2022 Linguistics Student Conference

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Joseph Sung-Yul Park
National University Singapore

Subjectivity and English as a global language: The case of South Korea’s English fever

What sustains English as a global language? While it is often assumed that it is the practical utility of English that leads people around the world to pursue it as a language of economic and social opportunity, such orientations to English can be properly accounted for only through the lens of subjectivity – that is, the dimensions of affect, morality, and desire that characterize people’s lives as agents in social context. This talk discusses how the heated pursuit of English in South Korea that took place during the two decades since the mid-1990s, often called the English fever (yeongeo yeolpung), was shaped by subjectivities invoked by Korea’s rapid neoliberal transformation. As increasing competition and precarity in the job market pushed Korean workers and families towards greater anxieties about the future, investment in English came to be seen as an index of responsible management and care of one’s own human capital. This suggests that the English fever was a process by which Koreans were led to become ideal neoliberal subjects who embrace their anxiety and channel it towards endless self-development, including enhancing English language skills.


2022 Schedule of Events

Undergraduate Session  5:30 - 6:30pm
Kaylee Jordan
Linguistics (BA)
Siblings as literacy-based play partners
Jesse Lentz
Linguistics (BA)
Adapting to ESL learners needs in non-routine situations
Alan Ochoa
Linguistics (BA)
Anti-mask discourse analysis
John Ayodeji Odudele
Applicant (MA)
Effects of gesture and shadowing to aid language fluency
Keynote Address  6:45 - 7:45pm
Graduate Session  8:00 - 9:00pm
Matt Ford
Applied Linguistics (MA)
Teacher emotions in the ESL classroom: a research plan design
Gina Schlobohm
Applied Linguistics (MA)
Language Ideologies and Sugt’stun Orthography
Tara Palmer
Anthropology (PhD)
Investing in Inequality: The political economy of adult ESL
Sooyoung Kang
Applied Linguistics (MA)
Locating the roles of an ESL teacher: Implementation of Discussion Leader