The Use and Role of Pop Culture in Heritage Language Learning: A Study of Advanced Learners of Korean

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Abstract

Despite the important use of pop culture in many instructional settings, its use in the heritage language (HL) classroom remains largely unexplored. Thus, this article reports findings from classroom-based qualitative research that examined the use and role of pop culture in advanced Korean HL learners’ literacy engagement and identity construction. Data analyses of the learners’ reading presentations and writing projects revealed that they extensively drew upon the heritage media and pop culture for their in-class literacy practices. Pop culture served as a contact point for their literacy practice, helped reexamine or strengthen their ethnic identity from a global perspective, and provided a window to discuss social issues and explore them. Findings suggest pedagogical implications for using pop culture in HL and foreign language classrooms.

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