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The Journal of English Language and Literature , Vol.67, No.1, 107 ~ 134, 2021
Articulating the Value of Language and Humanities Education in Korea
Kent Lee
In the changing educational environment in Korea, some departments must justify their existence or adapt to changing circumstances. How language and literature fields can do so without sacrificing their essence is less clear, especially when facing neoliberal attitudes among policy makers that value the more tangible rewards of education. In response to this situation, this paper engages in a broad exploration of some relevant themes, and attempts to sketch out some theoretically grounded and practical rationales for clarifying and articulating the value of such programs. This can provide a basis for more cogently articulating to the public the social value and necessity of the humanities, especially language and literature programs. Exploring philosophical methods of understanding our respective fields can serve as a starting point for clarifying the values and goals of the various scholarly disciplines that fall under the rubric of language departments. This can help identify some important aspects of these disciplines that can be communicated to those outside of these academic fields. Practice-based pedagogical philosophies can help bridge the gap between the theoretical goals and relevant outcomes of these programs, and thereby we can identify the practical benefits for students that need to be communicated to the public. Empirical research into education can provide further rationales and support in articulating and arguing for the social and practical value of such programs. This can not only help scholars to better articulate the value of our programs to others, but also provide a framework for discussing how to revitalize language departments and help our students to better understand the value of their studies and their degrees as they enter the job market.
Key Words
humanities, language education, paradigms, revitalizing humanities, pedagogical philosophy
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