Young Children's Foreign Language Anxiety: The Case of South Korea

Author: Jieun Kiaer, Jessica M. Morgan-Brown, Naya Choi

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Multilingual Matters
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234mm x 156mm
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This book investigates the effects of foreign language anxiety (FLA) on young language learners, using as a basis for observation the early childhood English education industry in South Korea that has arisen as a result of English fever. The authors combine existing knowledge on the topic of FLA together with original research on FLA in young language learners to fill a large gap in knowledge with regards to this understudied and distinct group of learners. The book includes suggestions for alleviating FLA and encouraging foreign language enjoyment, which can be implemented by parents, teachers and policymakers and which will ultimately facilitate more effective language learning and support children's psychosocial wellbeing. 

Focusing on young learners in South Korea, this book provides invaluable insights on L2 anxiety from psychological, cognitive, developmental, educational and sociocultural perspectives. The interdisciplinary analysis shows dynamic interaction between the sociocultural context and L2 anxiety, and the specificity of the context and learners, ironically, expands the scope of L2 anxiety research focus in applied linguistics.

Yeji Han, York St John University, UK

This excellent book shows that children need a nurturing and playful learning environment to become happy and successful foreign language learners. It reflects a powerful new positive psychology perspective that stands up against deficit thinking and undue pressure in classrooms and promotes a more informed and optimistic view of language learning.

Jean-Marc Dewaele, Birkbeck, University of London, UK

This book examines real-life language use in the classroom from a much-needed non-Eurocentric perspective. Written in an accessible style and replete with comprehensive examples, this book will leave readers equipped with practical insight into improving young children's language learning environment.

Hyejeong Ahn, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Jieun Kiaer is Associate Professor in Korean Linguistics at the University of Oxford, UK. She has a PhD in Linguistics and works with both linguistics and oriental studies students, tutoring and lecturing on topics related to East Asian linguistics. She has undertaken research on Asian-English children's linguistic/cognitive development, young children's translanguaging and the positive impact cooking can have on young children's vocabulary learning.   

Jessica M. Morgan-Brown is a practitioner/researcher with extensive experience teaching ESL to young children in South Korea, the US, the UK and most recently to students in China through online platforms. She is currently a PhD student in the East Asian Studies Department at the University of Toronto, Canada.

Naya Choi is Professor in the Department of Child Development & Family Studies, Seoul National University, South Korea. She specialises in Child Studies and her research interests lie in young children's linguistic and cognitive development and education.

Figures and Tables

1. Introduction

2. Foreign Language Anxiety and Foreign Language Enjoyment

3. Foreign Language Anxiety in Children

4. Foreign Language Anxiety in the South Korean Context

5. Sources of Increased FLA Among Young Children

6. Case Study: Factors Affecting Young Children's FLA: Kindergarten vs. English Immersion Institution

7. Effects of Innovative Language Learning on Foreign Language Anxiety and Foreign Language Enjoyment

8. Towards a More Ethical Learning Environment

9. Conclusion

Appendix A: Anxiety Metrics
Appendix B: Kindergarten vs. Immersion
English Parent Surveys

Postgraduate, Research / Professional
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