The “Worldiness” of English: EIL and EFL in the Era of Global Capitalism

Gabriella Torres


The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of English as an International Language (EIL) and the effects of teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL) in South Korea within the current landscape of globalization. The paper begins by discussing the relationship of language in terms of the development and maintenance of society and culture before looking at the “worldliness” of English by exploring its neutral, imperialist and democratic functionalities. The author then examines the specific role of EIL and EFL in the context of South Korea before discussing the broader capitalist implications of EIL and EFL education. The paper concludes by acknowledging that though EIL is a site of struggle and a means of sustaining certain economic inequalities, it is also the tool with which to resist such inequalities by providing a common language to create a counter-discourse of opposition. 

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International Journal of Linguistics  ISSN 1948-5425  Email:

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