Theoretical Problems behind Teaching English in Elementary Schools

  • 발행 : 2001.09.01


This paper raises a question on the theoretical background behind the English education at the elementary school level. The Critical Period Hypothesis (CPH), supporting the common belief of the earlier the better in foreign language learning, which has promoted the strong trend toward teaching English in Korean elementary schools, is analyzed to determine whether it provides a comprehensible picture to explain age-related factors and whether it is a valid hypothesis which can be applicable in an EFL situation such as Korea. This paper concludes that CPH itself is still considered as an impending hypothesis full of unresolved issues and that the present educational situation of Korean elementary schools is rather far from the environment in which the ideas of CPH could practically apply, and thus it may be desirable to find alternative theoretical backgrounds from which the educational programs can be developed and further expanded.