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A North Korean Defector's Journey Through the Identity-Transformation Process

Authors
Kim, Myonghee
Issue Date
Jan-2016
Publisher
ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD
Keywords
Identity transformation; North Korean defector; social identity
Citation
JOURNAL OF LANGUAGE IDENTITY AND EDUCATION, v.15, no.1, pp 3 - 16
Pages
14
Journal Title
JOURNAL OF LANGUAGE IDENTITY AND EDUCATION
Volume
15
Number
1
Start Page
3
End Page
16
URI
https://scholarworks.sookmyung.ac.kr/handle/2020.sw.sookmyung/9977
DOI
10.1080/15348458.2015.1090764
ISSN
1534-8458
1532-7701
Abstract
The current study examined how a North Korean defector attending a college in South Korea transformed her identity while learning English. This study was grounded in the notion of second language learning as a struggle of a socially constituted being in which the language learner constantly structures and restructures his or her social identity. Data were collected through journals and interviews with the defector. Data analysis revealed that the North Korean defector experienced an identity transformation: from being a resisting North Korean who wanted to maintain her North Korean identity by consciously ignoring English education to being a struggling English learner who eventually yielded to the need for English learning; then an active learner who found English learning valuable and meaningful; and finally, a visionary who aimed to care about those in need, particularly English learning needs. During the identity transformation process, the defector constantly negotiated her identities in response to multiple social factors. Based on these findings, the present study offers pedagogical suggestions for English education for North Korean defectors.
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Kim, Myong Hee
영어영문학부(대학) (영어영문학부)
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