Social aspects of Korean as a heritage language

Munkyung Agnes KANG

Research output: Book Chapters | Papers in Conference ProceedingsBook ChapterResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter outlines research in sociolinguistic competence that can make a contribution to understanding the needs of the Korean heritage language (KHL) learner. The close relationship of language to ethnic identity has been the focus of a great deal of research in HL acquisition. It also discusses the attitudes and motivations of KHL students, including the role of parents attitudes and motivations in KHL learning. The chapter overviews of the studies on these three intersecting categories of language ideologies are 1) ideologies of heritage speakers (or how they value the HL), 2) ideologies circulating in the society (either mainstream society or the society of the target language), and 3) ideologies linked to the language itself (or values/beliefs that are associated with speaking Korean). Korean encodes hierarchical relationships based on power, age, and solidarity in various aspects of the grammar, notably in the use of honorifics.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe handbook of Korean linguistics
PublisherJohn Wiley and Sons
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • ethnic identity
  • heritage language
  • heritage speakers
  • ideologies circulating
  • korean heritage language learner


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