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Call for Proposals - Edited Volume, Youth Language Learning

2023-12-12 18:12

Call for Proposals for Edited Volume

  1. Book title

: Youth Language Learninge: The Korean Case in a Global Context (edited volume)

  1. Editors

Jieun Kiaer (Professor of Korean Language and Linguistics, University of Oxford)

Nicola Fraschini (Senior Lecturer in Korean Studies, University of Melbourne)

  1. Book description

Youth Language Learning: The Korean Case in a Global Context is an edited volume that uniquely focuses on Generation Z's language learning behaviors, needs, and opportunities, providing crucial insights into the changing landscape of informal and formal language learning for young learners. The book centers its case study on the Korean language, a language that has experienced a rapid growth in popularity, in particular among the youngest generation. This growth has been global, for example between 2018 and 2022 the number of high schools offering a Korean language program has increased 48% in Europe and 32% in Thailand. This growth positions Korean as an ideal lens through which to explore contemporary learning behaviors and the evolving dynamics of language education among young learners.

While there is a substantial body of research on the myriad benefits of language learning—ranging from enhanced performance in other subjects and cognitive development to health-related advantages such as delaying the onset of dementia and aiding in stroke recovery—existing studies present certain limitations that need to be addressed.

1) A significant gap lies in the lack of investigation into the benefits of partial language fluency, particularly when the language learning is informal and only for a few hours a week. The majority of existing research tends to neglect the increasingly prevalent behaviors of younger generations who are engaging in more informal language acquisition, facilitated by digital platforms and social media. Moreover, there is a notable discrepancy in the existing literature; some studies assert significant positive effects of language learning, while others show negligible benefits. This incongruence in findings highlights the methodological limitations that make the results less robust and generalizable.

2) There is a significant lack of understanding of how young learners, across different educational contexts, have access to Korean language education. What are the actions, in forms of policies and programs, taken across the globe to facilitate young generations’ access to Korean language learning opportunities? Most importantly, what are the goals, in terms of attainment and competencies, that semi-formal and formal opportunities for Korean language learning set for young learners?

Hence, this book aims to fill these research gaps by focusing on Generation Z’s informal and formal language learning behaviors. Using the Korean language as a case study, this work aims to offer new perspectives on goals, benefits, and impacts of acquiring a language to a non-fluent but functional level, with a particular focus on the increasingly digitally-savvy and globally connected Generation Z.

Set within a global framework, this project examines how Generation Z, often referred to as digital natives, are actively driving their own language learning experiences, becoming agents of learning through social media platforms. These young learners are motivated more by cultural interests than by formal educational settings. Using a mixed-methods research approach—including extensive interviews, surveys, and Virtual Reality (VR) classroom pilots—the book delves into the often-underestimated benefits of achieving partial, but sustained, fluency in the Korean language.

By focusing on Generation Z students, who frequently complement their formal schooling with informal Korean language learning, this book, while rooted in the specific context of the rapidly growing interest in the Korean language, aims to offer invaluable lessons for the broader field of foreign language education, making it an essential read for educators, policymakers, and future linguists.

  1. Chapter proposal submissions

The editors are keen on receiving chapter proposals on or at the intersection of the following topics:


- Language learning in digital contexts.

- Language learning in informal contexts.

- Language learning in semi-formal contexts or contexts with limited exposure.

- Independent language learning.

- Language learning policies (including curricula) developed for young learners.


All proposals must deal with young and adolescent learners in the context of the Korean language. If you are interested to participate, please send a 200 word abstract by January 20, 2024 to Nicola Fraschini (nicola.fraschini@unimelb.edu.au). Final chapters will be due by September 30, 2024.

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