Learning Korean language in China: motivations and strategies of non-Koreans

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The ethnographic research reported in this article documents how a group of non-Korean families, whose children are participating in a Korean bilingual school in Northeast China, construct their motivations and strategies of learning Korean language. The main motivation of expectancy of further education opportunities and success in future career and strategies mainly in establishing Korean sociocultural context for Korean language acquisition are described. The positive attitude of non-Korean families toward Korean language studies highlights the functional importance of Korean language as a means of acquiring a larger benefit from China's economic marketization, especially increasing business contacts with South Korea. With the challenges of Korean language studies, this article argues that the increasing significance of trilingualism or even multilingualism in China's reform period implies the necessity of relevant policy initiations for the increasing needs of language acquisition. Copyright © 2010 Taylor & Francis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-284
JournalInternational Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010


Gao, F. (2010). Learning Korean language in China: motivations and strategies of non-Koreans. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 13(3), 273-284. doi: 10.1080/13670050903006929


  • Non-Korean
  • Korean language
  • Integrative motivation
  • Instrumental motivation
  • Sociocultural context
  • Multilingualism


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