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ISSN : 1226-4822(Print)
ISSN : (Online)
The Sociolinguistic Journal of Korea Vol.21 No.1 pp.1-25

I am speaking in silence: What Korean college students’ silence tells us about their English writing class

Kim, So-yeon
Korea Institute for Curriculum and Evaluation
논문 접수일: 2013. 2. 15.논문 심사일: 2013. 3. 1.~3. 25.게재 확정일: 2013.?3. 31.


Students’ silence is a common phenomenon in Korean or EFL classes, and is associated with a stereotypical image of Korean students as passive and uncritical learners. This article explores the dynamics of an English writing class in Korea, and attempts to understand what students experienced as well as uncover the variables contributing to their silence. One writing instructor and seven Korean students were involved in this qualitative study. The results indicate that the writing professor and the students had different interpretations of the classroom silence, which had an impact on their view of the intention of communication. It also shows how the students were actively engaged in learning to write but had unresolved questions that could have been dealt with if they had availed themselves of the professor’s help. A range of variables were used to analyze the silence of the seven students in depth. Some valuable pedagogical implications are provided for teachers to investigate this phenomenon and to achieve a better understanding of student silence (166).