Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Language Ideologies and Practices of Four Korean Heritage Language Teachers: Constructing What it Means to Teach Korean To Diverse Students in a Community Based Korean Heritage Language School
by Byeon, Seongah, Ph.D., University of Florida, 2015, 286; 10679092
Abstract (Summary)

Teachers are currently conceptualized as language decision makers. As active and subjective agents, they interpret, construct, or negotiate dominant language ideologies or language policies imposed on them by shaping language practices in classrooms according to their own language ideologies and/or interpretations of contextual situations. A few studies have demonstrated teachers’ construction of heritage language education for diverse students in community-based heritage language schools by examining their language ideologies and practices. However, there is little literature on how teachers respond to the student diversity in community-based Korean heritage language schools (KHLSs).

The purpose of this study is to explore teachers’ language ideologies and practices to see how they construct Korean as heritage language (KHL) education for their students from diverse backgrounds in a community-based KHLS. This study was designed as a constructivist grounded theory study, collecting data through semi-structured interviews with four teachers, classroom observation with video-recording, and document collection. The data were analyzed through multiple layers of coding and constant comparative methods.

Findings show that the teachers viewed their students as bilinguals from ethnically, culturally, and linguistically heterogeneous backgrounds and affirmed learner-inclusive criteria to define all students as legitimate participants in KHLS programs. At the same time, they strategically constructed KHLS as a site for Korean ethnic identity development with emphasis on Korean history education or standardized Korean proficiency test preparation including SAT Korean. This strategic essentialism did not entail monolingual practices in their classrooms. In contrast, they acknowledged translanguaging as the most effective way to reach the KHLS goals of engaging students in learning the KHL.

The findings of the study provide methodological and practical implications for further research, language policy, and KHL education. Researchers as well as language policy makers and educators in public school systems should take into consideration dynamic and complex features in relationship between language ideologies and practices. Additionally, KHL educators should try to transform KHL textbooks, curricula, or SAT Korean more relevant to bilingual or multilingual students from diverse backgrounds in KHLSs.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Jong, Ester J. de
Commitee: Coady, Maria, Emihovich, Catherine, Fu, Danling
School: University of Florida
Department: Curriculum and Instruction
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-A 79/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Bilingual education, Asian American Studies, Sociolinguistics
Keywords: Korean American, bilibgual, community based, language ideaology, language practice
Publication Number: 10679092
ISBN: 9780355401127
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