Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies ETDs


Mihye Han

Publication Date



This study explores how Korean American young adolescent students engage in and construct meaning in Korean and English language and literacy practices at a Korean Language School (KLS) in the United States. From a sociocultural perspective, it focuses on the KLS, a social context where the students are exposed to and engage in Korean language and literacy practices. This study investigates what kinds of language and literacy practices in Korean and/or English are embedded in the KLS in the particular Korean community in which this study was conducted, how the Korean American students respond to those language and literacy practices through their attitudes, and what social and home factors influence their attitudes toward those practices, toward people they interact with, and toward the social setting of the KLS. Findings show that while the students were participating in the Korean lessons, utilizing CS in the KLS, their construction of meaning varied and their meaning making was related to their complex identity construction, which might have been influenced by their parents parenting at home and their Korean ethnic heritage. Not every student constructed meaning in the same way, therefore they revealed different attitudes toward learning Korean language and literacy. They were surrounded by the Korean academic learning social context, but their degrees of engagement with meaning construction in Korean and English were different. These young adolescent learners, displaying their own agency, made a decision to be part of the surrounding social context of the KLS, or not. Their decisions were possibly made based on adolescent social and ethnic identity construction, self-esteem, young adolescent developmental stage, and parents' language ideologies.'


Bilingual Education, Heritage Education, Identity, Language Ideology, Code-switching

Document Type




Degree Name

Language, Literacy and Sociocultural Studies

Level of Degree


Department Name

Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies

First Committee Member (Chair)

Mahn, Holbrook

Second Committee Member

Pence, Lucretia (Penny)

Third Committee Member

Lee, Soyong