by Seon-Young Park
Today’s featured thesis is submitted as part of a Master of Arts in Linguistics.


In Korea, English education in kindergartens has dramatically increased in the last 15 years. As a result, almost all Korean kindergarten students are learning English today. The present study aims to understand Korean parents’, kindergarten teachers’, and kindergarten students’ perceptions of early English-language education (EEE). This study is particularly significant because thus far little research has investigated the perceptions of EEE held by the young learners themselves. Ninety-five participants – 30 kindergarten teachers, 33 parents, and 32 five- and six-year old kindergarten students – were recruited from five kindergartens in four cities in Chung-Nam province, Korea. The parents’ and teachers’ perceptions of EEE were examined through questionnaires, whereas the students’ perceptions of learning English were investigated through multiple data collection methods: a questionnaire, an interview session, and a drawing activity. Questionnaire data gathered from the parents and teachers were quantitatively analyzed, and the data gathered from the kindergarten students were analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively. The findings revealed that the parent and student groups shared more positive attitudes towards EEE than the teacher group. In addition, many more parents and students believed that English education is necessary at the kindergarten level than the teachers did. Concerning kindergarten students’ perceptions, the three data collection methods in this study showed that many kindergarten children consistently held positive attitudes towards learning English. The students were not only interested in learning English, but they also showed high self-confidence in learning English.

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