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Bilingual myths and challenges of bilingual parenting as nonnative English speakers

Abstract

As one of the solutions to the economic stratification of English education opportunities and resulting in inequalities, there is a newly emerging global trend of bilingual parenting in Korea called ‘maternal English education (Eommapyo yeong-eo)’. The purpose of this study is to examine challenges of Korean parents in practicing Korean–English bilingual home practices as nonnative speakers of English and micro- and macro-factors contributing to the difficulties in a monolingual context of Korea. To explore the challenges of the parents in bilingual parenting in a monolingual context, several semi-structured interviews were conducted for one Korean family. From the study, three main parental difficulties emerged: (1) lack of Korean parents’ English proficiency as nonnative English speakers, (2) prevalent myths about bilingualism and early bilingual education, and (3) spousal’s different perspectives toward children’s bilingual development. The findings suggest that bilingual parenting requires consistent familial cooperation, language-friendly home environment, and constant parental self-reflections on the whole process of bilingual parenting.

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Notes

  1. One of the most frequent used free mobile instant messaging applications for smartphones among Koreans.

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Correspondence to Youngjoo Seo.

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Seo, Y. Bilingual myths and challenges of bilingual parenting as nonnative English speakers. Asia Pacific Educ. Rev. (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12564-022-09772-7

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12564-022-09772-7

Keywords

  • Bilingual parenting
  • Family language policy
  • Bilingual myths
  • EFL context