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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."


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Academic Paper


Title: English for North Korean refugees in South Korea: Another border to cross or a path to a new world?
Author: Eun-Young Jang
Author: Eun-Yong Kim
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Discourse Analysis; Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: English
Korean
Abstract: Given there have now been over 70 years of separation between North and South Korea since the Korean War, it is unquestionable that North Korean migrants face and struggle with a variety of troubles in their attempts to settle into South Korean society. In this context, why does English constitute a ‘matter of survival’ for North Koreans when there are so many other critical issues for these individuals, who crossed several borders at the risk of their lives? This phenomena, that ‘English’ represents a major difficulty for North Korean defectors in their process of settling in South Korea (Jung & Lim, 2009), constitutes an interesting linguistic phenomena in an intra-ethnic contact. However, by itself, this statement somewhat simplifies how English actually affects the migrant group. Instead, its influence works in a surprisingly diverse number of ways across different ranges and layers within the North Korean population, depending on their regional and social background, age, time of migration, and possibly many other factors. A meaningful pattern we discuss here is the changing relations between English and North Korean migrants according to age; it is the North Korean young adults who seem to be particularly affected by English and disproportionately in need of English teaching. We also note, though, that this pattern itself is changing, as we are seeing the recent increase of children of North Korean migrants born and educated in South Korea or in China.

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This article appears IN English Today Vol. 37, Issue 3, which you can READ on Cambridge's site .

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