On November 20-21, the National Institute of the Korean Language held a conference titled "Protecting and Revitalizing Native Languages in an Era of Globalization" at the Press Center in Seoul (as described by Yonhap), with the keynote speech being given by Robert Phillipson, who coined the term 'linguistic imperialism' with the publication of his book by the same name 20 years ago.
In a post at Dave's ESL Cafe, poster 'crashlanding' wrote about Phillipson's presentation, saying "I have a copy of his speech and Powerpoint presentation if anyone's interested. Just PM me." I tried to join the site but appear not to have passed muster, so if any reader is a member and could get copies of the speech and Powerpoint presentation for me (my email's on the right), I'd certainly appreciate it.
As Wikipedia says of Phillipson,
His book analyzes the British Council's use of rhetoric to promote English, and discusses key tenets of English applied linguistics and English-language-teaching methodology. These tenets hold that:I'll let you guess which of those fallacies the Kyunghyang Sinmun latched onto in its article about Phillipson's speech:
English is best taught monolingually ("the monolingual fallacy");
the ideal teacher is a native speaker ("the native-speaker fallacy");
the earlier English is taught, the better the results ("the early-start fallacy");
the more English is taught, the better the results ("the maximum-exposure fallacy");
if other languages are used much, standards of English will drop ("the subtractive fallacy").
"Native speaking teachers fluent in Korean should be employed"There's certainly more to be said about linguistic imperialism and how it applies to Korea, but I'd like to get a look at the actual speech before I write any more.
Language policy expert professor Phillipson gives keynote speech at conference at National Institute of the Korean Language
"In the European Union (EU) as well in two-thirds of documents are written in English, and its influence is increasingly being strengthened. And in the ten ASEAN countries the language mainly used is also English, and even among these countries such as Cambodia which do not usually use English are at a disadvantage."
This was spoken by Robert Phillipson (70), a professor at Copenhagen Business School in Denmark, who criticized the increasing global influence of English on the 20th while visiting Korea to attend the conference "Protecting and Revitalizing Native Languages in an Era of Globalization," which was organized by the National Institute of the Korean Language. A language policy expert, he wrote 'Linguistic Imperialism' and in 2010 was awarded UNESCO's language peace prize. He said, "I'm not against the study of English in itself and can't make value judgements regarding language." "We should see for what purpose English functions."
On that day in his keynote speech he explained the elements of linguistic imperialism in this way: "People who can use the dominant language are given a kind of privilege." "Trying to fluently have command of the dominant language comes at expense of other languages." "As linguistic imperialism is internalized, the dominant language is accepted as normal." If you just replace 'dominant language' with 'English', it's no different than the shape of our society. He said that if traditional linguistic imperialism is the emphasis on English in the colonies of the UK or US, its modern aspect is slightly more complex. "Today the expansion of English is an American globalization strategy which is linked to the expansion of capitalism, and is closely related to the requirements of the corporate and financial world."
Professor Phillipson cited native speaking teachers in Korea as an example of linguistic imperialism. "If I were Korea's Minister of Education, I would employ native speaking teachers who are fluent in Korean and who have a good understanding of Korean culture, its society and economy. People who come to work in Korea who haven't learned Korean after several years here have a rather shocking and arrogant attitude. In a sense the concept of the native speaker (someone who uses that language as a mother tongue) doesn't exist in Korea. This is because people like blacks, Fillipinos or Indians who use English as their mother tongue are not included as 'native speakers.'" In his keynote speech, he said that, "To believe that the more you learn English as a single language, from native speakers, from childhood, the better, and that if you use other languages your English level will drop ignores the evidence of successful foreign language learning and dual-language education."
Regarding making English lectures compulsory in Korean universities and encouraging the writing of papers in English, Professor Phillipson said, "It's advertised that using English when studying is more advantageous, but even if this is based on experience, having a university education only in English is the wrong choice." He then introduced the bilingual policy of universities in Nordic countries such as Sweden and Finland which use the native language and English at the same time. He said, "There is an inter-language hierarchy in Korea, but rather than internalizing it, public debate is needed."
[Note: The title "Protecting and Revitalizing Native Languages in an Era of Globalization" was rendered as "Policies promoting the mother tongue in the era of globalization" in Korean.]