasingly globalising world arena…
Author : tonyorn
Language Planning and Language Issues: South Korea essay example
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