How do you say 'imperialism'? The English language teaching industry and the culture of imperialism in South Korea

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Foreign language acquisition provides a fascinating angle from which to analyze the nature and evolving dynamics of global transformation. This thesis examines the emergence and stratospheric growth of the English Language Teaching (ELT) industry in South Korea in the context of ongoing debates over the continued relevancy of theories of cultural imperialism. A case study of the Korean conglomerate YBMISi-sa, the overwhelming leader in the Korean ELT and English publishing industry, serves as the focal point. Founded over 40 years ago, YBMISi-sa grew up under the "neo-imperial" conditions set by the USA after the Korean War. Since then, YBMSi-sa has formed many intimate brand name and business relationships with American publishing, education and media companies. Through these ventures, YBMISi-sa is aggressively seeking to expand its schools and products around the world, with the English language serving as a critical site for class formation, within and across national boundaries.

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School of Communication - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)