Department of Educational Administration


Date of this Version

Spring 5-2014

Document Type



Cho, J. (2014). Understanding the Importance of English Education in South Korea and Exploring the Reasons Why South Korean Students Come to a University in the Midwest. (M.A. Thesis). University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College of the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: Educational Administration, Under the Supervision of Professor Miles T. Bryant. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2014

Copyright (c) 2014 Jaekeun Cho


The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions held by South Korean students who study at the University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK) of the benefits and values of studying English language. Furthermore, the researcher found what kinds of challenges Korean students encounter both before they come to UNK and after they come to UNK. A sample of UNK Korean students (30 interviewees) was chosen. The researcher used the stratified sampling technique and the semi-structure interviews to collect the data.

This study found the following results: (a) South Korean students significantly focus on achieving a high level of English competency; (b) South Korean students especially lack English speaking and writing skills; (c) South Korean students devalue the English educational environment in Korea, but value the English educational environment in America; (d) the majority of the research study’s interviewees decided to come to UNK because of the affordable tuition and the transferable credit hours back to their home universities in Korea; (e) many of the research study’s interviewees felt uncomfortable building relationships with Americans; and (f) no difference was found based on gender or duration of the study abroad program.

Recommendations for future research included: 1) developing English speaking skills in Korean students needs more careful; 2) greater attention to how Korean student can build relationships with American cultures and students by American universities needs to be studied; and 3) non-degree seeking students need more international programming to use their limited time in the USA learning English more efficiently.

Adviser: Miles T. Bryant