S-Space College of Education (사범대학) Foreign Language Education Research Institute (외국어교육연구소) 외국어교육연구 (Foreign Language Education Research) 외국어교육연구 (Foreign Language Education Research) vol.05 (2002)
우리나라에서 조기영어교육이 갖는 효과와 의미
An early English education: Its effects and significance in the Korean EFL context
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 외국어교육연구소
- 외국어교육연구, Vol.5, pp. 13-37
- The main goal of this study is to review the role of the age factor in foreign language education and to discuss its implications in Korean English education. The younger, the better', under the critical period hypothesis, has recently played a critical role in the introduction of English language education to young children in Korea and the public and the government seem to be highly dependent upon the hypothesis when they decide childrens English education. For example, the English education program in Korean elementary schools is an offspring of this theory. This study, however, casts a doubt on the effect of age on English education by reviewing theoretical and experimental studies focusing on whether age or the critical period hypothesis is a meaningful factor to validate the early exposure of foreign language education and its following success. Findings from foreign language education in US, French immersion programs in Canada and other foreign countries and adult second language learning and studies dealing with the critical period hypothesis were critically reviewed to provide evidences to such argument that age is not a primary factor to determine early English education in Korea. On the contrary, time or the amount of exposure to the English language should be a more critical factor in a context where a very limited exposure to the target language is only possible. A list of generalizations and implications are also provided.