A Systematic Review of CEFR-Related Research of English Education in South Korea

Ji-hye Jeon


This study aims to analyze the trend of CEFR(Common European Framework of Reference) related research in South Korea using the method of a systematic review and to discuss the research fields required in relation to CEFR. The Council of Europe released the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) in 2001. It acts as a standard for curriculum, teaching, learning, and evaluation. With this, thirty kinds of literature from the years 2000 to 2020 that satisfied the selection criteria were chosen from a search of CEFR-related research on English education. After the 2015 revised national curriculum was implemented, studies related to CEFR increased by 70% from 2018 in terms of publication year, and 60% of those studies used quantitative methodologies. After organizing the subjects of the studies by the Korean academic levels and CEFR levels, the data showed a focus on research for elementary and university while a wide range of CEFR levels from Basic User to Proficient User was represented. Since CEFR builds vocabulary, grammar, and language competence based on corpus data, 80% of the studies were performed in relation to the curriculum and evaluation using the corpus. However, in order to successfully apply CEFR to Korean English education, research on more detailed level settings and the linkage between each level needs to be actively conducted. More studies are necessary to adapt CEFR to the EFL context in Korea since CEFR describes communication skills that L2 learners should have, including pluricultural competence. This means a wide range of studies on CEFR are needed to expand the quality and quantity of English education in Korea.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jct.v11n8p363


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